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Escape to Your Independence

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Modern Jim Crow examples - escape to independenceA few weeks ago my oldest granddaughter asked me for examples of modern silent forms of Jim Crow. I gave a few examples like the discrimination in employment that still happens quietly. I directed her to Isabel Wilkerson's book, "THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS", and Michele Norris' book, "THE GRACE OF SILENCE." These books are about the great migration that tell the story of how and why Black Americans left the south. These books tell us how Blacks headed for points west like California and New York to escape the blatant racism of the south.

What they discovered was arguably better, but, in fact, was just a new type of racism and Jim Crow. This new brand of racism had no sheets but covered itself in housing covenants that discriminated based on race, school segregation that saved the best schools for white kids, and Friday night lynching of Black men and rape of Black women for sport by hooded Klansmen.

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Those Who are Blocking the Schoolhouse Doors are the Same Ones Blocking Jobs and the Ballot Box

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Republican Party on education and jobsThe Friday, September 14, 2012 issue of USA TODAY newspaper had a full page advertisement that caught my eye. The ad had a picture of former Alabama governor George Wallace standing in the door of a school in 1963. Wallace was vowing to keep Blacks out of schools where white students attended. The caption says "Someone New Is Blocking the Schoolhouse Door."

The advertisement was referring to School Unions, but while I disagree with the message of the unions closing the doors of opportunity, I do agree that the door is shut. And not only the schoolhouse door, but other doors of opportunity are closing all around us as well. The Republican Party is busy trying to close the door to the ballot box. They are trying to close the doors of the Post Office. The doors to government sponsored jobs, programs, and even educational loans to go to school are being closed.

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Sick and Tired of Racism Aimed at My People

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Racism and voting and moreMy father was born in May of 1919, so by my calculation he would be 93 years old if he were still with us. I've said many times, he taught us that there are some White folks who don't sleep at night trying to figure out new ways to keep Black folks down. I never knew my paternal grandfather as he died when my father was 8 years old. However, my mother's father was a fire-brand Methodist preacher, named Shaw, and while I never talked to him much, he published a magazine called "U-NAM–IT" for the people residing in rural Oklahoma where my family lived.

The world is watching certain racist governors of states like Texas, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and a number of other states fighting to turn back the clock to a time when Black folks couldn't vote. These antics remind me of what my father said. I found in my grandfather's writings an editorial on voting where he writes, "So long as America is reported to be 'A government of the people , for the people , by the people' no one who refuses to vote may truthfully say, 'I am an American.'" Refusing to vote is a measure of disloyalty to the government, and to an equal degree, morally disqualifies one from enjoyment of rights and privileges of an American citizen. Failing to vote repudiates the principles for which Americans have died, since 1776, and shows contempt for those who sleep beneath mounds on battle fields of this and foreign countries where Americans have died fighting for freedom . . . Register and vote!

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The Republican Convention - A Festival of Lies Born of Racism

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Republican tacticsThe Federal courts in Texas, Ohio and Florida, this week, overturned the voter suppression programs of the Republican Party in those states. The bills were produced to reduce the number of Blacks, Latinos, the elderly and other voters who the Republicans believed would vote democratic. The appeals court in Texas found that the gerrymandering of the voting districts in Texas based on the 2010 census had a discriminatory purpose and effect that included reducing the power of Black and brown voters to elect candidates of their choice.

The voter suppression actions were only one part of the campaign of the Republican Party to buy, or steal, the re-election of America's first Black President. Another part of the campaign was to lie, lie, and lie some more. The purpose of the lies was to make mostly older white voters believe that President Obama was not an American, that he hated America, and that he was somehow sent to harm America (and code language that "he's not one of us".)

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When Life Brings You to Another Crossroads

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - On Black inspiration and crossroadsBlack folks have a long history of things happening that are unjust. That is the time to call on Black fore-fathers who fought greater, bigger battles, for inspiration. Frederick Douglass taught us that power conceded nothing with a struggle; it never did and never will. He taught us that the slave that is whipped easiest is whipped oftenest. Malcolm X taught us that once we set a goal, or entered a battle, we must win by any means necessary. One pioneer after another in every field of endeavor taught us that when one door closes, another opens. In education, the powers that be closed the school house doors and Blacks built their own schools, including a Black College system. As an aside on that subject, I still don't understand why the last Black College was built in Texas, as if the West Coast didn't exist or didn't need Black Colleges. These Black Colleges were mostly built by Black Churches and the mission was to meet the needs of young African Americans who were not welcome in white colleges.

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