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sistahspeakhdr

White America is at a crossroads of sorts. It will be interesting to see the turn it takes.

Have Americans had the hope squeezed out? Are they willing to suffer the known rather than continue on a path of progress, the unknown path?

In one direction, there is the no longer closeted racism ship of the republican'ts and their teaparty. At the moment there does not appear to be a captain guiding this ship, though apparently Newt is volunteering.

Newt. Gringrich.

I can never even think the word newt without thinking salamander or eye of.

He was my congressman when I lived in Georgia. When I moved I used to say it was because the state of Georgia just wasn't big enough for the two of us.

I drove with a "Boot Newt" bumper-sticker and only retired my "Boot Newt" t-shirt when he stepped down and left Congress.  I really thought we had seen the last of him. As if.

I will give him credit for his uncanny ability to keep his finger on the pulse of the ignorant and fearful.  He resonates with the stupid. It is a gift.

I think it is because he is a deeply damaged person. This keeps him connected to fear. Ignorance is always a partner to fear for eliminating ignorance reduces and often eliminates fear. Fear to be effective relies upon ignorance as a platform. Something to stand on. Not against.

Knowing what a person fears reveals a lot about who they are and what they will and will not do politically.

The Newts of this world are well aware that the common denominator fear is of 'other'.  What they have successfully done time and again is change 'other' to anything unlike them.

When we have failed it has been because we let the Newts of the world define other. For everyone.

How someone named 'newt' could accomplish such a thing is nothing short of miraculous. I give him that much.

I just do not believe that we ought to allow the Newts of the world to define themselves as the norm. Since when did we define the norm as those folks willing to behave as political window dressing for corporations and their lobbyist? Is the average American corrupt?

Why is it that many of the political writers on the left seem unable to break the stories of rampant corruption into small enough sizes so that 'the norm' is shifted? How difficult is it really to move from being right to doing the right thing? Not for the few. For all.

Culturally during the terms of Roosevelt, there were scores of movies where the bad guys in politics once discovered, were reviled by the public. The government worked for the little man or got rid of the Mafia. Government was seen as a good thing.

For over thirty years we have been bombarded culturally by images of greed being good, if misunderstood.  We are given images to aspire to that have nothing to do with a modest home, a fair wage and a decent life. We are failures if we don't have private jets,vacation homes around the world and an estate. Jimmy Stewart types got pawned.

I don't know what comes first the chicken or the egg as far as culture reflecting or directing. Not even sure it matters. What matters is when you are in the midst of a culture war, you don't allow one side to define the dream and spend your time doing battle with each other.

I keep thinking that instead of allowing the Newts of this world to define the dream, we ought to.

The ability to do this is how and why Obama is the President. Like him or not, he was the first Democrat in a couple of generations who spoke to the American Dream at the level of being able to educate your children and being able to live life unburdened by the fear of being sick and unable to get health care. He redefined the American Dream if only for a moment.

He has moved this country forward. Whether far or fast enough can be debated, but the direction has been forward.

One way for this country to move toward doing the right thing for all it's citizens may be to scour for stories of average Americans who are moving forward in their lives because of something that has happened in the last two years. To elevate the lives of real Americans who would be happy with a decent job, a decent home and car  with the ability to educate their children and the resources necessary for health care. For most Americans, this is a big enough dream. Time to sell it.

The Internet and sites like this one provide a real opportunity to do so.

Beginning next week, I will include a story of a family or individual whose lives have changed for the better. If you know of someone whose story ought to be heard, let's hear about it.

We can continue making progress or we can stop this train and sit at the station until it falls down from neglect.  We can continue to allow the Newts of this world to define the 'norm' or we can define it for them.

Forget statistics. Find the stories. Tell the stories. Push. Not each other. Them.

Now run and tell that.

amazinggrace

Many of you may have seen The Blind Side where a benevolent Sandra Bullock takes a homeless black kid into her home. He’s a big boy and with a little TLC, he is transformed into a professional football player. Well that story, though it sounds pretty fantastical, is actually based on real people and events. Unfortunately, that Hollywood ending bears no similarity at all to the struggles an estimated one million homeless school children currently face in the U.S
The rise in homelessness among school-aged children is the underside of our current financial crisis

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With talk of a possible double-dip recession - a recession followed by a short-lived recovery, followed by another recession - it’s time for African Americans to abandon the economically paralyzed urban areas of the U.S. and head for the Heartland where there is low unemployment and a higher quality of living.
The Great Migration Out of the Hood
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The Obama administration has changed the nation's immigration enforcement strategy in ways that will reduce the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants and will likely blunt the impact of any state laws designed to deport vast numbers of people.
Obama Quietly Shifts Immigration Enforcement Emphasis to Dangerous Criminals
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Newt Gingrich is so off about President Obama, he's not even wrong. The former House Speaker and potential 2012 candidate said the President exhibits "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior" because he has consciously adopted the East African socialism of his father, Barack Obama, Sr., and, by a bit of wizardry, is applying those principles to the American republic.
Newt Gingrich Is So Off, He's Not Even Wrong
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With millions of adults having criminal records — anything from underage drinking or possessing an ounce of pot to homicide — a growing number of job seekers are being systematically weeded out by criminal background checks and personal credit histories, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. The growing use of criminal background checks as much a part of job applications as an applicant’s name and address - is now under scrutiny by the EEOC.
Background Checks Under Fed Scrutiny
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I have spent the last few days reading the positive commentary about how wonderful it is to have a fat Black woman on the cover of a major magazine.  Gabby is after all, not only fabulously beautiful, she is extremely talented and it is a step forward to see her in the mainstream, which has a tendency to promote a thin Euro-centric aesthetic.  So, we are all supposed to be happy right?  Yeah for inclusion except for this:
Perhaps We Should Not Celebrate Gabourey Sidibe on the Cover of Elle
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Refugee evictions, private land grabs, disaster capitalism—you can't tell the story of Haiti without all this. Eight months after the earthquake, many of the 1.7 million Haitians living under tattered tarps in squalid squatter camps around Port-au-Prince are being forced to abandon the tent cities they've set up on privately owned land. Meanwhile, businesses—eager to slurp up the spoils of disaster—are swooping in to score major paydays by moving the refugees to new camps, some set to operate as industrial work zones. And there's no one stopping it.
Haiti's Disaster Capitalists Swoop In
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The Obama administration, emerging as a strong voice on international human rights issues within the UN, has submitted its first appraisal of the US's own human rights record, admitting to gaps in social and economic areas, pledging to push ratification of international rights conventions that have lingered in limbo in Washington and recognizing that the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have become a defining issue of the era.
US Profile on Human Rights Grows at the United Nations
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Here is the modern face of the Africa-China diptych: standing next to half-built roads across Africa — sometimes in the most far-flung places, in a Congolese jungle, or a desert in Niger — is the Chinese foreman, wide-brimmed hat on his head, cigarette dangling from his mouth.
Seeking Proof of China's Ancient Trade with Africa


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Editor's Pic...This article is a must read,it is a clear and concise analysis of the lies, propaganda and half-truths leading up the current state of the Nation.
This Country Just Can't Deal with Reality Any More
As Election Day 2010 approaches, the consequences of the nation’s three-decade-old decoupling from reality are becoming painfully obvious.

America's Stunning Break From Reality

Originally posted to Robinswing on Fri Sep 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM PDT.

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