Elizabeth Warren just gave the speech that Black Lives Matter activists have been waiting for   Recently updated !

An email conversation I had today gave me an occasion to re-look at some items I had posted on the Sturbridge For Bernie Sanders Facebook page.

The first item was posted on September 28 with the headline from above.

Speaking in Boston, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says black Americans still face violence, economic injustice and restrictions to voting rights. She highlights the efforts of activists in the Black Lives Matter movement. (Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate)

It had a three minute excerpt from the speech that I thought was excellent.

I was looking for reaction from the Black community when I came across the article that I posted on Facebook on September 29.

This post was about the Color Lines article ICYMI: Elizabeth Warren Talks About Structural Racism and Black Lives Matter.

I focused on a dissenting view of Warren’s speech.

But some wondered online if Warren isn’t just riding the wave of the movement in an attempt to win black votes. Arielle Newton, founder of the Black Millennials blog, wrote on Facebook

At the time I posted the article, I didn’t have time to listen to the 55 minutes of the entire speech from which the above clip was taken. Later someone who had taken the time told me that I really ought to listen to the whole thing. Today, I finally watched and listened.

During her talk at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate on Sunday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) gave a speech that bore the heart of the structural racism that activists have long known to be the sparks that necessitated the Black Lives Matter movement.

Warren touched on many topics that are key to the every day lived experiences of black people in America, covering everything from housing discrimination, to police violence, to domestic terrorism, to the gutting of voting rights.

This was such a great speech. It had me and the audience close to tears at some points. How I wish Bernie Sanders could make a speech like this. That wish is even taking into account that Bernie Sanders delivers one heck of a rousing speech when ever he makes an appearance.

October 6, 2015

People on Facebook have been so resistant to the message I am trying to convey, that they missed the comment in the Color Lines article I mentioned above. Even though I quoted a bit of what I was trying to emphasize, people’s mind filters seem to be so strong, that they still missed it.

Perhaps if I quote the entire section below, they will have a harder time missing it. Unfortunately, I will not be surprised if they still resist understanding what Arielle Newton said. I didn’t say agree. All I am asking people is to consider why she might have the feelings she expressed. In all the management courses I ever took, they always told me you cannot deny a person’s feelings. You may disagree about whether they should or should not have those feelings, but you cannot tell them that they do not have the feelings they profess.

But some wondered online if Warren isn’t just riding the wave of the movement in an attempt to win black votes. Arielle Newton, founder of the Black Millennials blog, wrote on Facebook:

Black Lives Matter (as a Movement and affirmation) holds tremendous political capital. Folks can literally get votes and funds if they court the growing Black vote that is disillusioned by of the system and is ready to divest from it.

Black folk are conditioned to accept so little, to the point where we applaud white folk for recognizing our work, labor, analysis, and most importantly…our lived existence. We praise a white women who made credible our claims against institutional racism. We laud a white women who probably wouldn’t have delivered these words had it not been for sustained protest and uprisings. We uplift a white women for doing what she’s supposed to do. …

If you wanna praise Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the words that’ve been uttered, written, screamed, chanted, whispered, and proclaimed by many Black folk, fine. But don’t get complacent.

Sample The Thoughts of Communities Of Others

I have been finding a lack of understanding of people of color in the mostly white Bernie Sanders’ fan base. I thought I might be able to act as a conduit of people from communities other than the majority one. Even though I had some feeling about the issues of other groups, I thought I might try to interview some local people to find out their views more exactly.

What I have discovered, much to my chagrin for not having figured this out before, is that there are plenty of outlets for these voices, but we, the majority community, have to seek them out and listen to them.

Using a hashtag of #BlackLivesMatter (Too) on twitter and on Facebook led me to instant results.

Here are just a few things I found. There is a much, much larger universe to explore.

wolbbaltimore has the article What Is The Ask: Iyanla Vanzant Addresses #BlackLivesMatter Controversy featuring the “video” below.

News One has the article Should The Black Lives Matter Movement Hold A Presidential Candidate Forum To Address Our Issues? The article features the “video” below.

Everyday Feminism has the article Here’s What It Really Takes to Be An Ally to Black Justice Movements. This article features the video below.

Debacle, Inc.: How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our ‘Proliferated’ World

Naked Capitalism has the post Debacle, Inc.: How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our ‘Proliferated’ World

Less well known is the way in which Kissinger’s policies toward Iran and Saudi Arabia accelerated the radicalization in the region, how step by catastrophic step he laid the groundwork for the region’s spiraling crises of the present moment.

When I linked to this article on Facebook, I commented as follows:

I won’t mention any names, but how many of you know which current Presidential hopeful counts Henry Kissinger as one of the people she admires? As Secretary of State, her foreign policy looked remarkably like one that could have been advised by Henry Kissinger.

Again, not mentioning any names, but which Presidential hopeful seems to disdain the realpolitik tendencies of Kissinger and his acolytes? He came out pretty firmly in support of the recent deal with Iran on nuclear weapons. Perhaps in an effort to undo some of the damage that Kissinger has done.

Wolf Richter: This is When Bonds Go Kaboom!

Naked Capitalism has the post Wolf Richter: This is When Bonds Go Kaboom!

But the $40-trillion US bond market is not an entity by itself. Many of these companies are publicly traded, and stockholders are at the low end of the capital totem pole. Even the lowliest, most kicked-around unsecured bondholders come ahead of them. That’s how problems in bond land tear into stocks. To get an idea where Chesapeake’s and Olin’s stocks are headed, watch their bonds.

Now this is some financial advice that I had not thought about. Perhaps I have been spending too much time on politics, and not enough time watching my portfolio. Actually, there is no perhaps about it.

Bill Black on the Department of Justice’s Failure to Prosecute Individuals and Promises to Do Better

Naked Capitalism has the post Bill Black on the Department of Justice’s Failure to Prosecute Individuals and Promises to Do Better.

Here is the video featured in the article.

When I posted this article on Sturbridge For Bernie Sanders Facebook page, I introduced it with the comment.

Even some of Bernie Sanders most ardent fans do not know how much we need the revolution. Those of us who have been following this for years have been trying to get the word out. Now is the time to enlist the followers of the Sanders campaign to rise up in protest, and demand the revolution.

For those who wonder why we go after the oligarchs for their success in making money, the answer is “Because they didn’t earn it. They stole it through criminal fraud.”

Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress

The Washington Post, acting as a responsible media outlet, has published Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

The pomp and the hoopla are fine, but let us not forget the real issues that should concern us.

Private Equity Asset-Stripping Strategy Meets Charter Schools to Produce Even Better Looting

Naked Capitalism has the article Private Equity Asset-Stripping Strategy Meets Charter Schools to Produce Even Better Looting.

Have you ever wondered how you could make a private (charter) school that would provide a better education and cost less money than a public school and yet turn a profit? As with all the other efforts to privatize public services, haven’t you suspected that there must be some trick to this? Well this article exposes one of the key tricks.

If you read about how banks could make fraudulent mortgages that had a built-in high rate of defaults, and still make some people rich, then this will be no surprise. If you knew how Mitt Romney made his fortune by buying failing businesses and “turning them around”, then you won’t be surprised by this article.

I suppose what might surprise you is that you didn’t see this scam coming.

Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote

The New York Times has the Op Ed Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote.

The author of the article doesn’t offer any hints for a solution for Bernie Sanders’ “problem”. However, I found one comment to be instructive. As you read this comment, try not to start mentally refuting it as you read it, but try instead to understand how Ahmina could have formed her opinion.

Ahmina Detroit September 13, 2015

As an African-American woman I will vote for whichever Democratic candidate ends up on the ballot, because I know in the end my community will fare slightly better under a democratic president. However I am under zero illusions that Bernie Sanders is the saving grace for blacks in America. His analysis is one based solely on income, and he only added race to his agenda because he was pressured into it. When he was really confronted with the issues of race and racism, in Seattle and at Netroots, he reacted as most white liberals do – with arrogance and anger. White liberals are worst than conservatives when it comes to race because they truly believe they have it all figured out, and that they stand beside us in equal condemnation of “those” racist, conservatives. When in reality they stand atop us in condemnation of “those” others, propped up by their own white privilege and society’s emphasis on white supremacy. Class, income, and whether someone is middle class WILL NOT alone solve the issues of racism in this country, and as long as liberals continue to believe this we will never be a united left. For those who would like to discount my last point please research environmental justice, mandatory minimums (i.e. crack vs cocaine), and the prison industrial complex before wasting my time.

I believe part of the problem is that when Bernie Sanders is confronted about his problems with garnering more votes from people of color, he immediately jumps to income inequality and minority unemployment. By the time he gets to the issues of concern identified by Ahmina, he has already lost the attention of the audience he needs to be addressing.

I intend to do more outreach to the African American community to find out if my analysis is a correct one. I have heard from some black people that I may be on the right track.

I was pleased to see that handing out Bernie Sanders flyers in Worcester yesterday, I had little difficulty handing them out to minority voters. I only had a few people who did not want a flyer.

What Bernie Sanders means by ‘democratic socialism.’ (You still have your choice of pajamas.)

The Washington Post has the article What Bernie Sanders means by ‘democratic socialism.’ (You still have your choice of pajamas.)

I’ll use this excerpt of what he said about Scandinavian Social Democracies to give you a hint at his great explanation.

“Are these democratic societies? Obviously they are,” Sanders said, relaying that voter turnout in Denmark tends to approach 90 percent.

“Is it a society where the government owns every mom-and-pop store?” he asked. “Of course not. You have all kinds of capitalist entrepreneurship going on, a lot of wealth being created. But what else do you have? … An effort to make sure that all people benefit from the wealth that’s being created. So you have a much more equitable distribution of wealth and income. … I talked to a guy from Denmark, and he said, ‘In Denmark, it is very hard to become very, very rich, but it’s pretty hard to be very, very poor.’ And that makes a lot of sense to me.”

Read the rest of his explanation so that you can better understand what he wants, and you can better explain it to other people.