This weekend marks the 42nd anniversary of the March on Washington. While Coretta Scott King struggles to regain her health, a few of the original dream builders remain active (here and here). But we can all band together to memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for future generations.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation is raising money to build a memorial honoring Dr. King on the National Mall. To date, the foundation has raised $38.5 million. They need $100 million. To make a tax-deductible contribution to help build the dream, click here.
A recent piece by Tonyaa Weathersbee about the GOP’s latest black media phenom (and here) reminded me that President Bush’s brand of Republicanism goes best with inexperience.
Adam Hunter is a brash law student who thinks he has figured out the game. But as Weathersbee writes, reality bites:
Now I’m not – repeat – not saying that all young black people should stick with the Democratic party. In fact, I believe it’s extremely healthy to question anything one buys into. Rebellion is healthy too. But as black people, we can’t afford to eschew our history when rebelling. I mean, what good does it do for a budding black businessperson to embrace the Republican party because he or she sees it as the party of entrepreneurs, only to be denied a loan to start a business because that same party has weakened anti-discrimination laws?
So to the Hunters and other young, GOP-leaning black people, here’s what I say: Rebel if you must. But there are better ways to do it. Rebel by being an independent. Or better yet, rebel by starting another political party altogether. Don’t rebel by joining a party that has built its modern base by exploiting white hostility to the societal changes that made your progress possible.
In other words, don’t trade one plantation for another. Especially when the accommodations at the new one are bound to be worse.
Today, President George W. Bush will speak at the Idaho Center, where he’ll take another spin (and here) at trying to convince Americans that that walking and quacking Iraq quagmire is a “noble cause.”
Up the road a bit, Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez, a Republican, is dealing forthrightly with another intractable issue -- illegal immigration -- that Bush has gotten wrong. According to the Pew Hispanic Center:
Although an overwhelming majority of Hispanics expresses positive attitudes toward immigrants, relatively few Hispanics favor increasing the flow of legal immigration from Latin America and a significant minority, concentrated among native-born Latinos, is concerned that unauthorized migrants are hurting the economy. One hotly-debated means to discourage unauthorized migration—laws that deny drivers’ licenses to people who are in the country illegally—draws support from a majority of the native born, according to a survey of the Latino population in the United States conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center (PHC).
Meanwhile, separate PHC surveys conducted in Mexico show that about four of every ten adults (emphasis added) in the Mexican population say they would migrate to the United States if they had the means and opportunity and that two of every ten are inclined to live and work here without legal authorization. The willingness to migrate, even illegally, is evident in all sectors of Mexican society including the middle class and the well-educated as well as those who are poor and who only completed low-levels of schooling.
I was channel-surfing in my room at the historic Governor Hotel and came across Lars Larson, a talk show host who's "doing it right for Oregon and Washington." Way right. Larson's rants make the odious Rush Limbaugh sound like a voice of reason.
That said, I agree with Larson that middle-class taxpayers are being saddled with the social costs of illegal immigration (here, here and here). And his invitation to the Blind Boys of Alabama (and here) to perform in the studio on Friday just goes to show that even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Since I can't stand the heat, I'm still in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, I'm in Portland, a city that has captured my heart and imagination even though the state constitution excluded blacks from Oregon (and here) until 1925. That's probably why there are only about 55,000 African Americans in the entire state.
While the state has taken steps to address the methamphetamine epidemic (here and here), I’m stumped as to why local leaders lack the political will to do so. If they were to get the meth heads -- and panhandlers -- off the streets of downtown, this pearl of a city would be transformed from a “walker’s paradise” into paradise.
The late Ossie Davis told us: “It’s not the man, it’s the plan.” So, yesterday I turned my attention from the Seattle Space Needle to a National Public Radio report on how progressives are building an infrastructure to advance their agenda.
With PowerPoint presentation in tow, Rob Stein is spearheading an effort to raise money for a new think tank that will take on the conservative message machine – and win elections.
But just like Steve Rosenthal who wowed funders with his PowerPoint rap, Stein’s plan doesn’t include black folks in the takeoff. And we all know where Rosenthal has landed.