Sinead O’Conner writes about Trayvon Martin

Irish born singer, Sinead O’Conner has posted open letter about the Trayvon Martin case. Here is a snippet from her lengthy and poignant letter:

“I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Treyvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Treyvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.

For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’.. because you didn’t need it to be black any more where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said.. ‘You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well’. So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, its yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, its yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.”

In Memory of Whitney Houston

By Sasha Allen

It is always devastating when someone dies, but especially so when that person is as iconic as Whitney Houston.

Of course, we cannot place blame squarely on her relationships and her struggles with addiction. Whitney Houston had options and access to help. We can only wish that her will to survive was more powerful than any demon. Especially for the sake of her child.

My heart goes out Bobby Kristina who has lost a parent and cannot grieve in private. For her there is no escaping the reality that her mother is gone. Her mother’s death is publicized in the media, her mother’s voice heard on the radio regardless of the genre of music they typically play.

This is a reminder to celebrate all the creative individuals we find revolutionary. Let us demonstrate our appreciation while they are alive so that they may bask in that joy.

 

Dr. B.B. Robinson reflects on Black America’s ‘National Anthem’

God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who has by Thy might 
Led us into the light,


Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”

Should black Americans still consider “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” as the “black national anthem”?
Given the Obama presidency and Herman Cain was a viable presidential contender for the Republicans, aren’t many black Americans right in feeling we are completely integrated into the American milieu?
Many will still complain that segments of the black community, especially the poor and dispossessed, cannot yet identify with this land. That leaves open the question of whether we should cling to this — or any — separatist anthem.
If an anthem is warranted, is the current one appropriate?
Is “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” still sung at black events? It used to be sung right after the “Star-Spangled Banner.” But how often is that played at open public events anymore?

Is “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” played at HBCU football games? Hardly. The song is largely a relic of the past.
Like the “Star-Spangled Banner,” “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was first a poem (in 1900), and then set to music (1905). Unlike the national anthem, however, it is not specially recognized by Congress (with the exception of having once been read into the Congressional Record).
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” expresses the sentiments of a people born from slavery and having great fears of white America. That hardly represents black Americans today. 

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” does not convey the mindset of a people who are now willing to fight for equality. Rather, the song says that — through faith and hope — God will guide us there.
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is too passive. It does not portray black Americans as the people of action that we are.
The very thought of questioning the efficacy of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is, in and of itself, emblematic of the questioning, searching, pursuing and moving minds that black Americans embody and that we use on our way to finding true economic freedom.

Unlike the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which says, “Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,” “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” does not claim our righteousness in the battle for justice — nor our guaranteed victory. Shouldn’t any black anthem be more explicit about such goals?
Maybe the reason for this agnosticism about a black anthem is that it simply represents too many words on paper. It is steeped in the black American Christian tradition of calling on God to do for us what God has given us the power to do for ourselves. 

God shouldn’t magically cause us to emphasize intelligence over style, thriftiness and investment over conspicuous consumption nor long-term planning over immediate gratification. However, we should marshal our own senses to adopt the better and wiser approaches.
That’s why it may be time to retire “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”
Isn’t it time for some brilliant black mind to pen something new for black America. Some black institution could commission such work and help promulgate the result. The very existence of black institutions, by the way, is a testament to the continuation of separate Americas and a potential reason for such an anthem.
It is hard to find centenarian companies. It stands to reason, using that logic, that a centenarian song cannot adequately reflect the needs, hopes and aspirations of a people who are as dynamic as black Americans.
Let’s consider a new song that we can sing in a place and at a time where black Americans enjoy true social, political, and economic freedoms.
B.B. Robinson, Ph.D. is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21. You can visit his website at www.blackeconomics.org. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org.
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or Northend Agent’s.

NAACP State Conference CT Pres. writes on health issues

Dear Editor,
As the NAACP State Conference President for Connecticut I am responsible for hearing and addressing all types of concerns. In Connecticut far too many of the complaints I hear relate to deprivation of what should be a basic human right for all, the right to breathe clean air. For African American communities, in particular, these rights are being violated.
The racial disparities in air quality lead to disparities in health and quality of life. Seventy-one percent of African Americans live in counties in violation of air pollution standards. An African American making $50,000 per year is more likely to live in an area cited for bad air pollution than a white American making $15,000 per year. Seventy-eight percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal fired power plant. Arsenic, dioxins, lead, mercury and other pollutants are spewed daily from various industrial facilities such as incinerators, power plants, factories, etc., putting people at risk across the country. For example, a Clean Air Taskforce report on power plant pollution found that emissions from all power plants in the U.S. are responsible for 30,000 premature deaths, 7,000 asthma-related emergency room visits, and 18,000 cases of chronic bronchitis each year.
When opponents denounce safeguards against pollution, such as the Clean Air Act and associated regulations with labels such as “job killing”, they disregard the high monetary cost of inaction and who is paying those costs. Consumers are already paying for the less-publicized costs of toxic air quality: mounting health expenses, lost days of school to care for sick kids, poor performance for lead exposed kids who have learning challenges, lost days of work due to illness and trips to take children to the doctor, etc.
Currently, regulations under the Clean Air Act, such as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule which aim to reduce pollution in our air, are under attack by polluters and certain legislative initiatives in Congress aimed at blocking the functionality of the Clean Air Act. These rules are essential for sensible reductions in air pollution. Supporting these rules would save up to 330 lives and will prevent heart attacks, hospitalizations, and ER visits in Connecticut every year.
Craig Kelly, Former NAACP President and longtime Bridgeport resident has stated that,
“They run the plant (Bridgeport Station) in the evening, at night so no one’s able to see what comes out. For the most part they don’t do it during the day, because it would be too obvious. I’m hoping that at some point, the EPA, or maybe the Department of Justice can look at it and say, maybe we can turn around and find some way to put a filter on top of the stack that’s letting these fumes, these poisonous substances, into the air. It’s very, very difficult. It’s just off the chart in terms of the illnesses that black and Puerto Rican people have within this community. It is something that needs to be addressed. Hopefully like minds will prevail and say “ok” we need to do something to make a difference in the lives and the quality of lives of the people that actually live here.”

Opposing the implementation of the Clean Air Act and its associated regulations would limit the EPA’s ability to enforce clean air standards that protect us from significant amounts of harmful air pollution.
In July of this year, the NAACP 102nd Annual Convention delegates unanimously passed a resolution calling for affirmation of strong regulations to safeguard clean air. These safeguards protect the health and wellbeing of the people living in communities affected by air pollution, who are disproportionately African American.
Enough is enough. We must maintain existing safeguards, as well as implement and strengthen standards that protect our communities. The NAACP Connecticut State Conference of Branches strongly urges our Senators and Representatives to support clean air safeguards and oppose proposed measures in Congress that put their constituents at risk.
Let Connecticut lead the way to cleaner air.

Sincerely,
Scot X. Esdaile, President
NAACP Connecticut State Conference

www.naacp-ct.org