Sunday Open Thread

Prayers to Trayvon Martin Family

A Change Is Gonna Come is a 1964 single by R&B singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, written and first recorded in 1963 and released under the RCA Victor label shortly after his death in late 1964. Though only a modest hit for Cooke in comparison with his previous singles, the song came to exemplify the sixties’ Civil Rights Movement. The song has gained in popularity and critical acclaim in the decades since its release, and is #12 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Upon hearing Bob Dylan‘s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black.[1] While on tour in May 1963, and after speaking with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina following a concert, Cooke returned to his tour bus and wrote the first draft of what would become “A Change Is Gonna Come”.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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39 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Report: Backroom Deal Kept Romney On Illinois Ballot

    Pema Levy March 18, 2012, 7:09 PM

    The scale of the problems that led the Romney campaign to drop challenges to Rick Santorum’s petitions in Illinois and allow him to appear on the ballot became clearer this week, according to a report from the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights.

    Last week, BuzzFeed reported that the Romney campaign dropped challenges to Santorum’s signature petitions in several Illinois counties even when he lacked the requisite number of signatures, basically allowing him to appear on the ballot in almost every part of the state. The strange decision, BuzzFeed noted, appeared to have come from Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who officially withdrew the challenges. Rutherford offered basically no explanation, telling BuzzFeed, “We decided to be spirited and let it go.”

    Now it appears there’s more to the story. Rutherford, who was responsible for collecting signatures for Mitt Romney, made two crucial errors that led to a deal between the two campaigns. Not only did he struggle to get enough signatures for Romney, but he had the signatures notarized out of state, an error that could have prevented Romney from appearing on the ballot at all. The Romney campaign had to send paid staffers to collect signatures in Illinois to get Romney on the ballot, according to Politico.

    Once the Romney campaign challenged Santorum’s petitions, the Santorum camp came back with its own challenge based on the notarization error. Santorum’s Illinois state director, Jon Zahm, said that notarizing in Massachusetts instead of Illinois is “a pretty serious mistake” and that the dueling challenges led to a truce between the two campaigns.

    “I filed that challenge and they eventually asked me to withdraw my challenge in exchange for them withdrawing theirs,” Zahm said. According to Politico’s account, Rutherford then went to the Romney campaign and asked them to withdraw the challenges to Santorum’s petitions. From there, both campaigns agreed to withdraw their respective challenges in what Zahm called a traditional Illinois “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.”

    The mishap calls into question just how organized the Romney campaign, thought to be a well-oiled machine, really is — something some have begun to question as the primary drags on. According to Politico, the Romney camp was shocked that Rutherford, a statewide officeholder who is rumored to be planning a run for governor, dropped the ball in so many regards.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Five Big Takeaways From Obama’s Documentary
    Benjy Sarlin & Evan McMorris-Santoro March 17, 2012, 10:55 AM

    President Obama’s slick new re-election documentary by director Davis Guggenheim is the talk of the campaign trail this week, offering up one of the biggest previews so far of what the Fall campaign will look like.

    At only 17 minutes long and devoted to framing Obama’s first term in office (not spelling out his agenda for the next one), the campaign had to make some tough choices about which policies — and interest groups — they’d give starring roles and which ones would get a small cameo. Health care and the auto bailout got huge chunks of screen time, for example, while Obama’s Supreme Court picks received just a few seconds in the spotlight. We broke down how much attention each policy received relative to the others in this chart:

    Reading the tea leaves, the film offers up some new insight on where the campaign might be heading as the general election draws closer with every passing Republican primary. Here are five things that leapt out to us.

    1. Forget 2011 Ever Happened

    The Obama campaign video wants you to remember exactly what it was like to be an American in the Fall of 2008, watching the entire financial industry collapse before your eyes in a matter of days. The Summer of 2011? Not so much.

    The film notably leaves out virtually any mention of a huge and important chunk of the Obama presidency in which he fought newly elected Republicans over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling. And that’s not a given: an alternative universe Obama could just as easily be running on how he reduced the deficit through bipartisan agreements — in fact that’s what many progressives feared would happen last year. But as his poll numbers plummeted and it became clear the economy was still weaker than initially thought and required more help, Obama shook up his staff and went with a more populist focus. It’s clear from not only from the film, but Obama’s rousing economic speeches in recent weeks and his push to tax the wealthy in order to invest in infrastructure and education, that the White House is decisively emphasizing jobs over deficits.

    “What they ignore is the period that Obama spent trying to satisfy the Republicans, trying to move towards deficit reduction instead of job creation, and that period where they were simply crossing their fingers and hoping the economy would get better faster,” Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign For America’s Future, told TPM. “The good news is the film emphasizes the president’s leadership in fighting a very, very serious recession and puts an emphasis on creating jobs and saving Detroit.”

    2. The Auto Rescue Is The Re-Election Story

    One thing we’ve seen in the last few months is that Obama’s re-election team is very comfortable talking about the auto rescue, which was initially an unpopular move back in 2009. The stimulus may have been a bigger ticket item and health care may have been Obama’s most historic piece of legislation, but the bailout is the easiest to explain, has the clearest results, and presents the best contrast with the eventual Republican nominee — especially if its Mitt Romney, whose “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed from 2008 is shown in the film. The message is simple: it may not have been easy, but Obama got the results he promised (and then some) while the other guys would have caved to political pressure and ruined an entire industry.

    “It’s much more tangible as an example of progress that actually got people jobs and back to work,” Jeff Hauser, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, told TPM. “The nature of the stimulus, when the most effective policy measures are things like supporting state and local governments so they don’t lay off employees, it’s not sexy and tangible. Whereas the fact there are cars being made in great quantity in America, the fact that it’s only because of Barack Obama, it’s at a scale that people can comprehend.”

    3. Gays And Latinos, Stay Tuned For Second Term

    The historic repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — which ingratiated the White House to the LGBT community last year — gets only a brief mention in the video, and the focus is on the military. That could be because the celebratory atmosphere at the end of DADT fight has given way to a bubbling feud between LGBT advocates and some in the Democratic Party over gay marriage. Same-sex marriage advocates have lined up high-profile support for putting a plank supporting gay marriage in the Democratic platform, but Obama still claims to be “evolving” on the issue even as many assume he’s stalling before announcing his support for marriage rights early in his second term.

    DADT is still a big success for Obama, and the campaign has said lifting the ban on open homosexuality in the military will be part of their messaging to young voters. One activist group helping to get more LGBT politicians elected said they weren’t surprised by the brief mention of the big policy change in Obama’s video.

    “Certainly we’ve heard this election time and again is about economic issues,” Denis Dison, communications director for the Victory Fund told TPM. “I would venture to guess that DADT is probably not going to be a major issue in the presidential election once we get past the primaries.”

    Immigration reform was a major part of Obama’s 2008 campaign, and he promised to introduce an immigration reform bill in his first year as president. That didn’t happen. So maybe it’s no surprise that there wasn’t any mention of immigration in the campaign’s video.

    Obama’s defenders have pointed out that the biggest issues for Latinos in polling are the economy and jobs, topics central to Obama’s documentary and his reelection bid. And other Latino advocates remind that thanks to a GOP field that seems hell-bent on alienating the Latino electorate. They expect Obama to make Latino outreach a major part of his campaign, despite the dearth of direct messaging in the documentary.

    4. Health Care Everyone Can Agree On

    Remember Health Care Reform? You might be surprised to note the Obama campaign hopes you do. Republicans love to run against Obama’s health care plan, but Obama’s video put his signature legislative achievement front and center. Kind of. Unmentioned is the national mandate at the root of Republican opposition — and the Constitutional challenge — to the law, or the subsidized exchanges that the GOP complains cost too much money. That won’t take effect until 2013, after Obama is sworn into his second term. So when talking about the first term, the campaign appears to be focused on the less controversial things in the law already underway: the ban on coverage discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, the requirement that children be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, and closing the donut hole for seniors’ prescription drug coverage, among other things. Even Republican critics often try to assure votes they’ll keep some of these aspects.

    5. …And Bin Laden Is Dead!

    A lot of Democrats were angry when President Bush ran on the War on Terror in 2004, with many accusing him of politicizing national security for partisan gain. The Obama campaign has no hesitation about putting the Osama Bin Laden mission front and center in their own re-election message, however, which gets a detailed look in “The Road We’ve Traveled.”

    Democrats, including Obama himself, have happily trotted out Bin Laden’s death any time the GOP presidential field accuses the White House of being weak on defense.

    “Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top Al-Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement… or whoever’s left out there,” the president said in December when asked about Republican attacks.

    Joe Biden has repeatedly suggested that the campaign’s re-election message should be “Osama bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive.” Judging by the time each received in the film, it’s looking like the campaign will be printing bumper stickers of Biden’s quote in no time.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Here’s why people are so angry over Trayvon Martin’s death

    Darryl E. Owens COMMENTARY

    8:36 a.m. EDT, March 17, 2012
    On Sept. 23, 1955, Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam fired up stogies and smooched their wives. About an hour earlier, a Mississippi jury had mulled their fates.

    The men had stood trial for abducting a 14-year-old black boy. They pounded his face into ground chuck. Shot him in the head. And tossed his broken body — weighted with a large fan used for cleaning raw cotton that they’d hitched with barbed wire around his neck — in the Tallahatchie River

    Emmett Till was dead. And despite damning evidence, Bryant and Milam were acquitted — after the all-white jury deliberated a mere 67 minutes. (Later, they’d cash in by selling Look magazine the blow-by-blow of how they lynched Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman).

    Nearly 67 years later, and some 800 miles from the delta town where Emmett Till met his doom, another young black kid’s death has revived the suspicion that a black life doesn’t have all that much value.

    Sure, few of the nearly 400 righteously indignant people who flocked Allen Chapel AME Church this week, demanding that police lock up George Zimmerman, probably know the details about Emmett Till’s death.

    But the black folk among them know all too well the deep, abiding sense that, in a country where segregation, Jim Crow and prejudice have created unequal footing, African-Americans also too often endure separate and but unequal justice.

    That’s why it’s not surprising so many blacks packed in Sanford church in protest. And why blacks in Central Florida (and elsewhere) have reacted so viscerally to the death of Trayvon Martin, 17, who was gunned down last month.

    He was shot to death while visiting his family at a gated neighborhood in Sanford. Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who isn’t black, admits pulling the trigger. Self-defense, he says. And he walked out the Sanford Police headquarters, with police saying there wasn’t enough evidence for an arrest.

    The state attorney’s office now wrestles with whether to file charges.

    “We come together today in the name of justice,” Allen Chapel pastor Valerie Henry told justice-seekers this week. “We stand as [Trayvon’s] voice.”

    A ritual that’s sadly become reflex.

    More than a century ago, W.E.B. Dubois observed: “Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape.”

    An observation borne out by lynch mobs that killed with impunity and mass tragedies such as a 1920 riot in Ocoee and the 1923 burning by a white mob of Rosewood, an all-black Levy County town, for which no arrests were made. And more recently, with the notorious 1992 acquittal by an all-white jury of four white Los Angeles cops involved in the brutal beating of Rodney King.

    The message: black lives have little worth.,0,3856677.column

  4. Ametia says:

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the Puerto Rico GOP primary, CNN projects.
    Puerto Rico’s 20 delegates will be awarded proportionally. However, if Romney finishes with a majority of the vote, he will take all of the delegates.

    Puerto Rico’s primary comes two days before the showdown in Illinois, where 54 delegates will be awarded proportionally and polls show a tight race between Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The black vote: 5 states where Obama needs a big African-American turnout

    By Perry Bacon Jr.

    12:00 PM on 03/18/2012

    President Obama’s campaign will likely need the kind of strong black turnout he received in 2008 to win re-election, particularly if some of the white independent voters who backed him four years ago opt for the Republican candidate because of frustration over the president’s tenure.

    Here’s a look at five states the president won in 2008 where the black vote is critical to his chances.

    1. North Carolina

    Obama won this state, becoming the first Democrat to do so since 1976. But he won by only about 14,000 votes out of more than four million cast.

    He combined collecting 95 percent of the black vote with a strong showing among white voters as well. (Obama received 35 percent of the white vote, compared to the 27 percent John Kerry earned in 2004 as the Democratic nominee).

    With such a narrow margin of victory, Obama may actually need a higher black turnout than in 2008 to win the Tar Heel state to make up for a white vote that is likely to be less supportive of the president.

    This is why Obama’s team sent campaign manager Jim Messina as well as actress Gabrielle Union to North Carolina Central University for an event last month, looking to rally both young and African-American voters.

    2. Virginia

    Like North Carolina, this is a traditionally-Republican leaning state Obama won through appealing to white and black voters in urban areas. Also like neighboring N.C., Obama won in part because he performed stronger among white voters than previous Democratic candidates.

    But blacks were more than 20 percent of the electorate in 2008 in Virginia, a turnout that will need to matched for Obama to win there again. The president won Virginia by about 6 percent in 2008 and both parties expect a closer race there in November.

    3. Ohio

    In 2004, then-President George W. Bush collected a surprising 16 percent of the vote among blacks, helping him to win a very close race in this state and therefore earn a second term. Four years later, Obama won 97 percent of the black vote in Ohio, an improvement that helped him win the state.

    But the state has seen a rightward shift since 2008, with a Republican winning both the U.S. Senate and the gubernatorial race two years ago.

    4. Florida

    The gains Obama made in the Latino vote compared to 2004 were much more important to him winning Florida than any shift in the black vote. But Florida is a state where the spate of voting laws Republicans have pushed through around the country could have some impact.

    In Florida, Republicans in the state legislature and Gov. Rick Scott enacted a provision that limits the days of early voting, including barring it on the Sunday before the election, when many black churches organize get-out-the vote efforts after services. Voting rights advocates have filed suit to have the provision overturned, and it may have little effect because black churches find other days for voting drives.

    Like Ohio, Obama won in Florida in 2008 but Republicans did well statewide two years ago, suggesting a slight rightward shift by voters. A strong black turnout will be very important here as well.

    5. Pennsylvania

    If Obama doesn’t win in this state, he will have a very hard route to re-election. And it’s pretty reliably Democratic; the last Republican to win there was in 1988.

    At the same time, it’s a large swing state that like Florida and Ohio, just elected Republicans to the governor’s office and the U.S. Senate in 2010.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Ninth-grader says teacher told him to read Langston Hughes poem ‘blacker’
    By NBC News and staff

    A veteran Fairfax County high school teacher has been accused of using racially insensitive language by telling a student to read a Langston Hughes poem in a “blacker” style.

    Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., told the Washington Post that he was reading Hughes’ “Ballad of the Landlord” when the English teacher interrupted him.

    “She told me, ‘Blacker, Jordan. C’mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'” Shumate told the Post. The 14-year-old student claimed that when he refused to continue reading the poem, the teacher read it herself, apparently to demonstrate the style of speaking she meant.

    “She sounded like a maid on the 1960s,” Shumate told the Post, saying he asked the teacher if she thought all black people spoke that way. “She read the poem like a slave, basically.”

    He said he was reprimanded for talking out of turn and was told to sit down.

    Shumate told his mother, Nicole Cober Page, about the incident on Tuesday, the Post said.

    According to the Post, mother and son identified the teacher as Marilyn Bart. Bart has not spoken publicly about the alleged incident, the Post reported.

    Principal Jay Pearson declined to provide further details on Friday, adding, “We take these allegations very seriously, and we’re investigating.”

    • Ametia says:

      So now FAIRFAX, VA teachers are allowed to TERRORIZE & huumiliate our black boys in the school now. Racial sensitivity training will not help folks like this. The racial hatred and bigotry in this country is DESPICABLE!


  7. Ametia says:

    SARAH PALIN’S FOOLISHNESS RUINED U.S. POLITICS- Umm no she didn’t, John McCain helped her EXPOSE the UGLINESS of Americans like Palin, THAT.IS.ALL.

    At some point while watching HBO’s absolutely smashing (and terrifying) movie “Game Change,” it occurred to me that Sarah Palin has ruined America. The movie has been scalloped out of the book by the same name and focuses on Palin, rather than on the entire 2008 presidential campaign. The decision to do so was absolutely correct. With her selection as John McCain’s running mate, American politics lost its way — and maybe its mind as well.

    The movie portrays Palin as an ignoramus. She did not know that Queen Elizabeth II does not run the British government, and she did not know that North and South Korea are different countries. She seemed not to have heard of the Federal Reserve. She called Joe Biden “O’Biden” and she thought America went to war in Iraq because Saddam Hussein, not al-Qaeda, had attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Not only did she know little, but she was determinately incurious and supremely smug in her ignorance.At the same time, she was a liar. In the movie, she was called exactly that by McCain’s campaign chief, Steve Schmidt, who came to realize — a bit late in the game — that one of Palin’s great talents was to deny the truth. When confronted, she simply shuts down — petulant, child-like — and then sulks off.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Roland Martin did an interview with Trayvon’s parents on his show this morning. if you see the clip anywhere, please leave the link.

  9. rikyrah says:

    this is NOT from The Onion


    Orange-shirted employees fired at law firm, workers report

    By Doreen Hemlock, Sun Sentinel

    9:25 p.m. EDT, March 16, 2012

    Were they wearing orange shirts on Friday to protest management? Or to get psyched for happy hour?

    Either way, orange-shirted workers no longer have jobs at the Deerfield Beach law firm of Elizabeth R. Wellborn P.A.

    A spokeswoman said the law firm had “no comment at this time.”

    Four workers tell the story this way: For the past few months, some employees have worn orange shirts on pay-day Fridays so they’d look like a group when they went out for happy hour.

    This Friday, 14 workers wearing orange shirts were called into a conference room, where an executive said he understood there was a protest involving orange, the employees were wearing orange, and they all were fired.

    The executive said anyone wearing orange for an innocent reason should speak up. One employee immediately denied involvement with a protest and explained the happy-hour color.

    The executives conferred outside the room, returned and upheld the decision: all fired, said Lou Erik Ambert, 31, of Coconut Creek, a litigation para-legal who said he was terminated.

    “There is no office policy against wearing orange shirts. We had no warning. We got no severance, no package, no nothing,” said Ambert. “I feel so violated.”,0,486402.story

  10. rikyrah says:

    Kansas, too: County turns down funding for birth control
    By Rebekah Dryden

    Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:31 PM EDT

    Miami County

    The Miami County, Kansas Commission voted 3-2 last week to exclude contraceptive funding from a state family planning grant application.

    After yesterday’s post about county commissioners in New Hanover County, North Carolina, voting to reject state money for family planning, Amber Pickman wrote to tell us about a similar move in Miami County, Kansas.

    The Miami County Commission voted 3-2 last week to exclude about $9,000 in funding aimed at covering contraceptives from the county’s state grant applications.

    The Louisburg Herald covered the fallout:

    The decision didn’t sit well with Kelly Fritz, who volunteers at the health department and spoke with Miami County commissioners last August when they first considered eliminating the distribution of contraceptives from the family planning program.

    During that August meeting, Fritz said Miami County’s program serves 151 women, 116 of whom do not have insurance. She also said that statistics show that 85 percent of women who are regularly sexually active will become pregnant within one year without family planning services, and she estimated that 98 of the 116 women without insurance would become pregnant if the services were no longer provided….

    “It’s like we’re going backwards,” Fritz said. “I can’t believe the rights we had are being taken away from our children’s generation.”

  11. rolandsmartin ‏ @rolandsmartin:

    Former segregationist to Karen Finney @finneyk: “We were terrified of losing control over who was able to vote.” @tvonetv

  12. rikyrah says:

    for those of you who tweet, maybe you need to tweet Nancy Grace and ask her WHY she hasn’t been on the Trayvon Martin case.

  13. Ametia says:

    Can Republicans Win the White House Without the Hispanic Vote?”
    Patrick Osio
    NationofChange / Op-Ed
    Published: Saturday 17 March 2012

    Surely the Republican Party knows that it will be most difficult to occupy the White House without a significant percentage of Hispanic votes. Why then are two of the leading candidates seeking the nomination taking such anti Hispanic positions, particularly front runner Mitt Romney? Romney must know that his flip-flops on positions affecting the Hispanic community are disconcerting and unsympathetic to the feelings of the great majority of Hispanics throughout the country.
    Surely he must read and hear the multitude of angry opinions voiced by the Hispanic community condemning his positions. The former Governor of Massachusetts is not deaf or dumb, so then why? Can it be that he is under the impression that once getting the nomination he can again reverse his position and win over the Hispanic vote? That is about the only nonsense that makes some kind of sense.

  14. I pray not, Jueseppi. I can’t take the pain. This child’s death has cut deep wounds in my heart. Just think what the parents are feeling? God help them.

    • There is a God. And I wonder why did this happened too? All I know is it’s so incredibly painful. It’s a stab to the heart that cuts through to the soul. Things have reached a boiling point in Florida. Given the toxic racial climate and the killing of an innocent unarmed kid…it’s a recipe for a riot. Folks have went from shock, to anger and now rage. The Justice Department needs to step in now or it might be on & poppin..

  15. Mack Lyons ‏ @DDSSBlog:

    Being black in America means navigating a constant minefield of stress, oppression and certain death for no reason. Trayvon didn’t make it.



    God help Trayvon Martin’s parents in having to deal with listening to the 911 tapes. Pray for them. It’s too much! This will stay with them forever. Pray for their strength!

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