January 26, 2017 

By Niele Anderson 

Contributing Writer 

Thanks to President Donald Trump’s new senior advisor Steve Bannon, the Alt-Right media industry is coming to mainstream media.

 

The New Trump administration resembles an all-white America with limited women. Now Bannon has finally moved forward with bringing his Alt-Right media into the mainstream media with “Alternative Facts”. Those two words threw the media and social media into a frenzy. Even engaging Webster’s Dictionary as it chimed in via Twitter with a post correcting Kelly Anne Conway.

 

Conway, another top Trump advisor introduced the “new age media term “Alternative Facts” on Meet the Press with host Chuck Todd when he pressed her about why the White House on Saturday had sent Spicer to the briefing podium for the first time to claim that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period." "You're saying it's a falsehood…. -- Sean Spicer, our press secretary -- gave alternative facts," she said.

 

Bannon previously served as executive chair of Breitbart News, the far-right news, opinion, and commentary website that Bannon described as the platform of the Internet-based Alt-Right. Alternative Facts are ALT-Right facts. ALT is short for ALTERNATIVE. She said exactly what she meant and to whom she was speaking: the Trump base, Trump constituents.

 

The alt-right, or alternative right, is a loose group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States. White nationalist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2010 to define a movement centered on white nationalism, and has been accused of doing so to whitewash overt racism, white supremacism, and neo-Nazism.

 

Bannon’s sinister point of view as he stands in the shadows of the Trump administrations is one to be monitored and not forgotten. His point of view speaks of, “Darkness is good,” Bannon said. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they...get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

 

This new age media terminology Bannon has help create currently breeds its information through media outlets; Breitbart, Info Wars, Truth Bombers and others. These organizations will soon get access to the Whitehouse press room to even out the Trump side, that's why the Trump administration is talking about changing up the Whitehouse press room.

 

For more than four decades since Richard Nixon’s administration, credentialed reporters from print and broadcast outlets have operated from assigned desks and cubicles behind the White House briefing room. Throughout the years every president has had its issue with the press and vice versa. However, with Trump, once again the direction of the press and his administration is unprecedented.

 

The Whitehouse press remains concerned and anxious as they wait and see how the Trump Administration will handle seating and access. To be continued…

Category: Opinion

January 19, 2017 

By Roger Caldwell 

NNPA Newswire Columnist 

In less than a month, Americans will be forced and some will be ready to drink President Trump’s Kool-Aid. There is a reverence for Trump, and 62 million Americans’ voted for his platform, even though they really have no idea what he stands for, and what he is going to implement.

 

Many of Trumps supporters believe that the country does not belong to them, because White people no longer are in control, locally, nationally and internationally. For the last eight years, a Black man has been in control, and made decisions that supported people of color. As a result of Obama’s genius and intelligence, White America’s only goal was to make him look bad, and stop his progress.

 

President Obama will leave the economy far stronger than what he started with and inherited. Unemployment is 4.6%, a nine-year low, the stock market is breaking all kind of records, and an additional 20 million Americans are with health insurance coverage. The country is no longer just dependent on oil, and has shifted the nation on cleaner energy sources; natural gas, wind and solar.

 

During the president’s tenure, he can boast about creating 15 million new jobs, and 74 months of consecutive job growth. More minorities have been appointed to management positions in the history of the federal government. The first Hispanic woman has been appointed to the Supreme Court, and the first Black man and Black women have been appointed to the position of Attorney General in America.

 

As the president gets ready to leave office, his approval rating remains the highest it has been since the spring of 2009. But there has been a major backlash to his administration.

 

During the president’s eight years in office, the Democrats have lost over 1,000 political seats in state legislatures, governor’s mansions and Congress. The defeats have destroyed a generation of young Democrats, leaving the party with limited power in statehouses and a thin bench to challenge Republicans on the federal level.

 

It is easy to place the blame on President Obama, but the entire Democrat leadership team must also share in the blame. For the last six years, it appears that the Republican Party is quicker to the draw, and they appear to work harder. 

 

When President Obama won the election in 2008, he tried to reach across the aisle, and work with the Republicans. But the Republican leadership was working from a different playbook, and their plan was to suppress and obstruct every policy the president tried to implement.

 

The mid-term election of 2010 is where the Republicans began to take control of the federal government, state legislatures, and governorships.

 

“The refusal by many Democrats to accept help from Obama in 2010, and 2014 midterms was also a strategic mistake. Some Democrats blame Obama for an executive agenda that highlighted social issues, such as transgender rights and access to birth control - over the economic anxiety still felt by many voters,” says Lisa Lerer, AP reporter. 

 

Even though President Obama won the president campaign in 2012, the Democrats were still losing political seats, and in 2014 the Republicans controlled both Houses on the federal level. President Obama’s administration did not develop a job strategy for the middle states in America, and the citizens felt they were no longer living in the country they grew up in.

 

The final reason that President Obama is not getting any credit as he leaves office is the problem of the color line. America is changing, because there are more people of color with positions of responsibility, influence and power. Systemic racism still exists and it is difficult to give a Black man credit for a job well done.

 

President-Elect Trump and the Republicans can blame President Obama for not accomplishing anything and it is easy to criticize when you are on the sidelines. But, January 20, 2017 starts a new administration, and President-Elect Trump says he is ready to go.

Category: Opinion

January 12, 2017 

In front of a largely White audience during an October campaign rally held in North Carolina, Donald Trump revealed his ten-point plan that would define a “New Deal for Black America”. While the name itself is an affront to Roosevelt’s civil rights legacy, it lays out a plan that seeks to grow the Black middle class and is grounded in three promises: safe communities, great education, and high-paying jobs. During this event, Trump, who claimed to “love the Blacks”, said that every African-American citizen in this country is entitled to a government that puts their jobs, wages, and security first.

 

If revealing his ten-point plan for Black America to a White audience was not insulting enough, Donald Trump added insult to injury when he demonstrated a lack of seriousness by releasing the plan again two months later on a widely popular black celebrity-gossip website “Mediatakeout.com.” Instead of releasing this important agenda to a national publication, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, African American academics or civil rights, faith and or community leaders, Trump chose to utilize a tabloid website that publishes stories which are either largely inaccurate or completely false, and prides itself on being the “Black TMZ.”

 

With the exception of Dr Ben Carson, an under-qualified - at best - nominated Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we have yet to see any prominent African American American candidates for his cabinet.---not sure where this should go 

 

It only takes a glance at his agenda to see the coded language that has characterized the Trump doctrine. The first item on the New Deal for Black America is the promise to bring free education to “every disadvantaged child in America” through school choice. School choice is code for vouchers and, if implemented nationwide, would spell dangerous consequence for African American children by essentially undermining funding for public schools. Sending parents on a shopping spree to find a school does not guarantee a good education or the ability to pay school fees either. No doubt for better schools parents would need to supplement the voucher thereby leaving parents unable to do so out of the best schools. Their needs to be a stronger federal commitment and investment in improving public schools instead of destabilizing the funding base with vouchers.

 

Trump’s proposal for Safe Communities and Equal Justice Under the Law continues his dangerous depiction of the inner cities as uninhabitable war zones, and signals he will dust off disproven “law and order” policies of the past. Trump proposals call for investment “in training and funding both local and federal law enforcement operations to remove the gang members, drug dealers and criminal cartels from our neighborhoods,” and expanding stop and frisk practices. Father Greg Boyle, internationally known for his work with LA Gangs, famously stated: “nothing stops a bullet like a job.” It is clear Trump’s perspective will just continue policies that contributed to mass incarceration. While some urban areas are suffering from an increase in violence, it has been proven repeatedly the best and the most cost effective approach is to address root causes of crime and violence associated with gang involvement.

 

There are numerous programs in inner city American that are evidence-based and have had a positive impact in reducing violence. The problem is, there has never been a sustained investment in these programs. Trump would benefit by learning about the programs and pushing Congress to support programs that are working. Mass increases in law enforcement lead to increase community police tensions and encourage an “invading and occupying army” mentality from law enforcement. No doubt this approach will continue to exasperate current community police tensions. Unfortunately, Trump’s nominees are an indication of how he will approach these issues; Attorney General nominee Rep Jeff Sessions has called consent decrees to oversee troubled police departments a “dangerous exercise of raw power”. He instead calls for flooding inner city communities with law enforcement and increasing “stop and frisk” policing.

 

Proposals to create Tax Reforms to Create Jobs and Lift up People and Communities, and Financial Reforms to Expand Credit to Support New Job Creation reveal Trump’s astounding shortsightedness and lack of awareness of how the Black community was negatively affected by an unregulated banking system. Trump has made it clear he wants to roll back protections against rules established with passage of Dodd-Frank legislation that targeted people of color for subprime mortgages. Eliminating Dodd Frank would include dismantling the Consumer Financial Protection Agency; the agency that could have protected African-American homeowners from devastating loses in property and wealth resulting in a decrease in black households by 50 percent from 2005-2009. To revitalize inner city communities Trump is proposing to bring in foreign companies and investors! Apparently he is unaware there are qualified African American developers and business owners capable of doing this work, what is needed is federal assistance with financing and technical support for local businesses.

 

Trump has only known a life of wealth and privilege and has not demonstrated any interest or understanding of what life is like for those who live in poverty. His lack of understanding is demonstrated by his proposal to end financial public assistance and instead offer people “microloans” to start small businesses. This amounts to a thinly veiled plan to eliminate this category of the social safety net. This is consistent with the desire of several proposed members of his cabinet who basically do not believe the richest country on the planet should invest government resources in assisting the most vulnerable people in U.S. society. 

 

Trump attempts to drive a wedge between the African American and immigrant communities by inserting his xenophobia and obsession about illegal immigration into the Black Agenda, by stating he wants to “protect us”. The New Deal For Black America claims, “no group has been more economically harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers.” African Americans did not buy into this divisive rhetoric during the campaign and will not allow Trump to pit communities against each other. Apparently Trump does not realize immigrants are not just from Mexico, in fact there are thousands of Black immigrants from African and Caribbean nations.

 

Trump’s New Deal for Black Americans is ultimately a collection of long standing conservative proposals that, if coupled with his proposed Cabinet, raise major concerns for the African American community. We should not be confused and buy into the notion that Trump has a mandate; Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. It will not be possible for the African American community to sit back in silence and allow decades of advancements to be reversed. African American leaders, organizations and community members should lead efforts and join coalition's to expose and explain the impact Trump's agenda will have on our community. 

Category: Opinion

January 05, 2017 

By Julianne Malveaux 

NNPA Newswire Columnist 

Matthew “Peanut” Johnson was 16 years-old when San Francisco police officer Alvin Johnson killed him. The unarmed teen was said to have been fleeing a stolen car, and Officer Johnson claimed that he feared for his life, so he shot.  The September 27, 1966 slaying was too much for African Americans in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, and folks took it to the streets in protest.  Through the lens of “law and order,” the uprising was so out of control that Governor “Pat” Edmund Brown called in the National Guard. 

 

Some thought that calling the National Guard was an inflammatory overreaction.  As the history website FoundSF writes of the scene: “Perhaps the best indication of both the essentially passive character of the response of Black males in Hunters Point and the unreasonable magnitude of White fears is the fact that, aside from long-range brick throwing, less than a half dozen assaults by Blacks against Whites were recorded in the course of five days of rioting.” According to some reporters, the police were overaggressive.  In one case, police officers opened fire on a community center full of children because they thought the children were armed. But when the children escaped, police reportedly entered the building looking for weapons, of which none were found.

 

The San Francisco Sun Reporter, the premier African American newspaper in the Bay Area (full disclosure, I got my start as a column writer for them in 1980), reported on Peanut Johnson’s death with a front page headline, “Cop Kills Negro Youth; Blood Flows in SF Streets.”  I had an opportunity to see a copy of the paper when I toured the Oakland Museum of California and spent a couple of hours inhaling the exhibit “All Power to the People:  Black Panthers at 50.”  In walking through the exhibit, one is struck with a sense of both progress and regress, a horrible sense of déjà vu, an ugly reminder that for all the change we have experienced, there is a rigid racism that determines the way some people treat Black people.  And our community seems to be somewhat unimaginative in managing solutions.

 

The young man who was killed on September 27, 1966 was named Matthew Johnson, but he could have been named Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, or let’s just call the roll. The officer who shot him was, of course, acquitted. The killing, and the acquittal, both galvanized people around the Black Panther Party fifty years ago, just as the killing of Michael Brown galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement a couple of years ago.

 

A review of the Black Panther Party Ten Point Platform reminds us that things like culturally sensitive education, jobs, decent housing, food, and health care are still not accessible for all Americans, and that African Americans are far less likely to have access than others.  The platform is displayed prominently in the multi-media exhibit space, along with pictures of many of the Panther founders, a film featuring Bobby Seale and other Panther leaders, including Erika Huggins, music of the times, and copies of the Black Panther newspaper.  More than a walk down memory lane, the exhibit was, for me, a reminder of an audacity that so many African American young people exhibited in the face of oppression. One of the Panther newspapers had the headline, “Capitalism Plus Racism Breeds Fascism.”  That is, perhaps, a timely slogan for these troubling times, but few mainstream African American politicians will use the word “fascism” in a sentence. 

 

The more important part of the story of the Black Panther Party is the story of resistance to injustice, resistance despite the interference of the FBI, Herbert Hoover, and Cointelpro. If the Panthers could develop more than 40 chapters without the assistance of the electronic media, is there any limit to what we can do now?

 

We limit ourselves.  There is an unseemly caution among African American people. Too many have learned how to color within the lines; many have been rewarded for it.  Insanity means doing the same thing over and over, then hoping for different results.  And so too many, including leaders, have taken the “go along to get along” approach, forgetting that sometimes getting along is not enough.

 

If you are tired and dispirited in the wake of the 2016 elections, the Power to the People exhibit at the Oakland Museum might be the energizer that you need.  Perhaps you need to be reminded that a group of audacious young people, facing obstacles, and lacking substantial resources, were able to raise important issues and make some changes in the ways Black people thought about themselves.  And the Black Panther Party may also have made a difference, if just a bit of one, in the way that Black people are treated.

 

When we celebrate the Black Panther Party, we celebrate the concept of resistance.  In these coming years, when resistance to oppression and unfairness will be critically necessary, celebrating the Black Panther Party is an opportunity for renewal.

 

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com.

Category: Opinion

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