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Cynique

And the beat goes on...

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I think you are making my point  Cuba was backed by the USSR. Toussaint had the back of Mulattos and the enslaved population (basically the entire populations) and you can read about how violent the cultural revolution in China was. All of these figures had "big guns."

Big guns is what fuels change.  It took a civil war to free the slaves.  It took the freaking National Guard to desegregate schools (even though de facto segregation in schools persists to this day).

There will be no Twitter fueled social change, Football players kneeling during the National Anthem will not change a thing either. The big guns for the 21st century will be our money.  

If we can have an influence through local politics why is there so much tragedy in Black communities?

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Troy

Cuba wasn't backed by the USSR when Castro launched his revolution.
Infact, NO outside nation supported Cuba's actual revolution. The United States supported Castro and his militia to overthrow the Batista government in power before him but somewhere along the way Castro had is own plans and went against U.S. interests and organized the masses of the poor and working class Cubans to change the entire system from a capitalist one to a communist one.  Later after being established and no longer having the U.S. as an ally did Russia and the USSR come into the picture.

Real change come from the masses...whether at the bottom (poor/Black) or near the bottom (working class/mulatto) of the socio-economic ladder of the old regime.


I agree with you on the ineffectiveness of the anthem protests.
All they're doing is pissing off a lot of people for nothing in my opinion because it changes very little as far as concrete tangible policy.

First of all......
I'm not sure if anyone else sees it this way but KNEELING before the American flag or during the national anthem is actually giving it MORE reverence than standing !!!
Hell, if you want to do something...turn your back and fold your arms...lol.
That looks more like a protest than kneeling or taking a knee as if you're bowing.....lol.

Second of all, most of the people these players are protesting and pissing off people and losing money FOR....probably don't even know what's going on on THEIR behalf.
They're too busy with the day to day hustle and grind to keep up with politics .
And I'm guessing most of them probably wouldn't even CARE if they did know.
Imagine the feeling you get when you step up and fight for somebody and when you get in trouble they look at you and say,
"Oh well...
Didn't nobody ask you to do that for me."


 

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Humm maybe I better research my Cuban history before I indulge you further on the timing off Soviet involvement in Cuba ;-)   

Speaking of Cuba I'm seriously considering hosting a literary excursion there next year, perhaps y'all can join me.  I'll work out the details shortly.  I wanna get there before the suits put a Starbucks and McDonalds on every corner.

As far a Haiti, I'm reading a book now called the Black Jacobins; man those French slave owners make Los Pepes (from the Netflix series Narco) look like saints.

Speaking about Kaepernick, I tuned into his first game to see what the hullabaloo was all about, and I agree 100% with what you wrote.  If the twittersphere wasn't going ape-shit over this I would have thought he was showing more reverence for the flag than those simply standing around him--and I would not have thought anything else about it--pass me a beer.

There were two other Black players (non-mulatto) on the team who held up their fists in a Black power salute, reminiscent of Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the '68 Olympics.  No one mentioned them.  i guess Kaepernick was selected and given the juice.

Maybe they should stop singing the nation anthem at football games.  If anything, it would give Kaepernick an opportunity to do something meaningful like walking off the field.  Imagine if all the Black players walked off the field...now that would be something huh?

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Troy

I does seem that the media is giving Kaepernick more attention for his actions than they've given other atheletes who've taken much bolder stands.  And I think him being mixed probably does have something to do with it.
I've noticed that many White people seem to tolerate the rebelliousness of mixed people a little more than they do Black folk.
I'm not sure why.
I know many Whites (and Blacks) find mixed people more attractive than EITHER race and perhaps their physical appearance softens the "blows" so to speak and smoothes the edge of their otherwise offensive behavior.

Infact, I've noticed since being a kid that people who are perceived as "good looking" often get away with more rebellious and even anti-social behavior than normal looking and unattractive people.

As far as walking off the plantation....I mean field......
Actually I think you may be on to something.

If Black ball players REALLY want to be effective in stopping police brutality and other forms of social injustice...maybe they should protest by NOT PLAYING.

I'm guessing that most police officers being blue collar guys are probably HUGE (said in the way Donald Trump would say it....lol) sports fans.
If the angry protests of college kids and the cries of distraught mothers aren't enough to stop them from shooting unarmed citizens, perhaps the threat of no more Monday Night Football, no more Superbowl, and no more NBA games period will force them to reconcile with the community they're supposed to protect.

I bet all it would take is ONE SEASON of Black players boycotting the league, and before the next season starts it won't be the players taking a knee but their agents and the coaches and even the police unions...ON BOTH KNEES....BEGGING them to stop the boycott and promising them anything just to get them to play again.

 

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@Pioneer1 did you see this Time cover?  They wrote "Perilous Fight" and "fueling a debate," gimme a break!  We were debating this before he was born, and their is nothing perilous about this "fight."  

To me it diminishes the efforts of others, working in total obscurity, actually doing the work necessary to make change.  Besides grabbing headlines, what is he really doing?

If he organizes a boycott of the the NFL, now we are talking and he'll have my support and utmost respect.

I don't know why Colin is the media golden child.  Were the sisters who founded Black lives matter on the cover of Time?  Maybe colorism is a factor too. 

Again, this is the media deciding for us whose efforts matter, deserves attention, and are acceptable.

"Plantation" was the right word William Rhoden made this analogy appropriate in his book Forty Million Dollar Slaves.  

 

time-kap.jpg

 

black-lives-matter-founders.jpg

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We gotta go with what we got.  If it takes a bi-racial football player protesting on bended knee when the national anthem is played, then so be it.  No denying that he has called attention to the empty words of this song and inspired other athletes to do the the same. And, as you both noted, when sports heroes take a stand, this hits the public where it hurts in a sport-crazed country like America.

The black lives movement has no face.  This group is perceived by an apathetic white public as a straggly bunch of black folks parading around chanting a slogan that simply reinforces the idea that black lives don't matter. But mess with the sacrosanct national anthem rendered amidst a flag bearing color guard in a venue filled with rabid fans, and a nerve is struck.

I give Kaepernik  his props for risking his career and popularity with a simply gesture that aggravates an element of the population that needs to be targeted: that blue-collar, Joe-6-pack, super patriot crowd, along with the glib sportscasters charged with not rocking the boat and, most of all, the team owners profiting off the blood sweat and tears of their black gladiators. Instead of belittling Colin Kaepernik, I say thanks to him for doing it his way, and his  detractors need to find somebody else to put down since their criticism is not really constructive.   ;) 

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Troy / Cynique

Troy it's funny you point to the 3 sistas who represent the core of the Black Lives Matter movement and how they aren't getting the recognition Colin is getting, because I heard that THEY also stole the movement from a more local group of protesters in the St. Louis area who weren't as well recognized by the media....lol.

I don't know about Kaepernick but I've met Alicia Garza and she oozes sex appeal in real life, more so than she does in pictures or on television. I'm not sure why the media doesn't give her more exposure.



I have to admit, I don't care too much for the national athem protest myself.
First of all I actually DO love America.
I don't love everyone in America, nor do I love most of the people RUNNING America.
But there is a lot of good  a tremendous amount of POTENTIAL in America to bring about a new world so I love this country dearly for what it COULD BE and probably WILL BE when the right people are in charge.

I think Black atheletes and Black people in general who have a gripe against social injustice should be careful to be very specific and laser like in there targetting. Not just so that they don't step on unnecessary toes and paint "America" with a broad brush....especially with themselves also being part of America; but also so that they don't end up pissing off otherwise "neutral" people or those who may have been sympathetic to their cause if it were presented in a more reasonable and rational way.


For example.....
We need the police, we just need them to do their job and stop over reacting.
The blanket bashing of cops not only makes you LOOK like you support crime and chaos, but it's almost totally ineffective because it's so "scatter shot" in it's approach.

Instead of bashing ALL cops, or even worse bashing the entire nation...YOUR NATION...perhaps it would be better to hold a massive protest at the offending officer's home and don't let up until justice is served.
Or forcing through a federal law with mandatory sentencing for officers who shoot citizens who were proven not to have any weapons on them at all.

Those  two steps alone would probably do more to curb and reduce the number of police shootings in urban areas than spontaneous fits of emotion that are pretty much undirected or protests with no clear goals in mind. 

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“Democracy
is the worst form of government except for all those others that
have been tried.”

WINSTON CHURCHILL

 

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@Pioneer1, you are probably right about BLM usurping the media attention from local activists.  Again if you have no media platforms you don't control the narrative.  Which means you can't control who represents you.

Cynique, I'm not belittling Colin, I'm belittling his gesture, for it is empty and will be of no consequence when all is said and done. 

Are far has risking his career, I think it has helped it and the NFL, by busting rating.  I even tuned into the start of the game to see what all the fuss was about

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Any public gesture made in protest of what is considered a wrong, is a way dramatizing a grievance. The fact that this dramatization still has legs means that it has accomplished something, if nothing other than having made Kaepernick's  targeted audience indignant and uncomfortable. That may well have been all he wanted to accomplish, and since he didn't know whether or not the outcome would be disastrous, he did risk his career.  Furthermore he has pledged a million dollars of his money to aid "the cause" and that ain't exactly something empty.  

BTW, not only was Kaepernick's public display a gesture, it was a standard tactic dating back to the civil rights movement.  And, actually, everything black people demonstrate about nowadays can be considered empty gestures since they don't seem to reap any results from marching and carrying signs.    

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I see it differently; Kaepernicks gesture has legs because the media choose to give it legs. They decide what is appropriate for us to know and what is important.  This decision has nothing to do with what will be most effective, or what best services our community,  It has to do with was is easiest capture and likely to draw the most attention.  

Pledging a million is a good gesture, but actually giving a million dollars to an entity that will accomplish something of consequence is an entirely different thing--let me know when there something substantive has been accomplished.  I'm sure the media will not cover that ... they have a 5 minute attention span, Colin will be out of the league, and all of this will have been forgotten in a season.

Black people accomplish things, but the media don't tend to cover these accomplisments.  Again they are fixed on covering the empty efforts, comments and activities of celebrities.

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We do see it differently.  People who demonstrate to call attention to their grievance, depend on the media to spread the word. The media becomes the instrument of protesters seeking a broad audience for the dramatizing of their cause. So it is used as much as it uses.   And, how do you think you know about black people doing good things if this wasn't reported in the media?  The good work doesn't make headlines because accomplishing  things is not an agitation. These achievements, however, may very well be the final stage of a movement that began with drastic measures of public protest!

Celebrities and the causes they embrace command attention because the public is riveted by what famous folks do, and when what they do benefits a worthy cause, then how bad can this be?  Martin Luther King's March on Washington was a massive gesture of protest that was saturated with celebrities.  Media from all over the world covered this dramatic event, which was what its organizers hoped for. Without extensive media coverage, the desired impact would not have been made. 

To this day, the march on Washington still generates news because hearing about it is what the people want, and the media gives people what they want. The masses leading their day-to-day, humdrum lives, would rather hear about the humanitarian activities of celebs than when the Salvation Army will be picking up old articles for resale in their outlets. 

  

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I just contributed to a day long post-a-thon about my desire to keep my inbox free of videos about the killing of Black folks. Cynique and I actually committed a major AALBC error by creating a discourse on Facebook (The Shame!). I just had a former student state that Facebook is empowering those who feel hurt and it is enabling people to share and build a movement. This is what Cynique is saying and to an extent I agree. What I told the guy though is that any form of media that is attempting to sell your information and sell you on advertising is never going to really empower you. It will keep you emotionally engaged to drive revenue to its shareholders. This was the most talking I've done on Facebook in a while. I find it interesting how people have literally made Facebook the home of the movement and deem anyone not willing to promote images of death and the rhetoric attached to it, as not for the people. It really is a comment on the direction we all are headed when a digital platform that can shift the movement at will is the home of the movement. I realize now that people aren't as "woke" as they appear.

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 Actually, I have never thought of FaceBook  as a platform for starting a movement.  To me,  it is a place to learn and comment not only about what's current in the world at large, but in one's own personal sphere. I have never tried to recruit anybody for a cause on FaceBook or had anybody there ever recruit me for one.  I do argue on FaceBook with people who express points of view that I disagree with and these exchanges usually involve religion and politics. I find such encounters stimulating but they've never inspired me to go on a crusade on their behalf.  From what I can gather, Twitter would be the more likely place to launch an on-line movement.  

What I am specifically defending, is Colin Kaepernick's form of protest. His job provided him with access to a large audience and his celebrity automatically commanded the free media attention which he has taken advantage of, and made waves in the process. So I think his action had credibility, and the civil rights movement is what set the precedence for this attention-getting tactic.  

 

What I can deduce from the vocal critics of FaceBook and Twitter is not so much what these entities do, but who enables them to do it. Apparently, if it were black monopolies instead of white conglomerates exploiting and capitalizing off of black folks via these forums, then this would be acceptable because it would be putting money and power in the hands of black profiteers. So it's an issue not so much about integrity as it is about keeping the capital and influence derived from exploiting blacks in the possession of their own people.  I am assuming the rationale for this would be that providing a place for black folks to bitch and bicker and promote and plug would provide jobs for others blacks.   Whatever...  

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First, the idea that mainstream/social media is needed to spread the word about what we do is the problem that I'm pointing out--and let's be clear this is a serious it is a problem.  

You see the mainstream/social media can never be an instrument of our empowerment, indeed it is most efficient at doing the exact opposite; which it is currently accomplishing very well.

If Black folks ran the media, or even a portion of it reflective our our population, that does not mean they will behave any differently than the mainstream media.  BET was a perfect example of this.  What we do know however is that if Black people are to be properly served Black people will need to do it. We are the only ones who have ever done it.

Cynique, I know you are not equating the March on Washington with Colin's kneeling on the sidelines.  But given the media's reaction I could see why one might perceive the two as equivalent.  If I had the resources I would see just how much coverage each event got during it's time.  I strongly suspect Colin's kneeling is getting far more coverage than the MOW.

Cynique do you know the name of the president of the NAACP?  Do you think any Black person not working for the organization does?  Do you think it matters?  Are we better off not knowing anything about the NAACP and it's activities, and knowing all about some ultimately meaningless gesture of a 2nd string quarterback?

Time Magazine are not going to put the president of the NAACP on the cover its magazine, indeed we'd be lucky to read anything about the NAACP in Time.

Our lack of a Black media is one reason organizations, like the NAACP, are not nearly as effective as they could be.  

Chris I know you are joking but you do more for our empowerment than most.  I'm sure you won't allow yourself to be completely exploited by Facebook. ;-)

 

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I agree with Cynique that Facebook is a place of dialogue. Troy is right though, the movements now are based in rhetoric created on Facebook and people really think that sharing these posts is a vital component of the movement. They feel that they are enlightening people and empowering those who may not be aware of the issues going on. They also feel that if you aren't participating in this type of promotion that you aren't a person of the people. It's absurd, but a sign of the times.

The instant gratification of Facebook is why a lot of work isn't getting done in the community because there is now a perception that people are doing work when nothing is really taking place. There isn't any development of new media platforms by Blacks and this means that there isn't any development of small business in a sector that is seeing major money by other cultures. We are our own enemy because we don't understand the new elements of capitalism and how the internet is one of the only real commodities anyone has to earn and become financially empowered. It's crazy that I just wrote that sentence because I'm saying that the only way to earn money is through internet ventures, but it's true.

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I still refuse to underestimate the effect of black people using the media to get their message out. There are trade-offs involved in this equation.  Time Magazine puts Kaepernick's picture on its front cover to sell issues, and publicizing Kaepernik's gesture keeps a dialogue going in regard to the empty words of the national anthem which was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner.  And speaking of empty words, "empowerment" falls into this category because it is in the eye of the beholder.  It is a word that needs to be put into context instead of being reserved for describing a mega position.  Blacks can become empowered during small scale situations where they simply manage to gain the upper hand. Small victories are better than the inertia that results from waiting for blacks to flex their muscles on a large scale.

If the NAACP and the Urban League wanted their leaders and deeds made known, all they'd have to do is to use FaceBook and Twitter to publicize this.  They've apparently chosen to go about their work quietly, greatly dependent on the financial assistance they've always received from corporations and philanthropic foundations that are white.    

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I think my issue is that the introduction of an idea on Facebook happens among people who chose to be connected to you. More than likely those people know what you are like or they have an idea of who you are, so sharing info becomes redundant and accomplishes very little. It does get the message out, but only in a temporary fashion. More important only "trigger" or "controversial" topics gain enough interaction to keep a Facebook post relevant for longer than five minutes. 

For example, I posted a comment that said I didn't want to get any inboxes about anymore shootings. That post generated over ten hours of interaction. I shared a great video about a change in discipline at a school that decreased suspensions and the interaction was with you Cynique and about 5 other people.

I think that's the problem. People are very selective about what they deem interesting and important and very often the only thing that will have legs on Facebook is something that is overtly emotional. Social Media has its value, and like anything there are always going to be positives and negatives.

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Cynique, both the Urban League and the NAACP have Facebook pages; and like the vast majority of Facebook brand pages, these pages get very little traction.  

If these organizations expended the resources (i.e. money because Facebook is pay to play for brands) necessary to increase engagement on they would take them away from somewhere else which further diminishes the impact of the organization.  Of course increased engagement of Facebook's does not necessarily translate into more constructive action or communication of important information. The stuff that gets the most traction is generally the "click-baity" stuff.  Do you see the problem?

Even for the stuff I post, maybe one out of 100 (I have not took the time to take an actual count), gains any real traction.  For now, the time I invest and what I get in return is worth my effort.  In 6 months it may not be.  In a year Facebook could be replaced by the next shiny thing. 

When my Facebook posts gain traction, it does so because others have shared it in mass.  So those of you who click the share button from time to time, thank you.

Also lets be clear about the media; Kaepernick did not "use" the media.  Time magazine used him, as Cynique wrote, to sell issues, or more precisely to make money.  I don't buy into the notion that a constructive dialog will take place, or more importantly that anything will come of Kaepernick being on the cover of the magazine.  Did any of us read the Time article, or was the cover basically a  semi-viral-meme floating around the WWW which is how I discovered it?

In order for Black folks to make any collective progress, as opposed to a handful of exceptions, we will have to work together.  That is the only way we will make progress.  

Waiting around for the government to do the right thing is naive and obviously does not work. The government only helps when we are organized; and we have not been organized for more than 1/2 a century in this country.

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Well, if the government isn't going to do "it" and black folks have never gotten out of the talking stage of doing "it, then the media is who you have to go into cahoots with.  You scratch its back, and it scratches yours.  You get a vast amount of attention for whatever you want to communicate, and the media profits from the traffic you generate.  It's the back-up Plan C, since Plan A and B have no traction.   Calling attention to your cause is the first step in a long process. It's up to black folks to take things to the next level after a grievance is publicized by using the media to do this.  IMO  

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