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February 17th, 2014
thesmithian

'…we still value white men’s freedoms more than black men’s lives. On average, of course.'

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January 20th, 2014
thesmithian
This is a litany to those of us in this field. “What more will the Negro want?” “What will it take to make these demonstrations end?” Well, I would like to reply with another rhetorical question: Why do white people seem to find it so difficult to understand that the Negro is sick and tired of having reluctantly parceled out to him those rights and privileges which all others receive upon birth or entry in America? I never cease to wonder at the amazing presumption of much of white society, assuming that they have the right to bargain with the Negro for his freedom.
December 7th, 2013
thesmithian
Madiba has gone. What remains now of our dreams of freedom…What happened to our ethical imagination? Where did our revolution go? But let us not forget that it is a human being taking leave…A lawyer. A strategist, for sure, but a man of principle. A charmer…A humanist. A chief. A visionary. A king. We need, first of all, to bow our heads and be silent. To be proud that we could be part of those who lived at a time when Nelson Rolihlahla (“he who shakes the branches”) Mandela still walked the earth…luckily he was too old and weak to realize what his party had been turned into! Of course, he had been a politician as well. He had tasted power, he allowed himself to be manipulated, he looked the other way when his comrades started indulging in an orgy of greed, he could be arrogant…let time do the sorting out…Let us…make as if we don’t notice the vultures tearing one another apart for the strips of moral authority still to be torn from the deceased one, for the money to be made from one man’s long life of struggle on behalf of all of us. And let us spare a thought for this old warrior who made us believe, however briefly, that we are capable of living up to the good in us…He honoured us. Hamba kahle, Nkos’…
November 12th, 2013
thesmithian
…freedom is a function of our willingness to behave as if we are free. It’s an important concept because it suggests that, in the end, it is we who are responsible for preserving our rights. Here we see the most chilling aspect of the PEN report: Not the surveillance, treacherous as it is, but that some writers, at least, already appear willing to capitulate.
David L. Ulin, at the Los Angeles Times
September 14th, 2013
thesmithian

'Perhaps this is why when writing about the death of his…son, the social theorist W.E.B. Du Bois said, “All that day and all that night there sat an awful gladness in my heart—nay, blame me not if I see the world thus darkly through the Veil—and my soul whispers ever to me saying, ‘Not dead, not dead, but escaped; not bond, but free.’”'

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August 29th, 2013
thesmithian
it would serve Repubs…to understand the difference between traditional black and white understandings of government power. For whites who look to European history as their guide, government is a necessary evil to be treated with great care. Its growth should be managed in order to prevent it becoming an interest to itself; capable of crushing personal liberty and economic freedom. Blacks’ experience with government power is almost a polar opposite of whites’. When central government has been weak, they have suffered.
Chris Ladd, founder of Building a Better GOP/Republican Precinct Committeeman in DuPage County, IL
August 28th, 2013
thesmithian
…we come from a…different history of experiences…For white women, Slut Walks are a demonstration in favor of women permitting themselves and demanding the room to be more sexual than their predecessors. Meanwhile, black women have spent the past few centuries struggling to do the opposite. Historically, black women are actively being hyper-sexualized; the black feminist struggle, then, is a fight to remove that hyper-sexual assumption from our bodies. Note, though, in light of the contrast, that both movements are indeed a struggle for all women to be allowed to express the full range of their sexuality. Autonomy is everything. It is one of, if the not the, ultimate freedom. But at the end of the day, the feminist movement is itself weakened by excluding the needs and concerns of women of color.
Jacqui Germaine at Racialicious
August 11th, 2013
thesmithian

…the emancipation of women is one of the glories of Western civ…one of the great chapters in the history of freedom. Why is the term that describes that heritage—[feminism] in such disrepute?

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…the emancipation of women is one of the glories of Western civ…one of the great chapters in the history of freedom. Why is the term that describes that heritage—[feminism] in such disrepute?

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August 7th, 2013
thesmithian
As my Right-wing friends are fond of saying, ‘what of personal responsibility?’ Of course, when white people commit politically motivated crimes there is no hand-ringing, introspection, or generalizations made about white folks in mass. As we saw in the aftermath of the Adam Lanza shooting spree, once more the freedom to be white is the freedom to be an individual and to have none of your negative actions reflect anything about the group to which you belong.
Chauncey De Vega, at WARN
August 7th, 2013
thesmithian

Pres. Obama will speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to observe the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28 — 50 years to the day after one of the march’s organizers, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream’’ speech.

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July 27th, 2013
thesmithian
That’s the state of black America…We are free but not equal. Free to be unemployed.
July 26th, 2013
thesmithian

'It’s the colorblindness hustlers and post-race baiters, with their invocations of Martin Luther King Jr. and their proclamations of pathological Black families, who are dividing the country. They are pedaling a dangerous message of distrust and suspicion…'

They are convincing us that our fellow Americans cannot be believed. They tell us that we must reject the calls of our fellow citizens to unite together in a struggle to fully realize the promise of freedom and equality our country holds. That is far more dangerous to our national unity than Black people simply telling their truth.

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July 15th, 2013
thesmithian

As in “The Matrix,” we chose the simulacrum of democracy and bumper stickers about “freedom” instead of the real things. We chose to believe that our political leaders stood for something besides rival castes within the ruling elite, chose to believe that a regime of torture and secrecy and endless global warfare was a rational response to the tragedy of 9/11. We still believe those things, but our dystopia is still messy, still incoherent, still incomplete. Which means, in theory, that it can still be undone.

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