I’m sitting in a Los Angeles courtroom looking straight ahead at Johannes Mehserle as he testifies. It is the first time he’s spoken publicly about what happened the morning he murdered Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station.
Skipping ahead to the pertinent part, he begins to talk about how…
When you are motivated to “rebel” against your parents, peers, and even societal standards, remember, it’s never a wise idea to rebel against your Creator [in the process]. You need His Blessings, Generosity, Compassion, Contentment, and Forgiveness. As you are turning away from one thing, make sure you are always facing Him.
When New Yorkers elected Bloomberg in 2001, they were voting for a cool-headed centrist who would lead the city through a recession and help rebuild downtown New York. Instead, over the course of twelve years, they found their mayor to be a tone-deaf nanny who saw almost every single one of his signature policy goals fail.
Most damning of all however, is that Bloomberg has failed to negotiate new contracts with city employees, creating a ticking bomb that the new mayor will have to deal with immediately. In October, the city’s comptroller told me that “it’s unbelievable what a fiasco the contract situation has been for the Bloomberg administration…. He campaigned on his management prowess, necessary in this time of crisis, and goes an entire four year term without resolving one of the most basic management responsibilities, which is your personnel cost.”
Perhaps Bloomberg’s tenure has been viewed as a success because New York City has so far avoided the labor and pension situations that have ravaged other American cities. The truth however, is that the mayor has simply been ignoring them.
While almost all of his policies have failed, there is a single one, in fact, the most important one, that has succeeded: The rezoning of New York City. Since taking office, Bloomberg has rezoned nearly 40 percent of the city, transforming industrial spaces to residential ones, low-rise neighborhoods to ones with gleaming office towers. Rezoning was a long time coming, cities inevitably change, but the scale on which the forces of development were unleashed on New York City has been staggering. In just over a decade, whole neighborhoods have changed, and, demographically speaking, been upscaled. The luxury city of which Bloomberg spoke has been realized, albeit not necessarily complete.
“What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets, cell phones, heart surgeries, soaring literacy and increasing democratization, while gleefully parading its genocides, armed conflicts, child soldiers, foreign debts, hunger, disease and backwardness.”—Gbemisola Olujobi, Nigerian journalist (Via the December 2007 issue of Ebony magazine) (via the-cat-inside)
As we commemorate and celebrate what would have been the 67th birthday of South African anti-apartheid human rights activist and Black Consciousness leader and founder Steve Biko, we’re putting a focus on his ideals and objectives by listening to this rare interview with Biko that took place shortly before he was assassinated by apartheid police in 1977.
In this crucial and definitive exchange between interviewer and interviewee, Biko clearly outlines and defines what the foundation of Black Consciousness is, the importance of socialism, wealth distribution and its relationship to the distribution of wealth in the country, the argument of human rights vs minority, what non-racialism means in this context, and reorganizing the mentality of a broken society.
He also touches on his stance concerning non-violence activism, what the oppressors fear most about the oppressed - their vengeance, the unfoundedness of racist logic, and makes an eerie prediction on the handing over of power to ‘black faces’ operating within the realm of a petty bourgeoisie sector that are puppets of progress.