Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why this Round of Immigration Reform is Not so Different

Blog | January 25, 2013 | Cathi Tactaquin and Gerald Lenoir | NNIRR & BAJI National Network 

Pramila Jayapal’s article titled, “Why this Round of Immigration Reform is Different” in ColorLines Magazine overlooks some critical factors in the struggle for fair and just immigration reform.  It is certainly the case that the immigrant rights movement is stronger today than it was during the last round of the congressional debate, as Jayapal points out.   She is also right that the show of force at the ballot box by immigrant voters and their allies helped to catapult immigration reform to the top of the political agenda for both Democrats and Republicans.
But does this bipartisan change of heart in Congress mean that we can expect a bill that will meet the needs and aspirations of the 11 million undocumented immigrants now residing in the United States?  Not!  Although the Republican Party lost the election, their conservative ideology still holds tremendous sway over both parties and in the public psyche.
Yes, a door has opened for immigration reform—but the road to reform is a rocky one and it’s quite possible that what we see at the end falls way below the standard for fairness. The political line-up on immigration in both the House and the Senate continues to be a dangerous one—and the devil will be in the details of any “deal” on immigration reform.
It is highly questionable if there will be a fair and just path to permanent legal status for people without visas, as Seth Freed Wessler points out in another ColorLines article, “What to Expect from Immigration Reform and When to Expect It”

Obama Immigration Reform Speech In Las Vegas, Nevada (Full) - 1/29/2013

UFW Applauds Obama's immigration proposals

UFW applauds three of President Obama’s immigration reform commitments: 
‘Now is the time to move swiftly forward’

United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez, who was invited to be with President Obama when he delivered his address on immigration reform at Del Sol High School today (Jan. 29, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nev., issued the following statement following the address. Thirty farm workers from across California who drove through the night to also be with the President accompanied Rodriguez.
We take heart from three commitments firmly articulated by President Obama in his address. Now is the time to move swiftly forward on a new immigration process in reality and not just preachment, a process that brings long-overdue recognition to hard-working, tax-paying immigrants whose hard labor and sacrifice feed all of America and much of the world.
1.    We are cheered by the President’s insistence on a clear and unequivocal roadmap to citizenship.

2.    We join President Obama in being encouraged by the bipartisan framework outlined by the senators on Monday. Yet we also applaud the President’s vow that if Congress does not act in short order, he will move forward with his own bill based on the principles he has outlined, and insist on a vote.

3.    The bipartisan group of senators’ ambiguous and vague references to the existing H-2A agricultural guest worker program, and the suggestion that it should be replaced with a new visa program raises serious potential concerns for farm workers. The existing H-2A program contains a set of labor protections from abuse for farm workers from both sides of the border that were established during the Reagan administration and updated by the Obama administration.

What pleases us so much about President Obama’s remarks on this topic in Las Vegas is that he does not agree with the growers that a new visa program is needed and he does agree with the UFW that strong labor protections need to be continued.

DSA is the major organization on the U.S. Left - Dr. Cornel West

DSA is the major organization on the American Left with an all embracing moral vision, systemic social analysis, and political praxis rooted in the quest for radical democracy, social freedom, and individual liberty.
Cornel West.  DSA Honorary Chair.
See the vibrant new national web site.  www.dsausa.org
Local web site. https://sites.google.com/site/sacramentodsa/ 
DSA is a working part of the Progressive Alliance.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Obama's speech - Bill Fletcher

Bill Fletcher, Jr., LA Progressive,
Obama is definitely a great and compelling speaker, certainly by mainstream political standards. But that is not what I was pondering in listening to the Inaugural Address on January 21st. Rather, what struck me was that this was both a proclamation of the existence of a bloc of forces in this country that made it possible for him to win re-election, and at the same time, it was an unusual call to action.
Listening to Obama, he named names. He spoke of different segments of the population that have been historically oppressed and marginalized. African Americans, immigrants, women, LGBTQ, etc., were all named. He spoke of inequality and the growing gap between the haves and have-nots. He spoke of climate change, as well as the need to end perpetual war. In other words, he spoke about and to those who constitute a bloc for progress in this country.
He also challenged his listeners with what I believe was a call to action, a call to action that includes taking on the irrationalism and anti-governmental fervent of the political Right.
So, it was quite a speech. But what does it mean?
Obama's speeches have a tendency to confuse the listener, not at the moment, but in the aftermath. On the one hand, he regularly delivers powerful and thoughtful oration that is quite progressive. This takes place while he is also conducting the affairs of government in a manner that runs counter to those words. For those reasons, it is critical that we reiterate that there is Obama-the-individual and Obama-the-administration. The first is interesting, but not so important. The second is of critical importance.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why does race, ethnicity matter in public schooling?

Start at about 24 minutes into the recording.
Diversity Forum:  Why Race and Culture Still Matter
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Tyrone Howard

December 5, 2012
California State University, Fullerton

Access the Full Video: 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MLK. Black and proud

MLK speech.
In the video MLK delivers a speech urging everyone to sign their own emancipation proclamation:
I come here tonight and plead with you. Believe in yourself and believe that you are somebody. I said to a group last night, — Nobody else can do this for us. No document can do this for us. No Lincolnian emancipation proclamation can do this for us. No Johnsonian civil rights bill can do this for us.
If the Negro is to be free, he must move down into the inner resources of his own soul and sign with a pen and ink of self-assertive manhood his own emancipation proclamation.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Cornel West leads on anti poverty organizing

DSA Chair Cornel West and others speak out strongly against poverty. Cornel at his best.  http://www.c-span.org/Events/Tavis-Smiley-Hosts-Symposium-Vision-for-a-New-America/10737437312-2/

Monday, January 14, 2013

Martin Luther King and Economic Justice

Martin Luther King, Economic Justice, Workers’ Rights,
and Multiracial Democracy
by Thomas Jackson
In 1968, a united black community in Memphis stepped forward to support 1,300
municipal sanitation workers as they demanded higher wages, union recognition, and respect for
black personhood embodied in the slogan “I Am a Man!” Memphis’s black women organized tenant
and welfare unions, discovering pervasive hunger among the city’s poor and black children. They
demanded rights to food and medical care from a city and medical establishment blind to their
existence. That same month, March 1968, 100 grassroots organizations met in Atlanta to support
Martin Luther King’s dream of a poor people’s march on Washington. They pressed concrete demands for economic justice under the slogan “Jobs or Income Now!” King celebrated the “determination by poor people of all colors” to win their human rights. “Established powers of rich America have deliberately exploited poor people by isolating them in ethnic, nationality, religious and racial groups,” the delegates declared.
So when King came to Memphis to support the strike, a local labor and community struggle became intertwined with his dream of mobilizing a national coalition strong enough to reorient national priorities from imperial war in Vietnam to domestic reconstruction, especially in America’s riot-torn cities. To non-poor Americans, King called for a “revolution of values,” a move from self-seeking to service, from property rights to human rights.
King’s assassination—and the urban revolts that followed—led to a local Memphis settlement that furthered the cause of public employee unionism. The Poor People’s March nonviolently won small concessions in the national food stamp program. But reporters covered the bickering and squalor in the poor people’s tent city, rather than the movement’s detailed demands for waging a real war on poverty. Marchers wanted guaranteed public employment when the private sector failed, a raise in the federal minimum wage, a national income floor for all families, and a national commitment to reconstruct cities blighted by corporate disinvestment and white flight. And they wanted poor people’s representation in urban renewal and social service programs that had customarily benefited only businesses or the middle class. King’s dreams reverberated back in the movements that had risen him up.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Chicano Digital History Project

A Chicano, Mexican-American Digital History Project  for the Sacramento region.

Goal :To create an on-line history collection of Chicano / Mexican American /Latino history in the Sacramento region.
 We encourage participation and contributions by others based upon the model established by the Farm Worker Movement documentation project.  See example. http://www.farmworkermovement.us/
The project has begun to assemble and to create a digital history of  Chicano and Mexican American history and activism in the Sacramento region 1940 – present.   Directors include Dr. Duane E. Campbell, Professor (emeritus) CSU-Sacramento and Professor Dolores Delgado Campbell, Professor of History at American River College.
The project is located at  http://MexicanAmericanDigitalHistory.org

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Case of Ruben Navarette

Rodolfo F. Acuña

I usually ignore people who take cheap shots in order to make themselves look intelligent. However, Ruben Navarrete’s column titled, “If I offended demanding DREAMers, I'm not sorry” crossed the line. My gut reaction was who gives a dump? But I guess I do.  
Navarette begins his column in his usual self-congratulatory way: “Even for someone who has written more than 2,000 columns over the last 20 years, sometimes the words come out wrong.”

I have known Ruben for those two decades, and my impression is that he is always trying to impress you. The first words that came out of his mouth when we first met were that he had graduated from Harvard as if that somehow qualified him as an expert.

At 25 Ruben wrote an autobiography A Darker A Shade of Crimson. It was about telling us he was from Harvard.

The Amazon promo says that Navarette spent “his turbulent years as a Mexican-American undergraduate at one of the nation's most prestigious universities.” According  the piece, the autobiography was Navarrette’s “declaration of independence, spurning the labels `people of color' (offensive) and ‘Hispanic’ (too general), preferring ‘minority’ and ‘Latino.’” (Four years before that he had been a Chicano).