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Archive for May 10th, 2011

Treasury Department freezes bank accounts of Palestinian human rights activist and his family

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From National Committee to Stop FBI Repression
 Chicago Committee Against Political Repression)

 

On Friday, May 6, the U.S. government froze the bank accounts of Hatem Abudayyeh and his wife, Naima.  It appears that this is being done by the Department of Treasury (Office of Foreign Assets Control).

Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 activists from Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Chicago, and his home was raided by the FBI in September of last year. Neither Hatem Abudayyeh nor Naima Abudayyeh have been charged with any crime. One of the bank accounts frozen was exclusively in Naima Abudayyeh’s name.

Joe Iosbaker of the National Committee to Stop FBI Repression said, “We are appalled at the government’s attempt to restrict the family’s access to its finances. Not only does the government’s action seriously disrupt the lives of the Abudayyehs and their five-year-old daughter, but it represents an attack on Chicago’s Arab community and activist community and the fundamental rights of Americans to freedom of speech.”

Joe added, “Apparently OFAC can block your assets pending an investigation on charges of “material support for a foreign terrorist organization”  without a hearing. It’s a bit like a chapter out of George Orwell, they don’t need any evidence to freeze your assets and thus far they won’t even acknowledge that they are the source of the freeze.  In the case of these activists, assets means money for food and rent.”

Bill Chambers, of the Chicago Committee Against Political Repression said “The persecution of the Abudayyeh family is another example of the criminalization of Palestinians, their supporters, and their movement for justice and liberation. The government’s attempt to conflate the anti-war and human rights movements with terrorism is a cynical attempt to capitalize on the current political climate in order to silence Palestinians and other people of conscience who exercise their First Amendment rights in a manner which does not conform to the administration’s foreign policy agenda in the Middle East.”

The National Committee to Stop FBI repression is urging activists around the country to take action by calling, The Office of Foreign Assets Control a division of the U.S. Dept of Treasury, Phone numbers 202-622-1649 or 202-622-2420.   Demand that they unfreeze the bank accounts of the Abudayyeh family and stop repression against Palestinian, anti-war and international solidarity activists.”

50 years after Freedom Rides, race drives debate on U.S. future

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From New America Media)

By Khalil Abdullah

 

Washington,  D.C.—During a week when the national media are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides and the progress made since then against racial bias, concerns persist about deep-seated racism in the United States.

Recently, for example, leaders of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation were faced with accusations that their $75 million initiative to address structural racism in America was unnecessary. They answered their critics during a forum on race and racism hosted by the Hudson Institute.

Quoting author William Faulkner, Kellogg Foundation President Sterling Speirn told the audience that structural racism in America continues to affect people of color. “The past is not dead. The past isn’t even in the past. The past is alive now,” Speirn said at the forum entitled, “Race and Racism in America: Are We Now a Colorblind Society?”

Gail Christopher, the Kellogg vice president overseeing the foundation’s “America Healing” initiative, said, “Racism is a set of beliefs that helped to shape this nation. To suggest that centuries of institutionalizing those beliefs could suddenly be eradicated in less than 75 years is, I believe, simplistic, misguided, naïve at best.”

But the foundation has come under attack by some critics, who contend that structural racism—race bias engrained in institutions, policies and attitudes–is no longer an obstacle for people of color in the United States. They call for evidence that such barriers still exist.

Others, who also largely reject the argument that 400 years of U.S. history has resulted in systemic or structural barriers, insist that any obstacle related to race, should it exist, can be overcome by individual endeavor and anti-discrimination laws.

A Wall Street Journal editorial by Harvard University’s Stephan Thernstrom decrying the Kellogg initiative partly led to the Hudson Institute’s decision to host the forum. Joining Thernstrom on the panel were Speirn, Christopher and political consultant Ron Christie, author of Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur.

The panelists all said the United States is not yet a colorblind society, and they agreed that their point of divergence was on how to achieve it.

Their comments, however, exposed wide philosophical differences. Christie, an African American, said he was especially concerned that America was “self-segregating” again. He believes that a flourishing “cult of ethnicity” emphasizing origins through hyphenated identities was counter productive in reaching an ideal where “we cherish our American citizenship.”

Thernstrom ceded that America’s past was once shaped by a caste system based on color, but he said the election of President Barack Obama was one of many indications of the capacity of the American people to look past race. Stating that “a member of the White House is a member of the [once] untouchable caste,” he stressed that the 2008 election shows how far America has come.

Also, Thernstrom cited the growing number of black-and-white friendships and the increased rate of interracial marriages as confirmation that America is at a very different place than when, as he put it, “the very heart of the caste system was sexual fear. Black men were lynched for even looking at white women in the wrong way.”

One audience member commented afterward that Thernstrom was disingenuous in citing statistics on racial intermarriage as a fundamental shift in attitudes on race and culture.

The person pointed to the 2006 election when the GOP ran an ad in Tennessee pandering to racial fears in the white community. It inferred that the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, congressional member Harold Ford, Jr., an African American, was having sexual relations with white women.

“The ad was successful, I might add,” the attendee said, noting that Ford lost the election after the ad boosted turnout for his white opponent.

Thernstrom not only recoiled at the notion of the existence of structural racism but took exception with the construct of white privilege. “I can’t really find out quite what white privilege is and how you know it when you’ve identified it,” he said.

In response, the Kellogg Foundation’s Christopher noted a 2002 Institute of Medicine report revealing how African-Americans and members of other ethnic groups seek medical treatment for the same conditions, but are treated differently.

She said white privilege is rooted in a mythology, which “suggested that the less pigmentation you had, the higher up you were on this hierarchy of race.”

Science has long-since proved that color is only skin deep, Christopher said. But racial differences are still manifested in U.S. society, not only in the unconscious actions of many individuals, but also in fields as diverse as medicine, education and employment.

“The systems that evolved from that mythology are alive and well,” Christopher said. “That’s what we mean by white privilege.”

Yet, it was Speirn’s depiction of white privilege that drew the most audible reaction from the audience: “I love it when Chris Rock and others, you know, ask white people how much we’d have to pay them to be born a person of color in the United States. It was $50 million.”

Speirn asserted that one goal of the Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing grants initiative is to enable communities “to have courageous conversations about race and historic and structural racism, and current racism.”

He noted that William K. Kellogg founded and endowed the foundation with wide latitude to determine its initiatives, as long as it addressed the needs of vulnerable children, not regardless of race, poverty or other social barriers–but because of those factors.

Christopher said America Healing encompasses far more than just a black-white paradigm. She cited a California community including whites, Hispanics and blacks that used its Kellogg grant to delve into the reasons for its poor access to quality food. The researchers found that individuals doing the same job for the same employer were “paid differently by race,” directly diminishing their purchasing power for food and other necessities.

Christopher said that although America is not consciously racist, “our culture is racialized and our systems reflect that.”

She emphasized that the America Healing initiative is ambitious in scope, encompassing concern for Native Americans, African, Americans, European Americans, immigrant children. Observing that “the data would suggest we’ve made dramatic progress as a nation,” she added, “the data would also suggest that we’re at risk.”

At the conclusion of the panel presentation, Christopher took a moment to answer the question, “What does success look like?”

She reflected, “When all the nuanced histories of the diverse groups that helped to build this nation are part of the school curriculum, and residential segregation is no longer the norm,” she said. “When poverty is no longer racialized in this country and a child’s race is no longer a major predictor of his future.”

The Dance Center showcases foremost contemporary choreographers

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
 
2011–12 Season Features Work by Bill T. Jones, David Gordon, Merce Cunningham, Margaret Jenkins, Lin Hwai-min’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Eduardo Vilaro’s Ballet Hispanico and More

 

Chicago, IL — In a virtual parade of some of contemporary dance’s leading choreographic voices, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents a tour de force season, beginning in fall 2011 with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, David Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Co(s), Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and, in a co-presentation with the Harris Theater of Music and Dance, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Legacy Tour. The season continues in 2012 with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company; Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak; a shared program featuring The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts and Erica Mott; and Ballet Hispanico. Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 11 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue, 312-369-8330 and online at colum.edu/dancecenter.

FamilyDance Matinees
The Dance Center’s FamilyDance Matinee Series continues for its 13th season, featuring special one-hour family-oriented performances preceded by free parent/child movement workshops with the artists. FamilyDance Matinees will be presented by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan (October 29); Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak (February 25); The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts and Erica Mott (March 10); and Ballet Hispanico (March 24).

DanceMasters and other community programs
To facilitate meaningful dialogue with Chicago audiences and artists, most artists will participate in DanceMasters, community master classes presented by The Dance Center’s Community Outreach and Education office. Classes are for dancers at the intermediate level or higher. Discussions with the artists will follow most Thursday performances, and some programs will feature pre-performance talks with artists and Dance Center personnel or guest lecturers. Most out-of-town artists will provide learning opportunities for Dance Center students and conduct community-based residency and educational activities, which might include master classes, lecture/demonstrations, in-school and community- based workshops, professional development workshops for educators and service providers and panel discussions.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company—Classics Revived
September 29–October 1, The Dance Center
ABill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (a program of New York Live Arts) presents restaged and reconsidered early works by Jones alone and with Zane, including Monkey Run Road (1979), Continuous Replay (1977, rev. 1991) and Blauvelt Mountain (1980, rev. 2002). These works remain some of the most significant examples of postmodern performance. Both physically and conceptually rigorous, they challenge performer and viewer through their notions of task-based movement and non-narrative structure. This program contains full nudity.

Pick Up Performance Co(s)—Chicago Premiere
October 13–15, The Dance Center
Dancing Henry Five is a reduction of Shakespeare’s Henry V incorporating theatre, narration, scenery and prop manipulation and dance. Directed/choreographed/designed by postmodern icon David Gordon, the hour-long work provokes an ironic reflection on the (im)morality of war. The piece for seven dancers and a narrator (Valda Satterfield) includes a score with excerpts of music by William Walton from the 1945 film version of Henry V, plus recordings of performances of the play by Laurence Olivier and Christopher Plummer.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan—Chicago Premiere
October 28 and 29, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph
Lin Hwai-min’s newest work, Water Stains on the Wall, is performed on a white raked stage (evoking rice paper) containing projected images of drifting clouds in different degrees of blackness. The projections look like flowing ink, creating spaces that are constantly shifting, reminiscent of Chinese classical landscape painting. Dancers are deeply grounded on the floor, yet appear to be floating on top of the white space, with music using traditional Asian instruments. Suggesting a long process of natural evolution, “water stains on the wall” is a popular Chinese metaphor representing the highest state in the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company—Co-presented with the Harris Theater
November 18 and 19, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph
As the Legacy Tour draws to a close, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company presents work from several decades as a celebration of Cunningham’s lifetime of artistic achievement and a testament to the choreographer’s enduring genius. Program A (November 18) includes Squaregame (1976), last performed in 1980 (prior to its revival for the Legacy Tour), which was the first commission for MCDC Music Director Takehisa Kosugi and features décor by Mark Lancaster; Quartet (1982), which, despite its title, is a work for five dancers set to David Tudor’s live electronic composition “Sextet for Seven,” with costumes by Lancaster; and Antic Meet (1958), structured like a series of vaudeville scenes set to a John Cage score and with décor, costumes and lighting by Robert Rauschenberg. Program B (November 19) is Roratorio (1983), an evening-length large-scale work set to Cage’s complex 1979 composition “Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake,” consisting of an audio collage of music, text and sounds collected by Cage from locations in Ireland referenced in Joyce’s novel.

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company—Midwest Premiere
February 9–11, The Dance Center
Light Moves is a collaboration between Margaret Jenkins, multimedia artist Naomie Kremer, composer Paul Dresher and poet Michael Palmer. Kremer’s video imagery is interwoven with eight dancers utilizing several projectors and projection surfaces to focus attention on the architecture of the theater while challenging notions of foreground and background, visible and hidden.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak
February 23–25, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: February 25
Molly Shanahan characterizes the latest iteration of her multiyear movement exploration, Stamina of Curiosity, as undulatory, fluid and sensual, using intricately connected gestures and overlapping spatial loops that describe the space as an organic, wave-like terrain.

The Space/Movement Project, Rachel Damon/Synapse Arts, Erica Mott
March 8–10, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: March 10
A shared program of three premieres by The Space/Movement Project (TS/MP), a dancemakers’ collective that creates work weaving together extended segments of unison, simultaneous yet polarized solos, layered gestures, whole body movement and strong weight sharing; Rachel Damon, who uses improvisation to challenge the ability of her collaborators to react to one another in real time, and so invites the viewer to explore how body states are experienced, projected and perceived; and choreographer and installation/visual performance maker Erica Mott, who uses humor and surprise to explore polar opposites: male and female, wealth and poverty, organic and synthetic, animate and inanimate.

Ballet Hispanico—Chicago Premieres
March 22–24, The Dance Center
FamilyDance Matinee: March 24
Led by Eduardo Vilaro (former artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theatre and Dance Center faculty member), Ballet Hispanico explores, preserves and celebrates Latino culture through dance. For 2011–12, the company has commissioned Espiritu Vivo, from African-American choreographer Ronald K. Brown, which investigates the intersection of the African and Latino diasporas in the Caribbean and Latin America, set to a suite of four songs performed by Peruvian singer Susana Baca. Also on the program is a new work by Vilaro to music by Celia Cruz and Naci, choreographer Andrea Miller’s investigation of the Moorish influences on Sephardic Jewish culture of Spain.

THE DANCE CENTER
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. Programs of The Dance Center are supported, in part, Alphawood Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Sara Lee Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Arts Midwest, The Boeing Company, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation and New England Foundation for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Friends of The Dance Center.

Subscriptions and single tickets go on sale July 11 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Avenue. All programming is subject to change. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. Call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.

NFL Player Albert Haynesworth publicly assaults all Black women worldwide

Posted by Admin On May - 10 - 2011 36 COMMENTS

 

By Yasmeen Muqtasid, President of Black Women Matter, Inc.

Nationwide — (BlackNews.com) — “I didn’t touch her. I don’t even like black girls. I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me. ”

I had to do a double take when I read this in the Washington Post’s recent article about sexual abuse charges against NFL player Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth – who is no stranger to controversy, was recently indicted for assaulting a black waitress. In his defense he states that there’s no way he could have assaulted the woman because as he put it, “I don’t even like black girls…”

Whether Haynesworth sexually assaulted the waitress or not is up to the courts to decide. However, what is crystal clear is that Haynesworth did indeed attack and assault the black waitress and every other black woman with his hateful spew of words when he said “I don’t even like black girls,” and used this as his defense against sexual abuse charges. Haynesworth’s public outburst about his disdain for black women and his use of it as a legal shield is unacceptable.

Even global warming can’t explain the current atmosphere that has enabled SOME and I want to say it again SOME (not all) black male public figures to think it is acceptable to openly batter the character of all black women and to tell the entire world that they despise the very same woman that they came from. Last time we checked – Haynesworth definitely looked like he originated from the Motherland.

Let’s further examine Haynesworth’s defense to his sexual abuse charge, “I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me.”

Sadly, Haynesworth’s rant shines a bright spotlight on a growing psychological cancer shared among SOME (again, not all) black men that think it is ok to lambaste the entire race of black women publicly and to speak about them in such a demeaning way in order to justify their decision to exclusively date and marry non-black women. Remember the other NFL player – Chad Ocho Cinco’s calculated elimination and demand to VH1 producers to delete all black girls from his reality dating show? Even the white producers knew this was wrong and had to coax Ocho Cinco to keep two token black girls in the running.

This expanding anti-date black woman rhetoric has also been shared across the color line. Let’s not forget John Mayer‘s vicious racist comments about black women last year that caused Holly Robinson Peete to go to the media and publicly rebuke his brazen disrespect.

What is most disturbing to black women about this growing phenomenon – is the public arrogance that many with this mindset have when referencing black women and what seems to be an intentional defamation of all black women. What is equally maddening is the automatic exclusion of black women as dating options based on their race. I could take a black woman that one of these Haynesworth-minded men “don’t like” – paint her white – and poof – she now would be a potential mate with a ring on it.

If employers came out and said, “We don’t hire blacks! We don’t even like them.” Every black person would be up in arms and shout racism. Discrimination – or same race discrimination – is exactly what Haynesworth and others like him that profess the “I only date white girls” mantra are spreading.

Black women just want an equal opportunity to find love – so all you Haynesworth-types, keep your smear campaign about black women to yourself. At a minimum, have some self respect for the sake of your own black mother, black sisters, and above all – your black daughters. After all, you are black and came from a black woman. Like it or not.

Furthermore, if all of the professions about non-black women being such better wives than black women were so true – then the NFL‘s Michael Strahan would still be with his ex-white wife, Tiki Barber would still be with his ex-Asian wife and the NBA’s Tony Parker would still be with his ex-Hispanic wife.

Even when we have a screaming example of a beautiful black woman such as Michelle Obama – black women can’t seem to catch a break. I hardly think President Obama would have made it to the Whitehouse if Michelle was not a loving and supportive companion. Yet some in the black community would have you think that she is an isolated case – a freak of nature from the norm. However, there are many other “Michelles” around the world – but they are never given a chance by some men simply because of their skin color.

On a final note, as a football fan, I say shame on you NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for condoning this behavior by standing mute when one of your employees publicly denounces the entire race of black women and uses us as a scapegoat for their legal drama. I thought the NFL was trying to change its thug image.

Imagine if Haynesworth had said, “I don’t even like Jewish women, I can’t even remember the last time I dated one!” How long would it be before Haynesworth was suspended and his actions investigated before he would be dismissed from the NFL? No one would question the Anti-Defamation League coming to the defense of Jewish women (as they should) against such an offensive public attack. However, no one comes to the aid and defense of black women when such obvious bigotry is displayed.

So, I have a suggestion. I and the thousands of black women like me will not financially support any teams with players that suffer from the Haynesworth “I don’t even like black girls,” syndrome. No tickets, no NFL fan gear and no products that endorse these types of individuals. Haynesworth and Ocho Cinco must have forgotten about the collective buying power of women and that we make 85% of all purchase decisions.

In 2006, when Albert Haynesworth kicked fellow NFL player Andre Gurode in the face during a game, he publicly said “I apologize to Andre. What I did was disgusting. It’s something that should never happen. I mean, I’m not a dirty player. I don’t play dirty. I have respect for the game. What I feel like is I disgraced the game, disgraced my team and disgraced my last name.” Haynesworth’s comments about black women show just how much of a dirty player he still is. His tirade against black women was equally “disgusting and something that should have never happened.” And yes, we deserve a public apology too.

Yasmeen Muqtasid is the founder of Black Women Matter, Inc., which is dedicated to uplifting and encouraging black women with positive media and information that enriches their lives, reinforces their value and empowers them to be their absolute best. To join the Black Women Matter movement, email: join@blackwomenmatter.com, find them on Facebook and follow them at www.twitter.com/bwmatter.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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