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McCain is no Joe Paterno, capable of learning and winning at an advanced age.   He is elderly;

past his prime; unable to learn quickly.  He does not understand the issues, and substitutes

senile drooling about patriotism for the common sense that he so sadly lacks. 




Books by Wilson Jeremiah Moses

Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925 (1988)  / The Wings of Ethiopia  (1990)

 Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent (1992)  / Destiny & Race: Selected Writings, 1840-1898  (1992) 

 Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth (1993)

Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s  / Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History (2002)

Creative Conflict in African American Thought (2004)

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When the Master's Big House Burns

By Wilson J. Moses  

21 September 2008



When the Master's big house burns down, it is the "field Negroes" who suffer the hardest.  Sorry Malcolm X; you got it wrong; you failed to understand that an economic collapse always hurts the poor far more than it hurts the rich.  If this country has a depression, it will be far worse for the poor than for the rich.   It might become worse than 1929 with its 25% unemployment.  Obama may be an elitist "House Negro," but he is intelligent in studying Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson's plan before criticizing it. 

The Republican Party has been forced to do a radical and necessary about-face.  The folly of their ideology has been exposed.  For the past 75 years the Republicans have sought to privatize every segment of the economy.   This means they are fundamentally opposed to the following:

Public schools, colleges, and universities
Social Security
Medicaid, Medicare, and all other socialized medical insurance
Public transportation (which is why America doesn't have passenger railroads)
Regulation of Wall Street (which is why Cox's SEC did not take action earlier)

McCain was cowardly and hypocritical to attack Christopher Cox, who was only doing exactly what McCain and his Senate Crony Phil Gramm expected him to do—indeed advised him to do.  Ignore regulations.  Republicans are opposed to all the above.  Their philosophy has always been dog-eat-dog, hidden by a populist rhetoric.   It is therefore ironic that the Paulson and other proponents of privatization are now working feverishly to nationalize the financial system.   We should all be wishing them luck, for if we have a depression, there are going to be a lot of bitter people reaching for their guns.

McCain is no Joe Paterno, capable of learning and winning at an advanced age.   He is elderly; past his prime; unable to learn quickly.  He does not understand the issues, and substitutes senile drooling about patriotism for the common sense that he so sadly lacks. 

He and Palin flatter the American populace by telling then they are capable of managing their own affairs by gambling on Wall Street.  This has become obviously untrue.   John McCain flatters the average American by telling them that they can survive in the financial jungle of  Wall Street.

Does the average American understand the arbitrage-free price for a derivatives contract or the complex, and different variables that are the central topic of financial mathematics?Have they read the Wikipedia article that addresses the process that determines the price of the underlying asset?   Have they ever heard of the "Black-Scholes formula?"  Do they understand the continuous buying and selling of these various levels of securitization?  They cannot even manage their bank accounts.   How can they manage these sophisticated matters that involve several steps in logical processes, that the typical American has never managed? 

Derivatives and other exotic instruments is what the whole thing is about.   The average American was foolish enough to accept an interest-only adjustable rate mortgage.  This is so stupid that a bright 14 year old should know better.   But the average American, is not as intelligent as a bright 14 year old, and therefore is not capable of making a wise decision in this Presidential election, which is why they love Sarah Palin.   She sounds like one of them and they are comfortable with her proud ignorance and her contempt for logic.

Obama, who taught Constitutional Law at Chicago University may be an elitist, but he is correct in keeping his mouth shut and not interfering with Bernanke's and Henry Paulson's efforts to stick their fingers in the dike.  This country is on the brink of an economic collapse and if those corporations go under, everything will crash along with the stock market. 

McCain's patriotic rhetoric will not help.   Phil Gramm, McCain's past and present financial adviser, wrote the legislation that created this entire mess, along with the Wall Street lobbyists, who are still his chief advisers.  When McCain says these people have resigned from their lobbyist positions, that is like saying that someone has resigned from the Mafia or the CIA.  It simply cannot be done, once a member, you are a member for life.  McCain's adviser, Phil Gramm, and Henry Paulson, and Christopher Cox, are all cut from the same cloth. 

And all this talk about the taxpayers picking up the tab is hypocritical.   Have any of these clowns dared to introduce the legislation that calls for the necessary taxes?  Don't make me laugh.  These madmen really do believe they can solve this problem by continued future borrowing.  That is like the American family with $30,000 credit card debt who seeks to solve their problems by getting a second or third mortgage on their grotesquely overpriced house. 

But I have run on too long.  This essay is too lengthy and elitist to hold the interest of many Americans.

posted 21 September 2008

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McCain's Radical Agenda—For starters, the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on. “It means your employer is going to have to make an estimate on how much the employer is paying for health insurance on your behalf, and you are going to have to pay taxes on that money,” said Sherry Glied, an economist who chairs the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Ms. Glied is one of the four scholars who have just completed an independent joint study of the plan. Their findings are being published on the Web site of the policy journal, Health Affairs. According to the study: “The McCain plan will force millions of Americans into the weakest segment of the private insurance system — the nongroup market — where cost-sharing is high, covered services are limited and people will lose access to benefits they have now.”

The net effect of the plan, the study said, “almost certainly will be to increase family costs for medical care.” Under the McCain plan (now the McCain-Palin plan) employees who continue to receive employer-paid health benefits would look at their pay stubs each week or each month and find that additional money had been withheld to cover the taxes on the value of their benefits. While there might be less money in the paycheck, that would not be anything to worry about, according to Senator McCain. That’s because the government would be offering all taxpayers a refundable tax credit — $2,500 for a single worker and $5,000 per family — to be used “to help pay for your health care.”

You may think this is a good move or a bad one — but it’s a monumental change in the way health coverage would be provided to scores of millions of Americans. Why not more attention? The whole idea of the McCain plan is to get families out of employer-paid health coverage and into the health insurance marketplace, where naked competition is supposed to take care of all ills. (We’re seeing in the Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch fiascos just how well the unfettered marketplace has been working.)

Taxing employer-paid health benefits is the first step in this transition, the equivalent of injecting poison into the system. It’s the beginning of the end. . . . This entire McCain health insurance transformation is right out of the right-wing Republicans’ ideological playbook: fewer regulations; let the market decide; and send unsophisticated consumers into the crucible alone.NYTimes

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Bailing Out the Wealthy Few—Damning the Ignorant Masses

This evening, I listened to Mayor Bloomberg and other commentators on Meet the Press. As far as I could discern, all wait on pins and needles, on what Paulson and Bernanke and Congress will come up with in their plans to nationalize the debt of the financial sector, which has far reaching tentacles supposedly into other sectors of the American economy. For instance, the construction trades and auto industries (and their credit institutions). What was troubling was the view that punitive measures should not be sought for those who are responsible for this huge debt that they now estimate is $1.3 trillion, an additional $700 billion, from which they wish to withdraw from the federal treasury.

It was stated that the executives of these financial institutions got away with millions (if not billions), when we have before us the covering of debts of hundred of billions if not trillions of dollars. My questions whence went the billions and trillions of dollars? Are they real dollars or imaginary dollars? If they are real dollars in whose pockets did they gather and if they are real should not some government agency seek to recover them? And if they are imaginary why in the hell is our government so willing to cover with real dollars what is entirely imaginary? If the latter and the former are the case is this not a double swindle?

Certainly the newscasters have us wringing our hands over our supposedly impending doom. Certainly the residents of the United States are not in the situation that Cubans and Haitians now find themselves. Most of us have a roof, a bed, access to some kind of medical care, food to eat, electricity and power are available for heat and cooking and cooling, and so on. Is any or all of these necessities going to disappear if the debts of these financial houses are not picked up by the federal government? Can anyone answer this question? Is the media being used to hype that which does not really exist?

Are we pawns now in another financial scheme? Can any of this be figured out by an ordinary Joe Voter, or even our huge class of intellectuals? Can we trust any of the presidential candidates or our representatives to steer us to the right way to understand what is presently going on? Or will 95 per cent of us sign on to mumbo jumbo because we really don't have a choice to do otherwise. I am afraid that will be the case no matter what Paulson and Bernanke, the Congress or the President does. Personally, I am for allowing the financial sector fall like a tree on its face in the mud if they are not smart enough to save themselves and if the government wants to bail out someone let them bail out those workers and citizens who are impacted by the thievery and greed of Wall Street.

The overarching problem in rightfully dealing with this crisis is stated by Eric Hobsbawm in an interview:

The so-called ‘new social movements’ like feminism either had no logical connection with anti-capitalism (though as individuals their members might be aligned with it) or they challenged the belief in endless progress in human control over nature, which both capitalism and traditional socialism had shared. 150-years-after-the-grundrisse

One should include among these almost every liberal or progressive movement black or white, brown or yellow. There has been an uncanny faith in capitalism (free market economics) that it is destined to last and continue into eternity, as if economic  philosophies and structures are the only aspects of our lives that do not evolve or change radically. When it comes to the common folk suffering we don’t bail them out we say they are being boys and irresponsible. But when it comes to the wealthy few and their businesses we rush to bail them out with no moral or ethical accusations. That’s a hell-like double standard and says much about our politics and our sympathies.

We now come to an awful and tragic turn in our intellectual understanding of our selves and our fellow citizens when capitalists want the workers to finance openly and willingly their gambles in unregulated markets where anything goes.

It is clear to me that no cultural or racial movement can go forward in good conscious without having an open anti-capitalist position. For when billionaires like Bloomberg now recommend regulations for the financial markets, one should be worried that regulatory reforms will not be sufficient to bring an end to the  thievery and greed by our economic elites and their financial houses. It is clear indeed that we be skeptical and suspicious of any plan at all to bail out these institutions. I know there will be no call-ins, no petitions to our representatives or candidates for office that the federal government should not put up trillions to bail out the wealthy few. Shame on us!

I say bail out those with $250,000 or less a year and to hell with the rest.—Rudy

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Nevertheless this bailout is not the answer.

Only when people realize the American consume, inflate and deplete economic model is flawed will a grassroots movement form to transform the American economic paradigm from one that promotes conspicuous consumption. This economic model that is based on promotion of creating fat people living in too much house driving too much car eating too much food is coming to an end. 

I was in Whole Foods recently musing over the constant tirade of bad economic news despite the fact that people were still in their purchasing $6 cupcakes waiting on some magic fix that will once again make it okay to eat $6 cupcakes while the rest of the world eats one meal of rice a day....let them eat cake.

The state of the dollar is proof that America's price level and standard of living is artificially high - and yes that price level includes wages. The elites keep looking for artificial ways to avoid the pain like this bailout because they have sold to the masses that the American Dream is to pay high prices for more things that you don't need than your neighbor while producing nothing that the rest of the world wants or needs. It is an unsustainable model.

It's not just the elites fault though, the problem is that the American people don't question these policies until it looks like the price of steak and beer are getting too high. They believe that despite the rest of the world consuming less saving more and getting better educated that the American worker should still make $30 an hour to screw in a bolt on an assembly line while the rest of the world accepts $.30 an hour to do the same work. The problem is nobody wants to buy our high priced crap so we have to buy it which keeps the price level artificially jacked up.

The financial community was complicit in creating artificial wealth by inflating home prices in order to stimulate more high priced domestic consumption. The real estate debacle avoided the same irrational exuberance label as the tech stock debacle because of the mythology surrounding Americans connection to land and homes. Nevertheless it was artificial wealth and everybody new it they just believed that it would stimulate enough consumption and real periphery growth to make it real wealth in a few years—it just didn't have enough steam.

Like Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: "America has become a third rate power." Yet corn farmers still get subsidies. We may not be facing the type of change that Obama or McCain are talking about, but things are definitely about to change. The current American economic model is not sustainable.Vince  

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In trying to get a $700 billion bill passed quickly by Congress to buy up the debts of financial houses, as a means of "unclogging the system," Secretary Paulson seems only interested in returning to the status quo. Certainly, the American people, whatever their consumptive sins are, should not agree to such a packageRudy

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Sisters and Brothers!

The Age of Ideology is over. State Capitalism (Communism) and Laissez Faire Capitalism (USA) have both failed for the same reason: Corruption. The resurgence of religious faiths in the rest of the world, the poorest nations, since WW2 and the end of the Western Empires built on these two competing ideologies, holds important clues for discerning their resurgence when the economy really does sink under the weight of this recent corruption. (Phillip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

As noted by many others, Sen. McCain chaired the regulatory body in the Senate responsible for regulating the credit industry, and practiced the deregulatory philosophy of "W" and his fellow Texas Capitalist politicians. During the second Great Depression of the 20th century, starting 29 October 1929, folks turned to religious faiths because they had nowhere else to turn.

I teach Religious Faith in the Modern World, in which we survey the principal religions of the world, all of which are practiced in the New York Metro area. Here they may comprise a minority; I assure you that in their original nations, they do not. Even the State schools require this sort of course.

Ever since 9/11/02, we cannot allow unchecked ignorance of the political economics of the world's religious faiths nor the publications from the global gatherings of the World Congress of Religion. I have no idea what comes next, but religious faiths will have more to do with it than ideologies or cold and hot wars. They failed to resolve conflicts in The Sudan and other hot spots, so why would any poor nation or the poor people of our nation trust them at all? — Ralph,  Action Preaching

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It's just a bailout. They're calling it a loan so people won't revolt. There is no way to re-price defaulted loans. Nevertheless the people will just let the powers that be do the thinking and wait around to see if this means we can go back to guzzling gas and eating steaks.—Vince

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Well, this fellow Wilson got part of it right.

But Republicans and their Democratic fellow travelers did not ignore federal banking and other industrial regulations. They actively campaigned to dismantle the regulations. I also disagree that the banking industry is too complex for average Americans to understand. The thing is, in my mind, is that the industry and the media go out of their way to make it seem as if it all too complicated and do little by way of making it understandable. It is in their self-interest to do so. 

After all, the everyday Master of the Universe, that began distorting the US economy during the Reagan Administration and thoroughly trashed to the present day is a high school graduate with not one day of college experience.—Damu

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A lot of sensible critical analyses and suggestions emanating daily from you and some experts.  Are you sending these to Obama and his group?  and are they studying these for vigorous implementation?—Rose Ure Mezu

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$700 billion for Wall Street? Nothing for struggling homeowners—The Bush plan is plain wrong—A plan that makes common and economic sense would start by giving people on the verge of losing everything new terms for servicing their debts. Such an approach would spawn a recovery for everyone, including the banking sector, from the bottom up. Two industry and policy experts have put this idea forward and some politicians have mentioned the concept. But it hasn't gained traction because the banks have controlled the conversation from the start. Here's Thomas Ferguson & Robert Johnson, former Chief Economist of the Senate Banking Committee. They say a first step would be

reviving something like the Home Owners Loan Corporation that worked so well in the New Deal. That bought mortgages from people who were in danger of losing their houses and converted them into obligations that they could afford to repay. This sort of bailout has the wonderful property of directing public money to the public, rather than Wall Street. But it would still bail out Wall Street, since reviving housing and stopping mortgage defaults feeds directly through to mortgage bonds values and derivatives based on them.

Instead, Bush wants taxpayers to give his administration a $700 billion check with no strings attached, which they'll then hand over to the Wall Street firms that got us into this mess in the first place and with no congressional or court oversight. That amounts to $2,000 for every single American.

The plan is a failure on so many levels. It does nothing for families struggling to keep their homes. Tax payers get zero shares of the firms we're bailing out, meaning when these companies eventually do turn a profit we get nothing. And the firms we're bailing out can continue to pay their executives multimillion-dollar salaries funded by us. MoveOn called it a "pure giveaway of epic proportions" and they're right.

Even some Republicans can see that the plan makes no sense. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) asked, "Just how long can the poor beleaguered taxpayer be expected to bear all the losses and bear all the risk?"  Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) said, "I'm getting a lot of calls from my district, with people saying, why are you bailing out the big guys and not us?"

There are many in Congress who want to do the right thing, but they need to know the public has their back. Please call your senators at the numbers above. Then, please let us know you called by clicking here: Color of Change. Thanks and Peace—James, Van, Gabriel, Clarissa, Andre, Kai, and the rest of the team   September 23rd, 2008

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Goldman Sachs Socialism—Wall Street put a gun to the head of the politicians and said, Give us the money—right now—or take the blame for whatever follows. The audacity of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's bailout proposal is reflected in what it refuses to say: no explanations of how the bailout will work, no demands on the bankers in exchange for the public's money. The Treasury's opaque, three-page summary of plan includes this chilling statement:

Section 8. Review. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

In other words, no lawsuits allowed by aggrieved investors or American taxpayers. No complaints later from ignorant pols who didn't know what they voted for. Take it or leave it, suckers. . . .

If Paulson's gamble fails—just as possible—then maybe government will finally undertake forceful intervention rather than friendly solicitude for Wall Street. Washington should literally take control of the banking and finance sector and employ its emergency powers to oversee and direct these private, profit-making enterprises. If any bankers do not wish to play, cut them off from any public assistance (and wish them good luck). Then government can exercise temporary supervisory powers that force banking to cooperate with economic recovery by sustaining lending and investment to the real economy. Washington can put profit on hold.

Order full stop to the many financial gimmicks and accounting illusions that led to inflated lending and falsified asset valuations. Unwind the complicated time bombs known as credit derivatives and shut down this lucrative line of business. Meanwhile, instead of throwing millions of homeowners and debtors out of their homes and into bankruptcy, hold them harmless temporarily so people can work out reasonable terms for recovery. Finally, force-feed new life into the real economy with government spending on public projects and capital formation. How much spending? Rescuing America from irresponsible Wall Street is worth whatever it costs to save the bloodied bankers. TheNation

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Speak My Name

Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream

Edited by Don Belton

Race Men

By Hazel V. Carby

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#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Related files: Just Another Fine Gentleman    Obama and Bitterness   Republicans' Brilliant Cynical Coup   Reaganite Denounces Bush?