Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pork Chops on Trees? Watermelons Blowing in the Breeze? If '12 Years a Slave' is Too Challenging a Movie For Some Audiences and Critics, Perhaps They Would Prefer 'Goin to Heaven on a Mule' Instead?

I shared a clip from Al Jolson's 1934 short film Goin to Heaven on a Mule some years ago. It still resonates.

Continuing with our conversation about the white privilege infused reaction by some film critics to the film 12 Years a Slave, I wonder if in the future, perhaps the enslavement of black Americans should be depicted in a happy and fanciful way in order to soothe white folks' feelings and anxieties?

Would this not protect the tender sensibilities of film viewers and cultural critics who find white on black violence and cruelty too uncomfortable, "theatrical", and "exploitative?"

A remake of films such as Goin to Heaven on a Mule would cater to Whiteness, its racial myopia, and how there are a pitiful group of black and brown conservatives who yearn for a return to the good old days of imagined and fanciful white benevolence on the slave plantations of the Old South. Times were oh so simple then...were they not? Or are such opinions exclusive to self-described white trash like the TV show Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson?

Life here in Age of Obama, post civil rights, America is too stressful me. I am going to buy a ticket to Al Jolson's version of black people's heaven on My watermelon fueled flight leaves on Friday afternoon of this week. Are any of you coming along with me? What should we expect once our delayed, and quite late plane, arrives there?


Myshkin the Idiot said...

I looked up some defenses of black face minstrelsy, how the authors can fail to understand how VERY racist black face minstrelsy IS...

In defense of black face:

A libertarian is arguing with me about that Daily Kos piece that was shared here earlier this week. She is saying the author comes off as bigoted and vindictive.

her quote:
"to say that someone who fought their entire life for racial equality, and not being judged by skin color, to say that their legacy is not color blind is asinine"

I said: "he encouraged social equality, but as far as his LABOR is concerned, his work he gave his life for, that was a life lesson for black people in America."

Her: " if you think that Kings words were only meant to uplift black sir do not understand the Baptist faith at all. The biggest issue of course was for equal rights for black people. But his message was for a bigger picture than even that..and if you do not get that from reading his works I am saddened."

She then shared the economic Bill of Rights with me, to which I pointed out the various non-libertarian aspects of it. Is it just me or is libertarianism another white privilege denial party?

I'm so tired of the cultivated ignorance demonstrated daily. James Baldwin said, "Education in America is indoctrination if you're white, subjugation if you're black."

I am encouraged by many things I see coming to light. I hope this Economic and Social Bill of Rights will come to fruition somehow.

kokanee said...

White folk needs to do something about this crap. If they don't then they condone it. This is on white people:
Police Assault Teen So Violently During Search That His Testicles Burst

Myshkin the Idiot said...

most white people do condone it. I doubt many of them care...

kokanee said...

Obviously. That must change. Some of us/them do care and will fight for everyone's humanity, equality and well being.

netroot said...

rotflmbao, you fruity pebbles ain't gonna fight shit!

Being actively clowned by a professional purveyor of artificial negativity.

kokanee said...

Re: "rotflmbao, you fruity pebbles ain't gonna fight shit!"

Time will tell.

What this country needs is a revolution and a massive redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots. We need some black leadership but we also need some white leadership to advocate for a better way for everyone on the planet.

kokanee said...

Excellent comments! I'll get back to you when I can.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

One more thing. About an hour from where I live members of a community found fliers distributed from the KKK saying something like, "While you slept the Klan was here to protect you." With a phone number to call for any suspicious behavior. Some people expressed disgust and contempt for the klan, others expressed gratitude for their presence, hearkening the dangerous black pathology.

Sometimes there were humorous, though disheartening, comments about flying the Confederate flag and 'if that makes me racist so be it, maybe I am somewhat racist. The South will rise again!'

or, 'our schools are now teaching the Confederate flag is a racist symbol when it's just Southern pride.'

Then there is this, 'Angry' black politicians are responsible for white American racism.

T said...

Ok, where can I get open-pollinated, heirloom seeds to a pork-chop tree?

T said...

At least in some areas, the gov't does need to get out of our way. Cities are/or should be loosening up their by-laws so people can grow their own food in their backyards, or even their front yards. AND to have chickens.
Me, I have 9 fruit trees, 13 berry plants, a big veggie patch, and 6 chickens in my beloved flock.
In the neighborhood, we are starting a swap group: we all bring our veggies/fruits/eggs. Then we rebag everything.
Then everyone gets to go home with different foods they haven't tried.
This includes apartment dwellers: they grow stuff on their windowsills and patios.
This way you know your neighbors. You swap seeds, knowledge, and most of all, you have a diverse group who knows each other and trusts each other.
You find out who the older ones are, who need some help. Also moms with young kids, who become little junior farmers.
We also have two young married couples who source out organics, take your order and deliver them to your door.
We all know the economy is getting worse, but by golly you can eat well if you work with your community.
I couldn't imagine doing anything different.

T said...

And to add to that, remember Domestic Homeland Security has militarized our cops. And those cops, as we know, are going wild all over this country.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

"Cities are/or should be loosening up their by-laws"

That's why I say using the government is a part of that equation. I can't think of any other community that has more experience with bad governance than African Americans and Native Americans. "At every point in which the society intervenes to improve the life of the citizen... the people must not be treated like objects of decisions made on high." MLK

I think there are really twin effects on communities of color in both political and economic prejudice/discrimination, especially in recent history.

The very definition of ghetto is a place intentionally segregated from the dominant society.

"What is the right to live of black children who were born to be hungry and whose very minds and spirits are maimed by the savage conditions of their existence? What is it that the young people in the streets have a right to -- a life of unemployment and low pay when there is work?

"Two hundred years after the Declaration of Independence will the right to the pursuit of happiness mock the majority of Negroes locked in an underworld of poverty, joblessness and unemployment?

"The answers to all these questions is clear. If the present outrageous trends continue, the majority of black men and women in the United States will, in the year 1976, be systematically deprived of really meaningful possession of those inalienable rights of all men which were solemnly proclaimed in 1776.

"So we do not come here to ask for charity. We demand justice. ... It cannot take two more centuries for it to occur to this country that there is no real right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for people condemned by the accident of their birth to an existence of hereditary economic and social misery. For if this goes on much longer, America will tear itself apart." MLK, 1968

He goes on to discuss various policies and conditions that ought to be discussed and reformed. One of those was welfare policy which only granted assistance to families of single mothers. I just read an article on Al Jazeera about Baltimore groups trying to reform that very type of welfare law.

Another policy is guaranteed income and minimum wage. Public works programs for the unemployed (there's your community gardening/farming and other eco/permaculture jobs).

The right to decent housing and an end to slum projects.

The right to an adequate education, which changes over time to what is most competitive (I'm thinking higher education, but also improving our local public schools).

He also includes the right to access modern health care (ACA).

We here are also getting involved in the local food production practice. It's tough though, getting organized when we're much more spread out. Most young people are more interested in drinking and hanging around, using drugs, we also have to work full time to pay the bills. The people interested are older sometimes or parents with families. Having the land to use is an obstacle... but we are slowly getting our acts together (I think communities of color have long been interested and working toward this necessary revitalization of our environment, lifestyles, and economies ).

Our permaculture meetings so far have been all white, which isn't surprising for an area that is 80% white. I have noticed in recent years the historically black community is diminishing as rents get higher and college students continue to move into town.

T said...

Well it sounds like you're starting it. I think once one or two projects kick in, it will accelerate.
Who is the guy who used to be a basketball player, but now runs the gardens to teach kids of all colors about growing their own?
I THINK he's in Wisconsin.
Anyway, I say bring the gardening to the community that needs it most:
They're actually ploughing the earth in Detroit and making gardens; don't know how it will all turn out, but it's a start.
Since the city gov't abandoned large parts of Detroit, I say the young people should go out there and start a garden. Some are even building off-the-grid houses. If they don't bother you out there, why not? Talk to the others who have done it first. There are ACRES of open land out there for the taking.
I say, go for it.
If the gov't isn't going to help us, than at least get them to stay out of our way.

Veri1138 said...

What is your job?

kokanee said...

What do you mean?

Veri1138 said...

Going to school? Working in politics?

Me? I am retired military of 22 years.

kokanee said...

Self-employed. I live off rich people. Been in the work force about 22 years. No military service. V4V has though. Have you talked to him?

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Good to hear some good news about Detroit, anything you hear is usually how deprecated a slum city it is. People do need to take back what they can. I am very interested in off the grid housing.

You say there are acres of open land out there for the taking, I see vast tracts of fallow worn out farm land rife with wild onions, mustard and garlic, unhealthy baked earthen red with a fence around it and a land owner waiting to sell it off to the highest bidder for a new high end subdivision.

All of these subdivisions bring in loads of new people with families, I think the county loves it because they can get more out of property taxes, what they don't seem to realize is our public schools are WAY overcrowded and poorly funded in the first place and our roads and highways were designed for rural traffic only. I think if we get another four or five subdivisions in a few places it looks like we are getting, our traffic problems are going to get out of control.

kokanee said...

Institutional racism and structural inequality need to be addressed in meaningful ways. Republicans and hyper capitalists think inequality is good because it promotes competition. I think it promotes depravity in all parts of the hierarchy.
Well said.

I honestly have no problem with capitalism, but the type of hyper capitalism and resulting wealth and social inequality is unhealthy for a nation. I like smaller, locally based capitalism.

Any system can work in the right hands. I think the focus should be on democracy - and on a local level.

The US has always been a mixed-economy: some aspects of capitalism and some aspects of socialism.

The problem with capitalism is that over time wealth ends up in fewer and fewer hands. The pendulum has swung so far over to the neoliberal/laissez-faire capitalism side that it's going to take some socialism to save capitalism - if that's what we want to do. Capitalism, with it's infinite growth model, is quickly running into the brick wall of depleting resources and continuing population increases.

Chris Hedges on capitalism:

Mr. HEDGES: Well, I think in that sense, speaking - we no longer speak in the language of class warfare. Everybody has become middle class. Although, of course, what we've done through - especially the acceleration of NAFTA and outsourcing of jobs - is disempower or disenfranchise our working class. And, you know, I'm not a Marxist and I'm not a communist and I'm not an anti-capitalist, but there are
different forms of capitalism.

There's the penny capitalism in the farm town where I grew up, where farmers bring their products in
and sell it. There's the regional capitalism of the local factory owner, hardware store owner, who lives in the community, invests in the community, sits on the school board. And then there's corporate
capitalism, which is something else. Corporate capitalism is supra-national; it has no loyalty to the nation-state. It's hollowed our country out from the inside. It's a kind of global neo-feudalism. And
it's corporate capitalism that frightens me. —

So if we bring back unions and protections for US manufacturing that's socialism. If we have mandatory 90% taxes on incomes over $1 million they plutocrats will cry socialism. But socialism isn't a dirty word anymore. See Young People More Likely To Favor Socialism Than Capitalism: Pew

On predatory capitalism:
The Political Economy Of Predatory Capitalism
John Perkins:

On economic democracy:
Economic Prosperity and Economic Democracy: The Worker Co-Op Solution
Richard Wolff on the radio:

On ecosocialism:
Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism?

Myshkin the Idiot said...

"Corporate capitalism is supra-national; it has no loyalty to the nation-state."

This is something that I recognize as vital to current politics. The citizens need the allies of wealth to remain stable. Republicans willingly admit that the wealthy will lose interest in investing in America if our tax system remains too high for them to stay here.

To me, this seems as though they actually hate Americans. They say the 'Great Society' projects of the 60's and 70's caused the de-investment of places along the Rust Belt, to me that demonstrates the rich and super rich clearly did not care to remain where the people were and abandoned them in favor of other places in America that supported the type of tax code they desired.

Personally, fuck them. They can go. I just hope the rest of us Americans don't hate each other so much that we can't do the hard work of taking care of our communities if we did lose some corporate investment to places like Dubai where corporate headquarters can operate without liability and the industrialization of various other nations that have yet to make environmental and labor restrictions and protections.

T said...

I don't remember the youtube documentaries' names, but they are there.
Of course you know that a lot of those houses go for a $ (one dollar). Yes, there's property tax, but it should be dirt cheap; if not, argue for a lower rate.
Buy one and either tear it down, or fix it up. Remember, you don't have to get it fixed overnight.
As to the soil itself. Have it tested b4 you buy. If it isn't nuclear fission, then rehab the soil.
Here's the thing: if you do all of the above AS A GROUP, the advantages would be huge: more muscle to break soil and get it started, fix the houses as a group; it's faster, safer. AND you go to the city council or the property clerk AS A GROUP. Oh, they're gonna listen to you THEN. They should be properly intimidated on such issues of: reduction of property taxes, enough time given to fix up the front of the houses, no hassles on gardens.
Or just don't tell them on the garden part.
Please don't laugh, but if you're VERY young and super brave, you could even squat on the land, and get this done.
I know Muslims are doing this too.
I'll say this: if I (!) were young, I would do that in a heart beat.

T said...

Myshkin: I totally agree with you, but remember: the rich already abandoned this country decades ago.
But it's not enough that they sent all those jobs overseas; they're also doing this: the border with Mexico is wide open, and they mean to make it official.
Refugee Resettlement programs, run by scamster churches are dragging in more people.
We have HB-1 visas for foreigners to take the few good jobs left. And no, these people are not doing jobs that Americans can't or won't do.
My question is this: who the hell is going to hire OUR children? Hire us? They are purposely DISPLACING us. We can't hide from this fact any longer.
And the media won't help you. Everyone knows the worthwhile news comes from online. And they're trying to shut that down as well.
We need to forcefully stop ALL immigration. Oh, they'll scream racist, but that's a bunch of crap- how about the people BORN HERE? You? Me?
We need to put in leaders that do as we tell 'em.
If we can't bring the old jobs back, then we CREATE OUR OWN.
I also do this: I don't buy from companies who actively promote for foreigners to come in here. I buy from Mom & Pop stores, buy American made. It takes some doing, but it's do-able.
Also: my doctor, dentist, pharmacist, accountant, etc. I make sure are American.
People, you need to see the connection here.
Let the damn foreigners starve here, and the elitists will get the message RIGHT QUICK.
I really need to bring myself up to you guys' level: you always quote your sources; I need to do the same.
For now though, google '100 companies who want more foreign workers', or something like that.
Part of the list: Olive Garden (!), Hallmark Cards, Walmart (of course), etc.
The list will break your heart.
I am calling their headquarters and telling them: you hire foreigners, see if I ever buy your damn product again. AND THEN YOU NEVER BUY THEIR PRODUCT AGAIN.
We need to ORGANIZE on this, and not stand around with our mouths hanging open.
The press says nothing; the politicians say nothing, not the Democrats, not the Repubs.
People, it's on US, right here and right now.
Pick up the phone, or a torch and a pitch fork.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I'm not ready to get into a discussion about immigration and illegal immigration to the United States, but I do see a point in completely restricting immigration to the United States. Though I also see a point in opening up immigration in the United States. It's a deep conversation.

To me, it seems that immigrants are able to get to jobs in places that the traditional American poor do not live. If they are in urban areas where there is a large poor population, they are probably still pretty well segregated. I have read studies about discrimination against black Americans in places like Chicago. Companies will intentionally place ads in Spanish newspapers or only advertise in certain neighborhoods. And of course there is considerable discrimination in other forms there as well.

Here's a map of immigrant populations by county in the US if you want to check out where they are most strongly concentrated:

Companies are pushing for more high skilled immigration, but that enables them to be relieved of the burden of getting Americans to the level of high tech knowledge. We have a problem in education... it is not an easy fix and much of it has to do with racial and income segregation.

We do try to get American made whenever we can and try to support local businesses (which are often owned by people with backgrounds in immigration, maybe they were immigrants or their parents brought them here).

I think for a lot of immigrants there are problems in their home countries, violence and poverty in their communities, many of them might be homosexual or transgender and face violence for living their life (if you care about that).

Then of course 'getting them out' is basically an act of terrorism and fascism.

Here's one story of brothers from Columbia who were running away from violence in their home state:

T said...

You said you weren't ready to talk about immigration, and then you went ahead with it.
I'll just say this: I live in Southern California, born and raised. Once they hit about 30% of your population, they get nasty with you, and sue for everything. And I mean everything.
And your property tax explodes, which you will pay. whether you are renting or not.
You yourself in your comment basically admitted that the gov't wants them here, and they aim to replace you and me with them, which they are doing.
You need to admit that the border is wide open.
The Gang of 8, rich white Republicans, in their amnesty bill, didn't tell you everything: they don't want to just excuse the ones existing here, they want to bring in and additional 30 MILLION TO 50 MILLION Mexicans over the next 10 year's time.
To do what darn jobs, I ask you?
You opined that the poor immigrants might be 'gay' or retreating from 'poverty'.
Well, do you want to support the whole damn world with your tax dollar?
Blacks, as well as whites, are terrified of being called racist.
So you invent every excuse for the poor dears.
Do you understand Mexican racism against black people?
Did the Mexicans ethnically cleanse blacks from Compton, let's see, how many times?
You say you are not ready to talk about immigration.
I say, by the time you're ready to talk about it, your kids will be running from Mexican gangs, will be forced to speak Spanish, and will be sitting on welfare (if there is any) because the damn Mexicans have replaced you.
But you have better things to worry about, don't you?

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I'm still not really ready to talk about immigration, I only offered up a few of my thoughts on the subject. Where I live, there is an increasingly large Latino community however we are still mostly white and mostly middle to low income. White people commit a majority of the crimes here and we have yet to get any gang violence, though MS 13 did hold a few meetings nearby and there is a large drug presence, heroin prescription coke/crack meth and marijuana.

Where you live, I don't know much about Southern California, but I'm sure segregation was strong there for black as well as Latino. The area used to be Mexico and there was a large Mexican population there when the United States took it in the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848. I'm certain the racial resentment that has a long history on this continent is responsible for a lot of racism toward black Californians in that area. My family is actually from Mexican immigrants from the 1910's. They moved to California, they were white Mexicans. The Mexican side of my family has been very (especially my dad) racist toward blacks and even Latino's. It's unfortunate that we are divided in this way.

I have heard new stories about black families being having their homes attacked by Mexican gangs (maybe not even gangs) and being forced to move out of neighborhoods that Latino's have decided 'they don't belong in'. I think this kind of racial resentment really hurts both the Latino community as well as the black community.

This article talks about how black support of immigration reform can help them build a stronger coalition to fight for some of the challenges that all people of color face. Job and housing discrimination, prison industrial complex, maintaining positive education initiatives, living wages are just a few I can think of...

What do you think about the authors conclusion: "African Americans should see the benefit of how a broad coalition of immigrants -- Caribbean, African and Hispanic --can strengthen their voting power." "Perhaps it's time again to expand the notion of blackness and embrace the hallmark of the civil rights movement: solidarity."

Veri1138 said...

I haven't talked to V4V. I may have replied or left a comment in the past. His nick seems familiar.

Veri1138 said...

Kokanee, NW US or British Columbia. Much too educated. You teach - though, not necessarily at a school or are a guide. As a fish - specifically salmon - that swims upstream to breed and then die, hmmm... something of a leader.

Native American? Okanogan?

Your choice of nick means that you swim upstream with the rich people following you. If they are paying, might as well as have the laugh on them.

You live with the bottom but swim with the rich.

kokanee said...

Your detective skills a excellent!

T said...

Mysh: 'to strengthen voting power' is fine; as long as those people are here LEGALLY. Else, why not let in the whole world? And I'm not being sarcastic here. And what would we achieve? Mexicans have been given more benefits than blacks, who have been here 400 years. Mexicans are not 'returning home' here. They are coming up here for the good jobs that the U.S. offers (yes, I know, so many of those jobs are gone, but still).
What blacks need and deserve are GOOD JOBS, and that's provided by people who give a damn, not by politicians. We create our own jobs, plus boycott the businesses of people who hire illegals and don't hire US.
As for living around gangs, well, we 'sort of' do. We're OK, but in the future when the economiy really goes, I think the gangs will be a problem everywhere. I loved all the gardening stuff here, etc.
But in fact, we are packing to move to a far more rural area outside of California, with like-minded neighbors..
We WON'T be dependent on the grid, I can grow what I want to my heart's content, and can it all, if I want.
I had put in a mini farm in my backyard, but people will simply take from it when the economy gets bad enough.
Where we are going, will be plenty of room to recreate what I had. I'm sure gonna miss my chickens, but I have a good home picked out for them. And I'll get more when I arrive.
No gangs for us. No more illegals driving up our property taxes. There are no Mexicans where we are going, they drive them out. They are parasites.

Veri1138 said...

You flatter me. :P

Myshkin the Idiot said...