(Video link) Obama and Black Bloggers at White House

Well it looks like black bloggers are gaining opportunities for conversations at the highest levels of government in Washington, D.C. 

OK, let me re-state it differently: "Black bloggers who conditionally or unconditionally support the Obama administration are gaining DNC and White House conversation."

First there was the meeting of black bloggers with DNC Chairman Kaine (which I attended), then there was there was a  "black online summit" at the White House Monday as part of an outreach to African American journalists and bloggers before the midterm elections. 

According to reports from the Maynard Institute, even President Obama stopped by a "black online summit" at the White House Monday as part of an outreach to African American journalists and bloggers before the midterm elections, an effort that includes the Democratic National Committee spending what it calls an unprecedented $3 million to reach the most loyal part of Obama's base, African American voters.

"I thought the meeting was great in that it showed that President Obama and his administration are taking black new media and our growing influence seriously," David A. Wilson, managing editor of theGrio.com, told Journal-isms via e-mail.

 "They outlined how the administration's policies have had a positive effect on the African-American community and they invited us to make suggestions on how they could work better with us and provide us with more access to the White House.

However, Leutisha Stills, who blogs at Jack & Jill Politics, cautioned, "The summit was a good one and very comprehensive, but we made it known that if we really have 'influence,' we are going to test drive it and see how many more invites we get from the White House."

The Columbus Day session lasted from 9:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett present along with specialists from various parts of the administration, including the first lady's office. Among the 20 African Americans working on the Web were representatives of theRoot.com, Black Entertainment Television, Essence, Jack & Jill Politics, City Limits, Concrete Loop, AOL Black Voices, Black America Web and even the gossipy MediaTakeOut.

Monday's session is to be followed Friday by a presidential meeting with 10 members of the Trotter Group of African American columnists. Moreover, six or seven African American bloggers were credentialed for Obama's rally in Philadelphia last Sunday, although invitations were extended to about 20.

AAP says:  I was one of the 20 African American bloggers who was extended an invitation to be  credentialed for Obama's rally in Philadelphia last Sunday, unfortunately because of schedule conflicts, I was not able to attend the President's rally. 

The DNC and White House outreach effort with African American bloggers are noteworthy. The folks at Jack and Jill Politics and their partnership with Kevin S. Lewis , director, African American media for the White House is awesome. The work of senior DNC staffers, including Clyde E. Williams, Political Director for the DNC, along with Derrick L. Plummer, Regional Press Secretary,  and Jamiah Adams, New Media Constituency Manager at the DNC is equally as noteworthy. I can only wonder out loud if this effort is just to gain black blogger support for the mid-terms - only? I understand this is a political town.

Is the White House and the DNC reading the content of black blogger concerns regarding our economy and the need for the Obama administration to aggressively enforce of Federal contracting requirements, while establishing new programs in the Department of Commerce, and labor to address the need for job training and small business/micro business "grants" (not loans), for low-income urban dwellers?

I hope the DNC and The White House will continue to expand the working group to other progressive African American bloggers, such as  Afro-Netizen, Black CommentatorBlack Agenda Report, Field Negro, Faye Anderson, Oliver WillisPrometheus 6Republic of TSkeptical Brotha, and so many others, who may have other observations and thoughts regarding what the administration can do to "really" address issues like jobs, the economy, health care, education, community capacity-building, and investment in our communities. I'm hopeful that the DNC and the White House is not, what some may consider the pimping the growing influence of black bloggers Only smart work and full engagement on the part of all parties, and time will tell... 

As a black Independent voter and blogger, I remain cautiously hopeful.

UPDATE: Check out the news article in the NY Times about the black bloggers meeting with President Barack Obama. It includes video link of White House meeting with President Obama, Valarie Jarrett and Black bloggers, including corporate so-called afro-centric news groups,The Root (owned by (the Washington Post) and the Grio (owned by NBC)

 

                      Cross posted on African American Pundit Blog

 

U.S. Crimes Against Guatemala

File this under: U.S. Crimes Against Humanity

No wonder black, brown and red people don't trust U.S. Government researchers. Get this, U.S. scientific researchers infected hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946 to 1948 -- a practice that only came recently to light thanks to the work of an academic researcher.

Professor Susan M. Reverby, a professor of history and women's studies at Wellesley College, discovered the shocking scientific experiments conducted by U.S. scientists in Guatemala while doing research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Reminding many of the Tuskegee Experiments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a formal apology to the Central American nation, and to Guatemalan residents of the United States. 

As reported by Cindy Adams at the Examiner.com, on Friday, the United States government apologized for experiments conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s, reminiscent of the Tuskegee study beginning in the 1930s, in which hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were observed, but not treated for the disease. 

Nearly 400 impoverished men were recruited for the study, which took place in Tuskegee, Alabama and lasted until 1972. The men were told they were being treated for having bad blood and were enticed into participating with free medical examinations, free meals, and free burial insurance. Even after penicillin was found to be a cure for the syphilis in the 1940s, researchers failed to treat the Tuskegee participants with the drug.

In the Guatemalan fiasco, U.S. scientists infected prostitutes with syphilis or gonorrhea, who were then told to have unprotected sex with prison inmates and soldiers, later testing them in order to find possible cures.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Wellesley College Professor Susan M. Reverby found evidence of the secret Guatemalan tests when she was examining papers regarding the Tuskegee study.

"Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," said Clinton and Sebelius in a joint statement. "We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

UPDATE: According to the LA times, Guatemala condemned the experiments and said it would study whether there were grounds to take the case to an international court.

"President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and Guatemala reserves the right to denounce them in an international court," said a government statement, which also announced the creation of a commission to investigate the matter.

Guatemalan human rights activists called for the victims' families to be compensated, but a U.S. official said it was not clear whether there would be any compensation.

President Obama called Colom to offer his personal apology for what had happened, a White House spokesman said.

The experiment, which echoed the infamous 1960s Tuskegee study on black American men who were deliberately left untreated for syphilis. More HERE

AAP says:  I'm glad to hear the President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and the people of Guatemala. He is right to denounce the US experiments in an international court. The United States government should quickly make sure that the victims' families are compensated.

Read more of my opinions and observations on social and political issues at: African American Pundit

 

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Top 50 Influential African American Political Blogs

Here is my list of the top 50 African American Political Bloggers for 2010. 

As you will note, a number of these Bloggers don't just talk politics, yet they are great blogs to visit if your interested in black American political thoughts and opinions.  The list of the Top 50 African American Political Bloggers, are shown here in alphabetical order. If I were to rank the top 10 most influential African American Political blogs for 2010, they would include: Jack and Jill Politics, Oliver Willis, Pam's House Blend, Black Agenda Report, What About Our Daughters, Booker Rising, field Negro, Afro Neitzen, Black Prof, and Anderson at large.  

Top 50 African American Political Bloggers


 

 

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DNC Chairman Meets with Black Bloggers

A few days ago I attended a DNC meeting with Black Political and Social Action Bloggers and DNC Chairman, Gov.Tim Kaine. This is a 180 degree change from the days of black bloggers concerned about a lack of access within the DNC. I'm reminded about a post a number of years ago, by Liza at the culture Kitchen when she wrote: "These are the 20 liberal bloggers that met with Bill Clinton in Harlem

It was great to see and hear black political bloggers like Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal from Jack and Jill Politics, Black Snob'sDanielle.Belton, Blogger Jeneba Jalloh "JJ" Ghatt, Kristal High of Politic365.com, Garlin Gilchrist II at Garlin.org, Donna Marie Coles Johnson at Indie Business, Debbie Hines atLegalSpeaks.com, Navarrow Wright at Maxie Solutions, Keli Goff, Barry Miles from Wee See You. Com, Carmen Rosenweek at All About Race, CPR Thomas at WeeSeeYou.com, along with representatives from Blogging While BrownTheLoop21,  Electronic Village,The RootLegal Speaks and the Center for Community Change,  attending and engaged in the meeting with the DNC Chairman. 


"The conversation  revolved around the DNC’s efforts to inform, engage and empower voters – especially African American voters- to participate in the upcoming elections. 

The DNC senior staff have said if President Obama is to continue moving our country forward our community has to be informed.  Moreover, he needs allies in Congress and in order for him to have allies in Congress we need people to come to the polls and vote.

The conversation with Chairman Kaine took place today at the DNC headquarters in Washington, DC with a conference call-in number for black bloggers who were not be able to attend in person. 


There were background discussions with  senior DNC staffers, including Clyde E. Williams, Political Director for the DNC, along with Derrick L. Plummer, Regional Press Secretary,  and Jamiah Adams, New Media Constituency Manager at the DNC.  Read more HERE


Bloggers in attendance got a real opportunity to discuss the DNC’s detailed plan to engage voters and how the DNC can be a resource to members of the African American Political blogger community.

This meeting in many ways appeared to serve as a DNC coordinated follow-up to an earlier high level meeting between black bloggers and the Obama administration. 

As reported by Casey Gane-McCalla over at NewsOne,  President Obama's staff has been reaching out to an array of new black opinion-makers ---- black political bloggers and Pundits.   As reported by Casey Gane-McCalla, the White House meeting was brokered by Cheryl Contee of the blog Jack & Jill Politics, and was several months in the making. As reported by NewsOne, It also offered the bloggers a chance to connect with the administration and find ways to gain more White House access. Over 60 bloggers met in June with Jesse Lee, director of the White House’s Online Programs, and Corey Ealons, White House director of African American Media, while in the DC for Blogging While Brown conference. More HERE

Regarding the meeting with the DNC Chairman Kaine it was organized by DNC Regional Press  Secretary Derrick L. Plummer, along with Jamiah Adams, New Media Constituency Manager with the DNC.   

During the meeting we learned from the DNC Chairman that the DNC will provide an unprecedented amount of resources with a special emphasis on base turnout — youth, African-Americans, Latinos and first-time voters. I found the DNC Chairman to be thoughtful, candid, and willing to listen to ways to improve DNC communication to African American voters and African American bloggers.


Advertising on black political blogs websites

This Pundit asked whether there would be any special emphasis for the DNC to advertise on black political blogs. Something that has been a concern of mine and other black bloggers for some time. We will be asking that question again, and will inform our readers of the final answer. Show me the money!

As I said back in 2007, more black voters will be reading these black bloggers views and opinions. There are progressive black political bloggers suchJack and Jill PoliticsAfro-Netizen,Black CommentatorBlack Agenda ReportBlack Races,BlackProfBrownFemiPowerBlack electorate,Field Negro, Mirror on AmericaNegro Please,NegroPhileOliver WillisPrometheus 6Republic of TSkeptical Brotha,Where Is The Outrage?,Francis Holland, Anderson at Large, and so many others, (don’t forget the Angry Indian – Voice of a Native Son) who just may be interested in advertising and the DNC's advertising dollar.

Future Black blogger - DNC Coordination

During the discussion with DNC Chairman,  Tim Kaine the former Virginia governor says given all the challenges his party's faced since the 2008 election, and despite the poll numbers, he's believes the Democrats can pull off victories in some races that will surprise people.  He pointed out Democrats need help from all segments to inform, engage and empower voters – especially African American voters- to participate in the upcoming elections.


AAP says: "I know I want my President to be successful. Do you? It's about rebuilding our nation, our communities our neighborhoods. Although I am not a Democrat, I believe it's time to rally with the President and his party around issues we agree upon. I believe progressive black political bloggers should support the President and the DNC... even when we disagree. Just remember to hold the DNC and the President accountable, if they don't address issues like high unemployment, poverty reduction and other issues important to our communities."

- African American Pundit can reached at: africanamericanpundit@gmail.com 

 

"Stop Taser Torture, blogging for Justice Day - Dec 4, 2009

"Stop Taser Torture, blogging for Justice Day" - 12.4.09" has been announced, the goal is to unite the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day - Taser Torture in America, Canada and throughout the world" says one of it's organizers, and publisher of the blog, "Stop Taser Torture."

Amnesty International says that between 2001 and August 2008, 334 Americans died after Taser shocks. The human rights group has called for governments to limit the use of stun guns or suspend their use. In November 2007, the UN Committee Against Torture released a statement saying "use of Taser X26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and... in certain cases, it could also cause death."

Bloggers are urged to join in on December 4th. to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.

Contact: StopTaserTorture@gmail.com to register your blog. I plan to blog about taser torture in America on that day.

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The Lynch Mob Actions of John McCain, and his sidekick Sarah Palin

Enough is enough John McCain and Sarah Palin!

I agree with John Lewis who said, "As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign.  What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history.  Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

AAPP: OK folks you remember when McCain was asked at the Saddleback Church Forum which three "wise" people he'd consult with upon becoming president, McCain, listed among others civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., "who can teach us all a lot about the meanings of courage and commitment to causes greater than ourself."

Let's not get it twisted folks, Mark Karlin's Editor's Blog over at buzzflash.com says it best, It's a John McCain/Sarah Palin Lynch Mob politics.

As Mark writes, "There was the raw smell of scary stupid ignorance in the air, and even Jon Stewart could barely conceal his disgust with what was supposed to be a comic sketch.

Palin has been going around the nation inciting mobs with the kind of emotional appeals (although in a more coded form) that one used to find at segregationist rallies. A video of some rabidly ignorant crowd at a Palin speech in Ohio has gone viral on the Internet, and it's a brief and scary insight into the reality that the ugly, bigoted heart of America's dark underside is still beating strong - and has just gotten a second life with the incendiary direction of the McCain campaign.

Given that the mainstream media has still not picked up on the video of Sarah Palin welcoming, this year in 2008, the Alaskan Independence Party to their yearly meeting -- which we have posted on BuzzFlash several times -- it is hard to understand how the irony of a governor who has clearly documented close ties to a group that regards the United States as an "occupying force" gets away with the ugly farce of basically calling Obama a terrorist. (Yes, it's in coded language, but that is what Palin and McCain are doing, inciting the fears of the "dark other," the man with the middle name of "Hussein.") One of the bigots at the Palin Ohio rally said that terrorism was in Obama's "bloodline." This is the kind of talk that brought Hitler to power.

In 2008, the McCain campaign has decided to use the Salem Witch Trials as its model for running for the highest office in our great land."

Meanwhile, The head of the nation's biggest labor federation is joining the chorus of voices warning about the increasingly angry crowds coming to John McCain's campaign events. This as reported by the Boston Globe.

At rallies this week, McCain's criticisms of Democrat Barack Obama have been met with shouts of "terrorist,""liar," and other harsh words.

"Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the leadership of the Republican party have a fundamental moral responsibility to denounce the violent rhetoric that has pervaded recent McCain and Palin political rallies," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, which has endorsed Obama. "When rally attendees shout out such attacks as 'terrorist' or 'kill him' about Sen. Barack Obama, when they are cheered on by crowds incited by McCain-Palin rhetoric -- it is chilling that McCain and Palin do nothing to object.

AAPP: Lets not forget how this all started. People throughout America have been tracking it on Youtube. It all started when McCain and Palin has almost incited a color and ideological war.

http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=269

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U.S. Army Unit to Deploy On American Streets - Will There Be Civil Unrest In America?

Is the United States preparing for civil unrest?

As Bush attempts to scare the American people into a bailout plan, as Commander and Chief he is ready to deploy American troops into American cities.

Yes, according to Democracy Now.org a U.S. Army Unit is to be deployed in October for Domestic Operations.

According to Democracy Now.org beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations.

The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

Could this really happen in America? I'm just wondering?

http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.co m/showDiary.do?diaryId=206

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So...Will Whites Vote For Barack Obama In November? (+)

You have read the Headlines, Poll shows big shift to McCain among white women, Huge: 20-point shift towards McCain, or New poll shows white women supporting McCain after chosing Palin ... But hey, These types of stories have been going on for some time.
The question still remains. Will whites vote for a black man for President of the Unted States? Let's not be all politically correct people. Lets take a look at what's going on in America. White folks are flocking to the Republicans. White woman are starting to look at the biggest liars in Presidential history as an alternative to Barack Obama. So now the question is what will happen if Barack Obama loses? Oh is that a bad question to ask? I'm not the one asking the question, but guess what a whole bunch of black folks are.

As reported in The Root, Sophia A. Nelson writes about that Nightmare. "Here is the nightmare scenario: Nov. 1, 2008, Barack Obama is leading in the national polls by a comfortable margin. Nov. 4, 2008, he loses the election, either by a whisker or by a margin large enough to suggest that it was never really close. All indications are that the loss will be blamed on "race" and "racism." People will say that cynicism and fear won out over hope and change, that a "black man" still can't get a fair shake in America. Dispirited supporters will argue that the great American scourge of race, "our great birth defect" as suggested by Secretary of State Condi Rice in an interview last March cannot be defeated.

Recent polls following the conclusion of the Republican Convention have made a possible Obama loss a hot and emotional topic.  Even contemplating the scenario brings with it a host of additional worries. Could anger and disenchantment cause riots in the streets? Could an Obama loss actually set back people's aspirations, leaving them to feel that Dr. King's great dream is not only unfulfilled but trampled? http://www.theroot.com/id/48014

AAPP: Is the question a reasonable on to ponder? what do you think? will whites vote for Obama in November or will white voters go with the Palin/McCain ticket.

http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.co m/showDiary.do?diaryId=166

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Hey Republicans - who's controlled Washington this decade?

The incumbent Repubican party running on change? Right!

OK Republicans don't get too excited about Palin just yet. It's too early to write off Barack Obama. There is no doubt in my mind that independent voters and Hillary Democrats will soon understand what this election is all about. It's about Republicans, John McCain and their relationship to the failed policies of George W. Bush. It's about the future of our country, and not an old Vietnam veteran who flew a plane into the ground. It's not about fighter pilots of the past. It's about the fight for America's future.

i read a pretty good OP ED in the Washington Post today by Charles Krauthammer. I Don't think I ever agreed with journalist Charles Krauthammer on much of anything. But I sure agree with much of his recent OP ED regarding Palin's Problem.

I'm in agreement with him when he writes, "Here were Republicans -- the party that controlled the White House for eight years and both houses of Congress for five -- wildly cheering the promise to take on Washington. I don't mean to be impolite, but who's controlled Washington this decade?  

Visit African American Political Pundit.com for the rest of the post.

http://africanamericanpoliticalpundit.co m/showDiary.do?diaryId=159

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Hillary, The NY Mag, Liberals and Snakes on the plane

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama has to watch his back now that he has agreed to provide Hillary with the opportunity for a floor vote. But it is not only Hillary he has to watch out for. He also has to watch out for liberal rags like the NY Mag.com, the so-called liberal magazine that is dogging out Obama with color aroused statements like, "The description of the Obamas' life together displays no evidence of their connections to black culture."

AAPP: OK, here we go again with Barack Obama and his wife are not "black enough" bull. This time with an academic twist.
Current Issue

This rag, the New York Mag.com went out to find anyone they could to lend credibility to the story. The found someone to degrade the 21st century black bourgeoisie involved in U.S. politics. Yes, Gayle Pemberton was dug up from some academic cave to say as much silly garbage about Obama as possible. Asking questions like,  "And what does the white world know about black people like the Obamas, really? "The black middle class is the most invisible, unknown group in the country," said Gayle Pemberton, a professor of African-American studies at Wesleyan University.

"There are millions and millions of people in it, and yet we know nothing about them."

AAPP: "Them"? Them says, Gayle Pemberton?

Here are some more excerpts from the article:

One would think that the Obamas enjoy being called the black Kennedys, but maybe they don't. "This Camelot myth has formed around Barack and Michelle, but they come from almost the opposite place in the world from the Kennedys," says Obama's friend Kenneth Mack, a law professor at Harvard University. "If you saw Barack on a yacht, that would be pretty unseemly. He's the guy from the basketball court who used to go around in jeans and a leather jacket. In law school, he was really uncomfortable with the markers of elitism, like even dressing in a suit."

It's a sitcom, this miscommunication between black and white people: In fact, a manager in Hollywood told me that he's getting calls from producers searching for TV writers to work on All in the Family-style shows for next year--they know the country will be hungry for this type of comedy if Obama is elected.

While Michelle hasn't made many interesting statements in public--it's a very small canon of comments, over the course of almost two years of campaigning--they've taken on enormous meaning. She's not quite as smooth a political player as Barack: "Whenever Obama enters the room, there's a sense of calm and satisfaction," says a former campaign aide. "Michelle can get a little more tense. Before she goes on-camera for interviews, we'd have to give her a couple of minutes to compose herself. She'll sit down, raise her hands over her head, and go, `Ugh, God!' " That's a mask she's wearing in public, most of the time, and we aren't sure what is underneath. When she uttered her fateful words about how, for "the first time in my adult life, I'm really proud of my country," she unleashed an explosion of emotion, because everyone who's awake could read between the lines--she was angry about the treatment of black people in America. And anger will not do. Besides, what does she have to be angry about, with her Ivy education and Hyde Park mansion? Isn't she herself an example of the fact that racism is over in America?   More HERE

All of this as Barack Obama's plane was forced to endure an emergency landing after the Democratic presidential candidate's aircraft suffered mechanical problems over Missouri.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Authority confirmed to The Times that there had been an emergency landing in St Louis last month after the pilot notified air traffic control of problems. It is understood that the pilot of Mr Obama's plane had warned that he was having problems controlling the "pitch" of the plane and requested emergency assistance.

A controversy has erupted over the landing. According to a US news channel, control tower tapes show that the pilot of Mr Obama's plane demanded an emergency landing. At the time, both the FAA and Midwest Airlines insisted that there was no emergency.

But Laura Brown, a spokesman for the FAA said that she had said minutes after the incident happened that there had been no emergency because of what she had been told by the agency's public affairs staff for air traffic control. More HERE

AAPP:  Right! Something seems just a bit fishy with this story. I wonder what Samuel L. Jackson would say about the snakes on and off of Obamas plane?

I guess Barack has to look out for Hillary, The NY Mag, Liberals and Snakes on the planes.

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African American Political Pundit blogs at: AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com

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