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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Humanitarians Unite, You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Chains!!!

This post was shared via the MichigandersforObama distribution list. RGN

Good morning, my caring and wonderfully active peeps.

I have some really great news. I have something, that if it is of interest to you, is a truly fabulous project to get behind.

This last week, I was approached by Gigi from Obama's Angels. They are a nonprofit arm of the DNC created to support Obama's humanitarian initiatives. They reached out to us CAN groups (so cool) to ask us to help them spread the word of their goals and plans. And they are really wonderful goals and plans.

First, let me tell you that they started as we did....with a worry that this incredible movement might die after Election Day. So three months before the election, they were formed to exist whether or not Obama won. Again, very cool.


The "National Council for Obama's Angels - Headquarters, SLC", "Obama's Angels" for short, is a national and international grassroots organization created, and approved as an international and national community service group by the Barack Obama 2008 campaign, before the Presidential Elections.
(see "National Council for Obama's Angels" in the old site -- hey that's us!!!!).


"Our purpose is to preserve, promote and support President Barack Obama's humanitarian and activist agenda of community outreach and service, inclusive and beyond Party lines, after the the 2008 Presidential Elections. We work to unite people in the United States and in the world, through effective community and humanitarian service."

" Our mission is to do "Good Works" through volunteer service, while inspiring, training and supporting others who are doing the same."


Obama's Angels provides logistic support, volunteer labor, community organizing training and "think-tank" support to existing humanitarian and activist organizations that are developing projects which advance President Obama's agenda. We back projects and activities which help to improve our quality of life and help the world to become a more peaceful place.

Don't you just love these guys? I knew you would.

They are having a leadership conference in May. No details have been released yet. The goal is that they want to open Obama's Angels offices all over the U.S. and they want our help.

As they are just putting their speakers together now, please do not bombard their offices with questions about details of the conference because it is being developed as we speak and there is no link to it yet or public announcement. We are the first to know.

It would be really nice, however, to join their web site and get up to speed on their organization. If you are a Camp Obama TEACHER, please do contact them as they are putting together their different seminars for this leadership conference right now and could use your support and knowledge passed on.

Tell them Lisa sent you.

Needless to say, send this everywhere and anywhere. Get the word out. Let's show these naysayers how powerful we can be and how our truly, honorably this nation's 44th President Barack Obama rolls. Community Activism is going to be the #1 fasting growing sector of the United States. And we are going to kick it off. Opening Obama's Angels across the country. Very exciting.

Go people. This is not a drill!!

Lisa Lindo
National USA.CAN Group Administrator (Community Action Networks)
Associate Producer Vote For Change Campaign --
You Tube: You Made Me Love You, Obama!
Economic URL:
Twitter: lisalindo

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tasteless, Racist Cartoon: Fight Back!!!

Dear Friend,
Yesterday, the day after President Obama signed his stimulus bill into law, the
NY Post ran a cartoon depicting the bill's "author" as a dead monkey, covered in
blood after being shot by police. You can see the image by clicking on the link below.

In the face of intense criticism, the Post's editor is standing by the cartoon,
claiming that it's not about Obama, has no racial undertones, and that it was
simply referencing a recent incident when police shot a pet chimpanzee. But it's
impossible to believe that any newspaper editor could be ignorant enough to not
understand how this cartoon evokes a history of racist symbolism, or how
frightening this image feels at a time when death threats against President
Obama have been on the rise.

Please join me and other members in demanding that the Post
apologize publicly and fire the editor who allowed this cartoon to go to print:

The Post would have us believe that the cartoon is not about Obama. But on the
page just before the cartoon appears, there's a big picture of Obama signing the
stimulus bill. A reader paging through the Post would see Obama putting pen to
paper, then turn the page to see this violent cartoon. The imagery is chilling.
There is a clear history in our country of racist symbolism that depicts Black
people as apes or monkeys, and it came up multiple times during the presidential

We're also in a time of increased race-based violence. In the months following
President Obama's election there has been a nationwide surge in hate crimes
ranging from vandalism to assaults to arson on Black churches. There has been an
unprecedented number of threats against President Obama since he was elected,
with hate-based groups fantasizing about the killing of the president. Just a
week ago, a man drove from Louisiana to the Capitol with a rifle, telling the
police who stopped him that he had a "delivery" for the president.

There is no excuse for the Post to have allowed this cartoon to be printed, and
even less for Editor Col Allan's outright dismissal of legitimate concerns.
But let's be clear who's behind the Post: Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, the Post's
owner, is the man behind FOX News Channel. FOX has continually attacked and
denigrated Black people, politicians, institutions at every opportunity, and
ColorOfChange has run several campaigns to make clear how FOX poisons public

I don't expect much from Murdoch. However, with enough public pressure, we can
set the stage for advertisers and subscribers to think long and hard before
patronizing outlets like the Post that refuse to be held accountable.

You can help, by making clear that the Post's behavior is unacceptable, and by
asking your friends and family to do the same. Please join me:


Ron Walters on the Stimulus and the Black Community

Ron Walters urges the black community to get on the case for their fair share of the stimulus. RGN

From Stimulus to Recovery: Follow the Money

By Ron Walters

Now that the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” has been signed into law by President Obama, what has happened through much trial and tribulation is tantamount to what Cuba Gooding said in one of his movies – “show me the money.” We have been shown the money, $787 billion, and now it is up to us to get down to business and follow the money and then access it for the good of our communities. The stakes are enormous. This is one of the rare moments in history when a cruise-ship size load of funds docks in our states in a few weeks, but if we are not savvy enough to know enough how to access the funds, that ship could come in and leave us with substantial needs unmet.

The Act is a big one with lots of sections, and you can Google the title of the Act above and look at them all. But I will provide a quick glimpse of a few things in Title 9 on “Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education.”

• $4 billion is added to the Workforce Investment program.

• $500 million of that amount goes to states for adult employment and training activities;

• $1.2 billion will go to states for youth under 24 years old for summer jobs;

• $1 billion will go to states to assist dislocated workers employment and training;

• Another $500 million will be put in the dislocated worker reserve to assist through June 30 2010;

• $50 million will go to YouthBuild programs through June 30, 2010;

• $750 million will provide grants for training and placement of workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy employment

• $120 million will be allotted to fund Community Service jobs for senior citizens.

• $500 million will be given to states to augment their Unemployment Insurance funds

• $300 million for Job Corp.

This is the time for black leaders the various communities to come together and work out a system of communicating information to many people who have been laid off, who are disabled, who are youth, who have been unemployed, who are elderly but want to work, and generally everyone who wants to participate in the program funded by this Act. Citizens themselves who want to participate in these programs, many of which are already going in some states like YouthBuild and some that have been shut down, sho uld contact the office of their elected officials at the local, county, state and national level to find the entry point into these activities.

The Obama Administration has vowed to create a website RECOVERY.GOV for the average citizen to follow how these funds will be used. That will not be a place to access the programs, but to understand how they are being distributed and what effect the funding is having on things like the unemployment rate.

As the debate has suggested, this may not be the last stimulus package needed to jump-start the economy by the spending made possible through job creation. But our national organizations such as the Congressional Black Caucus, Black Leadership Forum, National Urban League, NAACP, National Action Network, RainbowPush, and others should follow the distribution of such funds carefully to see whether or not the black community is getting a fair share of those jobs and the other resources made available by this Act.

I must confess however, to being somewhat worried when I see that Black leaders have not visited the White House to make their position felt on this matter, but on Friday, February 13, 60 Latino and Latina leaders from around the country visited the White House for a briefing by key White House staff. Perhaps we should not have been first in the door among racial and ethnic groups – perhaps we would not have been permitted to be first – but we should make it plain that there is an expectation that the black community would experience a fair distribution of these funds.

Without the black vote, there would be no Barack Obama in the White House. Take away the states where the Black vote influenced an Obama victory: North Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana, and John McCain would have won the election. Our claim on policy fairness is strong.

Dr. Ron Walters is the Distinguished Leadership Scholar, Director of the African American Leadership Center and Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland College Park. =2 0 His latest book is: The Price of Racial Reconciliation (University of Michigan Press)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Targeting Obama: White Nationalism Lives!!!! Ted Kefalinos

For various reasons the blog has not been very active of late. The blog will remain to both recognize what will be the transformative the presidency of Barack Obama and provide progressive perspectives on how that transformation is taking place. Elections have consequences. That reality has been exhibited from Day One. Not only has Obama gotten overwhelming praise for the most part of his appointments, his actions are returning our government to its Constitutional principles and governance based on knowledge and integrity.

The lack of activity on the blog has been for several reasons. There were the holidays. Then my wife had serious surgery. Then there was the inauguration. In recuperation my wife has had set backs. Over last few days, however, she is getting the feeling of what it means to be normal.

Having said all of that, one of the concerns among African American and progressives has been that Obama's election would be portrayed as though America had achieved some sort of "post-racial" society and claims of racism would delegitimized. While Obama's election with 45% of America's whites voting for him does not attest to racism being a thing of the past, his election was the result of a NEW MAJORITY in America. He won by a landslide!! The majority of the American electorate rejected the meanness and racism of the Reagan Revolution.

Even so, that white nationalism has ruled America from its inception, it will not die easy. We can see it in the obstructionism of the Republicans. They can only think in their conservative mantras. It was their "let the markets rule" that got us in the mess. Their ideas are bankrupt. Yet, they still think they are in the majority. The ignorance of Rush Limbaugh will take them all down. Obama pledged to reach across the aisle. A part of this problem with the Republicans and Rush Limbaugh is that deeply rooted white nationalism does not die easy or at one election.

That white nationalism does not die easily is evidenced by the deep resentment of many whites that Obama is president. We do know that there is a history of passions around racism and the the white nationalist who espouse such positions. There are several indicators the white nationalist resentment. It is worrying that gun sales have skyrocketed since November 4, 2008. The most democratic media venue, Washington Journal, C-Span's morning call-in, racist passions are very prominent. White nationalist resentment is rearing its ugly head. No where is this ugliness more apparent than the N-word Cookie of Ted Kefalinos. RGN

UPDATE: "Drunken Negro Face" Cookies On Sale at Greenwich Village Bakery

[UPDATE BELOW] At at a time when any decent baker should have been selling racially harmonious black and white cookies by the truckload, one Greenwich Village bakery popular with celebrities and shows like Sex and the City has outraged neighbors by selling a "Drunken Negro Face" cookie in, um, "honor" of President Obama. [Video below.] A shocked customer tells My Fox NY that Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry, asked her, "Would you like some drunken negro heads to go with your coffee? They're in honor of our new president. He's following in the same path of Abraham Lincoln; he will get his."

Later, her friend stopped by the bakery and said Kefalinos corrected her about the name of the cookies—they're actually drunken "N-word" cookies. She says the backwards baker then repeated the dark suggestion that, like Lincoln, President Obama "will get what's coming to him." Go Secret Service, go!

And it gets worse when Fox's Arnold Diaz goes into the store with a camera and microphone to confront Kefalinos, who suddenly makes Joe the Plumber look like a Rhodes scholar. "I called them Drunken Negro Heads. What's the problem with that?" Kefalinos asks the newscaster with a smirk. "On Inauguration Day I thought it would be cool to change the name to Obama Heads. I just changed it for the day." We suppose Burning Cross Bananas Foster was too complicated to mass-produce.

Kefalinos denies intimating that Obama would be assassinated, and insists that the cookie is "not unflattering. I think it's a fun face... And anyone who says anything else should be ashamed of themselves." Besides, nobody got upset about the "Dead Geese Bread" he sold after the recent Hudson River plane crash. (We're NOT making that up.) Also, Kefalinos insists he can't be racist because, for one thing, "my brother-in-law, he's Cuban." Below, behold the breathtaking train wreck of racist ignorance.

UPDATE: We just spoke with Kefalinos on the phone and he remains utterly oblivious, telling us, "This whole thing was blown out of proportion." He says he's sold out of the "Drunken Negro Cakes" and doesn't plan to make anymore, despite the fact that many customers have been requesting them (he claims). When asked whether he understands that most African-Americans find the word "negro" offensive, Kefalinos explains, "It's a French word. It comes from the French."

Community Board 2 was quick to call for a boycott of Lafayette French Pastry, to which Kefalinos responds, "I'm sorry they feel that way because I was trying to do a nice thing." Not seeming to grasp in any way the degree of outrage he's sparked, he added, "I did it and that's the end of it and it's over."

UPDATE 1/24: Now Ted Kefalinos apologizes: "Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, it was an innocent design I created. It was nothing more than just a piece of art."