Has Civil Rights Activism Been Replaced by Endless Panels? Φ Crew of 42

Has Civil Rights Activism Been Replaced by Endless Panels?

Posted On 09 Apr 2014
  Ask yourself: Have you ever seen a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sitting on a panel? On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act we should ask ourselves: Has activism been replaced by “paneling” and hot air?

At every annual convention.  At every luncheon.  At every conference. There is the panel discussion as the centerpiece of the “agenda.”  And for the most part, these sessions repeat already known information and no calls to action.

Where the centerpiece of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was results based physical activities such as marches, boycotts and civil disobedience, the centerpiece now appears to be lots and lots of talking.

The activities of five decades ago yielded big results — like the Civil Rights Act — few of those big results and political victories can be seen today. And the problems, for the African American community in particular, are getting larger. 

Can panels create change and get results at a time when the wealth gap between black and white is the worst in 40 years and the dropout and incarceration rates remain at crisis levels?  Can marches get the same results they did in the 1960s as a more money and tech driven political landscape drives agendas?

Were it not for Rev. William Barber’s Moral Mondays there would be no consistent activism at all.  But even with those events one has to ask: Are the marches yielding tangible results?  It’s likely Dr. King didn’t have time for panels.  The actions Dr. King took got results and won victories.  Like the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Lauren Victoria Burke is the creator of the blog Crewof42 and is the Managing Editor of Politic365.com. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment with USAToday.com and ABC News and holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Contact: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42

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Can Anything Pass? 6 Things in Obama’s Gun Plan l Crew of 42

Can Anything Pass? 6 Things in Obama’s Gun Plan

What in the President’s gun plan can actually pass Congress? It appears not much.

Gun control is an issue where it would pay to have a few friends in Congress. President Obama has few — which is clearly one of the reason VP Biden was handed the reigns. Can Biden’s strengths overcome resistance from gun manufacturers who have given money to 60% of Congress?

Much of the gun related policy due to be announced at noon today has already been introduced in Congress in recent years and has failed. Last night, the White House briefed lobbyists on the gun plan. Almost none of what is likely to announce today can pass the GOP controlled House.

1. The Assault weapons ban / limit high capacity magazines — Feinstein, McCarthy, DeGette offered this bill after Aurora shooter James Holmes shot 70 people in a movie theatre with a high capacity ammo loader attached to a Bushmaster. The President is set to re-announce the same ideas today.

2. Prohibition on gun trafficking — This is NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s idea. Mayors against guns has pushed this for years. NY Sen Kirsten Gillibrand offered legislation last year. It died.

3. Criminal background checks/eliminating the gun show loophole — Sen Frank Lautenberg along with Rep. Peter King offered legislation on this in 2009. Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady campaign have pushed this for years.

4. Bullying — This is a favorite topic of the LGTB community and Michelle Obama. The White House has held serval forums on the issue. Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Jared Polis’ bullying bill is most likely the language here.

5. Boosting mental health services — This is in here to kiss the ass of NRA and represents the Republican answer to everything on guns — let’s see where the $ comes from. The same Republican who want to de-fund Obamacare are the same ones who keep focusing on mental health issues after mass shootings.

6. Straw gun purchases — PA Gov Tom Corbett signed a straw purchase bill last last week and NY Gov Andrew Cuomo signed one yesterday. O’Malley is soon to follow. No one has offered federal legislation on the issue.


From OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Lauren Burke

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