Sunday, February 28, 2010

Letter: N.Y. Governor David Paterson lacks party support

Letter: N.Y. Governor lacks party support
Saturday, February 27, 2010

From the dark days of slavery in America through Jim Crow segregation, lynching, the tumultuous civil rights years of the 1950s and 1960, and to the present, America’s history has been colored and shaped by racism. Through it all, blacks have persevered and crossed seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Indeed, the great abolitionist and former slave, Frederick Douglass, was right when he vociferously proclaimed, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
History has shown that black struggle in the United States often is met with white resistance, particularly from Southern whites who resent efforts to right wrongs and actualize the “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice ?EUR?” clause indelibly etched in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.

A case in point involves New York Gov. David Paterson’s fight to keep his seat. Paterson is one of only two black sitting governors in the United States. According to the National Governor’s Association, previous black governors were P.B.S. Pinchback, who served as acting Louisiana governor for 36 days in 1872-73 while the sitting governor was being impeached; L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia, who became the nation’s first elected black governor in 1990; and Deval Patrick, the current governor of Massachusetts.

Letter continued --
* * *
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black Civil Rights Activist 'Murdered by Castro Regime'

On Feb 23th Black Human Rights activist Orlando Zapata-Tamayo died after an 83 day hunger strike and a series of savage beatings by his Castroite jailer/torturers.

"Tamayo, a humble rural plumber and bricklayer, had studied the (smuggled) works of Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi and had attempted some "civil disobedience" to protest the Stalinism imposed on Cuba by the Castro brothers, Che Guevara and their Soviet puppeteers," writes Humberto Fontova, author of four books including Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant and Exposing the Real Che Guevara.

Shortly after The Congressional Black Caucus visited with Raul Castro last year and returned hailing him as: "one of the most amazing human beings we've ever met! Castro is a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man!" The Black human rights activist and Martin Luther King disciple, Tamayo, was beaten comatose by his Castroite jailers and left with a life-threatening fractured skull and Subdural Hematoma.

83 days ago, already injured perhaps beyond recovery (certainly with Cuba's medical facilities), and hoping his death might alert a nauseatingly two-faced "international community" to the plight of Castro's subjects, Zapata-Tamayo declared a hunger strike.

"They finally murdered my son," wept Zapata-Tamayo's mother this Feb. 24 upon news of her son's death... "They finally got what they wanted. They ended the life of a fighter for human rights. My son was tortured. . . . I want the world to demand the release of all the other prisoners of conscience and that this not happen again."

Story continued --

* * *
Bookmark and Share

Friday, February 26, 2010


Media Contacts:

Martine Charles | Comment Communications for
T: 206-295-9114 |

Katrina Florence | Comment Communications for
T: 310-995-3619 |

February 26, 2010, Los Angeles - One year after the historic election of President Obama, a panel of journalists of color view the election as a positive turning point in U.S. race relations, however, an overwhelming majority thought that mainstream media did not contribute to improved race relations, according to the 2010 Journalism in Color Survey on "Race and the Media."

The Journalism in Color Survey tracks the views of professional journalists of color on issues of race and media. The survey -- commissioned by, a leading African-American web site for economic and political news in collaboration with UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color - provides a unique perspective on racial coverage in the Age of Obama.

Survey by THELOOP21.COM & UNITY:
JOURNALISTS OF COLOR, INC. concludes CNN most trusted and FOX least trusted...

Continue --
* * *
Bookmark and Share

Killen Sues FBI; Says Rights Violated in Murder Trial of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney

The New York Times reports that Ray Killen, a former Ku Klux Klansman convicted in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers, has sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mississippi’s attorney general, claiming they conspired to suppress his rights to “defend his society and culture.”

Killen, a former saw mill operator and onetime preacher, is serving a 60-year sentence after his 2005 manslaughter convictions in the deaths of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman.

Continue Here --
* * *
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Civil Rights Movement: Undocumented Students For Civil Rights Reform

According to Nancy, an undocumented student who has been actively advocating for the Dream Act for the past five years, "We really see a close connection and a parallel between our movement and the African-American movement and their experiences in the U.S. As undocumented students, were are constantly being denied certain rights in the U.S. and within our school campuses. We are fighting for our own humanity.

"A lot of tactics that we're using as undocumented students are borrowed frameworks that were established in the 60's with the civil rights movement."

Since February is nationally recognized as "African American History Month," undocumented students hope to highlight parallels between the civil rights movement of the 1960's and the current efforts for immigration reform. As in the 1960s, students are once again at the forefront of political activism.

Continued --
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Southern Poverty Law Center Files Wrongful Death Suit; Elderly Black Man Shot Down by White Police Officer in Lousiana

SPLC has filed suit in Louisiana for the wrongful death of an elderly black man, Bernard Monroe, who was shot down on his own front porch by a white police officer who had intruded on a family gathering. Mr. Monroe was shot seven times when he went to check on his wife of 49 years. SPLC believes that this shooting is the tragic result of racial profiling practiced by the Homer Police Department.

Last year, the white police chief told a newspaper: "If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names. I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested." Please send a special gift today to help us win justice for the Monroe family and pursue our other work fighting injustice and intolerance.

(From the Southern Poverty Law Center at
Bookmark and Share

An Iranian Civil Rights Movement? Writer Questions Current Political Movement

An Iranian Civil Rights Movement?

For most observers of the Green Movement, the most salient question is how the current political movement in Iran mirrors the Islamic Revolution. But another parallel comes as a close second: Is the Green Movement pushing forward a civil rights agenda, comparable to the American Civil Rights Movement of the late 1950s and 1960s? Such is the comparison drawn by prominent Iranian scholar Hamid Dabashi, as well as many others.

Morrison's analysis continues ...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jesse Jackson, Jr., Human and Civil Rights Advocate, Speaks Out in Oregon on Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

Photographer: Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian

Calling the Portand, Oregon police shooting of an unarmed man an "execution," the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Tuesday said letting the police officer who fired the shot return to work as scheduled is "insulting."

Jackson was in Portland to talk to local leaders about the Jan. 29 shooting death of Aaron M. Campbell; he made the statement to media and during an evening rally at the Maranatha Church in Northeast Portland. The rally drew a standing-room only crowd in the sanctuary, which seats 1,200 people.

Jackson, long known worldwide as an advocate for human and civil rights, added that he is asking the federal Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., to review the shooting.

Helen Jung, reporter for the Oregonian, writes more on this story ...
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Author Shares Personal Experiences Tracking Down Civil Rights Stories

In observance of Black History Month, the Fairfield, Iowa Public Library is hosting a free program by Susan Klopfer called "The Mississippi Story Behind Emmett Till" at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22.

Susan Klopfer, the author of several books, including the civil rights non-fiction book "Who Killed Emmett Till?" is an award-winning journalist and former Prentice Hall editor.

The author will have a drawing during the program, giving away a free copy of the audiobook version of "Who Killed Emmett Till?" narrated by Fairfield’s own Jeffrey Hedquist. Refreshments will be served and there will also be a Q&A session.

Ms. Klopfer will be interviewed tomorrow on Thursday, Feb. 18, on the talk show called “Tanner & Moore,” which airs from 7-8 p.m. on KRUU-LP (100.1 on the FM dial)
On “Tanner & Moore,” BBC Filmmaker Stuart Tanner discusses current global events with KRUU Station Manager James Moore, revolving around a new theme weekly. Their show is replayed the following Monday from 7-8 a.m.

Ms. Klopfer lived in the Mississippi Delta for two years on the grounds of the state's most infamous prison while her husband worked as a psychologist at Parchman Penitentiary five years ago. Dr. Fred Klopfer is currently a psychologist at the state mental hospital in Mount Pleasant, IA.

The author spent long hours traveling around the Delta, gathering stories about the civil rights movement from people who took part. She will share new facts about the Emmett Till murder and other intriguing civil rights stories. She interviewed first-hand witnesses to key incidents surrounding the 1955 murder that took place just a few miles from the Klopfer’s home at Parchman.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old Chicago schoolboy whose death inspired Rosa Parks to take her stand in Montgomery, Alabama. While visiting his cousins in Mississippi, Emmett was lynched for whistling at a white store owner's wife. Over in Alabama, Parks had already been planning her act of civil disobedience to sit in the “white section” of a city bus. After hearing about the acquittal of Till's murderers, she and the NAACP knew the time had finally arrived to stand up to the “Jim Crow” laws in the South. Emmett Till's death is now considered to be the spark that set off the modern civil rights movement.

Ms. Klopfer will share other compelling civil rights stories, like the story of the five Carter children who decided on their own to integrate their town's schools and signed necessary school forms while their parents were out of town. White students and most teachers taunted them nearly every school day, and their parents were threatened with guns. But all of the Carter children ended up with college degrees.

The author sheds new light on the recently released records from Mississippi’s secret Sovereignty Commission. With a mission to investigate and halt all integration attempts, the commission operated as a spy agency within the state government from 1956 to 1972.

Those without a radio may listen to the live streaming radio show by clicking on the words “Listen Live” in the upper right-hand corner of the home page at:

Archives of “Tanner & Moore” radio interviews may be heard at:

To learn more about the “Who Killed Emmett Till?” audiobook, go to:

To learn more about the author, go to her website at:

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Civil Rights, Pigford Still Issues for Villsack at USDA

Tom Villsack, Secretary of Agriculture. (Photo by Gary Truitt,

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When Tom Vilsack became head of the Agriculture Department last year, he faced a backlog of 11,000 civil rights complaints and several unresolved class-action lawsuits from minority farmers and ranchers.

The largest case, known as Pigford, remains open. It originally was settled in 1999 for $1 billion after 16,000 black farmers said they had been unfairly denied farm loans. Thousands of black farmers later complained that they were unaware of the suit, and in 2008 it was reopened. Some farmers have said the Obama administration is not moving fast enough, and on Monday they protested outside the USDA headquarters.

Vilsack said in an interview Friday that he is close to a resolution and is working hard to transform the department's handling of civil rights.

Story Continued --

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 8, 2010

Leonard Peltier Supporters Come Together: Still Possible to Free Peltier, Says Group Leader

Forwarded by Friends of Peltier on behalf of the Leonard Peltier
Defense Offense Committee

A Call to Action
February 8, 2010

Attention, Supporters! February 6 has come and gone. We've had
a day of rest, too. It's time to get busy once again.

As you know, Leonard's application for parole was denied in August
2009. Leonard has appealed that decision and needs our
support. Leonard has not given up. We can't give up, either.
In fact, let's intensify our efforts on Leonard's behalf.

Actively support the parole of Leonard Peltier as you did last
summer. Insist on a fair reconsideration of Leonard's application
for parole.

Write a brief and to-the-point letter to the U.S. Parole Commission
at 5550 Friendship Boulevard, Suite 420, Chevy Chase, Maryland
20815-7286, Re: Leonard Peltier #89637-132.

You can fax your letter to (301) 492-6694, if you wish.

The Commission has no public e-mail.

Once you've sent off your letter to the Commission, please also
call President Obama's comment line at (202) 456-1111 or (202)
456-1112. Tell the President to support the parole of Leonard

There was a crippling snow storm in the Washington metropolitan
area this past weekend. Service at the White House may be disrupted
as a result. Be patient and keep calling until you get through to
the comment line. Generally, the White House comment line is open
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EST.

Remember also that if the lines are busy, you can call the
switchboard at (202) 456-1414. Ask for the comment line. You may be
placed on hold until the next available staffer can take your call.

We thank you in advance for your attention to this urgent matter
--as well as your time, effort, and commitment.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee


LP-DOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax)

Time to set him free... Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier
* * *
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mississippi Legislature Impacts Black History Month: Bill Considered Will Mean All White Jury in Flowers Case

From the AP and Friend of Justice:

Mississippi lawmakers are considering a bill that could have an impact on the long-running capital murder case of a Montgomery County man accused of killing four people at a furniture store nearly 15 years ago.

Curtis Flowers is set to be tried a sixth time later this year for the 1996 murders at Tardy Furniture store in Winona.

The case has nearly depleted Montgomery County’s jury pool, and is one of the reason legislators have been asked to approve a proposal to expand the area from which jurors are selected, said Circuit Court Lanelle Martin.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow counties to pull prospective jurors from an entire multicounty circuit district. Currently, jurors are sought from the county in which the crime occurred.

Flowers is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of Winona furniture store owner Bertha Tardy, 59; store employees Derrick “BoBo” Stewart, 16, and Carmen Rigby, 45; and delivery man Robert Golden, 42.

Flowers has had three trials in Winona, one in Tupelo and one in Biloxi. Two resulted in mistrials and three in convictions that were later overturned. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in the trial scheduled for June at the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Continue --

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black History Month Program Features ‘Mississippi Story Behind Rosa Parks’

Most people who’ve taken a high school history class know something about Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Parks' act of defiance became a symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and the U.S. Congress later called her the "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement."

But there was another spark that lit this movement, and it came three months earlier from the depths of the Mississippi Delta, says writer Susan Klopfer of Mount Pleasant. The author of an audio book, “Who Killed Emmett Till?” is set to present a program on Parks and Till for Black History Month at the Mount Pleasant Library in the Large Study Room at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Attendees are invited to bring a brownbag lunch, said Library Director Gayle Trede.

Klopfer lived in the Mississippi Delta for two years on the grounds of a state prison when her husband took a job as the director of the state’s prison psychological services. Her fascination with the region and its civil rights history led her to driving around the Delta “almost daily” to talk with people who remembered the modern civil rights movement -- nearly 60 years earlier.

“There’s a saying in Mississippi, that the past is the present. I found this true as people told me story after story of their involvement in trying to end Jim Crow and achieve voting rights.”

The Delta was an unsafe place for any black person, considering the heightened tension following Brown v. the Board of Education I in 1954 and then Brown II the following year. It was particularly unsafe for anyone violating Jim Crow standards for acceptable behavior in the segregated south.

“Till was a young man from Chicago who had never experienced living in such hostility. He was known to be a prankster and had no idea that his action of harassing a white woman would end his life.”

Parks had been planning her action, but when she and the NAACP heard about the acquittal of the two men who tortured and killed this 14-year-old in Mississippi, they knew the time had come for her move, Klopfer said.

Klopfer plans to tell the Emmett Till story adding new information she gained from interviews, including a woman whose family sheltered three men claiming they murdered Till, the mortician’s assistant who prepared Till’s body before he put it on the train from Chicago, and a student who interviewed one of Till’s killers two weeks before the man died of cancer. Klopfer also plans to talk about Fannie Lou Hamer, Amzie Moore and other forgotten Delta civil rights heroes.

A question and answer session will follow Klopfer’s talk and the program is free to the public.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Klopfer
505-728-7924 (cell)
404 North Main St.
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641