Thursday, September 24th, 2009

McCarthyism Is Now


“If you call art made to express the ideals of democracy that we strive to create in the United States of America similar to that used by Goebbels and the “People’s Observer” during the reign of the Nazis in Germany, then we respond with images. If Nazi propaganda is their metaphor, than we give you the literal…”
-Artists’ Names Withheld

Download links for an 18×24 poster are at

62 advertisers have pulled out of Glenn Beck’s show since the boycott began. Click here to add your name to the 275,000 who have already joined boycott support list. Click here to write letters to the editors of your local newspapers to make them tell the whole story on Glenn Beck today.

Pass it on.

posted by @ 2:40 pm | 1 Comment

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

RIP Sundance, Zulu King and 9/11 Hero

RIP MC Sundance, hip-hop pioneer and 9/11 hero

The front page of the New York Times today features the sad story of Leon “MC Sundance” Heyward, a Zulu King, rapper for the Jazzy Five, and 9/11 hero.

From the article:

Leon Heyward emerged from the subway just as the second plane struck, piercing the south tower. As others fled, he helped evacuate disabled employees from 42 Broadway, where he worked for the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs, and when the first tower fell, he was caught in the churning plume of contaminated dust and smoke.

Within months he started to feel sick…

Last October, after developing lymphoma, Mr. Heyward died at age 45 in the Bronx, where he was born and had formed one of the earliest rap groups. He became, officially, the latest casualty of the Sept. 11 terror attack, and just after 10 on a gusty, dreary Friday morning, the name Leon Bernard Heyward was read for the first time at ground zero as the nation paused again to remember its losses.

Read it all here.

Peace to his surviving family and to all the pioneers.

posted by @ 9:35 am | 0 Comments

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The New Shape Of The Culture War :: Glenn Beck, Yosi Sergant, Van Jones, and Hip-Hop

Progress? Yosi Sergant helped launch the arts movement that got Obama elected. Now Glenn Beck is putting everything in reverse.

Are you mad yet? You should be. Glenn Beck has now taken down Yosi Sergant, the second hip-hop activist to be targeted in the Obama administration in a week.

Last night the 34-year old communications director at the National Endowment For The Arts was asked to resign. Why? Because he was trying to organize artists to support President Obama’s national service program, United We Serve. If your next question is: so what? That was ours too. But Glenn Beck compared the effort to “Nazi propaganda”.

(Just sick–especially since Sergant, a Jewish American, has worked as an activist for peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.)

This was the same logic paleocons used to batter Obama’s school speech. If he does it, it’s indoctrination. If they do it, it’s “journalism”. But there’s much more to this story… (more…)

posted by @ 11:15 am | 49 Comments

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Time To Knuckle Up :: On Van Jones’ Resignation

Painting by Robert Shetterly, from his Americans Who Tell The Truth series

So let’s get into another media controversy, this time one that has serious national and generational implications, shall we?

Last night, Bay Area organizer/activist and White House green jobs advisor Van Jones resigned from his post in the Obama Administration after a high-tech Fox News lynching led by Glenn Beck, he of the “Obama Is A Racist” fame.

Beck had Van in his sights before he made those comments, which referred to Obama’s initial reactions to the Skip Gates incident. Blowhard Beck said it proved Obama “had a deep-seated hatred of white people”. But the success of a Color Of Change petition calling on advertisers to drop Beck’s show kicked the attacks into high gear. After tens of thousands of signatures were gathered, major advertisers left the show. Color Of Change, those of you who have been following this blog will remember, was founded after Hurricane Katrina to become the Black online equivalent of, and is best known for helping mobilize the demonstrations around the Jena 6. Van was one of its founders.

By this morning, one Fox News commentator was crowing that “(t)he Van Jones affair could be an important turning point in the Obama administration if we use it as a window to understand the structure of the left and to stop the huge power-grab now taking place in the name of green jobs…The Van Jones affair is, as President Obama likes to say, a ‘teachable moment,’ and we need to put not just him but the whole corrupt ‘green jobs’ concept outside the bounds of the political mainstream.”

It’s an unusually frank statement of what Beck and Fox were up to–an effort to derail the progressive green agenda, one that Van had helped to shape with his best-selling book, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, a bold, important hip-hop generation approach to thinking about race, the environment, and the economy. It’s an agenda that even many in business support.

But the right is not interested in having any real discussion over ideas. They want to demonize and dissemble and play the politics of fear. In the process, they are developing a whole new set of ways to mix fears of race, youth, and left politics together for political advantage in a new era. (more…)

posted by @ 12:20 pm | 25 Comments

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Who Gotcha? :: The Story Behind The Story Behind The Roxanne Shante Story

By Wayne Marshall and Jeff Chang

X-Posted at Wayne and Wax

If a rapper claims to be a killer, no one cares. If she says she has an education, they send in an investigative reporter, or at least someone who purports to be.

Oh don’t we love gotcha journalism. But who’s really getting got here?

Two weeks ago, the New York Daily News ran a story in which legendary rapper Roxanne Shante says she forced Warner Bros through a contractual clause to pay for her education, earning degrees from Marymount Manhattan College and Cornell University.

Yesterday, lawyer and “pro-copyright” blogger Ben Sheffner published his piece of gotcha journalism, claiming that not only did Warner not have direct contracts with Shante, but that she hadn’t finished her coursework at Marymount Manhattan and never enrolled in Cornell.

Perhaps most annoying to Sheffner was that “the story was endlessly blogged and tweeted, heralded as an example of a heroic triumph by a girl from the projects over her evil record label.”

Commenters around the web have praised the Slate piece as a fine bit of investigative reporting by a disinterested journalist. Here’s our gotcha: he’s not disinterested, and the investigative reporting wasn’t all that investigative. (more…)

posted by @ 11:30 am | 64 Comments

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