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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What the Word? Occupy the DOE!

What's the word Occupy the DOE

A good friend from South Africa, Vincent use to say before the fall of Apartheid people would chant "What's the word? Johannesburg!. In late April 1994 I remember clearly my friend's most joyous day in Ameri
It was when he and some fellow South Africans living in Tucson Arizona drove 3 hours to cast their first votes, they stood in line for hours to vote for Nelson Mandela. 
A few months later he returned to his home land knowing the dark days of Apartheid had ended, but he had work to do. He returned to help build a new South Africa. That was his second most joyous day in America. Vincent's lesson to me was there are things worth fighting for no matter how long it takes.

Well America after over a decade of No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) policies our schools are more segregated than they have been in 50 years. Our public schools a tale of two cities, one with all the resources they need, and the other more isolated and abandoned than ever. Our politicians and school reformers point with pride to their efforts that have reduced our children to test scores, demoralizes our teachers, and forces our schools to compete for resources.
Welcome to the world of NCLB Apartheid. We have spent a trillion dollars on testing, and encouraged inequity in our schools.

All you anti school reformers shout this out What's the Word? Occupy DOE
Come one come all to Occupy DOE 2.0: The Battle for Public Schools. I urged all parents, students, teachers, and community activists to converge on the Department Of Education in Washington, DC April 4-7.
If you are planning on joining us in DC go to the following links:

What the word? Occupy the DOE,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

Want to know what the Walking Man is listening to today it's Gil Scott-Heron's Johannesbugh (Live) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ain't nobody gonna turn me around!

This is why we vote.
There was a time when only the rich white land owner could vote,
A time when Black men and women were not only held in the chains, but not even considered human beings,
A time when women could not vote,
A time of Jim Crow voter suppression laws denied legally free black citizens the right to vote,
Not a hundred years ago, but in my lifetime,
Now there is a new Jim Crow sweeping our nations hidden behind so-called voter ID laws, and Provisonal ballots in Ohio,
A rose by any other name is still a rose,
And racism is still racism by any other name,
VOTE! VOTE!, and help others vote while you are at it.
If you see someone being intimidated at the polls start shouting, start complaining, start standing up for your fellow citizens.
Today I voted knowing full well in the year of my birth the following men were murdered for trying to register to vote.

May 7, 1955 · Belzoni, Mississippi
Rev. George Lee, one of the first black people registered to vote in Humphreys County, used his pulpit and his printing press to urge others to vote. White officials offered Lee protection on the condition he end his voter registration efforts, but Lee refused and was murdered.

August 13, 1955 · Brookhaven, Mississippi
Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn by a white man in broad daylight while dozens of people watched. The killer was never indicted because no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man. Smith had organized blacks to vote in a recent election.

I voted today for Rev George Lee,
I voted today for Lamar Smith,
I voted for James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Henry Schwerner, those young civil rights workers, who were arrested by a deputy sheriff and then released into the hands of Klansmen who murdered, and buried their bodies in an earthen dam in 1964. Their noble face are not only posted in the blog, but posted in my heart forever.
I voted for my brother the Rev George Lee,
I voted for my brother Lamar Smith,
I voted for my brothers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Henry Schwerner,
I vote while whispering that old Gospel song Ain't nobody gonna turn me around, (Ain't nobody gonna turn me around The Roots utube)
Jesse The Voting Man Turner