Monday, July 29, 2013

MSNBC Accusation Causes Call to Boycott Koch Products

Are They Funding Zimmerman Defense?

By Mildred Robertson

There is information circulating which indicates the Koch brothers have financed George Zimmerman’s lawyers and legal fees, an allegation they vehemently deny. What they do not deny, however, is that they are among the architects of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pushes conservative policy-making across the nation, including gun laws like “Stand Your Ground,” attacks on women’s rights, and assaults on voting rights.
It appears allegations about the connection between the Koch brothers and their possible involvement in the Zimmerman defense were first made on MSNBC. Now there is a push for people to boycott Koch products based on those allegations. People who oppose this injustice, are being asked to ban together with other like-minded people and boycott these Koch products:
·         Angel Soft Toilet Paper
·         Brawny Paper Towels
·         Dixie Plates, Bowls, Napkins and Cups
·         Mardi Gras Napkins and Paper Towels
·         Quilted Northern Toilet Paper
·         Soft & Gentle Toilet paper
·         Sparkle napkins, Paper Towels
·         Vanity Fair Napkins
While I do not know what the truth is at it relates to the Koch brothers financing of George Zimmerman’s legal fees, it appears to me that progressive individuals who believe in justice, equality and fair play should have already been boycotting Koch products.
I appreciate the hoopla, because it has helped me become aware of what those products are, so I can ensure that none of them turn up in my pantry.
Obviously, MSNBC hit a nerve, because the internet is full of messages with the Koch brothers crying foul. That means that this concrete example of why it matters how the Koch brothers use their money may make some people less inclined to give it to them.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Post Racial, Trayvon, Emmett Till, Rightwing View

What a Post-Racial Society Looks Like: Seeing Right from the Wrong Angle
By Mildred Robertson
There are just lots of things that are more difficult to do when you are Black in America. 
When we elected President Obama in 2008, pundits across the country declared America a “Post-Racial” society. Had not just a majority of Americans put on their color blinders and cast their vote for the son of an African? They hailed it as a new era in American politics and a precursor to a more just and equal society.
But America is not that easily explained.
While a majority of Americans were able to embrace the first “Black” president of the United States, little was made of the fact that he is just as white as he is black. That fact alone negates the theory that America has become colorblind. In America, it only takes one drop of black blood to make you Black.   Although he handily won the seat, millions of Americans still view President Obama as a usurper who has no right to the most powerful position in the world.
There are just lots of things that are more difficult to do when you are Black in America. 
Whether your name is Emmit or Trayvon, it just doesn’t pay to be young, Black and male in America. The simple act of admiring a beautiful woman, or walking to the corner store for skittles and tea could very well be a death sentence.
You might not want to jog to the bus stop while wearing a backpack and a hoodie either, particularly if you are running through a predominantly white neighborhood.
And then there is the issue of driving while black. You just can’t be a black male and expect to drive your Jaguar though a suburban neighborhood without getting stopped. Oh, forget the Jaguar.  Just driving through a suburban neighborhood can get you pulled over.
You can’t be Black, have kids, and be anything other than a “baby momma.” Ask Michelle Obama.
You can’t be a Black uniformed five-star General in an airport and not be mistaken for a baggage handler. Ask Collin Powell.
You can’t be a politician that shows anger when right-wing political operatives tell all kinds of outrageous lies about you and still expect to get elected. Ask President Obama.
There is nothing post-racial about America.
To be Black in America is to be different – to be judged more harshly—to be scary, angry, lazy, promiscuous, menial. The image has been seared on white America’s consciousness.
 That is what the six jurors saw when they elected to set George Zimmerman free. Of course, he was terrified of this 15-year-old child. So scared that he got out of his car, stalked Trayvon in the night, and shot him dead. That doesn’t make sense, the way I see it.
But those jurors did not see what I saw—what Black Americans saw. They did not view this case the same as many Americans who truly transcend the major prejudices that plague our society. They just saw right from the wrong angle.
It is the view they see of us—all of us.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trayvon Martin, Black Male, George Zimmerman

Trayvon Martin Found Guilty of Being Black
By Mildred Robertson
I have been amazed to watch the trial of George Zimmerman in the murder of Travon Martin in Sanford Florida. It occurred to me this morning as I watched clips from the trial, that it is ludicrous that anyone would think that there is any way to justify the actions of George Zimmerman on that tragic evening. Who was on top, who threw the first punch – all irrelevant points.
The only misconduct that occurred was born in George Zimmerman’s mind as he profiled a young black man and determined him to be “suspect” based on nothing other than the fact that he existed, and had the audacity to exist in Zimmerman’s space. The only crime that occurred was that George Zimmerman stalked and then killed a kid who simply took a walk to pick up some skittles and a soda. The only thing Trayvon Martin could have done to avoid this tragedy is not to exist in the time and space that put him in Zimmerman’s path.
It takes me back to a dramatic scene in the movie “A Time to Kill” when the defense attorney asked the jurors to close their eyes while he graphically described the rape of a little black girl on her way home from the grocery store. After recounting the horrific acts committed against the child, he told the jurors, their eyes still closed, “Now, imagine she is white.” The moment was stunning as the jurors’ eyes popped open, and you could see that they understood.
That powerful moment is one that needs to be re-lived in this real life tragedy. “Now imagine if Travon was white.” Had he been white, it is doubtful that Zimmerman would have even noticed him.
But he did notice him. He did feel threatened by him, despite the fact that there were no grounds for his distrust. He then stalked and killed him, because this one was not going to get away. It was a series of actions set in motion by George Zimmerman’s verdict that a young man like Travon had no right to be in his neighborhood.
It is clear to me that many people get it. To be a black male in America is to be automatically a threat for people like George Zimmerman. There was nothing Travon could have done to change the situation.
Once Zimmerman determined that Trayvon did not belong; that he was not entitled to the freedom to walk through the neighborhood of an acquaintance, that covering his head from the rain with a hoody was intimidating, that having an unfamiliar face made him suspect; the scene was set for tragedy – a tragedy born in Zimmerman’s mind that resulted in the death of an innocent young man.
And he was innocent, despite what the defense would have us to believe.
The defense would like us to believe that Trayvon was dangerous. He liked to fight. He smoked dope. Zimmerman was right in viewing him as dangerous.
Whether they are true or not, these allegations are irrelevant. Even if Trayvon had a fight daily, and took a hit from a joint every day, it would not justify a death sentence. And that is what Zimmerman gave him. He served as the judge, jury and executioner of a young man who had done no wrong, and seemed to have no intent to do so. 
If there is any justice in our system of law, George Zimmerman must pay for this crime. Failure to do so will fortify the racist assumption that the mere existence of a black man makes him suspect and subject to capital punishment at the hands of a vigilante.