View From Here: On The Era of The Sequester

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The country has entered the era of the sequester, across-the-board budget cuts, because the Republicans refuse to raise taxes on the voters in their gerrymandered districts or the people who fund their campaigns. It is the politically drawn voting district, including voters most likely to vote for the party doing the drawing and that portion of the one percent who have an addiction to money and power that gives them the ability to tell the majority of Americans that it does not matter that Barack Obama won reelection, they come first.

All budget cuts are not equal, there are cuts that make sense and those helping the “poor, the tired, the huddled masses”, that don’t. According to a report from the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan organization, the cuts will disproportionately affect African-Americans, and we will begin to feel it here in central Brooklyn with cuts in long-term unemployment benefits, child care, education, Section 8 Housing, Job Corps, WIC and local public sector jobs. There is not much fat to be found in these programs, only an increase in hunger, despair, dysfunction and undeveloped intellectual capital that becomes a drain rather than a resource.

On the other hand, Time magazine reported that the Pentagon plans to purchase 10 MQ- Reaper drones at a cost of $12,548,710.60 per drone and 2,457 F-35 jets for about $400 billion. It costs a lot to be able to kill people around the world at will, and that is money that could be more responsibly, and humanely, spent. As Republican Representative Justin Amash of Michigan said, “We are spending maybe 45% of the world’s budget on defense. If we drop to 42% or 43%, would we be suddenly in danger of some kind of invasion?… We’re bankrupting our country and it’s going to put us in danger.”

National Coalition of 100 Black Women public policy liaison Sherese Brewington-Carr said, “Sequestration as a strategy will not effectively reduce the national deficit or effectively address our country’s financial issues.” “Regrettably it will reduce human potential and adversely impact all communities, particularly African American and other communities of color. These communities already continue to struggle during this country’s economic recovery,” she said.
“Our leaders failed to avert this sequestration catastrophe, but they can still reach a compromise going forward,” said NCBW National President M. Delois Strum. “There must be other solutions and we must individually and collectively insist that our national leaders work together to find those alternative solutions that do not punish our most vulnerable citizens,” she said.

On Medgar Evers College
and the 2013 elections
In any election there are “litmustest” questions, questions for which there is only one right answer. As the candidates visit the churches and neighborhood functions, ask them what action they are planning to take to ensure the faculty and community have virtually veto power regarding the interim appointments, as well as the permanent leadership, at Medgar Evers College. Or were they planning to wait and see what Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s search committee comes up with.