Our Time Press

The Struggle Continues in Black August

For more than three decades the work of W.O. Clay (Omowale), has mirrored the soul of Black struggles in America -- particularly those forged by the Brooklyn-based December 12 organization -- through his graphic renderings seen on poles, and buildings throughout New York City. As a compliment to their value, his posters, heralding events, marches and rallies, have adorned apartment, home and office walls -- once the announced event has passed. For the graphic on our cover, Omowale incorporated the words of freedom fighter George Jackson, gunned down in front of the Marin County courthouse, August 7, 1970, to convey the power (and importance) of Black Solidarity. The graphic artist’s continual re-shapings of a fist thrusting upward are visualizations of the “No Justice! No Peace” mantra, a phrase Omowale introduced and is now heard around the world. Our Time Press joins Omowale and December 12th in celebrating another creative thinker, the late scholar, historian and playwright Dr. Carlos Russell, the creator of National Black Solidarity Day to be observed this 50th year, November 2, the day before Election Day. Today, August 6, Dr. Russell would have turned 87 years old.

View From Here
By David Mark Greaves

Black August is more than a second Black History Month. It commemorates and celebrates the freedom-fighting spirit of those who were, and are, at the tip of the spear in the struggle for liberation. Whether it was Gabriel Prosser’s Rebellion, August 30, 1800, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, August 21, 1831, or those Black Panthers and others killed by government agents or incarcerated in the‘60’s and ‘70’s, victims of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO).
That spirit of working toward liberation is expressed in many ways and using many tactics. We’ve seen it as recently as Tuesday, with the victory of on-the-street activist Cori Bush in the Missouri Democratic primary for congress. “The people want a fighter,” said Ms. Bush, an African-American, working class, single mother, after defeating 10-term incumbent Congressman William Lacy Clay Jr. (D-MO) and, pending her election in the heavily Democratic district, will be joining the growing number of progressives in congress.
Whether it is Black Lives Matter in the streets, or legislation in state capitals and Washington, DC, the struggle for liberation is a constant, because the enemy is ever-present and we see it now in actions around the Census and in voter-suppression.

CENSUS / Voting
Donald Trump doesn’t want you counted. He has removed October from the schedule. The Census count now ends a month early, September 30. This means the door-to-door campaign will end and the hardest to count, the poor, the Black the Brown will be left out. Go to www.census.gov and fill out the form. It take less than 10 minutes and it determines political representation and money for health care, education, Medicare, infrastructure and a myriad of government programs.
The Republicans want to lock-in White advantages for the next 10 years, same as they’ve already locked in 200 young federal judges with lifetime appointments. Don’t help them further with the Census, get counted.
Donald Trump doesn’t want you to vote. He continues to rant against mail-in ballots, and attempts to destroy the postal service to ensure votes are not counted in a timely way. Then he will cry “Foul!,” and locked in his self-delusion, cause a lot of chaos an angst by refusing to leave office. I’m of two minds about that. On the one hand, we would breath a collective sigh of relief at the regular transition of power, on the other hand, on January 20th at noon, we’ll have not only the pleasure of seeing Joe Biden inaugurated, but the split screen of Trump being escorted from the White House, off on his journey to a New York State lockup for bank and insurance fraud, tax evasion and God knows what else.
Send the word across the country, everyone must vote.

Aberrant
We’ve called him many things over the last three-and-a-half-years, and after reading Ms. Trump’s dissection of her uncle Donald Trump. “Too Much and Never Enough: How my family created the world’s most dangerous man,” we have to add “aberrant” to that list.
She explains where his lack of empathy comes from and how deep it is. Her work is frightening because we see her words come to life every day in Trump’s self-delusions and inability to care that has already cost over 157,000 lives. He continues to insist schools reopen regardless of health outcomes, simply because he doesn’t care at all about lives lost or rules broken.
This was made clear in a recent interview for Axios by Johnathan Swan. Responding to a question regarding the 1,000-a-day death rate, he says, “It is what it is.” Asked about Congressman John Lewis, then lying-in-state in the capital building, he cannot bring himself to say anything good about him but does note several times, “He didn’t come to my inauguration.”
Congressman Jim Clyburn compared Trump’s to Mussolini and Adolf Hitler and he could have included Idi Amin as well. These people are outside the normal range of humanity and one of them is President of the United States and we see the resulting death, hate and fear beginning to consume the nation.
The damage he is doing now will continue for another generation, in the failure to nurture the core asset of the nation, the collective intelligence of the young people. They will suffer and Black, Brown and poor Whites will suffer most. In this highly competitive world, our children will have three strikes against them before they even get up to the plate.
The good news
If we vote and support anti-voter suppression efforts, Joe Biden will be President and there could be a change in local legislatures as well as in congress.
How different this country will be if in the next four years, voter suppression is stopped and voting districts are independently redrawn to reflect geographic proximity and not the needs of the people doing the drawing. When both have taken place, then not only the voices of the majority of people be heard, but political appeals will have to be moderated and the screams of the rightwing mob will be relegated to their rightful minority status.

Vice President?
Joe Biden has such a talent pool for his own VP, that it must be why he’s taking his time. We’ve liked them all, but for me, Congresswoman, and former Chief of Police in Orlando, Florida, Val Demings for VP and former National Security Advisor and Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice as Secretary of State. Anyway, that’s my dream team. Again, with the group he has to choose from, he can’t go wrong with whoever he picks.

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