NAACP Calls for an End to the War on Drugs

August 5, 2011

The NAACP recently adopted a resolution calling for the abolition of the War on Drugs, emphasizing the harm that it inflicts on minority communities. This is a sea change for the nation’s most prominent black civil rights organization.
The NAACP resolution is far from the first indication that the War on Drugs inflicts great harm on poor minorities. Scholars and commentators of widely divergent ideologies have long recognized this point. More information about it here and here. The NAACP resolution is a milestone because of the organization’s prestige. The NAACP now joins a growing list of prominent groups that have called for an end to the War on Drugs in recent months, including the Global Commission on Drug Policy and a high-profile British government commission.
Complete abolition of the War on Drugs is not yet politically feasible. But the increasing recognition that the war causes more harm than good does create some political space to move towards that goal in an incremental way. Sadly, the Obama Administration refuses to take even the most modest and politically popular steps towards legalization. In fairness, most Republicans have been as bad or worse on the issue. Change we can believe in may well be coming in this field. But it may take a few more years of generational replacement for it to happen. via volokh.com

Many black leaders are quite Conservative in their values. This is not a “LEFT” wing organization. This is actually a watershed moment for the movement.


Sidney Lumet’s legacy in Zionism, civil rights – and hasbara

April 22, 2011
Here is a chapter of American Jewish history I was not aware of:

Academy Award winning film director:Sidney Lumet, who passed away on April 9 at age 86, is remembered for classics such as “Twelve Angry Men,” the courtroom drama that challenged racial prejudice and which Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has cited as a major influence on her career.



What is not widely known is that before he became a director, Lumet, as a young actor, was at the center of a 1940s controversy in Baltimore involving Zionist activists and the fight over racial segregation.  
In the summer of 1946, hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors languished in Displaced Persons camps in postwar Europe. The British refused to let them enter Mandatory Palestine, for fear of alienating the Arabs. In New York City, the Jewish activists known as the Bergson Group came up with a new way to publicize the survivors’ plight: a Broadway play. They called it “A Flag is Born.” 
Ben Hecht, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter, was active in the Bergson Group. So were the Adlers, the “first family” of the Yiddish theater. Hecht wrote the script for “A Flag is Born.” Luther Adler directed it. Adler’s half-sister Celia and another ex-Yiddish theater star,Paul Muni, costarred as elderly Holocaust survivors straggling through postwar Europe. Their sister Stella, the statuesque actress and acting coach, cast her most promising student, 22 year-old Marlon Brando, in the role of David, a passionate young Zionist who encounters the elderly couple in a cemetery. Celia Adler’s son, Prof. Selwyn Freed, told me: “When my mother came home from the first rehearsal, she said of Brando, ‘I can’t remember his name, but boy, is he talented’.The actors all performed for the Screen Actors Guild minimum wage, as a gesture of solidarity with the Zionist cause.

“Flag” played for ten sold-out weeks at Manhattan’s Alvin Theater (today known as the Neil Simon Theater). British critics hated it. The London Evening Standard called it “the most virulent anti-British play ever staged in the United States.” American reviewers were kinder. Walter Winchell said “Flag” was “worth seeing, worth hearing, and worth remembering…it will wring your heart and eyes dry…bring at least eleven handkerchiefs.”


Victor Navasky, publisher emeritus of the political weekly The Nation, was a teenage usher who collected contributions for the Bergson Group after each performance. “The buckets were always full,” he told me. “The audiences were extremely enthusiastic about the play’s message. For me, too, it was a political awakening about the right of the Jews to have their own state.”

After New York City, “Flag” was performed in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore (and, reportedly, in a DP camp in Europe). Brando’s contractual obligations prevented him from taking part in the out of town shows. He was replaced by Sidney Lumet.

Lumet was just 22 at the time, but as the son of Yiddish actors Baruch Lumet and Eugenia Wermus, he had been on stage since childhood and made his Broadway debut at age 11. Lumet told me that having grown up in the world of the Yiddish theater, it was “a special thrill” to perform alongside Paul Muni in “Flag.” (He did not know Brando well at that point, but Lumet would later direct him in the 1960 film “The Fugitive Kind.”) 

When Lumet and the other cast members of the Broadway hit arrived in Baltimore, local reporters were clamoring for interviews. Lumet spoke to the Baltimore Sun about the inspiring struggle to rebuild the Jewish homeland. “This is the only romantic thing left in the world,” he said. “The homecoming to Palestine, the conquest of a new frontier, against all obstacles.”

On the eve of their performance at Baltimore’s Maryland Theater, controversy erupted when it turned out that the theater restricted African-Americans to the balcony. Neither Hecht nor the cast would tolerate such discrimination. The Bergson Group and the NAACP teamed up to protest: the NAACP threatened to picket, and a Bergson official announced he would bring two black friends to sit with him at the play. The management gave in, allowing African-American patrons to sit wherever they chose. NAACP leaders hailed the “tradition-shattering victory” and used it to facilitate the desegregation of other Baltimore theaters. Lumet, reflecting on the episode six decades later, told me was “very proud” of his part in the protest and “pleasantly surprised that it was so successful.”

For the Bergson Group and its supporters, the fight for civil rights in Baltimore was just as important as their fight for Jewish rights in Palestine. As Ben Hecht put it: “To fight injustice to one group of human beings affords protection to every other group.”

Sidney Lumet’s admirers will remember his extraordinary talents as a filmmaker when they enjoy watching “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” or “Twelve Angry Men.” But it’s also worth remembering the role he played in the real-life fight for justice six decades ago. 

Now all the plays being written for political purposes are anti-Israel.
We can learn a lot from the Bergson Group in the 1940s.

my favorite all time film is Dog Day Afternoon


Herman Cain vows if he becomes President he won’t appoint any Muslims to his administration

March 29, 2011

Why is it that only black politicians seem to have the cojones to say about Muslims what everyone else is feeling but is scared to death by ‘political correctness to say?

My dream team for 2012 would be Allen West for President and Herman Cain for VP.
According to left wing loons at Think Progress...
As the Republican presidential nomination process begins, one GOP candidate is making a name for himself as the “Islamophobia” candidate: Herman Cain. Earlier this week, Cain gave an interview to Christianity Today in which he declared that, “based upon the little knowledge that I have of the Muslim religion, you know, they have an objective to convert all infidels or kill them.”
ThinkProgress caught up with the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza today at the Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, to discuss his comments further. We asked him, in light of his statements on Islam, would he be comfortable appointing any Muslims in his administration. Rather than skirting the question or hedging his answer, as most presidential aspirants are wont to do, Cain was definitive: “No, I would not.” Listen to the rest here:

…but not all black people see the light when it comes to the threat of Islam. NAACP Joins with CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood to Muzzle Free Speech in Ohio

Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield school chief pulls plug on ‘anti-Islamic’ tea party event

(h/t: Weasel Zippers, vagabond trader)

1:40 PM, Mar. 28, 2011
MANSFIELD — A Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association event featuring a speaker on radical Islam will go on at 7 p.m. today as planned, but in a different location.
Usama Dakdok will speak at Premier Office Complex, 1456 Park Avenue West, Suite J. Attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs.
The group had planned to meet at its usual location at the high school until this morning, when Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Dan Freund, citing safety concerns, withdrew permission for the group to meet there.
Speaking at a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the school’s central office, 856 W. Cook Road, Freund said that, after consulting with Mansfield City Police, the school decided it could not guarantee public safety at a Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association event scheduled for 7 p.m. [emphasis added]
In his comments, Freund said the district’s decision was prompted by safety concerns and not by the presumed content of the scheduled speaker’s message.
The Mansfield Branch of NAACP followed with a press conference of their own at 11 a.m.
Shortly after 7:30 a.m. today, the NAACP announced it would hold a joint press conference at 11 a.m. to ask the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education and superintendent to withdraw permission for the tea party meeting tonight. Around 10 a.m., the superintendent’s office annnounced a press conference for 10:30 a.m.
According to a press release issued this morning, NAACP will be joined at the 11 a.m. press conference by representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR, emphasis added], Mansfield Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and other civic community leaders.
NAACP is asking for a “rigorous review” of the school’s facilities use guidelines and policies before an event scheduled for Mansfield Senior High School community room at 7 p.m. today.
Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association, which meets regularly at the high school, will host guest speaker Usama Dakdok. The press release announcing his appearance said that Dakdok will “reveal the ways that we are not just losing our freedoms, but that we are surrendering them to our enemy, radical Islam. He will explain what Islam is and what Muslims believe.” The event is open to the public and, according to the tea party press release “a freewill offering will be taken.”
[…]
The NAACP press release states: “We must stand together as a community and realize there exists many, diverse cultures in America. We as Americans have a right to choose whatever religion we wish to follow. It is our country’s diversity which has made us a nation rich in cultural experience and our children have a right to know that whatever faith they choose to follow, that they will not be judged by their color or religion, but by the content of their character.”…
Read the rest here. View comments on the original article here.