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LQD: Black History Month 2009

by Cat Wed Feb 11th, 2009 at 09:14:35 PM EST

BODY COPY: For those who demand only the best of what life has to offer, the exclusive Visa Black Card is for you. The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool.

The Black Card is not for everyone. In fact, it is available to only 1% of U.S. residents to ensure the highest caliber of personal service is provided to every Cardmember.

Become a Black Card member today and enjoy our 24-hour class Concierge Service ready to assist you with all you business, travel and leisure needs.

LEGAL NOTICE: Visa Black Card is issued by Barclays Bank Delaware.

My child brought this news to my attention this evening. Mr Colbert had displayed a full page advertisement printed in yesterday's New York Times. Not only is THE BLACK CARD offered only to 1% of US residents, it is apparently only offered to US residents by the Barclays Bank N.A. affiliate. A cursory review of Barclays portals today makes not mention of this historic event.

Barclays - consumer portal

Barclays Bank PLC- corporate portal


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 03:24:14 AM EST
In theory perhaps. One could readily read into sentiments such as these public admiration of the president whose historical significance is indebted --or is a credit-- to his color.

In practice, not so much. Oscar Grant was summarily executed, as unremarkable except by those who appreciated how worthless his death truly is. Joe Sims, among others, examined dichotomies in the historicity of "black power," or lack thereof, in an article, The Anti-Racist Majority Comes of Age. Speaking of credit,

The subprime mortgages crisis is sure to affect minorities more severely than others. At a recent conference held in New York by the Fiscal Policy Institute, James Parrot documented how Black and Latino new home buyers in New York were pushed to take out such loans even when they could have afforded the normal loans. Only 25 percent of sub primers are not in foreclosure. The foreclosure rate is expected to go to 40 percent this year. 

It is in the structure of the economy then, jobs, housing patterns, unemployment, the "ghetto tax" to name a few, that institutionalized racism manifests itself. A new civil rights, movement aimed at addressing continuing discrimination must in the first place address itself to radical reforms aimed at rooting out the ingrained structural foundation of racist practice.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 05:38:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One can only hope that James Parrot is the spokesman for the Fiscal Policy Institute.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 07:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One could, but he's a bit actor. There are scores of analytics on redlining, fraud, and WH fiscal implications, from the Village Voice to GAO's audit of FHA 1995 - 2005. No one needs to make up shit. We're standing in it. One only needs to open one's eyes.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 08:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Caged parrots often jabber while standing in the midst of their own feces.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 10:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 13th, 2009 at 08:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...how "Annual Fee $495" is an "exclusive privilege".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 03:26:03 AM EST
Dead people are carbon. Why not turn them into Black Cards instead of diamonds?

It gives new meaning to the Swedish phrase said of rich scions - 'Pappa Betalar' (Daddy pays)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 04:29:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The LifeGem® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life.

Beloved is the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. Many "public intellectuals" tend to credit her Nobel prize to its publication, though the whole body radiates histories. Beloved is indeed a beautiful, truly awesome, work of art that expresses the unsung life of Margaret Garners. Several passages in it reduce me to tears, still. For example:

"I stopped him," she said, staring at the place where the fence used to be. "I took and put my babiew where they'd be safe."

The roaring in Paul D's head did not prevent him from hearing the pat she gave to the last word, and it occurred to him that what whe wanted for her children was exactly what was missing in 124: safety. Which was the very first message he got the day he walked through the door. He thought he had made it safe, had gotten rid of the danger; beat the shit out of it; run it off the place and showed it and everybody else the difference between a mule and a plow. And because she had not done it before he got there her own self, he thought it was because she coud not do it. That she lived with 124 in helpless, apologetic resignation because she had no choice; that minus husband, sons, mother-in-law, she and her slow-witted daughter had to live there all alone making do. The prickly, mean-eyed Sweet Home girl he knew as Halle's girl was obedient (like Halle), shy (like Halle), and work-crazy (like Halle). He was wrong. This here Sethe was new. The ghost in her house didn't bother her for the same reason a room-and-board witch with new shoes was welcome. This here Sethe talked about love like any other woman; talked about baby clothes like any other woman, but what whe meant could cleave the bone. This here Sethe talked about safety with a handsaw.

I brought you in this world. I will take you out.

I'll be damned if Stanley Ann ever said that to Barry. It can't be, no, sir: "I won."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 06:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Ciccariello-Maher is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at UC Berkeley. He is currently writing a people's history of the Bolivarian Revolution entitled We Created Him.

His essay about opposition to the 15 Feb referendum in Venezuela is . His essay about Oscar Grant's execution is here.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Feb 13th, 2009 at 08:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuela's Term Limits and second essay about Oakland

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 13th, 2009 at 08:34:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure. BCS is trading at 6.28 and paying a buck seventy-nine.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 05:48:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The annual fee on the AmEx black card is $2,500 with a $5,000 initiation fee, plus I'm pretty sure you have to sleep with every other member of the gang, too.

And you have to spend $250,000 per year.

I'll stick with my little no-fee, low-rate Blue card, thank you very much.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 11:08:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. The "first Black Card," anodized titanium. AmEx so suxs. Everywhere you want to be, Ken.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 11:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Black Card from the Black Hole.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 07:36:11 AM EST
Black History Month for a great number of people ended at the inauguration, I think.

My child is reading A Raisin in The Sun, aloud. We both find it entertaining yet provocative. All the fourth grade is required to select a work of literature by or about African Americans. This is the fourth genre of "book report" scheduled for the academic year. Experts expect Mr Obama will enhance participation in Black History Month activities. Whitehouse.gov does have a page prepared on the topic, but this correspondent is unable to access the content. For the first time ever whitehouse.gov requires users to set cookie permissions for the URL.

At NOAA I discover the official theme is "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the United States." The theme recalls Mr Obama's narrative, epic struggle, or in the studied term coined by political scientists, the biographic rebuttal.

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON:The context, in which Senator Obama is responding to the Wright controversy, is one that is familiar to me from studying history. When the concern is that you've been, for some reason, cast as being extreme or frightening in some way, the way a candidate who is skillful responds, is to go back to basics.

To re-tell the biography. But also to move into formats in which the communication itself becomes a form of rebuttal. Historically, Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980 by doing that. President Carter, in his campaign, wanted to cast Governor Reagan as out of the mainstream, extremist and scary.

Ronald Reagan's campaign responded with an ad that was aired so often that people in the campaign got complaints from their own supporters saying, "If I see that ad one more time, I'm not- I'm gonna stop watching television." But the ad reconnected Ronald Reagan to his biography in a way that made it harder to cast him as extremist or scary.
BILL MOYERS:What was the main point of that biography?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Boy from Illinois. Grew up. Radio announcer. Lifeguard. Went on air about baseball. Went to California. Worked as a Union member. Very basic things. What he had done as governor. By the time you finished with that ad it was very difficult to say scary extremist. And they ran the ad so often that they put in a biographical rebuttal.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: So fast-forward to this week. Driven by the Rev. Wright controversy. What Senator Obama has done is gone back to the basics of his biography in his speech. Basic speech to audiences- getting picked up in news. And taken that biography into environments, news environments, in which his manner becomes a kind of rebuttal.
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: He sits down and has interviews with female reporters in news context in which he has extended answers with Michelle Obama seated next to him, in his low-key, engaged, thoughtful fashion.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA:I think it is fair to say that both Michelle and I grew up in much less privileged circumstances than either of my two other potential opponents.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: It's easier to identify him with the Reverend Wright showcased in your sympathetic interview last week, than it is to identify him with the Reverend Wright of the histrionics of the Sunday and Monday performances. And to the extent that he locks that persona, which is consistent with what you've known of 'em in the past, back to biography that now stresses some things that he hasn't stressed in the past. Grandfather who was a veteran. Now we're taking on the patriotic issue raised by some of those comments.
BILL MOYERS: Obama's grandfather. Yes.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Obama's grandfather. He's also saying that he was a civil rights lawyer. Not that he was a Constitutional law professor. Now, he could say either one of those two things. A civil rights lawyer. Now put those two things together and the biography that he's filling out in those context, in an extended fashion, in a low-key, and thoughtful manner is one that is reassuring.

Incidentally 12 Feb is the centennial of the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). That event is a terrific political story about ideological differences between Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and W.E.B. Du Bois over organizing the NAACP. And J.Edgarand Bethune. Or Kweisi Mfume and Bruce Gordon.

It is more important to establish that Du Bois was "mixed-race" than to ever mention Crisis. This omission is profoundly ironic, since it is Du Bois who postulated the mandates of the Talented Tenth and died in exile, renounced his US citizenship.

To the other portion go the spoils of revisionism. In Hattiesburg, MS (4 Feb 2009) Ray Coleman was shocked to discover Cotton Picking Day at Lillie Burney Elementary on his his stepson's Black History Month calendar. Dressing like a slave was one of the daily themes selected by the school's Black History Committee. The committee is composed of the school's teachers. The theme was canceled, however, after Mr Coleman, 26, met with Superintendent Annie Wimbish, so it was replaced with Career Day.

US citizenship requires mastery of commerce, one nation under God. Pepper Miller defends Buying Black (Advertising Age, 3 Feb 2009) promotional campaigns. Such tactics aren't evidently racist, because.  "[m]any Blacks also believe it is their unspoken obligation to help those left behind," declares the columnist. For example, Ms Miller promotes The Ebony Experiment, a venture apparently that "targets these middle-class and upper middle-class families and asks them to make commitments to buy Black."

The Andersons are the founders of The Ebony Experiment Group, LLC (for profit) and the Ebony Experiment Foundation (nonprofit). John (Harvard, MBA) is a vice-president at AXA, a financial consultant. Maggie (Chicago, JD, MBA) was a Strategy Manager and Speechwriter at McDonald's Corp. She says, "We created The Ebony Experiment because we want every Black child in America to feel the security, pride and hope that our girls do. That takes work. That takes love. That takes money. But not the government's money. Our money. Why not the money we spend everyday?" So far the Anderson's have spent $6,087.14 on "Buy Black" research. The diary of their research is here. Michael Eric Dyson has already agreed to co-author a book about the "Anderson's journey" from Oak Park into Chicago's ghettoes. Dyson is a prolific writer. Last year he published an imaginary interview with Martin Luther King, had he lived, to buttress his impressions of "clawless and flawless" icons of civil rights movement. April 4, 1968, excerpt MP3)

Ms Anderson explores territories unknown, too, seeking franchise opportunities, 90% upside the mountain.

31 Jan: Last year, I'd go to Walmart or a dollar store to fulfill those basic needs. Real hard to substitute Walmart's selection, but I figured I could get some of those items at a Black-owned dollar store, and I assumed there were tons of Black-owned dollar stores. I have been doing this for a month and have not been able to find one in all of metropolitan Chicago. ...

7 Feb: Last time we talked I was pretty upset because I couldn't find one Black-owned general merchandise store or discount outlet, even though there were so many of them in Black America, and these stores were so ridiculously successful. ...

Well, I am delighted to report I found my new general merchandise outlet. It's wonderful too. Quaint, clean, and chock full of cool stuff that I need for my family. It is owned by a friendly, hard-working couple who live in an underserved Black community, and whose personal and business expenditures as well as their business revenues contribute to the local economy there ...God First, God Last, God Always Dollar and Up General Store.

"Most Black Americans understand the practice and need for buying Black and often criticize the Black community at large for not supporting Black businesses enough," Pepper Miller agrees. Though I can't help but wonder why she was surprised at all by the absence of "Black" colleagues in the ballroom.

After speaking at the Marketing Research Association conference on Election Day, I was stunned to see a sea of white faces in the hotel's grand ballroom, where the conference participants were having lunch. Much debate has been discussed about Black under-representation in advertising agencies, but this is also especially true in the market-research arena. It's one of the reasons why I started a scholarship for Black college students three years ago. Students are awarded scholarships to expose them to the world of market research and encourage them to consider market research as a career option.

There is no Black America. Get it? There are winners. There are losers.

*a memo to myself, when I come back this way.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 12:25:26 PM EST

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 13th, 2009 at 02:50:14 PM EST

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