Losing the White Democratic in the Deep South

    Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her Senate seat to Republican Bill Cassidy in a runoff election in Louisiana. As of 2015 there will be no white Democratic elected officials in the Deep South at the federal or state level. I lived and worked in Alabama for six years of my life. I’ve also traveled several times to Georgia and Mississippi. Honestly, I love the Deep South. The people are some of the most welcoming, thoughtful people in the world. I interned for the Alabama Democratic Party. I traveled across the state and met some of the most dedicated Democrats, both black and white. In 2008 Barack Obama became this country’s first black President. In my last two years in … Continue reading

“We Can’t Breathe” – Two Years After Sandy Hook

“I can’t breathe!” That was the cry of Eric Garner being chokeholed to death in New York City. “I can’t breathe!” That is the cry of our Earth Mother in the chokehold of manmade pollution. “We can’t breathe!” That is the cry of our brothers and sisters in the chokehold of violence and injustice and pollution and oppression in the largest cities and the smallest villages around the world. Two years ago, in Newtown, Connecticut, there was a different cry, but with the same profound implication: the first student who ran out of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, an un-named six-and-a-half-year-old, ran out of the building covered in blood from head to toe and the first words she said to her … Continue reading

Practicing Subsidized Un-Medicine

  by Walter Brasch   Clutching newspaper clippings in one hand and a medical bag loaded with seeds in the other, my ersatz friend Dr. Franklin Peterson Comstock III, knocking down pregnant ladies, students, the elderly, and two burly construction workers who were waiting for a bus, rushed past me, leaving me in a close and personal encounter with the concrete. “Medical emergency!” Comstock cried out. “Gang way!” “You’ve returned to medicine?” I shouted after him. “I’m going into un-medicine!” he shouted back. “I’m getting the big bucks not to operate!” This was a story too good to let by, so I gave up any hope of the 7:11 “D”-line bus arriving by 7:30, and chased after him. “Slow down!” … Continue reading

See Through Black Eyes

by Leonce Gaiter We know that when Darren Wilson and many of his defenders see a black man, they see someone who “looks like a demon,” and someone who has the extra/sub-human ability to “bulk up to run through” bullets. We know this image of black men from an entire history of racist stereotypes. The image that Darren Wilson successfully invoked before the Missouri grand jury was the same image of monstrous black bucks lusting for white blood that propelled D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racist masterwork, “Birth of a Nation.” Throughout American history, most images of blacks have been created and presented by whites—and throughout the overwhelming majority of this nation’s history, the nation and its people have been institutionally racist. … Continue reading

Deck the Malls: The Nightmare After Thanksgiving

  by Walter Brasch   It’s now been about a week after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. During the four-day spree, about 133.7 million shoppers spent about $50.9 billion, according to AP and TIME magazine. The psychological necessity to push, shove, and trample strangers while fighting for the right to purchase overpriced merchandise made in China has just begun. Thanksgiving—a day when Americans give thanks the Native Americans didn’t have immigration quotas—begins a 30-day frenzy to buy whatever corporate America is selling. It’s an American tradition to give presents to relatives, friends, business associates, and mistresses, all of whom will also give you presents, which will be opened, sometimes enjoyed, and often returned within a week for … Continue reading

Perceptions of Reality— And a Failure of a Grand Jury to Indict

  by Walter Brasch   She quietly walked into the classroom and stood there, just inside the door, against a wall. The professor, his back to her, continued his lecture, unaware of her presence until his students’ eyes began focusing upon her rather than him. “Yes?” he asked, turning to her. Just “Yes.” Nothing more. “You shouldn’t have done it,” she said peacefully. He was confused. So she said it again, this time a little louder, and began yelling. “Ma’am,” he began, but she cut him off. He tried to defuse the situation, but couldn’t reason with her. She pulled a gun from her purse, shot him, and then quickly left. He slumped to his lectern, but quickly recovered. It … Continue reading