Saturday, October 28, 2006

Maxine Waters threatens Muslim activist.

Culture: Waters and Smiley get knocked around in this article from LA Citybeat. It seems Maxine Waters thinking she is the queen bee of black people wanted to throw her weight around. It is a good example of an old guard trying to keep everyone in line with her agenda using divisive methods.

You wouldn’t exactly call it the October Surprise, but the October 2 protest organized by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) at the Mt. Moriah meeting of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California certainly startled the community. The ministers had planned to meet with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom they invited to present his agenda for their communities. But upon arriving at the church, ministers reported finding more than 100 “rowdy” protestors calling them “sellouts” instead. Project Islamic Hope founder Najee Ali was completely unprepared for what happened next. According to Ali and other eyewitnesses, Waters began yelling as soon as she saw him, warning him against speaking to the media. “I remember her saying she was going to make it rough for me and that she was going to get me,” says Ali. “I was stunned that a U.S. congresswoman would threaten me because I wanted to exercise my freedom of speech. “ As first reported by the Wave’s Betty Pleasant, dismayed leaders continue to call on Waters to apologize. Schwarzenegger got a call about the Mt. Moriah protesters and cancelled his presentation. On Monday, Ali was granted a temporary restraining order against the congresswoman. “Our paths cross South Central a lot and [my attorney] doesn’t want her to have any contact with me whatsoever,” says Ali. .....“This situation is filled with ironies,” says conference member Rev. Norman Johnson, former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference L.A. “Number one is the fact that the governor did not come. The second irony is that the congresswoman should have felt in a common place with Najee, who worked on the clemency of Tookie Williams. The third irony is that it took place at a church, a group that, by constitution, is bipartisan.” On October 19, Waters sent CityBeat a statement, which reads in part: “I responded to a request to show that some of us Democrats have ‘backbone.’ I’m sick and tired of the misdirection of this country by Bush and the failed policies of this state headed by Schwarzenegger. “Here we are fighting to keep Martin Luther King Hospital open for poor people, the sickest people in this county, and the governor refused to declare a state of emergency if Martin Luther King Hospital is threatened with closure … . Gov. Schwarzenegger is a ‘President Bush Republican.’”
So you show up with your band of malcontents and call people sellouts because they are not following your liberal/marxist agenda? They actually wanted to hear the other side? How democratic of you Ms. Waters. BTW, Read up on MLK Hospital, a walking disaster. But the story gets even better.
Johnson is a personal friend and supporter of Angelides. Even so, he says he defends the right of the ministers to hear all candidates. “It seemed to me that there was an absence of respect or there even was some claim to ownership. That is unfortunate.” Syndicated columnist and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson spoke with Waters and says that her statement indicates that she feels she speaks for the majority of African Americans. “Maxine is looking at these ministers who have supported her and now they are inviting the enemy into the camp. In her mind, it’s a betrayal,” he says. The bad blood between Ali and Waters goes back five years when Ali – an early supporter of Antonio Villaraigosa’s first mayoral campaign – was fired from his job as columnist for L.A. Focus magazine after criticizing the congresswoman on a local radio show for her support of then-Mayor James Hahn. (Ali later sued L.A. Focus and won.) Ali has since emerged as a highly visible, outspoken, and respected activist. He has campaigned for unity between African Americans and Latinos, tried to prevent the distribution of the controversial new energy drink “Cocaine,” and protested against the Black Minutemen.
Her stunt has started a discussion how the old guard is trying to keep the young ones in line and the practice of the Dems who think the black vote is their baby. I have thought this for years but sometimes you need to learn the hard way the true colors of those around you.
The incident at Mt. Moriah highlights a growing debate: Is the established, black civil rights community – or the “old guard,” as the younger activists have dubbed them –finally sick of the Democrats, or Waters, taking their support for granted? “Personally, I take it as the politics of intimidation,” Johnson explains. “‘You do what I say or … I’ll go after you like I go after others.’ It has not gone over well. It’s caused the clergy community to take a step back, to look at the relationships that we have with elected officials. In that sense, I think there’s a potential of a positive outcome: our involvement has to be driven by political principles, not political personalities.” Ali believes that the Democrats do take the black and Latino vote for granted. “Too many of our elected officials are in bed with the Democratic Party and they resist every type of change,” he says, noting that Villaraigosa launched his school reform bill, which Waters resisted, exactly because half of black and Latino children who go to high school in her district don’t graduate. “The old leadership is afraid of the ones who are up and coming,” says Anthony Willoughby, a trial attorney and one-time California Assembly candidate who questions why Waters is on the House Banking and Finance Committee but has been unsuccessful in bringing business to her district. “Maxine’s focus is social equality. But to take care of the community you have to take care of it economically.”
Tavis Smiley gets used as an example of old guard pushing their weight around regarding gays in the black community. I believe this is the article.
Twenty-nine-year-old activist Jasmyne Cannick was named by Essence magazine in 2005 as one of the 25 Women Shaping the World. On this question of leadership, Cannick shared an experience she had with talk show host and political commentator Tavis Smiley after she wrote a piece critiquing his State of the Black Union series. A few minutes after Cannick’s op-ed appeared on the newswire, Smiley called and accused her of “misleading” her readers. “He then went on to threaten me that he was going to tell my boss that he should be ashamed of me. I did offer to turn over the phone to my boss so that he could tell him, but Tavis said he’d do it later.” To Cannick, this is a perfect example of why there are so few up-and-coming leaders in Black America. “It does a disservice to blacks when the leadership fails to allow new voices into the arena. Do they honestly think that they’re going to be running things from their grave?” she asks.
She doesn't go to want was said and the specific problem. My problem with people like Tavis and Waters is if you are not a black liberal who follows the Dems and their party points to a tee. You will be called a sellout, Uncle Tom and so on as Najee Ali found out. That helps no one and only causes further divison. As blacks in this country get more educated and climb the economic ladder, these tactics will be seen as a detriment and they will shun the pioneers if they don't realize how bad their behavior is judged by a newer generation. The prime example is the NAACP with their membership in a free-fall because they are still using rhetoric and tactics that made sense in 1966, not 2006. Even a N.O.I. minister sees that this is happening and how viable it makes the black community if they vote based on their own interests and not hooked to one group.
Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammed expresses his respect for Waters’s stature and accomplishments, but stands with the ministers on this one. “If the majority of the clergy thinks she is wrong, she should humble herself and apologize. “Anybody should have the right to meet with any candidate. Black people need to know what the Republicans and the Democrats are going to do for poor black people. No longer should anyone tie black people to any political party. The question is: will your policies affect our community positively? Then you have our support,” he adds.

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