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From: Dot Smith <yicim@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 14:23:12 -0400
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Volume 1 Issue 38                   Dedicated to the Dialogue on Race 
                October 2, 1998

Intuit's Weekly Vibe

The Stranger
by Yohannes Sharriff Smith

...Have I seen you before?
You seem so familiar ...yet
You feel so foreign.

Maybe I knew you long ago?
Perhaps in another life ...uh huh no...					
Another time, another place!
Was it as a child, when I saw you last?

Could I have under-stood you so perfectly, trusted you totally,
And, loved without question?

Can we regain our bond?
No, in retrospect, I do not recollect how
...Or why we parted.

Could I have lost you as we played wild
In a world of dark woods?
Could that missing time have changed you so much?

I wonder how much of me still remains of you,
My stranger in the mirror?



Dialogue on Race: The Urban Crisis!
By John Burl Smith
	
	Western Man views himself as the hand which turns the universal clock, 
rather than one of the many gears which help keep the hands moving. Unlike 
time, human beings are emotionally laden, ruled by individual passions. 
Pressed to the wall and forced to respond, inconsistency becomes our true 
nature. The hand of time rasps unemotionally man's role in the universal 
cycle. Its distillation titrates human events, reflecting the true worth of 
one's life in history's mirror.
	Historians describe the 1960s and 70s as a crisis period for America's 
cities. Accordingly, they were deemed expendable.  A second Civil War 
ensued.  Opposing segregation cost many lives, drenching the United States 
Constitution in the blood of black children.  Segregationists prevented 
blacks from gaining political power and control of their economic 
development.  Racist southern Democrats, Dixiecrats as they were known, 
represented the party will. FDR's "New Deal" entrenched Dixiecrats and 
silicified the South.
	The Supreme Court's decision in Brown v   Board of Education and 
subsequent edict  "all deliberate speed," inflamed white passions. Whites 
were committed to segregation forever. Pursuant to that goal, whites 
elected demigods advocating interposition, nullification, states rights, 
even secession. A crisis mentality developed reflecting their double-bind. 
Impaled on the crucifix of racism, and feeding their racist impulses, 
whites elected politicians espousing the most outrageous racist policies. 
Conversely, those elected were not motivated by civic concerns. 
Gratuitously, these hooded politicians served a plethora of economic 
interests.
	Atlanta, Georgia offers a classic example.  "The Black Mecca" adopted the 
limited participation model. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination 
prompted Mayor Ivan Allen to give blacks "political" control, but whites 
maintained the purse strings. He integrated some neighborhoods and schools. 
Allen conceded a few high profile jobs, and Atlanta became an equal 
opportunity employer. Considering the time and the meager experience blacks 
possessed, accepting this deal seemed a very enlightened approach.
	Under the guise of "The Urban Crisis," Dixiecrats organized white 
resistance using bank redlining, closing off home sells in white 
communities to blacks, blocking loans to Black farmers, establishing 
segregated schools in churches and, in general,  facilitating white flight. 
These maneuvers destroyed the urban tax base and drained inner-cities of 
resources. The overarching concern was to block civil rights advances and 
control black economic development. Dixiecrat backroom deals created 
quasi-legislative bodies, which subsumed all responsibility for economic 
development in areas where blacks gained political power. Dixiecrats 
maintained control through boards and commissions like the Mississippi 
Sovereignty Commission. This legacy lives on today in the Atlanta Regional 
Commission, local Arts Councils, Atlanta Empowerment Zone Board, The 
Atlanta Project, and Central Atlanta Project, etc. Capturing government 
funds earmarked for urban areas or serving as gatekeepers and conduits 
through which requests for funding must be submitted, these overarching 
boards and commissions occupy strategic positions. Funneling resources to 
benefit white inner-city enclaves, such commissions are catch basins, the 
embodiment of "taxation without representation" for blacks.
	Although white politicians scrimmaged for control of local resources, 
everyone agreed on segregation, until Dr. King's assassination. Changing 
public perceptions of segregation and those espousing it forced 
accommodation.  Dixiecrats acknowledged segregation's wrongs and adopted 
the Ivan Allen model, appeasing blacks.
	Antithetically, Republicans were quick to recognize that racial hatred was 
stronger than party loyalty. Opportunistically, Republicans saw civil 
rights gains as the opening needed to crack the solid south. Desperate for  
 power, Republican fiends fanned flames fueling fanatics fighting for 
financial favors from farmers. They opposed busing, open housing, full and 
fair employment, affirmative action, women, gays, and all  remedies 
proposed to alleviate suffering and inequalities blacks endured. Groveling 
in the outhouse of deception, like opossums, Republicans recruited 
well-known Dixiecrats, like Sen. John Stennis, Strom Thurmond, and Jesse 
Helm, to lead the attack on civil rights. Simultaneously, the likes of Thad 
Cochran, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott were elevated, and the southern axis 
took control of the Republican Party.
	"The Urban Crisis," became the "Contract With America," something on which 
whites could unite. Newt Gingrich and the Republicans dressed their wolf in 
sheep's clothing and took control of Congress in 1994. Today, the hand of 
time turns America's face back to the looking glass. Newt and his boys want 
to take America back to "Reaganomics," and the social policies of the 19  
50s. Wrapping themselves in the veil of Caesar's wife to hide their 
daggers, Republicans hope to wound by branding him a liar. Not speaking 
candidly about sex is no worst hypocrisy than selling tax cuts, and "The 
Contract With America" as reform. This bogus document is a "Trojan horse" 
designed to disguise the Christian Coalition's rise to power. No matter 
what Newt and the Republicans claim,  time has revealed the truth, and 
anyone looking in the mirror recognizes them for the Jackals they are!  	
Disgruntled wants to know:  25% off an item marked up 25% or more is 
neither discounted,  nor is it a price reduction. The consumer ends up 
paying a relatively higher price or the same price as last year.  How can 
it be a sale  when prices are actually higher than last year?

Disgruntled says: Parents must take an active role in the schooling of 
their children; that means they do more than pay the annual PTA dues.


DISH-ing It Up Hot! On La Amistad by Dot Smith

	Generally, I enjoy Stephen Spielberg's productions; I cry every time I 
watch The Color Purple.  Splurging, we recently rented the docudrama La 
Amistad.  Expecting the same sensitivity and quality of film delivered by 
Spielberg on so many other occasions, I encouraged the young ones to gather 
around the television.  I hoped they would learn something about the 
history of African American people.  Armed with a box of tissues and my 
favorite snack -ACT II microwave popcorn and Kool-Aid on the rocks, I 
curled up in a corner to watch this history-making dramatization.
	The film begins with the climatic escape of Cinque and his African 
compatriots from their shackles to slay their captors.  For a few fruitless 
seconds, as Cinque stood over the bloodied corpse of the ship's captain, I 
tried to explain to the children  the underlying horror that drove this 
dark, seemingly menacing figure to commit murder.  As the movie played on, 
I could not explain the pain, anguish and suffering endured by this path  
etic figure to arrive at this low moment.  That dark opening scene sated 
every Black negative stereotype; it destroyed what human face could later 
be painted on the victims of slavery.  Yet, remarkably, it even managed to 
portray slavery's advocates in a less than dastardly light.  Now, how is 
that possible?
	To characterize my overall impression as one of abiding disappointment 
would be an understatement.  I was outraged by this callous rendition of 
the La Amistad incident.  By the time I could figure out what was happening 
in the dark opening scene, it was too late to give the children a history 
lesson or get a refund on my money.  Young children need an extensive 
history lesson to fill in the yawning gaps left by this movie.  The history 
less should  inject some sensitivity for the plight of African slaves.  My 
sense of injustice and outrage did not end with the film's closing credits; 
Spielberg's  La Amistad just blew me out of the water with disappointment. 
	Having seen it, La Amistad's box office fizzle in Titanic 's historic wake 
is explained and understandable.  The DISH cannot comment on Titanic, 
having not seen it, but  La Amistad is a dud, a real travesty.  It must 
have been torture for Spielberg to butcher this poignant story.  He 
squandered a valuable opportunity to promote meaningful dialogue on 
American's slave history.

Fleecing Fees and Benefit Cards

The new electronic system designed to eliminate paper checks and save 
millions in tax dollars will cost the poor millions in fees.  Bank fees 
will take a bite out of every benefit cardholder's monthly allotment.  In 
the process banks will make a killing. They should be providing the service 
for just the interest made on holding the money, instead they are fleecing 
poor people to expand their coffers even further.  And, its legal; the 
government is helping them.
	We must do something to end their ability to fleece the poor.  More stores 
must accept the card as legal tender to prevent this fleecing.  Imagine, 
for every benefit check issued, banks make at least $1.50; that's 
ridiculous.
	Even more ludicrous is the fact that ATM withdrawals must be made in 
increments of $20.00, a situation that prevents complete withdrawal of 
benefit monies credited to the account.  This amount, anything less than 
$21.50 remains in the account unless used, while  making a purchase. 
 Clearly, more stores must honor the card.  In reality, since the card is 
money, everywhere a VISA is welcomed, the benefit card should be honored, 
it is U.S. tender.

Comments from the Bat Cave
The Dark Knight is learning to pay attention in school and recognize when 
he isn't.  The Dark One will also watch out for those automatic lies given 
in response to some questions.  (A harmless lie is still a lie).

Mailbox:   Letters, Calls, Facsimiles and E-mail
	
	"While it may be politically correct to ignore differences in how McGwire 
and Sosa are treated in the home run race, I see a difference, and suspect 
The DISH does too.  With pitchers placing the fast ball down the center of 
the plate, even I can hit a home run, and I have no athletic abilities to 
speak of no do I endorse performance enhancing drugs. A sports nut, I 
watched with interest the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament.  I am American, so I 
pulled for our players to win, especially Venus Williams.  I was 
disappointed she lost, but happy Davenport, the American who beat Williams, 
won the women's final.
	What bothered me about the U.S. Open was the obvious difference in 
treatment accorded white and colored athletes.  It was particularly 
noticeable in how the commentators handled controversy and general 
information about Venus William.  Particularly disturbing is what 
transpired in the first round Rafter/Arazi match.  A virtual unknown, the 
Moroccan player beat Rafter, but did not win the match.  He was cheated out 
of that.  I felt it was because his skin is so dark.  What do you think? 
 Did you see it?
	More and more, I notice differences in how the media treat people of 
color.  If color does not matter, why are Blacks always listed second or 
pictured last, like the two officers who died in the Capitol Hill shooting 
incident?  Why was Arazi treated like a second class citizen by the 
commentators and cameramen?   Thanks to The DISH, I am more conscious of 
these differences. I keep hoping one day I'll look , and they won't be 
there.  J.S. Joyner- email


"Why is The DISH so hard on DeKalb County Commissioners Porter Sanford and 
Bill Williams?  They are African Americans!"  Anonymous telephone caller. 
(Someone from Sanford's real estate office - The DISH used *69 to trace the 
caller).  In a future issue The DISH will explain again why it has been 
especially hard on these two local representatives.
	
Note:  The DISH is based on themes from T.H.I.N.C. (Teaching Humanity In 
New Consciousness): The Chrysalis of Evolution, a book of poetry and short 
stories by poet and author Yohannes Sharriff Smith. According to the 
President's Initiative on Race, "The issues that this book brings to the 
forefront are important in our efforts to achieve the goals set forth by 
the President for the Initiative. This work will serve as a solid resource 
for us as we begin to examine these critical issues."  The DISH is the only 
unbossed and unbought international weekly newsletter providing an informed 
look at issues that promote the dialogue on race. For your copy of 
T.H.I.N.C. and a free subscription to The DISH, contact ICIM at (404) 
241-5942.  Fax us at (404) 244-6023 or e-mail us at  

Received on Saturday, 3 October 1998 16:28:25 GMT

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