Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Photos From Sunday Trayvon Martin Protest At Houston City Hall

This past Sunday afternoon, I attended a rally in at Houston City Hall calling for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin. This rally was organized by the Houston NAACP and by LULAC in Houston.

I went to this protest and took some  pictures.

The Trayvon Martin shooting , which took place in Sanford, Florida, is relevant to Houston because everything is connected. The killing of Trayvon in Florida could happen to a young person any place in our nation.

Above you see a picture of the Houston rally. There were estimates that 1,000 people showed up. Most of the people were black. But by no means were all the people at the rally black.

What people wanted at this protest was simple.

They wanted peace, justice, an end to racism, and the right to be who they are.

These are goals as American as apple pie.

These citizens made their own signs and came on down to the rally.

You will see that one of the signs indicates that the person holding the sign is his or her brother’s keeper.

What could be more basic and accurate?

Among the speakers at the rally were Congressperson Sheila Jackson Lee in blue, former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia in the hoodie, and two students from Texas Southern University.

The young lady in red is a TSU student. I’m sorry that I did not catch the names of the two young people from TSU, but they did a good job at the podium.

In addition to Congressperson Jackson Lee and Ms. Garcia, Richard Shaw from the Harris County, Texas AFL-CIO was present.

I do regret that while many local black officeholders were at the event, that white and Hispanic elected officials did not seem to be present.

We are all connected.

It is especially confusing  that Houston Mayor Annise Parker was not there, or that she could not send a representative.

Mayor Parker, a so-called Democrat, was in 2011 able to attend the Reagan-Lincoln Day fundraiser of the Harris County Republican Party.

What Mayor Parker needs is a challenger from the left in 2013.

While there was a strong crowd at City Hall last Sunday, there is always room for your involvement.

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Houston NAACP Holding Meeting On Chad Holley Beating

The Houston branch of the NAACP will be holding a community meeting this evening–February 8– to discuss the video-taped beating of 15 year-old Chad Holley by some members of the Houston Police Department.

The Houston NAACP says—

“City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Police Chief, Charles McClelland and District Attorney, Pat Lykos are invited to address the community’s concerns….”

I don’t know if these leaders are attending, but they have been invited.

The meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 PM at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Good Hope is located at 3015 North MacGregor Way in Houston.

Here is the web home of the Houston NAACP. The Houston NAACP also has a Facebook page.

The beating of Chad Holley is a matter of concern for people in Houston. What happens to one person can happen to anybody.

Houston-area U.S. Representative  Al Green has called for a Justice Department investigation of the Chad Holley incident.

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Progressives And Progressive Groups In Houston And Across Texas Speak Up And Mobilize In Advance Of The Upcoming Arizona-Style Immigration Bill In The Texas Legislature?—I Would Not Bet Very Much That They Will

Leading members of the current Republican majority in the Texas legislature say that an Arizona-style immigration law will be at the top of the agenda of the next session of the Texas legislature.

The Texas legislature will convene again on January 11, 2011.

From the Houston Chronicle—

“Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, said he expects a “huge push” for immigration reform. “If the Legislature were to choose an Arizona-style path to go down, then I do believe that the emotions will run very high,” he said. It is important, he said, that lawmakers have public hearings and review the issue before deciding a course. “We need to be very cautious. We need to be mindful of all of the concerns among the public. But, above all, we would be mistaken as a legislative body were we to choose to ignore the issue entirely in favor of other issues,” he said. “The voting public here in Texas has made it clear that immigration is one of its top concerns, and, as such, I think legislators of both parties are obligated and have a responsibility to address the issue.” (Texas House Speaker Joe) Straus spokeswoman Tracy Young said, “Speaker Straus agrees with Gov. (Rick) Perry that the heart of the issue is the immediate need to focus on border security and the safety of Texans, and that the federal government should do its job.” Legislators next year will face severe budget problems, divisive redistricting, school funding troubles and reviews of major state agencies, including the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality and the Texas Department of Insurance.”

Here is the full Chronicle article. The article makes it clear that the Tea Party is calling the shots for Texas Republicans.

It’s funny in a way because you can tell here that Senator Carona, Speaker Straus and Governor Perry really don’t want this fight.  Those guys would sell out their core voters in a moment to keep the cheap labor in Texas and to avoid national controversy that could upset the business climate in Texas. These cats are bought and paid for by corporate money.  These top Republicans also know that whenever Hispanics do get around to voting in strong numbers in Texas, they will remember  who treated them as human beings and who treated them as criminals. Texas is one of four majority-minority states in the union and the future here is not with the Tea Party.

This is part of what makes the Tea Party folks in Texas so angry all the time. They know that any victory they gain in Texas is just delaying the inevitable change in what it means to be a Texan.

That said, Texas Republicans have announced months in advance that they will be going after people of Hispanic origin in our state.

The core issue is not immigration. It is about race and culture.

Will progressive forces in Houston and in Texas now speak-up mobilize to meet this challenge? We’ve been given plenty of warning.  A threat to the freedom of one person is a threat to the freedom of all people.

How about the Texas NAACP? Maybe they can get some money to start an effort of all-races solidarity from the “corporate advisory board” listed on the side the Texas NAACP web home. I’m sure Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Dell would like to help.

How about the Houston NAACP?

How about the folks who saw the election of Annise Parker as Mayor of Houston as a victory for human rights?

Here is the web home of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

The rights of all people are connected.

How about Mayor Parker? Mayor Parker got her start in politics fighting for human rights.  What would Hispanics owe the Mayor if she remains silent when her voice is most needed?

Mayor Parker’s campaign web page has a whole list of local progressives and progressive groups that could help lead the fight against an Arizona type immigration law in Texas.

What about Democrats on Houston City Council? Wouldn’t be it something if they met in caucus on a regular basis and offered a vision for Houston’s future?

That sure would be something.

Will the Hispanic community mobilize in the face of this threat?

Will folks on our side of the aisle speak up or will they remain silent?

I’m betting that for the most part silence will carry the day.

If we can easily ignore a nearly 50% child poverty rate in Houston, I figure we can ignore pretty much anything.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does The Tea Party Represent?—Will Centrists & Independents Support Tea Party Backed Republicans?

Above you see what the Tea Party presents itself to the public. The billboard you see here was paid for by a Tea Party group in Iowa.

Is President Obama as bad as Hitler or Stalin? Is he for genocide and putting people in camps?

I’m very liberal. I’m not going to vote for any Republicans in the upcoming November elections. I’m upfront about this fact.

If you’re somebody who could vote either way depending on the candidates and the office up for election, you’ve got to decide what you’re going to do.

Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, who is up for reelection, recently said that he would support lawsuits looking to see if President Obama was really born in the United States.

The economy is a mess and Louisiana is under siege from all the BP oil, yet this is what Senator Vitter is talking about. This is how beholden Republicans are to the Tea Party/far right wing agenda.

A few days ago the NAACP passed a resolution saying that the Tea Party has racist elements.

Let’s say you don’t agree with this or that you don’t like the NAACP. Fine.

See what you think, however, of the Tea Party response to the NAACP’s assertion

“You’re dealing with people who are professional race-baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It’s time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history,”

The NAACP is not some revolutionary outfit.  They don’t profit off race as did slave traders. They are not a “vile racist group” like some other groups in our American history.

The Tea Party, lead by Glen Beck, is going to hold a rally next month at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech.

Why would the Tea Party they do this other than to mock the memory of the day? What’s the point but to anger people? A rally could be held any other day and any other place.

It seems apparent Democrats will lose seats in Congress in 2010.  Democrats are not going to be promoting a big agenda in the next session of Congress regardless of whether they hold on to their Congressional majorities or not.  

The Republicans seem to be almost fully under the thumb of their most extreme ideological supporters.

Such as the Texas Congressman, Joe Barton, who apologized to BP.

Such as Republican Kentucky U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul who said that private business places should not be forced to serve black people.

Such as Republican Nevada U.S. Senate nominee Sharron Angle who seemingly has called for violence if Democrats hold on to Congress.

I predict that these Tea Party supporters will prove to be far to the right, that many politically centrist and independent Americans will choose not to support Republicans in the 2010 elections.

The Tea Party represents an angry ideological extremism out of step with the majority of Americans.

July 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While People Go On About Michael Jackson, Supreme Court Makes It More Difficult For Black Folks To Get Promoted At Work

While people go on about the death of Michael Jackson, an adult who often kept company with children that were not his own, the United States Supreme Court has made it more difficult for black folks to get promoted at work.

In a 5-4 decision , the Court ruled that the city of New Haven, Connecticut could not consider race in the context of an exam the city had used to help determine firefighter promotions.  

( Above—A memorial for Michael Jackson.)   

Here is a story on the case and the Supreme Court’s findings. 

Here is an editorial  on the ruling from the New York Times.

From the editorial—

The new standards announced by the court will make it much harder for employers to discard the results of hiring and promotion tests once they are administered, even if they have a disproportionately negative impact on members of a given racial group….Public employers that use civil service examinations and similar tests will be most directly affected, but the principle announced by the court applies to all employers and all sorts of procedures used to rank and sort potential and current employees….Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, reading a dissenting statement from the bench, said the majority had undermined a crucial civil rights law. “Congress endeavored to promote equal opportunity in fact, and not simply in form,” she said. “The damage today’s decision does to that objective is untold.”

Here is the NAACP viewpoint on this decision. 

Here is the text of the Court’s decision.

What are the odds that the New Haven Fire Department has been an equal opportunity employer over the years?

If people want to line up  and recall the life of a celebrity while a right-wing Supreme Court makes it harder for them to get ahead on the job—I can’t do anything about that. 

Even with a black man as President, many in this nation are eager to reverse the gains of the Civil Rights movement and to undo progress we have made in this nation. 

I can’t decide for others about what they need to be focusing on in life.

( Below–An Associated Press photo of New Haven firefighters celebrating outside the Supreme Court.)

In this photo taken June 29, 2009, Attorney Karen Torre, center, ...

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments