Archive for June, 2015

Closing (unnecessary) equality blog

From 2004, I had blogged at Marry in Massachusetts. I’m closing the figurative shop.

Thinking of doing that kept me awake. I rose those relieved and still delighted that the SCOTUS declared same-sex marriage as a right and the law of the land.

Yes, I’m heavily invested in the themes and the blog. Yes, I know that plug nasties and loons will still try to harm, hinder and hurt homosexuals. Yet over a decade ago, I pledged to shut it down when marriage equality won in the Untied States.

This show is self-indulgent. It is omphaloskepsis. I did it coming up on 12 years. I spoke out for equality. I am not one of the magnificent warriors who made this happen, more a fellow traveler. I know we have come to a good stopping place.

My political blogging will be here, occasionally at BlueMassGroup, and at my personal blog, Harrumph.

icon for podpress  Bye to marriage equality blog [19:20m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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SC Racism Podcast

Communications guru Marshall McLuhan married a South Carolinian and continued to visit the state regularly from his native Canada. I once heard him speak to the educational broadcasters down there. He concluded that South Carolina was ready to lead the parade into the 21st Century, because it has missed the 20th. He was optimistic but his half jest had a true basis.

Yes, SC was the first to secede from the U.S. Yes, it led in slavery, both of Native Americans and the African/West Indies trade. Yes, it saw active KKKs and lynchings. Yes, it is known for racism.

I spoke to the years I was in SC, as a student and working. I married a native and visited many times, with more in the works. I edited the weekly for Black South Carolinians. I saw quotidian racism. I interviewed a Grand Dragon.

I saw changes in the 70s and more recently. I live in Boston, where we admit African Americans and Latinos are not yet equal in many ways. Yet, we pretend we are not racists here.

I spoke of why SC is much worse than MA and whether McLuhan had a real point.

That interview of Darnell Williams, CEO of the Urban League of Eastern MA by Chris Lovett, on the Charleston murders, is here.

icon for podpress  SC Racism [24:45m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Murders in the Palmetto State

While I’ve lived 35 years in Boston, plus nearly two in Cambridge in college years, I have deep and wide Southern roots. As a child, I knew segregated schools, stores, pools and water fountains. My first college was in South Carolina. I used to be the editor of the Black weekly newspaper in the SC capital. My wife is an SC native, and on and on. I know a lot about the state.

Let me speak of the people and events I knew in my childhood and youth. Perhaps as I talk, I can come to some terms with the brutal murders of nine in a Charleston AME church yesterday.

If you are not already at work or on the way and can listen live, click this URL at 10:30AM EDT Friday to do so. I’ll take calls so long as your number is not blocked to view at 718-664-6966. Of course, any swearing or racist callers get the mute immediately.

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Evangelical Boycotts, All Fail

Today was a 17-minute tirade, but a fairly jolly one. Evangelicals and anti-gay types try to copy the political success of pinkos, but with no good purpose means failure. Lefties frequently influence politicians, corporations and others through personal letters, visits, calls and yes, even boycotts. How hard can that be?

Well, apparently too hard for the other sides to emulate.

BGEA reads like a gay-friendly support group. It’s the opposite. The late Rev. Billy Graham;s son Franklin now heads daddy’s church-like object. He doesn’t care for homosexuals or equal rights and positively hates same-sex marriage. Lately he’s calling for a boycott of Wells Fargo and other companies who support equality and gay rights.

The proximate cause of the boycott call was that Wells Fargo used a TV ad that showed two women learning sign language and signing to a little girl they were adopting that they were going to be her mommies.

Many wee-brained folk live by such bluster and bombast. I’ll speak about a few, such as MA-based MassResistance. They are a small but loud and yet dwindling group. I have heard their only continuous member, their leader, spout anti-gay rhetoric since long before the group started, when we were both members of a computer society here. He could work homophobic lingo into even geek speak.

These anti-equality folk promise much and deliver little to nothing. They pick up on effective left-wing boycott talk and action, only to fail again and again.

icon for podpress  Evangelicals fail [18:00m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Zakim’s Busy First Term

Rather than season like firewood, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim has been all in his first term. Like the other dozen councillors, he is up for re-election in November. He is very comfortable in his role.

Locals know the family name, at least for the entry to the city over the bridge named for his social-activist father Leonard P. (Lenny) Zakim. His parents were role models that inform his current life.

We spoke of the many areas he’s led and insinuated himself in during his first term. You can delve into them on his Council-site link above or at his campaign site. Those also have details of his background and his various causes.

His District 8 sprawls from the West End and Beacon Hill through the Back Bay, Fenway and Mission Hill, that is from the very richest to the most downtrodden neighborhoods. He sincerely seems to support all Bostonians from the privileged to the poorest immigrants. In fact, he authored and drove through the Boston Trust Act, which makes a hardline pushback on the federal policy of crushing undocumented immigrants. That policy in turn made it unlikely that immigrants, even those with documents would report sexual assaults, domestic violence and other crimes they experienced or saw. Instead, Zakim wants them to feel comfortable in approaching authorities without fear of government retaliation or deportation.

Listen in to hear Zakim speak of:

  • Getting bucks for the city in the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program from universities and other non-profits
  • Ensuring acceptable living conditions and rents for students and others in rental housing
  • Helping keep mortgage payers in their homes in a rapacious realty market

i kept looking for trouble, as in getting Mayor Marty Walsh or the PBD to guy into the Trust Act or getting buy-in on various legislation from fellow Councillors or having Northeastern (he’s an alum) cough up more PILOT money. Yet he got it done, and as he said about the vote on the Trust Act, it didn’t start as unanimous in Council but got there.

It looks like we have a continuation of Zakims from parents to son in coalition building.

icon for podpress  Josh ZaKIM [27:06m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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