Z Nightly Commentaries
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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
Daniels: Wyclef for President?
Aug 12, 2010
Last week on CNN's Larry King Live the multi-Platinum, multi-Grammy Award winning recording artist and cultural icon Wyclef Jean made the long anticipated announcement that he will be a candidate for President of the Republic of Haiti.
Daniels: African American Identity
Jul 14, 2010
As I write this article, I am just returning from my annual visit to the International African Arts Festival in Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 1971 as the African Street Festival by activists associated with the Nationalist organization The East, the four-day cultural extravaganza attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees each year.
Dangl: Danish Brewers Fight
Apr 14, 2010
For over a century workers at Denmark’s Carlsberg brewery have been allowed to drink free beer on the job throughout the workday. After the management ended that policy on April 1st, hundreds of workers went on strike.
Dangl: The Land Lugo Promised
Apr 03, 2010
Paraguayan Farmers Mobilize for Agrarian Reform
Dangl: Morales Empowered by Re-Election
Dec 08, 2009
Bolivian President Evo Morales was re-elected on Sunday, December 6th in a landslide victory. After the polls closed, fireworks, music and celebrations filled the Plaza Murillo in downtown La Paz where MAS supporters chanted "Evo Again! Evo Again!" Addressing the crowd from the presidential palace balcony, Morales said, "The people, with their participation, showed once again that it's possible to change Boliviaâ€¦ We have the responsibility to deepen and accelerate this process of change."
Dangl: Activists to Voters in Uruguay
Dec 06, 2009
Torrential rain didn't keep voters away from the polls on Sunday, November 29th when JosÃ© "Pepe" Mujica was elected president with 52% of the vote. The 74-year-old Agricultural Minister spent 14 years in jail for his participation in the Tupamaro guerilla movement, and has pledged to continue the policies of his predecessor, current left-leaning president TabarÃ© VÃ¡squez. Mujica also promised that while president, he would return to his farm outside the capital city at least 5 hours a week to tend his flowers and vegetables.
Dangl: Justice & Direct Action
Sep 15, 2009
Richard Gillman, the former CEO of Chicago's Republic Windows and Doors factory where over 200 workers organized a victorious sit-in last year, has been sent to jail on eight charges including felony, theft, fraud, and money laundering. After the judge announced the $10 million bail, the shocked and dazed Gillman, dressed in a pin-striped suit, was hauled away to the county jail.
Dangl: Bases in Colombia
Sep 11, 2009
It was a winter day in the Argentine city of Bariloche when 12 South American presidents gathered there on August 28. It was so cold that Hugo Chavez wore a red scarf and Evo Morales put on a sweater. The presidents arrived at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) meeting to discuss a US plan to establish seven new military bases in Colombia. Though officials in Colombia and the US say the bases would be aimed at combating terrorism and the drug trade, US military and air force documents point to other objectives.
Dangl: Union Busting Beer
Aug 11, 2009
When Obama sat down for a beer in the White House Rose Garden with Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley, they all turned their backs on the smaller, craft brewers of the country. Obama chose Bud Light, Gates asked for Red Stripe, and Crowley drank Blue Moon.
Daniels: Will Obama Fight?
Jul 14, 2009
When President Barack Obama took office after a brilliant and historic election campaign, there were great hopes that he would utilize his margin of victory and enormous popularity to usher in an era of "change you can believe in." Though it is far too early to predict the ultimate legacy of his presidency, there are troubling signs that rather than boldly and robustly articulating and fighting for his policy proposals, Obama is emerging as a cautious pragmatist who is more obsessed with "bi-partisanship" than seizing the moment to create substantial change in this country.
Daniels: Identity Politics
Jun 27, 2009
The nomination of Judge Sotomayor for Justice on the Supreme Court has simply sent some conservatives into a tizzy, searching for anything that might derail her historic quest to be the first Latina to occupy a seat on this august body. One of the allegations that has surfaced is that she is a proponent of "identity politics," the appeal to solidarity within a racial, ethnic or issue constituency to advance the interest/agenda of a particular group. Conservatives have widely disparaged such efforts as separatist, divisive and corrosive of the idea of assimilating into the American culture. Critics point to Judge Sotomayor's statement that a "wise Latina" might bring a better perspective on some issues than a White man and description of herself as an "affirmative action baby" as evidence that she is a captive of identity politics. In a recent column in the New York Times, conservative columnist David Brooks, who actually had some favorable things to say about Judge Sotomayor, suggested that she attended Princeton University when "the whole race, class and gender academic-industrial complex seemed fresh, exciting and just." He goes on to say that "there is no way she was going to get out of that unscarred." Brooks obviously subscribes to the notion that identity politics is damaging to the American way.
Daniels: Confuse & Exploit
Jun 19, 2009
When rabid right wing radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and conservative guru Newt Gingrich initially attacked Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a "racist," they were using a time-tested strategy to appeal to Whites who believe their "rights" are being threatened by Blacks and people of color.
Daniels: Black Progress
May 12, 2009
With the election of Barack Obama, as the first Black President of the United States, there has been an open debate about whether this historic feat is the climax of the Black freedom struggle, minimizing the need for government to address issues of concern to Black people. Indeed, despite persistent disparities in income, employment, health, education and wealth between Blacks and Whites, with a Black President in the White House, there are a considerable number of people, including some in the Black community, who believe that race is no longer a major barrier to Black progress. A recent Poll in the New York Times revealed that Blacks and Whites feel more optimistic about race relations in the country. Blacks and Whites also expressed a new openness to communicating and associating with each other. The question is whether this optimism about race relations will translate into racial justice as it relates to finishing what might be termed the unfinished civil rights/human rights agenda for Black people.
May 04, 2009
Workers and activists gathered in the central plaza of AsunciÃ³n, Paraguay on May 1st to commemorate International Workers Day. Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo marked the day by raising the minimum wage by 5%, half of what many of the unions present were demanding. But another piece of news set the tone for this annual gathering: the return to Paraguay of an ex-minister from the dictatorship who orchestrated the murder and torture of thousands of political dissidents.
Daniels: Presidential Accountability
Apr 19, 2009
Television and radio journalist Tavis Smiley took some major hits during the presidential campaign when he had the audacity to suggest that Black folks should expect then candidate Barack Obama to respond to Black issues and be held accountable in some measure to Black people in exchange for our support. The reaction was so furious that Brother Tavis resigned as a Commentator on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. I understand that B.E.T. Political Analyst Jeff Johnson recently provoked some controversy among Blacks when he also suggested that President Barack Obama should respond to Black issues/concerns. Maxine Waters, outspoken Congresswoman from Los Angeles, warned the Obama administration that she was not about to sit on the sidelines and watch billions of dollars go to banks and insurance companies, the same crowd whose reckless behavior precipitated the economic collapse, while the urgent needs of Blacks in devastated urban communities are neglected. After releasing the State of Black America Report, which showed continuing disparities between Blacks and Whites in critical areas such as health, education, income and wealth, Marc Morial, President/CEO of the National Urban League challenged President Obama to prioritize Black concerns. And, from the very outset of the presidential campaign, Professor Cornell West, arguably Black America's leading public intellectual, insisted that Blacks should offer "critical support" to Obama -- working on his behalf but exercising the right to advocate for Black issues and to offer constructive criticism where necessary and appropriate.
Daniels: Black Agenda
Apr 12, 2009
President Barack Obama speaks proudly of his days as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago where his wife Michelle was also raised in a working class family. There are certainly sections of Chicago's south side which are still "crime-haunted dying grounds." And, when Mark Morial, President/CEO of the National Urban League, recently threw down the gauntlet after releasing the Annual State of Black America Report, which continues to show troubling disparities between Blacks and Whites in education, health care, income and wealth, he was implicitly making the case for the ongoing need for a Black Agenda.
Mar 31, 2009
Almost every year I make the Pilgrimage to Selma, Alabama for the Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemorating "Bloody Sunday" sponsored by the Voting Rights Museum under the leadership of Atty. Faya Rose Sanders. Sunday March 7, 1965 was that fateful day when civil rights activists and courageous ordinary people were brutally turned back by the State Police as they attempted to march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge en route to the Capital of Montgomery to demand the right to vote. Bloody Sunday was a milestone moment, a turning point in the history of this nation. The whole world witnessed what amounted to state authorized terrorism as State Troopers trampled innocent protesters with their horses and bludgeoned them with Billy Clubs. Their behavior was so repugnant, so repulsive that the nation and world recoiled in outrage, creating the political space for President Lyndon Baines Johnson to sign the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Daniels: Unfinished Revolution
Mar 20, 2009
In my most recent article, I argued that the Haitian Revolution which produced the first Black Republic in the world was one of the most important revolutions in history. Never before had humankind witnessed an enslaved people rising up to defeat the super-powers of the day to achieve self-determination and nationhood. But as we discussed, the Haitian people have never really been permitted to fully realize the potential of this improbable triumph because the western slave masters were determined that these "uppity" Africans would be punished for shattering the myth of white supremacy. So, Haiti's path to democracy and development has been thwarted by denigration, isolation, marginalization and the chronic intervention into its affairs by foreign powers.
Daniels: Our Flag
Feb 23, 2009
On Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C., there was a veritable sea of Red, White and Blue as some two million proud Americans, including hundreds of thousands of Black people, furiously waved their American Flags on the National Mall. This overt expression of affection for the American Flag was somewhat out of character for Blacks, who have been understandably ambivalent about America's sacred symbols. No doubt joining in this patriotic display was part of the pride the vast majority of Blacks felt in witnessing one of the most extraordinary "strides towards freedom" this nation has ever achieved - the swearing-in of the first Black President of the United States. But, I was not among those waving the Flag on that historic day. I am still ambivalent. I know what the Black National Anthem and the Red. Black and Green Flag mean to me, however, I don't see myself, my people in the Red, White and Blue.
Daniels: Age of Obama
Feb 16, 2009
January 20, 2009, the day that Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America, will forever be remembered as one of the great moments in the history of this nation and the world. Few can forget Nelson Mandela's release from prison and his subsequent journey from prisoner to president in South Africa, overcoming decades of oppression under the vicious system of apartheid. This was truly a hallmark of history. Similarly, Barack Obama's ascension to the presidency marks a triumph over centuries of denigration of Africans in America, most often under horrific conditions. No one can deny the magnificence of this moment.