Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
YP4 Fellow Monique Gillium will be doing an interview on her recent protest at the Florida capitol. This is a protest to hold the state of Florida accountable for its actions in the death a 14 year old who died after being beaten by a boot camp officer.
Monique's interview will be on the 4 pm show. She is scheduled to be on during the first half hour.
Young People For Fellow Paul Kendrick must follow our blog. He wrote an article in his paper about the recent incidents surrounding Cynthia McKinney.
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Alex Flores from Macalester College responds to my April 20th blog on immigration!
Take it away Alex:
It's been a hard month at Macalester, as I'm sure it has been for most of you across the country. With social lives, classes wrapping up, student organization events, the beautiful weather, and never ending progressive struggles, we stay busy and sleep less. I wanted to let you know what's been hardest for me lately - Lakoff would be proud.
Macalester is what one might call a progressive bastion where Republicans are more known to remain in the closet than come out in public. Even so, I find that we are always thinking of the elephant. Shawn's April 20 commentary sparked this small rant from me, and I hope that you all take it to heart and use it in your organizing, specifically with regard to immigrant rights.
"On May 1, some immigrants are planning on not going to work, school, etc in order to demonstrate to the country the vital role that immigrants play in our economy, our schools, and our daily lives. However, immigrants groups are divided over whether or not this is a productive way to demonstrate their power. What do you think? Is this a good idea, or should immigrant groups encourage immigrants to demonstrate their importance in other ways."
Best by far is that not once on the blog can you find the word "illegal," but it's the word most closely associated with our recent struggles. The term criminalizes a person working and living in the United States rather than the act of entering the country. For undocumented workers and students who have lived in the country for many years, being called an "illegal immigrant" is pejorative.
Further, recent mass movements are not limited to "immigrants." By far, a large minority (and majority in some cases, see today's nytimes about Latin@s in the Midwest) of demonstrators are citizen allies. This group includes white allies, legal (by legalization or by birth) citizens of color in addition to undocumented residents. Lastly, let's never limit ourselves to calling this a Latin@ issue: we are a nation of immigrants and always will be.
Oh Mondays ........can't live with them, can't get to Tuesday without em.
Going to Europe this summer? Check out this Times article that highlights how to save money while visiting, even while the dollar is down. I was in Spain not too long ago and I know it's not easy.
On to the news _______________________
Poor Cynthia McKinney just can't catch a break. The congresswoman was caught on tape this past weekend referring to a staff member as a "fool." The staffer should look on the bright side, at least he doesn't work for Jo Ann Emerson! (re: Rep. Emerson sent a letter to constituent last week that called the consituent a seven letter expletive that starts with "a" )
Interesting: The Vatican possibly shifting policy on condom use for people with HIV/AIDS
Not suprising: Finals might be giving you high blood pressure! But, it could be for a different reason than you think. I thought this article might be interesting to those of you who are pulling all-nighters over the next few week for finals and papers. This study says a lack of sleep could be a cause of hypertension.
Bush: Deportation not going to work. Hmm, a pretty interesting take given last weeks raids meant to scare undocumented workers into silence.
GREAT piece on Monique Gillum, 2005 Fellow, who is helping to lead the charge in holding the state accountable for the death of a 14 year old boy who died after being beaten at boot camp.
This past Saturday was Earth Day! How did you celebrate?
Coming at you.......Friday Afternoon Style. Today's blog is going to be abbreviated due to the fact that it is Friday.
Note that I will be using divider lines again today.
What makes me happy? The Onion doing the "American Voices" section daily.
Young People For Fellows
The Café reported yesterday about how Young People For Fellows were leading the way in a protest in Florida designed to make governor Bush take action after a boy was beaten to death at a state boot camp. Now, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commission Guy Tunnell resigned. Hmm....wonder why?
Also, today they led a march of 1,500 people to the capitol in Florida. Check out the coverage from the front page of the NY Times Online.
Another day, Another Café.
You will notice that I have added divider lines to today's blog for dramatic effect. Enjoy!
Not So Breaking News.
So Tom Cruise FINALLY had his baby. I don't know who is happier - his family for not having to go through any more wacko seminar training sessions- or me, for not having to hear about his family going through wacko seminar training sessions.
*Ace Young was voted off American Idol....being cute only takes you so far...
More Scare Tactics
Today conservatives unveiled their attempt to stifle the immigration reform movement and all of the energy it has gained over the past few weeks. Conservatives are apparently going to try to scare immigrants into silence by highlighting raids. Ultra conservatives are hoping this will take some of the political pressure off of their ridiculous immigration policy positions.
YP4 Fellows in the News
This story made headlines in the Miami Herald today as students, YP4 Fellow Monique Gillum included, in Florida organized a protest yesterday outside of the Capitol in Tallahassee. The students are demanding that Jeb Bush apologize to the family of a boy who died in a Florida boot camp after being beaten by the camp's guards.
Immigrant Boycott on May 1st
On May 1, some immigrants are planning on not going to work, school, etc in order to demonstrate to the country the vital role that immigrants play in our economy, our schools, and our daily lives. However, immigrants groups are divided over whether or not this is a productive way to demonstrate their power. What do you think? Is this a good idea, or should immigrant groups encourage immigrants to demonstrate their importance in other ways.
Behold, the power of the Café is upon you.
I want to begin today's blog with an open apology to Scott McClellan. Mr. McClellan, I didn't know the power of the Café.
Just one day after writing about a rumor that McClellan would possibly leave the White House, he announced his resignation.
This blog did not intend to be the catalyst for a shake up, but we had really undervalued our strength. I promise to write with care from now on.
New York starts aggressive plan to recruit teachers. New York City is offering housing stipends of up to $5000 up front $400 a month to attract math and science teachers to the city.
<u>Be a blogger.</u> Are you dedicated reader of the Café? If you are a YP4 Fellow, and you are interested in writing for the Blog, let me know. Blog Team members will receive compensation for their dedication to the Café and its powerfulness. Interested Fellows should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The odd couple. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is stumping for the ultra conservative senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. Hmm...someone sounds like they are running for president.
Uhuh..........time for that early-afternoon coffee.....
HMM....well it's the day after tax day! Corporations and billionaires everywhere are rejoicing today because thanks to ultra conservative tax policy, they have avoided their fair share yet again.
Nonetheless, I must say excited about getting my tax return. I am trying to decide what to do with the measly money I am getting back......I could pay bills, but that of course would be boring. Should I take a vacation to Spain, or invest in a laptop? You vote!! You can even be boring and vote for paying the bills, I will leave it up to you. (Either way, I am not really getting back enough money for either so your vote really doesn't count, but let's pretend)
Check out this site!! Really interesting place to find investigative progressive journalism. It's called wiretapmag.org. It is sort of the youth version of alternet.org.
According to PoliticalWire.Com, Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, is soon to be yesterday's news. Or at least yesterday's news man. Okay, okay, yesterday's press secretary, but that's not as funny.
Now that's service! Pizza company flies pizza's to small village in Alaska - I am guessing the 30 minutes or less guarantee could cause problems.
Let me know what's going on around the country today, it seems kind of like a slow news day. If nothing is happening with you, at least let us know what you plan on doing with your tax refund. (or gripe about not getting one)
Mid afternoon Café coming at you.....it's Monday and it's time to get back into the daily grind.
Check out this story. A guy started with a paper clip and has gradually traded it up - now he is close to getting a house!
WIN A TRIP!! I am sorry to keep shoving this down your throat, but I want someone I know to win this trip with Nicholas Kristof. I am mad that I can't apply for it, so I want one of you to wing it!! Come on, it's a free trip around the world and a chance to be published in the NY Times!
Today, welcome more guest bloggers to the Café!! Ben Wells from Southern Methodist University writes about his experience at last week's immigration rally.
TAKE IT AWAY BEN......
A few of my friends and I went down to the massive immigration protest that was on Sunday, April 9, 2006, in the heart of downtown Dallas. When we arrived at Mockingbird Station the DART was backed up for miles. The train cars were packed with white-shirted protestors (mostly families) who were in support of peaceful protest for immigrants rights. After finally hopping on a packed train, we arrived a block from where the protest began a few hours earlier, and were shocked to see the protest line began a block before the starting point of the protest. There were thousands upon thousands of people, marching, chanting and singing under the banner of fair treatment of Mexican and Latino immigrants. We began our long journey to City Hall - filled with clapping, singing, and chanting by ourselves and those around us. I did not once see an unruly protestor or even a scuffle between protestors and those onlookers who were just curious. The march led us to City Hall, which was packed with families waving American flags and chanting for the rights of their loved ones here and abroad. Looking out across the rally it was really an amazing site to see such a large community mobilized so quickly - but when you read the bill that is being proposed you can see why the residents of the affected communities would come out in force. We were even pleasantly surprised to see some banners, signs and art work that explored the issue of the exploitation of the migrant worker. On our way back we saw a plane with a banner that said "No Amnesty, No Mexico, USA: Love it or leave it." Perhaps the pilot didn't realize that more than 500,000 protestors who want to stay in America love it and don't want to "leave it."
- Ben Wells
MMMmm....time for that mid-afternoon coffee..........
Happy Holidays to any of you celebrating the religious holidays this week and weekend!!
Found this article on the 10 best jobs in America. Sadly, Program Associate for YP4 was left out, coming in at number 11. All the hype and having to deal with paparazzi kept it from making the top 10 again this year.
We asked for submissions, you gave them to us!!
Today's blog is going to be abbreviated to make room for guest blogger Eileen Denny to share her story about being involved in a recent immigration rally
TAKE IT AWAY EILEEN!
I recently had the honor of participating with PFAW in the march for comprehensive immigration reform here in Washington DC. I had the most amazing time! Thanks to Rachel, I learned about the march and after gauging how many of my fellow students were already planning on attending, I realized how great it would be if I could bring people together under PFAW. The promises of shirts, signs and snacks lured some, but the idea of marching together is what really made my experience amazing.
After attending the briefing meeting, where we were briefed, phone banked, ate tacos and made awesome signs, I returned to school with a fellow passionate student and a desire to get everyone to come to this rally! Unfortunately quite a few people had class, but one of our students was actually on the cover of USA Today the next morning. I found out that since so many people were planning on attending anyways, it was simply a question of getting everyone there at the same time.
Nothing beat marching down 16th street yelling as loudly as we could "What do we want?!" "JUSTICE!" The energy in the air was palpable, and people stood by the side of the road and cheered us on. The strength people had, and the belief that they could make a difference, renewed my hope that we could make a change. I received an email from Guillermo Nicacio stating that more than 821,000 people rode the metro on Monday. That is a lot of people, in fact there were so many Latino's taking the metro that day that they were doing all of the announcements in the metro station in Spanish.
I had the most amazing time, and it felt so good to stand with my fellow students and lose our voices collectively as we yelled for that which we believe in. Although no one in my family has immigrated anywhere in probably a hundred years, I did grow up in a community with a huge Latino population, and my desire to learn Spanish derived from growing up listening to my best friends dad speak it all of the time. Immigration is an issue that everyone needs to care about however, not just those who it will directly affect. Overall, I had an amazing time; didn't manage to get sun burnt, and was able to participate in the most amazing rally of my time.
A report from People For the American Way Foundation Senior Field Organizer Kristin Nabers, who spent the morning deep inside right-wing territory at a David Horowitz conference:
David Horowitz and his Students for Academic Freedom group are holding their first national conference in Washington, DC. I've been here since this morning, and have been surprised by the participants -- not only is it a relatively small group (approx 50-60 people in a room set up for over a hundred), but the attendees skew older than I would have expected -- there aren't more than 15 or 20 students in the whole room. (What's not shocking to me is the lack of diversity in the group -- there aren't more than one or two non-Caucasian attendees.)
The first panel this morning included seven college students, who made the case for ABOR legislation based on their own individual experiences as conservative students. All made complaints of "liberal bias" on campus, citing various instances of professors who spoke negatively about President Bush and American foreign policy in Iraq, "radical" speakers brought to campus on Martin Luther King Day, and even presentations of "The Vagina Monologues." There was no Q & A with these students following their presentation, but if there had been, I would've asked them if encountering ideas contrary to one's own beliefs is not in fact supposed to be part of the college experience? Aren't the years spent in college a time where you are supposed to learn to think and speak up for yourself? It will be a great disservice to the university system and the learning process if the free marketplace of ideas is stifled or if all professors and guest speakers are regulated by some type of speech code. David Horowitz and his followers claim that campuses are "indoctrinating" students -- but this supposedly massive influx of liberalism has not reversed their thinking. These panelists clearly can think for themselves; are they saying that most college students aren't smart enough to do the same?
One student panelist made a more serious charge - that a professor gave her failing grades because the professor knew this student was a conservative. Without knowing all the facts in the case, it's impossible to judge this panelist's claim, but what I found most interesting is that this student was the only one of the panel why actually filed a grievance with her university against this professor (and ultimately had her grade raised). Far from demonstrating the need for ABOR legislation, this student's story proved our point exactly -- that there are already protective procedures in place to help students who feel they are being discriminated against in the classroom. This student did exactly what she should have done - she felt her professor had let politics get in the way of the learning process, she took her complaint to the university, and she got her grade raised.
A number of panelists, including David Horowitz himself, have repeatedly said today that they do not believe ABOR legislation is necessary. Why then, do they support the efforts of legislatures in over a dozen states to put this up for debate? This group claims to hate speech codes that regulate hate speech, yet they want to institute a speech code for what professors and guest lecturers are able to say. Students for Academic Freedom is talking out of both sides of its mouth.
For those who would like more info, visit http://www.freeexchangeoncampus.org/.
An update from Morgan Corr, 2006 YP4 Fellow from GW:
Last week I had a rare opportunity: to experience something inspiring. That's not a word one uses often, but it certainly fits the bill. I had the chance to watch a short film, "A Blinding Flash of the Obvious", produced by the PFAW Foundation on an often-overlooked success on Election Day in '04. While many of us were lamenting the fact that Bush had just squeaked into office again and that 11 states had adopted constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, Cincinnati was celebrating. A broad coalition of religious, political, and business leaders had worked with the community to actually remove a law from the books that made it legal to discriminate against gays.
After the screening a distinguished panel including Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Rev. Baines, and others shared their thoughts on how we can learn from this victory; how we can duplicate it. This gives hope to everyone who despaired when those 11 states amended their constitutions. After all, if it can happen in conservative Cincinnati, it can happen anywhere.