Rants & Raves

By Julianne Hing Sep 21, 2004

RANT: Love and nostalgia for Reagan.

  The 40th president is being hailed for ending the Cold War and saving America. We’ll remember him for the phrase “welfare queen,” ignoring the AIDS crisis and waging war in Central America and on affirmative action and public housing.

RAVE: Public altars hating on Reagan.

Many blessings to the people who put up a memorial at the corner of 10th Street and 7th Avenue in Brooklyn saying "Remember Reagan" and listing the atrocities of his administration: apartheid, AIDS and illegal war.

RANT: 10,000 ads in your pocket.

Billboards for iPods feature black silhouettes dancing and holding their white iPods. We get the point: blacks got groove, so buy music and be urban cool like them. But with iPods selling for as much as $500 a pop and the Census reporting that a quarter of all black folks are living in poverty, we’re not buying it.

RAVE: If we lose the White House, maybe we should try the City Council in Athens, Greece.

Two years ago, Boston University alumna and Brooklyn native, Yvette Jarvis, became the first black American on the Athens City Council. A former pro basketball player in Greece, Jarvis told a reporter that she was welcomed there: the Greek people "had seen Roots. They were angry about white America treating blacks like that. (Good to know someone got the point.)

RANT: The money and the message.

Stanford students voted to cut $40,000 in funding for MECHA, a national Chicano student organization, after the school’s conservative newspaper ran articles describing nationalist statements in the group’s founding documents as "racist." Sounds to us like the Stanford review is getting some talking points from the National Review. The money for the 2004-2005 school year would have paid for such racist activities like Cinco de Mayo.

RAVE: One more step towards banning the R-word.

California Senate Education Committee approved a bill in June that would ban state schools from using the word "Redskins" for their mascots. The applause goes to Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Lost Angeles), whose original bill would have stopped the use of all American Indian mascots. The bill got watered downt o just banning the word, "Redskins." The bill now makes its way to the Senate floor, where the Democrats should approve it.

RANT: No need to run for this.

  Lest we forget that their marathon is happening in Hawai’i, the National AIDS Marathon Training Program picked a hula dancer doll for its brochures and outreach materials. How many times can we say it? Don’t burden a good cause with racist stereotypes.

RAVE: Forget the Nascar dad.

The swing voter is Latino and Asian, and a new campaign Immigrant Vote 2004 hopes to register these voters and get them to the polls. It’s the handiwork of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Center for Immigrant Democracy, Gamaliel Foundation, National Council of La Raza, and others. Since the last election, the number of Latinos in the U.S. increased by 13 percent and Asian Americans by 12.6 percent – creating a surge in the population.