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#Cutthecheck is not a movement!


#Cutthecheck is not a movement!

Jamala Rogers
May 20, 2015

Downloadable version

Recently we celebrated the birthday of our “shining black prince” Malcolm X. Although taken down by an assassin’s’ bullet in the prime of his life, the Black Liberation Movement and the global Human Rights Movement were privileged to have witnessed Malcolm’s evolving political and social development during his short but provocative life. Fifty years after his premature death, activists and organizers continue to draw solace and wisdom from Malcolm’s analysis of the system that impacts black people’s relationship with America and with one another.

Malcolm X was as razor-sharp in his critique of Africans and those of African descent who were obstructionist to our fight for dignity, freedom and equality as he was of white America. He constantly called out black folks who aligned themselves with the enemies of true democracy and equality; they suffered unrelenting lashings from Malcolm in his writings and speeches. Despite this criticism, Malcolm possessed acute clarity that love and respect were key attributes that must dominate the work by those fighting the oppressor but between the masses themselves.

Last week, a group of young(ish) people took over the offices of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment demanding money for their involvement in the Ferguson Uprising. An existing bank account was activated to fundraise for Ferguson Uprising work with MORE and the Organization for Black Struggle as the account stewards. The funds were to cover particular expenses emerging from the work such as supplies, food, equipment, travel, etc. The hostile take-over on May 14 resulted in checks being written to seventeen people at $2750 each totally nearly $50,000. (Notably, there were a few who took a principled stance and refused a check.) The shake-down pretty much cleaned out a bank account designed to support movement activities in a way that the local social justice community never had the funds to do. Poof—it was gone in a matter of minutes.  Read more

Black teachers take the fall


A View from the Battlefront by Jamala Rogers
Published in, May 14, 2015


ATL teachers

It’s been several weeks now since the sentencing phases of the cheating trials ended in Atlanta and my reaction is just as intense now as it was then.

There’s no defense for cheating and I’m not here to mount a defense for those black teachers caught up in the scandal to raise test scores in Atlanta public schools. Seeing African American teachers being led out of a courtroom in handcuffs is still unsettling for me.

I know the trials and tribulations of teachers and administrators struggling to bring a positive educational experience in the chaos and oppressive conditions that have been created by the State-imposed policies and dictates.

Read more.


The perversion of Cinco de Mayo


When Did Cinco de Mayo Become Cinco de Money Or Cerveza de Mayo?


When did Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Money?
Cerveza de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo,
La Batalla de Puebla
The defeat of French
Colonialism in Mexico
To celebrate Mexico’s
First full-blooded Zapotec Indian
President, Benito Juárez
And popular uprizing
Of humble
Campesinos and obreros
Rising up against
The imperial army
Of Napoleon

When did Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Money
Cerveza de Mayo?
Instead of a time
To celebrate the
Revolutionary achievements
Of Mexicanas y Mexicanos
And their glorious
Tradiciones de resistencia
And their ambitions
For libertad, autodeterminación
Y liberación

When did Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Money
Cerveza de Mayo?
A drunk fest
A Green, white and red
Corporate day to
Get America drunk enough
To forget injustice,
Inequality and national oppression
A day of belligerence
Chile, beans, encheritos,
And Chihuahuas
Muchos stereotypes and
Fiestas de ignorancia

When did Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Money
Cerveza de Mayo?
When did the connection
Between Mexico’s lucha
Por la independencia
Become severed from
La Raza, viviendo en el ábdomen
Of U.S. Imperialism
Luchando por la justicia
Igualdad y autodeterminación?
When did it stop being
A celebration of la gente
To honor activists and martyrs
For the cause of social justice?
When did it cease to be
Una celebración de la lucha,
Las tradiciones y la cultura
De nuestra gente?

When did Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Money
Cerveza de Mayo?
When corporations poured
Milliones de dólores y
Milliones de cervezas
To intoxicate La Raza
Y toda la gente enough
To forget what’s important
Pero los ideales del
Cinco de Mayo siguen
The ideals continue
To thrive in the hearts
And minds of la gente,
The people who remain
Politically sober, unaffected
By the flow of money and beer
As they celebrate
Cinco de Mayo,
A celebration of independence,
Self-determination and pride

¡Qué viva el Cinco de Mayo!
¡Qué viva Benito Juárez!
¡Qué viva la independencia de México!
¡Qué viva la autodeterminación de La Raza!

–Joe Navarro
© Copyright 2015


Celebrate the real Cinco de Mayo

The Way I See It-Jamala Rogers
Published in St. Louis American on May 9, 2004

It is encouraging to see African-Americans wanting to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Our Chicano and Mexicano friends want us to know the real story, not his-story. So for those of you who was out there last weekend sucking up Coronas and eating nachos, wearing sombreros and singing “la cucarachas”, have a seat. I will give you the short version of Cinco de Mayo and the struggle of the Mexico people for self-determination.

First things first—the pronunciation. Cinco de Mayo is “ seen’ co- da- my’ o”. In this case, Mayo is not short for mayonnaise. It is Spanish for the 5th of May or May 5. Second, it is not a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. That’s celebrated on September 16 and based on Mexico’s liberation from Spain in 1821. Read more