Thursday, May 11, 2006

Speaking Truth to Power

The Ghana Joseph Project...
The purpose of "The Joseph Project" is to make the 21st. century the African century.
To reconcile and unite the African Peoples so that their positive spirit and strengths are released in a focused manner to elevate Africa and Africans worldwide.
After more than 400 years of slave trading, colonial exploitation, cultural and economic and post colonial political manipulation much of Africa is a waste land of woes and war.

The African peoples everywhere have been taught to be self loathing, to see everything African as a negative: Taught to believe that Africa is a definition of failure and ugliness.

The time has come to put an end to the negative and begin the positive. The time has come for us to till our own vineyard; to produce inner and outer wealth for ourselves. The time has come for us to stand and state," I am a proud African, proud of my land, proud of my people, committed to making the third millennium the African millennium".

"The Joseph Project" is the code name for a series of activities, actions and interactions being spearheaded by Ghana to re-establish the African Nation as a nation of all its peoples, capable of delivering on the promise of God to Africa and the African peoples.

"I am black and beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem. I am dark, because the sun has gazed on me. My mother's sons were angry with me; and made me work hard in their vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept". (Song of Songs 1,5-6 ) More:



DATE: May 11, 200
TO: Concerned Parties
FROM: Bruce Gordon, President and CEO
Hillary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau


THE ISSUE: On May 10, 2006, the House Judiciary Committee passed, by a margin of 33 yeas to 1 nay, H.R. 9, the NAACP-supported Fannie Lou Hammer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006. This legislation, which has been introduced in both the US House and the US Senate, would reauthorize and restore expiring portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The next step is consideration by the full House of Representatives, which could happen as early as next week.
Despite the fact that African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority Americans are guaranteed the right to vote by the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was passed just after the Civil War in 1850, states and local municipalities continued to use tactics such as poll taxes, literacy tests and outright intimidation to stop people from casting free and unfettered ballots. Thus the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted to insure that no federal, state or local government may in any way impede people from registering to vote or voting because of their race or ethnicity. Most provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and specifically the portions that guarantee that no one may be denied the right to vote because of his or her race or color, are permanent.
There are, however, 3 key enforcement-related provisions of the Voting Rights Act that will expire in August 2007 unless reauthorized. They are: Section 5, which requires certain jurisdictions to obtain approval or "preclearance" from the US Department of Justice or the US District Court in D.C. before they can make any changes to voting practices or procedures. Federal approval will be given only after the jurisdiction proves that the proposed change does not, have the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color; Section 203, which requires certain jurisdictions to provide bilingual language assistance to voters in communities where there is a concentration of citizens who are limited English proficient; and Sections 6-9 which authorize the federal government to send federal election examiners and observers to certain jurisdictions covered by Section 5 where there is evidence of attempts to intimidate minority voters at the polls.
Hearings held in 2005 and 2006 have found a new generation of tactics, including some at-large elections, annexations, last minute poll place changes and disenfranchising redistricting practices which have had a discriminatory impact on voters, especially racial and ethnic minority American voters. H.R. 9 reauthorizes the portions of the VRA that will expire next year restoring the Congress's original intent and allowing the federal government to address these new challenges. To view the entire Action Alert please click here.

If any questions, contacHillary Shelton at the Washington Bureau at (202) 463-2940.

MEMBERSHIP IS POWER! JOIN THE NAACP TODAY. For more information, call your local NAACP branch or visit
P O Box 435, Marshall, MO 65340
History of African Americans in the Civil War
Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States." - - Frederick Douglass
These words spoken by Frederick Douglass moved many African Americans to enlist in the Union Army and fight for their freedom. With President Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Civil War became a war to save the union and to abolish slavery.
Approximately 180,000 African Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and many more African Americans served in the Union Navy. Both free African-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. More
Republicans Use Strong-Arm Tactics, Force Passage of Voter ID Bill
by Missouri Democratic Party
Rare Senate Procedure Used to Block Debate after Republicans Reject Democratic Compromises

At 1:30 a.m. this morning, Republicans in the Missouri State Senate used an extremely rare Senate procedure to block debate on the Voter ID bill. Instead, they forced the measure through, passing it on a party-line vote. This bill will require Missouri voters to have a state issued photo ID in order to be eligible to vote.
The requirement will be imposed without giving voters adequate time and without providing the resources to ensure that ALL Missouri voters will have the ability to acquire a photo ID before Election Day. As a result, many disabled Missourians and seniors will be adversely impacted..
Democrats had sought to delay implementing voter IDs until 2008, but in a clear effort to play politics with Missourians right to vote, Republicans refused to compromise. Republicans are more concerned with protecting Jim Talent's seat in the Senate, than they are with the voting rights of thousands of Missourians.
This bill will also eliminate a voter's option to cast a straight party ballot. Republicans said that they added that provision because "they were punishing Senate Democrats" for opposing the Voter ID bill (Kansas City Star, 5/10/2006).
Having passed the House this afternoon, the Voter ID bill is now headed to Governor Matt Blunt. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has urged Blunt veto the bill when it reaches his desk, but he is expected to sign it - despite previously stating that he opposed eliminating straight ticket voting (Springfield News Leader, 1/21/2005).
Missouri House and Senate Democrats fought hard to fix the flaws in this bill and to then defeat it when Republicans refused to compromise. Please contact your Democratic legislators and thank them for their hard work on this important issue.
We also urge you to contact Governor Blunt's office and tell him to protect the voting rights of disabled Missourians and senior citizens. Tell him that voting rights outweigh partisan politics.
Phone Governor Blunt's office at (573) 751-3222 or email his office to
Bono's best sermon yet: Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast
If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.
Yes, it's true. And for anyone who knows me, it's hardly a revelation.
Well, I'm the first to admit that there's something unnatural...something unseemly...about rock stars mounting the pulpit and preaching at presidents, and then disappearing to their villas in the south of France. Talk about a fish out of water. It was weird enough when Jesse Helms showed up at a U2 concert...but this is really weird, isn't it?
You know, one of the things I love about this country is its separation of church and state. Although I have to say: in inviting me here, both church and state have been separated from something else completely: their mind.
Mr. President, are you sure about this?
It's very humbling and I will try to keep my homily brief. But be warned - I'm Irish.
I'd like to talk about the laws of man, here in this city where those laws are written. And I'd like to talk about higher laws. It would be great to assume that the one serves the other; that the laws of man serve these higher laws...but of course, they don't always. And I presume that, in a sense, is why you're here. Click here for more