Friday, February 29, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"You did then what you knew how to do; when you knew better, you did better." -Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gentrification Part 1

Tomorrow, Harlem's Record Shack will have a court date to try to fight off eviction (after being a tenant for over 35 years at its current location). The Record Shack family is requesting that members of the community come out and support them as they wage this battle.

The information is as follows:
Friday, February 29, 2008
111 Centre Street
Room 1166 11th Floor Part 52
Time: 9:30 AM

It's time for us to band together to do what is right, and to support each other. Remember Martin Niemoler's famous quote: "First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me."

Even if you are unable to come down tomorrow, PLEASE let's all do our small part to save our community. There's so much to be done, any little contribution of your time and brain power will help immensely. Let's be creative and diligent in our efforts- however we choose to assist those in need.

Lots of love to everybody, always!

Elsie Law

SIDEBAR: The Legal Eagles Community Newsletter Gentrification issue is coming as soon as possible.

Quote Of The Day

"Appreciate your learning process, for it is of equal value to have realized there is a need for change as for the change itself." -Beth Johnson; Author

South African Apartheid vs. American Racism

Wikipedia defines apartheid as: "A system of legalized racial segregation enforced by the National Party (NP) South African government between 1948 and 1994. It arose from a longer history of settler rule and Dutch and British colonialism." America's social ideals have also not been exempt from the effects of colonialism. Hence, the prevalence of racism throughout American History. Although we can optimistically hope that the irrationality of racial hatred has been diagnosed and is being cured, recent shocking events on the continents of Africa and America sadly shows otherwise.
Yesterday, a video which was recorded at the University of Free State in South Africa surfaced. In this disturbing video, several White students from the university allegedly forced five Black elderly university employees to perform humiliating acts; this included forcing the Black elders to eat food that was urinated on. The supposed motivation for this criminal abuse was a protest by the White students to oppose the university's integrating Black and White students in residential dorms.

In response to the horrendous video, Black students and university employees have handed over a list of demands to university administrators. According to the BBC website: "The university says it has begun procedures to suspend the students allegedly implicated in the video, and says the alleged victims have received psychological support." This is a weak response to such an inhumane act.

On the homefront, the Megan Williams case is slowly winding its way through the American court system. This case involves a 20 year old African American woman who was kidnapped in the Summer of 2007, tortured, raped, and forced to eat animal feces- while being called racial slurs. While sexual abuse victims usually exercise their right to remain anonymous, Ms. Williams and her family decided to reveal her identity in order to put a human face on this unconscionable crime. However, the lack of media attention involving this situation begs to ask where the concern is on the journalistic front. There is also a question of fairness in the arena of justice. Megan Williams' family feels slighted that the prosecutor is not demanding harsher penalties.

We'll see what happens as the repercussions from these two heinous events evolve. The manner in which these two events are resolved will be telling about how far we have advanced when it comes to racial ethics.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"Idealists...foolish enough to throw caution to the winds...have advanced mankind and have enriched the world." -Emma Goldman; Author

Obama vs. Clinton: Foreign Policy

The '08 presidential campaign is hot and heavy, and it has been for some time now. Thanks to the quest for the democratic ticket, this has to be one of the most compelling elections ever. It's definitely a historic event- with the possibility of America seeing either its first Black president or its first woman president. Although the race/gender factor is groundbreaking, in my eyes it plays the back burner to the other factors that make this race exciting.

For one, everybody loves a good cliffhanger. It's enticing to watch the democratic race unfold when the media is announcing that there is no clear forerunner. Also, neither candidate is debate-shy. The verbal jousting is becoming more and more frequent as we come closer to the wire. Yesterday, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton held their second debate in less than a week.

During these debates, Hillary Clinton seems to be oft mentioning her opinion that Obama lacks experience when it comes to foreign policy. She feels that her tenure as first lady and New York Senator makes her the more experienced candidate in this area. I for one find this a weak argument.

How can one exactly be "experienced" in foreign policy. In a rapidly changing international political climate, "experience" seems to be close to impossible to grasp. To me, foreign policy is a change-by-the-minute, no rules apply type of arena. Only a great thinker with the most sincere game face will even be able to correspond with foreign leaders (If you haven't heard, America's not too popular with the international crowd). I think that Barack Obama holds the trump card with this.

Also, we can look back on the track record of America's past Presidents when it comes to foreign policies. Even the Presidents who touted themselves to be great international diplomats failed miserably. Eisenhower and Russia, Truman and China, Kennedy and Cuba (Oy the list goes on.

Who can possibly navigate the quagmire that is international politics? My best bet is on a leader who is willing to sit down and talk with other leaders, to at the very least get a "lay of the land." Due to the fact that this is Obama's very plan, he most definitely has my vote (for this and other reasons as well).

SIDEBAR: "Charity starts at home." Can America please deal with America first!

CURRENTLY READING: "Command Of Office: How War, Secrecy, and Deception Transformed the Presidency from Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush" By: Stephen Graubard

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying power of brawn and muscle." -Mark Twain; Author

Is It America vs. China In A Tug Of War For Africa's Oil?

Throughout history, natural-resource rich Africa has been pillaged for her goods. The most recent international discussion concerning Africa's oil resources, involves the intentions of two nations who are often considered to be rivals- America and China.

When it comes to the mad dash grab for African oil, the question has arisen whether or not it is a venture in which the U.S. and China are "partners or rivals." If they are in fact partners, then the question emerges of whether or not Africa will be able to survive the tag team efforts of two of the wealthiest, militaristic nations on the globe to obtain their "liquid gold."

The BBC website recently reported U.S. President George Bush's take on the Africa, China, U.S. oil triumvirate. On what is noted to likely be President Bush's last tour of Africa during his final term in office, he addressed the African oil situation during a news conference. According to the BBC website, George Bush stated that: "He believed there was room for both countries to invest in Africa 'without creating a great sense of competition.' "

The aftermath of the effects of this "investment" on the African social climate remains to be seen. However with the current state of war in the Sudan, we can begin to draw the parallels. Stay tuned for more...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." -Dan Millman; Author

Economic Revolution

One year, pre-9/11/01, I decided that I would do something "responsible and grown-up" with some of my leftover birthday money. Being positively influenced after hearing a platinum-plus rapper/entrepreneur talk about his investments in an interview, I decided that I wouldn't strictly use my funds to feed into my fashion fetish. Instead, I decided to invest in oil stocks, just like the enterprising rapper said he had. I was proud of my decision, and the restraint that I exercised when I invested my money instead of splurging on a shopping spree.

It was my first foray into investments of any kind. It was an even more pioneering effort for me because I don't come from a background where purchasing stocks is the norm. I was proudly attempting to set an economic trend for the generations that would come after me. However, my enthusiasm surrounding my financial moves has sadly waned.

In the aftermath of 9/11, and the "war for oil," I began to learn about corporate greed and destruction. This was a subject matter that I was not previously knowledgeable about. Once I began to get a glimpse of how the oil companies operate, my previously "responsible investment" was now marred by a dark cloud. This lead me to think whether or not a "clean dollar" actually existed in this economy.

We can let our imaginations stretch, and go down the list of the different ways that people can generate income that is peripherally comprised of dirty money. Just to scratch the surface: What about, salespeople who sell clothes that are unknowingly manufactured in sweat shops? What about teachers who teach from the mundane Board of Education curriculum? What about city employees who get their checks from corrupt city municipalities?

With so much blood and grime on practically every American dollar, the American economic system is destined to collapse- just on the principle of karma alone. This is why I feel WE NEED AN ECONOMIC REVOLUTION.

A revolution is defined as "an upheaval characterized by great change." I feel that we need a huge change to the economic system. It may be unrealistic to think that we can start from scratch. However, we can overhaul the standards by which our money is made and spent.

I suggest that we begin to research who we spend our money with, and attempt to ensure that we treat our dollars like we treat our votes at the ballot box. We should hold the companies that are campaigning for our dollars to task about how their goods and services are being provided, and what they are doing with their profits.

I also strongly suggest the emergence of budding entrepreneurs who build companies based on the intention of exercising real responsibility and financial power. Businesses that consciously adhere to making money in a way that is not unconscionable and exploitative are a necessity in the economic system. This type of economic revolution is our challenge and privilege. If we can pull this off, it will assuredly pay dividends for generations to come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but one day that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by His name." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." -Victor Frankl

Sister Souljah Speech (1999) Part 5 of 5

The last installment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sister Souljah Speech (1999) Part 4 of 5

I will post the last installment of this speech tomorrow.

Quote Of The Day

"All the darkness in the world can not extinguish the light of a single candle." - Francis of Assisi

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sister Souljah Speech (1999) Part 3 of 5

I will be posting the next installments of this speech over the next couple of days.

Quote Of The Day

"Change takes but an instant. It's the resistance to change that takes a lifetime." -Hebrew Proverb

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow." -Alice Walker; Author

Sister Souljah Speech (1999) Part 2 of 5

I will be posting the next installments of this speech over the next few days.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sister Souljah Speech (1999) Part 1 of 5

I will be posting the next installments of this speech over the next few days.

Quote Of The Day

"The Bumblebee's wings are so thin and it's body so big, it should not be able to fly. The only problem is, the bee doesn't know that." - David Lindsey; Author

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The First Annual Free Black History Mixtape- 2008 Edition


I created this mixtape with the blatant purpose of infusing some Black History back into our consciousness. With so much focus being placed on hip hop culture, I feel like a lot of Black History is being forgotten.

Hip Hop culture has evolved into being an assemblage of a lot of cultures joined as one. I think that this is great. However, in the midst of this coagulation, I don't think that Black History should be lost. Therefore, in celebration of the community from which I hail, I created the Annual Free Black History Mixtape. This is the first installment- the 2008 Edition.

The track listing is as follows:

1) The Greatest- Muhammad Ali
2) Can’t Go To Sleep- Wu Tang
3) I’m Black- Tupac Interlude
4) I’m Black- Styles P
5) Cause I’m Black- Styles P & Black Thought
6) Ida B Wells Lynching Interlude
7) Strange Fruit- Billie Holiday
8) Inner City Blues- Marvin Gaye
9) Cocoa Butter For The Soul- Elsie Law
10) Confidence- Tupac Interlude
11) Black & Proud- James Brown
12) Paul Robeson Interlude
13) Ah Yeah- Krs One
14) Black Cop- Krs One
15) Born In Jail- Malcolm X
16) Pardon The Noise- Shyheim
17) Learn To Think- Dick Gregory
18) Young, Gifted and Black- Donny Hathaway
19) Smile- Tupac & Scarface
20) Change- Malcolm X
21) Changes- Tupac
22) Jah World- Wu Tang
23) Shirley Chisholm Interlude
24) What’s Going On- Marvin Gaye
25) Someday We’ll All Be Free- Donny
Hathaway 26) Elsie Law Legal Eagles Outro
27) Get Off My Wings- Elsie Law

For more information, go to:


Glitter Graphics & Comments

Welcome to the Legal Eagles Community Newsletter Blog. The purpose of this blog is to inform and inspire. Substantial change can, and often does, begin with one person. With consistent persistence, the ripple effect of one person's positive momentum inevitably turns into a tidal wave that washes over large populations.

I hope that this blog will be a catalyst for visitors' inner growth. I then hope that this inner growth will have a propitious transformational effect on humanity. For this is so desperately needed in our current times.

A lot of my entries will be posted with the intention of provoking thought. This is very important because clear thoughts, create clear and deliberate actions.

Whether this blog encourages you to volunteer to visit abandoned babies for an hour per week; or, to get laws that are detrimental to our community changed, I aspire to plant healthy seeds that will bear beautiful and nourishing fruit.

Please, take from this blog what you will. However, please always take with you a true thought that anything can be accomplished, and all "obstacles" can be overcome.

Lots of Love,

Elsie Law