Reporting Live from the DNC in Charlotte Day 2: Michelle Obama Rips It

There’s lots to say about whats going down here in Charlotte at the DNC. There are scores of protests… key word ‘scores’. More people are up in arms and stomping the pavement then they were in Tampa Bay..

Yesterday alone, there was a huge protest and counter protest at Planned Parenthood. There was a big march bringing attention to the plight of prisoner Bradley Manning. While people were kicking up dust about this man who they consider a hero and ultimate whistle blower, my co-host Mark Bebawi was inside the Convention Center, talking to delegates about Manning’s plight and was astonished to see how oblivious folks inside were to him. many didn’t know who he was, others didn’t care. the few that did know him touted the party line that he should be locked away.

There was a big Occupy March against Capitalism.. There was a March against the War led by War Veterans. There is a separate conference featuring progressive Democrats where you’d see everyone from Jesse Jackson to Keith Ellison to former congressman Alan Grayson to Raul M. Grijalva. All this has been happening in the pouring rain

There was a march and demonstration around the plight of undocumented students…where people should note, that as the DNC celebrated the rise of Latino politicians like keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who gave a rousing speech that led to folks giving a standing ovation, outside the doors of the convention in front of the entrance, 10 undocumented students were arrested. Actress Rosario Dawson stood with the crowd as this went down in support. She held up a big sign that said Undocumented.  Will they be deported? We don’t know..

As all this was going down outside, many were getting into the speeches and there were some really good ones. Many liked what Newark mayor Cory Booker had to say.. Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick got people fired up.. But where people went absolutely nuts and where it was unbridled pandemonium was when First Lady Michele Obama hit the stage. Her speech was one for the ages.. People didn’t just hear her they felt her. They felt her in a big way..I heard over and over again that Michele’s speech took folks back to 2008 when folks were excited about the possibility of making history with the election of the country’s first Black president.

Michele Obama left folks feeling proud.. For women who have felt been under assault by weeks of rhetoric on the campaign trail about ‘legitimate rape’ policies of GOP, Michele was a welcome breath of fresh air. For Black women she was a source of pride, someone who erased all the nasty stereotypes and bad images constantly being hawked and elevated in the form of shows like Basketball Wives and other Reality shows on network TV.. In fact one sister a radio personality, SkyyHook tweeted ‘Ladies, this is what a REAL wife looks like.. No Fighting, No Throwing chairs or Jumping on tables… Class and humility’.. That tweet was generously passed around.

I don’t wanna go on too long about Michele Obama, but I must because her speech was a really big deal for the thousands here in Charlotte. She got people fired up and for the moment, she got folks forgetting the concerns and criticisms people have raised about her husband’s policies.

For the moment folks forgot about drone strikes, and the continuation of Bush war policies.. For the moment people forgot about record number foreclosures, mass deportations and the cozy relationship he has with Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street entities…That’s how energetic and impactful that speech was.. People wanna feel good at the end of the day. People wanna believe at the end of the day.. Michele Obama made that happen last night.

There’s lots more to say about the DNC here in Charlotte including how diverse it is which is a good thing and a much welcome contrast to what we experienced in Tampa Bay. It’s also very disorganized and in many ways just straight up janky, but we’ll save that for another report. In the meantime the word of the day is Michele.. Will Barack Obama be able to move people in the same way?? We’ll see on Thursday..

 

Key Muslims in Hip Hop, Media & Politics Speak out on Ground Zero Debate & Put Heads to Bed

Click HERE to hear the interview w/ Brother Ali

Yesterday we did a special radio show focusing on religious intolerance toward Muslims in America and amount of viciousness that’s been emerging with the debate around Ground Zero and the proposed Community Center/ Mosque..

We started off by talking with Minneapolis rap star Brother Ali. We talked about his new album US and where he’s headed musically speaking. Afterwards we go in on the Ground Zero controversy. Ali gave us an in-depth and insightful break down on the history Muslims in America and what Islam is really about…

He did a great job dispelling many of the myths  surrounding this religion which is practiced by a couple of billion people. He also talks about the media tricks being played both in terms of how this has been depicted. He expressed concern about how the end of Ramadan may land on 9-11 and that right-wing forces will use the occasion of showing people celebrating the end of Ramadan and twist it to make it seem like they are celebrating the 9-11 attacks

One of the most telling points that Brother Ali laid out was the demographics of those who practice Islam.. The average Muslim is not Arab. In the US the average Muslim is Black. Check out our interview with Brother Ali in the link below..

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/59766/

In part two of our interview we chop it up with Muslim reporter and journalist Nida Khan who has been covering the protests near Ground Zero. She talked about the violence directed at Muslims since this controversy started and how things are more intense than they were after 9-11.  Khan who has just returned from Pakistan talked about how anti-Muslim sentiments play out overseas. She also focused on a recent article she penned called Islamaphobia Weapon of Choice for the Midterms. Here Khan talks about how much of the hoopla is about political position so one can have a wedge issue to get people wound up over.

Click HERE to hear intvs w/ Nida Khan & Keith Ellison

We followed up our conversation with Nida Khan with a Congressman Keith Ellison who called to weigh in. Ellison who is from Minneapolis and good friends with Brother Ali, is the only Muslim in Congress. He confirmed much of what Khan said and focused on the unique campaign challenges him and some of his colleagues have come election time. He felt that making Islam a wedge issue will backfire.  Ellison also dropped science about the difference between culture and religion.

This came up when we spoke about the concerns raised about how women are treated and other practices. Ellison was meticulous with his answer as he talked about stonings and flying planes into buildings are pure distortions of the religion and to the degree any sort violent practice is widespread has more to do with culture then religious tenet.  Its kind of like us having an Easter Bunny to celebrate Easter.  The bunny is culture. The Resurrection of Christ (Easter) is the religion.

He talked about the practice of covering ones head. Ellison pointed out the irony of making fun of Muslim women who choose to wear a Hijab while finding it perfectly acceptable that Nuns and quakers may keep their head covered. He pointed out in traditional Black churches very few women will show up without their finest Sunday hat..

You can listen to our interviews with both Keith Ellison and Nida Khan by clicking the link below

http://www.swift.fm/mrdaveyd/song/59788/

While listening to these interviews check out just how over the top things are getting.. yesterday a Cab Driver was stabbed after being asked if he was Muslim

You can see the News Report by clicking the link below

http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/top_stories/124338/police–cab-driver-stabbed-by-passenger-who-asked–are-you-muslim–

A city cab driver is in the hospital after being stabbed by a passenger who allegedly asked if he was Muslim, police tell NY1.

Investigators with the New York City Police Department say it all began Monday night when a 21-year-old man hailed a cab at 24th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.

Police say the passenger asked the driver, “Are you Muslim?” When the driver said yes the passenger pulled a knife and slashed him in the throat, arm and lip.

The 43-year-old driver was able to lock the passenger in the back of the cab and call 911.

Both the driver and the passenger were taken to Bellevue Hospital.

As of late Tuesday, no charges had been filed.

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