Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Tea Party Speaker: Reinstate Pre-Civil Rights “Literacy Test”

Republican Tom Tancredo opened the Teabag Party convention this past weekend (in which Sarah Palin was notoriously photographed with a cheatsheet handwritten on her palm) with a rousing call for a “literacy test” for voters. The “literacy test” was a pre-civil rights method utilized in the South to prevent blacks from voting.

According to the Justice Department’s website on Federal Voting Rights Laws:

President Johnson signed the resulting legislation into law on August 6, 1965.  Section 2 of the Act, which closely followed the language of the 15th amendment, applied a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis.

A shameful, disguised way to motivate the Republicans’ conservative base. Worse yet, Republican Tancredo blames the lack of a literacy test and citizenship schools for the recent election of President Obama.

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Filed under: politics, , , , , ,

?uestlove is Over It

So by now, ?uestlove’s Twitpic of the NBC cafeteria menu celebrating Black History Month is viral. In this video, the lauded lead singer of The Roots tells everyone to chill out. Seems that he wasn’t pointing out the racial insensitivity of NBC, he was just posting a funny photo. Or is he worried about the powers that be?

Gawker posts its take on the musician’s intent–not necessarily to raise the ire of post-racial America, PC-loving folks everywhere, but to simply show something he found funny. It’s the bloggers that took the photo and ran. ?uestlove’s more worried about Leslie, the cafeteria lady, and her well-being, than all of the Wanda Sykes using this moment to poke fun at NBC and other insensitive folks out there.

Here’s ?uestlove in his own words on the matter, via his Twitter account:

whatever the case, I found this funny and when I find something funny I like to let the world in on the joke (twitpic anyone??). in NO way did i ever think that this was some cruel insensitive joke on behalf of jeff zucker and his comrades at nbc (the cafeteria isn’t even owned or operated by nbc).

I kinda get where leslie calhoun (our culinary rosa parks) was coming from; fried chicken as a fragrant, tasty, honorable metaphor for the struggles and accomplishments of america’s black masses.

The problem is..in the blogosphere, things can take on a life of their own.

Filed under: music, racism, , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
February 2010
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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