Thursday, February 01, 2007

Racial profiling? Not just in Georgetown!

We began Black History Month 2007 with an article in the Washington Post by Staff Writer Allison Klein entitled Police Profiling Found in Georgetown, Adams Morgan.

Which is something that I am very familiar with and have often discussed in my writings. Particularly, as a black male and freelance photographer. As was the case when visiting Georgetown on Labor Day Monday, 4 September 2006 that my taking pictures of window displays along M Street aroused far too much attention.

However, for me, a black male ... racial profiling is not just in Georgetown or Adams Morgan. It is everywhere that I go. Racial profiling occurs when I walk into gay bars and white men ask me for drugs. Racial profiling occurs when photographing in Dupont Circle that white men not only ask me for drugs but will allege that I am drug addict. Or on drugs. Others will insist that I smoke crack with them.

Racial profiling occurs when I travel by plane to Fort Lauderdale FL to visit with my white partner who, in every respect, is treated differently than me. Like night and day. Or white and black. Racial profiling occurs on amtrak when traveling to New York City and once there when I engage in street photography. Or visit bars.

Racial profiling occurs in catering when working in the homes of some of the most influential people in the world that they spend their entire time watching my every move. Racial profiling occurs when white colleagues not only have approacjhed me about drugs but that fact they have been paid to associate with me..

Racial profiling is not just indigenous to the police or law enforcement community. It is endemic to our society. And something that most people practice ... whenever they see black men!

Racial profiling is not just in Georgetown and Adams Morgan. Is everywhere that I go.

Racial profiling is like night and day. Or white vs black!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Midwinter Festival of Folk Arts . Saturday, 3 February

The FSGW Mini-Fest is a family-friendly extravaganza of music, dance, stories, workshops, and crafts. Held around the first weekend in February, the Mini-Fest provides all comers with a wonderful opportunity to beat the winter blues, visit with friends and neighbors, and be part of some of the finest music that the Washington area has to offer!

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington (FSGW) is pleased to present its annual indoor Mid-Winter Festival at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, on Saturday, February 3 from noon to 6 pm, followed by a festival concert and dance from 7:30 to 10:30. Join us for a day featuring traditions in music, dance, and storytelling!

2007's theme is “Minifest Destiny”. Click here for to view tentative schedule, in PDF format.

For more information or to volunteer visit the FSGW 2007 MidWinter Festival website. Or contact event coordinator April Blum at 703-978-2774.

Rosie attends dedication ceremony for The Center for the Intrepid

A few weeks ago, when Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Bahar , from The View, asked rhetorically why the people were not protesting in the streets, against the war, the way they had back in 60's against the Vietnam War ... I would send an email to the women of The View which said something to the effect that I did not know what rock they had been under but since the day after the 11 September 2001 attack .... I, as a protest photographer, had witnessed, observed and on many occasions participated in many a protest ... along with millions of people throughout the global community at what was often referred to as global days of protest.

I mentioned that Rosie, specifically, may would be interested in knowing that after travelling to NYC, from WDC, for the F15-03 and M20-04 during which time I also attended the Saint's 2003 White Party and 2004 Black Party, respectively, I had authored some powerful photoessays regarding my experiences, as an openly gay black man, who practiced integration.

I said further that one of my best collections of protest photography are images that I took five years before the Iraq war of the 21 February 1998 Don't Bomb Iraq Demonstration in WDC.

Providing them a link to my J18-03-WDC Never Before Seen photographic collection I then suggested that Rosie and Joy may would be interested in contacting the folks at United for Peace and Justice pertaining to their participation in the upcoming J27-07-WDC.

I did, indeed, photograph the J27-07-WDC. See J27-CodePink-Women-Navy, J27-UFPJ-Rally, and J27-UFPJ-March. And while I did not expect to see Rosie I wondered if she had read my email which I sent to Joy since Rosie does not have an email posted to The View site.

I was pleased to learn when watching The View earlier today that Rosie had attended the dedication ceremony for The Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, TX..

Having signed on as a member to Rosie's blog, moments ago I'd receive an email from her blog list with the subject "Speak Up!" that reads:

Dear Elvert,

there's a lot going on in r country
and the world right now
we can all do something

speak up
and give r view

some of us marched in washington
united for peace

i went to san antonio
where i met the brave men and women
who have lost limbs in this war
honoring them
face to face:

talk to your representatives
unite for peace and justice:

we can make change



ColorLines' Multimedia Feature: Elvira Arellano

COLORLINES unveils a multimedia special feature about sanctuary seeker and COLORLINES Innovator, Elvira Arellano.

A 31 year-old single mother, former airport worker and undocumented immigrant, Elvira Arellano took sanctuary last August in a Chicago church and became the lighting rod in a debate over the rights of immigrant families.

In three new pieces on Elvira Arellano talks about her journey from the border to church sanctuary and defying deportation.

Photo credit: Bernard Kleina

Monday, January 29, 2007

Congressman John Conyers ... has had enough!

When reflecting on Saturday's J27 - UFPJ Rally, Michigan Congressman John Conyers who was amongst the speakers, later that evening, reported on his blog that there had been a tremendous amount of energy on the National Mall.

And that we need to let the President and the Congress know that we have had enough!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

White Roses: We Will Not Be Silent!

White Rose was a World War II non-violent resistance group in Germany famous for a leaflet campaign in which they called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. The group initially consisted of five students, all in their early twenties at Munich University. Between June 1942 and February 1943, they prepared and distributed six different leaflets, in which they called for an end to Nazi oppression and tyranny through active opposition of the German people.

"We Will Not Be Silent" was a statement of the White Rose resistance movement in Nazi Germany. Today, a group of artists/activists is building a national campaign based on that message.

Therefore, demonstrators were encouraged to bring white roses to the Jan 27th mobilization as a symbolic gesture to demand that Congress end the occupation of Iraq and bring to justice those responsible for a U.S. policy of torture and illegal detentions. At the end of Saturday's march, thousands of white roses were to have been collected.

Today, Monday, 29 January, approximately 800 antiwar activists from 47 states will convene on Capitol Hill for the UFPJ Congressional Advocacy Day to meet with over 270 Senators and House Members or their staff to urge them to end the Iraq War, prevent an expansion of the Iraq War into Iran, and hold the Bush Administration accountable for the claims it made in launching the Iraq War. Today's effort is the third in a series of Congressional Education Days organized by United for Peace and Justice, organizer of Saturday's half-million-strong antiwar demonstration.

Some armed with white roses and tags that read "We Will Not Be Silent!" grassroots lobbyists will ask their representatives to stop funding this war and begin funding the safe, orderly, and speedy withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. They will demand that Congress block any escalation of the war, and investigate how and why the Bush Administration went to war in the first place. They will call on Congress to back up symbolic statements of opposition to the Bush policy with measures that have teeth, including using its "power of the purse" to bring this war to an end.

Activists will advocate for a number of bills aimed at cutting off war funding and establishing a timetable for withdrawal, including HR 508 (the Woolsey-Waters-Lee Bill), the most comprehensive bill on the table for bringing the troops home, caring for them when they get home, and fulfilling our obligations to the Iraqi people to repair the devastation caused by the war.

WHEN: Monday, January 29, 2007, from 9 am to 5 pm EST; breakfast at 9 am in the Rayburn Cafeteria

WHERE: Organizers and lobbyists will be based in the Rayburn Office Building, Room 2138, Independence and 1st Street, SW.

See United for Peace amd Justice press release dated 29 January 2007.

Learn more about the White Rose - We Will Not Be Silent! global campaign at

Click photo to view my ongoing White Rose: We Will Not Be Silent! Project.

Bill McDannell's "Walk to End the Wars"

Fed up with war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, a former United Methodist pastor and Vietnam-era veteran is doing something about it. He is walking the walk, cross-country, trying to rally public support to help end the conflicts.

Armed with a petition and a burning desire to finish what he's started, Bill McDannell began "The walk to end the wars," on Nov. 4 in Lakeside, Calif., near San Diego, en route to Washington, D.C.

To learn more about Bill McDannell's walk to end the wars visit his website. Or click photo.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jacob Lopez / The Sun at