Ella Fitzgerald@100

20 Mar

March is “Women in Jazz Month.” It’s also “Women’s History Month.” As the National Museum of American History notes, Ella Fitzgerald was about intersectionality before the term was coined:

Fitzgerald succeeded in the male-dominated field of jazz. By overcoming the odds, breaking barriers, and setting precedents, she paved the way for other women to follow her inspiring example.

The centennial anniversary of the birth of the “First Lady of Song” is being celebrated from the Apollo Theater to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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On March 23, the Apollo Theater, where Ella made her debut on an Amateur Night in 1934, is hosting “Ella! A Centennial Celebration.” The community event features a panel discussion and musical reflection by the author and star of “Me & Ella,” Andrea Frierson, and her trio.

Ella - Apollo Theater

From March 24-25, the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University will present CELLABRATION, a two-day symposium to celebrate the most influential vocalist in jazz history.

Ella Fitzgerald - Institute of Jazz Studies

A phenomenal woman, Ella Fitzgerald will be celebrated for generations to come.

Black Voters to Democrats: We Are Not Your Negroes

13 Mar

Last month, Tom Perez was elected the first Latino chair of the Democratic National Committee. In remarks to the International Association of Fire Fighters, Perez acknowledged the party has work to do:

I understand that one of the basic pillars and adages of politics and of life is often, “What have you done for me lately? What do you stand for today?”

Democrats stand for illegal immigration. In a statement following his election, Perez said fighting President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration is a high priority:

The Democratic National Committee will fight back by (shining) a spotlight on the real faces of those impacted by Donald Trump’s cruel mass deportations. We will not allow this administration keep their stories in the dark.

The DNC’s program, “Faces of Trump’s Mass Deportation Plan,” Latino Victory Fund whose tagline is: We are the future. Latinos may be the Democrats’ future but African Americans are asking: What have you done for me lately?

In a post-election survey for the Congressional Black Caucus, pollster Cornell Belcher found that African Americans feel they are being taken for granted.

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Rep. Cedric Richmond, chairman of the CBC, told the Grio:

African Americans are the Democratic Party’s most loyal voters and they should be treated as such. The results of this survey are clear marching orders for the Congressional Black Caucus — African Americans want Democrats to stop using the same old playbook and to make substantive progress on the issues that affect their communities.

African Americans muted their opposition to illegal immigration while President Obama was in office. But the Age of Obama is over.

The fear of criticism keeps most people from speaking out. African Americans’ absence from “A Day Without Immigrants” protests speaks volumes about how they feel. A recent Pew Research Center poll found a 14 percent approval rating for President Trump. With ± 2.9 percent margin of error and 7 percent refusing to say, Trump’s approval rating among African Americans’ could be as high as 20 percent.

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The Democratic Party must face the reality that African Americans are not their Negroes.

The Democrats’ Illegal Immigration Nightmare

27 Feb

In two memos released last week, the Department of Homeland Security outlined sweeping new guidelines to crack down on people living in the country illegally. The so-called “Dreamers” are still exempted from deportation, all other illegal aliens are put on notice:

Under this executive order, with extremely limited exceptions, DHS will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to enforcement proceedings, up to and including removal from the United States. The guidance makes clear, however, that ICE should prioritize several categories of removable aliens who have committed crimes, beginning with those convicted of a criminal offense.

I have been writing about the high cost of cheap illegal immigrant labor for more than 10 years. I nodded my head in agreement as I read New York Times Political Columnist Tom Edsall’s recent column, “The Democrats’ Immigration Problem.” Edsall wrote:

In any analysis of the 2016 vote, it is difficult to separate the issues of immigration and free trade. In an October 2016 report, Pew found that Trump voters were decisively more hostile to both free trade agreements and immigration than the general public, and much more hostile than Clinton supporters.

A detailed analysis of exit polls in four key states that helped deliver the election to Donald Trump — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — produced interesting findings not only about Hispanics, but also African-Americans — who are less supportive of liberal immigration policies than other core Democratic constituencies — and whites. In each of these states, opposition to immigration was higher than the national average.

Nolan McCarty, a political scientist at Princeton, said:

Purely in terms of politics and strategy, the Democrats have played immigration badly. They have allowed their position to be associated with open borders and sanctuary cities. They have based their opposition to the immigration restrictionists in terms of identity politics rather the economic benefits of well-managed immigration. This has caused them to be deaf to concerns that many voters have about the effects of immigration on wages and public services. While I do not think the evidence shows immigration has these alleged harms, the Democrats have to do better than dismiss all opposition to immigration as racism.

Democrats have to do a lot better. According to a survey from Harvard–Harris Poll, Americans overwhelmingly oppose sanctuary cities.

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Similarly, a new Quinnipiac University National Poll found an eye-popping 94 percent of respondents want illegal immigrants to be deported under certain circumstances.

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The Quinnipiac University National Poll is available here.

Presidents’ Day 2017

20 Feb

A picture is worth a thousand words. Donald J. Trump has joined the pantheon of presidents.

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Democrats Hit a Wall on Illegal Immigration

13 Feb

Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, made a series of arrests and removals of illegal immigrants in at least six states. David Marin, director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE in Los Angeles, said the raids were “routine”:

We made 161 arrests, and of those 161, 151 of those had prior criminal convictions. … The majority of them were felons and those felons which had prior convictions included sex offenses, domestic violence, assault, robbery and weapons violations, just to name a few.

ICE arrested “criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation’s immigration laws.” Illegal immigrants and their advocates are outraged that a federal agency charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws was enforcing the law.

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Foreign nationals and their enablers took to the streets and Twitter and demanded #NoBanNoWallNoRaids. Perpetually aggrieved Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said:

The goal of such policies is to inject fear into immigrant communities, frighten families and children, and drive immigrants farther underground. It damages public safety and the fabric of American communities while putting a burden on local social services and the foster-care system.

Hmmm? I thought they were “undocumented and unafraid.”

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Democrats’ sanctuary policy stands in stark contrast to that of wannabe First Dude, former President Bill Clinton. In his 1995 State of the Union address, Clinton promised to put America first:

All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

In the budget I will present to you we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.

Fast forward to today, Democrats say whether you got here by sneaking across the border or overstaying your visa, you’re welcome to stay.

sanctuary-city-welcome-all

Josh Barro, a senior editor for Business Insider, recently wrote:

You don’t need to be a nationalist to understand that voters will expect policies to be made in their interest.

You can even think of this as identity politics, as applied to the whole electorate. How can something be identity politics if it applies to the whole electorate? Well, the whole American electorate has a shared identity characteristic: They are all American citizens.

Yet on immigration, Democrats have somehow ended up with policies premised heavily on their benefits to non-citizens, and therefore with an identity politics aimed at people who aren’t eligible to vote.

In other words, they are doing identity politics badly, and will have to do it better — and rethink their ideas to put more of a focus on American citizens’ interests — to beat Trump on immigration.

Until Democrats put Americans first, they will stay in the political wilderness banging their heads against a brick wall.

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