Polite On Society Week in Review- 8/21-8/27: Pre-Hurricane Irene Edition

Good morning everyone! This has been a tumultuous and eventful week, hasn’t it? The weather is scaring us up, racist slaps in the face continue, and politics as usual is the order of the day. Let’s dive right in, as I and others have some preparations to make.

East Coast Earthquake

Monday, an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked the East Coast. Starting in Virginia, its presence would be felt in various other places. NY and DC, urban areas that really aren’t built for earthquakes like the West Coast were affected. Personally, I didn’t feel anything, and fortunately, nobody was hurt. Doesn’t make it any less scary. This week, I also learned that there is a fault line running across 125th street. Eh. I don’t like to think about what would it be like should that hit. Perhaps I should get a “go bag” together for the occasion? #earthquakepack

Obama Rejects Pardon Request for Marcus Garvey

In a move that further illustrates the disdain for Black people, President Obama flat out rejects a request by the Jamaican government for a posthumous pardon of Marcus Garvey. As many students of history know, the legendary Black leader was deported on questionable charges of mail fraud. The real aim was the destruction of the UNIA movement, and it was spearheaded by an overzealous and fearful J. Edgar Hoover. Righting this wrong, even symbolically is considered “a waste of time and resources” in the opinion of this current administration. Well, at least we are all no longer deluded that President Obama has any Pan-African leanings. As the president continues to show disrespect for all things explicitly Black, skepticism will continue to mark his relations with the rest of Black America.

Cherokee Nation Boots Black Members

In more anti-Black news, the Cherokee Nation kicks out its members who are descendants of slaves. While sovereignty grants them the right to do this, it is still seen as an affront. It’s more sad than anything. As other people of color, the indigenous should be uniting with Black people, especially in times like these. At times, one wonders if alliances are at all possible anymore. It begs the question: should many African-Americans continue to claim indigenous, when some refuse to claim you? Food for thought folks.

New York City Braces for Hurricane Irene

As Hurricane Irene Heads towards North Carolina, it is expected to hit the New York area over the weekend. There is such a concern, that New York is shutting down the subway in preparation. There is also a call for evacuation of low lying areas, otherwise known as Zone A. There is no rest for the weary this week on the East Coast huh? Well, at this point, I will be following news, seeing the storm progression, and stocking up on some bottled water. Be safe out there.

-Marc W. Polite


  1. Hi Marc:

    As an Afro-Cherokee (my mother’s side is Cherokee), I see why my family decided to not associate themselves with the Tsalagi (the real name of our people) Nation. My grandpa rarely talked about being Cherokee and my great-grandfather left the nation in the 1920s (According to research I did on ancestry.com). This is probably why he checked off “black” in the 1930 Census. My Cherokee side also did everything in their power to assimilate into mainstream life.

    We do have a twist of black on my mother’s side b/c my uncle looks completely Black yet my mom and aunts look completely Native (with the same parents and all). There are probably 20,000 Cherokees left and what they are doing will come back and bite them in the @$$.

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