Monday, January 23, 2012

A Petition for Mumia

Mumia Abu-Jamal

When I was 6 and 7 years old, my mom used to listen to NPR while she was dropping me off at school. There would always be a segment of a man speaking. I didn't really understand what he was talking about, but one thing that stuck with me was the ending "From death row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal". I've always researched Black history and when I got in my teens, I remembered that name. I looked it up, and read about the Panthers, and further into Mumia himself. I started listening to and reading his commentary on a regular basis 4 years ago. I also had the chance to look at some of his court transcripts and found that he initially had not been given adequate resources to defend himself. Abu-Jamal has been fighting for his life and freedom for decades. He recently won a battle to be taken off of Death Row. Since then, as opposed to being placed in the general population, Mumia has been placed in the Hole.

I think that Mumia's case and others like his should open up legislation as well as discussion about citizen's rights to defend themselves and others against police abuse (violent or not), under a clear cut set of circumstances. We know that some officers have in the past, and will in the future abuse their power and take advantage of any group they so decide to discriminate against. But their power to protect and serve does not mean that we should be placed as permanent victims of their brutality, railroading, abuse, as well as the condition of minority Political Prisoners, and the causes that lead one to become a political prisoner.

Support Mumia Abu-Jamal

Monday, January 9, 2012

Money On the Net: Tips for Surviving the Recession

    Since the internet became a common platform for communication, it has given many the opportunity to take control of their finances that may not have existed otherwise. Whether it is through online stores, blogs, advertising, or performing jobs remotely, if you are willing to put in the time and effort you can find a method to make money, and a website to do the job. There is opportunity to make any amount from small change, to a regular paycheck, to setting yourself on a road to riches. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet, you are capable of making money.

   The down side to doing business on the internet is that there are millions, if not billions of people providing the same services, writing, developing web sites, and applying for the same job/contract that it usually takes a large effort of scraping and scratching to make a decent paycheck online. But still, in order to make money, you have to get in where you fit in and draw the traffic/business with your own style of getting things done.

   Some of the sites that I would suggest to make money online (aside from blogging) include fiverr and craigslist. oDesk is another option, but for those working in the West, it is hard to compete with some of the rates that workers in the east are willing to perform a job for. Getting a job on either oDesk, or fiverr takes a lot of work, but once you build up a reputation in these online working communities, you will be well on your way to making money on your own. You will not get rich right away, but you can definitely earn some gas/lunch money while you work your way up to a decent pay check.

   Learning to make money online is one of the ways that the Black community and others in the working class will be able to bridge the "digital divide". It is important that we take advantage of opportunities and create opportunities for ourselves, especially in these times. It would do us a lot of justice if we focused more on becoming producers in the internet/technology arena more than consumers. We create the trends that the world over follows, yet we don't profit from any of it.