Politics and Politicians


Just when I was starting to like Herman Cain, Black republic, he goes and says something stupid like, he doesn’t believe racism holds African Americans back.

What world is he living in because it ain’t my world?  Walk in my shoes or better yet walk in my grandson’s shoes.  Jobs don’t come easy when you are Black and there is an economic down-turn and whites are only hiring other whites.  This is another case of “I got mine now you get yours” attitude of those who have made it to the level playing field.  As the former CEO of  Godfather’s Pizza, I would say he was blessed with a good home growing up; college education and the motivation that is need to succeed.  But, did he ever reach back to bring someone else along or mentor anyone? We know favor aint fair.

They said he used the “race card” when Rick Perry was insensitive to Blacks because he vacations at a place named “Niggerhead” that makes me wonder what they were doing. We know them Texans ain’t shy about dragging a brother for sport. Any way, I started listening to this republic brother, Herman Cain, who has thrown his hat in the ring as a serious contender in the race for president of the United States.  Now, I’m sure I will not listen to anything he has to say after a statement that minimizes the racial injustice that still occur in this country daily to those less fortunate than himself.  Power to the people!

Legacy of Heroes

I was ignorantly bliss in not knowing them until I’m informed that these men lives were significant enough to have effected mine. Now I need to know who they are.

 Derrick Bell, NYU law school professor, was a man of integrity, community dedication, and someone who was in the trenches of the civil rights movement, died at the age of 80 years old on October 5th.  I never heard of him but his contributions were admirable.  He was born in the Hill district of Pittsburgh, PA and earned his degrees from the universities in the area like a BA fromDuquesneUniversityand a law degree fromUniversityofPittsburgh. Derrick was the first Black in the Justice Department in 1959 and gave it up when he was asked by the department to give up his membership in the NAACP.  He resigned and worked for the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP.

He worked alongside such attorney greats as Thurgood Marshall (my hero), Robert L Carter and Constance Baker Motley. While working for the LDF he was assigned toMississippiwhere racism was in full effect.  I have heard horror stories come fromMississippiwhere still to this day I have no desire to ever visit the states ofMississippiandAlabama. We all know what happened in Money,Mississippiin August 1955, Emmett Till. Then in 1959 Derrick headed the legal team in the case of James Meredith to enter theUniversityofMississippiagainst the desires of the Governor. I take my hat off to anyone brave enough to travel from the north to the south during the civil rights movement. I have no words to describe those times for Black folks.  When I went south in the early 1970’s, I received the advice from my mother to mind my matters.  At the time, I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about but by the time I got toSouth Carolina, I knew.

Then we loss Fred Shuttlesworth, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference a well established organization known for their involvement in the civil rights movement whose founders are such men as Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Rev Ralph Abernathy among others.  Fred passed away on October 5th, at 89 years old.  Fred was a minister atBethelBaptistChurch inBirmingham,Alabama in 1950’s.  He fought against segregation during the most recorded violent of time inAlabama.  His wife was stabbed and he was beaten with chains by the Klan for trying to enroll his children in an all white public school. Another governor was against segregation.  We can’t forget about Governor George Wallace ofAlabama, who pledged,

In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and  toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

These men were brave to go up against governors in such racist states. 

 It was Fred Shuttlesworth church who gave the Freedom Riders shelter when they were attacked and beaten in Birmingham and Anniston and when there was no one willing to drive them on, even Attorney General Robert Kennedy couldn’t find anyone willing to drive the bus, it was Shuttlesworth who got them to the airport to fly in Louisiana because it was just to dangerous to continue on by bus.

Yes we must sing their accolades because we are standing on their shoulders today and must never forget and remind each other often how hard life  was for our people and how our heroes should be those who came before us because they suffered for all of us. They are not going to tell the hard truths in our basic education systems. So its up to us to tell those coming up behind what we had to do to be free.

He so crazy… Dave Chappelle

Have you ever wondered what happen with Dave Chappelle the Comedian?  You know the Black man who turned down $50 million dollars from Comedy Central and rushed toAfrica. 

You know, if the network offered him $50 million dollars it makes you wonder what they would want next from Dave.  His skits were often on the racy side.  The kind of skits that I would hear young Black teens laughing so hard they can hardly breathe. I had to watch out of curiosity.  Some skits were so close to the line of insultingly stereo-typical that I had to wonder if he was turning into someone who wants to constantly shock you until someone says they had enough and held a public protest.  But, it turns out that Chappelle himself stopped the madness.

I am a bit confused about what happened next.  I assumed as a skilled comedian, he would continue to provide entertainment.   So, when I heard he was performing stand up comedy, I wasn’t surprised.  The show July 23rd in Seminole Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, FL, where Chappelle stood on stage for the entire show, texting on his phone and sighing the whole time.  Then the following Monday,  he went on a San Francisco radio show and explained he was in shock at the audience filming him with their phones and hurling obscenities.  Is this a sensitive Chappelle or plain bipolar?

That’s what I’m thinking, Dave has issues.  Some folks in the entertainment industry have or been know to have mental health issues.  As Ned Beatty, the actor, once said, “I’ve had this problem since I was in my 20s. They don’t call it manic depression anymore. They call it a bipolar disorder, and I’m a Type 2” (1998).  He explained how it didn’t interfere with his career but there are those who didn’t fair so well. Lois Lanefor one, Margo Kidder, of Superman fame suffered from bipolar.  Her odd behavior has been documented.  And, we can’t forget Martin Lawrence strange behavior that had everyone whispering about his mental health state.  The term “that nigga so crazy” may mean just that!!  We still love ya.

UC Berkeley Bake Sale – where you Pay By Race

On the campus of Berkeley a student group identified as a republican group initiated a bake sale and the prices depend on where you fall on the race spectrum.  The bake sale sign reads: white $2.00, Asian $1.50, Latino $1.00, Black $0.75 and Native American $.025, And all women $0.25 off.

The bake sale is to draw attention to pending legislation that would allow California universities to consider race, gender, ethnicity and national origin during the admissions process.  Kudos to the universities in California in developing legislation that would gives those that are born without the privilege of being white a chance at a high education.  Many folks feel its racist but let’s be real, if you are white you are born with the privilege of being part of the ruling class.  Life is not going to be as difficult for you as it would be for other nationalities.  Even in the  pricing structure you see how whites feel about the Native Americans.

Dick Gregory, comedian and activist , had an album called “Kent State” but he starts out talking about the cowboy (white man) who always needs an Indian.  When he was through with the Indian he turned his attention to the Black man (slave) and then others.  Finally,  the cowboy turns his children into the Indian and 4 laid dead at Kent State.  The cowboy always needs someone to be the Indian.  So even in this student groups thinking of sale prices the Indian is regarded less than women.  This bake sale is suppose to represent a negative note but it represents what the white man hates about giving us anything including a chance at a better life.

Racial Bias Seen in Study of Lead Dust and Children (New York Times)

New York Times headlines shocking.

The New York Times reported that the Kennedy Krieger Institute is involved in a class action  law suit filed in Baltimore for knowingly exposing young Black children between the age of 12 months to 5 years old. The incident goes back to the 1990’s and definitely reminds me of the Tuskegee Experiment where Black men were exposed to Syphilis for research purpose and never given the cure.

How sad, present day we are still experiencing the same behavior.  Why are we expendable? I’m sorry, experimenting on our babies is going too far.  I remember when we received a notice about my grandson’s lead levels being high.  I ask the question, “Why are they contacting you about this?  Did you have him tested?”  The answer was no.  So now I’m wondering, did these experiments happen in other places?  I don’t remember there being any meds prescribed.  Other than, have the landlord paint again.  Now, I’m real curious.

They say this occurred in poor families in poor neighborhoods with the cooperation of landlords to not completely clean up the lead levels.  Kennedy Krieger offered no treatment. 

The Root reported that, “Children were enticed into living in lead-tainted housing and subjected to a research program which intentionally exposed them to lead poisoning in order for the extent of the contamination of these children’s blood to be used by scientific researchers to assess the success of lead paint or lead dust abatement measures,” said the suit, filed in state court in Baltimore, according to the Times. “Nothing about the research was designed to treat the subject children for lead poisoning.”

“According to the lawsuit, Kennedy Krieger helped landlords get public financing for lead abatements and helped select families with young children to rent apartments where lead dust problems had been only partly eliminated so that the children’s blood could be measured for lead over a two-year period, according to the lawsuit.”(New York Times)

Science has already determined that lead poisoning causes permanent neurological damages to young children.  So, what was the real reason to expose our Black children?  I feel a conspiracy to do our seed harm.  Was this done in your community?

Black Males and Gun Violence

Charleston Heston

I couldn’t resist the Charleston Heston quote, “… you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” 

Below are statistics on Black Males and gun violence as reported by government agencies and experts. 

Young African-American males have the most elevated homicide victimization rate of any race or gender group. Homicides involving firearms have been the leading cause of death for African-American males ages 15 to 19 since 1969.5

The number of youth who report that they carry weapons is significant. In 1997, 14 percent, or 1 in 7 male juveniles, reported carrying a gun outside the home in the previous 30-day period.9 In the inner city, the problem is more severe. One study involving 800 inner-city high school students reported that 22 percent said they carried weapons.10 An even greater number of convicted juvenile offenders reported carrying guns — 88 percent, according to another study.11

Firearms are readily available on the illegal gun market, and those who are most likely to possess guns are drug sellers and gang members — overwhelmingly young and male.12 More than two-thirds of the respondents in one study of urban arrestees stated that the primary reason for owning and carrying a weapon is self-protection — a small number also reported using the weapon for drug trafficking or other illegal activities. Among arrestees overall, 23 percent of those who owned a gun said they had used one to commit a crime. Among juvenile drug sellers who owned a firearm, 42 percent reported using a gun in a crime; among gang members, 50 percent reported using a gun.

The drug market is a major contributor to the Nation’s homicide rate. Indeed, the peak in homicides during the mid-1980’s was directly related to the saturation of urban areas with the crack cocaine drug trade. Methamphetamine — more powerful, more addictive, and easier to produce than crack cocaine — is becoming a major drug of choice in urban, suburban, and rural communities. If the methamphetamine trade results in drug wars on the same scale as those of the 1980’s, it is possible that homicide rates will begin to climb once more, as drug dealers are among those most likely to carry weapons.21

Long-term solutions to address the problem of gun violence must include a comprehensive approach to reducing the number of youth involved in gangs.


You Feel Me Now

D. L. Hughley was here this weekend and I was driving and listening to the radio, the radio station is new, and the DJs are not familiar at all.  The only Black station in town sold it to a religious entity.  I know as an urban dweller use to a diverse environment, I was missing something I hardly listened to, a hip hop station that but it also did gospels on Sunday and R&B on Saturday.  So, now we have a different number on the FM dial and we are starting to get news of happenings in the city for Black folks.  And, the DJ announces D. L. Hughley on the air.  Wow, an interview the station is starting to spread its wings a little now instead of non-stop music.

Hughley is not new to the city. After all, this performance at the local comedy club is not his first venue here.  The DJ asks about his stay here and then it begins.  Hughley described relaxing at a local bar talking to a couple of local guys.  And, this is a perfect example why you should not  discuss  politics in mixed company.  Well, the one guy says he voted twice for Bush and he is not voting for another Texan and he ain’t going to vote for a “jig.”  Haven’t heard the word in a while.

Hughley asked him what is a “jig” but he tried to side-step the question. Hughley would not be denied his answer and the guy’s buddy said, “He didn’t mean anything by it.” Subsequently, he offered to buy Hughley a drink.  Hughley responded, “No, I’ll go to a jig’s place and get a free drink.” 

Hughley said it reminds you know that you are near the Allegheny Mountains.