Category Archives: Obama

R.I.P. Honorable Dick Gregory

5Today, seemed like the saddest day of my life hearing that my hero passed away! I want to applaud the great Dick Gregory for the gift of his commitment, wisdom, and his genius! Dick Gregory, whose government name is Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

There are few people, who dare to speak truth to power. Brother Gregory is a fearless champion of the African American people, and dare I say the world. He has been at the forefront of Civil Rights before it was known as such. His is a comedian, writer, entrepreneur, social activist and critic.

Dick Gregory began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, he returned to the university but did not receive a degree. With a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago. He said of his early career, “Blacks could sing and dance in the white night clubs but weren’t allowed to stand flat-footed and talk to white folks, which is what a comic does.”

Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Based on that performance, Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for the white comedian Professor Irwin Corey. Shortly after that Gregory’s first TV appearance was on the late night The Tonight Show Starring Jack Paar, which positioned him to begin appearing nationally and on television.

Gregory currently stands at number 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-up comics of all time and has his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. There is a grassroots effort afoot to get him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spearheaded by Radio One host Joe Madison.

Mr. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement from the beginning. He came to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day” (October 7, 1963). In 1964, Gregory became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform, anti-drug issues, conspiracy theories, and others. As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes.

Gregory began his political career by running against Richard J. Daley for the mayoralty of Chicago in 1967. Though he did not emerge victorious; this would not prove to be the end of his dalliances in electoral politics. He also unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States in 1968 as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party.

He wrote the book “Write Me In” about his presidential campaign. One interesting anecdote therein relates the story of a publicity stunt that came out of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago where the campaign had printed dollar bills with Gregory’s image on them, some of which made it into circulation, causing considerable problems, but priceless publicity. The majority of these bills were quickly seized by the federal government.

He was an early outspoken critic of the Warren Commission findings that President JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. On March 6, 1975, Gregory and assassination researcher Robert Groden appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s late night ABC talk show Goodnight America. An important historical event happened that night when the famous Zapruder film of JFK’s assassination was shown to the public on TV for the first time in history. The public’s response and outrage to that showing led to the forming of the Hart-Schweiker investigation, which contributed to the Church Committee Investigation on Intelligence Activities by the United States, which resulted in the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation.

In 1998 Gregory spoke at the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with President Bill Clinton in attendance. Not long after, the President told Gregory’s long-time friend and P.R. Consultant, Steve Jaffe, “I love Dick Gregory; he is one of the funniest people on the planet.” They spoke of how Gregory had made a comment on Dr. King’s birthday that broke everyone into laughter when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride “in the back of the plane,” on an Air Force One trip overseas.

At a Civil Rights rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Gregory criticized the United States, calling it “the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes 96 percent of the world’s hard drugs”.

Gregory announced a hunger strike on September 10, 2010, saying in a commentary published by the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal that he doubted the official U.S. report about the attacks on September 11, 2001. “One thing I know is that the official government story of those events, as well as what took place that day at the Pentagon, is just that, a story. This story is not the truth, but far from it. I was born on October 12, 1932. I am announcing today that I will be consuming only liquids beginning Sunday until my eightieth birthday in 2012 and until the real truth of what truly happened on that day emerges and is publicly known.”

His most lasting impression resulted from his 1984 founding of the Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believes is being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1985 Gregory introduced the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet,” a powdered diet mix. He launched the weight-loss powder at the Whole Life Expo in Boston under the slogan “It’s cool to be healthy.” The diet mix, drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet.

As we celebrate this his born day, I want to pay homage to the Honorable Dick Gregory for his commitment and dedication to speak truth to power and for the knowledge to empower all of us. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Books

  • Nigger: An Autobiography, with Robert LipsyteE.P. Dutton, September 1964. (one account says 1963) (reprinted, Pocket Books, 1965-present)
  • Write me in!, Bantam, 1968.
  • From the Back of the Bus
  • What’s Happening?
  • The Shadow that Scares Me
  • Dick Gregory’s Bible Tales, with Commentary, a book of Bible-based humor. ISBN 0-8128-6194-9
  • Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Mother Nature! ISBN 0-06-080315-0
  • (with Shelia P. Moses), Callus on My Soul: A Memoir ISBN 0-7582-0202-4
  • Up from Nigger
  • No More Lies; The Myth and the Reality of American History
  • Dick Gregory’s political primer
  • (with Mark Lane), Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • (with Mel Watkins), African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (Library of Black America)
  • Robert Lee Green, Dick Gregory, daring Black leader
  • African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today (editor) ISBN 1-55652-430-7

Commentary: A Disaster In Charge

pFJMtgl6S22Xjo6kW27YI am a proud HBC graduate and have earned a Master’s Degree. I was not a political science major, nor am I a republican, democrat, or independent. I would say I am black and gifted with common sense. I said all of that to say since 2002 I have been a professor which taught me to use my critical thinking skills. At the beginning of every class, during my introduction, I made sure that each student know this; “follow the money! If you do you will come to the right conclusion and find the answer”!

It has been said that money is the root of all evil. Therefore, you will find any wrong doing and gage the character of whoever you are dealing with. I know firsthand because I was once married and this character was the absolute worst person on the face of the earth! She was a lying stealing degenerate but one day I realized that love had nothing to do with it and I began to follow the money – so she was done!

I said all of that because white folk are continuing to justify everything the Donald does because of their love, bigotry, and agrees with him for his hatred of Obama. They will have to do as I did chose reality and common sense over what you believe is love. I have to say; there has to be a special kind of stupid to continue the same thing and expect a different result.

This man, 45, lies with every breath and it is obvious. He does not have a stellar history in anything. He has been sued more than almost anyone in America and everyone around him appears to be a crook. But the GOP and these racist are with eyes wide open stick with him and he will either blow up the world or steal the country blind!

I have not had too many legal problems but I do know the when you lies the judge will cancel you argument or nullify your case. I was sued for 10 million dollars and the other guy repeatedly lied and the judge threw out the case.

I was particularly disturbed when this crook spoke with so much sympathy for his former campaign manager whose home was raided by armed FBI agents waking him and his wife up in middle of the night with a warrant. I remember during the crack era they invented a bulldozer type vehicle to go through the walls of a house to raid a black person’s home. I have lived a longtime and can recall white people being so evil they had to put them on a leash to stop their dastardly deeds.

Donald and his gang have stolen untold millions, allegedly, and most of them think it alright because HE IS WHITE and they are doing everything in their power to cover it up! This guy bankrupted a casino, caught in a blatant act of discrimination, and they suspect him of being involved in laundered money; and their line is to us that they have no evidence! All because he wants to make America white again! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The New Attack On Affirmative Action

170727-trump-prop-faces-indexIn deciding to challenge race-based affirmative action programs the Trump administration has laid out his view of the future – his claim that white people are being discriminated against. Therefore, and Trump will do to affirmative action what Lincoln did for slavery or so the said – end it. This country has always denied black people anything that would elevate them as human beings. Just remember there was a time in history when reading would be a death sentence!

It will be very tempting for those of us on the left side of the political spectrum to say this is just one more example of Trump beating up on minorities, like the ban on immigration from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, or the ban on transgender people serving in the military, or the administration’s support of state voter suppression laws.

It is important to know that first; they raised the price of college tuition to keep black and other people of color out of institutions of higher learning which was just to make college unaffordable.  So like Obama care, these bigots will revisit this issue again. But there is an important fault line that divides anti-discriminatory measure – they now are claiming that white folk is being discriminated against!

A 2016 Gallup Poll found that 63% of Americans believe that colleges should not consider race even as a minor factor in admissions decisions. In a 2017 Harvard Institute of Politics poll, only 19% of young people approved of giving qualified minorities special preference in hiring and education. Frankly, they should be staunchly pro-diversity; colleges are better when they have students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and they should champion policies that are more inclusive of disadvantaged students of all races than many current programs are.

Their goal is to take black people back to a segregated society – yes that means Jim Crow! The danger for liberals in defending explicit racial preferences is that that fits neatly into Trump’s argument that the system is rigged.

If ever there were an unfair system, it is the admissions apparatus of selective colleges. Bowen’s research found that alongside racial preferences, recruited athletes receive a 30-percentage-point boost. The children of alumni receive a 20-percentage-point boost.

Low-income students, by contrast, get no preference whatsoever. As a result, those from the richest economic quartile outnumber those from the bottom quarter by 24 to 1 at most selective colleges. At several selective colleges, as many students come from the top 1% of the income distribution as from the bottom 60%.

Progressives should champion a system that eliminates unfair preferences of all kinds, including those for legacy students. Legacy preferences aid the already advantaged and do not, in fact, increase alumni giving. But it’s not enough to point to hypocrisy on the right about legacies; racial preferences should also be transformed to help economically disadvantaged students of all races.

This is an idea the Democratic Presidents have flirted with, but never had the guts to follow through on. In 1995, Bill Clinton briefly called for shifting the basis of affirmative action to economic need. In 2007, Barack Obama said that his own privileged daughters did not deserve a preference in college admissions.

The fact is education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Powerless Of Blackness

2I am not against anyone or culture. However, I make it a priority to speak to that which others have forgotten or simply don’t know about the African American Diaspora. I believe when you know who you are, believe in yourself, then and only then can you be empowered with the spirit of power. This is the problem!

Black people have been robbed of their history and past, which makes it virtually impossible to know your true history and who you are by design  It was not until about the 1920s that any knowledge of our past was revealed. Later in the 1960s more information was discovered in the form of our true history came to light. By that I mean, not the lies of His-Story!

Let me ruffle some feathers here – WE ARE NOT FREE! As a people, we are no better off today than the day Dr. King spoke about his dream, an elusive dream I might add; that was more like a nightmare than a dream of progress. We can go back to post Civil War and find that statistics about the black condition tell it is nearly the same as today. Further, in 1960 there were only 103 black elected officials, in 1990 there were over 9000, and today there are more than that with a black president. Still, nothing changed regarding our condition. In fact, it got worse! So the correlation between black elected official does not result in improvement or empowerment for black people.

I will readily admit that we have access in some areas, but access to the greater community does not translate into progress. The ideology of divide and conquer causes us to misunderstand that we are seen in one of two categories – good blacks or bad blacks. To be more succinct, as Malcolm said, “house niggers and field niggers”! Look around, there are far more Field Negros today, and the few House Negros de-emphasized their blackness and forgot about the masses of black people.

Few black people have read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” I would suggest that you do because, in that novel, Uncle Tom was the strong black and Sambo was the bad black House Negro. So you see the trick that was played on us and how they flipped the script making us believe something other than the truth. So in today’s vernacular, we call those who are against our interests Uncle Tom’s, who is not the person strong enough to protect your interest. Yet, we follow the sellouts!

The power of blackness has been eroded by those who call themselves black conservatives sent to confuse your thinking. First, the root word “conserve” means to hold on to what you’ve got. For example, America was founded based on a slave mentality. Therefore, what the conservatives are saying, codeword anti-black, “we want to take out country back” is indicative of their intent. So I have to say to the black conservatives, you had nothing to hold on too, so the question then becomes; do you want slavery?

In essence, the concept of benign neglect, which was not based on empirical reality, ultimately blamed the victim and thus ignored the effects of the flawed structure of society in this nation. We did not listen to the few black leaders that preached freedom, and there were only a few; if they had your interest at heart they would know freedom is not given by any oppressor – it is taken, which mean you have to struggle, fight, and maybe die for it. Instead, most black people will choose to support every issue of any other group – instead of interest that directly affects you.

To this point, we’ve been playing a game we can’t win. At this moment, all black people have is hope, and that is all we have ever had – and it alone with our so-called leaders have failed us. It’s time to play to win! Join me as a member of the “Common Sense Party” to survive and not follow fools! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


The American Shame – Failure In Chief

downloadThe man who fooled white folk into believing that he was the greatest of all times and could do anything; come to find it was another “lies. The first six months of Trump’s presidency have been a monumental failure. Apart from the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is the only significant achievement he has accomplished; if you want to call that an accomplishment! This week the collapse of Trump and the GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare is the capstone to one of the most bizarre and disorderly chapters in the history of the American presidency.

If you consider they have been campaigning and pledging to end this law for 8 years, taken over sixty votes to repeal it and not do it. But more to the point, it looks like amateur night in his administration! Frankly, I have lost count on the number of people that have left, resigned, or quit their jobs in this administration. With the ouster of Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, and with the addition of General Kelly – they are trying to reset. Look the man has not gotten more than a 40% approval rating!

The troubles of the White House, of course, flow from the notoriously undisciplined no nothing President. His following President Obama is like Clearance Thomas following Thurgood Marshall – a disgrace! They cried for eight years that Obama was taking the country in the wrong directing – away from white supremacy. Where is this fool taking the country? To hell!

Let me remind you that this guy is under investigation along with about a dozen of his staff and cronies! Then there are the children in the way. Also, he is the laziest president to date. Somebody needs to either remove or take control over Trump’s Twitter account, which is a huge distraction to governance.

Let me quote from his new Communications  Director “the fish stinks from the head down”, who has already revealed that he will be worse than worthless, a blabbermouth and an attention-seeking wrecker in a White House. Trump, too, over the past two years has revealed his colors; he is a disaster! The terrifying chaos he has already engendered in six months strongly suggests that he will not even serve out his term. He is already talking about pardoning himself! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Never Forget: The Emmett Till Story

IMG_0637Throughout America’s sorted and often shameful history, there have been many children murdered but the Murder in Money, Mississippi is the most infamous. It was this incident, the murder of a 14-year old black child from Chicago who supposedly whistled at a white woman in a grocery store whose death sparked the modern Civil Rights Movement.

The crime sounded clarion calls for a nation to wake up – just look at the photo. Till’s mutilated corpse circulated around the country mainly because of John Johnson, who published the gruesome photographs in Jet magazine, a predominately African American publication. The photo drew intense public reaction.

Till didn’t understand or knew he had broken an unwritten law of the Jim Crow South until three days later; when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. That night the door to his grandfather’s house was thrown open, and Emmett was forced into a truck and driven away never again to be seen alive again. Till’s body was found swollen and disfigured in the Tallahatchie river three days after his abduction and only identified by his ring.

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Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterward, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was the spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River the Montgomery bus boycott began.

It’s been sixty years since the events of that fateful night, and I simply cannot find the words to describe this heinous crime that has yet to receive justice. Till was one of hundred of children murdered, then and now, at the hands of a racist system much like Trayvon Martin’s death or Michael Brown’s murder in our time. We will never know the significance of their life or contribution to the world.

I’ll end by sharing these words by Maya Angelou: “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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The links below can better inform you of the facts:

The lynching of Emmett Till: a documentary narrative

By Christopher Metress
(free online book)

 

 

YOU MUST SEE THIS!!!

Purchase “Just a Season” today !!!


Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

4History, or those who write it, has an interesting way of minimizing actions of wrong doing done by the power of governments against anyone who challenges their domination. Mr. Mandela is the perfect example; when they talk about Mandela, they hardly mention that governments around the world referred to him as a terrorist, a convict, a communist, and a saboteur. In other words, he was most hated and an enemy of the state.

This has happened to other men such as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, who were also labeled as dangerous and enemies of the state – both were assassinated, and there are some who say by the state. I make this comparison because these men became great heroes after their death. Mandela was no doubt one of the greatest heroes of the last century achieving it in life. What he achieved in South Africa even Mahatma Gandhi was unable to do in India, and Mandela did it in a way that respected all of humanity. This is Mandela’s greatest glory!

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Even his prison number 46664 (meaning prisoner 466 incarcerated in 1964) is now the name of humanitarian and charitable organizations. Mandela used his superior strength of will to turn those who opposed him into tools to make the world a better place. Mandela was a man who evolved above the pettiness of racial conflict, a man who saw with profound clarity that South Africa was not a Black nation, a Colored nation or a White nation. He saw South Africa as a great nation with opportunities for all people no matter their color, their tribe, their religion, or their culture.

Most people don’t know that the system used in South Africa known apartheid was derived from the racial practices of our own American south – only taken to the extreme! It was so dominant that blacks had to cross the street to avoid whites to include eye contact with them. It was a government rooted in real fear of a State that threatened dire consequences should a white person be assaulted or even insulted.

The Apartheid government was the most ridged and cruelest regime on the planet. For those who don’t know history, this government was firmly supported by the American government and Ronald Reagan in particular. If not for the powerful Black Lobby in the U.S. Congress, the United States would most likely have given South Africa even more support, including weapons.

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From the early stages of Mandela’s life, he fought against this brutal system of oppression which resulted in his being sentenced to prison on Robben Island for a third of his life. Another fact unknown to most is that strangely enough the name Robben Island means “island of seals” in Afrikaans. The power and support from most of the outside world was such that little information was available concerning the regimes atrocities. Virtually no articles were published in the North American mainstream media; according to the editors they were not interested in articles about terrorists.

The outside world heard very little about Nelson Mandela. Few heard about Stephen Biko’s murdered and the thousands of South Africans that were persecuted, as most of the world continued to do trade with South Africa as a strong pro-Western anti-communist power. They had even developed and tested their own nuclear weapon.

1Finally after years of struggle and hardship, apartheid was overthrown, and Nelson Mandela became the first Black President of South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The U.S. presented him with the Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Union presented him with The Order of Lenin. Yet, he still officially remained on the list of people barred from entry to the United States.

In 1969 or anytime during the Seventies, the very idea that Nelson Mandela would one day be President of South Africa was an impossible thought. No one, not even Mandela himself could imagine such a possibility. It was simply impossible. Yet it happened. The impossible became possible and in achieving that position, winning the Nobel prize, Mandela gave a gift to all of us the gift of hope, the realization that no matter how daunting the situation, no matter how formidable the obstacles, that passion, courage and imagination can prevail.

We all die but few have lived as Nelson Mandela lived; few have achieved as much as he was able to achieve. I am happy that Mandela was able to live a long and remarkable life. He not only served his country with exceptional honor, but he has served all of mankind with dignity and amazing grace. The world surely has become a better place since he joined the human family.

In closing, this is Nelson Mandela’s most profound statement that will live in history as an inspiration. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties. He said; he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, the entire nation is now free. We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.

And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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