Tag Archives: CBS

The Gun Debate: TOO Many

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Today is the day to vote. We’ve heard the candidates talk about everything but gun control. Those who did talk about it said some of the most ridiculous statements on the issue, mostly from the right-wing nuts and some people I thought were reasonable people. A police chief said, “We need more guns in the hands of responsible people.” This simply boggles my mind. Dude, we can’t even trust the police, who are suppose to be responsible and trained in the use of guns. Actually, it should not bother me because remarks such as this are more of the same – more guns less common sense. I am unaware of any statistic that suggests more guns – less crime!

I want to go out on a lamb and say that is exactly the problem; too many guns. We all know that urban communities have been crying out for help concerning the easy access to guns as long as I can remember. It seemed unrealistic for the NRA and others to ignore the problem of gun violence in these communities, which could be viewed as genocide. In fact, all across the nation agencies are reporting that crime is down so in my view a more reasoned approach should be considered.

These same Politian’s who, in my opinion are bought and paid for, have failed to support sensible legislation to address the issue of guns that are designed for war. I heard Chris Rock say that the problem is not the guns, it’s the bullets. It is surely a huge part of the problem especially when a person can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition and no one sees a problem or asks the obvious question; why do you need so much ammo?

Since the horrible shooting at the Sandy Hooks Elementary School and the almost weekly incidence’s MANY places in America are trying to pass laws to allow teachers to bring their guns to class. One such school district passed a law to have the janitors be the first line of defense and plan to give the janitor two days training! These are just two of the most insane options out there, but what makes these so crazy is the parents of the children are not required to be notified.

The problem with more guns and the ease of obtaining them is that we know see each week a tragedy at a school or in some public place resulting from gun violence. Well-funded organizations like the NRA and policies like Stand Your Ground only exacerbate an already untenable problem with no sensible solution to end the carnage.

I am not going to belabor or dignify this type of madness other than to say “INSANE”! I am a veteran who served in the Army during a war and I can tell you that the months of military training does not fully prepare you for that moment when faced with a gun by someone wanting to kill. Moreover, it is not as easy to use a gun when the moment arrives knowing you are going to kill. Last point, once done you have to live with that guilt.

The real reason I wrote this piece because I am discussed at those who compare the right to have guns to the Civil Rights Movement. One nut had the nerve to say that if every person had a gun maybe there would never have been slavery in America. I say, shame on you! To this guy, in case you didn’t know, slaves were considered chattel and not human nor citizens; according to the Constitution they were 3/5th’s human. I wonder if this fool realizes that slaves were captured and brought to this country by force with guns. Laws were passed to deny slaves to remain slaves under threat of a gun.

If you voted today, and I hope you did, I hope you selected candidates that addressed the issue of too many guns and support some form of common sense measure that can address the issue. In addition, those who support demilitarization the police and the callus shootings at the hands of the so-called protectors of the people. If this is not done makes anyone think more guns will protect our children. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


America’s Shocking and Ugly Truth

 A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Enough said, and that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Black Music Month: The Last Great Temptation

OLLIEWOODSONRIP Ali Ollie Woodson was born Ollie Creggett on September 12, 1951 in Detroit, Michigan. He is remembered for his one of a kind soulful gospel rooted voice and as the lead singer of the greatest vocal group of all time; The Temptations.

He was the lead singer on such classic tunes; “Treat Her Like a Lady,” Sail Away, and “Lady Soul. I was blessed to have met and known this gentle soul in the mid 1970s and until a few years before his passing our paths would cross, which was always a pleasure. I can recall telling him that he was known the world over, yet he made me feel as if I was his best friend. It was always like we just spoke yesterday.

Ali was not an original member of the Temptations, which had several lineup changes since it started in the 1960s. But he played an integral part in keeping the Temptations from becoming just a nostalgia act. I would refer to him as the Temptations Temptation. I mean this in the sense that by the early 1980s the Temptations were no longer posting hit after hit as they had in the 1960s and ’70s with songs like “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “My Girl,” and “I Wish It Would Rain.”

Enter Ali Woodson! The group had lost original members, and Ali was brought in to replace Dennis Edwards, whose voice had defined the group in the 1970s. He added a distinctive flavor to the group during his tenure that was like a playful stamp on several Temptations’ standards with his tricky punctuation, sassy humor and inventive acrobatics. I say this with great reverence because he could do a David Ruffin better than David Ruffin.

In a review of a concert featuring the Temptations and the Four Tops in 1985, Stephen Holden of The New York Times described Ali as “a charismatic young pop-funk singer with a husky, agile voice that breaks into unexpected falsetto riffs.” Frankly, I have yet to find a singer of any era comparable to the elegance of his sound. If you heard him sing – you loved what he sung!

Ali went on the road at the age of 19 with Bill Pinkney who gave him a job as a musician and then vocalist for the Original Drifters in the early 1970s. He would return to lead The Original Drifters’ gospel song “True Love” in 1996 on the CD “Peace in the Valley” (Malaco). He always referred to Pinkney as his Father in the music business and sang “Walk Around Heaven All Day” at Pinkney’s home-going service in July 2007.

Most don’t know it but when Teddy Pendergrass left Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes it was Ali who got the call. He was called upon throughout his career to be the voice to accompany many of the great artists. But he was most notable for being lead singer of the Temptations from 1984 to 1986, and from 1988 to 1996. He first recorded with The Temptations in 1983 on their “Back to Basics” album, when he was invited to perform lead vocals on the album track, “Stop the World Right Here (I Wanna Get Off),” filling in for an exhausted Dennis Edwards. The following year, he replaced Edwards and officially became a Temptation.

He began his tenure in the group on a high note with a song he co-wrote, co-produced, sang lead, and played keyboards on the 1984 Temptations single “Treat Her Like a Lady”. A song that appeared on his first full album with the group “Truly for you” and was a #2 hit on the U.S. R&B charts. He continued to compose and sing lead on other moderate hits with The Temptations throughout the mid-1980s, up until his first departure from the group in 1987.

However, he would rejoin the group the following year and remained with them up through their 1995 album For Lovers Only. Since leaving the group, Woodson began a solo career and often toured with a Temptations-like revue called Ali Ollie Woodson & the Emperors of Soul and the Temptations Revue featuring Dennis Edwards. His last tour was with none other than the Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin – and I think that says it all. I have lived long enough to know that it is rare and only once in a lifetime that God gives us an Ali Woodson. I am honored and truly blessed to have known him.

In the Temptations movie David and Eddie would say “we were the voices.” With all due respect, Ali should also be called one of “the voices”. Rest In Peace my friend and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Pathology of White Privilege

The pathology of white privilege as detailed by author Tim Wise offers important insights into the American social order. He talks about how it was created. How it affects and the parallels for the oppressed blacks in America. Wise presents an argument of what the foundation of racism is throughout the nations history. Watch and learn!!!

 


Reach One Teach One

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I want to speak to those who saw Black History Month as trendy and have forgotten its significance. If this rings a bell, it is a month “they” call Black History Month but Black History should be lived “24/7/365”.

During the month of February, everyone is “blacker than black” as if the few people promoted were anything other than those folk “they” want us to remember. For example, just ask your child or anyone under the age of sixteen to name five important African American’s from our past; you might get three! They don’t teach it and nor do we, which is a shame.

There was a time when our history was never recorded or allowed to be spoken unless it was in the context of the so-called church via the message Master inseminated. You know the jive; “love thy neighbor” and “Thou shalt not kill”, both designed to protect Master and keep his human property in their place and on his place. Our kids don’t know the reality that since the year of our Lord 1619, when Africans were first dragged onto American shores of this place they called “merica.” People of African Descent have been chastised, criticized, punished, beaten, lynched and robbed of its culture.

These atrocities were done while the culprits enjoyed wealth and prosperity as a result of our never ending allegiance and patriotism, often blindly. Even today, when we have ascended to the White House nothing much has changed. Yet, the media and your aspirations of the so-called American dream have you disillusioned, and you continue to submit blindly.

Upon our backs, laden with the stripes of punishment for what they believed was for discipline and in spite of our loyalty, diligence, and tenacity.  Even when they shoot innocent black boys down in the street like defenseless animals – – we loved America  and followed. So you keep praying believing that someday we would come to be accepted and be treated like human beings; men and women.

I’ve written many articles on our historical journey in hopes you may receive explanations told by our ancestors causing you to look at and understand the root-cause of our asymptomatic behaviors. Further, helping you understand that there is a conditioning in “certain” communities that are not excuses, but explanations as to why these behaviors were never unlearned. These behaviors have been past down from generation to generation; blame it on “Willie Lynch,” education, the environment, whatever you want; but the problem is black people continue to wait for them to solve the problem!

It was us who warned about Denmark-Vessey, told you about Gabriel Prosser’s plans, called your attention to Nat Turner, Malcolm, and yes Martin too. It was us who sounded the alarm when old John Brown came calling on Harper’s Ferry, and there are still some sounding warnings today. Black Nationalism has died. We spend a trillion dollars a year. Yet, we bring 95 percent of what it to other businesses while keeping little for itself in spite of the fact that other people controlled at least 90 percent of all the resources and wealth of this nation.

We resisted the messages of trouble making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman, and Truth for fighting and dying on the battlefield for us. Most have forgotten their names and take no reverence in their sacrifice. These unique people, a forgiving people, a steadfast people, and a brave people unlike any known to the world fought and gave their lives seeking a better life for you and me. It is disheartening when I look at our station today and see how they are being repaid.

I have said and believe our story, the African American story, is the greatest story ever told because despite and in spite of all of the atrocities endured; we survived! Now, at this moment “Rise-Up You Mighty Race” – take a Stand and say enough is enough. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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The Horror of Slavery

1004795_10201334073855180_857894681_nIt was in the year of our Lord 1691 on a day that will live in infamy. America lost its soul that day when they dragged this human cargo onto its shores. Now I could make a great argument that the slavers never had a soul. Nonetheless, once on the shores they handed the Africans a Bible to mark the beginning the most horrific journey that would last for centuries. It is with remembrance of these heart-wrenching events to follow an unimaginable struggle that African Americans must teach our children to never forget.

This is how it began when the first African “settlers” reached North America as cargo on-board a Dutch man-of-war ship that rode the tide into the shores of Jamestown, Virginia, carrying Captain Jope and a cargo of twenty Africans. It seems strange to me, but history cannot tell us why this mysterious ship anchored off Jamestown. It is believed the captain needed food and in exchange for food he offered his cargo of Africans as payment.

When the deal was consummated, Antoney, Isabella, and eighteen other Africans disembarked. Although they were not the first Africans to arrive in North America, they were the first African “settlers.” Regarded as indentured servants rather than slaves at first, Fifteen were purchased to serve their redemption time working for Sir George Yardley, the Governor of Virginia and proprietor of the thousand-acre Flowerdew Hundred Plantation. In ten years, by the 1630’s, the colony, through the use of the Africans, had established a successful economy based on tobacco.

Slavery was born and the slave trade became big business. These human souls were acquired in Africa for an average price of about twenty-five dollars each, paid primarily in merchandise. They were sold in the Americas for about one hundred fifty dollars each. As the price of slaves increased, so did the inhumane overcrowding of the ships.

This was the beginning of the worst crime ever inflicted upon a people and the most morally reprehensible agenda the world has ever known. Adding to this injustice and more horrifying was that the perpetrators believed their actions were sanctioned by God with a religious manifestation that justified slavery. The next two-hundred years were a designed systematic effort to destroy millions of lives through indoctrination, brutality, savagery, and terror.

I am always struck by the use of the word civilization in this matter because the root word is “civil” and there was nothing civil about the institution of slavery. To be clear, a slave is chattel, a human being considered property and servant for life. The business of slave trading had one purpose – profit. The process would begin with an African being paid to venture into the interior of the continent, capture other Africans, put them on a death march to the coast and sell these captives to Europeans. Now, if stealing and capturing the victims was not misery enough, what was to follow surely was in every sense of the word.

This horrible journey, known as the “Middle Passage”, ended with a lifetime of bondage awaiting the captives at the end of the voyage. A typical slave ship traveling from Gambia, the Gold Coast, Guinea, or Senegal, would take four to eight weeks to reach New England, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, or the West Indies. Women, men, and children were crammed so tightly in the cargo ships that out of a load of seven hundred, three or four would be found dead each morning. Africans from Senegal were the most prized commodity because many were skilled artisans. Ibos from Calabar were considered the most undesirable because of their high suicide rate.

Most ships had three decks with the lower two used for transporting slaves. The lowest deck extended the full length of the ship and was no more than five feet high. The captives were packed into tomb-like compartments side by side to utilize all available space. In the next deck, wooden planks like shelves extended from the sides of the ship where the slaves were chained in pairs at the wrists and ankles – crammed side by side. Men occupied middle shelves and were most often chained in pairs and bound to the ship’s gunwales or to ring-bolts set into the deck. Women and children were sometimes allowed to move about certain areas of the ship.

A typical slave ship coming directly to the American mainland from Africa weighed about one to two hundred tons, although some were slightly larger. Slave ships were eventually built especially for human cargo. These slave ships could carry as many as four hundred slaves and a crew of forty-seven, as well as thirteen thousand pounds of food. They were long, narrow, fast, and designed to direct air below decks. Shackling irons, nets, and ropes were standard equipment.

The competition at slave markets on the African coast grew so exceptionally that historians estimate that as many as 60 million human souls were captured and taken from the continent of Africa to be sold into bondage. It is estimated that as many as one-third of that number did not survive the “Middle Passage” to reach the shores of a place like Jamestown.

Did you know the first registered slave ship was named “The Good Ship Jesus,” and in the name of God the greatest crime the world has known began in this place called Jamestown? The devastating effects of bondage would have an effect on a race of people for centuries.

I will continue to pray that we will be able, one day, to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.


The Horrors of Racism

We know about some of the horrible atrocities that have been inflected upon African Americans overtime. Of course, one of the most horrendous of them or what history has recorded as Black Wall Street that suffered the largest massacre of non-military Americans in the America’s history. The destruction of this community began Tuesday evening, June 1, 1921, when “Black Wall Street,” the most affluent all-black community in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of resentful whites.

In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering. A model community destroyed and a major Africa-American economic movement resoundingly defused. The night’s carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses lost. Among them were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half-dozen private airplanes and even the bus system.

This historic event, you would think should be common knowledge – but not so. One would be hard-pressed to find any documentation concerning the incident, let alone an accurate accounting of it. Not in any reference or American history book documenting the worst incidents of violence ever visited upon people of African descent. This night of horror was unimaginable. Try if you will to imagine seeing 1,500 homes being burned and looted, while white families with their children standing around the borders of the community watching the massacre much in the same manner they would watch a lynching. It must have been beyond belief for the victims.

Full Black Wall Street Story

Many such events were witnessed and often enjoyed by the culprits for entertainment. I wonder if you were aware of this little known history fact: what the word “picnic” meant in America’s racial lexicon? It was typical to have a picnic on a Friday evening somewhere in America. The word was short for “pick a nigger” to lynch. They would lynch a Black male and cut off body parts as souvenirs. This went on every weekend in many parts of the country with thousands lynched in the first part of the last century.

I came across another incident that occurred in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1927. There was a racial riot that erupted over the lynching of John Carter, a black man who was the fall guy for the homicide of a 12-year old white girl named Floella McDonald. The child was found in First Presbyterian Church. Originally, the blame fell on the church janitor who found the girl along with his mixed-race son. The men were safely moved to a Texarkana jail before a mob demanded blood.

In a nearby city, a 38-year-old black man named John Carter had been accused of assaulting a white woman and her daughter. The angry white mob of 5,000 people found Carter, hung him from a pole, shot him and drug him through the streets. They took him to the black community and incited a riot, breaking into buildings, including a furniture retail store. The mob piled the wooden furniture and doors from the church together, set it on fire and burned Carter’s body at the intersection of 9th and Broadway.

The Arkansas National Guard was deployed to stop the riot, and upon arrival, found one of the mob members directing traffic at the intersection with the arm of John Carter. Fortunately, the black community leader had encouraged black families to stay inside, avoiding a large death toll during the massive tension.

Once the riot and killing of Carter went to trial, it was dismissed without indictment of anyone involved. The city was concerned about their national reputation in the media. They banned distribution of the black newspapers, The Chicago Defender and The Pittsburgh Courier, with fear that it would cause more tension.

To make matters worse, the town was still in search of the killer of 12-year-old Floella McDonald. On May 19th, Lonnie Dixon, the mixed-race son of the First Presbyterian Church janitor, was tried and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death. After being under watch by the Arkansas National Guard during trial, Dixon was executed a month later. (Source: blackamericaweb)

There are milestones, mountains, and valleys that have encompassed the African American story to which I proudly say is the “Greatest Story Ever Told”. We must never forget for if we neglect the lessons of the past we are doomed to see them repeated. Life is not a race you run; it is a relay, and it is our responsibility to pass the baton. Our youth, the next generation, must be prepared and know when they look at our communities today that they came from a people who built kingdoms.

Let me leave you with this very simple idea. There are 42 million Black people identified in the 2010 Census, which makes up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. Suppose a contribution of $4.00 a week was place in a fund. Multiply that $4.00 x 4 weeks = $16.00 x 12= $ 192.00, then $192.00 x half all African Americans 20 million =’s $3,840,000,000.00. Understand that’s only half the African American population; now multiply that nearly four trillion times five. Get the point.

If this simply mathematical equation could be achieved – all of the ills of our culture could be erased. Hmmmm. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


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