Tag Archives: Clearance Thomas

The Surge Of The Southern Strategy

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nI can remember an old joke told when I was a child that said, “What has four eyes but cannot see; the answer was Mississippi”. This was a reference to the blatant racism, murder, and lynching of black people was something they could not see. The officials conspired to sweep it under the rug! In what would be viewed as modern times, the joke has been updated to say, “What has two eyes but cannot see; the answer is Missouri!!!” Obviously, it appears, not much different than Mississippi 40-50 years ago. Yesterday’s police press conferences made that painfully clear.

I spent some time in Missouri in the early 1970s, and it was NOT a vacation. I was in the military stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, and it was so bad that I would have felt safer in Vietnam, which I did go to Vietnam where I did feel safer! From the looks of things, not much has changed. Although, technically, Missouri in not in the south but as Malcolm said, “anywhere south of Canada is south in America.”

I think it’s important to remind you that it was in St. Louis that the Dred Scott case occurred. In the Supreme Court decision, known as the Dred Scott Decision, it said, “There are no rights a Negro has that a white man must respect”. This coupled with what was written in the Constitution that says a Negro is 3/5ths a human. This is to include the Civil War where frankly, there are many who seem to be still fighting it; notwithstanding, the Apartheid system of Jim Crow that followed all of this.

I wonder if some of these people realize that this is not your “Grandfathers America”. I know there are those who want to go back to the days of black and white television, and everything else black and white, meaning “segregation”. After all, it has been said repeatedly – “We want our country back” and as a result racism is up, and human rights are down. It could be said; this is a mandate! There are comments by those from the right, who claim “there is a war on white”. I think, based on the display in Ferguson and from the police – it is a war on black people.

As we witness this sad irony; let’s be mindful that what we see is no different than the Willie Lynch Syndrome at work and until they attacked and arrested the media. All of the info transmitted by the people of authority has been negative, which is to say it is “those people”. Do not fall for the word games played. We saw the war machine on display and remember all of this began, as a result, of the murder of an unarmed young man at the hands of police.

These folks hired a “gang of thugs”, arm them to the teeth, and gave them a license to kill. Therefore, what else could be expected? It think it is a surge of the Southern Strategy or something more ominous as the American way! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

The video is heart wrenching and ends with the caption:

Mike Brown was said to have been jaywalking and mouthing the officer involved. But since when has mouthing and jaywalking been punishable by death?

This isn’t a white vs. black thing. This is a citizens vs. brutality issue.

Ferguson police dump Michael Browns’ body into an SUV.

Here’s the video. The contrast between the neighbors’ raw and deeply emotional reactions and the police officers’ casual cruelty makes it hard to watch… yet hard to stop watching.


Hand’s Up – Don’t Shoot!!!

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nI am one who believes; “I am my brother’s keeper”, and so are you! By that I mean I have a responsibility to mankind as it is the purpose we exist. Having said that, a few days ago I wrote an article, titled “Please Mr. President” suggesting that our president, my brother, was MIA and there was a need for his attention.

Let me say, thank you Mr. Obama for you words in this matter and I am sure black people as a whole welcome your voice and attention in the death of our unarmed black child in Ferguson! As we have seen once the president spoke, the situation, at least in terms of the police aggression, changed immediately.

Further, the moment the President uttered those few sentences every political figure, even a few Republicans, spoke and used their power of redress against the current crop of “Bull Connor’s” for their shameful aggression. Frankly, this should have done from the beginning because we do pay them as tax payers. I stand by what I said in that article and his words did not adequately address the issue. Frankly, it was a weak response in light of the weekly murders of black people at the hands of the law!

I do, however, give him credit for those few sentences whether it was because of the visuals beamed around the world that forced his hand causing him to speak. What we saw a few nights ago surely went against the narrative being sold of America to others around the world. Or maybe it was because the armed and militarized thugs arrested and attacked the media? Either way, it was time for the President to come forward and speak.

What the world needs to know is that African American’s are saying enough is enough!!! Yes, the events in Mayberry, Missouri began with the murder of Big Mike but it’s much bigger than that:

It’s about Eric Garner, choked to death in a confrontation with New York City Police. It’s about Jordan Davis, shot to death in Jacksonville, Florida, because he played his music too loud. It’s about Trayvon Martin, shot to death in Sanford, Florida, because a self-appointed neighborhood guardian judged him a thug. It’s about Oscar Grant, shot by a police officer in an Oakland, California, subway station as cell phone cameras watched. It’s about the grandmother beaten on the highway in California. It’s about Amadou Diallo, executed in that vestibule and Abner Louima, sodomized with that broomstick. It’s about Rodney King and all of the people who are victims of simply being black.

In the 1960s, we saw many riots and each was the result of a negative police action. Is it wrong? Probably, but sometimes it is a last resort and necessary to get attention for those who have been forsaken. I applaud the people of Ferguson for taking a courageous stand in the face of danger to achieve relief, at least some measure of it; the “gang of thugs” are out of control! Please take away their weapons of “mass destruction” and war from these people who are ill-equipped with any sense of respect and the absense of reason. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Scene Of The Crime

It is a fact that the history of people of African descent was destroyed by government-sanctioned system of slavery. However, I have resurrected our amazing and often horrific journey many times through this blog. I have tried to bring into remembrance some heart-wrenching events and glorious victories resulting from the unimaginable struggles that African Americans have had to endure. Therefore, I would be remiss if I did not start at the beginning with what I call the scene of the crime.

The Jamestown Colony, England’s first permanent settlement in North America, was a marshy wasteland, poor for agriculture and a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The settlement was such a harsh environment that only thirty-two of the estimated one hundred original settlers survived the first seven months. HIS-Story describes this as the “starving times,” but all would change.

On August 20, 1619, the first African “settlers” reached North America as cargo onboard 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, 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 ringbolts 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 the 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…
 

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Praise For All Queens

th (4)To all the women and mothers on the day we are celebrating women I want to show reverence to all of the beautiful women – all Queens. History tells us, and His-story agrees, that the oldest known human remains discovered is that of a black woman, whose name was “Lucy”, found in African over 4 million years ago. It is also a fact that Africa is the cradle of civilization, which means a black woman gave birth to mankind in a place called Pangaea.

These gorgeous creatures walk with the distinction of creating and continuing the species that first walked the earth and still they carry the world on her shoulders as being God’s greatest creation. Therefore, during this month that is dedicated to the “Celebration of Women” – I LOVE YOU. This post is not meant to exclude women, who are also of distinction, from other ethnicity’s or hues because I love you too. Rather to express my profound appreciation for the wonders and wonderful Black Woman.

Some may say that today’s black woman, particularly young women, have lost their way. This is a subjective statement, which may be true to a degree but each of you ladies have the power to change that perception by guiding these young girls into womanhood. You are the nurturer because you are the woman who understands her strength and uses her power positively as a gift to mankind.  Forget the mantra, so often used, “Strong Black Woman”. We know you are but consider that it is misguided because your strength is in unity, and I will leave that there as my prospective.

We can all remember; I hope, Big Mama, who was the backbone of the family,. She is the woman that I dedicate this article, and pay homage to those like her, for being the family’s greatest gift; a proud woman with wisdom, pride, and dedication with one purpose “family”. For all of those who use the mantra “Strong Black Woman” in a misguided way. Let me suggest that you use the First Lady, Michelle Obama our crowned queen, as an example for which to follow. As she portrays for the world to see what a black woman is – proud, graceful, supporting, dignified and charming. This is your strength.

Personally, my greatest heroine was Harriet Tubman because of her bravery and courage. It has been about 100 years since her death, and I continue to be haunted by a powerful statement she made shortly before that fateful day. She was asked by a reporter if she knew how many slave she saved while conducting the Underground Railroad? She said, “I could have freed a lot more if they had only known they were slaves?” POWERFUL!!! I respect and honor her because she risked her life for the benefit of others traveling back to rescue many captive souls, 13 or more times, after she had escaped herself during a time that we cannot imagine today.

There was a commercial a long time ago that said, “You’ve come a long way baby” or look at this way “from the outhouse to the White House”. These are just a few exceptional women that I am particularly proud of because of their integrity, pride, dignity, and fortitude, but there are so many more. So for those who came before you or those who walk amongst us; like Phyllis Wheatley, May Jemison, Mya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Madam CJ Walker, Sojourner Truth, the Queen of Sheba, Nefertiti, Big Mama, my Mom, you, and not to be left out the millions of heroines that the world have been blessed to share – you are loved. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Does This Change The Game

2I will give the NBA, one of the most progressive of all the sports entities, huge prop’s but we must not lose sight of the fact that it is not for you and I. It is about money! The reason they reacted so quickly is for that very reason. The Fat Cat owners are probably wondering, if and when, some form of media will get the next one. Let’s face it; you cannot get rich in America being decent and honest! Capitalizes demands ruthlessness and cold-heartedness!

Now when we think about Donald Sterling, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, being barred from the N.B.A. for life and may be forced to sell the team for making racist remarks. Ask yourself, if it wasn’t for the enormous lose of money – do you really think this action would have occurred. Probably not! I certainly think it was the right thing to do; let me be clear about that. But we know he is not the tip of the iceberg – there are many like people like him out there.

Let me also be clear about this – the exodus of sponsorship was the driver behind the decision. The actions of this one guy would surely have an impact on all of the other owners in the league. When sponsors leave on-mass the landscape must change. Its about the money! But what I really think, if it were not for social media this would just be another unknown and we should be glad that this technology removed the veil because it was the catalyst for the changing the landscape in this situation.

Some think this incident is the first – hardly! It happens more often than you think. It happened in Washington with George Preston Marshall owner of the Redskins. He ran the Redskins like it was the old confederate. In fact, instead of the “Hail to the Redskins” song Marshall played “Dixie” – you know the song that says “I wish I was in the land of cotton”!

Then there was Marge, the dog lover, owner of the Cincinnati Reds who is famous for calling her players “Million Dollar Niggers”! Remember “Jimmy the Greek”, “Don Imus”, and worst of all “Rush Limbaugh”! All were viewed as bigots in the sports world. Of course there are more, but you get the point. Now, let’s look at the college sports system, which in my view is the breed ground of the “Plantation” mentality. This is prevalent across the board at every level and by that I mean the slaves play and Master gets the money.

What most have lost sight of is that it is present at the same place you work. Honestly, do you really think your boss care about you? No!!! He or she smiles at you because you make money for him/her. If these people cared there would not be any unemployment. You and I may not be millionaires, but we are slaves not the less! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Happy Birthday Dorothy Irene Height

Dorothy Irene Height, (March 24, 1912 – April 20, 2010), the Matriarch of the civil rights movement passed away early Tuesday of natural causes in a Washington hospital. Dr. Height established a national reputation as a graceful insistent voice for civil rights and women’s rights. She was regarded as the “Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement” and a tireless crusader for racial justice and gender equality spanned more than six decades.

Dr. Height was born in Richmond, Virginia. She moved with her family to Rankin, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh early in her life where she attended racially integrated schools. She was admitted to Barnard College in 1929, but upon her arrival she was denied entrance because the school had an unwritten policy of admitting only two black students. She pursued studies instead at New York University earning a degree in 1932 and a master’s degree in educational psychology the following year.

Dr. Height served on the advisory council of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the National Advisory Council on Aging. Her awards included 36 honorary doctorates from colleges and universities, including Harvard and Princeton. In addition, Dr. Height was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and on her 92nd birthday, she received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest decoration Congress can bestow.

Dr. Height was among a coalition of African American leaders who pushed civil rights to the forefront of the American political stage after World War II. She was instrumental, and a key figure, in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities and public accommodations in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Dr Height was president of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years, relinquishing the title at the age of 95.

National Council of Negro Women is a four million member advocacy group consisting of 34 national and 250 community based organizations. It was founded in 1935 by educator Mary McLeod Bethune, who was one of Height’s mentors. Dr. Height was a civil rights activist who participated in protests in Harlem during the 1930’s. In the 1940’s, she lobbied first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of civil rights causes and in the 1950’s she prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to move more aggressively on school desegregation issues.

President Obama issued an official statement White House that reads as follows: Dr. Height was “a hero to so many Americans… Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality . . . witnessing every march and milestone along the way… And even in the final weeks of her life — a time when anyone else would have enjoyed their well-earned rest Dr. Height continued her fight to make our nation a more open and inclusive place for people of every race, gender, background and faith.”

As a young woman, Dr. Height made money through jobs such as ironing entertainer Eddie Cantor’s shirts and proofreading Marcus Garvey’s newspaper, the Negro World. She went nightclubbing in Harlem with composer W.C. Handy. Dr Height began her professional career as a caseworker for the New York City welfare department. She got her start as a civil rights activist through the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and from the pastor’s son, the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who later represented Harlem in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the 1940’s, Dr. Height came to Washington as chief of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA branch. She joined the staff of the national YWCA board in 1944 through 1975. She remained on that staff with a variety of responsibilities, including leadership training and interracial and ecumenical education. In 1965, she organized and became the director of the YWCA’s Center for Racial Justice, and she held that position until retiring from the YWCA board in 1975.

Dr. Height became national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 1947holding that position until 1957 when she became the fourth president of the National Council of Negro Women. She was a visiting professor at the Delhi School of Social Work in India, and she directed studies around the world on issues involving human rights.

During the turmoil of the civil rights struggles in the 1960’s, Dr. Height helped orchestrate strategies with major civil rights leaders including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin and John Lewis, who later served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia. Congressman John Lewis said when Dr. Height announced her retirement as president of the National Council of Negro Women – “At every major effort for social progressive change, Dorothy Height has been there.” She was also energetic in her efforts to overcome gender bias, and much of that work predated the women’s rights movement.

Dr. Height was the most influential woman at the top levels of civil rights leadership, but she never drew the major media attention that conferred celebrity and instant recognition on some of the other civil rights leaders of her time. In August 1963, Dr. Height was on the platform with King when he delivered his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Less than a month later, at King’s request, she went to Birmingham, Ala. to minister to the families of four black girls who had died in a church bombing linked to the racial strife that had engulfed the city.

In 1995, Dr. Height was among the few women to speak at the Million Man March on the Mall, which was led by Louis Farrakhan, the chief minister of the Nation of Islam. “I am here because you are here,” she declared. Two years later, at 85, she sat at the podium all day in the whipping wind and chill rain at the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.

She would often remark, “Stop worrying about whose name gets in the paper and start doing something about rats, and day care and low wages. . . . We must try to take our task more seriously and ourselves more lightly.” She also famously said, “If the times aren’t ripe, you have to ripen the times”. It was important to dress well she said, “I came up at a time when young women wore hats, and they wore gloves. Too many people in my generation fought for the right for us to be dressed up and not put down.”

“She was a dynamic woman with a resilient spirit, who was a role model for women and men of all faiths, races and perspectives. For her, it wasn’t about the many years of her life, but what she did with them,” said former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. Dr. Height is a national treasure who lived life abundantly and for the abundance of others. She will be greatly missed, not only by those of us who knew her well, but by the countless beneficiaries of her enduring legacy.

In my novel “Just a Season”, I talked about a “Dash” that will be place on our final marker between the years of one’s birth and death that will represent the whole of a person’s life. I said that to say, this tiny little dash on Dr. Height’s marker will not adequately give enough credit for her outstanding life’s work. It should have an inscription that says – “Servant of God, Well Done.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”
Legacy – A New Season is Coming!
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Listen to the author’s interview!

The Misguided

th0I wrote a piece yesterday about the latest black face to evolves as, in my view, insane. I was simply shocked by some of the African American views of the reported and video statements made by this guy. One said, “why are you [meaning me] attach this man because he thinks differently?” Let me be clear that my article was only regurgitating what was said, which was Obama was turning America into “Nazi Germany”. Actually, I think any sane person would have to view this as insane. Ok, I digress!!!

Every so often some fool of color is found by the oppressor who is, frankly offensive, to wave the flag for their agenda. In fact, these people are a disgrace to all people of color. We know there have been many overtime and in most cases they cloaked themselves in the guise of a Reverend. The list is long misguided include the likes of Ward Connelly, Allen West, Allen Keys, Herman Cain, Clearance Thomas, and unfortunately the latest Ben Carson.

Not long ago this man Jesse Lee Peterson who is president and founder of The Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), which is an American religious nonprofit organization dedicated to a conservative agenda. He is a Tea Party darling, which means he is a black man who’s sold his sold to the devil, which means – misguided. He has hosted a cable TV program and a syndicated radio talk show.

I had not heard of him and don’t usually pay much attention to folks of his ilk but after listening to him I was simply floored and embarrassed. Listening to him spew his venom had absolutely nothing to do with God or a ministry of any kind. But then the KKK burns crosses suggesting that their bigotry has something to do with God’s grace. It could be that his ministry is little more than a cult rather than a church. He gives credence to the term a sheep in wolves clothing.

I am going to be direct and to the point. For a black man in his middle sixties to have known segregation and racism to say he thanks “God and white people” for slavery. Adding, if it weren’t for the slave trade, blacks might have never made it to the promise land and described slave ships as akin to “being on a crowded airplane”. This is beyond insanity!!!

Another statement made is as troubling. He says women should not be allowed to vote:

“Women cannot handle power. It’s not in them to handle power in the right way. […] I think that one of the greatest mistakes America made was to allow women the opportunity to vote. We should’ve never turned this over to women. […] It was a big mistake. […] And these women are voting in the wrong people. They’re voting in people who are evil who agrees[sic] with them who’re gonna take us down this pathway of destruction. And this probably was the reason they didn’t allow women to vote when men were men. Because men in the good old days understood the nature of the woman. They were not afraid to deal with it. And they understood that, you let them take over, this is what would happen.”

Peterson once established an annual “National Day of Repudiation of Jesse Jackson” event that was held on a street corner outside his offices in Los Angeles, which received no public attention outside of conservative media. On September 21, 2005, Peterson penned a column for WorldNetDaily, in which he suggested the majority of the African American people stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina were “welfare-pampered”, “lazy” and “immoral”. Peterson also criticized New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin for blaming President George W. Bush for his lack of response to the crisis, stating that “responsibility to perform legally and practically fell first on the Mayor of New Orleans.

On February 28, 2006, as a member of a student panel discussion at the UC Irvine on a Muslim cartoon controversy, Peterson described Islam as an “evil religion”, and stated extremist Muslims “hate us [America] because we are a Christian nation and we support Israel”.

In January 2010, Peterson issued a statement calling for the resignation of Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, saying “Michael Steele is a weak leader and he needs to resign or be fired. We need someone who’s not afraid to boldly promote strong conservative Republican ideas. The only reason Steele is still RNC Chair is because he’s black and the party is terrified of the implications of firing him.”

He has claimed, “Barack Obama hates white people, especially white men” and “Barack Obama is Jeremiah Wright Jr. He is the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus! He embodies the aspirations of every left-wing black group that wants to tear down this country and take power away from the “oppressive” white man. He’s not an obvious race hustler like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson; but Obama is a smooth pathological liar with a wicked heart”. WOW!!!

I can’t conjure any speech that would allow me to share my opinion of such people, because my mother taught me that if you can’t say anything good about someone – say nothing at all and saying nothing here speaks volumes.

I won’t go as far as Brother Malcolm and call him a “House N-Word” but he does remind me of my Uncle whose name is “Tom”. Now, we have a new addition to the long list. What a shame! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Crispus Attucks

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There are so many misrepresentations, stories rewritten, changed, or just simply true facts unknown when it comes to historical significance regarding African American’s and American history. In fact, it was not until the 20th century that any of our history was even recorded. Another fact: most slaves or African Americans prior to the 20th century never received a certificate of birth. This brings me to the subject of the first Negro killed in the Revolutionary War for America’s freedom.

No much is known about Crispus Attucks and all we do know was produced by those who had a vested interest in using his name or color for their cause. Attucks was born into slavery around 1723, in Framingham, Massachusetts. He was the son of a slave father shipped to America from Africa and a Natick Indian mother. This is an important piece of evidence regarding his place in history. We are supposed to believe that a slave was on the forefront of the movement to free the nation from British rule.

Therefore, what is claimed or taught though history is that Attucks was supposed to be the first to fall during what’s called the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Personally, I think this claim was to disguise the fact that the new land was a major purveyor of slavery where many states sanctioned such by law or what law there was.

What has been pieced together paints a picture of a young man who showed an early skill for buying and trading goods. He seemed unafraid of the consequences for escaping the bonds of slavery. Historians have, in fact, pinpointed Attucks as the focus of an advertisement in the 1750 edition of the Boston Gazette in which a white landowner offered to pay 10 pounds for the return of a young runaway slave.

“Ran away from his Master William Brown from Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last,” the advertisement read. “A Mulatto Fellow, about 27 Years of age, named Crispas, 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair, his Knees nearer together than common: had on a light colour’d Bearskin Coat.”

Attucks, however, managed to escape for good, spending the next two decades on trading ships and whaling vessels coming in and out of Boston. Attucks also found work as a ropemaker. As British control over the colonies tightened, tensions escalated between the colonists and British soldiers. Attucks was one of those directly affected by the worsening situation. Seamen like Attucks constantly lived with the threat they could be forced into the British navy, while back on land, British soldiers regularly took part-time work away from colonists.

On March 5, 1770, a Friday, a fight erupted between a group of Boston ropemakers and three British soldiers. Tensions were ratcheted up further three nights later when a British soldier looking for work entered a Boston pub, only to be greeted by a contingent of furious sailors, one of whom was Attucks.

The details regarding what followed have always been the source of debate, but that evening a group of Bostonians approached a guard in front of the customs house and started taunting him. The situation quickly escalated. When a contingent of British redcoats came to the defense of their fellow soldier, more angry Bostonians joined the fracas, throwing snowballs and other items at the soldiers.

Attucks was one of those in the middle of the fight, and when the British opened fire he was the first of five men killed, which is why he is claimed to be the first casualty of the American Revolution. However, as a runaway slave it is highly doubtful that Attucks would challenge the British authorities for a cause that he had no stake in.

In fact, this episode was nothing more than the actions of an unruly mob, and there was no war at the time. John Adams the second president of the new country represented the British Soldiers in court who fired the shots charged, though debate has raged over how involved he was in the fight. One account claims he was simply “leaning on a stick” when the gunshots erupted.”

Regardless, Attucks became a martyr and post-harmoniously received a statue as a hero. His body was transported to Faneuil Hall, where he and the others killed in the attack lay in state. City leaders even waived the laws around black burials and permitted Attucks to be buried with the others at the Park Street cemetery.

In the years since his death, Attucks’s legacy has continued to endure, first with the American colonists eager to break from British rule, and later among 19th century abolitionists and 20th century civil rights activists. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his 1964 book, Why We Can’t Wait, lauded Attucks for his moral courage and his defining role in American history.

 


Nelson Mandela World Prophet

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Nelson Mandela was our generations and the world’s largest icon. Mr. Mandela is the face of freedom and the embodiment of courage as the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary. Know as an amazing politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after serving twenty-seven years in prison. He was the first black South African to hold the office of president in the most reprehensible government on the planet.

Madiba, as he is called by the people of his homeland, was first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically Madiba was an African Nationalist and democratic socialist who served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

His story is the greatest story of our time. Mandela served 27 years in prison, first on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela published led negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid in which he led the ANC to victory.

Controversial for much of his life, right-wing critics denounced Mandela as a terrorist and communist sympathizer. He nevertheless received international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received 250 awards, including the 1993Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name of Madiba or as tata; he is often described as “the father of the nation”.

I am proud to say I have been in his presence and posed with his Ex-wife Winnie Mandela, which was the most cherished moment of my life. Few people come into the world unselfishly for the benefit of others. Mr. Mandela you suffering and struggle changed and uplifted the lives of millions. In your words “Amandla” – All power to the people.

Where you go, you will be judged by the work you’ve done. You have done your work, and the results of you toil will be an inspiration to the world for all eternity. Job well done; take your rest. You are my hero, and the world is thankful for your spirit. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


The Washington Deadskins Drama

1This is the second time I’ve delved into the sports arena via this blog and wouldn’t you know it both were about the Washington Deadskins. I will be up-front and let you know that I bleed blue [if you are a football fan you what that means]. Oh, let me also say that the teams current state of dysfunction WARMS MY HEART!!!

I might share a Thought Provoking Perspective on any topic, particularly if it relates to African American issues. I must admit; I normally reserve my comments for those subjects that are more meaningful to life’s issues. Nonetheless, as I watch what is happening to RG III I had a flashback with respect to the Redskins organization, which has a long history of mistreating African American player. In addition to that, I never like the team’s racist name.

Many Washingtonians, as well as fan in many other places, are endeared to the Redskins football team, which is their personal choice. Unfortunately, I am not of them, and not just because of the team’s name, which in my view is akin to calling African Americans the “N-Word”. I am positive this surely must be the view of Native American’s – disrespectful at best.

What I am about to say may well be painful to some but just as sure as something’s change they remain the same. Over the years, I watched what they did to Donavan McNabb BENCHED! How they humiliated him still causes the hair on the back of my neck to rise. The teams antic’s go further back in time than just these two successful Black players. The teams sorted past and there long history supports my position.

Let’s journey back to George Preston Marshall an early owner. The NFL’s color barrier was broken in 1946; it inexplicably took Marshall sixteen years amid legal threats and community pressure to bring Bobby Mitchell, their first black player, to the Redskins as a player. Former quarterback Eddie LeBaron, who knew Marshall, said he never believed he was a racist. Nonetheless, they were the last team in the NFL to sign a black player or forced to do so.

In more recent memory, do you remember Quarterback Doug Williams? He was sent packing a season after he made history winning the Super Bowl. Now, let’s look at what happened to Jason Campbell when no one in management stuck up for him while he’s getting killed behind his offensive line and was sent packing. I won’t even mention Big Albert’s treatment. See a pattern? No, then read on!

Did you know that before someone wrote the crazy “Hail to the Redskins” song they played “Dixie”? You know the one: “I wish I was in the land of cotton…” A few years ago, they brought in the man they say would resurrect the team – wrong-way Mike and his trusty sidekick – his son. Well we see how well that worked out. Published reports say RG III is not talking to either – hmmm.

In the latest episode, RG III was benched to rest him. Correct me if I am wrong but the Skins gave away their first round draft choices for, like, fifty years. Was this due diligence on the part of Wrong-way Mike or something more ominous?  Let me get to the point; is there an elephant in the room: RACE? Surely this is noticed and reverberates in the minds of those who know and remember the history of this organization, which is significantly rooted in questionable decisions concerning black players. Looking back at this history, what happens is you start to wonder.

Whether Shanahan had any understanding of the organization’s history, the city’s composition, or the feelings that linger; he should be sensitive enough to understand “this ain’t Colorado.” Particularly, when he did the same thing to McNabb!

In 1965, James Blackistone wrote a letter to the acting president of the Redskins, Edward Bennett Williams. Like most African American fans at the time, Blackistone was offended by the Confederate flags in the stands and the band’s playing of “Dixie” during games. Less than a month later, Williams wrote back to Blackistone, saying he agreed. After 1965, the Redskins band did not play “Dixie” at another game.

The history of why African Americans are so sensitive is not made up or unfounded, particularly in light of segregation, Jim Crow, and slavery. Can we assume the prevailing thought the problem is leadership, rather than a culture of teams sorted history? I say both. Let’s recap!!!

How many great African American players have come out of this organization? They were the last team to integrate with Bobby Mitchell. Then Bobby was never given a shot to be the general manager. They dismissed Doug Williams after he was the Super Bowl MVP; Art Monk and Brian Mitchell unceremoniously going to Philadelphia, and the list goes on.

There always seems to be an undertone, at the very least disrespect, with this organization that is not easily dismissed. Former team player Doc Walker once said and I agree, “Whenever anything happens involving a player of color in Washington, the bottom line is the old wounds are opened… The last two minutes of that game brought back 30 years or more of undertones. You don’t necessarily say, ‘That’s what it is,’ but you do pause and think about it… Given what’s happened here, it’s only natural.”

This is the very reason why there are so many Cowboy fans in Washington, because many black fans refused to support a team that would not employ an African American player for so many years. So they became fans of the team’s arch rival. They have kids, and they became Cowboy fans – and so on and so on – and most of them have never even been to Dallas. I agree totally because that’s why I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.

RG III is just the latest victim of what seems to continue. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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