Tag Archives: compassionate conservatives

A Must Hear Reality

Never before in the history of America has such vial despicable language been espoused against a sitting president. PLEASE LISTEN as the honorable Minister Farrakhan exposes the hate-filled rhetoric and writings of right-wing conservative elected officials and influential members of American society directed at President Barack Obama and his family.

Forget what you may perceive as the Ministers politics – this is the reality of truth.

The Peril’s Of Justice

We as African Americans understand, as Richard Pryor famously said, when it comes to justice what we find is JUST-US! This statement could not be more profound today as it relates to some of the news stories that involve African Americans, namely the recent murder of the young child Trayvon Martin.

Frankly, this case takes me back nearly sixty-years when another young black child was murdered where the culprits did not receive due justice. I wonder if the story would be different if the victim was white and the shooter was black. I think we know the answer to that!!!

But I read a piece today written by Mr. Jonathan Capehart and like him I had the same questions that he asked in this article. First, he asked, what was Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford, Fla., police department? Then he asked why was Zimmerman portrayed as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain when he was not part of a registered neighborhood watch program? Further he asked, did the Sanford Police Department ever warn him about his activities in this unofficial capacity?

When you consider that Zimmerman was known to have placed, as it was reported, 46 calls to that department between Jan. 1, 2011, and the Feb. 26 shooting; did the Sanford police have specific orders on how to deal with him? Did they have a file on him? Did they have him on any kind of special watch list?

To these questions, the Police Chief said, “we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” Yet, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was sufficient justification to not arrest him. My next question was why did Chief Lee accept Zimmerman’s self-defense plea on its face? Did the police run a background check on Zimmerman? Did his previous arrest, for resisting arrest without violence, raise any red flags with police? Did Lee attempt to establish probable cause? How did he go about it? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs or alcohol? If not, why not? Was Zimmerman’s gun confiscated? Was it tested? Where is that gun now?

These are all valid questions that demand answers.

Now, here are a few questions that come to mind with respect to the crime scene. What did police do with Trayvon’s body at the scene? What did police do with Trayvon’s body once taken from the scene? Why was it tested for drugs and alcohol? What did police do with Trayvon’s personal effects? Where is his cell phone? Did police try to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back? Hmmmm!

So as you can see there are many more questions than answers and frankly a thorough investigation would have answered these questions. Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review the case to ensure that some of these questions are answered – maybe. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned questions in this case that are unanswered – it stinks of wrong. Oh, and for sure racism!!!

There are so many more questions than answers and I pray we get them answered, and justice is served. With that said, I would suggest that you compare this to little Emmitt Till and recall the Peril’s Of Justice.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!


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Mitt and Faith

Mitt Romney, who the Republicans call “Him”, has a past that speaks to a matter of his soul, which I believe is the foundation of his core beliefs. Mitt spent 32 years in a religious organization that indoctrinated the idea that blacks were fundamentally cursed — by God — and that by virtue of their birth were unworthy of the highest spiritual affirmation. Being an African America and someone who believes in God this ideology is a huge problem for me.

Let me give just a brief historical background of his faith. The word Mormon most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as “Latter-day Saints” or sometimes just “Saints.”

The term has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably the fundamentalists, while other Saints denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. The term Latter-day Saints (LDS) was given to its founder Joseph Smith during an 1838 revelation mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants. The term “saint” was used by Paul the Apostle to refer to early members of the Christian church with “later-day” being added to differentiate the modern church from the early church.

Most people associate the Mormon religion with polygamy or sex with young girl through marriage which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons. However, it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890, and now they say is discontinued. Today, polygamy is practiced only by fundamentalist groups that have broken with the LDS Church.

From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call Zion, a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a “pioneer era” under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century.

Now back to the cult’s racial views. Romney was confronted during a NBC’s Meet the Press (12/07) appearance when the late Tim Russert brought up the ban on blacks and the fact that Romney was an adult before the ban was lifted. Russert pointedly asked if Romney had a problem with associating himself with an organization that was seen as racist. Romney answered, “I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”

Russert asked if Romney was willing to disavow the Church’s earlier teachings, and Romney refused — choosing instead to cite examples of how his father supported civil rights. Mitt even claimed that his father, George Romney, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.; a statement that was later proven false and that Romney recanted.

There is “no religious test” for holding political office, but there is a moral one. As a leader in his church, a young Romney would have been compelled to teach the racist Mormon ideology to others. His curious answer to Russert affirms the belief that the church was infallible in its teachings. Romney cannot be excused of his own affiliation with an explicitly discriminatory organization without, at the very least, providing an acceptable answer.

Barack Obama was forced to disavow controversial statements by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign culminating in his now famous race speech. Romney cannot be given a pass especially when, unlike Obama’s situation, Romney remains in a church whose codified beliefs are sketched in proverbial stone. The priesthood ban may be gone, but the cursed text remains and is still taught as divinely inspired doctrine.

The former governor rarely discusses religion. But the recent controversy over the contraception clause of the new healthcare law and the Catholic Church’s public disagreement with the Obama administration precipitated comments from Romney that Obama was attacking freedom of religion. Romney spoke while campaigning ahead of the Michigan and Arizona primaries that he “knows a lot about being persecuted” for one’s faith.

There is a cognitive dissonance inherent in the idea that one can be a victim of religious persecution, while simultaneously adhering to a faith which does the same based on race.

It’s a complicated subject, with an equally complicated history, and though Romney may not now, or ever have held racist feelings or beliefs on a personal level, it is a public office that he seeks. And, as such, he must be compelled to offer an open and honest explanation. Frankly, with his well documented history of flip-flopping (lying) – is this the guy any American would want to be the next president of the United States.


And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”

Legacy – A New Season is Coming!

The Ghost of Jim Crow

 If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month I will write a post each day on this topic that I hold dear. Let me say that I believe our history is American History and as I have said many times; “It is the Greatest Story Ever Told”.

In an earlier article someone made a comment and ask a question that, frankly, surprised me. The question was; “What do you mean when you say Jim Crow”? My first thought was, how can history so recent and one that I’ve witnessed, and know to be true, be removed from the consciousness of anyone living in America. I suppose it speaks to the indifference of what is learned today, or not, through the education system or that the system is designed to protect the system.

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.
It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was “South” as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family – adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one’s parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.
Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South’s more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this “new order” as a more rigid continuation of the “cult of whiteness” at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. Those vying to become president in 2014, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country because history is known and has repeated itself!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Purchase “Just a Season” today because Legacy – A New Season the sequel is coming!

So Say Bachman – A Declaration of Dependence

Well folks, the “Good Ol’ Boys” and the “Tea Party Princess” have taken the leap. Yeap – they did it!! I have said both of these group are akin to the “Citizens Councils” of days long gone. I can vividly remember when people with this mentality roamed the nation, with impunity, causing trepidation and terror. Let me also remind you that it wasn’t very long ago but obviously, we, sane people and people of color, have forgotten this horrible time when danger was afoot like the mean-spirited venom of a snake.

Now to be fair, all of us know that racism and bigotry exist and of course it is fair to say that each of us harbor some of it, for whatever reason. Minorities surely know this because there is not a day that goes by where we don’t feel it. Surely most people can see this today on a grand scale – just look at what “they” say and do with regard to President Obama. These so-called real Americans have become more outspoken , and frankly more blatant than ever. Will the resurrection of Bill Connor be near.

A few days ago two of the eight GOP gang of challengers for the 2011 Presidential, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, signed a pledge that contained a vial statement “That Black Folks Were Better Off As Slaves” according to news reports. SHOCKING!!! Of course some will say, “she’s just talking and we have freedom of speech”. I agree except, you cannot yell fire, if there is none, in a crowded theater. Moreover, when you say something it is one thing but when you sign a pledge, a formal document – that is akin to shouting fire in the theater.

“The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” which they pledged has at least one thing most Americans and particularly African American’s should find objectionable. The fact that these two GOP candidates for the presidency affixed their names to a statement that say somehow “Black people were better off during slavery than they are living during the era of a Black President”. Can there thinking be more clearly exposed? Now, for those who say racism is dead in the year of our Lord 2011 with a Black President; you are dead wrong.

The document not only offends Black people. It speaks to their anti-gay marriage, anti-Islamic and anti-porn views, anti, anti, anti.. I guess I should say here that I do agree with the pledge that speaks to human trafficking because they did not express a desire to sell us back into slavery – YET. Before I continue let me tell you what was featured at the very top of the document.

Ready: Law and Order Theme:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Given that families were broken up regularly through sales during slavery and that rape by masters was the norm, this could not be more offensive. Now we know what they mean when they constantly say, “We want to take our Country Back”. Putting aside the stupidity, I could not be more angry because they said what the feel taking a shot at the president and all of us in the process. It is the opposite of persuasive and is another reason Republicans repel us.

To be fair, the Marriage Vow did say slavery was “disastrous” but they appeared to be arguing that slavery was good or, as stated, slavery was worse than Barack Obama. Right here I am going to be fair and balance like the “Fox and Fool”. They used a footnote to a study by black scholars who dare I say was someone who would remind me of my Uncle whose name was Tom and the story gets even more disturbing.

The study they cite was published in 2005, which means that any comparison to slavery must be made, not with our first black president, but with our 43rd white one – “W”. Furthermore, the data in the study only dates back to 1880, which means they not only had to stretch the pretzel to include Barack Obama and conflate the data with slavery.

A reporter for The Plum Line attempted to put the whole matter in perspective: Expect lots more of this. The real question is what Bachmann (and Cain, and Santorum) wouldn’t sign if asked by social conservatives — and what, if anything, Mitt Romney, or Tim Pawlenty, or Rick Perry would actually oppose as too extreme. The answer appears to be: nothing. It’s true that Bachmann is the only one to make this “vow” so far. But it’s early yet.

Now, here is why this issue and the remarks should matter to every Negro, Black person, and African American (maybe I should have added Colored because that’s probably how we are still viewed) we do not have the right to vote like all other citizens. The 1965 Voting Rights Act says, in essence, that we cannot be deterred from voting and ever so many years a president has to resign the amendment for African Americans to reaffirmed the vote. When it came before 43 I was very concerned that he might not sign it. Mainly because he refused to ever attend an NAACP convention – among other things like Hurricane Katrina.

There was an ominous and shameful period called segregation where individuals and states made great efforts to deny African-Americans access to newfound constitutional rights, racial segregation was the norm and courts gave legal sanction to the principle of “separate but equal.” Jim Crow, a name derived from a fictional minstrel character, has long been used to refer to this especially tortured time period in our nation’s story — one that was marked by violence, lynchings and the rise of the KKK.

Former President Bill Clinton has observed that “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.” Clinton’s effort to establish a parallel between the laws now being proposed to make voting more difficult and the efforts used during the Jim Crow era was intended to sound an alarm about a nation-wide strategy that threatens the exercise of our most important and central civil right — the right to vote.

African American’s were denied access to the ballot box by a sophisticated matrix of Jim Crow restrictions that imposed burdensome hurdles and barriers that made voting difficult if not impossible. For example, literacy tests were written and administered in such a way that few whites failed, while blacks with college educations were routinely rejected. Understanding tests locked black voters out by requiring that anyone seeking to register to vote be able to read and write any article of the Constitution.

Just imagine, if someone from this Klan was in the oval office. I’ve said it before, we need to be concerned but now I am saying it time to be afraid – VERY AFRAID.

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective.


VIDEO: Whoopi Goldberg loses it on ‘The View’


The Eye of Newt – Wide Shut

Richard Cohen wrote a great piece in the “Post” where he summed up Newt Gingrich as follows: “There is more than a little Richard Nixon in Gingrich — the same lack of place, the same keen intellect, the same petty fights and imaginary enemies, the same hallucinatory grievances, the same willingness to lie, exaggerate and smear. On a given day, Newt Gingrich could be a brilliant president. On any night, he could be a monster.” Having lived during the era of “Trick Dick” I think this is a fair description. By the way, Mr. Cohen also called Newt “the Pinocchio candidate” – again I agree.

As we approach and the 2012 election near, we can be certain that there will be lies, more lies, and damn lies. It’s not like we don’t know Newt. He’s been around for decades with the same self-serving hypocrisy. So we should know his character and completely reject his new bid for the spotlight. I watched him on a Sunday morning talk- show and true to form like his comrades anything Obama is for they are against. The fact that they were for a policy before Obama announces his support makes no difference.

Newt was for going after Gaddafi until Obama went after Gaddafi. Romney was for the same health care plan that Obama signed, until Obama was for it. This trait is not exclusive to the male candidates vying for Obama’s spot; the potential women pretenders share this overriding trait as well. The unifying theme in their message is consistent with anyone who opposes them as a Socialist/Communist/Nazi/Terrorist who wants to destroy America.

Let’s not even forget the tried and true “Southern Strategy”, which is nothing more than bigotry disguised in what he calls conservative values. Just this week, he called Mr. Obama the “Welfare President” and referred to him as Motown. He’s talked about his mother and derided the black father from Kenya. What do you think he’s implying? I will be kind and say at best the use of coded language, race baiting, directed at the so-called “Real Americans” is clear. This ugly language of demagoguery is nothing short of bigotry – plain and simple.

I will give him credit for being creative in that he brilliantly explained his moral commitment surrounding the adultery issues. He said, “How passionately I felt about this country” – that is original. This was done at a time when he led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton for his misgivings. It is also said that he left and divorced a wife dying of cancer in the hospital and this is his third wife. I will applaud his sister, if reports are true, she does not support him.

Therefore, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign will destruct as fast as the Donald’s did. Particularly, after throwing his party under the bus on Sunday by assassinating the republican platform, namely Rep. Paul Ryan’s draconian budget plan which amounts to social engineering and semi-supporting an individual mandate for health care they call “Obama Care”. Newt has also said he wants Medicare to die on the vine. Now it has come to light that the so-called “fiscal conservative” is being stung by a report that he carried up to $500,000 in debt to the Tiffany jewelry company – and may still be carrying it. This is the death knell for his campaign for sure.

I don’t like to predict the future but I will say with certainly that this guy will NEVER be Commander in Chief. Richard Pryor once famously said “Who do we believe me or you’re lying eyes” or ears in this case as his moral compass leaves a lot to be desired when you consider his documented history. Let the right keep coming with the absurdity of these republican candidates and our president will keep his job. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective.


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Back to the Future

The insight of history is a powerful thing and I have lived long enough to have had the opportunity to witness many things. I can remember watching the KKK marching through the rural area where I lived as a small boy carrying crosses. I have also seen those strains of thinking espoused by the John Birch Society, the religious right, compassionate conservatives, and other right-wing groups during the segregated days of 1950s and 60s. Today there is a new repackaged conservatism that is a diverse movement with many philosophical threads and tensions who call themselves the Tea Party.

In my view, the rise of the Tea Party movement is nothing more than a throwback to an old form of libertarianism that sees most of the domestic policies that government has undertaken since Roosevelt as unconstitutional, to include many civil rights initiatives. The reason, I believe is because from that point in our country’s history the government became socially conscience and began to address the needs of the elderly, the poor, and the least of thee. This element of society typically perceives these issues as dangerous threats to freedom and to the well-educated elitists that support “American values” or as they say the “Real Americans”.

Let me be a critic for a moment. These compassionate folks tend to show their compassion, often times, in support of big-business with their public rhetoric intended for their own self-serving agendas. For example, last week Rep. Joe Barton apologized to BP as if they were the victims of what is happening in the gulf. While basically calling the President a thug with the “shakedown” comment of the company for $20 billion on behalf of those hurt by the gulf oil spill. This is embarrassing precisely because it underscored how far this element is to the extreme as it relates to mainstream America. When faced with a choice between supporting a large British corporation or a federal government battling for compensation of the disaster’s victims, Barton sided with Big Oil as did many of his conservative counterparts.

Now, the guy did or was forced to apologize because of pressure from other Republican leaders, but many in the party and on the right continue to echo his views. Like the Republican Study Committee made up of more than 115 House conservatives called the escrow fund a “Chicago-style shakedown” while leaders of certain factions of the Tea Party called it “extortion”. Could it be that the stock they may have in such companies really be the reason for their greater concern.

A group called Tea Party Patriots that describes itself as “a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!” Tea Party Nation says it is “a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers.” My question is to them; have they read the original Constitution? These Founding Fathers were really terrorists and the same men who owned slaves, wrote in it that Negroes were 3/5th a man, and denied women all rights. Is this what they want to go back too?

What’s remarkable is the extent to which the movement has displaced the religious right as the dominant voice of conservative militancy. The religious conservatives have not disappeared, and Palin, a Tea Party hero, does share their views on abortion and gay marriage. But these issues have been overshadowed by the broader anti-government themes pushed by the New Old Right, and the “compassionate conservatism” that inspires parts of the Christian political movement has no place in the right’s current order of battle. This seems un-American to me, dangerous, and frankly resurrecting an American that even they want to forget.

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