Tag Archives: debate

The Aftermath Of Integration

1I recently had a conversation with a group of young people, none of which lived during the age of government segregation. Each had strongly convoluted opinions about the era that were not based in fact. This made me think about how much the current world view has changed the reality of black life, as it relates to a historical perspective.

First, white folk never wanted it and chatted go back to Africa at the time. It was never intended to be fair or equal! I am not suggesting that integration should not have happened, but it did have a negative impact on black life and the future of African Americans in many ways. Two prominent ways were in the areas of family and black business.

One thing that happened, for sure was that the black community stopped supporting the businesses in their own communities. After segregation, African Americans flocked to support businesses owned by whites and other groups, causing black restaurants, theaters, insurance companies, banks, etc. to almost disappear. Today, black people spend 95 percent of their income at white-owned businesses. Even though the number of black firms has grown 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007, they only make up 7 percent of all U.S firms and less than .005 percent of all U.S business receipts.

I took the opportunity to educate these young people that in 1865, just after Emancipation, 476,748 free blacks – 1.5 percent of U.S. population– owned .005 percent of the total wealth of the United States. Today, a full 135 years after the abolition of slavery, 44.5 million African Americans – 14.2 percent of the population — possess a meager 1 percent of the national wealth.

If we look at relationships from 1890 to 1950, black women married at higher rates than white women, despite a consistent shortage of black males due to their higher mortality rate. According to a report released by the Washington DC-based think tank the Urban Institute, the state of the African American family is worse today than it was in the 1960s, four years before President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act.

In 1965, only 8 percent of childbirths in the black community occurred out of wedlock. In 2010, out-of-wedlock childbirths in the black community are at an astonishing 72 percent. Researchers Heather Ross and Isabel Sawhill argue that the marital stability is directly related to the husband’s relative socio-economic standing and the size of the earnings difference between men and women.

Instead of focusing on maintaining black male employment to allow them to provide for their families, Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act with full affirmative action for women. The act benefited mostly white women and created a welfare system that encouraged the removal of the black male from the home. Many black men were also dislodged from their families and pushed into the rapidly expanding prison industrial complex that developed in the wake of rising unemployment.

Since integration, the unemployment rate of black men has been spiraling out of control. In 1954, white men had a zero percent unemployment rate, while African-American men experienced a 4 percent rate. By 2010, it was at 16.7 percent for Black men compared to 7.7 percent for white men. The workforce in 1954 was 79 percent African American. By 2011, that number had decreased to 57 percent. The number of employed black women, however, has increased. In 1954, 43 percent of African American women had jobs. By 2011, 54 percent of black women are job holders.

The Civil Rights Movement pushed for laws that would create a colorblind society, where people would not be restricted from access to education, jobs, voting, travel, public accommodations, or housing because of race. However, the legislation did nothing to eradicate white privilege. Michael K. Brown, professor of politics at University of California Santa Cruz, and co-author of“Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society” says in the U.S., “The color of one’s skin still determines success or failure, poverty or affluence, illness or health, prison or college.”

Two percent of all working African Americans work for another African American’s within their own neighborhood. Because of this, professionally trained Black people provide very little economic benefit to the black community. Whereas, prior to integration that number was significantly higher because of segregation people in the black community supported each other to sustain their lives and families.

The Black median household income is about 64 percent that of whites, while the Black median wealth is about 16 percent that of whites. Millions of Black children are being miseducated by people who don’t care about them, and they are unable to compete academically with their peers. At the same time, the criminal justice system has declared war on young Black men with policies such as “stop and frisk” and “three strikes.”

Marcus Garvey warned about this saying:

“Lagging behind in the van of civilization will not prove our higher abilities. Being subservient to the will and caprice of progressive races will not prove anything superior in us. Being satisfied to drink of the dregs from the cup of human progress will not demonstrate our fitness as a people to exist alongside of others, but when of our own initiative we strike out to build industries, governments, and ultimately empires, then and only then will we as a race prove to our Creator and to man in general that we are fit to survive and capable of shaping our own destiny.”

Maybe this proves that once past truths are forgotten, and the myths that are lies are born with an unfounded reality detrimental to all, but those who seek to benefit. As I have often said, “I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. We can change the world but first, we must change ourselves.” And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Twitter @JohnTWills

Source: Black Atlanta Star


Trump: Menace To Society

5Donald Trump boiled his decadent campaign down to one theme during the presidential debate on Sunday night: hatred of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Sunday night’s debate was a lot like stopping or rushing to a car crash watching to see the pain of those in the crash, which was whether Donald Trump would further self-destruct.

Trump’s shortcomings, on vivid display again Sunday night, include a short attention span, difficulty mastering complex issues such as the civil war in Syria, and his continuing bizarre reluctance to criticize Russia. Moreover, his treat to jail Mrs. Clinton was the kind of thing that a dictator would do, which if you can imagine him being in charge of the federal alphabets (FBI, IRS, etc.)! Not to mention his menacing posture and his labored attempt how he to demonize this woman. In my view, this was as horrible as his birther lie about President Obama.

This brings me to Trump, and his follows as to how white folk held lynching rally’s to kill black people. In July, Trump said, “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves.” But they did bring their families to be entertained by the event nonetheless. Beating up on vulnerable Americans, including minorities and the disabled is what they did; compares the magnitude of their hypocrisy and now.

This guy is a disgrace to what they call democracy but the G.O.P. is continuing to asking Americans to vote for a candidate who is debasing and trivializing our politics. More importantly, the videotape disclosed Friday provided gruesome evidence that the Republican standard-bearer has for years used his powerful status to prey on women.

Other revelations are sure to follow, including that in 2005 he told Howard Stern on his radio show that, when he owned the Miss Universe pageant, he made a practice of “inspecting” naked contestants backstage. “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. … And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.” Calling this idiot unfit for the office is an understatement.

He does not seem to think that since the Friday’s crude video release Trump has been in full crisis mode, responding to what has to be the least surprising “October surprise” ever, A decade-old tape confirming that he is lewd, predatory in his approach to women and imbued with a keen sense of personal entitlement.

More shameful were his remarks about the tape early in Sunday’s debate, Trump dismissed his comments as “locker room talk,” rambled about fighting the Islamic State terrorist group and attacked Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, for being abusive toward women. Not to mention that had has in fact insulted ever category of people in America. While there are many reasons to be critical of the Democratic nominee, the decades-old claims against her husband is not high among them.

Trump’s attacks and a stunning vow to prosecute and jail Clinton for her handling of State Department emails might have played well with his base but also confirmed the worst fears about how he might abuse the powers of the presidency. Imaging that Hitler type act! The GOP created this this dangerous menace and amounts to the intellectual rot within the Republican party.

Heading into the town hall-style debate with GOP defections mounting a month before the election he is done. Just says what all of us knew but his fellow bigots knew. He shamed himself, all white people and himself to the world. The crisis Trump faces was a long time coming. For years, he gained notoriety by taking outrage to an invisible limit. Now that he has crossed it, his campaign looks like a giant car wreck. And that is my thought provoking perspective…


The Debate: Nothing To See Here

5I want to offer a commentary on last night’s vice presidential debate – let’s say from a black perspective. I am not a political scientist, but I have common sense. It was more of a proxy war between this year’s presidential candidates than a contest about capabilities of the two men on stage. It was kinda like an unfair fight because Gov. Mike Pence had to try to defend the indefensible Donald Trump. He did so by doing the GOP tried and true tactic of conjuring up a candidate who does not exist; Reagan by sticking to a muscular foreign policy, small government and traditional Christian values. It was as if he was defending the running mate he wished he had.

To the extent that he succeeded in landing blows on Hillary Clinton while declining to defend Mr. Trump’s proposals and record. However, when Sen. Tim Kaine listed a variety of Mr. Trump’s offenses and lies from stoking the racist “birther” movement to attacking Sen. John McCain’s war record to calling women disgusting names, which were all insulting. All Pence could do was respond by claiming Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kaine have run an insult-rich campaign.

Similarly, when challenged to defend Mr. Trump’s plans for the budget and entitlement programs, Pence insisted the Democrats would create “a mountain range of debt,” though Mr. Trump’s tax-cutting plan would, in fact, balloon the debt much more. Pence played down Mr. Trump’s promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and his well-documented skepticism of NATO. He frequently insisted that Mr. Trump would be “strong” where President Obama and Ms. Clinton are “weak,” attacking them for “Russian aggression” under their watch, but he dodged when Mr. Kaine pointed out that Mr. Trump has cozied up to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Pence’s all-purpose defense of Mr. Trump was that “Donald Trump is a businessman, not a career politician.” He deployed this line when attempting to explain why Mr. Trump has failed to release his tax returns. But the fact that Mr. Trump lacks a public record to scrutinize makes it only more important that he release his tax returns, so the public can see how he conducted the professional life on which he bases his campaign. Especially, in light of the latest revelation that Trump lost nearly a billion dollars in one year.

This is not to say Mr. Kaine shined but his frequent interruptions to make his points about Mr. Trump uncomfortable, although mostly correct. Pence effectively bore in on areas of the world that have become less stable during the past eight years. Both candidates, meanwhile, failed to respond to a range of substantive questions from moderator Elaine Quijano. Neither ticket, for example, has a plan to take on the nation’s long-term budget imbalances.

I wonder if anyone realized that most of the problems mentioned by Pence were the result of the GOP obstruction. Both candidates said that, unlike Mr. Obama, they favor creating a safe zone in Syria, but, when pressed, neither explained how or by whom that zone would be protected. A break from the dodging and insulting came when they thoughtfully debated abortion, with both men fervently defending their very different points of view.

Repeatedly over the course of Tuesday’s debate, Mr. Kaine exclaimed that he could not believe Mr. Pence could defend Mr. Trump’s behavior and record. In a way, Mr. Kaine was right while in my view, although polished Mr. Pence largely did not. The bottom line is this; more of the same and nothing to see here! 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…


Listen To The Messenger

It is very important to know our past, which means history. I believe black history is American History, although most seem to want to neglect its relevance. Frankly, when we know and realize that black history is a 365/7 day a week mission. We will then be empowered. You are invited and welcome to join my FaceBook group BLACK EMPOWERED MEN.

Please listen to the messenger Gil Scott Heron’s POWERFUL MESSAGE and take heed. Spread the word – free your mind and you ass will follow! Teach the children. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Malcolm X Speaks At Oxford University

YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE MASTER SPEAKER


Ferguson, Missouri: A Perfect Example Of What Happens When Blacks Don’t Vote

Guest Blogger: George Cook of the AfricanAmericanmReports.com

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nWhen I first started blogging I had a blog titled Let’s Talk Honestly, and I think it’s time to talk honestly about the town of Ferguson Missouri. First I want to give my condolences to the young man’s family and to voice my support for those who are PEACEFULLY protesting.

But now back to talking honestly. How is it possible that a town that is predominantly black only have one black elected black official? There is an answer, and it’s one some may not like but I think it’s a sad truth.

In light of the Michael Brown shooting, we are hearing a lot about the town of Ferguson Missouri. It is a town of about 20,000 people that is 70% black. It is also a town with only ONE elected black official.

During an interview on NPR the town’s democratic chair Patricia Bynes made the following statement when asked why there was only one black elected official.

…Well, anything other than a presidential election there is low voter turnout. And the African-American community has been disenfranchised for a very long time. When you have people who are worrying about can I get a job – can I get to work – can I put food on the table – when election day on Tuesday comes around, that is the furthest thing from their minds. And the whites that live in the community – they participate. And so they vote for who they want for council and mayor, and they don’t always put practices in place that are best for the majority population there.

While Bynes made what some may consider some valid excuses they are just that, excuses. Our ancestors faced death, and some did die get us the right to vote and if nothing else we should repay that sacrifice by voting. How can you have tremendous power and cede it to someone else?

The only way a town that is 70% black can only have one black elected official is a complete lack of political involvement and engagement in the black community.

We know that black voters are there because in the chairs statement she says that they come out for presidential elections. But they obviously don’t understand that local elections are the ones that impact your daily life.

Some will say that because of racism or the gold boys network it’s hard for people to get involved politically. I’m not going to deny that, but the low voter turnout in Ferguson shows that racist don’t have to hold blacks back because they are not trying to move forward.

Because of that low voter turnout they have a police force that doesn’t reflect the diversity of the community it serves and a local government that seemingly is not worried about the black communities concerns.

The people in Ferguson have to do better; if they want better and stop with the damn excuses on election day. I sincerely hope that the tragic death of Michael Brown spurs more political involvement in Ferguson and other communities. I also it becomes an example of what happens when African Americans don’t participate politically.

See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2014/08/ferguson-missouri-perfect-example-of.html#sthash.S8bIZeVT.dpuf


Please Mr. President

1549544_10201525536561628_1876359458_nI want to preface this writing by saying I have been one of the most-ardent supporters of the First Black President. I happen to believe that no event in history was more significant than the election of a black man to the office of “President of these United States.” Having said that, I, like many people of color are losing faith in you! You came to office telling us that we have entered an era of “post-racial” America and preached hope. But Mr. President, we see no hope and now feel more hopeless than on your first day as the most-powerful man in the world.

You held a news conference after the Trayvon Martin’s tragedy and told us you know what it’s like to be black; being followed around like a criminal in stores, and that before you got secret service protection women clinched their purses when you came near. We understood and know this to be true because it still happens to most black men, and you statement came from a man raised by a white family. You told us, vociferously, not to worry and that you were the president of all Americans. With all due respect, you do know we are also American people!

We see every other group, particularly those not brown and black, having benefited from your power. Not to mention, people around the world; why not us? As we have witnessed the horrifying atrocities of racism escalate and the blatant killings at the hands of authorities – black people have yet to see this power you hold. If I am wrong sir, I apologize! But African Americans are in the worst position, living or health wise, than any other cultural group in America.

The people in Iraq stuck on that mountain, or anyone anywhere in the world, get your help within hours. In Detroit, the government deprives its citizens of the second most-important commodity needed to live –“water.” You sent million of gallons to the mountain half-way around the world, while you sent no relief to Detroit. Every week, you witness, like the rest of us, murders by the police around the country of unarmed black men. Is this hope we can believe?

I am not expressing my grievance without a solution. With respect to the brutal police actions that are blatantly inflicted upon people living in black communities, and all too often, where people live who look like you. It is this simple: “Instead of sending billions of dollars to Iraq and other places, or sending tanks and armaments from the war to these police forces to occupy these communities. Use your power and that of the Justice Department to order that every police office wear a camera to record their activities and to have every police car equipped with a dashboard camera.”

On the issue of race, I can only recall you talking about it a few times and it saddens me to say, you have done nothing for us and that is troubling. The African American community is only asking that you pay attention to their needs, and these needs are worsening. Policing or the occupation of black communities, when you have the power to intervene is not the legacy of how you should be remembered.

We know the GOP, the right-wing, and for that matter many whites are against you, and they are against us too. But, we have never left you. Don’t leave us! I must respectively ask, is the genocide of the Iraqi people more serious than the genocide of your own black citizens? And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown


Tricky Dick

3There has been a lot of talk about Richard M. Nixon, AKA Tricky Dick, as we remember the upcoming anniversary of his resignation for crimes committed during his presidency. I remember that time well and thought his six years in the White House was pivotal in American military, diplomatic, and political history. Let me be clear, based upon my recollection of that time and the tremendous amount of information released since he resigned to avoid impeachment and possibly prison was that he was a crook. Plain and simple!

Nixon’s presidency was for Nixon – not America, which is why it was cut short by Watergate and his many crimes. Nixon was no doubt “complex” and often “contradictory”. Some scholars view him as liberal, others as moderate, and many more say conservative; all can find ample evidence for each label and conclusive evidence for none of them. As President, Nixon was only as conservative as he could be and only as liberal as he had to be. This was a President, who meant to move the country to the right, and he did. Maybe this is why his personality caused him to be a transitional political figure.

Nixon’s most-celebrated achievements as President was the nuclear arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and the diplomatic opening to China that set the stage for the arms reduction pacts and careful diplomacy that brought about the end of the Cold War. Likewise, the Nixon Doctrine of furnishing aid to allies while expecting them to provide the soldiers to fight in their own defense paved the way for the Reagan Doctrine of supporting proxy armies and the Weinberger Doctrine of sending U.S. armed forces into combat only as a last resort when vital national interests are at stake and objectives clearly defined.

While his slow withdrawal from Vietnam appeared to be a practical application of the Nixon Doctrine, his secretly recorded White House tapes reveal that he expected South Vietnam to collapse after he brought American troops home and prolonged the war to postpone that collapse until after his reelection in 1972.

The Nixon years witnessed the first large-scale integration of public schools in the South. Nixon sought a middle way between the segregationist Wallace and liberal Democrats, whose support of integration was alienating some Southern whites. His hope in doing this was doing well in the South in 1972; he sought to dispose of desegregation as a political issue before then. Soon after his inauguration, he appointed Vice President Agnew to lead a task force, which worked with local leaders, both white and black, to determine how to integrate local schools. This became known of his “Southern Strategy.”

By September 1970, less than ten percent of black children were attending segregated schools. By 1971, however, tensions over desegregation surfaced in Northern cities, with angry protests over the busing of children to schools outside their neighborhood to achieve racial balance. Nixon opposed busing personally but enforced court orders requiring its use. In addition to desegregating public schools, Nixon implemented the Philadelphia Plan in 1970; the first significant federal affirmative action program. He also endorsed the Equal Rights after it passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and went to the states for ratification.

In light of his loss of political support and the near-certainty of impeachment, Nixon resigned the office of the presidency on August 9, 1974, after addressing the nation on television the previous evening. The resignation speech was delivered from the Oval Office and was carried live on radio and television. Nixon stated that he was resigning for the good of the country and asked the nation to support the new president, Gerald Ford. Ford was conveniently chosen as his replacement to pardon him for his crimes, meaning “he got away” with all crimes.

His downfall was the result of the Watergate break-in and the tapes recorded by Trick Dick himself. He said, I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, while famously saying “I am not a crook.” Nixon’s speech received, generally, favorable initial responses. However, it was an unprecedented humiliation as he was the first American president to resign the office.

Ultimately, the White House tapes did shape the assessment of Nixon’s impact and legacy. They ended his presidency by furnishing proof of his involvement in the Watergate cover-up, fueled a generation’s skepticism about political leaders, and today provide ample evidence of the political calculation behind the most important decisions of his presidency. They make his presidency an object lesson in the difference between image and reality, a lesson that each generation must learn anew.

In my opinion, his worst crime and shameful legacy was his initiation of the “War on Drugs” that was the beginning of the mass incarceration of black people. Frankly, his presidency is responsible for the prison industrial complex that has destroyed millions of lives and families. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Remembering Trayvon Martin

On this day, a year ago, a coward was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Everyone PLEASE take a moment to remember the injustice of this child’s murder as he is now a symbol of injustice, alongside of Emmett Till and others. Next time, it could be your child… God bless you Trayvon.

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