Tag Archives: Politics

R.I.P. Honorable Dick Gregory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books

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

Commentary: A Disaster In Charge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The New Attack On Affirmative Action

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Credibility – Lies

1-As stunning as this sounds, fresh evidence arrives every day of the government treating the man elected to lead it as someone talking mostly to himself. This man calls his untruths truthful exuberance or alternative facts! I will use a word white folk use – flabbergasted! In your relationships with anyone a lie is usually a deal breaker. It is now to the point, remarkably, the extent to which his senior officials act as if Trump were not the chief executive. Everyday a new lies is told and sometimes several at a time. Never has a president been so regularly ignored or contradicted by his own officials. HE LIES!

Federal officials aren’t the only ones. Police chiefs distanced themselves from Trump’s public call for rougher treatment of criminal suspects but the White House said the president was joking. Even the Boy Scouts have complained about him saying is an apology for Trump’s odd, politically charged remarks to the group. After Trump claimed in an interview that the Boy Scouts chief had called to declare it “the greatest speech ever made to them,” the Scouts organization disclaimed any such call.

But the phenomenon has grown more pronounced as Trump keeps struggling to govern amid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Also, an extremely low new rating – the lowest in history – 36%! But somehow he sees everything as great and claims the admistration is working like a well oiled machine – NOT!

Trump keeps casting doubt on Russia’s culpability for cyber attacks on the 2016 election campaign. His own national security officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, said last month they have no doubts.

Part of the disconnect flows from Trump’s inattention to, and weak grasp of, complex policy issues. With the multiple firing, all of them were the “best people”. Those people may even include his new chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. Kelly. Ten days after Trump installed Scaramucci with the rare status of reporting directly to the president, Kelly fired him Monday in his own first day on the job.

Let me suggest that you pay no attention to the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Rather, look at the destructive things that are being done that’s not talked about. Let me use one of his favorite words – so far his presidency is a disaster! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Powerless Of Blackness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Remember: The Scottsboro Boys

028_1601White folk always talk about their love of the Constitution as if it is God’s voice of right but the case of the Scottsboro Boy clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy in their hearts with regard to black people and jurisprudence. This kind of blindness in the law has been a staple in America from the beginning of the nation. This horrible story, which is true and documented began on March 26th, 1931, nine black youths riding a freight train, were arrested in Scottsboro, Alabama, after being falsely accused of raping two white women. After nearly being lynched, the Scottsboro Boys were brought to trial.

Despite evidence that exonerated the teens, including a retraction by one of their accusers, who was a prostitute, the state pursued the case. All-white juries delivered guilty verdicts and all nine defendants, except the youngest, were sentenced to death. From 1931 to 1937, during a series of appeals and new trials, they languished in Alabama’s Kilby prison, where they were repeatedly brutalized by guards.

In 1932, the United States Supreme Court concluded in Powell v. Alabama that the Scottsboro defendants had been denied adequate counsel at trial. In 1935, the Court in Norris v. Alabama again ruled in favor of the defendants, overturning their convictions because Alabama had systematically excluded black people from jury service.

Finally, in 1937, four of the defendants were released, and five were given sentences of twenty years to life; four of those were released on parole between 1943 and 1950. The fifth escaped prison in 1948 and fled to Michigan. Clarence Norris walked out of Kilby Prison after being paroled in 1946 and moved north; he received a full pardon from Governor George Wallace in 1976.More information about the Scottsboro Boys. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


They Kill Our Leaders

12208279_10206478427777483_610893809594429317_nIt has always been a mystery to me that black people cannot see or at least do nothing about so many of our past leaders being killed. The question still remains decades after 400 years anyone who seeks to gain a nominal political independence, is murdered? ‘How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?’ This question was memorably put forward by the iconic Bob Marley so many years ago, but our prophets continue to be killed. It makes you question who our leaders of today are or just sellouts.

One by one, our most steadfast leaders have been eliminated, to the point where Africa is hard-pressed to point out more than three people who are advancing the continental agenda for economic freedom. Almost every single leader who has stood up for Africa’s or black right to economic self-determination has been eliminated – either physically or politically.

Malcolm X died young because of what he believed was the rightful place of the black person in the United States of America – ‘the land of the free’. Fortunately, while these icons may have been physically and/or politically eliminated, their ideas live on. It seems that there is an unwritten rule whether dead or in prison is the end result. All have said something or took some kind of leadership to advance the struggle of black people.

Malcolm X famously said, “if violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her.” Malcolm X was born in poverty in a land that is regarded as the land of the free. Malcolm X grew up in a violent environment.

Nonetheless, he dared to speak truth like no other in his day! Malcolm spoke to me with the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will. Nut white America saw him as dangerous and thus on February 21, 1965 Malcolm X was shot 16 times by suspected FBI agents while going to address a meeting on African unity.

Some of the people who are now most vocal in their praise of our dead African heroes include many who in the past criticized some of their actions and speeches most savagely while they were still alive. For example, Lumumba and Sankara were taken away from Africa through the connivance of Africans working with outside forces. These men are not alone; they killed Dr. King and Medger along with many others recorder or not.

The reason for the killings of these icons is the same reason why that white supremacy demands it.  Is that why you are silent! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


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