Tag Archives: supreme court

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!

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…


The Black Santa Controversy

1Just as sure as the sun will come up each day and Christmas will come  each year there will be people whose mission is to continue or start a war on Christmas. Recently, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly thinks the idea of a racially inclusive Santa Claus is utterly ridiculous. I disagree! Oh yeah, she went on to say Jesus was white too. Let me go on record and say Ms. Kelly you are wrong on both point.

I am sure there is much disagreement here, but this is a fictional character. Now, knowing that Santa is not real, why can’t he be seen through the eyes of the beholder? African American families have decorated their homes for Christmas, with trees, ornaments, lights, and everything else that comes with the season. The fact is none of this has anything to do with Jesus, and that’s supposed to be the reason we celebrate Christmas. Therefore, let’s be honest, it was all created for commercial receipts because Jesus was really born in the Spring.

On the point that Jesus was white; I can settle that argument easily. At the time of Jesus’ birth and death there were only two people in the region (1) the Romans and (2) the indigenous people, who were people of color, i.e. black. It was the power of the state [Rome] who made him white and Michael Angelo added the white face to the deity. Religion has been used by rulers to control the mind of their subjects since people claimed a God and Christianity since the Council of Nicea.

Most black children don’t grow up in homes where there is a chimney for the jolly white man to come down to bring the gifts, he is supposed to be giving them. Let me add that African American families might have a black Santa instead of a white one because we have that choice. This is merely a diverse representation of the mythological figure that marks the season for millions around the world. One writer suggested during this debate: “Why not make Santa a penguin? That way, everyone, can celebrate the figure without the racial baggage that marks so much of American life”. After all, they gave us a rabbit to celebrate Easter. Oh, my bad, the Easter Bunny is who too.

Ok, let’s get back to “Santa Claus”! The character has his roots in early Christian Europe, Dutch folklore, and Germanic paganism. Given that this character is a human creation and given his role as a non-sectarian symbol for the holiday; it’s reasonable to want to remove race from the equation.

I am going to go out on a limb and say this issue is nothing more than white racial panic. America for most of its history was white; today not so much; it has changed and very diverse. For example, not long ago all the presidents were white to. This Fox News anchor has built her job on race baiting and why would anyone be surprised by anything say might say. By the way, if you don’t know what she said? The remark was taken right out of the supremacy handbook. She said, during her primetime news show on Wednesday, “Santa just is white. But this person is arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa.”

Bah Humbug! Girlfriend you are the problem and not anyone who want to use their right to see the world – celebrate or worship – as they have a right to do. Long gone are the days when people of your hue say it and all others accept it as true. And that is my thought provoking perspective…


The Child Was Left Behind

I’ve seem 3many issues related to human rights here and aboard. Let me say from the beginning that it was our Civil Rights Movement that every other group with an issue used in an attempt to address their issue. Their issue may or may not be relevant, but I will say every issue is not a human rights issue. I won’t give examples because I think you get the point. Personally, I don’t think anything was worse than then the Apartheid system of the south imposed upon African American’s.

We have heard lately that this or that is the civil rights issue of our time. Depending on the perspective those people who support a particular issue may have a point. But, let me say that the Civil Rights issue of our times is EDUCATION! Ask yourself, how do we prepare our children to be prepared to enter into a democracy that is driven by capitalism?

Before I continue, let me say clearly “Knowledge is power and power produces an understanding that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair.” This does not occur in our society as evidenced by the zip code of the student.

Since Brown v Board states have taken enormous steps to defer the education of minorities and the poor, particularly black student. Whites have moved out to what is little more than segregated communities in order to establish separate but unequal schools. We have seen that No Child Left Behind does not and did not work. Monies are stripped from most school budgets because of insane wars efforts and the all powerful military industrial complex. Let us not forget, we spend billion on the dream of space travel with no intent for us to benefit. So what is the answer?

They say Charter Schools and the privatization of schools systems – really. These options in my opinion are not the answer because there is little control or oversight by the educational system authorities in most case. The result is no accountability and corruption by management of many of these entities. Hence, the student suffers! Let me go back to the issue of segregation – did you know that New York City public schools are the most segregated schools in the country followed by Dallas and Chicago. Shocking!!!

I am not going to dissect this issue now because I am researching this for a future writing.  I know I will be challenged and want to have statistics to support my contention. However, I have put forth what I hope is enough for some to dialog and hopefully take an interest. If you live in the state of Pennsylvania, for example, they have cut ONE BILLION dollars from the state’s education budget which will result in the loss of over 3,000 teachers.

What the system is doing today is not educating, rather it has become boot camps for the other privatized entity call the PENITENTIARY!!! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…


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