Tag Archives: united states

Black History: The Niagara Movement

16266194_1576646812351280_7451924563813283492_nI am one who is critical of most of the black so-called civil rights organizations. Mainly because they are funded by white people and dare, I say if you “follow the money you will get the answer” “he who has the gold makes the rules.” In the case of the NAAP, the fact of the matter is that it was formed by ‘White’ people for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of Jewish people in the United States.

In the beginning, Ida B. Wells was one of the original members, but when she began advocating for ‘Black’ people’s interests, they removed her from the organization. The only other black member was DuBois, who stayed for a short time, but eventually left. In more than one hundred years nothing much has changed. They still put a black face out there that can do nothing but grin!

The association’s charter delineated its mission:

To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for the children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.

In 1905, a group of thirty-two prominent African American leaders met to discuss the challenges facing people of color and possible strategies and solutions. They were expressly concerned by the disenfranchisement of Negro’s in the Southern states, particularly because of Mississippi’s passage of a new constitution in 1890. Also, in the early 1900s legislatures dominated by white Democrats ratified new constitutions and laws creating barriers to voter registration and more complex election rules. Black voter registration and turnout dropped markedly in the South; as a result.

Because hotels in the U.S. were segregated, the men convened in Canada at the Erie Beach Hotel on the Canadian side of the Niagara River in Fort Erie, Ontario. As a result, the group came to be known as the Niagara Movement. A year later, three whites joined the group: journalist William E. Walling, social worker Mary White Ovington, and social worker Henry Moskowitz. They met in 1906 at Harper Ferry, West Virginia, and in 1907 in Boston Massachusetts.

The fledgling group struggled for a time with limited resources and internal conflict and disbanded in 1910. Seven of the members of the Niagara Movement joined the Board of Directors of the NAACP, founded in 1909. Although both organizations shared membership and overlapped for a time, the Niagara Movement was a separate organization. Historically it is considered to have had a more radical platform than the NAACP. The Niagara Movement was formed exclusively by African Americans.

This conference resulted in a more influential and diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white, and most of whom were Jewish American. In fact, at its founding, the NAACP had only one African American on its executive board – Du Bois. It did not elect a black president until 1975, although executive directors had been African American. The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP’s founding and continued financing. Jewish historian Howard Sachar writes in his book A History of Jews in America; “In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board the early Jewish-American co-founders and members.”

According to Pbs.org, over the years, Jews have also expressed empathy (capability to share and understand another’s emotion and feelings) with the plight of Blacks. In the early 20th century, Jewish newspapers drew parallels between the Black movement out of the South and the Jews’ escape from Egypt. Pointing out that both Blacks and Jews lived in ghettos, and calling anti-Black riots in the South “pogroms.” Stressing the similarities, rather than the differences, between the Jewish and Black experience in America. Jewish leaders emphasized the idea that both groups would benefit the more America moved toward a society of merit, free of religious, ethnic and racial restrictions.”

Pbs.org further states, “The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League were central to the campaign against racial prejudice. Jews made substantial financial contributions to many civil rights organizations. About 50 percent of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews, as were over 50 percent of the Whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow Laws.

As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois and in 1946; Einstein called racism “America’s worst disease.” Du Bois continued to play a pivotal role in the organization and served as editor of the association’s magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of over 30,000.

Moorfield Storey, who was white, was the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights not only for blacks but also for Native Americans and immigrants. The board of directors of the NAACP created the Legal Defense Fund in 1939 specifically for tax purposes. It functioned as the NAACP legal department.

Intimidated by the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc., became a separate legal entity in 1957. Although, it was clear that it was to operate in accordance with NAACP policy. After 1961, serious disputes emerged between the two organizations creating considerable confusion in the eyes and minds of the public.

I am for anyone or group with the intention to benefit the dire state of the African American. However, during my research for this piece I only found a few significant achievements over its more than one hundred year history. It appears that this group is funded by whites, and it is they who guide policy in a way to silently suppress the “Negro” then and now. Think about it, if this organization was fighting for black people like the narrative implies – they would have been wiped out like all of the other groups fighting for the freedom of black people! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Thank You Mr. President

3We have witnessed something that no one, living or dead, ever thought possible. Therefore, I want to start by apologizing for not featuring our great president during Black History Month. He has certainly achieved more than any other person of African descent; by ascending to the president of these United States. Frankly, this was the most significant event in all of human history, or at least since the resurrection of Jesus.

Let me be very clear, becoming president with America’s horrible history of racism and bigotry. It shows the hatred white folks, who say they are not racist, have from day one obstructed every effort and have tried to deny him any credit for anything Mr. Obama has done, which was mainly to save a nation his predecessor nearly destroyed. I am certain, if this man had anything out, dirt, scandal or negative out there; these wretched Republicans and white folk would have exposed it.

They, mainly the Republicans, have openly called the first black President everything but a Nigger publicly. Sorry, I am wrong a few have! Nonetheless, they use code words that mean virtually the same thing. I don’t know about you, but I can remember what it was like under Bush, which was not too long ago, as well as know the history of all of the white presidents going back to the slave owners and segregationists. Of course, there are some who say he has not done enough for black folk, and I agree. But what I will say, just the optics of him being president has given black people and the world so much.

Here is a little background on this brilliant man; Barack Hussein Obama was born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii – and yes, white people Hawaii is part of America. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught Constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School between 1992 and 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004 and served in the US Senate until he became president. Nine months after his inauguration, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Pease Prize laureate.

During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Bush Administrations created Great Depression in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term included the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.

In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New Start arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama was reelected president in November 2012, defeating the Republican nominee, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013.

These are some of the president’s professional accomplishments. Personally, I am proud of the president, however, in my view, he has not been the president for all people as he claims. He has not done much for black people, particularly in an age when unarmed black men, women, and children are murdered indiscriminately! After all, the Justice Department works for him, and he has the power to make changes in this area, as well as in the area concerning mass-incarceration, jobs, poverty, and education; and for that, I give him very low marks.

In spite of his lack of attention to black issues, it will sadden me to see him leave office and yes I will miss him. It is not so much the president that impresses me so much; rather, it is the example of his beautiful and lovely family who has demonstrated profound dignity and grace, making all people proud. And now that the bigots and corrupt people are about to take back their country – we will all miss you President Obama, we will all miss you when we see and feel Trumps America. We may never see the likes of him again! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Granddaddy’s Lessons

just a season book cover.One of the books I’ve published speaks to a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle. “Legacy – A New Season” is a stand-alone story rich in the history of the African American Diaspora. It is the sequel and the continuation of the novel “Just a Season”.

This long awaited saga to the epic novel “Just a Season” will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever. I wanted to share this particular excerpt from “Just a Season” that I hope it will enlighten, empower, motivate, and touch your heart.

Today we live in a world where there is no Granddaddy to share that precious wisdom necessary to guide our young men and women into adulthood. I was fortunate or maybe blessed, to have had a loving grandfather who shared many valuable lessons with me.

These lessons formed the foundation of my very being…

Excerpt from “Just a Season”

“Granddaddy would say if you really hear me, not just listen to me, you will inherit life’s goodness. I would hear him talk about things like “God bless the child that’s got his own.” He constantly reminded me that everything that ever existed came from a just-single thought, and if you can think it, you can figure out how to do it just put your mind to it.

I would also constantly hear that a man must be able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done regardless of the circumstances. “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you will have to do, but when the time comes, do it.” Granddaddy drove home the point, the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he’s learned.

Granddaddy would also say you will always have an enemy. Your enemy is anyone who attempts to sabotage the assignment God has for your life. Your enemy is anybody who may resent you doing positive things and will be unhappy because of your success. These people will attempt to kill the faith that God has breathed within you.

They would rather discuss your past than your future because they don’t want you to have one. Your enemy should not be feared. He would say it is important to understand that this person usually will be close to you. He would tell me to use them as bridges, not barricades. Therefore, it is wise to make peace with your enemy.

“Just remember these things I say to you.” I certainly could not count all of these things, as it seemed like a million or more that I was supposed to remember. However, he asked me to remember above all else that there is no such thing as luck. The harder you work at something the luckier you get. I would tell him that I was lucky, maybe because I had won a ballgame or something. He would smile and tell me luck is only preparation meeting opportunity. Life is all about survival and if you are to survive – never bring a knife to a gunfight. This would be just as foolish as using a shotgun to kill a mosquito. Then he asked me to remember that it is not the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog.

Granddaddy’s words had so much power, although it would often require some thinking on my part to figure out what he was talking about, or what the moral of the story was supposed to be. It may have taken awhile but I usually figured it out. For example, always take the road less traveled, make your own path, but be sure to leave a trail for others to follow. Life’s road is often hard; just make sure you travel it wisely. If you have a thousand miles to go, you must start the journey with the first step. During many of these lessons, he would remind me not to let your worries get the best of you.

Sometimes he would use humor. For example, he would say something like “Moses started out as a basket case.” Although most often he assured me that hard times will come and when they come, do not drown in your tears; always swim in your blessings. He would tell me he had seen so much and heard even more, in particular those stories from his early life when dreadful atrocities were done to Negroes. Some of the stories included acts of violence such as lynchings, burnings, and beatings. He would make a point to explain that the people who did these things believed they were acting in the best interest of society.

He would tell me about things he witnessed over time, that many of these atrocities were erased from the memory of society regardless how horrible the event was. Society’s reasoning would make you think their action was right, fair, and justified. Granddaddy would add, if history could erase that which he had witnessed and known to be true, how can you trust anything history told as truth? He would emphasize that I should never, never believe it, because nothing is as it seems.

I would marvel at his wisdom. He would tell me to always set my aim higher than the ground. Shoot for the stars because if you miss you will only land on the ground and that will be where everybody else will be. When he would tell me this, he would always add, please remember you are not finished because you are defeated. You are only finished if you give up. He would usually include a reminder. Always remember who you are and where you came from. Never think you are too big because you can be on top of the world today and the world can be on top of you tomorrow.

I think Granddaddy had the foresight to see that I could do common things in life in an uncommon way, that I could command the attention of the world around me. Granddaddy impressed upon me that change is a strange thing. Everyone talks about it but no one ever tries to affect it. It will take courage and perseverance to reach your place of success. Just remember that life -is not a rehearsal. It is real and it is you who will create your destiny don’t wait for it to come to you. He would say, can’t is not a word. Never use it because it implies failure. It is also smart to stay away from those who do use it.

He would tell me that I was an important creation, that God gave a special gift to me for the purpose of changing the world around me. It may be hard sometimes, you may not understand, you may have self-doubt or hesitation, but never quit. God gave it to you so use it wisely. He would add often times something biblical during his teaching, or so I thought, like to whom much is given, much is expected. It is because we needed you that God sent you. That statement profoundly gave me a sense of responsibility that I was duty-bound to carry throughout my life.

Granddaddy’s inspiration, courage, and motivation still humble me, and I’m filled with gratitude that his example profoundly enriched my soul. So much so that in those times of trouble, when the bridges are hard to cross and the road gets rough, I hear Granddaddy’s gentle voice reciting words once spoken by the Prophet Isaiah: “Fear not for I am with you.”

And that is a Thought Provoking Perspective from a loving Grandfather…

Praise for Just a Season

This Must Read Novel can be purchased through AMAZON

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Drum Beats of Yesterday

The drum beat of the Republican Party’s dogma looms large in this political season as the GOP desperately try to find someone to unseat President Barack Obama. We have witnessed endless debates with the kind of political rhetoric unlike any that I’ve ever seen. Wait a minute; let me qualify that by saying not since the last Presidential election. At which time America, because of the republicans, was facing financial Armageddon and now in 2012 we are about to really see Armageddon; if one of these right wing-nuts were to become president.

I read an article recently written by the author Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad where he said:

“Four years ago, they were predicting terrorist attacks in the first month of his administration if Obama was elected. Of course, it didn’t happen—but the rhetoric sounds good. The Republican’s “Big Three,” which many call the last three, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul sound like the Supremes singing “Baby Love” asking the American People, “where did our love go” for President Obama. Stands to reason it went the same place our love for every incumbent President facing re-election went…in the gutter. Mud-throwing is a professional sport in politics. No matter what the incumbent does, it will never be good enough for the party out of power. Same goes here.

The real question is how far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Will they say anything to get Obama? Will they be, God-forbid, unpatriotic in their attacks of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, that ended the war they started, soft-landed an economy that was falling fastest than a safe pushed off a roof, and had to fight for every single concession—even perfunctory tasks like debt-ceiling raises and payroll tax extensions. The rhetoric of refusing to compliment Obama, on anything, is not healthy for the national morale. Stands to chance that none of them would have done any better they been in the President’s shoes and the rhetoric toward healing our wounded spirits would be much different.

Under Nixon, Reagan and Bush II, the nation did what it was asked to do for the national good during recovering economies and re-election bids. The opposite party was asked to tone down the rhetoric for the good of the nation’s morale. There has been no such call from the Democrats for this President. In fact, some Democrats have added to the rhetoric. While the President has no party opposition (at this time), some in his party have kind of been getting their “digs in” on the slide… And then there’s the Tea Party rhetoric, an obstructionism that makes no sense.”

I could not have said it better. However, the difference in this election season is that the last crop of pretenders projected their bigotry vaguely in subliminal coded language. This “pool of fools” has no shame in their game. The race card is being displayed so transparently that Ray Charles can see it. One of these pretenders owned a lodge named “N-Word Head” and another had a news letter that espoused racial hatred so vial that one would think he was the Grand Wizard of the Imperial Knights. Another Republican candidate has said that “black children where better off during slavery” than today.

Wait there’s more! One of them has publically talked about succession. Another said, get off welfare and get a check. It was this guy who went on to say if you’re twelve years old you should be cleaning schools. This is not the same candidate who said if you’re black and twelve or thirteen this “buck” should be treated as an adult if he were to be punished in the criminal justice system.

Who are they talking too or speaking for? I seriously doubt these people would say that about an enemy captured in a time of war. Oh sorry, when they were in power they did and brought them to a place Called Gitmo.

This language takes me back to a time I thought had long past. This kind of thinking conjures up images of Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond. Let’s face it because the man duly election to be the Commander in Chief is a man of color. It appears to me from the rhetoric that is being hurled with such distinction that these folks have come from under the hood and taken off the sheets.

Whichever candidate might emerge as the GOP contender to which each of them has used the coded language like “take back our country”. They WILL DO damage under a cloak of cover and not worry about the law coming for them because they will be the law.

So, we are back to the question: How far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Moreover, what will they do to us, if elected! And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…

Legacy – A New Season the sequel to “Just a Season” is soon to be released.

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The Right is Wrong

We all know the Right-wingers are engaged in an ideological battle with the intent to make the rich richer and marginalizing those who are not. This false narrative is being done by using the tried and true method of quoting the Constitution and those good Ol’ Boys, the so-called Founding Fathers, as a convenient way to get the American people or some ill-informed Tea Party types to vote against their own interests.

One of those candidates is Rep. Ron Paul who has lured a lot of these so called “Real American” into that camp by creating a false narrative about America’s Founding, claiming that the drafters of the Constitution wanted a weak central government and one that was equal for all people. But that’s not the real or accurate history.

Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas who has topped 20 percent in the first two Republican contests, is fond of claiming that the U.S. Constitution was written “to protect your liberty and to restrain the federal government,” thus making modern laws, from Social Security, to civil rights statutes, to health-care reform, unconstitutional. But that isn’t true either.

While the framers of the Constitution in 1787 undeniably cared about liberty, at least for white men, they were also practical individuals who wanted a vibrant central government that would enable the new nation to protect itself both militarily and economically, especially against European rivals.

The broad powers that the Constitution granted Congress were designed to let this central government address national problems that existed then as well as any that would arise in the future. For instance, the Constitution gave control over interstate commerce to Congress in order to counter economic advantages enjoyed by foreign competitors.

Far from Paul’s assertions that the Founders wanted a weak central government, the Founders, at least those at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, understood that a great danger came from having a national authority that was too weak, what they had experienced under the Articles of Confederation, which governed the nation from 1777 to 1787.

The Articles of Confederation embraced the concept of state “sovereignty” and called the United States not a government or even a nation, but “a firm league of friendship” among the states. In the Confederation’s Article II declared: “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated.” And very few powers were delegated to the federal government.

So, in 1787, the framers of the Constitution led by Gen. George Washington, James Madison and others in the Virginia delegation scrapped the Articles and put forward a very different plan, eliminating state sovereignty and creating a strong central government with broad powers, including control over “interstate commerce.”

The Commerce Clause wasn’t some afterthought it was part of the original proposal outlined on the Constitutional Convention’s first day of substantive business on May 29, 1787. The Virginia delegation had one of its members, Edmund Randolph, include it in his opening presentation.

Virginia’s plan laid out the framework that would later become the U.S. Constitution, transferring sovereignty from the 13 original states to “we the people of the United States” as represented by a new national Republic.

Where Rep. Paul claims the Constitution was designed to let the American people do what they want using the word liberty as his reference point. This is just not true! Unless, of course, he is referring to the people that represent the privilege class of Americans, who happen to be wealthy and white. We needed a government that could co-ordinate commerce in order to compete effectively with other nations. So, from that first day of substantive debate at the Constitutional Convention, the Founders recognized that a legitimate role of Congress was to ensure that the nation could match up against other countries economically.

Many conservatives to include Ron Paul have worked hard in recent decades at constructing an alternative narrative. Claiming that the Founders envisioned a weak national government and were big supporters of states’ rights happen to be a storyline that is simply not supported by facts. Key framers of the Constitution even objected to adding a Bill of Rights to the original document, accepting the first 10 amendments only later as part of negotiations over ratification.

The other thing they cry about is Obamacare. This speaks to Congress’s power to address difficult national problems, like the tens of millions of Americans who lack health insurance but whose eventual use of medical services would inevitably shift billions of dollars in costs onto Americans who must pay higher insurance rates as a result, what courts have described as “substantial effects.”

Paul claims: It certainly is an encroachment on individual liberty, but it is no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race, that gravely ill individuals cannot use a substance their doctors described as the only effective palliative for excruciating pain, or that a farmer cannot grow enough wheat to support his own family. They also pray for fewer regulations to the benefit of the rich.

There are some conservative legal scholars examining the Constitution and precedents who could not find a convincing argument to overturn “Obamacare” and that is because the Founders intentionally empowered Congress to address national economic problems. It was, as the Virginian delegation understood, one of the key reasons for the Constitutional Convention.

Now I say the larger goal of the right-wing is not to uphold the ideals of the Founders, who wanted a vibrant central government, but to reverse government policies dating back to President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The plan is to return the United States to a pre-Depression “gilded age” of a society divided into a few haves and many have-nots.

And that is my THOUGHT PRROVOKING PESPECTIVE!


Oh What a Time!!! 2000 to 2009

Time is our most valuable commodity, 1440 minutes each day is all we get. Unfortunately, once spent it can never be returned concluding that most of us understand we have less time in front of us, than we have behind us. Or another way of putting it is that we are dying slowly, and I mean that literally, from a life standpoint and from the standpoint of life. Therefore, as this year ends I will reflect upon this time in which we have lived. Further, it is also the end of a decade to which I will recall some of the highlights or maybe low-lights. This post is a little longer than my usual articles but I tried to capture the essence of a decade. So let me try to remember the time.

The decade began with a huge scam called Y2K. Remember, the world was supposed to end when all of the computers shut down – it didn’t. This was just the start of what was to come. We witnessed the nation’s capital paralyzed with fear because of a psychopath known as the DC Sniper. At its resolution, I received a huge shock, and dare I say to most people, when it was discovered that this terrorist was a black man – particularly most African Americans. It was believed that crimes such as this were committed by others. This was just an example of insanity being a disease that is a human condition, which will be relived throughout this decade.

The nation was introduced to a Texas Governor, who was known for putting more people to death via the prison system than anywhere else in America. However, he became infamous as the new president for what many believe was stealing the election. He and his partner in crime, you know the guy, who shot his hunting partner in the face, left the scene and the wounded friend apologized for catching the bullet. This ushered in an era of what I call “Gangsta Politics”.

Then about 8:30 AM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the world changed as we knew it – the unthinkable happened. The nation was attacked by nineteen guys with razor blades. They high jacked four commercial planes crashing them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington DC with one crashing into a Pennsylvania field killing thousands – a horrible tragedy. The worst attack upon America since WWII. Let me pause to offer my condolences to the families of those lives lost. But something has always puzzled me, they were able to find bones, identify rings and watches of victims but never found any of the black boxes from the planes.

The United States under the direction of the new regime responded to the attacks by launching a War on Terror invading the “Graveyard of Empirers” (Afgahanistan) to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists. Our government enacted what became known as the USA Patriot Act giving the them the power to do anything they wanted superceding all or most Constitutional rights, and George became King.

He and the shooter used this event to invade two nations under the guise of many misrepresentations, like “weapons of mas-destruction”. These wars, which appear to be endless, caused the deaths of over a hundred thousand people and wounded countless others, and no victory. They then funneled all of the money authorized to a company once headed by the shooter. They hired mercenaries and hung the leader of one of the country’s who had nothing to do with the attack. When in fact the culprit was a villain or an international terrorist known as Osama Bin Laden who is like the invisible man that can’t be found, but he has put out more videos than Tupac.

They have satellites that can tell the time on your watch from space, yet they can’t find this guy. Now in a country where people make a dollar a week, why has no one come forward with information concerning his whereabouts, particularly with millions of dollars on his head? The hunt for him and these wars introduced us to torture, rendition, secret prisons, and GTMO (Guantanamo Bay). Oh, I cannot leave out the “Coalition of the Willing”, which was a group nation’s supporting us so small and insignificant that no one knew they were on this planet. I will forgo the remainder of the “Gansta Years” because we all know the story.

However, the most reprehensible act of King George’s rein, aside from refusing to attend any of the NAACP conventions, was his regimes response to Hurricane Katrina. As it was happening he was enjoying a birthday party and did not take an interest in New Orleans drowning until he returned to Washington. As the televised images of visibly shaken and frustrated political leaders, and of residents who remained stranded on roof tops because of flood waters without food, water, or shelter. He sent his friend “Brownie” down to help.

Deaths from thirst, exhaustion and violence days after the storm had passed, fueled more criticism, as did the dilemma of the evacuees being called “refuges” at facilities such as the Louisiana Superdome (designed to handle 800, yet 30,000 arrived) and the New Orleans Civic Center (not designed as an evacuation center, yet 25,000 arrived). Of the 60,000 people stranded in New Orleans, the Coast Guard rescued more than 33,500 people of which most were black. Some alleged that race and class contributed to delays in the government’s response.

This caused many to agree with rapper Kanye West who veered off script at a benefit concert for the victems to harshly criticized the government’s response to the crisis, stating that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” I am sure you will never forget the images of how America abandoned its poor people. They can get aid anywhere in the world in almost a heartbeat yet did attempt sucessfully to do so for its own citizens within its boarders.

As desperate as the situation was a shining knight appeared as God sent his best soldier to the rescue – General Russel L. Honoré. He gained my respect, praise, and accolades for turning around the situation in the city. In one widely played clip, Honore was seen on the streets of the city, barking orders to subordinates and, in one case, berating a soldier who displayed a weapon, telling him “We’re on a rescue mission damn it!” Mayor Ray Nagin, who I fondly call “My Nagin”, was quoted on a radio station saying: “Now, I will tell you this — and I give the president some credit on this — he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is Lt. Gen. Honoré. And he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving. And he’s getting some stuff done.” – I thank you General.

Now, I’ll fast forward to the election season of 2008. The country was in disarray as we endured a presidential primary election campaign that seems too lasted forever. Actually, it was kinda like the Mod Squad – one Black, one woman, and an OLD guy. This is very significant because the Black guy beat a formidable opponent in the wife of who I thought was the closest we would get to a black president in my lifetime – Brother Bill. Now, during the campaign in support of his wife he digressed a few time letting us know that he was still a white man, but all has been forgivin.

Now, the real opposition, the Republican opponent was a different story. He took a page straight out of the fifties with racism being the foundation of his campaign. One of his themes was to repeatedly ask “Who is Barrack Obama?” Implying and reminding his constituents that he was a Negro, but it was the war hero’s running mate that came off as the real redneck. Caribou Barbie came into the race as the pure example of white womanhood, which lasted about a week. Then it became clear she was about as unqualified as a door knob and about as well informed. However, the joke took every opportunity to remind those of the same hue that they represented the “Real America”.

I have learned that there comes a time when time itself needs a change and after the brutal rein of “King George” – that time was now. There had always been Robber Barons but this crew was “straight gangsta” with one objective “cash and cash only”. The economic situation was a mess nearing times compared to the Great Depression. Unemployment rocketed, home foreclosures skyrocketed as everyone struggled financially, and investment money seems dry up as Wall Street was bailed out with government funds. It was like they thought we were unaware of crooks like Bernard Madoff, Bernard Ebbers, and the likes of ENRON – but Wall Street prospered.

Then the unimaginable happened – Barrack Obama was elected the first African American president in the nation’s history. From the hatred and racism that followed from some quarters, it must have been the same feeling the confederates had when colored men were freed after the Civil War. Nonetheless, Obama has broken a huge barrier and has had a profound impact on the entire world. A black man and a man that is the embodiment of what so many African Americans have prayed so disparately for since we were dragged onto the shores of Virginia to build this country. Ironically, the new president won the state were the first slaves landed, which was also the home of the confederate capital that fought to keep us enslaved.

The election of a Black man president of these United States is something no one living or dead ever thought would happen. I cannot think of a single event more significant in world history, or at least since the resurrection of Christ, to compare it too. Ironically, the thought of a scripture comes to mind, which tells us that “the first will be last and the last will be first”. His recent Nobel Peace Prize award just goes to show how much the rest of the world values his presence and feels the impact. However, in spite of this there has been talk of secession and tea parties were formed instigated by the Drugster, the Alcoholic, Caribou Barbie, and of course Fox comparing our president to Hitler as many prayed for his death, and that of his family using Bible verses to rally their faithful (Psalm 109:8).

Then in June the world stopped to mourn the death of “the King of Pop” Michael Jackson. In the pop culture world, no story has been bigger than this one. Michael Jackson was an iconic music legend, and his unexpected death shocked and upset millions of fans around the world. The legacy of Michael Jackson will no doubt live on for all eternity.

Probably the most dangerous of all the issues was health care reform. It brought out the birthers, deathers, and the tea party crowd to represent the most extreme right-wing politics since the citizen’s councils ruled a segregated society. I found it amazing that a cause so moral and just would cause people to come to where the president spoke openly armed bringing Christ into the debate. Like these Bible thumpers misread the part where Jesus healed the sick, which was his mission – provide for the least of thee.

Thankfully, as the decade ended something in terms of health care reform has passed to provide for the needy. Is it a good bill, we’ll see, but it is better then what the insurance company cartel’s have offered. To show how deranged the world has become a woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass. Oh what a time…

Lastly, I would be remised if I did not briefly cover the obituary. We lost so many great souls who impacted the world and were huge parts of our lives: Richard Pryor, James Brown, Shirley Chisholm, Coretta Scott King, Luther Vandross, Aaliyah, Bernie Mac, Marlon Brando, Rick James, Yolanda Denise King, Mrs. Rosa Parks, John Lee Hooker, Farrah Fawcett, Lionel Hampton, Althea Gibson, Maynard Jackson, Gregory Hines, Reggie White, Ray Charles, John H. Johnson, Barry White, Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, Ed McMahon, Paul Newman, Super Fly, Moses, Superman, and my son to name a few.
A FOND FAREWELL – Rest in Peace…

Happy New Year!!!

JUST A SEASON


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