Tag Archives: Washington post

Remembering The Mayor For Life

193_160Marion Barry, my political hero, is very worthy of praise because he energized generations of young people and in fact was a DC legend. I am sure, if you are not from the Washington DC, you only know him because of his often troubled past reported by the media. I would ask you to think about this for a moment. How could he have had a political career as long and been elected to so many positions unless he was doing great things for the people of the community he served. This is to include being elected Mayor four times.

I would venture to say that most do not know that Washington, DC was then and is now – the last plantation. The city was ruled by Southern Dixcrates in Congress until 1968 when President Johnson came up with what was called “Home Rule” at which time he installed a black face as Mayor after the riots. Although most were pleased by this, but as the system has done all around the world – Mayor Walter Washington was appointed and only a puppet. I am sure the thinking at the time was that they could control the black population of the city with their man in place. You must remember DC was 80% black and known as “Chocolate City.”

However, they never expected a man like Marion Barry to hold the office of mayor. Barry was elected and served as the second Mayor of the District of Columbia and elected a total of four times. A Democrat, he served three tenures on the City Council, representing as an at-large member for the largely African American Ward 8.

A sharecropper’s son from one of the most racist places on earth – Mississippi – he knew and understood the indignities of segregation and discrimination. In the 1960s, he was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, first as a member of the Nashville Student Movement sit-ins; then serving as the first chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Barry came to national prominence as mayor of the national capital, the first prominent civil-rights activist to become chief executive of a major American city; he gave the presidential nomination speech for Jesse Jackson at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.

This is what I know to be true: He fostered equality and encouraged black empowerment. It was Barry who ordered that twenty-five percent of district contracts and government funds be directed to the African American business community. He founded a community help organization – PRIDE INC. He opened up political opportunities to blacks in the city for the first time in its history. He championed health and senior issues. However, his most profound legacy was his Summer Work Program where any young person residing in the city that wanted a job – GOT ONE!

His critics will always point to a moment that transformed his celebrity into international notoriety when he was videotaped smoking cocaine and arrested by FBI on drug charges. We now know they used a paid informant to lure him to a hotel room to accomplish this. I will say, and I am proud to say for his entire political career there have never been any indications of financial miss-management or him taking a dime from the government.

Let me ask, who amongst us is without sin. What is important to remember every prominent black leader was subjected to the Hoover devised COINTEL program. Therefore, I contend that this arrest was more about the plan to ensure he was removed by any means necessary because of his power. The arrest and subsequent trial precluded Barry from seeking re-election. He served six months in a federal prison. After his release, however, he WAS elected to the DC City Council in 1992 and ultimately returned to the mayoralty in 1994, serving from 1995 to 1999.

Despite his history of political and legal controversies, Barry was a popular and influential figure in the DC political scene – he was legendary. He helped many-many people and was relevant to the masses. The alternative weekly Washington City Paper nicknamed him “Mayor for life,” a designation that remained long after Barry left the mayoralty. The Washington Post has stated “to understand the District of Columbia, one must understand Marion Barry. Today and forever, we mourn the legend of this man who was larger than life. If he did not exist, he would have to be created, for sure, but Washington DC and its people would not be the same without his presence. Rest in Peace! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Bat Shit Crazy

4While the GOP crazies cite their inability or desire to halt the government shutdown coupled with impending default of the nation; all of which is by their design. It is being reported that my favorite crazy Congresswoman Michele Bachmann introduced today a resolution to impeach President Obama this morning claiming his inability to halt the federal government shutdown she says this makes the president unfit for office and referring the matter to the House Judiciary Committee. Senior aides close to judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte say hearings will begin Thursday.

With all the drama these nuts have created they want to do something like this. Even the most dangerous nut of the all and probably the main culprit in all of this Crazy Cruz admits, “We probably won’t be successful.” CC is one of the few Republicans in the Senate supporting the impeachment process also says, “But we have to try. This guy is worse than Hitler. We have to do something.” WORST THAN HITLER! I would argue that this is like the pot calling the kittle black.

The terrorist acts of treason, which is no different than secession designed to destroy the nation. They talk about the “American People” but most Americans find their actions reckless and irresponsible that I liken to the actions of their forefathers one-hundred fifty years ago. You know that little thing called the Civil War motivated by slavery. Is this the same thing when this time it’s also about color; the black man who occupies the white house?

The Congresswoman went on to say:

“I think it’s high time President Obama be held accountable for his crimes,” explains Bachmann. “For two weeks now, vital government services have been disrupted, federal workers have gone without pay and national memorials have been closed, all because of the president’s refusal to negotiate over Obamacare.

“This isn’t just poor leadership. The Obama administration is corrupt to the core. The scandals surrounding the IRS, Benghazi, the Fast and the Furious (sic) and Solyndra have shown us this cabal will do anything to stay in power.

“But in shutting down the government President Obama has committed economic treason against the United States of America, and he must be removed before it’s too late. The Constitution provides us the mechanism of impeachment. It’s time to end this dictatorial regime and return the presidency back to the American people.”

Bat Shit Crazy is an insult to bats! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The New Confederacy

13In the 1860s there was a group of so-called patriots who were so adamant in a belief that slavery was moral and righteous that resulted in a Civil War. Today, we see another group of patriots who obviously feel the same way. The Civil War caused the death of over 600,000 Americans, crippling and maiming hundreds of thousands more which was designed to tear America apart. Then they seceded from the Union calling themselves Confederate; today, they call themselves the Tea Party!

I read an article earlier this month written by Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King who provided a historical perspective of these trying times. I found the piece thought provoking because just as things change they remain the same. So I would like to share parts of it which is appropriate for today’s problems:

It took on new force with fears of the federal government in Washington interfering with their cherished way of life. It gathered steam with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. And it all came into full flower when shore batteries fired on Fort Sumter. It was the spirit of the Old Confederacy, a state-sponsored rebellion hellbent on protecting its “peace and safety” from the party that took possession of the government on March 4, 1861.

The rebels launched a grisly war against the Union. In his inaugural address, Lincoln warned the Confederacy: “You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.”

“Peace and safety” are ideals drawn from South Carolina’s Dec. 24, 1860, declaration of secession from the Union. The expression was designed to encompass all that the Deep South states held dear — chiefly, their existence as sovereign states and their ability to decide the propriety of their domestic institutions, including slavery.

This virulent hostility to the Union led the Old Confederacy to conclude — as expressed by South Carolina — that with Lincoln’s elevation to the presidency, “the slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”

Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.

No shelling of a Union fort, no bloody battlefield clashes, no Good Friday assassination of a hated president — none of that nauseating, horrendous stuff. But the behavior is, nonetheless, malicious and appalling.

The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War.

Not stopping there, however, the New Confederacy aims to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, setting off economic calamity at home and abroad — all in the name of “fiscal sanity.”

Its members are as extreme as their ideological forebears. It matters not to them, as it didn’t to the Old Confederacy, whether they ultimately go down in flames. So what? For the moment, they are getting what they want: a federal government in the ditch, restrained from seeking to create a more humane society that extends justice for all.

The ghosts of the Old Confederacy have to be envious.

South Carolina wept and wailed as it withdrew from the Union, citing the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision when it noted that states in the North had elevated to citizenship “persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.”

Not to worry, Old South, the New Confederacy’s spirit is on the move.

In June, the Supreme Court got rid of fundamental legal protections against racial discrimination in voting.

Legislation aimed at suppressing votes is pending across the country, notably in the Deep South.

Hold on to that Confederate money, y’all. Jim Crow just might rise again.

But it’s here in Washington where the New Confederacy’s firebrands are really holding court. Many of them first appeared after the 2010 midterm elections and when the scope of the president’s economic recovery program was taking form. Unlike their predecessors, however, members of this group hail from Dixie and beyond, though I stress there is no evidence that the New shares the racist views of the Old. The view on race is not the common denominator. The view on government is.

These conservative extremists, roughly 60 of them by CNN’s count, represent congressional districts in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

But don’t go looking for a group by the name of New Confederacy. They earned that handle from me because of their visceral animosity toward the federal government and their aversion to compassion for those unlike themselves.

They respond, however, to the label “tea party.” By thought, word and deed, they must be making Jefferson Davis proud today.

This is an insightful piece that provides historical context to the partial shutdown of the federal government. An “insurgent political force” has captured the Republican Party “and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government. What Colbert left out in my view is that this is all about race and treason – just like it did then! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Black Women and Faith

I came across a newspaper article that I found interesting – yet troubling. It was a nationwide survey conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation that revealed that black women are among the most religious people in the country.” Now, having know a few black women in my time this was not that much of a surprise because I have found that most will out Pope the Pope!

I am going to say from the outset that I am expecting hate mail but if you read my words they are simply designed to provoke thought on the topic. Therefore, I say think about what you read – maybe even step back and look in the mirror. Early in the article there was a powerful statement made by the author who asked, “For what purpose are you seeking an education? Is it not that you may relieve the suffering of humanity?”

There was a woman quoted as saying she found on her phone this: “Finding that verse at that moment was no coincidence… God had spoken. Instantly, a sense of calm and confidence enveloped her. In times like these, when she feels anxious, afraid or unsure… relies on her faith.” Just so you know faith is that what you believe to be true what cannot be seen. Keep reading I have some thoughts on this too! But first let me talk about the survey.

This nationwide survey found that nine in 10 African American women reveals that as a group, black women are among the most religious people in the nation. The survey found that 74 percent of black women said that “living a religious life” is very important. On that same question, the number falls to 57 percent of white women and 43 percent of white men.

I understand that during times of turmoil, which is living in America. Black women endure much more than any other group causing them to turn to their faith to get through. Black women, across education and income levels, say living a religious life is a greater priority than being married or having children, and this call to faith either surpasses or pulls even with having a career as a life goal, the survey shows.

If you are from the African American culture you more than likely would have grown up with gospel music in your background or maybe as your foundation. This more than likely included a mother or grandmother who insisted on all-day church on Sundays and Bible school in the summers. It is inextricably woven into our culture giving us the sense that devotion and faith in God is somehow more strongly connects due to our slave ancestor’s survival of the institution.

Stacey Floyd-Thomas, an associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, says “Black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized group in U.S. society and culture as they wrestle both individually and collectively with the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism and classism.” To this I agree!

For roughly a quarter of black women who responded to the survey, religion plays a less-than-primary role in their lives; a scant 2 percent of them said it is “not at all” important. To that point Sikivu Hutchinson who describes herself as an atheist makes this point: “What has religiosity and belief in supernatural beings really achieved for African Americans in the 21st century — and in particular African American women, given our low socioeconomic position?”

Looking back on her childhood, Hutchinson wonders: “Why would children be compelled to profess belief, especially when they look around them and see that the world is overpopulated with adult believers flaunting their immorality?” Hutchinson contends that perhaps there aren’t more black women grappling with that answer because there is little in their community that supports a different perspective.

The article went on to say “for most African American women, absolute trust in a higher power has been a truism for centuries. In follow-up interviews with some of the black women surveyed, there seemed to be little or no angst about their religious beliefs or their role in the church. The women said their focus is on one thing: their personal relationship with God.”

LAW AND ORDER THEME!!!

Ok, here is where I am sure to upset some. First, we were brought to America as slaves and there were two choices; take the Bible or die – by way of the rope or gun. Let me remind you there was no word G-O-D in any African language before the coming of Europeans. In addition, the first registered slave ship was named the “Good Ship Jesus”. The WORD, supposedly given by God, that most so fervently believe was rewritten twenty-eight times with the last revision ordered by the diabolical King James of England who stood to benefit from his rendition. My point here is that maybe we should not take the WORD literally.

I want to make two more points; the image of the deity that hangs on most church walls is that of a blonde haired blue eyed European who could not possibly have come from that region of the world, which was in North Africa. The other point is this: there is a church in most communities on every corner, so I say if that was the answer why is it not working.

Let me close by saying that “I believe in something greater than I and I chose to call it God”. This in the practical sense should be adapted to mean “Good Orderly Direction”. I would respectfully suggest that we and black women in particular, look to what is within to find strength to survive. Lastly it might be a good idea to not be so devoted and blindly follow con artist, or maybe I should say, pimps in the pulpit and you know who they are.

As we have just lived another Black History Month. Let’s get back to family which is your strength! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

 

 


“Between a Barack and a Hard Place”

I was recently at the library and came across this book “Between a Barack and a Hard Place”. I thought what a fitting title in light of the vitriol the president has faced since taking office. I was stunned as I perused the pages because the book is written by a celebrated anti-racial activist named Time Wise. I have to tell you I could not put the book down.

I did not know much about the author, although as an author myself I had heard the name. Wise, a white man, speaks about racism as if he had lived it himself. He talks about and explains the culture of racism rooted in white privilege and their denial that it exists in a profound way. I was very impressed!

Naturally, I researched this guy and was directed to several videos of his speeches. I will not go into length about the man nor his presentation. What I will do is strongly suggest that you listen to what he has to say because truth speaks louder than words.

Register to vote and God Bless America, because the subliminal messages contained within its system will surely destroy it without his blessings. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com



Just a Thought


Since the year of our Lord 1619, when people from Africa were first dragged onto the American shores; African Americans have been chastised, criticized, punished, beaten, robbed, and murdered. All while the culprits have enjoyed wealth and prosperity as a result of our never ending allegiance and patriotism. Even today when we have ascended to the White House there are those who castigate much vial abuse upon this uniquely qualified man of African heritage.

We are a unique people, a forgiving people, a steadfast people, and a brave people unlike any known to the world. It was our labor that built this country and is responsible for the great wealth America enjoys to this very today. When you look upon America’s enormous wealth and the power derived from its tremendous control of the resources, think about the sacrifices our families made to make all of this possible. We have looked out for this country for hundreds of years and still doing today, is simply amazing.

Upon our backs, laden with the stripes of punishment for what they believed was for discipline and in spite of our loyalty, diligence and tenacity we loved America. Even when America refused to allow us to even walk in the shadows, we followed, believing that someday we would come to accept and treat like men and women. Our strength in the face of adversity is vastly understated.

Our history is one of unbelievable struggle. We’ve been brave on the battlefield, despite being classified as three-fifths of a man, which was outstanding and beyond the call of duty. While in the states we lived under an Apartheid like system. We have raised America’s children, attended to its sick, and prepared their meals while those forefathers were occupied with the trappings of the good life. Even during the times when they found pleasure in our women and enjoyment in seeing our men lynched, maimed and burned. We continued to watch over America’s soul.

We labored in the hot sun for 12 hours to assist in realizing the dream of wealth, good fortune, and making America great. Others have controlled at least 90 percent of all the resources and wealth of this nation. We were there when it all began, and you are still here today, protecting the system from those Black people who have the temerity to speak out against America’s past transgressions.

It was us who warned about Denmark-Vessey, told you about Gabriel Prosser’s plans, called your attention to Nat Turner, Malcolm, and Martin. It was us sounded the alarm when old John Brown came calling on Harper’s Ferry and there are still some sounding warnings today. Black Nationalism has died and as result our community brings 95 percent of what it earns to other businesses and keeps little for themselves.

We purchase things like Hilfigers, Karans, Nikes, and all of the other brands that make people feel as if the system is giving back something for their patronage. After all, in the past, the brands and scares placed upon us were worn quite painfully, but those of today can be proudly worn because they gives suppose a false sense of self-esteem. Our community’s super-rich; athletes, entertainers, intellectuals, and business persons, both legal and illegal, exchange most of their money for cars, jewelry, homes, and clothing. The less fortunate among us spend all they have at neighborhood stores, enabling them to open even more stores; this results from our not doing business with each other.

Some say we, as a people, were very successful at it after slavery ended and even as recently as 1960, but you know what happened when you began to build your own communities and do business with one another – you’re destroyed and put out of business. In today’s business environment, we do not support each other and just keep doing business with the larger community or in fact any other community.

We dance, sing, fight, get high, go to prison, back bite, envy and distrust and hate one another. Oh, less not forget we pray a lot. We resisted the messages of trouble-making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman and Truth, for fighting and dying on the battlefield for us all. Yet, most have forgotten the names and hardly ever considered their sacrifice due to a lack of reciprocity and equity.

This includes our acquiescence to political agendas, abdicating our own economic self-sufficiency, and working so diligently for the economic well-being of other people. Even though the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written and many died for the rights described therein, we did not resist when they changed Black rights to civil rights and allowed virtually every other group to take advantage of them as well. This goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken. A lass, don’t worry, when you die you will find a place where there is a mansion waiting for you and streets paved with gold.

Finally, we went beyond the pale and allowed our children to be turned over to the American educational system. With what is being taught to them, it’s likely they will continue in a mode similar to the one we have followed for the past 45 years. When Mr. Lynch walked the banks of the James River in 1712 and said he would make African’s slave for 300 years, little did he realize the truth in his prediction. Just one more years and his promise will come to fruition. But with two generations of children going through this education system, we can look forward to at least another 50 years of despair.

When you continue to do what you’ve always done; you will get what you always got. I say free your mind and your ass will follow, and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.

http://johntwills.com

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