Tag Archives: Washington

Rachel Dolezal: WTF

FILE - In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute's offices in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP, is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File)

FILE – In this July 24, 2009, file photo, Rachel Dolezal, a leader of the Human Rights Education Institute, stands in front of a mural she painted at the institute’s offices in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dolezal, now president of the Spokane, Wash., chapter of the NAACP, is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File)

There are opinions about Rachel Dolezal pretending to be a black woman coming from all quarters – everybody’s got a point of view. It is worth mentioning that this is the biggest story on white media with CNN running the BREAKING NEWS banner every fifteen minutes. I might add that white folk are flabbergasted!!!

Let me start by saying everybody in the world knows that when you say America, it is code for white supremacy! Having said that let’s be clear white folks know and understand this because they benefit from it. Maybe this is why there is such an uproar surrounding this story and the reason many are so offended that one of their own would leave the fold. Not to mention that Rachel claims it her life’s mission to work for the betterment of black people.

The Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, who was called out by her real white parents telling the entire world that she has falsely portrayed herself as black for years; more than ten years, in fact. This story could be as simple as this; she knows what white folks have done to black people and continue doing is a disgrace to humanity. Some have said she lied, and others say this act is a ruse. To that I say maybe more white folks should do the same if they are to do it for good – as it appears Rachel is doing. Some say she meant well.

History has shown that white folk have infiltrated every organization black people have start or belong too. So, maybe she is an agent provocateur! We have seen black people pass for white, but this pitiful case is not for the same reasons because she had no need to do so. Therefore, she does not get a pass because what she did is disrespectful, at best, and comedic on so many levels. Black folk know it is not much of a stretch that the obsession with black people by whites is as old as black people by virtue of the fact they stole us from Africa in the first place.

There are clear examples of pretenders in today’s in all aspects of American life. Case in point, the music industry white girls have co-opted black culture in ways that I would call a disgrace. Further, we can go back to Elvis to see this kind of robbery. There are many examples going back to the days of “race music” where white folks have pretended and emulated black people.

I saw a FaceBook comment where someone white compared this to Bruce Jenner’s decision to become a woman saying “a person can be anything they want to be”. This lie goes back as far as the one they told when they said, “All men are created equal” and then wrote Negros are 3/5ths human! So just when you think we’ve seen it all – wrong!

Dolezal posted a message that says “As you probably know by now, there are questions and assumptions swirling in national and global news about my family, my race, my credibility, and the NAACP …I have discussed the situation, including personal matters, with the Executive Committee.” Really, this is an explanation!

Let me close with this: whiteness is an attitude! Most white folk who enjoy its privilege have no idea that what they enjoy is the hidden, which is nothing more than what I would call Affirmative Action. Nonetheless, I agree with the old adage that says imitation is the highest form of flattery! Rachel now that you have stepped in it you have to endure the backlash of you deception. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Mothership Finds A Home

Washington Post reported on the front page in 2010 a story about an article by Staff Writer Chris Richards – “The Mothership, lost in space”. They when on to address the mystery, adding that this is not just a story about a UFO or at least not just any UFO – but “The Mothership”. I am sure many of you, “Funk-a-teers”, are well aware of what I am talking about.

Today, the Washington Post reported that the funkiest UFO in the galaxy is about to land in Chocolate City has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; where it will help anchor a permanent music exhibition when the museum opens its doors in 2015.

The Mothership is the iconic stage prop made famous by legendary funk collective Parliament-Funkadelic. Parliament-Funkadelic front-man George Clinton said over the phone from his home in Tallahassee on Wednesday “I’m about to cry!”… I’m glad it’s going to have a nice home there.”

It is probably the most creative stage prop in the history of American music that belonged to funk legends Parliament-Funkadelic. The famed aluminum flying saucer launched in during the group’s heyday in the 70’s was about 20 feet in diameter and decked out with a fantastical display of dazzling lights.

Here is the back-story: in 2010, it was missing!!! I was perplexed to see this story on the front page about where it was or that no one was trying to find it as if it was a real crime drama. Here are some of the facts: the Mothership was last spotted on stage in Detroit in 1981, belching dry ice fumes and flashing kaleidoscopic lights. Promoters brought it to the DC area “where it vanished in Prince George’s County in 1982, rumors of its whereabouts have mutated into local lore. It burned in a fire. It was disassembled. It was stolen. Scrapped. Kidnapped. Thrown in the woods. Chained to a truck by a drug dealer and dragged to funk-knows-where. The band’s most devoted followers say it flew off into space.” REALLY!!!

The reporter talked to people connected to the mystery, including George Clinton, front man for the group and the promoter, but all that was revealed was “it wasn’t in Detroit. It was in a junkyard in Seat Pleasant and the promoter was the last person to see it because he threw the Mothership away, which Clinton thought that was pretty stupid”. At this point in the story I began to wonder if maybe it’s time for the president to bring in the FBI, CIA, or maybe the military because this was beginning to sound like a national emergency.

Here is what was revealed: “It was the spring of 1982, and Parliament-Funkadelic front-man George Clinton and his band mates were battling debt, drug addiction and each other. Brooks, who ran the group’s Washington-based tour production company, says the only way he could pay the band’s debts was to pawn its gear. With no place to store a spacecraft, he dumped the Mothership in a junkyard behind a Shell station … But 28 years later, its final resting place remains a mystery.” Ok, I know you are making faces with puzzled looks or maybe a few laughs but this was on the front page of the Washington Post.

Here is the backdrop to the story: Throughout the 70’s, Clinton and his bandmates blurred the line between escapism and empowerment with a glut of albums that have been endlessly sampled, imitated and analyzed. Look at the decades of funk, rock, techno, go-go, Prince hits and jam bands that came in P-Funk’s imaginative wake — “influential” doesn’t quite cut it. Maybe without Parliament-Funkadelic, Lady Gaga would not wear ridiculous outfits and hip-hop might not exist.

Onstage, the band was a living, breathing, panting comic book. Clinton in his stringy blond wigs, bassist Bootsy Collins in his star-shaped shades, Garry Shider in nothing but angel wings, combat boots, and Pampers. “They were celebrating the intellectual breadth of the black experience and giving people a grand space to celebrate all that they had become,” says California author and funk historian Rickey Vincent. “Sly Stone said, ‘I Want to Take You Higher.’ George Clinton said, ‘Yeah, and I got the Mothership to take you there.’ In a sense, he was doing what black folks had wanted to do for generations: Take themselves up.”

Before the Mothership was built, it was a concept, says 68-year-old Clinton. Parliament released “Mothership Connection” in 1975, an album with a title track about hitchhiking to cosmic transcendence: “Swing down, sweet chariot. Stop and let me ride.” Clinton started dreaming up a tour to match. After watching the Who’s 1969 rock opera “Tommy,” he asked himself: “How do you do a funk opera? What about [black people] in space?” The Mothership was assembled in Manhattan and made its first descent in New Orleans from the rafters of Municipal Auditorium on Oct. 27, 1976 and minds were blown.

Washingtonians greeted the Mothership with unparalleled fervor. The nation’s capital had long been a stronghold for the band and in 1975, Parliament released the “Chocolate City” album, a supremely funky mash note that popularized the nickname Washington had earned for its majority-black population. Most people, actually nobody, had never seen anything like it. “Here’s a guy coming out of a Mothership with a mink coat and platform shoes,… And a cane? And a fur hat? C’mon, man. Black folks have been down so long. . . It was jubilation… The audience went crazy… the Mothership in all its glory.”

Going down with the ship. In the case of Parliament-Funkadelic, the ship went down with the band. “The volatility of the record industry at that time — the disco crash, they called it — made it really hard to subsidize that big touring group,” says funk historian Vincent of the band’s early-80’s collapse. “They ran out of juice and they ran out of money.”

The band would later reform as the P-Funk All-Stars, and a second, less impressive Mothership would be built in the 90’s, but the group never eclipsed the highs of the late 70’s. Bernie Worrell rattles off the factors that dragged Parliament-Funkadelic down: “Discontent. Tired of all the unfairness. Being owed money. Lack of respect within the group. The management. Learning that money was stolen.”

Some of Worrell’s keyboards were sold to a young Trouble Funk, cementing P-Funk’s role in go-go’s creation myth. Too bad go-go didn’t need a spaceship. Today, the group’s feelings are mixed citing massive expenses racked up from touring with an extensive entourage, elaborate costumes, and a gigantic metal spacecraft. “I was glad it was gone,” he says. “With the Mothership came no money.”

Thomas Stanley, an assistant professor at George Mason University, claims that he’s recently seen the wreckage of the Mothership — touched it. Stanley is a true funk scholar and author of the book “George Clinton and P-Funk: An Oral History.” He also penned articles for Uncut Funk, Mills’s Parliament-Funkadelic fanzine. But he doesn’t want to give up the location.

I find it much more satisfying to imagine this sacred artifact bound firmly in the bosom of the strong black communities that straddle the D.C. line. This was always the heart of P-Funk’s base of support in Chocolate City,” he writes. “It is very important, I think, that we not seek truth at the expense of myth. Music and Myth are, after all, P-Funk’s most enduring legacy.” So is it really out there? Does it really matter? Perhaps there’s no grand cosmic truth to be found in the wilds of Prince George’s County. Just myth. But Stanley swears the Mothership is still out there — rusted, rotted out and funkier than ever.

I found the 2010 article very interesting in that – for all the problems we face this was one of only six stories to make the front page – WOW!!! It was, however, an entertaining way to start the day. In light of today’s news – finding the Mothership was a very good thing! Let me thank and give credit to the reporter, Chris Richards, because his 2010 article and detective work was the reason it is now headed for the Smithsonian. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Watergate: Government Exposed

Its been over forty-years since the crime of the century. So much time has passed and like most of America’s faults are removed from the minds of its people. Most have forgotten the word “Watergate”, let alone know what the significant importance of it. I will admit after my return from war and living through that horrible ordeal I was disenchanted with our government’s policies. I suffered wounds from that conflict that was unjust on so many levels. First, the war began under false pretenses, it was a killing field for black and poor soldiers, and caused the slaughter of millions needlessly.

Then something happened that caused me to believe true that “Tricky Dick” was a crook. It happened on June 16, 1972, when Frank Wills was working as a security guard at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The astute security guard discovered a piece of tape on the lock of the door that led to the National Democratic Headquarters. Assuming something was amiss, he alerted the police.

This foiled a break-in attempt at the Watergate Hotel resulting in the scandal that was part of a larger campaign by Nixon supporters to tarnish the reputation of Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party. At the time, Democratic candidates were harassed, subject to negative campaign ads, and on two separate occasions the National Democratic Headquarters were broken into.

As soon as the attempted break-in at Watergate Hotel became known, President Richard Nixon, AKA “Trick Dick”, ordered the entire affair covered up. It became clear that the Nixon presidency had been involved in serious manipulation and abuses of power for years. Millions of dollars coming from Nixon supporters were used to pay for the cover-up in an attempt to hide the truth from Congress and the American people.

The investigation would introduce the American people to such people as John Ehrlichman and Bob Haldeman. Ehrlichman was the President and Chief of the Domestic Council and Haldeman was the Chief of Staff. Both would be fired in a desperate attempt to save Nixon presidency. The investigation would ask two questions which would forever live in political infamy. The questions were, “What did the president know?” and “When did he know it?”

The investigation into Watergate scandal revealed that Nixon knew about the break-in from the beginning and that he was involved in the cover-up as it progressed. In the early stages of the Watergate scandal most of the media reported the break-in as a minor story with little national significance. This was until two young reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward who were working for the Washington Post began to dig deeper into the mystery.

Aided by an informant identified as “Deep Throat”, Woodward and Bernstein uncovered one of the most significant stories of the twentieth century. They became the catalyst in forcing the first presidential resignation in American history. As the Watergate scandal investigation began testimony revealed that there was a taping system which was installed to record conversations in the Oval Office, Camp David, the Cabinet rooms, and Nixon’s hideaway office.

Nixon argued that the tapes contained only private conversations between the president and his advisors. The Supreme Court did not agree. The court ordered the president to release the tapes. The Nixon tapes were released in the 1970’s and contained 18 minutes of silence that have never been explained. In mid-1974, the House of Representatives approved the articles of impeachment against President Nixon.

Article I: Obstruction of justice;

Article II: Abuse of power; 

Article III: Defiance of committee subpoena.

On August 8, 1974, Richard Nixon announced to the American people that he no longer had a political base strong enough to support his remaining time in office and resigned the presidency. We will all remember Nixon’s famous words “I am not a Crook”!

In 1996, 200 new hours of tape were released in the lawsuit of historian Stanley I. Kutler. The new tapes revealed that Nixon was intimately involved both before and after Watergate in abuses of power. A taped conversation on June 23, 1972, proved that Nixon and Haldeman talked about using the CIA to thwart the FBI investigation into the Watergate scandal cover-up.

Once Nixon resigned his Vice President Gerald Ford pardoned him and the crook never was charge or paid for his crime. Money and power is a very dangerous mixture. As you know power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, particularly when you are a crook to start with. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

The Washington Deadskins – Shame on you!!!

This is the first time I’ve delved into the sports arena via this blog, but as you know I might share a Thought Provoking Perspective on any topic, particularly if it relates to an African American issue. I must admit, I normally reserve my comments for those subjects that are more meaningful to life’s issues. Nonetheless, as I watched the Dallas Cowboys/Washington Redskins game yesterday I had a flashback with respect to the Redskins organization, which has a long history of mistreating African American player.

As I watched Donavan McNabb on the sidelines during the game I realized as sure as something’s change they remain the same. 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. In my view it is akin to calling African Americans the “N-Word”, which surely must be the view of Native American’s; disrespectful at best.

Back to McNabb, seeing what appeared to be humiliation on his face caused the hair on the back of my neck to rise, because of the teams sorted past and there long history that support this position. The NFL’s color barrier was broken in 1946; it inexplicably took George Preston Marshall, the team’s owner, 16 more years amid legal threats and community pressure to bring Bobby Mitchell, their first black player, to the Redskins. Former quarterback Eddie LeBaron, who knew Marshall, said he never believed he was a racist. However, they were the last team in the NFL to sign a black player and were 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 last year when no one in management stuck up for him while he’s getting killed behind his offensive line. I won’t even mention Big Albert’s treatment this year.

In the latest episode, Donovan McNabb suddenly is bad at understanding the playbook. This is a seasoned professional, who’s a six time Pro Bowler and a player sure to reach the Hall of Fame, who by the way has played football since he was 10 years old. The team’s management has disrespected him in every way imaginable from claiming he was out of shape to not being able to understand the offense to benching him for a quarterback far less capable, culminating with benching him for the rest of the season. Was this due diligence on the part of wrong-way Mike or something more ominous?

I’ll say Wrong-way’s benching of McNabb in the final two minutes in Detroit permeates my point, so let’s get right 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.

Kevin Blackistone an AOL Fanhouse columnist and Washington native remarked, 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 that “this ain’t Colorado.” In 1965, his father, James Sr., wrote a letter to the acting president of the Redskins, Edward Bennett Williams. Like most African American fans at the time, James 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.

When Wrong-way questions the intelligence of McNabb, black fans should ask themselves, what is he really saying? I want to be very clear that I’m not saying it was his intention to make McNabb sound dumb, incompetent or lazy. But it was and is shameful and disrespectful the way he has handled it, like the Big Albert’s situation, he insults the player. When it keeps happening, there is a fine line between coaching and hegemony.

The history of why African Americans are so sensitive is not made up or unfounded, particularly in light of segregation, Jim Crow, and slavery. The prevailing thought, in my mind, is leadership and they may have issues with the complexion of the leader. Hmmm.

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. You throw in Doug Williams dismissed 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. Now, they limped into Big D, lost, and the pundits proclaimed Rex the future. Let’s look at it this way; they played a Dallas team that is not very good – ok. Then they put forth a game plan to justify the decision. For example, Rex threw all day and if you do that you will get stat’s both good and bad, which he did. There were no running plays to speak of – 55 yards accumulated the entire game.

Former team player Doc Walker said a few weeks ago, “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 is why I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.

My last point, keep an eye on the NFL MVP to be awarded. Let’s see if the rightful recipient Michael Vick receives the much deserved award or….

The 41 Cent Secret

I was very fortunate to have been asked by a wonderful lady out of H-Town, Ar-Lena Richardson, to be a guest on her radio show – “Deeper than the Game”. First, let me thank Ar-Lena for the opportunity to be interviewed by a truly phenomenal host. During the interview, Ar-Lena asked me to share something powerful from my novel “Just a Season” to which I shared a subliminal message. It was interesting because we hold it in our hands but most people probably have no idea there is a message concealed within what I call “The 41 Cent Secret”.

The legacy of America is a heritage that is controlled by economics, no matter what, nothing trumps cash, and cash only. The lure of money is so powerful that you will sell your soul for it. Most people think racism is about the color of your hue but it’s not. It is about color true, but the color is green. Therefore, the phrase on money, “In God we trust,” is really a catchphrase suggesting that economic superiority is the cornerstone of this legacy. As we know slavery and the economic profits derived from it built a capitalistic society and this message speaks to the heart of it.

I’m sure you know that a secret is designed to elude observation because it contains information that, if disclosed, could endanger. Therefore, secrets are never to be told or shared. So this is just between you and I. I would like for you to take a quarter, nickel, dime, and a penny placing them in a row in that order from left to right. Look at the coins very carefully. What do you see other than the obvious – forty-one cents. Notice the faces on the coins. You will see four presidents – but there is more.

“Let me explain.” There is Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Washington was the father of the country who instituted, by law, slavery as an American institution and owned many slaves. Jefferson, well we all know his storied history relating to slaves. Then there was Roosevelt who had the same philosophy but live in the era of segregation.

Now notice that Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt have turned their backs on Lincoln arguably the most significant of all presidents. Lincoln is on the lowest denomination of all money and it is made of copper, the cheapest metal. Now, notice that the penny looks like you in color (if you are African American). This was done to scorn Lincoln for all eternity because he freed the slaves. Anytime someone comes along who changes the system, status quo, they will be scorned or destroyed. You have heard of assassination.

You have carried change in my pockets all of your life but did you know there was a subliminal message. It is important to understand that “The system is designed to protect the system.” Now, let me put this into perspective. It takes an act of congress to get a face approved to be put on a postage stamp. This was no accident. If you can see this and understand it, know that there are other forms of deception perpetrated by the majority people who control the system. In particular, systematic slavery, that continues, and designed to make sure people of a certain races remain a permanent underclass. This is what is meant when they referred to the system protecting the system. It is all about wealth, which drives the system.

Just a Season

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