Thursday, May 28, 2009

Obama Honors Confederate Soldiers: But, If America Has Changed, Then Some Traditions Should Too

Should the President of the United States honor Confederate soldiers who, among other things, fought to keep slavery a way of life in the South?

President Barack Obama sought to avoid racial controversy on his first Memorial Day in office by sending wreaths to a monument for Confederate soldiers and a memorial honoring more than 200,000 blacks who fought for the Union during the Civil War. However, a group of African-American academicians petitioned the President not to do so asking President Obama not to honor the Confederate soldiers.

The professor’s felt, "The Arlington Confederate Monument is a denial of the wrong committed against African-Americans by slave owners, Confederates and neo-Confederates, through the monument's denial of slavery as the cause of secession and its holding up of Confederates as heroes," the petitioners said. "This implies that the humanity of Africans and African-Americans is of no significance."

So, given this argument; why would President Obama honor Confederate soldiers? Conventional wisdom would say that traditionally, Presidents visit Arlington personally to leave a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Presidential aides then deliver wreaths to other memorials or monuments, generally including the Confederate memorial.

But are there other reasons?

For instance, did you know that the South is overrepresented among military recruits? That’s right. Southern states provided 42.2 percent of 1999 recruits and 41.0 percent of 2003 recruits but contained just 35.6 percent of the population of 18-year-olds. Could it be that President Obama didn’t want alienate Southerners and possibly hurt recruiting numbers?
According to Wikipedia political centrism refers to the political idea of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle between different political extremes. I think this definition fits President Obama to a “T”. He’s not going to go too far out on a limb on any position. This was noted by many African-Americans when he took the helm of “The Harvard Review,” by Tavis Smiley during his campaign, and now in his presidency. Hey, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. For sure, with Rush Limbaugh on the Right and Reverend Right on the Left, the last thing this country needs is more political demagoguery. However, when you’re a leader you sometimes have to make decisions that some folk just aren’t going to agree with—you can’t always go down the middle.

So, you decide. Did President Obama do the right thing in sending a wreath to the monument for Confederate soldiers? Should there even be such a monument? Or, in light of the pain, suffering and loss of life that slavery, segregation, and racism have caused (even to this day) he should have cut with (White American) tradition and just said no.

Let me know what you think…and say somethin’ that makes sense!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Black or White, Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal--Politicians Are All The Same Unless We Demand Solutions

Well, it just goes to show you, when in Rome, politicians WILL do as the Romans do. My girl Dovescorner turned me on to this one in the Washington Times. It seems RNC Chairman Michael Steel has hired a few of his relatives at relatively high salaries.

"When [he] took over as chairman of the Republican National Committee earlier this year, he brought along longtime personal assistant Belinda Cook and gave her a salary nearly three times what her predecessor made. Mrs. Cook's son, Lee, also slnded an RNC job. Mr. Steele [also] hired another family friend, Angela Sailor, to be the party's outreach director at a salary of $180,000, more than double her predecessor's compensation."
Mr. Steele was a speaker at Tavis Smiley's annual State of the Black Union event in Los Angeles. There he said, "Who would think that in 2009 you'd have two black men at the pinnacle of political power in this country. I tell you this, black folk expected Steele to be different. But you know what they say, "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The point is why focus on race, political party, liberal, or conservative. If given the chance, politicians have shown they will "conduct business as usual." That is, unless they are held accountable. If we, the American people really want change, let's demand politicians solve problems and bridge gaps among the American people--not talk about them.

You know Congress votes for their own pay raises. I don't know about you, but I've never had a job where I could raise my own salary without someone's approval. How do you feel about the people voting on Congressional pay raises?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

42% of Black Women Never Married – Want To? Date Sponge Bob Square Pants!

According to national statistics, 42 percent of black women have never been married, compared to 21 percent of white woman. Question is: what can the average black woman do about it?

When one talks about marriage and black women, there are a list of common and I believe somewhat applicable reasons given for why many black women are not married: (1) the incarceration rate for black men is higher than men of other races, (2) the increase in black men dating and marrying outside of their race, (3) black men on the “down low” (living secret lives having sex with other men while pretending to be homosexual), (4) black women are “more independent” and don’t need a man to take care of them.

But you know what, I’d like to steer from the academic and offer three things that would make any man not want to marry a woman: poor choices, poor attitude, and putting penis before personality or P3B. I know, controversial and stereotypical. Well, this is a blog, and I am trying to stimulate minds and conversation. In truth, all of the reasons mentioned by anyone or at least partially true once. And we are not going to solve this issue over night. But I’m a firm believer that good communication is the key to any relationship and solving any problem. So who knows, you just might meet your soul mate while talking about this article! So fire away!

Poor Choices

Choosing to have a baby outside of marriage. According to DADI, nationally, 69 percent of births among black women were to unwed mothers. For a man, especially a black man whose income and resources are often limited, the decision to take care of someone else’s child is a monumental one. He’ll have to provide financially for more than two people—right of the bat. Then there’s the baby’s Daddy drama. And if the kids are older, as in my case, he will have to take time to develop a relationship with them. However, no matter how good, it will never be as strong as with his own kids—but the bills we be just as large.

Choosing to have sex outside of marriage or at least having casual sex. My Mom has a saying, “why buy the cow when you can drink the milk for free?” Think about it.

Attraction to the wrong type of male. I will cover this later.

Poor attitude

Black women, I know for much of your life you have had to do it on your own. I know you have been with some pretty sorry men. But sometimes you need to know when to be quite! When God sends someone to help you, please, let them. And for God's sake, build them up, don’t tear them down. The next time you are talking to a potential life partner, and you aren't married yet, ask yourself this question: is it more important for me to get my way, or for us to find OUR way together. I know you have a picture of how you want things to be, but remember that if you want a mate, you have to cooperate.

P3B

What’s that? Putting penis before personality. That’s right. As the old folks say, all that gliders is not gold. Has good sex paid your bills, nursed you when you were sick, counseled you, or comforted your children? If not, read on. Chose a man who’s a provider, a giver, a friend, and who is also God fearing and working. And if he’s educated (good trades count!) then all the better. To put it humorously give the small-sized, homely, easy-going, average income, God-fearing, boring, working brother a chance! So, the next time Sponge Bob Square Pants asks you out, go!

Penny for your thoughts?


video

Monday, May 11, 2009

How To Protect Your Child From Bullies--Teach Them Not To Be An Easy Victim

Recently, two young boys have taken their lives. Allegedly because of being bullied in school. Both boys were 11 years old. Jaheem Herrera of DeKalb Georgia committed suicide last week. Earlier this month, Carl Joseph of Massachusetts, also committed suicide. Both boys killed themselves amidst taunts that they were gay.

What’s striking is that parents for both children said they had alerted school officials about the violence against their children.

Both schools were taken aback by the allegations. The DeKalb school district even had an anti-bullying program which had received praise for its approach which sought to raise student, teacher, and parent awareness. There was also a trained liaison on staff. The program even went as far as asking students to sign a no-bullying pledge. Despite this, other parents told CNN they have complained about bullying as well. So, what went wrong?

I think in both cases, these parents expected the school to protect their kids. And, while that may seem like a reasonable assumption, it wasn’t true in my day and it most certainly isn’t true today. Parents, you are going to have to take charge of the situation in order to protect your child.

The first step is enabling your child to deal with a bully. KidsHealth recommends two approaches: preventing a run-in with the bully and planned reactions if your child ends up face-to-face with them.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Within reason, instruct your kids to avoid the bully by taking a different route to and from home and to class. Also, tell them not to frequent where the bully hangs out.

If your kids do happen to end up face to face with the bully, KidsHealth suggests the following:

Ignore the bully. Bullies want a reaction.

Stand up for yourself. Be brave and confident. Tell the bully "No! Stop it!" in a loud voice. Then walk away, or run if you have to. Kids also can stand up for each other.

Now, I’m going to recommend something here that KidsHealth DOES NOT. Thinking back on when I was in school, if I were bullied and ran from a fight, I would get a whipping for running away. Did any of you experience this? In my family we were taught to defend ourselves if we could not get away from the person bothering us or if they would not leave us alone. We were taught that a true bully really doesn’t want trouble, just an easy victim. So we were taught not to be victims. We were taught to fight and fight hard. The way my parents figured it, even if I didn’t win, the bully would take so much punishment in return that he would surely find an easier mark. Were any of you out there taught this? Now, one must really exercise caution here—I’m not talking about fighting, which is illegal. I’m talking about self defense, which is doing what’s necessary to get out of the dangerous situation. So, just how does a parent go about teaching their kids productive self defense? Personally, I think enrolling a kid in a martial arts class is a great way to teach them how to defend themselves, teach them respect for human dignity, improve their physical health, and boost their self confidence. My daughter is two and I plan on enrolling her in a Tae Kwon Do class this fall.

Don't show feelings. Kids should try not to show they are angry or upset.

Tell an adult. If being bullied, it's very important to let kids know to tell an adult such as teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom helpers

Now, just as important, what can you do as a parent? Get involved and stay involved. Partner with your child, the school, and the community. Watch your child. Talk to them. Know who their friends are and talk to them. Watch for signs of depression or suicide. Look for changes in personality whether manic or depressive. Build them up and let them know they are loved. Enroll them in a martial arts class. Heck, go with them. Visit the school unexpectedly. Pick them up from school unexpectedly. When your child first enters school, meet with the Principle, teachers, counselors, administrators and staff. Attend Parent Teacher Association and academic advisory meetings. Visit the school often. Get to know other parents. Is one of their children being bullied? Give them your support. Ask them to read this article.

And what if your child does fall prey to bulling? I’ve seen parents come to school and raise holy hell over school uniforms, why not over bulling? You need to be the most vocal, most political, most obnoxious, most engaged parent in the school. Meet with all the people I named above and express your displeasure. Demand a solution not just an answer. Bring your lawyer or City Councilman if you have to come back. Offer to meet with the other child’s parents to see if they are open to resolving the situation. If possible, take time to take your child to and from school. Question your child and find out at what time of the day the bulling is taking place. Then demand that school officials be there to intercede or you will.

Just remember, no external system can protect your child in and of itself. But you can. Get involved and demand solutions--continuously and LOUDLY!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

FL “Man” Throws Infant From Car @ Issue Women: How Tell If You’re Dating A Psychopath Men: How To Know If You’re One

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about 21-year-old Richard McTear, Junior, who allegedly threw an infant from a car along I-275 in Florida Tuesday morning. The 3-month-old boy died. According to ABC news, the police were called to a home at 12414 North 15th Street about 45 minutes earlier on a domestic violence call at the Marbella Apartments. The caller, Jasmine Bedwell, said that she and McTear were fighting and that she and her 3-month-old son had been battered. Bedwell told the operator the man picked up the baby and threw him on the concrete. McTear then picked up the child and took off in a blue 4-door Chevrolet Impala. When asked why he did it, McTear replied, “It’s a dirty game.”

Obviously, McTear is sick; therefore, I don’t want to dwell on his actions but rather on how to help women avoid such men and help men recognize when they need to get help—before they shed innocent blood.

So, women, how would you know if the person you’re dating is capable of this sort of violence?

Look for control issues. If he always has to pick where you go for a date, where you sit at the movies, orders your food without asking what you want or needs to know where you are and who you are with every second of the day—step back, he’s crazy!

Observe what he focuses on. Psychopaths can be very obsessive-compulsive on the smallest things. If he freaks out when you move a knick-knack on his mantle or fold a towel the wrong way, you may be in for a scary ride.

Watch for attempts to isolate you. Psychopaths work best once they have you isolated from family, friends and anyone who can point out what a kook you’re involved with. Sometimes, they start by needing to be with you every moment, leaving you no time for others. He’ll continue by curtailing your phone calls. He’ll conclude by taking you to isolated places, like his "romantic" trailer up in the mountains, where you can’t get away.

Beware of jealousy. If he becomes insanely jealous and enraged when you talk to the waiter, your friends, or even your brother, get out of the relationship.

Finally, take this tip from Dovescorner, Psychiatric Nurse at a major hospital and good friend. Look for change! Sudden and not typical "he is finally coming around" change in situations. Bipolar people usually do this before just before committing suicide.

Guys, how would you know if you’re crazy?

If, like this fellow, you’re caught up in a lifestyle that only allows resolution of problems through violence (whether physical, emotional, verbal, or whatever), you don’t respect human life, you don’t mind taking a human life, or you don’t respect your own—and all of your "friends" act and react the same way, you are crazy. Get help; now!

It's as simple as that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Piracy only on the high seas? Think again, cops are jacking minorities in TX…Arggg (not my idea of a post-racial society)

CNN and other major news agencies are reporting that motorists are being stopped and robbed on the highway. What’s the issue? They’re being robbed by the police! That’s right, the cops, and the very folks sworn to protect and serve us. According to the story, several victims are now seeking redress from the Tenaha Police Department in a lawsuit seeking to end what the plaintiff's lawyer, David Guillory, calls a “systematic fleecing of drivers passing through the town of about 1,000.”

As common in most jurisdictions, the police can confiscate drugs and other illegal and/or dangerous articles. Some states even allow sale of confiscated items after conviction. However, if there is no conviction or charges are not filed, then legal possessions must be returned to the individual. I don’t know of any state police agency that demands thousands of dollars cash or take your jewelry on the spot—unless they are on the take.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Guillory, estimates Tenaha police seized $3 million between 2006 and 2008, and in about 150 cases — virtually all of which involved African-American or Latino motorists — the seizures were improper. According to Guillory, “They are disproportionately going after racial minorities,” he said. “My take on the matter is that the police in Tenaha, Texas, were picking on and preying on people that were least likely to fight back.”

City officials, including the Mayor, are circling the wagons and saying that proper procedures under Texas law were followed and that Texas law allows use of “seized” items “for official use.” So, where do the proceeds go?

According to Stop Corrupt DSS a CNN public records review said this is how:
  • $524 for a popcorn machine


  • $195 for candy for a poultry festival


  • $400 for catering


  • $6,000 to a local Baptist church


  • $10,000 went to Barry Washington, a Tenaha police officer for “investigative costs.” By the way, Washington has been repeatedly named in several complaints by stopped motorists.


  • In addition, money was donated to the local chamber of commerce and a youth baseball league.

Man, this opens up all kinds of issues. For starters, is this a state-sponsored shake down or what? What’s my advice? Plan your trip around this town or maybe even the state if you can. Think I’m kidding? Keep in mind that Jasper Texas, which is just down the road, is where James Byrd was dragged and lynched. Need I say more? What say you?

Also, how can a state that’s given us two Presidents harbor such ignorance? Looking at this, could the people of Louisiana be right in their assertion that their lack of aid during Hurricane Katrina was racially motivated? Before, during, and after the election of Barack Obama as the nations’ first African-American President, pundits and political thinkers have been talking about the coming of a “post-racial society”— that race matters much less than it used to, that the boundaries of race have been overcome, and that racism is no longer a big problem. I don’t think so! From whites buying guns to Economic Survivalist to conservative talk radio to white supremacy; the Barack Obama Presidency has divided or at least shown how racially polarized this country really is. And, if there’s anything this story yells out loud and clear it’s that we ARE NOT in a post race society, that we are living separately, and we are still not all equal.

Albert Einsten once said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Want more? Read these realated posts: (1) "Want A 'Justice' System? End Four Wack Practices" (2) "Shopping While Black? Don't Get Mad, Get Activist!"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

As Economy Sinks Guns Sales Climb: Why? The Darker Side Of Human Nature

Every since the election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States, gun sales have been steadily climbing: so much so until there is now a nation-wide shortage of ammunition.

Know who's buying? White folk.

My question is why and what does it mean, if anything, for the average African-American citizen.

Many of the articles and forums cite possible Obama gun control measures as the reason: Obama administration might rise taxes on guns or restrict gun ownership. According to Southcoast.today.com, " It amounts to "panic buying" — people are buying now because of the strong possibility that their sale could be outlawed within Obama's term, especially if the so-called "assault weapons ban" in reinstated. The uptick began in October, with many gun-owners fearing Obama would be elected." As a gun owner myself, I can understand people's concern over restrictions of their gun rights. But in these tough times, when many of us are forced to cut back to the bare necessities, literally choose between food and medicine, is there a darker side to this issue?

Yes, there is. I have also found that gun purchases have also been climbing because of the worsening economy, racist fear mongering (both from conservative talk radio and white racist groups), and National Rifle Association propaganda which has served to fuel fears of crime and civil disorder. Many white people in the U.S. are preparing for catastrophe right now and fear the possibility of civil disorder quite high right now. If you don't believe me, just check out this fact: more than three dozen interviews with gun dealers and buyers in Virginia and Maryland and with experts nationwide indicated that the increase in gun sales appears to be driven predominantly by concerns about the presidential election and the economy. You also see it in a resurgence of the "Survivalist Movement." The current trend is toward Economic Survivalist, but many white Americans are moving far beyond this and seem to be preparing for all out war.

Why should black folk be concerned with all of this? Well, racism still exist in America and black man, you are still being painted as the villain. While I know we have our own problems to contend with, so do white Americans. With the advent of a struggling economy, a schizophrenic stock market, record job losses, and white supremacist and NRA propaganda, many white people are being driven to sheer panic. Now, while not all are going out and buying guns, many are.

What can you do? I don't know, buying a bunch of guns is not the answer. Perhaps awareness is. I just want you to know that there are a lot more sacred folk out there running around with guns, isolating themselves, and thinking you are the cause of all their ills.

While there are a lot of issues out there, I found this one quite alarming for the simple reason that it appears there are a few groups out there who, "want to the are to pop off," or at least have white folk think it will, for personal gain.

For this, I have no words. How will you deal with this? My international brothers and sisters, what do you make of this? As you look in, can you tell me why we are so afraid of each other here?

Related Posts: "Economic Survivalist: A Few Of Their Strategies Can Help You In These Uncertain Times."