Monday, June 30, 2008

The Black Criminal Class: 50 Years Later......And Their DEFENDERS Sound The Same

Time Magazine: APRIL 1958 - THE NEGRO CRIME RATE: A FAILURE IN INTEGRATION



THEY are afraid to say so in public, but many of the North's big-city mayors groan in private that their biggest and most worrisome problem is the crime rate among Negroes.

In 1,551 U.S. cities, according to the FBI tally for 1956, Negroes, making up 10% of the U.S. population, accounted for about 30% of all arrests, and 60% of the arrests for crimes involving violence or threat of bodily harm—murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. In one city after another, the figures—where they are not hidden or suppressed by politicians—reveal a shocking pattern. Items:

New York (14% Negro). Of the prisoners confined in houses of detention last year to await court disposition of their cases, 44% of the males and 65% of the females were Negroes.

Chicago (15% Negro). In 1956 twice as many Negroes as whites—1,366 to 679—were arrested on charges of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape and robbery.

Detroit (25% Negro). Two out of three prisoners held in the Wayne County jail are Negroes. Last month 62% of. the defendants presented for trial in Recorder's Court were Negroes. Of last year's 25,216 arrests resulting in prosecution, excluding traffic cases, Negroes accounted for 12,919.

Los Angeles (13% Negro). In 1956 Negroes accounted for 28% of all arrests, and 48% of the arrests for homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

San Francisco (7% Negro). The victims in 896 of last year's 1,564 recorded robbery cases reported that the assailants were Negroes.

Negro leaders sometimes argue passionately that arrest statistics wildly distort the comparative incidence of crime among Negroes and whites because cops are more likely to arrest Negroes for petty crimes or on mere suspicion. Protests Executive Editor Charles Wartman of Detroit's Michigan Chronicle, a Negro weekly: "The number of Negroes booked is at least partially indicative of subconscious if not conscious racial persecution on the part of police officers."

But inequality of treatment by the police may actually tend to shrink rather than inflate the statistics of Negro crime. Says Newsman Wartman in the next breath: "When Negroes violate social morals—sex, drinking, gambling—white cops bypass this as 'typically Negro.' " Many Negro leaders protest that the police are far from diligent enough in dealing with crimes committed against Negroes—and Negroes are the victims in the great majority of Negro crimes of violence. Since Negroes, even when they are victims or innocent bystanders, are often wary of calling the police, many offenses of disorder and assault go unreported when committed by Negroes in the depths of a ghetto.

Whether the statistics of Negro crime overstate or understate the reality, they are shrouded from public attention by what a Chicago judge last week called a "conspiracy of concealment." In many cities, Negro leaders and organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put pressure on politicians, city officials and newspapers to play down the subject. Fearing loss of Negro votes, few elected officials dare to resist the pressures.

Abetting the concealment campaign is the feeling shared by many whites that it is unfair, inflammatory and even un-American to talk about Negro crime. This feeling is reflected in the widespread newspaper practice of not mentioning a criminal's race unless he is at large and the fact would help in identifying him.

In hiding the facts about Negro crime, the "conspiracy of concealment" helps blur the causes of it. Negro leaders themselves often put forward explanations that are oversimple. Some hold that Negro crime is largely the result of migrations from the South: in the unfamiliar environment of the North, the argument runs, Negroes tend to be more crime-prone, just like white immigrants from abroad. But in fact, some studies have shown that, contrary to popular conviction, crime rates among foreign-born whites were lower than among U.S.-born whites.

Most often, Negro leaders point to poverty as the No. 1 factor in Negro crime. As Editor Louis Martin of the Chicago Defender sees it, the main cause is poor and crowded housing. But the moderate crime rates among European immigrants, subject to similar stresses of poverty and bad housing, suggest that other factors may be more important.

Providing better housing for impoverished Negroes is a necessity, but it would not solve the problem of Negro crime. Crime rates run high in the Negro slums of Harlem and South Side Chicago, but they also run high in the Negro districts of Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the houses are comparatively decent. As many a public-housing official has learned to his dismay, better housing does not automatically bring about the improvement in character and conduct that do-gooders used to predict. Slum dwellers who move into brand-new public-housing projects often turn them into new slums as verminous and crime-ridden as the tenements they left behind.

Negro leadership could make a start toward lowering Negro crime rates by abandoning the conspiracy of concealment and urging full disclosure of the facts to be met. Once they faced the facts, Negro leaders and organizations—including the N.A.A.C.P.—could help by wholeheartedly undertaking short-term efforts of rehabilitation, by accepting responsibility in an area where they habitually look the other way.

But even heroic efforts by Negro leadership could only dent the Negro crime problem, because essentially it is a white problem. And it will remain a severe problem until Northern whites, private citizens as well as civic officials, recognize that Negro crime is basically a symptom of a failure in integration, and start attacking discrimination in the North with the same fervor they show in arguing for civil rights in the South.

Unlike the Caucasian immigrant of an earlier day, a Negro can scarcely ever hope, even in the North, that the white society will really accept him on his human merits. Negroes are more prone than whites to break the laws, rules and customs of society because they are excluded from full membership in it. In gross and subtle ways, from unwritten bans on employing Negroes to the faintly patronizing tone that even liberal-hearted whites take toward them, Negroes are made to feel alien and inferior. This pervasive discrimination holds down capable Negroes at the top of the social ladder, dims their voices among their own people, builds up tensions and resentments inside the Negro society, and keeps great masses of Negroes segregated in ghettos where the standards of personal morality, discipline and responsibility are lower than those in the white world outside.

"Slam enough doors in a man's face, and he may break one of them down," said San Francisco's Negro Deputy City Attorney R. J. Reynolds last week. The way to reduce the percentage of Negro crime, he believes, is to stop slamming the doors, or at least, as a start, give the Negro a new hope that maybe the next door won't be slammed. Spreading the message of that new hope, he says, is a responsibility that Negro leaders will be very glad to assume.


The year - 1958

There was:
* No "War on Drugs"
* No "Crack Cocaine" and thus no differentiated sentencing between Crack and Powder
* No "For Profit Prisons" seeking "Brown-skinned bodies" to improve their stock price

Despite these facts - the EXCUSES by those who seek to defend the actions of this criminal class sound eerily similar to what we hear today.

Today with many more Black and certainly Democratic politicians of favor in these same municipal seats things have not changed for the better in far too many instances. One must begin to ask - What is the purpose for the political advocacy that we have been lead to support for the past 35 years IF their placement into power has not changed things? They still chase after the same boogieman as their target. If ever caught or brought under control, the condition of Black folks will change - they say.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

NRA Please Slow Your Roll........Through The Projects



USAToday: NRA sues S.F. to overturn gun ban in public housing

NRA sues S.F. to overturn gun ban in public housing

A day after the Supreme Court struck down Washington's gun ban, the National Rifle Associated sued to overturn a San Francisco law prohibiting firearms in the city's public housing projects. It also plans to file similar lawsuits in Chicago and its suburbs.

The Associated Press reports that an unidentified gay gun owner joined the NRA's lawsuit on Friday, arguing he keeps a weapon to defend himself from "sexual orientation hate crimes."

In April, the California Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that invalidated a broader ban on firearms approved by San Francisco voters in 2005. The measure would have forbidden the possession, manufacture, sale or distribution of any firearms or ammunition in the city.

The NRA led the opposition to that measure, suing the day after it passed.


This is where "conservative" organizations prove that they are tone deaf. Yesterday on the radio I heard someone recount the wedding day advice that he was given with respec to dealing with his wife: "You can be RIGHT or you can be HAPPY".

To be clear with respect to constitutional rights it is not a matter of watering them down so we can have them violated and yet still be happy. At the same time the NRA is about to successfully take the Black thugs who are killing Black people off of the hook per public sentiment via their antics in response to the favorable, and correct in my opinion, US Supreme Court ruling the other day.

In the context of an FBI report that said that there has been a 52% increase in Black male homicide rates BEFORE this ruling was set down by the Supreme Court it is clear to all who care to know the truth who is killing these Black males. The fact that there has not been any public outrage in response shows that it ain't WHITE FOLKS doing it.



The NRA needs to be aware and sensitive of the marketing machine that is present WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Failing to do so "they will win, but they will lose" at the same time.

This marketing machine that is trained upon Black folks as the "Megaphone for the Community" is going to make note of the fact that the NRA is going after gun bans in various cities around the nation and in many cases going after gun bans upon housing projects and attacking them on the grounds of the recent US Supreme Court ruling. TECHNICALLY they are correct. There can be no blanket law denying LAW ABIDING CITIZENS their right to bear arms for their own defense.

Take a step back though. Make note of all of the framing of this issue that has been let out by the propaganda machine. If you what to know their positions - go pick up the recent edition of Ebony Magazine in which the issue of gun violence was focused upon. In summary their logic was "How can you see all of these young Black people getting killed by guns and be for allowing GUNS IN THE COMMUNITY?". Pretty simple hum? Black folks are being killed - we need to remove the agent that delivers death upon them. This is the inanimate object known as the gun. Of course you know if you are a reader of this blog that I believe that this is an irrational position to hold. The HUMAN AGENT who rendered the death penalty should be the focus of their attacks. As you know, however, they have a second and mutually exclusive position that says "there are too many Black men in jail", sorry, in the "Prison Industrial Complex" and they are being profited upon thus to target the agent of death is to insure that these jails receive more visitors. Clearly the GUN is a unifying agent with allows their ideological cocoon to remain in tact.

With the latest blitz by the NRA it doesn't take an analytical genius to note that the marketing machine is going to STRIKE BACK. They are going to say: "Look, you see? The agents who are trying to DESTROY US are seeking to carpet bomb our communities with guns so that the homicide rates that have declined from the rate that they were in the 1970's might return. We must FIGHT THESE OUTSIDERS in order to fight for Black people!!"

The modus operandi of the "racism chaser" is so clear to spot. They promote a "Black people under siege" disposition and then seek to unify Black people behind their march against an external enemy. It's just that simple folks. Don't think that having the long time enemy, the White conservative, distance himself from their immediate domain is going to allow the masses inside to distill the difference between their negative fate as cased by "the White man" versus that which has been maintained by inept leadership of their own. When they are "all by themselves" and still not producing - the marketing messages simply shift to the notions of how STRUCTURAL RACISM which has made them isolated outside of the key components of banking, real estate, trade and manufacturing has thus made it impossible for them to build up the city that they now control politically into an economic powerhouse for the people who they now serve within. This "LEFT BEHIND" milieu is a core component in all that they do.

Now to have the NRA come in from the outside and "fight for THEIR rights to own a weapon" be it their private house or a government owned project only insures that this marketing machine will have the ammunition they need to sculpt the siege mentality and thus keep the voters who were getting tired of the results delivered by the "people of their own choosing" to vote for them once again.

NRA - please listen to me. Slow down!!! I understand that "you are RIGHT" and that we are talking about the US Constitution. I realize that this is your "Guantanamo" and that, like the Civil Rights activists "freedom now" is the only appropriate response to relieving government oppression. At the same time you are only playing into the hands of those on the left who oppose you the most in using these antics.

You should use marketing to your advantage. Develop a series of gun clubs in these areas. Have these clubs populated by Black people. LAW ABIDING CITIZENS that you are seeking to protect. Have them taking gun safety course and thus become the conscious of the community. This one investment would create a fabric of support for your efforts. These Black people who have credibility within the community would be a more effective counterbalance to the marketing machine that is the megaphone into the Black community that rarely sands to account for the results that they have registered.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2nd Amendment Upheld - A Great Day For The US Constitution






Fox News: Supreme Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban, Upholds Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Henry McNeal Turner is no doubt smiling today but his smile can't hide the tears that are flowing down his face for a long time.

During the time of his walk on this earth: (From Functional Culture Blog: Henry McNeal Turner My Favorite AME Bishop Of All Time) the Black community has shifted from the use of a firearm as the a life saving instrument to protect marauding racists from entering our homes and having their way with us without any fear of being held accountable by the law enforcement over to what we have today - a time period where law abiding Black citizens are being hit from two fronts:

* First the thugs who don't give a damn about gun laws are attacking law abiding citizens at gun point as well as killing each other in the world of gang violence and drug dealing

* Second there are inept community leaders and politicians who are attempting to confiscate our 2nd Amendment rights to have firearms to protect ourselves.

The second point must be expounded upon. Today's ruling means that the obvious flaw in their rationalization must be addressed. For years they went after the inanimate object known as THE GUN while grossly failing to note that most gun owners are not committing mass mayhem and killing people with reckless abandon. Instead they advanced the notion that for their Black sons to live - they must be deprived of guns. For them to be deprived of the tool that they CHOOSE to kill each other - society must be stripped of its guns en masse.

The most bogus argument that I have heard over the years goes something like this "You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting guns while so many Black people are being killed by them". This was the rationale put forth in a recent edition of Ebony Magazine that I blogged about. This is a ridiculous set of reasoning and points to the failures in their policy pronouncements.

The bottom line is that some people have made a campaign to go after the guns while not doing anything in particular about the kneegrows who are firing them into the body of another. What type of person would do this on the offense? What type of segment of the society would produce such a person that is so inclined to kill one of his own? How does this system escape their intense scrutiny and correction?

It is high time to start calling out many of these hollow advocacy movements which rely on the tried and true notion that "we are under siege by some external group" and thus the troops need to be rallied. Last year I reported upon the antics seen in Philadelphia where, in response to a record pace of young Black males being killed by guns the community actor-vists convened a march in which they departed West Philly to go 117 miles to the west to Harrisburg PA to demand that the state legislature pass gun control laws that would "Keep guns out the hands of their sons so that they would stop killing each other". When you scrape away the rhetoric - what more do we have than this?

As long as certain operatives are on an external and expansionary trek they will never be held accountable for the views and values that the people who spring from the "cradles that they have rocked".

Where is the call to communicate to these individuals the importance that they play in accomplishing the broad community goals that are so frequently and rhetorically aspired to?

Arbitrariness 2: Sean Puffy Comb's DUMB Comments At The BET Awards

Video




Please note my previous post about how it is difficult to debate someone about facts when so much of what they say and believe is based on arbitrary notions. Thus you can be sure that their favored people will always be the "good guys" and those they don't like will always be runts. Indeed when you control the goal posts - you control the score of the game.

The words spoken by Sean Puffy Combs at this years BET Awards highlight all of these points.

First he opens with the statement "This has been a good year for Black America". Whoa wait right there. Who gave him the authority to speak for "Black America"? Surely my view of life as a working man is very different from a man who can charter a jumbo jet and then have a 48 hour party with all of his friends. No doubt his friend Mary J Blige who recently purchased a $13 million house with cash are having the time of their lives this year. Step outside of this circle and things are not so certain. Clearly Combs put aside the script. In the Black America with George W. Bush as president he was supposed to say "Depression reigns".

Worst than that was his next two points of justification "Hip Hop remains strong" and "Lil Wayne has sold 1 million records". If there anything more than this which is necessary to insure that this man never is allowed to talk into a live microphone again?

We are not going to hear about the recent FBI report which showed a 52% increase in Black male homicide in recent years. We will hear nothing about the problems with graduation rates among Black males in particular.

Nope - this year is about Obama. In the view of Sean Combs and others - "Black America will benefit upon the election of Barack Obama" as we have SHOWN our power!

Keep in mind there needs to be no particular evidence of benefit cast upon the millions of Blacks who live in cities that are already dominated by the members of the very same political machine upon which Obama is riding on. How might someone dare to throw water on this tremendous thrust of HOPE FOR CHANGE?

When control of the key points by which someone is evaluated is up for grabs - you can be sure that they will engineer this consideration most favorably toward their own biases.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rep. Thomas-Morgan: Our Kids Are Killing Each Other So Let's Take Away The Guns


AJC: State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan hopes the programs will "raise the awareness of the issue of violence."

Gun owners are invited to turn in their weapons in exchange for gift cards this weekend in Cobb.

The "Stop The Violence" event will include panel discussions about youth violence, too

The gun buy-back program on Saturday is hosted by Destiny World Church, 7400 Factory Shoals Road in Austell. It will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The church is hosting two workshops for parents and teens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The topic of one session is "Why are our sons and daughters so angry?" The other session will discuss gangs.

There will be a teen forum on Friday at the South Cobb Recreation Center, 875 Six Flags Drive in Austell, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This program is for teenagers only.

State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan hopes the programs will "raise the awareness of the issue of violence."

She worked with several organizations to put together the programs after Joshua Caleb Burroughs was shot and killed on April 16 in Austell. Two teenagers, who police say are gang members, have been charged with his murder.


"There is a gang presence in every school in Cobb, even though we are focusing on south Cobb, which is my district," Morgan said.

Six Flags Over Georgia donated 12 park tickets and $500 toward the buy-back. Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens contributed $1,000 and State Sen. Doug Stoner gave $500. Several businesses also contributed to the effort, Morgan said.

The gift cards will be in $25 and $50 increments.

The discussions "will help people understand that they can play a role," Morgan said.

"We are not going to sit idly by....It will have a positive impact. It is one of the first steps for all of us to send the message: not in my community, not in our community."

Cobb police will be on hand for the events on Friday and Saturday, said Officer Cassie Reece, a department spokeswoman. Evidence technicians will take the functioning guns.

The program is supported by the Cobb Police Department, the Cobb Sheriff's Office and the county's Department of Public Safety.

For more information on the Save Our Youth: Stop the Violence program go to: http://www.alishamorgan.com.


Being that this event is in the South it must be cross referenced against the conversation that I had with an elderly farmer several weeks ago. During his day as a sharecropper the main use of his gun was to shoot and kill some of the abundant brown rabbits that we have around down here as this was his main source of protein in a time not too long since passed.

Sadly as we fast forward to 2008 the lives of the rabbit is threatened by a car tire smashing them flat as they cross the road while the threat of livelihood for Black men has shifted from starvation in an unjust economic system of the past and/or his inability to find a rabbit over to a fellow Black man shooting him dead over some beef that was hardly worth his life being taken.

I am against these GUN CHASING EVENTS. I am for taking illegal guns away from those who have no business carrying one. At the same time you are fooling yourself to believe that peach is going to come simply by removing this current set of guns from the hands of people. First of all they are not likely the ones to turn in their guns IF by not having one they are exposing themselves to great vulnerability. Clearly the focus needs to be on the question of WHY they feel it necessary to KILL ONE OF THEIR OWN.

Unfortunately having the community to inspect itself and understand while these young males who were borne of their molding are turning out with such thoughts is not seen as actually "DOING SOMETHING". Thus by having the gun buy back program politicians can claim that their cache of weapons represents advancement. This is true until the illegal gun dealers resupply their stock.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There Is A Ray Of Hope In Clayton County




This is not a political endorsement.
This is a notation of respect that I have for Virginia Gray who is a long time member of the Clayton County Board. I am not a "100% Hater" when it comes to the place. I am just committed to calling out what needs to be called out. Likewise a shoutout is sometimes justified. I was actually pleasantly surprised that Mrs Gray is actually running for county chair. When I picked up the card I assumed she was just running for reelection. I didn't notice until I scanned the image in and posted it.

I respect the integrity and standards that she has shown over the years. In the run up to the election when Clayton County had tipped to majority Black there was a scheme in which the White DEMOCRATIC members of the board (they all have been Democrats for several decades) attempted to play games with the drawings of the political boundaries for reasons of seat protection - Mrs. Gray refused to go along with the scheme. Despite the racial changes in the county at the time she was the only Black person on the board. Her fellow Democrats cooked up a scheme by which they would carve the county into a pie where the area of Riverdale which is highly concentrated with Black folks would instead be distributed and diluted among all of the other districts which had enough Whites to make it reasonable for them to all keep their seats and keep the "Good Ole Boy Club" going. When she made this whole charade public they all were embarrassed and the districting was done in a more rational manner.

Sadly and ashamedly - time has proven that the people who eventually took over the various seats of power in the county were far too often in office for personal power exercise and failed to do the work of the people. Too many personal fights and factionalism. Through it all I have not heard Mrs Gray's name brought up as being a part of the problem though.

I know that she has a community center named after her in honor to her commitment to the community. Though I don't live in the county - clearly as a neighbor to the county the place needs strong and consistent leadership. I wish her success in her attempts to "change" the county for the better.

Candidate For Sheriff Opens My Eyes To The Crime In My Community



I don't do political endorsements on my blog sites. I have been carpet bombed with political solicitations in my mailbox and by the signage on the side of the roads. Of course upon seeing a Black man running for county sheriff I am going to go out and listen to what the man has to say.

Upon attending his community meeting last night I was impressed with his research on the amount of crime in our community. Fayette County Georgia is known as a well managed county. Our schools are top rated in the state (9 out of 10) and the county commission keeps a tight reign on zoning and are preemptive to prevent the problems that plague neighboring Clayton and Fulton Counties.



I have to admit that I was blown away by the amount of crimes against commercial establishments that is taking place in my area.

* Several churches have had all of their central HVAC units stolen during the night

* Several gas stations that close at night have had smash and grab robberies where they have been cleaned out of their cigarette inventory and other valuable items

* The closing manager at the local Marshall's department store was robbed at gun point by two men who hid in the back during closing

* A county resident (a Black man) was robbed and forcibly made to get into the trunk of his own car by two thugs who were also Black. According to the news that I saw this morning - they were caught


* A crime spree where the glass doors on stores are shattered and the thieves steal all of their flat screen LCD screens. Even the barbershop that I go to had 12 flat screens stolen from them. Let me be clear - a Black man invests tens of thousands of dollars to construct a top notch barbershop to provide quality service to the Black folks in this county. Some of the very people who he "LET INTO HIS HOUSE" were SCOPING OUT HIS "SHIT" as they got their hair cut. In the dark of night - they came back, broke his window and stole his flat screen televisions that are positioned at each barber stand for the comfort of his clientele.

SHOULD I BE DEFENDING THIS BLACK BUSINESS OWNER OR THE BLACK THUGS WHO DID THIS?

Why am I so confident of their race? That's easy - look at the path of stolen cars. They often drive down to the edge of the county, steal a car to drive down to commit their crime and then drop the stolen car off back where they left their get away car. The county will install more cameras that are networked to help them with their event correlation. The evidence will be even more clear after this.

More to the point of this blog: This BLACK CANDIDATE - with decades of service in the Detroit police department was forced to stand in front of a crowd that was evenly divided on race and report on the crimes that MOSTLY BLACK MALES WERE DOING. It does not take a rocket scientist to see. Whenever you hear the words "Riverdale", "Clayton County", "South Fulton County" the reference is obvious.

Here is where I am different though. Instead of ATTACKING THE MESSENGER for pointing out the painful truth - I make note of the tolerance and forbearance that this society of today is expressing while it is under assault.

I REFUSE TO EXTEND "RACIAL PROTECTION" TO FOOLS THAT WOULD JUST AS SOON SLIT MY THROAT AS THEY WOULD SOME OTHER PERSON NOT OF MY RACE.

If there is one fraudulent flaw of the "Civil Rights Industrial Complex" it is that they are SILENT RIGHT NOW as to what is going on. Just let there be an officer involved shooting where one of these subjects is shot or killed.....then they will be vocal.

These same people have already destroyed Clayton County. With so much of that area having been scavenged clean to the bone......now they are moving one county south where the trees are laden with the fruit of opportunity.

Monday, June 23, 2008

HARD TIMES AT DOUGLASS HIGH A No Child Left Behind Report Card


HARD TIMES AT DOUGLASS HIGH A No Child Left Behind Report Card

HBO Documentary


WATCH THE VIDEO TRAILER HERE

The Frederick Douglass High School, a historically black school dating from 1883, was once the school of choice for Baltimore’s middle-class African American families. Today, Douglass serves an inner-city community living in poverty, suffering from low student test scores, a shortage of qualified teachers and a 50% dropout rate. The latest film from Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond, HARD TIMES AT DOUGLASS HIGH A No Child Left Behind Report Card examines the daunting challenges faced by many of America’s urban high schools.

Alan and Susan Raymond spent one year filming in Frederick Douglass High School, which has a rich history of successful alumni including civil rights activist (Brown v. Board of Education) and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Shot in classic cinema vérité style, the film captures the complex realities of life at Douglass, and provides a context for the national debate over the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. The documentary focuses on the brutal inequalities of minority education. Some critics would call this story an American tragedy and possibly the most important issue of social justice in our society.


The Film's Web Site

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Note: I have not yet seen this documentary. I turned off my HBO about 2 years ago since there are so many free entertainment sources available elsewhere. I can only hope that my buddy did indeed record it as he said he would. I will thus watch it later. I am not paying the $85 to rent the flick directly from the distributor. Thus my comments about the movie is from the video clip that I saw from above.

Here are my initial comments.

1) Frederick Douglass would demand that this school remove his name from the edifice if he were alive today seeing the foolishness and slavishness that is going on within

2) The conditions at Douglass High Is Not a RESULT OF No Child Left Behind nor will they be fixed using NCLB alone

3) More than an ACADEMIC problem being the problem in this school in Baltimore is the presence of a LACK OF CONSCIOUSNESS about the students, their parents and the community. Until this is addressed the problems in the school will not subside

The "Nurse Eunice Rivers/Snarling Fox" Award Of June 2008 Goes To A List Of Black Co-Conspirators In The Death Of Black Mother



Let me bottom line the story for you that is in a local courtroom here in Metro Atlanta.

An Indian father was very unhappy that his son had married a Black girl. He asks his son to divorce the Black woman because he wants to keep their genetic bloodline pure Indian. His son refuses to divorce his wife and they have a child together.




The Indian father hires a Black man to find a hit man to kill the Black woman. The Black middle man ends up finding a hit man, ANOTHER BLACK MAN to kill the Black woman for money.

The "Nurse Eunice Rivers/ Snarling Fox" Award is named after Nurse Eunice Rivers who was a Black female nurse who assisted in the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment. She willingly went along with individuals seeking to do active harm to Black people and thus is worthy of permanent shame. All other people who act in such a way thus are worthy of this award.

Sharing the prize this month are:

Willie Fred Evans, 74 - Black Man who conspired to kill a Black mother on behalf of a racist
Herbert Green, 60 - Black Man who conspired to kill a Black mother on behalf of a racist
Carl Clark, 43 - Black Man who conspired to kill a Black mother on behalf of a racist
Cleveland Clark, 49 - Black Man who conspired to kill a Black mother on behalf of a racist. Special acknowledgment needs to go to Cleveland Clark. He was the Black man who stabbed and strangled Sparkle. He is reported to have said that he should have killed the child as well. The 7 month old child who cried as her mother lay dead next to her.

Court Testimony:

A woman testified she watched Cleveland Clark kill 22-year-old Sparkle Rai inside Rai's Union City apartment. Clark said he didn't hurt Rai's daughter, but "he said he should have thrown the (expletive) over the rail" of the balcony, said the witness, now 23.

......

The woman, who broke down in tears when shown pictures of Sparkle's bloody corpse, testified that Clark nearly botched the killing because he tried to strangle Sparkle.

As they were leaving the apartment the seemingly lifeless Sparkle gasped, which caught Clark's attention.

"Cleve was walking out the door with me and (Sparkle) started coming back to life," the witness said. "He went back to the kitchen and got a knife and stabbed her and he was still stabbing her when I left."




The cousin testified Wednesday that her friend took possession of Sparkle's infant daughter, Analla, who had started crying and took the baby fromo the room in an attempt to calm her. Clark wrapped a cord from Sparkle's vacuum cleaner around her neck and started strangling her with it, the cousin said.

"She was gagging and blood started coming out of her mouth," the witness said, noting that Sparkle reached out during her murder.

"In what direction was she reaching?" asked prosecutor Eleanor Ross.

"Her baby," the cousin said


Death Penalty Sought For Former HBCU Professor Charged With Murder

ATLANTA

The death penalty will be sought against a former mathematics professor accused of sending contract killers to murder his 22-year-old daughter-in-law, Fulton County prosecutors said this week.

Prosecutors say Chiman L. Rai, a 67-year-old native of India, paid $10,000 to have four men kill his daughter-in-law. They say Rai disapproved of his son's marriage to Sparkle Rai because she was Black.

In April of 2000, Sparkle Michelle Rai was found strangled and stabbed to death inside the Union City, Ga., apartment she shared with her husband, Rick Rai. Their 7-month-old daughter, Alana, was found unharmed inside the home. A tip to police in 2004 reopened the case, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Chiman Rai brought his family to Jackson, Miss. in 1970 and taught math at historically Black Alcorn State University. He left teaching after a decade to open a supermarket, and later moved to Louisville, Ky., where he opened a hotel.

Rai was ordered by Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane to remain jailed after prosecutors successfully argued he might try to leave the area or the country. The four alleged hit men are scheduled to appear at the Fulton County courthouse at the end of the month.

The four men charged along with Chiman Rai are Willie Fred Evans, 74; Herbert Green, 60; Cleveland Clark, 49; and Carl Clark, 43. The latter two were both serving time in a Mississippi prison for armed robbery when they were charged. Evans and Green are both of Louisville, Ky.

The men are charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, possession of a firearm and knife during the commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit a crime.

According to news report, Rick Rai eventually married an Indian woman, but never told his new wife about the murder of Sparkle Rai or about Alana.



THIS IS WHY I SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTY!!!!

Who Were These Black People That Are Represented By These Urban Memorials?





As I drove on Boulevard through the "Old Forth Ward" section of Atlanta today on my way to the bookstore I noticed something that made me turn around and pull out my camera to permanently document what I had seen. In a 3 block section from Ralph McGill Blvd to North Ave I counted FOUR memorials on one the side of the road that paid tribute to someone being killed in that spot.









All of these memorials are in 4 distinct spots along Boulevard ("Boulevard" is the complete name of the street). If I, a casual observer, driving through the area was able to make note of such an exceptional concentration of "corpses" and thus make note of the pattern.......who with the authority to do something about this is failing to do their job in keeping these streets safe for the residents who live within? If these 4 markers on this one side of the street are visible - how many more murders have happened just off of this main thoroughfare and/or inside of these dwellings that don't catch the eye of those who pass by on the main road?

I do not know how long each of these memorials have been posted in these specific spots but each of them seemed reasonably recent per the condition of the stuffed animals.
I do not know the circumstances which lead to the deaths of these 4 souls. Judging from the neighborhood - homicide by gun violence is an easy guess.

With all of these sites being in such close proximity why hasn't there been more outrage by those who always claim to be working to protect the best interests of these people? The offices of the "Southern Christian Leadership Council" and the "Martin Luther King Jr Center For Non-Violent Change" are literally 3 or 4 blocks south on Boulevard. What about these 4 murders (at least 4) in this concentrated area has them and others who are in the business of fighting for justice so silent on this "killing field"?

This area of the "Old Fourth Ward" is right near the "Atlanta Medical Center" (formerly Georgia Baptist Hospital). This is a high density poor area. I saw plenty of Black people standing on the corners and sitting on the steps of their apartment complexes "shooting the breeze" today. Most of the men wore the standard uniform - sagging pants with a long t-shirt or sports jersey covering them up.
There seems to be little hope in this community. The prospects for change in this community seem equally bleak.

What is interesting though is that I recently had a debate with a person who was outraged regarding the treatment of Blacks in Mississippi by White folks. He told of how Blacks were murdered, Blacks were exploited and Blacks were terrorized. These conditions were cause for a civil rights/ civil justice movement focused on that specific area. How is that which is going on within the "Old Fourth Ward" section of Atlanta - and believe me EVERY large city has their 'Old Fourth Ward' - be considered so radically differently than what has gone on in the Mississippi Delta region from a pure humanity standpoint? (This means understanding that slavery, Jim Crow and Sharecropping are at the SYSTEMATIC LEVEL yet hatred, the will to kill another and vengeance are at play in both sets of circumstances, yet the superior positioning of the crimes by the White man over crimes by other Black people against Black people are held up as more damaging despite the common end result.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Clayton County Watch - School Board Candidates Still Walking In The Weeds



AJC: Clayton County Schools Forum - School board hopefuls take aim at superintendent

I truly believe that the condition that too many of us that has us "Speaking Truth To Power" causes these type of sessions in which they focus on the wrong thing. This turned out to be a bitch session about the new superintendent of the schools - his salary, his choice to not hand out diplomas which had a printing error.

These are the future leaders of the county's schools on stage. Was there any VISION displayed attesting to the fact that they "GET IT" with respect to the problems that are facing the district and the community? This same type of griping rather than LEADERSHIP is the very same type of attribute which landed the prior series of school boards and superintendents to drive the place where they stand today - on the verge of losing their accreditation.

Let's be honest folks - frequently a position on the school board (or the state house of representatives) is often used as a stepping stone for someone who has greater political aspirations. As I heard on an audio report last year - too often these individuals go from a job in which they were making $42,000 per year as an individual contributor up to a position on the school board in which they are managing a $50,000 or more budget. Too many of these people are NOT QUALIFIED to do so and when you get too many people without adequate executive leadership - collapse is bound to happen.

Don't get me wrong - there is a need for a few "educational activist" on a school board with 9 people. I see value in certain 'muckrakers' who's job it is to weed out fraud and corruption and malfeasance. You simply can't have an entire board with this spirit though. There needs to be a "finance guy" who manages by the numbers. A "policy wonk" who knows state and federal education policy and speaks in these terms. I am not attempting to paint a generic negative picture of every single candidate running for the school district of Clayton County. I have read the local paper for the county and noted that there are some experienced educators who would make for great additions to the board. These people need to be in the majority on the board to keep these others who have a combative spirit in check.

Plain and simply - the schools in Clayton County Georgia will only be fixed if the situation is MANAGED in a deliberate way. No amount of "Speaking Truth To Power" among the various factions on the school board is going to change this condition.

If the voters get it wrong in July - they are going to be stripped of their accreditation in August/September.

The Rich Get Richer.....But Don't Get Attacked If They Are Liberal Entertainers


Article: Mary J. Blige pays $12M for N.J. mansion

Please note the operative word in the story: C.A.S.H.

It's a castle fit for the Queen of Hip Hop.

Grammy winner Mary J. Blige plunked down $12.3 million in cash for a Saddle River, N.J., mansion, the Daily News has learned.

"She fell in love with this one," a source said of Blige, who checked out several houses in the swanky area before settling on the 18,250-square-foot dream pad.

Thanks to the sagging housing market, the 37-year-old best-selling singer got a relative bargain.

The house originally went on the market last year for $17 million and was reduced this year to $13.9 million, the source said.

Blige, who has sold more than 40 million records, will have plenty of hip-hop stars, rappers, movie stars and pro athletes as neighbors.

Rappers Ja Rule, Wyclef Jean and the Rev. Run of Run-DMC live nearby.

Other boldface names calling Saddle River home include Nets' hoop star Vince Carter, actor Danny Aiello and novelist Mary Higgins Clark.

Blige's newly constructed eight-bedroom house - built on 4.2 acres and modeled after a French country manor - features a 14-seat movie theater, a fitness center, a hardwood basketball court and an elevator.

It also has a gourmet kitchen, eight bathrooms, a spiral staircase and a wine tasting room.

Real Estate broker Dennis McCormack, who sold the property, denied knowing who bought it.

McCormack's competitors said the sale to Blige was the talk of the tony town.

"Everybody knows Mary J. Blige bought the house," the source said. "He [McCormack] may have signed a confidentiality agreement, but the buzz was out the minute she and her husband saw the house."

Blige and her husband, record-industry executive Kendu Isaacs, are not expected to move in anytime soon.

She is in the middle of her 25-arena Heart of the City tour with Jay-Z. Tonight she plays the Nassau Coliseum and tomorrow she's at the Izod Center.

Sources said the couple plans to personalize the landscaping, boost security and possibly revamp a few garages to accommodate her tour bus.

"It's nice to know Mary J. Blige is moving to the area," said resident Sandy Miller, who was at the local post office Wednesday. "Everyone here is private, secluded and respects each other's space."

An Optimum cable worker visiting the house Wednesday was surprised - and excited - to learn the name of the new owner.

"That's hot," he said.



Do some of you feel kinda used?
You have been trained to go after the corporate CEO who makes several million dollars but who employs thousands of people in the process.

Then you go and spend $75 per ticket to see Mary J or Beyonce shake their stuff on stage. You don't have a RIGHT to be mad at anyone. You took the money out of your pockets and contributed to her housing fund and so many other entertainers who are not included in your angst about "the rich getting richer".

Despite that I still think that Mary J. Blige is fine as all get out.

SCLC's Charles Steele - Second Dumb Comment In One Month Award



SCLC head: Michelle Obama treated more roughly than her husband, because of her slave heritage

Saturday, June 21, 2008, 03:37 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Savannah — Michelle Obama has been the recipient of rougher treatment than her husband for a reason, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said Saturday.

One has ancestors who were slaves and the other doesn’t, said Charles Steele Jr., president and CEO of the decades-old, Atlanta-based civil rights group.

Barack Obama is “of the system. He’s going to be in the system,” Steele told a morning gathering of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.

“Why are they attacking Michelle Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and not really attacking, to that degree, her husband?” Steele asked. “Because he has no slave blood in him. He does not have any slave blood in him, but Michelle does.

“This system is an issue. I don’t care what you say. You can’t expect the system that enslaved you save you,” Steele said.

Steele admitted to the crowd that his remarks about the Obamas were intended to be provocative, but afterwards declined to expand upon them.

The SCLC said his larger point was that — even should Obama win the presidency in November, the problems faced African-Americans will still require an outside voice.

Morris Brown College Hosts Black Greek Picnic



AJC: Fraternaties and Sororities gather for Greek Weekend

The Morris Brown campus was full of enthusiasm Saturday as thousands from around the country celebrated the 2008 Atlanta Greek Picnic, the focal event as part of Atlanta's Greek Weekend.

The event brought in 10,000 members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the organization that houses the African-American sororities and fraternities known as the Divine Nine, said Tiwa Works, the event's president and marketing director.


Darn I am old. I did not hear a single bit of news about this event on the front end. I am happy for the 10,000 people who showed up to celebrate.

Of course, you know me, I have critical commentary about the venue which hosted this event. MORRIS BROWN COLLEGE IS FUNCTIONALLY CLOSED. Yes technically they have a skeleton body of students and faculty but for all intents and purposes - the school is closed.

Please reserve this spot right here for two pictures. I took them last week as I passed through the campus trying to avoid a traffic jam.

First is the symbolic picture of the John H. Lewis dormitories which used to be teaming with students which are now closed. This picture along with the grass growing through the cracks of the side walk indicating that there were no students around to trample it.

The second picture is a picture of the array of campaign signs that adorned the campaign headquarters for John Lewis. Interestingly enough it is housed in a building that was recently constructed and which served as the book store for the Carver Bible College. As with Morris Brown University - it is no more.

And for your information YES I did donate to Morris Brown College when they had their campaign to eliminate their $25 million debt with the hopes of reopening the school. In fact I attended the big kick off rally for the fund raising efforts in the school gym. All of this and I am not even an alumni of the school nor did I go to an HBCU.

It is nice to have parties and picnics. Stepshows and good times - yes.
At the end of the day, however, we need to take care of business more in our community. Morris Brown College was the "college of last resort" for many people who did not have the funds or the grades (in many cases) to attend the other schools in the Atlanta University Center. Now it is gone. This translates into roughly 700 Black students year after year who will need to find another academic venue to provide them with training for the changing world.

Morris Brown College needs to be reopened to put its facilities back into productive use.

Black Democrats Meeting In GA Does Not Prioritize Problems With Black Males On Their List


AJC: Political hopefuls court black elected officials
'People are very excited': Iraq, economy and Obama prime topics at meeting.


Let me start off by clarifying my agenda. This is a report about a state meeting of Black elected officials in Georgia. By definition - this is a meeting of DEMOCRATS per the loyalties that most Blacks have to the Democratic party.

Of course I have no control over the agenda or topics of discussion as set by the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials. Instead I do as I do in person when I listen into a conversation in person - allow the individuals to take the conversation on the course that they naturally would absent my interjection of my beliefs. I believe that this news paper article is a representation of the priorities in the minds of Georgia Democrats and the 100% Democratic GABEO.

With them having registered their list of priorities I believe that it is fair game for me to review this list and map it against what I believe to be the common goals of the Black community:

*Safe Streets and Strong Community Relationships
*Quality Education To Train Our People To Add Value To The Community
*Strong Economy To Allow Goods And Services To Be Sold and Purchased Within our Community
* Healthy Lifestyles To Afford A Long, Disease and Pain Free Life As Possible


This is not a surprise attack on the GABEO. This is the execution of my knowledge that IF THEY ARE ALLOWED TO SET THE AGENDA for their discussions absent any broader and compelling framework......the as Democrats will assure that the Democrats win and the Black community's victory .....no so certain.

Here are their priorities as listed:
The war in Iraq, a moribund U.S. economy and the high cost of gasoline were the chief topics of conversation.


"I can remember being on common ground with many of you in this room," he said. "The Bush administration is destroying this country, moving us in the wrong direction."


Some of the most pointed remarks were made by the SCLC's Steele. He said that Michelle Obama has had rougher treatment than her husband because she has ancestors who were slaves, and Barack Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, does not.

"Why are they attacking Michelle Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and not really attacking, to that degree, her husband?" Steele asked. "Because he has no slave blood in him. He does not have any slave blood in him, but Michelle does."

Steele admitted to the crowd that his remarks about the Obamas were intended to be provocative, but afterward he declined to expand upon them.

He said his larger point was that even if Obama wins the presidency in November, the problems facing African-Americans will still require an outside voice.


In the state of Georgia the list of things that are impacting Black communities varies greatly from this list as forwarded by the GABEO.

Nowhere on their list is:

* Crime in the community - as many communities are being overrun with crime
* Education - too many schools are failing to live up to the promise of quality education. The fiasco in Clayton County where 54,000 Children, the vast majority of them BLACK stand to lose their accreditation

I acknowledge their listing of the Economy as a major problem for many people. Unfortunately they are doing a "Blame Bush" rather than being able to detail any specific cause of the problem and certainly no solutions. Again - a recent newspaper report showed that Clayton County GA had a 10.x delinquency rate for their mortgage loans. The other counties had 1.5 through 4.5 (from my memory). This despite the fact that Clayton's average mortgage balance was $115,000 while the other counties were upwards of $200,000.

This is where the GABEO and other organizations fail. They are quasi-civil rights organizations. If there is no low hanging fruit of blame regarding RACISM they are rendered ineffective. The best that they can do in return is to make the case that in receiving certain sub-optimal results within these communities the people's RIGHTS were not protected or that there is some structural misalignment which has a legacy in slavery and Jim Crow which allowed all of this to happen.

Sadly for Clayton County, a majority Black county - upon looking at the number a CASE FOR "red lining" can be made. Any bank loan portfolio manager seeking to keep his job would be charged with malfeasance for looking past the bleak numbers and attempting to be politically correct despite the clear geographic correlation between concentrations of poverty/low wages and the resulting high rates of delinquency. Even Dekalb County where the majority of the racial battles over mortgages have occurred in the 20 years that I have been watching them pan out - their numbers were on the high end of the cluster of other counties that are in good shape. Clayton was the clear outlier with a rate that was off the charts.

I keep wondering when the Black community, my community will tire of the antics used by the various people in the GABEO and SCLC and other operatives. All the while important issues are left to dangle while their power and their party's power in Georgia - certainly in the Black communities solidifies - they are able to make use of certain tried and true racial queues to insure that their antics are reported on the news.

They should not be reported on for their off the wall racialist antics.
They should be called out for their IRRELEVANCE in addressing the key problems that face our Black communities. Crime and mediocre academic environments of which the students, the parents and the schools systems are contributors to seems to have a degraded amount of conversation because - as the authors of the script - they know that no one is keeping them in check for promoting that which is in the community's interests to solve.

Again it is not for me to attack the GABEO. It is entirely legitimate for me to develop a MEASURING STICK which has fidelity and then to hold them up against it, making note that they fall way short as to the standard of what we need today.

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE:
In various debates several of my ideological adversaries have called me out for "building a straw man argument" (painting a certain picture of the offending entity) and then arguing against that which I have constructed about them.

I reject this. I ask that you make measure of the list of "Black Best Interests" and then tell me which elements on this list is not legitimate because THIS IS what I am "straw manning" them up to. I am attempting to be objective and thus there is a need for a set of standards that we can all agree on.

In truth some of my detractors are not interested at all in taking objective measure as to the ultimate effectiveness of these Black, mostly Democratic operatives that hover at the core of our racial consciousness. As long as the ideology that they represent and the party that they are housed in continue to strengthen in power - this list (and me) can go take a hike.

As for me - I can't understand the consequence of measuring that which is endeared to you up to a standard reference. Just as the statement "Permanent Interests, Not Permanent Friends" is used to detail Black folk's relations to external power sources - it is clear to me that the Black community needs to make such a distinction between the community's interests and that which any slick haired Black politician is promoting as a benefit to the community at large. He is promoting a METHODOLOGY for achieving these goals and interests. Certainly it is incumbent upon the community to vet these methods as being effective. Failing to do so - they operate on notions of POPULARITY instead.

In my view a significant portion of that which is called RACISM in 2008 actually has its roots in FAILED METHODOLOGY which produces sub-optimal outcomes. The cry of RACISM serves as a popular catch-all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Republican Under Every Rock



Some of you Black Democrats are pathetic. I love all of the new tools that we have as a society for exchange of information and debates. As I engage different sets of Black people the story is nearly always the same:

When I begin to challenge them, making note that despite the growth in POWER of the Democrats over our local government operations, our communities still have not received the benefits that we were promised. In expanding my argument into a circle of friends that I had never practiced political dialogue with - the chapter brothers in my fraternity - the 'same ole same' was thrown back up in redirection. I can't tell you all have much I appreciate debating on other fronts. It shows me the pattern of thoughts (and excuses) that are present among our people. In hearing it all before it allows my responses to be more compelling for people who have not had their thoughts on the subject stiffly and comprehensively challenged.

So was the case as we debated the state of affairs in Philadelphia. The entire dialogue started out last week when one brother who has always been a "Anti-Conservative/Anti-Republican enforcer among our group sent pictures out of the 'new first family' and then made a smart remark about a 'Republican' in our group. (another brother). I asked this brother if I needed to be a Republican to make note that there are major problems within many Black communities and despite being dominated by Democrats --- the problems still exist and in some cases have gotten worse. This is all some folks needed to hear.

I got a print out of why Bush should be impeached. There were several "Amens" sent in response to Dennis K's list.

The most interesting post, however, came from the brother attempting to put the fate of the 85% Democratic city of Philadelphia squarely in the hands of the Republicans. He stated that the new mayor - Black and Democrat - Nutter was "more favorable to the Republicans for his policies and thus they supported him." I rejected this as foolishness, telling him that he is only displaying his bias toward liberal candidates. Nutter is still a Black Democrat and thus a member of his party, not a Republican.

Then he made the case that the Casey Administration, a Democratic one, conspired with the Republicans in the state to gut the financing of the school system in Philadelphia. They used No Child Left Behind to undermine the local control of the schools and then allowed charter schools as a means of stripping money from the regular public schools. He said that I was "ignorant" of what is going on in the state since I don't live there while he was at the table listening in because he is a campaign manager and then later a government employee.

This litany would have been enough to "shut up" most other critics. The only problem is that IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. It is also a common practice that I have heard time and time before. The trick is that they refract the abundant growth in power of the Democrats and the expected ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RESULTS that should come with such control with the notion of the Republican under every rock who stood in the way of the Democrats and who worked against the best interests of Black people. I have to admit - it is a very effective strategy among "Black Democrats" as all it does is play upon their own biases. They want their party to win anyway so by detailing the conspiracy by the Republicans because 'he was at the table' only provides the thread thin justification that the Democrats don't yet have enough power - even in Philadelphia where 4 out of 5 voters is a Democrat.

So here is where we are at:

* The Democratic officials - mayor and governor - were pressured to join in with the Republicans to work against the interests of the city and of Black people in general. As I study this allegation I figure that this is nothing more than the principle of what sounds good in theory on the campaign trail where you are not bound by the responsibility of being in the seat changes when you are in the seat of power and logistics bind you to a more pragmatic set of solutions. I suspect that Mr. Obama, if elected, will have a major set of realities confronting him. Al Queda does not operate to the script of the American campaign trail. Thus, back to my frat brother - his observations only tell of his affinity toward radicalism over pragmatism

* The city of Philadelphia, a chartered city, should not be expected to be self-sufficient in any way. The state and the federal government needs to provide all of the resources that are necessary to allow the city to provide these services to the people. This is a basic perversion of the basic reason why cities are chartered in the first place. Every city in America was originally an "unincorporated" land mass. Over time a collection of people, businesses and associations, realizing that they can provide more value to their community by synergizing into a city has petitioned their state to receive a charter. One essential element of this entire concept that we all have strayed away from is the notion of the self-sufficiency of the chartered city. The unincorporated area used to receive all of their municipal services from the county in which it resides. Upon receiving a charter this independent entity is charged with providing these services. Often the city's formation was an attempt to retain taxes paid more locally and not have it disbursed to people all over the county and thus they receive the procured services back in a diluted manner. Today our mindset is that the state and federal governments should be there to pay any bill for basic government operations that the local city is not able to afford. Don't get me wrong - I am for federal funds for highways that pass through cities and for major infrastructure like airports. They are arguing, however, that more basic services should be paid by the federal government. It must be noted that this is in the spirit of income redistribution and to mask certain wealth and tax digest destroying policies such as "Anti-Gentrification" policies. At the end of the day what we have is a group of people who wish to be abstracted from the ultimate consequences of their policies. The best way to abstract consequences from economic choices is to "RIGHT-ify" these elements so that the federal government pays them in pursuit of the citizen's right to access these resources.

* Good ole, reliable "No Child Left Behind"!!! Aside from the Iraq War spending I know of no other whipping boy that has been used by certain people to justify their own claims of "woulda coulda shoulda". For a federal program that was at the same time - "Underfunded" as it is "Not Comprehensive Enough" - it has been used as a key component in leftist attacks despite the dismissiveness applied to it. Jonathan Kozol would be proud of my frat brother. This one program is a cruel trick by George W. Bush to destroy the public school system. Despite the fact that the federal government has paid between 7 and 9% of the public school budget - this one program has had the power to turn an otherwise good school system into a wasteland......if you allow them to tell it that is. I apply my new conspiracy theory evaluation upon hearing such an attack. Since NCLB is a purposeful attack - what were our schools like prior to NCLB? Philadelphia schools were on a downward skid for a long period of time, surely prior to 2001 when evil Bush got into office. None of this matters though. NCLB has become shorthand in the minds of some and upon hearing the word they "understand" and join in.

* Closely related to NCLB is the debate over Charter schools. This brother assailed the state for agreeing to fund charter schools. They take money away from the mainline public schools he said. It is a deliberate attempt to cripple these schools. I fired back that I have first hand experience in seeing and then doing research of a charter school near my parents house in the city. I let my frat brother know that these charter schools are often founded by BLACK PARENTS who are TIRED OF WAITING for the government operated schools to get their act together. How dare he attempt to thwart there efforts at insuring that the one chance their own children have toward receiving a K through 12 education are making major sacrifices to insure that their kids are not victims and placed into the cycle of failure. It is clear that my frat brother cared about the SCHOOL SYSTEM more than he thought about the STUDENTS within them. This might not be a deliberate intention but surely this is the functional result. "No you can't exit your failing school and pursue your own interests of a quality education. Just wait while we fight on your behalf and then the schools will be fixed to your liking." Indeed when the ocean reaches the boiling point - everything will be set. If their children are 42 years old when this finally happens, this is of no consequence.

If some of you have not HEARD ME before you had better listen. The various techniques as seen from my frat brother are the very tactics used to undercut any INSPECTION and MANAGEMENT of what the political operatives who CLAIM to be working in your best interests are doing. These people are POLITICIANS. What better position to be in when you are given an expanding base of power and you get to BLAME THE OTHER GUY for all of your problems? In fact by having such a mental framework cast upon the people - the harder they try to ESCAPE from the clutches of 'the Republican under every rock' the more they are going to 'put more money into the collection plate' as they TRY HARDER to break free from this grasp. I realize that many of you are biased in favor of the Democrats. I have no problem with this on its face. It is just SHAMEFUL how you have tucked away your own BEST INTERESTS in pursuit of your biases.

Let me be clear - if the city of Philadelphia and elsewhere were running like a well oiled engine - good schools, safe streets, jobs for our people - I would be effectively MUTED. In fact - I would be a Democrat along with you. I would have the biggest pompoms as I lead the cheer. Unfortunately - the REVERSE IS TRUE. The more victories that you have, the more displaced the 'adversary' of yours is but sadly no more evidence of benefit is seen in support of the common goals that we all share.

One is then lead to ask - WHAT ARE YOUR REAL OBJECTIVES if you are not receiving them but you KEEP TRYING HARDER?

I realize that it is not popular for a person to accept that he is in a "sold out condition". This indeed is a slanderous label. As you step back and make measure of your actions - what other label is more appropriate?

If anything you had better find your voice against those who CLAIM to be working in your best interests. Your silence is your complicty.

Oh yeah - that was another point my frat brother made. He stated that it is critically important that the Black vote remain unified. A fractured Black vote is diluted. I told him that I strongly disagreed with him. The call for UNITY is also the call for SILENCE. Don't criticize the status quo within our community because in doing so the UNITY might be fractured. I told him that we need to UNIFY behind the acquisition of our common goals and that the METHODOLOGY - which is our respective ideologies and party membership should be subject to there being PROOF that they are indeed advancing us toward our common goals. They CANNOT be pursuits in and of themselves. You just might get the circular reference that you have set out upon as we have today - More Democrats than ever before as the Republicans have been chased out of our midst YET more "chasing" after Republicans despite the power that has been amassed by the Democrats.

The Black community is the only force that can change this around and push the DEMOCRATIC (and Republican) operatives out from our collective body and out to the periphery of our consciousness where these forces belong.

Friday, June 20, 2008

SCLC Protests Gas Prices - Can Someone Say "Irrelevant"?



The old saying - "When you are an expert with the hammer - everything looks like a nail" has never been more true with respect to this group of old Civil Rights battle axes. The sight of many of them hobbling down Ralph D Abernathy Drive, some with arthritic knees shows how out of touch they are with respect to effective solutions. Not surprisingly their solution was to hold a protest, a protest against the oil companies and also to demand that the government step in and act as a financial intermediary, providing "Gas Stamps" for people who can't afford the purchase price of fuel.

We will never hear this group of Civil Rights leaders address this from a scientific approach where they create "minority scholarships" that send promising Black engineering students to grad school so that they can acquire the knowledge to advance the transition from gasoline to hydrogen based fuel sources.

AJC Article: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is taking its own steps to address today's soaring gasoline prices — a national boycott of the nation's five largest oil companies.


The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is taking its own steps to address today's soaring gasoline prices — a national boycott of the nation's five largest oil companies.

The boycott that began in May targeting Exxon Mobil Corp. has turned its attention for the next 30 days to Shell Oil Corp. Next up will be BP, Chevron Corp., and ConocoPhillips Co. during the coming months, as the boycott runs into mid-October.

SCLC hopes to pressure oil companies to forgo multi-billion dollar profits in favor of lowering prices.

Officials with the Atlanta-based organization consider record gas prices a human and civil rights issue that threatens to further divide the nation's haves and have-nots.


The Rev. Charles Steele, SCLC president, said it boils down to "greed."

"We understand the free market system," Steele said Monday. "We're saying it's a difference between making a profit and greed."


SCLC also is considering asking U.S. workers to voice their concern by staying off their jobs July 1-2.

Other boycott partners are Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta, the AFL-CIO, the Nation of Islam, Ghandi Foundation and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.

Baltimore Mayor's Home Raided In A Corruption Scandal Investigation



Story: Some see cloud over City Hall
Though mayor has not been charged, pundits say scandals have harmed other cities' images


I cannot say that I know the details of Sheila Dixon's character and I must admit that this is the first that I have heard about the Union Technologies scandal in Baltimore. I would suggest that Ms. Dixon do as many Black mayors before her have done - wage a PR campaign. Make the case that the investigation of her is a part of the pattern to attack Black Democratic mayors and people in power across the nation. This would fortify her support among the Black Democratic loyalist within the city. This would set the stage for a "jury nullification" defense in the event that this ever goes to trial. Again - I am not alleging Ms. Dixon's guilt because I don't know all of the circumstances.

I do know that such a strategy worked for Mayor Bill Campbell in Atlanta. He was actually found not guilty by a jury. Their claims the evidence was inconsistent because the prosecutor stated that he was on a business trip on June 10th when it was really June 9th. Thus it was clear that the jury was skeptical per the seeds planted by Campbell all along. In the federal court system the judge is able to overrule the jury when the evidence is compelling to do so. In this case - the judge having heard the very same evidence as the jury believed that a bit of jury nullification had indeed transpired and he in fact found Campbell guilty. Campbell still had a bit to hold onto - publicly stating that a "jury of his peers had found him innocent". He still has not expressed any contrition for his circumstances.

The Democrats of Baltimore and other cities have little to worry about. Their party will not take a hit in any way. Corruption charges is not enough to dislodge their party from their dominant position over any of the major metro areas around the nation. One corrupt Democrat will simply be replaced by another Democrat. That one person will be seen as the problem. Just last week Democrat Ron Sailor Jr admitted guilt in receiving money that he assumed to be from drug proceeds during a sting operation. There were 5 Democrats vying to take his seat in this district in Dekalb and Rockdale County Georgia.

You have got to give respect to the Democratic Party. (and I mean this seriously). They have rendered a state of "Voter Nullification" among the Black community and among people living in large metropolitan areas. The parties are no longer in play in these areas. Instead what is seen as is shown frequently in Philadelphia and NYC and as is most recently the case in Clayton County GA is that Democratic factionalism begins to appear where partisanship across party lines used to be. The only problem - as one noted radio talkshow host mentioned about Philadelphia is that "intra-party" battles do not translate into the same checks and balances, "keeping them honest" type results as is found in partisanship because in the end - the party mates STILL seek to keep their party in power in the end. This particular talk show host - certainly with no conservative credentials - pleaded out loud for the Republican Party of Philadelphia to come back to life for the sake of regaining this check and balance type function within the city.

Worst of all is the fact that despite the power that the Democrats can claim - the communities that loyally support them have not received the promised benefit. If you notice in the story above the article states:

"The city, in spite of a bad economy, seems to be moving forward," said Matthew Crenson, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. "Things look pretty good, but (an indictment) could make them look pretty bad."


As with the Al Gore statements about Michigan - a Bad economy under the administration of a Democrat only means that they are still fighting for the little guy to turn things around - give him more time to work on your behalf. A bad economy under a Republican means that their policies have failed and they need to be replaced by a Democrat.

At minimum we can all agree - the people of Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago and LA have all gotten what they have asked for.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Blue Jean Bandits" In Metro Atlanta - Insuring That Black Owned Businesses Eventaully Are Bankrupted


Video Broadcast Of Story

AJC Article: Coordinated Effort To Rob Small Clothing Boutiques

If it is not the slowing economy and the resulting lower sales that will insure that these small shops will close their doors and dash the dreams of independent ownership for their proprietors - a gang of thugs seeking to rob them while they sleep are attempting to turn their dreams into a nightmare.

Atlanta boutiques struggle to weather crime wave
Security, insurance rates add to cost of merchandise lost to 'blue jean bandits'

Atlanta clothing boutique owner Karin Keeling is in survival mode. But it's not because of the rough economy.

Thieves have broken into Keeling's trendy Buckhead shop, Market, twice in the past year, hauling off more than $21,000 worth of high-end jeans and other merchandise.

After Keeling's insurance company dropped her, she had to scramble to find another provider — at $4,000 a year, four times the cost of her old plan.

She recently spent about $14,000 on new security measures, including custom-made metal gates and a panic button system that she can activate to alert police to crimes in progress.

Keeling said the rising expenses, lost revenue and overall uncertainty have taken their toll, threatening her 6-year-old business.

"If I have another break-in, I'll have to close down. I just can't do it anymore," she said. "You follow your dream, you're so proud of yourself, and someone just comes in and takes it from you."

Boutique owners across metro Atlanta are reeling from a crime wave that has seen dozens of stores hit by bands of thieves targeting designer jeans that retail for $200 and up a pair.

Atlanta police have worked 25 cases this year alone, netting 14 arrests, and have formed a "blue jean bandit" task force to combat the crimes. But the break-ins continue.

Last week, a group of thieves were caught trying to break into a Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawson County.

The week before, two boutiques were hit within an hour of each other, first in Buckhead and then in downtown Decatur, in daring and violent daytime robberies. In both cases, groups of young men pepper-sprayed and beat store clerks before clearing shelves of jeans.

The list of victims is a virtual who's who of Atlanta's hip, outside-the-mall fashion scene. Names include: Bill Hallman in Virginia-Highland; Kaleidoscope in Decatur; BluPrint in Little Five Points and Glenwood Park; and Pieces of Adrene in East Atlanta and a sister store, Adrene Boutiques in Castleberry Hill.

Some stores have been hit multiple times.

"I've never seen anything like this. It's crazy," said Bill Hallman, who has owned boutiques for 18 years and now runs a mini-empire that includes two shops in Virginia Highland and another in Little Five Points. "I have friends with stores in other cities, and I'm asking what's happening in Chicago, Miami, L.A. I'm not hearing any of this."

Tough for small businesses to recover

Most Atlanta boutiques are small businesses owned by individuals who often take out loans and drain their savings to open up and purchase merchandise. Few have the deep pockets needed to weather a sustained crime wave.

Even one robbery can quickly cause financial problems. Although insurance may reimburse store owners for the cost of stolen merchandise, rates sometimes rise, and it can take months for insurance companies to investigate claims and cut checks.

Meanwhile, shelves cleared by thieves sit empty. The specialty clothing items stocked by boutiques can be difficult to replace. Designer jeans makers such as True Religion and Rock & Republic require special orders, and sometimes the most popular styles are out of stock.

And many owners are spending their own money to boost security. Hallman has installed security gates and hired guards at $25 an hour to patrol his stores. At Adrene Boutique, shoppers must be buzzed into the store.

The threat to Atlanta's boutiques comes at a time when there is a demand for them. Trendy neighborhoods, from established places like Buckhead and Virgina-Highland to relative newcomers like Castleberry Hill and East Atlanta, seek independent clothing stores to add to the shopping mix.

Kaleidoscope, a funky boutique in resurgent downtown Decatur, was robbed by pepper-spray-wielding bandits the day before a planned seventh anniversary celebration.

Store owner Camille Wright figures the thieves got away with $10,000 worth of men's jeans, a big blow considering Father's Day was just two weeks away.

"To have somebody come in and just take it, it's just a complete violation," she said.

"Every person I know who owns a boutique is someone who's working hard and struggling to make it in a bad economy. So to have this happen just adds insult to injury."

Adrene Boutique was robbed in early June, just two months after the store opened in Castleberry Hill. At a time when owner Adrene Ashford had hoped to be impressing new customers, many of her shelves sit half-empty.

Ashford, who has owned Pieces of Adrene in East Atlanta for seven years, is angry. "This is a company I built on my own," she said. "This is my life; this is my livelihood.

"It's a bad economy. There are so many financial issues that we as individual business owners have to deal with, let alone someone stealing from you and jeopardizing your safety. You have to sit down and analyze it. Is it worth it?"

Ashford said she's not ready to give in just yet.

"I'm not going to be run off easy. I love what I do," she said. "I might have to change the way that I do the business. There are other options. I'm not a quitter. You have to adjust."

Clayton County Georgia Watch - The Arrogance Of Power


Here is a flier that I picked up at a fish joint in Clayton County yesterday

VOTERS OF CLAYTON COUNTY

We have reached a crucial time in Clayton County! Never before have we faced an election with more dire consequences than we face July 15.

It is a time of reckoning for all the citizens that care and love Clayton County.

It is a time to put aside party preference
. It is time to put aside racial or gender preference. Our economic survival is at stake. Our children's futures are at stake. Our property values are at stake. We must do the right thing and vote for the most qualified people in this election. Experience counts!

Please vote DEMOCRAT in the upcoming primary and elect the most qualified people who can work together as a team to benefit all citizens.

Chairman: Eldrin Bell
District Attorney: Tracy Graham Lawson
Solicitor: Tasha Mosley
Sheriff: Ernest Strozier

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Just to give you a bit of context:

All of these people and the people they are fighting against are DEMOCRATS.
Eldrin Bell is the incumbent chairman of the county board. The current district attorney is Jewel Scott. Her husband - Lee Scott is running against Bell for the chairmanship. The current Sheriff is Victor Hill. He and Bell have been fighting since day one regarding the law enforcement policies and budget of the county. Eldrin Bell is also the former police chief for the City of Atlanta. There were bound to be some conflicts.

Again - all of this political maneuvering is going on in Clayton County Georgia among the Democrats while the county's public school system is on the brink of losing its accreditation. The same sort of infighting over the past 7 years between various factions of Black Democrats on the school board have brought this situation to where it is today.

All of this shows in real world terms the damage that VOTER NULLIFICATION has had on the Black community. There is little correlation between what is happening on our streets in our community and how we popularly vote. There is no chance today that the people of Clayton County who are interested in promoting their own best interests will see the commonality of PARTY among these people and toss all of them out - replacing them with INDEPENDENTS who want to put the people's interests first.

Again Clayton County's Democrats are "winning". The community is losing all the while.