Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dangers of Reality TV

I am so honored to have my very good friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Thankfully, she has so graciously offered to empower you with her insight and wisdom. Jackie offers a powerful commentary on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air talk where we talk about the political news of the day and all the crazy goings-on in our country.

Click to listen: SPREAKER.COM

The Dangers of Reality TV

On May 31st in the year 2000, Americans were introduced to a television show called “Survivor”. It was the first program in the TV genre known as “reality TV’. Since “Survivor’s” debut, a slew of shows following this format have flooded the American airwaves. And, even though these shows aren’t real – reality – they provide entertainment to millions of American households.

This year, another reality series has hit the airwaves. This series is called the Republican Presidential Debates. This series has given us a lot of memorable dialogue. For example, reality TV star Michelle Bachman declared that no American should have to pay taxes. And in his supporting role, Rick Santorum told us that racial profiling is necessary to good order and peace in the kingdom. Series co-star Herman Cain gave us 9-9-9 and guest star Rick Perry gave us, well, um - a performance memorable only for its forget ability.

Yes, the Republican Presidential Debates have given Americans hours and hours of entertainment. The sad part is that as the “stars” are voted off the list of presidential contenders in the upcoming Republican primaries, the candidate that remains will be running for the highest office in the land. With the serious problems facing our nation, do we want “reality TV” spilling over into our reality? What would the very REAL consequences be to our society? I cringe to think of it! Let’s talk about that!

If you missed it!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Story of US

Since the year of our Lord 1619, when African’s were first dragged onto American shores of this place they called “merica”; our people have been chastised, criticized, punished, beaten, robbed, and murdered. These atrocities where done while the culprits enjoyed wealth and prosperity as a result of our never ending allegiance and patriotism, often blindly. Even today when we have ascended to the White House there are those who castigate much vial abuse upon this uniquely qualified man of African heritage or at least he looks like us.

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

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

Our history is one of unbelievable struggle. We’ve been brave on the battlefield despite being classified as three-fifths of a man. This was and is outstanding and frankly beyond the call of duty considering that we have lived through slavery and under an Apartheid like system through most of our time here. To be honest we were considered a race of people living in a nation without a nationality. We have raised America’s children, attended to its sick, and prepared their meals while those forefathers were occupied with the trappings of the good life.

Even during the times when they found pleasure in our women and enjoyment in seeing our men lynched, maimed and burned - we continued to watch over America’s soul. We labored in the hot sun from can’t to can’t to assist in realizing the dream of wealth, good fortune, and made America a great world power. We were there when it all began, and you are still here today, protecting the system from those Black people who have the temerity to speak out against America’s past transgressions.

It was us who warned about Denmark-Vessey, told you about Gabriel Prosser's plans, called your attention to Nat Turner, Malcolm, and yes Martin too. It was us who sounded the alarm when old John Brown came calling on Harper's Ferry and there are still some sounding warnings today. Black Nationalism has died and as result our community brings 95 percent of what it earns to other businesses while keeping little for itself in spite of the fact that other people controlled at least 90 percent of all the resources and wealth of this nation.

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

In today's business environment we sadly do not support each other and just keep doing business with the larger community; in fact any other community. Some say we, as a people, were very successful doing this after slavery ended and even as recently as 1960 but you know what happens when you began to build your own communities and do business with one another – you’re pitted against one another and destroy ourselves. Notwithstanding, we dance, sing, fight, get high, go to prison, back bite, envy, distrust, and hate one another.

Oh, less not forget we pray a lot hoping that when we die you will find a place where there is a mansion waiting for you with streets paved with gold somewhere in the sky. We resisted the messages of trouble making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman, and Truth for fighting and dying on the battlefield for us. Yet, most have forgotten the names and take no reverence in their sacrifice due to a lack of reciprocity and equity.

This includes our acquiescence to political agendas, abdicating our own economic self-sufficiency, and working so diligently for the economic well-being of other people. Even though the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were written and many died for the rights described therein, we did not even resist when they changed Black Rights to Civil Rights and allowed virtually every other group to take advantage of them for their progress. This goes beyond the imagination, irrespective of the many promises that have been made and broken.

Moreover, we went beyond the pale when we allowed our children to be turned over to the American educational system. With what is being taught to them, it's likely they will continue in a mode similar to the one we have followed for the past 45 years. Remember, Mr. Lynch when he walked the banks of the James River in 1712. He prophetically said he would make African’s slave for 300 years; little did he realize the truth in his prediction because next year his promise will come to fruition.

But with two generations of children going through this education system, we can look forward to at least another 50 years of despair. We can change that come to understand that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. When you continue to do what you’ve always done; you will get what you always got and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Happened to US?

In a past life, one of many that I have enjoyed, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. From time to time I go back and look through some of those old term papers from that class to which I become enthralled by the content. The assignment given to each student was to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family”. As I read through some of the thirty or so papers I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you.

I know this “Thought Provoking Perspective” may cause some controversy and maybe some hate mail. Nonetheless, my intent is to, maybe, create some dialog within our consciousness as to why the black family, our community, and black people are the least likely to work together as a solid unit to the benefit of each other as other ethnic groups do.

During slavery, and from the 1800's through the 1980's, the concept of family was tight knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because in many cases we allow others define us.

I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economic and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women's reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.

Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.

If proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.

These are 12 key factors expressed from my student’s outstanding research papers:

1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hardworking black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.

2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust, and removing many of our leaders as well as potential future leaders.

3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered by other black youth.

4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to fully be granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women, is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.

5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.

6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80's was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.

7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80's. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.

8. Communication: This speaks to education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values - parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions and value systems. We're like POW's locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our personas, egos, insecurities, isms etc.

9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and a promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.

10. Urbanization - work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key" kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.

11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50's welfare was a Midwestern farmer hook up and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed in the inner-city while many in the farm lands of Mid America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the family.

12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their "failure".
The next time you look in the mirror or just look at the picture I have inserted which might give you something to think about. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!


You are welcome to add your comments, views, and perspectives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What’s so super about the committee?

I have been very busy with my new projects and my friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters has so graciously offer to empower you with her insight and wisdom.

Jackie offers a powerful commentary on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild & Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.


What, exactly, is a Congressional Super Committee? I would describe it as the bastard child of ideological intransigence and legislative cowardice. If you find that assessment somewhat harsh, consider this. The fiscal problems that the nation faces are known. We know how we got into this cycle of debt and deficit and we know how to correct it. Because the cure for what ails us may be of temporary inconvenience to a few powerful interest groups, there appears to be an appalling absence of political will in our Congress to set things right.

The intransigence comes from elected members of Congress who cling to old ideas that have been proven to be destructive and unjust but, for some reason, they cannot let these ideas go. Heaven forbid that any of these members of Congress would take the radical step of thinking for themselves.

The super committee was supposed to save us all from these twin evils. Imagine my surprise when I heard that the Congressional Super Committee that was charged with the task of pulling our nation away from the edge of the abyss of financial ruin – FAILED. It failed so utterly and completely that one must wonder why we have a congress at all? Will someone please remind me of what’s so super about the committee? Let’s talk about that!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Well Mrs. Cain finally made an appearance – of sorts. Gloria Cain appeared on the network of Fox and Fools recently to be interviewed by Greta Van Susteren and was asked a very simple direct question; if her husband would be a good president? The answer may have been of course not all that surprising if you were to read it in print. But if you watch her response it’s a whole different matter … not exactly a ringing endorsement of Herman.

I'm pulling for Cain and I really hope he get the nomination. If he does I can guarantee President Obama another term in office. Let me just say, I was taught by my mother that if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone – don’t say anything! So I will end this piece with this: learn something about the world, like if China was a nuclear power or who the President of Uzbekistan is. Oh, how about that Libya is in Africa! Its clear Cain’s thinking or lack thereof is the same old conservative song and dance; it's everyone else fault that he is ill informed, not knowledgeable, ignorant, and just plain buffoonishly stupid.

I'll add that I am sure Gloria is a sweet woman and from what I have read she voted Democrat last time, which says a lot. But let's be honest, this woman probably have never told a lie in her life until that question was asked and it appears as if it was the hardest thing in the world for her to do; unlike her husband, she's not a natural liar.

She gave a look that said, “Negro Please!” And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Stranger than Fiction

I have become enthralled with this year’s Republican cast of characters. It might be more accurately stated as circus or sideshows. After the last debate I asked myself; has it come to this? I’ve been trying to recall when the mentality or the lack thereof represented on the debate stage was, if ever, more comedic. I have lived long enough to have seen many things, and frankly this group takes the cake.

I really thought I’d seen the worst during the last presidential campaign with the War Hero and Caribou Barbie. Remember them, one could see the future and the other could see Russia from her house. The only way I can describe this current group of fools is to compare their insanity to it being on steroids.

I have really enjoyed the debates because they have been ridiculously hilarious. In the last one I got the biggest laugh from the presumed frontrunners. These people want us to believe they are ready to be the leader of the free world. Hmmm! I’ll start with the guy who had a mortifying episode of brain-lock during the debate and of course I will talk about his opponents who somehow managed to remember their lines but honestly didn’t do any better making sense.

Let’s say Mr. Perry’s Meltdown was a human episode. Ok, I’ll admit I am compassionate and understanding but really with his political background, do we really want this guy to have the black box with his finger on the button. I don’t! This plus the “N word Lodge” thing gives me reason to suggest perhaps he should head back to Austin. It was embarrassing for me to watch. So I know it was embarrassing for him and frankly, his plunging poll numbers suggest that he has little chance of winning the nomination; and by the way, um, let’s see, wait a minute, it’ll come to me. . . . Oh, I forgot; um, um.

He tried for 43 humiliating seconds, which is an eternity when you’re in front of a television camera, before finally giving up. Now, it was not like he was trying to remember the formula for dichotomizing the atom. He was merely trying to remember the three federal agencies he would eliminate if he became president. He named the Commerce Department and the Education Department — then blanked on the third. WOW! To his credit he did remember it about 15 minutes later, at his next opportunity to speak - the Energy Department. But the damage had been done.

I myself just had a momentary mental lapse, a couple of paragraphs back, but on national TV when he should have been prepared. Shocking! Now, its one thing to misstep when the list is 10, 15 or maybe 20 items - but three? If you look back at his other performances in previous debates they were not much better, which begs the questions about his intellectual depth, not to mention basic grammar.

Ok, time to move on. Next there was the one they, meaning Republicans, call “Him” - Mitt Romney. Most talking heads seemed to think that “Him” was the winner by default. Romney has mastered the art of surviving these multi-candidate encounters: Speak fluidly and with conviction, secure in the knowledge that with so many others on the stage and so little time for each question, there’s hardly any danger of being caught in any of his obvious contradictions, flip-flops and non sequiturs. Actually with “Him”, there is just a noun a verb and Obama.

Then there was Newt! He is, by some, considered the intellectual of the cast as he often remind us that he once was a professor of history and a historian. I recall reading somewhere that his PhD thesis at Tulane University was titled “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945-1960.” If you don’t know that’s about the history of colonial Africa, which might be a sign of the times if he were to get the job as president. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Ron Paul were merely present and accounted for or maybe props would be more fitting.

Last but not least is the star of the circus or the GOP’s token shade of color; the pizza man - Herman Cain. With all the alleged sexual harassment claims coming from so many white women he had the nerve to refer to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as “Princess Nancy.” I know he has spent the past week trying to convince the nation he’s not guilty of chronically self-indulgent behavior toward women. Belittling the first woman to become speaker of the House with a flip, sexist insult was appalling.

Well this is my view of the debacle that was the last sideshow they called a debate. If you don’t know, I am a huge boxing fan and at the end of each boxing match the referee will raise the hand of the victorious fighter. Let’s say they would do this for the fight to be the next president of America. It would sound like this: “The winner and still president of the United States – Barack Obama!”


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Who Does It Serve?

Elections are being held all over the nation, today. Most of these elections are on state and local issues that have national implications. The issues before the voters encompass a wide range of concerns including: union rights, voting rights and women’s rights.

That these issues are being placed before voters in the year 2011 seems, to me, ridiculous. Consider this, weren’t the rights of workers to organize collectively and negotiate for fair wages and safe working conditions determined long ago? If you like 40 hour work weeks, overtime pay, weekends off, sick leave and paid vacations, you have no one to thank but union organizers who brought workers together to demand these benefits.

What about all of the people who sacrificed their time and treasure and some, who sacrificed their very lives to ensure that all citizens could exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote?

And, isn’t it settled law that women – as full citizens of this great nation – have the right to be secure in their own person – without government intrusion into the difficult and personal choices they make in respect to their own bodies?

One of the greatest difficulties we face by living in a democracy is that sometimes you lose the argument. Who does it serve for us to continue to contest the same issues over and over again? Let’s talk about that.


I am in the process of completing my new novel "Legacy - A New Season" that will soon be released. I offer my sincere appreciation to my dear friend and co-host of the talk show “Let’s Talk About It” the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Jackie’s powerful commentary can be heard each week on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild and Wonderful Brenda White.

You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Introducing Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert

I would like to introduce my many avid readers to my friend the incomparable Jackie (Morganfield) Lambert who happens to be the great niece of the legendary blues man Muddy Waters. Jackie, as I call her, offers a powerful commentary each week on "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday night at 9:00 PM (est) on with me and the Wild and Wonderful Brenda White. You must join us for the fastest growing political talk show on the air.


Taking our country back?

As this political season makes its inexorable march to the 2012 elections, I’ve noticed a common theme among the republican candidates – “take our country back”. I’m sure that many of you have asked yourselves the same question that I have, take our country back from whom?

Upon further reflection, I’ve determined that it is not that the republicans want to take our country back from someone in particular. It’s more a matter of taking our country back in time.

If you can bear to listen to the rhetorical thunder coming from republican presidential candidates you will notice a common thread. They all rumble that abortion must be illegal. And, in some places, they are working very hard to criminalize most forms of birth control to boot.

Government should not regulate anything. Wall Street Robber Barons should be free to extort profits in anyway they choose. In pursuit of greater profits, manufacturers should be free to pollute our environment as much as they like.

Government should not care about or, have any involvement in the general welfare of its citizens. Medicare, social security, food stamps, health care for poor children, early childhood education, public education and any other program designed to give citizens a modicum of security or a chance at upward mobility should be abolished.

And, my personal favorite, wealthy citizens should not be asked to contribute a little more in taxes. Actually, the very rich should be exempt from taxes entirely because they’re just superior to the rest of us. Who knows, they may take some of their massive wealth and create a minimum wage job or two.

So, you see it is not so much that the republicans want to the country away from some one - they just want take us back to say 1920. What a novel idea - time travel through legislation! Let’s talk about that.

The Politics of Fear

While using the emotion of fear to sway the electorate is nothing new, it does seem to have reached a fever pitch over the past several years. The rise of the so-called “Tea Party” is the most prominent example of the emotion of fear driving a portion of the electorate.

Instead of using the current economic down-turn as a spring-board to bring out the best in us; the republican tea partiers are using it to appeal to the lowest common denominator in our society. In their America, each group of citizens is required to retreat into a small tribe, tribes defined by race, tribes defined by religion, tribes defined by sexual orientation, and on, and on and on. In their America, there is no such thing as the common good. In their America, citizens must view one another with fear and suspicion. This is the only way they believe they can stay in power.

This tribal attitude is not merely a symptom of the thinking of small minds; it serves to starve the spirit of a great nation. It is imperative that no matter what’s going on in our lives, we do not succumb to the politics of fear. The emotion of fear in the political process serves only to divide us and prevent us from realizing our true greatness as a nation.

You can catch "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" every Tuesday on SPRAKER.COM