Thursday, May 31, 2012

Know What You Believe

If you read or follow my blog you know that I rarely touch matters of religion because we have the right to believe in or whatever we want. However, I received a message for someone who basically “preached” to me the literal interpretation of the “Word” as he saw it.

I chose not to respond, until now, because I know when that fateful day comes and we transition to the great beyond – heaven. We will get three surprises: 1) You will be surprised who you see when you get there. 2) Who you don’t see when you get there and 3) if you get there yourself.

Having said that let me speak to the issues in the reader’s message, so hostilely sent to me. The representation of Jesus that you see in your church is not Jesus! It was painted by Michael Angelo in the 1600’s and the model was his nephew. In addition, there is no way a blonde haired blue eyed person could come from that region of the world and look European. Next, the good book was revised 28 times and the last time was by the diabolical King James of England, who was a major participant in the slave trade. And further, there was no word “GOD” in any African language before the coming of Europeans.

I will tell you that I found myself very perplexed by the message from the reader. So I wanted to respond in a broad way. This individual has decided that it is OK for him to attack me not knowing which God I worship. So I will tell you. It is the one who healed the sick, had compassion for the poor, and championed the lest of thee. And before I continue I never spoke to any of the issues you claimed was part of my writings.

This characterization is part of a much larger problem that needs to be addressed forthrightly. His very selective use of the Bible particularly when it comes to addressing matters relative to women is not biblical teaching. For example, his suggestion that I read Deuteronomy, and he specifically mentioned - Chapter 22. If you are not up on Deuteronomy, it says that if a woman is not a virgin at the time of her marriage - she can be killed.

So my question is how selectively does this individual interpret the Bible? Does he, for instance, believe that we should currently implement that section of Deuteronomy? There is nothing new about selective interpretations of the Bible. It is as old as the book itself. Let me remind you that White supremacists claimed Black people are the children of Ham and that we are Black because we are cursed; in spite of the fact that the Bible does not say that at all. The White supremacists wanted to believe this and they would find a way to connect that with their interpretation of God's word.

It is very disturbing that people continue to hide behind the Bible in order to justify their own set of prejudices and demons. Again, my understanding was that Jesus was concerned about injustice, the plight of the poor, the sick, the Romans who were oppressing the Hebrews, and the money changers.

So before you try to out Pope the Pope make sure you understand what you believe. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective… 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guess Who Came To Dinner

So many times the phrase "look how far we've come" has been stated that makes one think that everything is alright. Watch this video and just imagine the insanity of racism. Most people don't know that Booker T. Washington was invited to the White House at the beginning of the last century making him the first black to ever sit at a table with an american president for dinner, instead of serving the guests, and hundreds of blacks people were lynched as a result.

Today, the current president who is black now does the inviting of others. THINK ABOUT IT!!!  And that's my Thought Provoking Perspective...


Monday, May 28, 2012


It marvels me as I listen to politician’s worship the Gipper and if you did not know I am talking about the actor who was president – Ronald Reagan. One, if not both, of our major political parties has become imbued with the Gipper's political philosophy and governing style. I find this amazing that they praise him so because my recollection of his rule is very different.

Those in the GOP trying to claim that cloak, be it the right wing-nuts or the new Klan (tea party), has moved so far to the right that they now inhabits its own parallel universe. On their little rock, or under it, that today's GOP leaders call home, Reagan would qualify as one of those big-government, tax-and-spend liberals who they would say was trying to destroy the American way of life.

I wonder if these Republicans can remember the real Reagan legend or are they simply unaware of the truth. I have some bad news for you guys; Reagan raised taxes and he did it often, and by a lot. I just want to add that this is the guy who wanted to cut school lunch programs for children, remember he said, “Ketchup as a vegetable” and he also broke the union by firing the air traffic controllers.

When he took office as governor of California in 1967, the state faced a huge budget deficit. Reagan promptly raised taxes by $1 billion - at a time when the entire state budget amounted to just $6 billion. It was then the biggest state tax increase in history. During Reagan's eight years in Sacramento, business and sales taxes soared, and the top state income tax rate increased from 7 percent to 11 percent.

From there the man, and without my vote, moved into the White House. He brought with him a theory called "voodoo economics". This fallacy was supposed to be an idea that implied the way to balance the budget was to lower taxes not raise them. Reagan quickly pushed through the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, a tax cut of about $264 billion, which he and his fellow Republicans hailed as the greatest milestone in human history.

Reagan subsequently raised taxes 11 times, beginning with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. All told, he took back roughly half of that hallowed 1981 tax cut. Why? Because he realized that the United States needed an effective federal government and to be effective the government needed more money.

Just like today, the Good Ol’ Boys and their unshakable commitment to smaller government should know that on Reagan’s watch the federal employment rolls grew; they shrank under Bill Clinton. Reagan had promised to eliminate the departments of Energy and Education, but he didn't. Instead, he signed legislation that added to the Cabinet a new Department of Veterans Affairs.

On social issues, Reagan advocated a federal ban on abortions, the legalization of organized prayer in the schools and an end to court-ordered busing to achieve racial balance. He accomplished none of this. None of this is to suggest that the patron saint of modern American conservatism was some sort of flaming liberal, just that he was a pragmatist who respected objective reality. In a big state or a big country, big government was a given. When taxes needed to be raised, the thing to do was raise them and I say on those who have benefited the most.

Even though Reagan knew that ideology had its limits, in fact, those extreme views have become orthodox. In my opinion, I don't doubt that he or the GOP today truly believe that ideology. There are some Democrats today that sound and act almost like Reaganites. From my vantage point, if we had not had the last decade of Lord George there might not have been a need for this conversation because when he walked into the White House there was a surplus.
Let me remind you that it was Clinton, who balanced the budget. President Obama has pledged not to raise taxes on the middle class, and Democrats couldn't even manage to reverse tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that might have made even Reagan blush. Obama based his, what they call, Obama-care on Republican ideas - including the individual mandate, which had been proposed by conservative think tanks and implemented by Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has lost its mind. The GOP argues for deep across-the-board budget cuts of a kind that Reagan ultimately rejected. Party leaders denounce the belief that government can do any good for anybody as "socialism."

Here's a quote that might have come from a Democrat during last fall's tax-cut debate: "We don't seek to aid the rich, but those lower- and middle-income families who are most strapped by taxes and the recession." In fact, it was Ronny who said those words in 1983, when he was arguing for tuition tax credits.

Inspired by an article written by Eugene Robinson with facts derived from it.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Power Of Thought

I woke up this morning with a thought knowing that every single thing that ever existed began with a single thought. With that said, I remembered a presentation by Bishop T.D. Jakes that I thought would be a good message for this beautiful Sunday that was made for us. Thoughts become reality – open your mind and find your reality.

Or maybe I should say it this way – “free your mind and your ass will follow!” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cynthia McKinney Speaks

I am so empowered by the kindness of my readers who share powerful information with me to share with you. I received this audio clip that you must hear. It is a chilling reminder of what we lived through with the regime of the last administration.

Cynthia McKinney delivers a speech while Lord George was in power that gives us reason to vote because we should never want to go back there…



On this Memorial Day - Thank a Veteran and Stop War! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Huge Shoulders Of Hal Jackson

It’s hard to imagine that not too long ago, and even today, there were and are still firsts with respect to the first Colored, Negro, Black, or African American to do this or that. The amazing radio personality Hal Jackson did it before it was believed possible.

He broke through the color wall on the radio in Washington in the 1930s, pushed the District’s major clothing retailers to let blacks into their dressing rooms and restrooms in the ’40s and became the first black host on a national broadcast network in the 50s – and I for one honor him.

Through most of the second half of the last century, many black New Yorkers grew up knowing Mr. Jackson as a radio DJ whose smiling face appeared on billboards across the city. Decades before that, Mr. Jackson was a household name in black Washington, which is what impressed me about him. Being from the area I remember the broadcasting giant and civil rights pioneer who repeatedly found ways to smash through barriers.

In the mid-1930s, he won free entry into Griffith Stadium as a volunteer to clear trash during Washington Senators games where no blacks were allowed to enter the press box. The Negro League’s Homestead Grays also played there where Mr. Jackson eventually was allowed to narrate some Gray’s games to the crowd in the ballpark. At the time, Negro League games were not broadcast on the radio in Washington.

He wrote a proposal to present “The Bronze Review,” a program of entertainment, interviews and news, but Mr. Jackson said nothing about having a black host. The station’s white executives had no idea that “bronze” was then the classy term for “negro” in Washington’s black community.

On his debut night, Mr. Jackson arrived at WINX with his first guest, Mary McLeod Bethune, President Franklin Roosevelt’s director of Negro affairs. They waited outside until 15 minutes before airtime to minimize the chance that station managers might bar them from the air. The show went on, devoted to a discussion about Washington’s blighted black neighborhoods. “The Bronze Review,” hosted guests such as first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, entertainer Lena Horne and Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (D-N.Y.) becoming a nightly must-listen show for black Washington.

By the mid-1940s, Mr. Jackson was doing sports and his late-night talk show on WINX and spinning “race records,” as songs by black artists were then known, during morning drive time on WOOK in Silver Spring. He performed commercials in rhyme and urged listeners to join his Good Deed Club, collecting toys and books for charities.

In 1949, Mr. Jackson by then was the host of a television variety show broadcast from the Howard Theatre. He organized a picket on Connecticut Avenue, then the city’s most prestigious shopping boulevard, against retailers who sold to black customers but refused to let them use the dressing rooms or restrooms. The protest worked: Stores changed their policies.

In 1954, a New York station, WMCA, lured Mr. Jackson to Manhattan to create the city’s first integrated air staff. Mr. Jackson’s “All-American Revue” was designed to appeal to black and white listeners with music by Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Xavier Cugat.

Within a couple of years, Mr. Jackson was again on the air virtually around the clock at white- and black-owned stations. By the late 1950s, Mr. Jackson had added a children’s TV show that featured New York’s first integrated studio audience. It was round this time that Irving Rosenthal, the owner of Palisades Amusement Park, asked Mr. Jackson to host weekend concerts at the theme park and the DJ’s face was plastered on billboards around New York.

Mr. Jackson worked as a popular DJ up and down the east coast; Washington, New York, a midday show at WANN in Annapolis and an evening gig on Baltimore’s WSID as well as owning several radio stations. In 1995, Mr. Jackson was the first black elected to the Radio Hall of Fame. Every black or minority working on radio or in television owe this man a debut of gratitude. Or maybe I’ll say it this way – “They stand on the shoulders of this Giant”.

After paying homage, and much deserved, I will use Mr. Jackson’s nightly sign-off reflected his peripatetic life: “I’ve got to pack the shellac and hit the track, but I’ll be back.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective… 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Comedic Genius

If you were to look Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor up in the dictionary; it will say GENIUS! Known to most of us as “Richard” a comedic genius, the most profound and prolific American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, writer, and MC. Pryor was, if anyone ever was, ahead of his time and the greatest comedian to ever live. His genius derived from an uncompromising examination of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets.

The great comedian Bill Cosby reportedly once said, "Richard Pryor drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as one could possibly paint it." His body of work includes a list far too numerous to mention in this writing that included concert, movies, and recordings. He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder and frequently collaborated with actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney.

Mr. Pryor won an Emmy Award in (1973) and five Grammy Awards (1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982). In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. Pryor is listed at Number 1 on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians.

Mr. Pryor had what he called in his autobiography Pryor Convictions an "epiphany" when he walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas when he looked at the sold-out crowd, exclaimed over the microphone "What the f@#k am I doing here!?", and walked off the stage. Afterward, Pryor began working profanity into his act, including the use of the “N-word”.

In the 1970s, Pryor wrote for such television shows as Sanford and Son, The Flip Wilson Show, and the Lily Tomlin special, for which he shared an Emmy Award. During this period, Pryor tried to break into mainstream television. He was a guest host on the first season of Saturday Night Live. He had his own show – The Richard Pryor Show which premiered on NBC in 1977, but was canceled after only four episodes. Television audiences did not respond to the show's controversial subject matter, and Pryor was unwilling to alter his material for network censors.

In 1979, at the height of his success, Pryor visited Africa. Upon returning to the United States, Pryor swore he would never use the word "nigger" in his stand-up comedy routine again. However, his favorite epithet, "mother@#ker", remains a term of endearment on his official website.

Despite a reputation for constantly using profanity on and off camera, Pryor briefly hosted a children's show in 1984 called Pryor’s Place. Like Sesame Street, "Pryor's Place" featured a cast of puppets, hanging out and having fun in a surprisingly friendly inner-city environment along with several children and characters portrayed by Pryor himself. However, "Pryor's Place" frequently dealt with more sobering issues than "Sesame Street". Pryor co-hosted the Academy Awards twice, and was nominated for an Emmy for a guest role on the television series, Chicago Hope.

In 1989, he appeared in Harlem Nights, a comedy-drama crime film starring Eddie Murphy. It was a financial success, grossing three times the amount it cost to make it (worldwide) and is well known for starring three generations of black comedians - Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Redd Foxx. In 1990, Pryor suffered a second and more severe heart attack and underwent triple heart bypass surgery.

By the early 1990s, he was confined to using a wheelchair as well as a motor powered scooter for the remainder of his life to get around when his multiple sclerosis began to take its toll on his body. On December 10, 2005, nine days after his birthday, Richard Pryor left us for the great beyond and on that day his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was covered with flowers, beer bottles, fan letters etc. Just the way Rich would have wanted it.

I will tell you that on that day in December the world lost a treasure and I lost a hero – a man that only comes this way once in a lifetime. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


There is a huge legal battle going on in Detroit over the estate of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. There are lawyers, judges, and family fighting to see who controls the estate of “Mother Parks”.  Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. was asked to disqualify himself and in what some have said is unusual he made a decision, which is he will let them know if he will in will continue to preside over the Parks’ estate fight.

Burton told lawyers in a five-minute hearing that he would issue a decision on the disqualification motion in 30-45 days without hearing legal arguments from lawyers in the case. Then, he ended the hearing, leaving lawyers to argue their positions with newspaper reporters.

“It’s outrageous that Judge Burton needs 30-45 days to decide a completely unopposed motion for disqualification,” said attorney Steven G. Cohen, of Farmington Hills, who sued Burton last week on the grounds that he conspired with probate lawyers John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr., allowing them to bankrupt Parks’ estate with unnecessary and excessive attorney fees. “He obviously can’t serve as a presiding judge in a case where he is the defendant.”

Cohen said Burton should have ruled this morning since the other lawyers in the case filed no written objections to his request. “This means the motion is unopposed and should be granted immediately,” Cohen said. Troy attorney Alan May, who represents Chase and Jefferson said Cohen’s accusations are outrageous.

Cohen represents Elaine Steele, Parks’ longtime friend and assistant, and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, which Steele founded with Parks. Last week, Cohen sued Burton, Chase and Steele, on the grounds that they conspired to bankrupt Parks’ estate and strip Steele and the institute of their share of Parks’ historically valuable belongings and intellectual property rights.

The controversy is the latest development in a long-running battle that began after Parks’ death in 2005 when her nieces and nephews challenged her estate plan. Though Parks had selected Steele and retired 36th District Court Judge Adam Shakoor to handle her estate, Burton put longtime probate lawyers Chase and Steele in charge.

Instead of marshalling Parks’ assets and sitting on the sideline until Steele, the institute and the relatives settled their differences, Cohen said Chase and Jefferson waded into the fight and started billing the estate for legal fees.

In 2007 Steele, the relatives and the institute signed a confidential agreement giving the institute and Steele 80% of the proceeds from the sale of Parks’ belongings and the royalties from licensing Parks’ name. The relatives were to get the rest.

Instead of putting Steele and Shakoor back in charge of the estate, as the agreement required, Cohen said Burton kept Chase and Jefferson in place. Cohen said Chase and Jefferson fabricated a phony breach of confidentiality dispute that Burton eventually used to strip Steele and the institute of their share of the estate.

Last December, at Cohen’s request, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Burton to put Steele and Shakoor back in charge of the estate. It also voided the forfeiture order. Cohen now wants Burton off the case and the lawyers to reimburse the estate for the legal fees their received.

May says Chase and Jefferson billed reasonable fees and improved the estate by recognizing the historic value of Parks’ belongings, which a New York City auction house is trying to sell to an institution that can display them. “Shameful.”

This may well be the first time I am at a loss for words as this woman fought for justice while living and her name must continue to fight. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

As report by David Ashenfelter of the Detroit Free Pree

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You Should Know Dr. Ben

Professor Yosef Ben Jochannan, affectionately known as "Dr. Ben", the foremost African scholar and an Egyptologist had a profound impact upon my thinking. He taught at Cornell University for over 15 years, Dr. Ben has lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic on the theme - the ancient civilizations of Egypt. His presentations placed him in great demand by students and community groups, especially those of African descent through an unwavering theme that the ancient civilizations along the Nile were African and the foundation of the world.

Dr. Ben was formally education in Puerto Rico. He continued his education in the Virgin Islands and in Brazil. Dr. Ben earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, and a Master's degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Havana, Cuba. He received doctorial degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Moorish History from the University of Havana and the University of Barcelona Spain.

Dr. Ben was adjunct professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York for over a decade (1976–1987). He has written and published over forty-nine books and papers, revealing much of the information unearthed while he was in Egypt. Two of his better known works include, Black Man of the Nile and His Family and Africa: Mother of Major Western Religions. In his writings, he argues that the original Jews were from Ethiopia and were Black Africans, while the white Jews later adopted the Jewish faith and its customs.

In 1939, shortly after receiving his undergraduate degree, Dr. Ben's father sent him to Egypt to study firsthand the ancient history of African People. Since 1941, Dr. Ben has been to Egypt at least twice a year. He began leading educational tours to Egypt in 1946. When asked why he began the tours, he replied "because no one knew or cared about Egypt and most believed Egypt was not in Africa." According to Dr. Ben, Egypt is the place to go to learn the fundamentals of living. Over five decades have passed and Dr. Ben, a preeminent scholar and Egyptologist, remains focused on Nile Valley Civilization.

Dr. Ben immigrated to the United States in the early 1940s. He worked as a draftsman and continued his studies. He claims that in 1945, he was appointed chairman of the African Studies Committee at the headquarters of the newly founded UNESCO, a position from which he stepped down in 1970. In 1950, Ben-Jochannan began teaching Egyptology at Malcolm King College, then at City College in New York City.

Dr. Ben taught that Aristotle visited the Library of Alexandria. In 2002, Ben-Jochannan donated his personal library of more than 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and ancient scrolls to The Nation of Islam. Ben-Jochannan has been criticized for allegedly distorting history and promoting Black supremacy. I say, since it is a fact that Africa is the birth place of mankind the facts he revealed are truth. Read the work of Dr. Ben and get to know this great man!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Monday, May 21, 2012


Every now and then something is brought to my attention accompanied by a request for my support. There is so much evil in our world today and it saddens me to what degree mankind extends its viciousness onto another human being; often times these actions have dire consequences.

A friend asked me to share this horribly sad story of institutional abuse with my readers. I hope it will help her cause and you will sign the petition in support of her valiant effort.

Here is the back-story: On Thanksgiving, a grade-school gym teacher parked her Mercury SUV on the shoulder of Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana, got out and walked in front of a moving semi-truck. The 32-year-old's suicide shocked the tiny Ford Heights school district where she worked. In other words Mary died to teach!

In the days afterward, tension grew amid conversations by co-workers about what had happened and questions from the Army veteran's parents. The turmoil peaked during a crowded meeting in December, when some teachers and school board members clashed.

The suicide note that Mary Thorson left centered on frustrations at the school, and her death spurred some of her co-workers to speak out at the public meeting. Teachers described an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the two-school district, where little things snowballed over time.

Even some of those close to Thorson acknowledged that it's difficult to pinpoint why anyone commits suicide, but her death opened wounds in the district. School district officials have vowed to work on healing with new channels of communication. School board members and the administration expressed sorrow over Thorson's death but was also surprise at the way some teachers described the work atmosphere.

Thorson, known as Coach T, left behind a handwritten, six-page note in her SUV. Other than one paragraph in which she apologized to her parents for the hurt her death would cause, the rest of the note was exclusively about Ford Heights School District 169.

The students "loved her," said Walter Cunningham, who taught physical education with Thorson. "She treated them like a daughter or son. They all gravitated toward her." Like many of the teachers there, Thorson used her own money to buy students school supplies or warm clothes if she saw a need, Cunningham said. More than 98 percent of the 520 students in the district are considered low-income, according to state records.

There is a documentary soon to be released that tells the story of a grade school gym teacher who committed suicide in November 2011 and left a note alleging intimidation in the workplace directed by Myra Richardson. It is chilling and I would encourage you to support the film, and remember it could occur in your child’s school.

Lastly, I cannot say I know much about the details of the situation but a friend close to the situation asked me to share the story of this tragedy. Therefore, on her behalf I ask that you kindly visit the website below for more information about what she calls “teacher abuse” and sign the petition. My prayers and sympathy goes out to the family of this teacher for their tremendous lose.

Sign the Petition:

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective …

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To Serve

On this great day I want to simply share a profound message that if taken to heart – will change the world. Please listen to the video and make that change. I once heard it said that “I may not be the one to change the world but I can change the mind of the one who can”.

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Only Love Can Conquer Hate

I am of the opinion that “everyday above ground is a good day” and thankful for each. Knowing that we only get 1440 minutes mean you only have a minute, didn’t chose it, it’s up to you to use it. It’s just a minute but an eternity in it. So today I want to share something musical and this blast from the past is as relevant as the day Marvin Gaye penned it. I believe it was Solomon who said there is nothing new under the Sun.

The condition of the world today is not unique to today – like in the time of Marvin and before - only love can conquer hate! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Friday, May 18, 2012


I think we all know that terror is routed in the foundation, and dare I say, “the History of our country”. African Americans, and others, are well aware of groups like the KKK and some may government agencies that are known only by alphabets that use these tactics against some Americans. Surely, it’s been used on people around the world in the name of freedom.

I am only suggesting that there are some crimes committed under the guise of law that are beyond the scope of justice. Case in point, the Angola Three which I am sure you have never heard of. This is a hideous a case in Louisiana’s prison system that hold the record for the longest incarceration of a human being placed in solitary confinement.

It’s been over 40 years since the day Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have been held in solitary confinement in Louisiana. The state says they were guilty of murdering a guard at Angola Prison, but Wallace, Woodfox and their network of supporters say they were framed for their political activism as members of the Black Panthers. Since April 17, 1972 or nearly 14,650 days Woodfox and Wallace has been held in solitary confinement living in a six by nine foot prison cell only being allowed out for an hour a day. This is without question cruel and unusual punishment.

These two men founded the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971. A third prisoner, Robert King, joined them a year later. The three campaigned for better working conditions and racial solidarity between inmates, as well as an end to rape and sexual slavery. Today, two of the three men remain in this condition that Amnesty International continues to support their effort for fair and reasonable justice.

Amnesty USA says it will deliver a petition to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that bears the signatures of tens of thousands of people from 125 countries asking for his intervention. They are asking "the state of Louisiana and we want the world to know that we are still focusing on this case.

This is a total violation of human rights and civil rights," King says. "And it is ongoing." Robert King was released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned and he pleaded guilty to a lesser offense. I am not saying that a crime was not committed, but does this punishment fit the crime.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Info about the case:

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Bush, Cheney, and accomplices to mass murder, war crimes, and crimes against humanity! In the first verdict of its kind since former President George W. Bush left office, he and several members of his administration have been successfully convicted in absentia of war crimes in Malaysia. I can’t say what this really means but it will certainly be an added mark on the administration that history will record as the most criminal.

This past Friday, a five panel tribunal delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after a weeklong trial that, unsurprisingly, was not covered by American media. The witnesses included several ex-Guantanamo detainees that gave testimony on the conditions and human rights violations that were systematically carried out under orders of the Bush administration.

Former President Bush, Former Vice-President Dick Cheney, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo that crafted the legal ‘justification’ for torture that basically said, ‘we can if we want to even if it’s illegal’ were the defendants. None were present, of course, but international war crime trials do not require the presence of the accused. The trial was run according to the standards set by the Nuremberg Trials to convict war criminals after World War II.
Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said, “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.
The United States is subject to international law which makes this trial significant beyond the borders of Malaysia.
Foreign Policy Journal reports: President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.  “The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicized accordingly.
“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions.” 
The hope is that other countries will hold trials of their own and the guilty verdicts will mount up. This is not that outlandish an idea as Bush and Cheney have not only brazenly admitted they authorized torture in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention, but bragged about it. Nothing more helpful than having a criminal do all the heavy lifting for the prosecution.

If enough of these verdicts are passed on to the international courts, they will have no choice but to hold a trial of their own. While Bush won’t be arrested on American soil, he’ll have a very difficult time leaving the country. Already he’s canceled a trip to Switzerland, due to possible charges of war crimes.

The best possible outcome is that the world court delivers a guilty verdict that sends a clear message to President Obama and his successors that the United States is not above the law, American Exceptional-ism be damned. It’s a lesson we’ve forgotten and need to relearn. As reported by Justin Rosario. Therefore, I do not take credit for the writing of this post.

I will say pretty soon the only place Bush will have left to hide will be in his mom and dad's basement. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

“Wind Me Up, Chuck” – RIP

The Nation's Capital mourns the passing of Washington DC’s favorite son Chuck Brown known as the “Godfather of Go-Go”. Details are a bit scant at this time, but it has been confirmed that Chuck whose been hospitalized with pneumonia for the past two months, leading to cancellation of shows and other public appearances. Rumors swirled around town that Brown had passed earlier in the year, although his family and management debunked the claims.

Chuck made a name for himself in the 70s with the smash hit “Bustin' Loose” and effectively birthing a new genre in Go-Go music. Largely a native to the Washington Metro area, Go-Go music is a byproduct of funk and soul backed by African rhythms, call-and-response chants and dances tailored made for the music. Brown was infamous for his "Wind Me Up, Chuck" routine and his hefty baritone voice was both melodic and confident.

Chuck Brown was a favorite of Washingtonians, enjoying popularity in the city and abroad that continued on for decades. The Godfather is considered by many to be Washington musical royalty, and his loss leaves behind a legacy of hits and thousands of mourning fans who grew up with his music.

The 75-year-old musician’s is said to have learned music in his early years in prison where the performer, singer, guitarist and songwriter developed his commanding brand of funk in the mid-1970s to compete with the dominance of disco. Like a DJ blending records, Mr. Brown used nonstop percussion to stitch songs together and keep the crowd on the dance floor, resulting in marathon performances that went deep into the night. Mr. Brown said the style got its name because “the music just goes and goes.”

In addition to being go-go’s principal architect, Mr. Brown remained the genre’s most charismatic figure. On stage, his spirited call-and-response routines became a hallmark of the music, reinforcing a sense of community that allowed the scene to thrive. As go-go became a point of pride for black Washingtonians, Mr. Brown became one of the city’s most recognizable figures.

“No single type of music has been more identified with Washington than go-go, and no one has loomed larger within it as Chuck Brown,” former Washington Post pop music critic Richard Harrington wrote in 2001.
Mr. Brown’s creation, however, failed to have the same impact outside of the Beltway. The birth of go-go doubled as the high-water mark of Mr. Brown’s national career. With his group the Soul Searchers, his signature hit “Bustin’ Loose” not only minted the go-go sound, it spent four weeks atop the R&B singles chart in 1978.

“Bustin’ Loose” was “the one record I had so much confidence in,” Mr. Brown told The Post in 2001. “I messed with it for two years, wrote a hundred lines of lyrics and only ended up using two lines. . . . It was the only time in my career that I felt like it’s going to be a hit.”

It was Mr. Brown’s biggest single, but throughout the 1980s “We Need Some Money,” “Go-Go Swing” and “Run Joe” became local anthems, reinforced by radio support and the grueling performance schedule that put Mr. Brown on area stages six nights a week. While rap music exploded across the country, go-go dominated young black Washington, with groups including Trouble Funk, Rare Essence and Experience Unlimited (also known as E.U.) following in Mr. Brown’s footsteps.

Mr. Brown performed less frequently in his final years but still took the stage regularly. He would often comment on his golden years in rhyme. “I’m not retired because I’m not tired. I’m still getting hired and I’m still inspired,” he said in 2006. “As long as I can walk up on that stage, I want to make people happy. I want to make people dance.”

"Wind Me Up, Chuck" and may your soul Rest in Peace. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


As we continue to move further into the preposterous I am shocked and saddened at the judicial system in Florida. Now, I know these unfair situations do not only occur in Florida but it does hold the distinction of two of the most outrageous legal events - that we know of - in modern times. African Americans all to well, and have always decried the justice system, that has been blatantly unfair to us.

If ever the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida had a chance of being applied fairly, this case shows that it has gone out the window as of last Friday. A court sentenced a black woman; Marissa Alexander a 31-year-old mother of three to 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. I thought the law was supposed to have been passed for a persons to protect themselves, if they feared that their life was in danger. That’s what was represented on behalf of George Zimmerman.

In light of the aftermath of the long-delayed arrest of Trayvon Martin’s assassin, it is incomprehensible that Alexander, who neither killed nor injured anyone, has been convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Let me just remind you that just about a month ago the system did not want to arrest the murder of a child who only had candy and a drink. Moreover, he posed no threat. Unbelievable!!!

Marissa’s husband, Rico Gray, a man with a documented history of abuse including an assault on her while she was pregnant, threatened to kill her nine days after the birth of their daughter. This time, Marissa wasn’t going to put up with another beating. When threatened, she fired a warning shot into the ceiling to let Gray know that the abuse was over and he’d better think twice before coming after her again. He then ran into the street and claimed that she had threatened to kill him and his boys. On his word alone, she was arrested.

State Attorney Angela Corey, the same prosecutor who is prosecuting the Trayvon Martin case, offered a three-year sentence plea bargain but Alexander refused on the grounds that she had done nothing wrong. Alexander tried to invoke Florida’s Stand Your Ground law but the judge refused.

Even though Gray recanted and even though Alexander’s 11-year-old daughter took the stand and made a plea on her mother’s behalf, the judge said that he had no choice but to sentence Alexander for at least 20 years.

This verdict poses serious questions about an already questionable law that is applied unevenly. Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown has stated that Alexander’s case is a product of “institutionalized racism” and that she had been unable to locate a Stand Your Ground case where a black person is the beneficiary of the law. In the meantime, Marissa Alexander faces a long time in prison with little hope of getting out.

There is an online petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott to grant a pardon to Marissa Alexander. You can sign it here: Pardon Marissa Alexander – show your support and sign the petition!

I want to thank author Ann Werner where much of this article was gleaned. I hope you don’t mind Ann but I was compelled to share and show my support. Thank you and that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Monday, May 14, 2012

SMOKEY – A Musical Genius

The genius of William ”Smokey” Robinson, Jr., the most prolific singer-songwriter of our lifetime, is priceless. A thousand years from now you will hear Smokey’s music. To prove my point, “My Girl” first recorded by the Temptations is timeless and the recording sounds as fresh today as it did in 1965. Smokey is also a record producer, former record executive, and one of the founders of the music label that changed the world – Motown.

Robinson is most notable for being a songwriter, sure, but he is also the founder and front man of The Miracles, for which he also served as the group’s chief songwriter and producer. Robinson led the group from its 1955 origins as The Five Chimes until 1972 when he announced a retirement from the stage to focus on his role as Motown’s vice president.

Smokey was born in Detroit and raised on the city’s North End section. At one point, he and Diana Ross were next-door neighbors; he said he has known Ross since she was eight. He later told reporters when he was a child; his uncle christened him “Smokey Joe”, which he assumed was a “cowboy name for me” until he was later told that Smokey was a pejorative term for dark-skinned blacks. He once said that he remembers his uncle saying to him, “I’m doing this so you won’t ever forget that you’re black.”

In August 1958, Robinson met songwriter Berry Gordy, who had recently stopped writing songs for Jackie Wilson after getting into a royalty dispute with Wilson’s label. Gordy took an interest in Smokey and his group to which Gordy was more impressed at the fact that Robinson was a writer than as a singer. Gordy agreed to work with them and with his help; the Matadors released their first single. Following this, the group changed its name to The Miracles after Claudette Rogers replaced Emerson Rogers.

After a number of failures and difficulties with money, Smokey suggested to Gordy that he start his own label, which Gordy agreed. Following the forming of Tamla Records, later reincorporated as Motown, the Miracles became one of the first acts signed to the label. In late 1960, the group recorded their first hit single, “Shop Around”, which became Motown’s first million-selling single. Between 1960 and 1970, Smokey would produce 26 top forty hits with the Miracles.

By 1969, Robinson had voiced his opinion on wanting to retire from the road to focus on raising a family with wife Claudette and their two children, and to also focus his duties as Motown’s vice president. However, the late success of the group’s track, “Tears of a Clown”, caused Robinson to stay with the group until 1972. Robinson’s last performance with the group was in July 1972 in Washington DC.

After a year of retirement, Smokey announced his comeback with the release of the album simply titled “Smokey” in 1973. The album included the Miracles tribute song, “Sweet Harmony” and the hit ballad “Baby Come Close”. That same year, former Beatle George featured the track “Pure Smokey” as a tribute to his idol. In 1974, Robinson’s second album, Pure Smokey was released but failed to produce hits.

Robinson answered his critics the following year with A Quiet Storm, released in 1975. The album launched three singles – the number-one R&B hit “Baby That’s Backatcha”, “The Agony & The Ecstasy” and “Quiet Storm”. With his nearly sixty years in the music industry, he is still one of the most respected and gifted musicians to grace the stage or play the game.

To the legend known to the world by one name – “Smokey” – we love you and thank you for paving the way. God Bless you and that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

God Bless you and that is my Thought Provoking Perspective… [youtube]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Where Do They Come From

I never use the “N-word”. You know that word that has been reduced to a letter but sometimes it is necessary to make a point. Every so often, they find some Negro who has gone beyond anything rational when it comes to the African American Diaspora. Their latest wing-nut is none other than Congressman Allen West a black Republican and one from Florida - that should say it all - but I digress. Maybe the more appropriate question should be “what is going on down in Florida?”

One of the big-time Republican donors said that President Obama was “the most dangerous man in America.” I beg to differ. I think, from my perspective, that designation is directed toward the wrong person and from my vantage point it should be the Florida Congressman - who I hope will have a short lived political career. He is the person Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote about in the “Mis-Education of the Negro” where he so eloquently said, “If there is “no back door,” he will make one”.

Can I say West is ignorant of history (I will) because “those who forget the past are bound to repeat its mistakes”. I will remind Mr. West, and I use that loosely, of the fate of a few Republicans that came before him like the ghosts of Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele or J.C. Watts who were dismissed when they were no longer useful.

These Negro’s and I meant to use that term, who chooses to place great emphasis on being a “conservative.” Must remember that there were and are very influential members of the Ku Klux Klan, and other terror groups like the Red Shirts, Knights of the White Camelia and White Citizens Council, many of which wore white sheets and did dreadful things to our people.

Let’s take Cain for example. One of Cain’s shortcomings was that he came on the scene swinging with statement like Blacks who voted Democratic were “brainwashed” and that thirty-five percent of Blacks were ready to vote for him. Then he boldly proclaimed the Koch brothers were his “brothers by another mother.” How did that workout for him. He now resides in the forgotten piles of useless Black Republicans.

Let’s look at another example, Michael Steele former Chairman of the Republican National Committee. When the Republican Party could not settle on a leader after several rounds of voting the GOP tried the Ol’ Willie Lynch strategy that was to pit him against President Obama. What better way to bring down the Black man from the lofty position of leadership than to sic another Black man against him.
Again, this Negro came out swing; “I will engage the Black Community”. The shame in this is; when some of the most vile criticisms and racist characterizations were leveled against President Obama, Steele did not have the guts to say, “Wait a minute this is out of bounds!” See where his treason got him.

Then there is Ol Uncle Thomas who was nominated to the Supreme Court replacing the only Black man to sit on the Court. As a Republican, many people believed Thomas was not really a replacement of the Liberal Thurgood Marshall, who was instrumental in the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case in which the Supreme Court ruled segregation was illegal and unconstitutional. Let me remind you this is the guy who appears to be sleeping on the bench and said during his confirmation hearing it was a “high tech lynching.” He went to work; siding with some of the most Conservative rulings imaginable.

How about J.C. Watts who, and I will only admit this once, I liked. He was young, articulate and good looking; presumably with a great future in the Republican Party. Didn’t seem to work out or let me just say he was soon “retired” and only trucked out now and then to make a comment about some on an insignificant issue? Do these guys sound like Allen Keys, Ward Connelly, or any number of others used by the GOP? Ray Charles who was blind and dead can see this. Maybe thirty pieces of silver is worth more to them than it is to me.

This brings me back to West who came to town to fight Republican battles with the same “Gung Ho” spirit as presumably he did when he was in Afghanistan. The only problem is he wants to fight anyone who is not Republican or more specifically Democrats whose ranks comprise Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Handicapped, women and especially immigrants.

The darling of the Tea Party Movement born in the cauldron spewing racial venom toward Obama, needed to attract Black members. They needed a sort of Spook who sat by the Door. Well, they got one because West spoke their language and they bankrolled his candidacy.

West seems to view himself as some kind of supreme patriot! With that said, let me end with this pitiful act. He sent an e-mail message to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, calling her “vile, unprofessional, and despicable,” “a coward,” “characterless,” and “not a Lady,” and demanded that she “shut the heck up.” Let me suggest that he read it to himself and take his own advice.

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Between a Barack and a Hard Place

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

I did not know much about the author, although as an author myself I had heard the name. Wise, a white man, speaks about racism as if he had lived it himself. He talks about and explains the culture of racism rooted in white privilege and their denial that it exists in a profound way. I was very impressed! Naturally, I researched this guy and was directed to several videos of his speeches. I will not go into length about the man nor his presentation. What I will do is strongly suggest that you listen to what he has to say because truth speaks louder than words.

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Assassin's Problem

I am still very appalled by the wild assertions made by the assassin of Trayvon Martin. He has represented the most nonsensical tales that any sane person can imagine.

It is, frankly, sickening and a disgrace that so many want to give the killer the benefit of doubt. I will say this; it appears that he will be protected by the system. And now we have moved on to other issues. We must keep up the pressure.

 I read an article, author unknown, who seemed to be inside my head because what the author wrote are those things I see as the assassins problem. The writer of the article surmised the follow and I’d like to share it with you.
1. He incriminated himself by saying “they always get away” placing Trayvon Martin in the same category as the alleged many, real or imaginary, suspects either he or the Sanford Police had failed to deal with in the past. He profiled Martin as a thief demonstrating prejudice and ill disposition.
2. He profiled Martin as a thief and he could see that he was Black –Zimmerman states this in response to the 911 dispatcher’s question. Since he had not witnessed Martin committing a burglary or any other crime, he had concluded that Martin was a criminal simply because he was Black.
3. He profiled Martin as a criminal suspect because he was Black and was also wearing a hoodie; since many young African American males –and white ones too– wear hoodies, it means that Zimmerman was prejudiced against Black males that fit that category. Martin became the perfect prey once Zimmerman spotted him in the neighborhood.
4. Zimmerman’s prejudice towards Black males is known. He had called 911 previously 46 times before, to report suspects in the neighborhood. According to The Daily Beast, “starting in 2011, Zimmerman’s calls increasingly focused on what he considered ‘suspicious’ characters walking around the neighborhood—almost all of whom were young black males. On April 22, 2011, Zimmerman called to report a black male about ’7-9′ years old, four feet tall, with a ‘skinny build’ and short black hair. There is no indication in the police report of the reason for Zimmerman’s suspicion of the boy.”
He may have called about any Black man he’d observed in the neighborhood; or he may have called even when he saw nobody. He thereby could have diabolically created the appearance, to the Sanford Police that Black males were a menace on the prowl in the neighborhood. And, in case he did end up shooting one of them one day, the Police would be understanding — after all, Zimmerman’s numerous calls had alerted the police about the danger Black males posed.
5. Zimmerman was ordered not to follow Martin but he did so anyway, showing that his intention the minute he’d observed Martin, was to interact with him.
6. By ignoring the police dispatcher, Zimmerman wanted to engage Martin before the police arrived on the scene to disrupt his own plans. He wasn’t even smart enough to concoct a story or claim that he defied the police because he had observed Martin committing a crime.
7. Zimmerman followed Martin. He never stood his ground; so the Florida Stand Your Ground law can’t protect him. It was Martin who stood his ground and if Martin had a weapon, he could have lawfully shot and killed Zimmerman who was pursuing him even though he likely would have still been arrested anyway.
8. Zimmerman has a record of violent encounters; Martin does not.
9. Zimmerman went into hiding for 45 days; these aren’t the actions of an innocent man who shot someone else in self defense. The alleged injuries Zimmerman suffered to his nose and back of his head –if indeed they were authentic and if in fact they were caused in an altercation with Martin– don’t justify the shooting death of Martin, whom Zimmerman had stalked.
10. Zimmerman had every intention to engage Martin even at the risk of using deadly force. Why would he risk engaging Martin if he believed he was a suspect? Zimmerman was carrying a gun. But he could not have known whether Martin also had a gun or not.
Is it possible that Zimmerman may have been holding his gun when he approached Martin so that he would be able to fire first in case Martin had a gun and attempted to also pull his out? This could also explain why Trayvon Martin screamed; possibly, he’d realized Zimmerman was about to kill him with a gun.
In closing, I will ask this question. Will history repeat itself like in the case of little Emmett Till - will the murderer walk? What do you think?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hear's Mitt

I am going to say from the onset that I am a huge supporter of President Obama, mainly because he is my president. Not to mention the fact that he’s brilliant and has done an amazing job in light of what the last president left for him to work with.

I won’t profess that I am apolitical because I am not. You see, everything is political and I have lived long enough to know that!

With that said politics, and often times, are those forces that usually have self motivating interests that’s represented by the evils that lurk amongst us. The basis of that interest is money, which has corrupted or is corrupting our system that has never been fair to the least of thee.

Moreover, it has become even more diabolical in this political season. Money is the most powerful instrument known to man; at least it is in a capitalistic society. Those who have it will do anything to keep it and to get more of it.

This brings me to my thought for today, which is to share with you in his own words that of a man who, in my opinion, wants to eliminate the least of thee. This man they, the republicans, his own, call “Him”. Known for being a serial “flip flopper” changes like a chameleon. If they don’t want “Him” - then why should we?

Watch the video and you decide for yourself if you want “Him” to be your president of these United States. I am going to agree with what the Former NBA Great Charles Barkley said, "Mitt Romney, hey, listen man, we're going to beat you like a drum in November".

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Sunday, May 6, 2012

DID YOU KNOW THIS? You must see this crime!!!

Chamberlain, a 68-year-old African American and former Marine, was shot dead by police in his own home in White Plains, New York, after he mistakenly set off his LifeAid medical alert pendant. The Westchester District Attorney says no police officers will be charged in the fatal shooting of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. after a grand jury declined to indict any of the officers involved.

We air newly released audio and video of the shooting, as well from his sister’s call to police as she tried to defuse the situation. This is what they call “protect and Serve”.

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Thank you Democracy Now! 
You must see this!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012


On May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This was the day of the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision that changed the face of America unlike any other decision before or since.

It was the cornerstone that laid the foundation for all of the civil rights African American’s know today, just as the late Thurgood Marshall, who brilliantly argued and won this case envisioned. It is also very appropriate to recognize the skillful talent of Justice Marshall for his more than fifty victories before the Supreme Court, more than any other attorney in history.

The Brown case, as it is known, was not the first such case regarding civil rights argued before the Supreme Court. It was just the most significant of what some would say was the final battle in the courts that had been fought by African American parents since 1849 with Roberts v. City of Boston, Massachusetts. It is also important to note that Kansas was the site of eleven such cases spanning from 1881 to 1949.

The case was named after Oliver Brown one of 200 plaintiffs. The Brown case was initiated and organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership who recruited African American parents in Topeka, Kansas for a class action suit against the local school board. The Supreme Court combined five cases under the heading Brown v. Board of Education: Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The ultimate goal sought by the NAACP was to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of society, including public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and all forms of public accommodations.

The Brown Supreme Court ruling determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional in Brown I, the first opinion. The court’s implementation mandated "with all deliberate speed" in 1955 was known as Brown II. In 1979, twenty five years later, there was a Brown III because Topeka was not living up to the earlier Supreme Court ruling, which resulted in Topeka Public Schools building three magnet schools to comply with the court's findings.

As had been the case since Homer Plessy, the subject in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites.

Now that I have provided some history related to the case let me add my commentary. It has been said that as sure as things change they remain the same. First, it took 60 year to overturn Plessy with Brown and it took “with all deliberate speed” 13 years for integration to begin fully. During the period from 1954 to 1967, governors blocked school entrances and actually closed schools rather than comply with the law of the land. I am not going to touch on the violence that caused Presidents to send the US Army and National Guard troops to schools in order to protect the safety of those the ruling was intended benefit as a result of the Brown decision.

Since then, and over time, many scams have been devised to disenfranchise minorities and African Americans in particular. I need only remind you of “No Child Left Behind” where we see persistent patterns of underachievement for lower-income students on standardized test scores. These standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to a child's academic future, which I don’t believe was the spirit of the Brown case.

This brings us to where we are today concerning the inequity that still exists. For example in Washington DC the capital of the free world with its minority public school student population of about 95% (all minorities included) suggests that schools are equally as segregated, poorly funded, and there dilapidated facilities equate to pre Brown V Board era schools. The police presence that exists today unlike then serves to save, often times, the students from themselves. About three-fourths of elementary students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The dropout rate averages 2 to 1. These are just a few issues that by any measure of academic standards or common sense suggest failure.

The Quality Counts Report, a publication from Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes the trade magazine Education Week, rated the 50 states and the District in six areas of educational performance and policy. Washington schools were ranked 51st  in the report, but the lead researcher said that Washington is more comparable to large cities than to states, which have a mix of struggling urban and higher-performing suburban and rural schools. Like school districts in most large cities, Washington schools are severely challenged with daunting problems with the most serious being a large population of students from poor families living in troubled neighborhoods.

After fifty-five years, it is not unreasonable to seek and ask that the spirit of Brown rest in the city where the decision was rendered into law. I understand that public education was not created to develop minds rather it was intended to simply teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was created to maintain a permanent underclass. Much like it was then, a travesty, in many ways it remains a travesty for the children in most Urban Public School System’s particularly in the city that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom around the world.

I, like Dr. King believe in the dream but we have unfinished business and as it stands - it is a dream deferred. I ask that we open our eyes and continue the struggle as the ghosts of so many greats died for this principle: “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair”.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season will be released June 15, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Un-Justiced

In recent years, we have witness torture inflected upon people in the name of terror. In nearly every city in America African-Americans are victims of abuse at the hands of the police, vigilantes, and murdered that seems often times to go unnoticed by justice. 
In the last few month’s we’ve witness the assassination of a young black child – Travon Martin – similar to little Emmett Till over a half century ago. The Klan is on the rise and most conservative law makers are trying to turn back the hands of time.
This brings to mind another American travesty that goes unnoticed. During an Occupy the Justice Department rally, held recently in Washington DC, I was struck by something said by Hip-hop duo Dead Prez. This profound statement consumed my thinking on the subject of what I like to call “Modern Lynching’s”.
The statement: "Behind me on the wall it says this place is a place of hallowed justice, it should say this is a place of hollow justice, there's no justice. We're right in front of the injustice department because for over 40 years we've seen Mumia Abu Jamal get no justice, we've seen Eddy Conway, we've seen Mutulu Shakur, we've seen Herman Bell, we've seen Jalil Muntaqim, and countless other colonial subjects shot down by the police departments inside this country, no justice,"
This event began with speakers and entertainment including MOVE member Ramona Africa, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and M-1 of Dead Prez – all chanting, "Free Jamal. Free them all". Hundreds of protestors with ages ranging from the 20s to the 80s, including many parents with small children, rallied outside the U.S. Department of Justice April 24. They were demanding freedom for Mumia, freedom for all political prisoners, an end to solitary confinement, and an end to mass incarceration.
This got me thinking about a political prisoner whose name is Mumia Abu Jamal who turned 58 that day. Many people may not know or remember his case but he is a casualty of the short end of the long arm of the law. If you don’t know who Abu Jamal is, he was convicted in the 1981 for the shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death row in 1982.
His supporters maintain his innocence, insisting he was set up by a Philadelphia police force that was under federal investigation for corruption and widespread civil rights violations. Abu Jamal was hated for his work with the Black Panther Party and his reporting in support of MOVE family members who were often victimized by the Philadelphia cops.
The Constitution and Western jurisprudence, going back to the Magna Carta and before, do not require a person accused of a crime to prove his or her innocence. The burden of proof is on the prosecutors to convince a jury of one's "peers" to unanimously agree on guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt." Not so in Abu Jamal's case. The odds were stacked against him from the beginning.
Fifteen of the 35 officers involved in the evidence collection in Mumia's case were themselves convicted and sentenced to jail on a number of misconduct charges. On top of that, he was victimized by a rigged, racist legal system which unfairly manipulated evidence, excluded Blacks from the jury, and coerced witnesses to testify falsely against him. His legal defense was a joke. His attorney did absolutely no investigation of the circumstances which left Officer Faulkner dead and Abu Jamal shot and wounded.
In December 2011, Mumia was removed from death row following a number of court appeals which went all the way to the Supreme Court. He is now imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole. After the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's vacating his death sentence, prosecutors abandoned their efforts to reinstate the death penalty rather than go back into court. Had they gone back in court, evidence of decades of police and prosecutorial misconduct might have been introduced, possibly leading to a new trial. There is abundant evidence "proving" Mumia's innocence.
The state of Pennsylvania could never get a re-conviction. With all the forensic evidence that has been uncovered, all of the witnesses who have recanted their testimony, declaring they were forced to lie in the original trial by crooked cops, if they dared to try to go before a judge again, it would be a wonder if the prosecutor and cops would not be exposed and themselves prosecuted for their underhanded tactics.
Right now the United States represents 5 percent of the world's population but we incarcerate 25 percent of the world's prisoners. And guess which group of people is disproportionately represented in the American criminal injustice system. This group also represents a large number of what I call the incarceration of the “un-justiced”. We know CONTEL was real, it happened, and it happened to US.
If nothing changes – nothing changes! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…