Sunday, June 30, 2013
Well it’s been a very tough week for black folks in many respects but the elephant in the room, as always, was race. With the George Zimmerman murder trial underway and some descriptive words used to describe one race or another.
Then we had to endure the historic gutting of the most significant piece of legislation since the Emancipation Proclamation with the Supreme Court deciding the country has evolved and changed. Of course, we saw how right they were because within a few hours states began to enact laws that the Voting Rights Act was designed to protect against. But the big story was Paula Dean’s use of the word, apology, and sort of denial that she’s a racist.
I would not dare get into the conversation about who should do what other than to say we can see there is an ilk that wants to somehow return to the good old days prior to 1965. This post is specifically for someone who sent me a comment a few days ago saying I was “no political scientist”. LOL!!! I agree with you sir.
However, I lived thought what history calls Jim Crow and have seen those who feel they have an inherent privilege to abuse people worst than you treat your dog. Your comment, and others like yours, are from the minds of people who have no idea what degradation is like until you have walked in the shoes of an African American – past or present.
Trayvon did not deserve to die at the hands of this man and I pray justice is served. Paula, well if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck – it’s a duck! Now, with respect to the “N-Word” and what you call being racist because people of your hue cannot use it. I found this video by someone who looks like you to explain it to you and maybe his message will resonate.
“To your comment specifically: I may not live to see another black president but today, in this lifetime, look at the picture sir. He is the HNIC!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Black music means all things to our community; at least the way I see it. It dictates the rhythm of our soul. I have said many times that “our story is the greatest story ever told”. We, as a people, have had the fortitude to make something out of nothing. Yes, and I know that is an understatement – but so true.
I cannot pay homage to Black Music Month without giving credit to Soul Train and to Don Cornelius who made something possible at a time when it was impossible. Lest remember that just a few years earlier black music was not allowed to be played on radio. Let me remind you it was called "Race Music" segregated like the rest of America.
I left for Vietnam in 1969. At that time, our representation on television as it related to African American’s was basically nonexistent. Of course, there was the buffoonery and unrealistic representations of who they wanted us to appear to the world. When I returned, a year and a half later, I was changed as a young man so was the world left behind. Thanks in large part to a Saturday afternoon television show called “Soul Train”.
The host of this groundbreaking show Don Cornelius was a tall always stylishly dress. He was an enigmatic mélange of ambition, vision and begrudging affection who unlike most old school show biz impresarios. African American’s knew that Soul Train’s rival American Bandstand did very little for the artist or our community or did provide joy within our souls. Mr. Cornelius had the vision to create the hippest trip on television and dare I say in America.
Soul Train was not just a great American story of triumph over travail; it was a hallowed symbol to the African American community. Soul Train changed the world through its outstanding reflections of our pride and talent. The show shined a light, a bright light, on the African American culture through great music while showcasing the performers who in many cases had no other national platform. This included the known, unknown, and obscure literally making stars of them overnight. Soul Train was the powerful vehicle and it became the longest running syndicated show on television, a black history fact to remember.
Watching Soul Train made you instantly cool, no matter if you were black, white or otherwise. Where else could you learn the latest dances, hippest fashions, and the next best way to rock that Afro and what products you had to have to keep it looking good? The legendary Soul Train Line was essential viewing. Can you remember those parties you attend on the Saturday night after watching the show where you used the moves to do your own Soul Train line? It could be said that it raised your “Cool IQ”. Soul Train was a window into a world rarely seen by the world.
When Mr. Cornelius signed off on February 1, 2012, it was a tragic end to a long running iconic figure in American music. In remembrance of the creator’s legendary roll; I wish him love, peace and soul. May his soul Rest In Peace! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!
"Just a Season"
Friday, June 28, 2013
This post serves one purpose, which is to say SHAME on those who have been so cruel to the nineteen year-old young woman who was thrust into a world-wide media circus.
She is not a Hollywood actress, obviously has language, cultural and educational barriers. The disrespect many have demonstrated on social media reached an unbelievable low. I have about sixty thousand social media connects and most have discussed me. We expect this behavior from those of the other hue and racists but I am shocked that it has come from the African American community.
This woman did not ask to be the last person to hear the voice of her young friend who was brutally murder by, in my view, a monster. She is not well versed in the arena of a courtroom. I am sure many of you know the emotional impact of a death; have had a family member or friend to die, which should allow you to understand the emotional trauma of such an event. You should be ashamed of your comments about how this young lady looked; as if she not one of God’s children.
I think she held her own and stood her ground under very difficult circumstances. Understand that she was there as a witness to her friends murder. I, for one, found her testimony creditable. I will not go on and on about this but to say I am proud of this young woman for having the courage to come forth with the truth as she understood it to be.
I am particularly ashamed of the African American community who wore those hoodies professing their support for the murdered of Trayvon Martin, particularly black women, who claims to be strong black women. Your disrespect of this sister is reprehensible. Those who are guilty know who you are and should be ashamed!
I say to you, all of you, put yourself in her place and for those who say God or Jesus in every sentence. He or she who is without sin cast the first stone. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Nelson Mandela was our generations and the world’s largest icon. Mr. Mandela is the face of freedom and the embodiment of courage as the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary. Know as an amazing politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after serving twenty-seven years in prison. He was the first black South African to hold the office of president in the most reprehensible government on the planet.
Madiba as he is called by the people of his homeland was first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically Madiba was an African Nationalist and democratic socialist who served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
His story is the greatest story of our time. Mandela served 27 years in prison, first on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela published led negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid in which he led the ANC to victory.
Controversial for much of his life, right-wing critics denounced Mandela as a terrorist and communist sympathizer. He nevertheless received international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received 250 awards, including the 1993Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name of Madiba or as tata; he is often described as "the father of the nation".
I am proud to say I have been in his presence and posed with his Ex-wife Winnie Mandela which was the most cherished moment of my life. Few people come into the world unselfishly for the benefit of others. Mr. Mandela you suffering and struggle changed and uplifted the lives of millions. In your words “Amandla” – All power to the people.
Where you go, you will be judged by the work you have done. You have done your work and the results of you toil will be an inspiration to the world for all eternity. Job well done; it is time to take your rest. You are my hero and the world is thankful for your spirit. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Shelby County v. Holder was so disappointing and stalk reminder of days long past, which turned back the hands of time.
In its decision, the Supreme Court effectively invalidated Section 4 of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. As evidence of its negative impact; within hours of the ruling Texas immediately enacted a Voter ID law and rest assured many other states will revert back to their old ways denying millions of minorities, and African Americans in particular, the right to participate in America’s democracy.
I have seen and remember old Jim Crow and I am deeply troubled by the Supreme Court decision striking critical protections within the Voting Rights Act. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court struck Section 4, a provision which outlines the formula federal officials have used to determine which states must clear new voting laws with the Department of Justice. This decision ignores the persistence of discrimination in voting and weakens a vital tool that has protected the right to vote for all Americans for nearly 50 years.
Most of America knows that it was because of the Voting Rights Act that African American’s were afforded the right to vote; although not a permanent or guaranteed right to vote. Periodically it had to be reauthorized. I was one who thought there would be a president to come along and refuse to sign the reauthorization into law or a Congress such as the one we have today would take away that right. But on June 25, 2013 the Supreme Court of the United States proved me wrong by being the culprits that take affectively took that right away.
Let’s take a historical look at some history. In 1865, it was said that slavery was over meaning blacks were free. In thirty years, the Supreme Court of the 1890s ruled in the Plessy v Ferguson that ushered in government sanctioned segregation that lasted until 1965 when President Johnson signed into law a number of Civil Rights Bills including the Voting Rights Act shortly after Bloody Sunday. That means it took a hundred years for this so-called freedom to have some semblance of reality. In the last election we saw the evil forces at work with tricks and schemes to further the disenfranchise minorities, the poor and elderly their right to vote.
So many African American’s gave their lives and blood to obtain the right to vote. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, "Thanks to the Voting Rights Act, progress once the subject of a dream has been achieved and continues to be made." She went on to say "Hubris is a fit word for today's demolition of the Voting Rights Act.”
I must express my distain for the “Negro” justice on the bench because this guy sided with the majority and it is reported that he said he would like to remove the entire Voting Rights Act. Sir your collusion and opinion is a disgrace and you should be ashamed! Make no mistake what you helped them do, in my view, was done to ensure that there will never be another black president.
For the sake of our children’s future we must take a stand and not let this stand! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
I have to wonder if Uncle Thomas can remember this horrible event.
An explanation of what happened June 25, 2012
Saturday, June 22, 2013
In many places throughout America there is the belief that "black male teens" are inherently more likely to be criminals. What is dangerous about this thinking is that it’s ingrained in our society and actually applies to all people of color; whereas, the facts and statistic don’t prove this true. The result is that people of African descent are over represented in the prison system. Then there are the millions trapped in the cycle of probation and other legal aspects of the justice system that makes it look like “Just Us”.
It has been seeped into our institutions from the beginning. This means it is still with us today in the form of racial profiling, stop and frisk, and all too often unfair judgment by those who are supposed to protect us. There have been thousands of cases that have involved African Americans whether rightly or wrongly administered by the system. This brings me to the most significant case of our time – the George Zimmerman second degree murder case. This is a pivotal moment because the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is RACE.
Let me quote something Elijah Anderson, Professor of Sociology at Yale University, said:
In Till's day, a black person's "place" was in the field or in the back of the bus. If a black man was found "out of his place," he could be jailed or lynched. In Martin's day -- in our day -- a black person's "place" is in the ghetto. If he is found "out of his place," he may be treated with suspicion, frisked, arrested -- or worse.
We know the facts should state the obvious. Either Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin in cold blood or he didn't. For all the unethical, in my view, tactics it was no accident that Zimmerman's defense attorneys did not want this highly charged, racially tinged cases to leave “Mayberry”. I say this because there were no black people in the town of Mayberry, which I compare to the few in Sanford or in that conservative area.
They did not want to ask for a change of venue because they wanted a biased jury – all white. They got what they wanted! Jose Baez, a Florida defense attorney who was lead defense counsel in the Casey Anthony trial said, “The jury chosen is a "slam dunk" for the defense… I think the defense clearly won the day on this one. Any way you slice and dice it, this is a defense jury." Baez is the attorney for the Florida mother who was acquitted in 2011 of killing Caylee her young daughter.
The question then becomes will the result be the same as it was 60 years ago when little Emmitt Till’s killers faced a jury. The world is watching America. We have seen this before – again and again! I only need remind you of the case not too long ago in Simi Valley, California and that is the Negro Dilemma! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Friday, June 21, 2013
We are living in what most say is something called a post racial society. Based on the word “post” it implies that racism no longer exists. It amazes me that anyone would come to this conclusion when you look at the state of relations in America today on any level. African Americans and people of color lead every negative category across the board; be it unemployment, healthcare, housing, education, you name it. Yet, there are those who say things have changed.
I share many Thought Provoking Perspectives on a wide range of subjects but interestingly enough the hate mail comes when I speak to a reality we all know is truth. I know it sound good and all that but the reality is that not much has changed. Yes, we do have a “Black Face” in the White House and I am glad to have lived long enough to have witnessed this phenomenal event.
Frankly, no one living or dead would have thought that an African American would ever live in the White House as president. But just for the record; let me remind you of what Carter G. Woodson said in 1933 in his still relevant novel “The Mis-Education of the Negro:
“History shows that it does not matter who is in power... those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.” In the same novel he also reminded us that “if you control what a man is thinking you don’t have to worry about what he thinks”.
Post racial in many respects is nothing more than putting a new name or title on what I would argue will never change. I can recall in my lifetime where the “N-Word” was the last thing a black man, or woman, heard before being lynched. I remember vividly the KKK terrorizing black communities burning down houses and bombings churches under the protection of law; this is also to include murder with no justice for the crime. These cowards held down and raped black women for amusement.
Like the Dixcrats that are now the Republican and Tea Partys are not that much different than the Citizens Counsels of old. Today, the police still act in many regards under a similar code. They can “Stop and Frisk” you at their pleasure, beat and brutalize, and kill with no repercussions. The Prison Industrial Complex where you find “Just Us” is big business filled with 21st Century Slaves trade on the Stock Market; just like slaves were back in the day.
I’ve seen guns and drugs proliferate black communities with murder at unprecedented rates. We just accept it and the legacy and lifestyle that come with it. When there was talk of a revolution; CONINTELPRO was created and that put an end to any thought of freedom. The president spoke loudly of “Change” and said “Yes we can”. I have not seen it!
Mr. President, with all due respect, it’s time that we hold you accountable and make possible change we can believe; just like at the drop of a dime you send billions all over the world in an instant. You can reach out and touch or throw a lifeline to the millions who look like you right here in America. You say that you are trying to be the president of all people. Well aren't African Americans people or are you viewing it as the Constitutions say -3/5 human.
African Americans have been here since August of the year 1619 and they are still debating whether or not we can vote. Just for clarity, every so many years that portion of the Voting Rights Act must be reauthorized and signed into law, and in the span of time between re-authorization they try every trick imaginable to suppress the vote. Mr. President if you do nothing more for the people and their children who look like you; use your power to at least make Voting Rights permanent.
So it’s time for the rational minds to return to earth and stop using the meaningless term “post-racial” because there’s no such thing! There’s no place that fits that description in America. There’s no “post-racial era.” Never has and never will! It’s a term for a concept that does not exist.
I knew Jim Crow and see his son, James Crow Jr. Esq., as being more clever and wicked than his namesake. I never thought I would say this but I felt more comfortable and safe during segregation. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Today I am in a mellow but always socially conscience as to the way of the world. So today I will share a grove that will make you move and provoke thought!
If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything! And that's my Thought Provoking Perspective...
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Let us take care to not only remember Father’s Day but lest we not forget to celebrate Juneteenth the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that those enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.
The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years.
The story that is often told is of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another story is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. Then there is yet another story that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question. Regardless, the conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
One of General Granger’s first orders of business was to read to the people of Texas, General Order Number 3 which began most significantly with:
"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation. While many lingered to learn of this new employer to employee relationship, many left before these offers were completely off the lips of their former 'masters' - attesting to the varying conditions on the plantations and the realization of freedom. Even with nowhere to go, many felt that leaving the plantation would be their first grasp of freedom.
North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America. Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory. The celebration of June 19th was coined "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants.
The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members. Juneteenth continued to be highly revered in Texas decades later, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date. A range of activities were provided to entertain the masses, many of which continue in tradition today. Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.
Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition's roots. During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved. During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former 'masters'.
Economic and cultural forces provided for a decline in Juneteenth activities and participants beginning in the early 1900’s. Classroom and textbook education in lieu of traditional home and family-taught practices stifled the interest of the youth due to less emphasis and detail on the activities of former slaves. Classroom text books proclaimed Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 as the date signaling the ending of slavery - and little or nothing on the impact of General Granger’s arrival on June 19th.
The Depression forced many people off the farms and into the cities to find work. In these urban environments, employers were less eager to grant leaves to celebrate this date. Thus, unless June 19th fell on a weekend or holiday, there were very few participants available. July 4th was the already established Independence holiday and a rise in patriotism steered more toward this celebration.
The Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s yielded both positive and negative results for the Juneteenth celebrations. While it pulled many of the African American youth away and into the struggle for racial equality, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. This was evidenced by student demonstrators involved in the Atlanta civil rights campaign in the early 1960’s, whom wore Juneteenth freedom buttons. Again in 1968, Juneteenth received another strong resurgence through Poor Peoples March to Washington D.C. Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s call for people of all races, creeds, economic levels and professions to come to Washington to show support for the poor.
On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.
Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.
The future of Juneteenth looks bright as the number of cities and states creating Juneteenth committees continues to increase. Respect and appreciation for all of our differences grow out of exposure and working together. Getting involved and supporting Juneteenth celebrations creates new bonds of friendship and understanding among us. This indeed, brightens our future - and that is the Spirit of Juneteenth.
So lest not forget!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective...
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Bob Marley was the third World’s first pop superstar. In all honesty, I don’t like the term third world because as Bob Marley said one love, which means one world. He was the man who introduced the world to the mystic power of reggae.
He was a true rocker at heart, and as a songwriter, he brought the lyrical force of a Bob Dylan with the personal charisma of a John Lennon, and the essential vocal styling’s of Smokey Robinson into one voice. But Bob Marley was so much more and in a class by himself which is why he became a legend!
In 1999 Time Magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century. This spoke to his international acclaim where his message continues to reverberate amongst people around the world. My favorite is the huge political hit “Stand-up, Stand-up for your Rights”. The true testament to greatness is volume of great artist who have recorded the many great songs he’s written.
Marley has evolved into a global symbol of freedom. Author Dave Thompson wrote in his book Reggae and Caribbean Music, laments what he perceives to be the commercialized pacification of Marley's more militant edge, stating:
“Bob Marley ranks among both the most popular and the most misunderstood figures in modern culture ... Gone from the public record is the ghetto kid who dreamed of Che Guevare and the Black Panthers, and pinned their posters up in the Wailers Soul Shack record store; who believed in freedom; and the fighting which it necessitated, and dressed the part on an early album sleeve; whose heroes were James Brown and Muhammad Ali; whose God was Ras Tafari and whose sacrament was marijuana.
Instead, the Bob Marley who surveys his kingdom today is smiling benevolence, a shining sun, a waving palm tree, and a string of hits which tumble out of polite radio like candy from a gumball machine. Of course it has assured his immortality.”
His songs and music spoke to the struggles of the least of thee and to the souls of the ordinary person trapped outside of the establishment, which has endeared him to his fans and the world. As we celebrate and pay homage to this month dedicated to Black Music; I would be remised not to include Bob Marley as one of the greatest musical legends of our time – if not all times.
I know right now Bob Marley is “Jamming”! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Let me say from the first sentence that I in no way condone nor endorse the newly released book by Robert Zimmerman Sr., called “Florida v. Zimmerman: Uncovering the Malicious Prosecution of my Son, George”. Rather to say it is, in my view, disgrace. I am not a reviewer although I do have the right to an opinion, which is the reason for this post or maybe a rebuke of this shocking and shameful essay.
As the murder trial for George Zimmerman begins and prior to its start the defense has released prejudicial information that in no way would be admitted in court disparaging to the deceased child. Let say it more clearly – THE VICTEM WHO IS DEAD! If this guy was so innocent these tactic would not be necessary.
In an article written by Judd Legum in ThinkProgess reports the following:
The most striking chapter in this publication is called “Who Are The True Racists,” an apparent effort to rebut claims that his son’s actions were racially motivated. Previously, Zimmerman Sr. “believed generally racism was a thing of the past.” He says that, personally, he hadn’t encountered much racism, even though his wife is Hispanic. But after his son shot and killed Trayvon Martin, however, Zimmerman learned that racism is “flourishing at the insistence of some in the African American Community.” He then goes on to list various black leaders and organizations that he believes are racist:
Congressional Black Caucus. “[A] pathetic, self-serving group of racists… advancing their purely racist agenda.” He later adds that “all members of Congress should be ashamed of the Congressional Black Caucus, as should be their constituents.” And finally: “They are truly a disgrace to all Americans.”
The NAACP. “[S]imply promotes racism and hatred for their own, primarily finical, interests” and “without prejudice and racial divide, the NAACP would simply cease to exist.”
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. “[W]hat I would expect of a racist.”
Trayvon Martin’s funeral director. A “racial activist and former head of the local NAACP.”
Benjamin Crump, Natialie Jackson and Darrly Parks, attorneys for Travyon Martin’s family. “The scheme team.”
The National Basketball Players Association.
Black Chamber of Commerce.
National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.
National Black United Fund.
United Negro College Fund.
While stopping short of explicitly calling President Obama a racist, Zimmerman Sr. does say that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have “shamelessly” sought to exploit his son’s case “to obtain great advantage in the African-American community.”
Zimmerman Sr. says that because of Holder’s decision to investigate whether Trayvon Martin’s death violated federal civil rights laws, the FBI did not have “adequate resources to investigate clearly identified potential terrorist [sic] in the Boston area.” Now, “tragically, we have suffered the consequences of Mr. Holder’s politically motivated decisions.”
It is my understanding that the elder Zimmerman was a Judge. Therefore, he should know what happens when a death occurs from the use of a handgun. If the Pop’s is so confident that his son is innocence the former judge might want to see what has been reported from the autopsy report and the DNA findings. If I can recall the EMS and his son's PA admitted in their findings that he (the son) may have injured himself to make it appear that the child he murdered give him cause.
Racism is rooted in white privilege which seems to be the arrogance of what he speaks and could be the Zimmerman family trademark ingrained, unfortunately, in the old man’s heart. It really takes a lower element to profess this kind of disrespectful thinking! Therefore, from this rant I ask who might the real racist be? And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…
Friday, June 14, 2013
I see war as an unjust, evil, and futile; particularly as the system continues its assault on the poor and defenseless. The day has passed for superficial patriotism in terms of words of false prophets. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery. Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth. "Ye shall know the truth," says Jesus, "and the truth shall set you free." I agree with Dante that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.
There is an obvious and almost facile connection between the struggles many poor people face as it relates to racial issues. Once there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed that there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through Poverty Programs. I watched these programs broken as if they were idle political playthings of a society gone mad. America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor, so long as there is the one percent.
It is estimated that America spends $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier. While we do not spend a hundred dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that goes for salaries of people hired to, supposedly, help the poor. Therefore, I am increasingly compelled to see the war or poverty as an enemy of the poor. In addition, the money spent on the space program could feed every person in America. Frankly, this is a cruel manipulation of freedom and justice while anything like a moral political agenda exists, which is a disgrace.
So families, women, children, and the aged suffer. The system has destroyed its two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. A true revolution of values should cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called upon to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that is only the first step. One day, we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be beaten constantly as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation.
The Bible says, “You shall reap what you sow”. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together and, every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree and, none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it."
We can change the world but first we must change ourselves. If we can have respect for the living maybe the died might not die! And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE…
Thursday, June 13, 2013
We have heard for nearly a year and a half every pundit and pontificator give their opinions on the Trayvon Martin’s death and the Gorge Zimmerman second degree murder trial.
Let me be clear; everyone has a right to their point of view and by all accounts the reactions are usually split along racial lines. A Fox News anchor commented that Zimmerman has suffered enough. I suppose implying that Trayvon’s death means he suffers no more or his family. SHOCKING!
I’ve seen a half century of history and witnessed what many African Americans see as the scales of justice being unbalanced – just look at the scales held by Lady Justice. We know the system is designed to protect the system and since slavery that system has existed in one form or another. As a result, often times people of color receives what might be called justice deferred!
This place Sanford Florida has a long history of recorded racial intolerance going back to the days of Jackie Robinson and beyond. I am reasonably confident that if that police department had come to the scene of that crime there is no doubt that there would have been an immediate arrest for murder. In fact, there may well have been and additional death or a beating of the suspect, which occurs often times for lesser crimes all the time.
Let’s go back to the Rodney King situation not long ago – need I say more. We watched him beaten nearly to death and he did not kill anyone. Yet, the system found the culprits not guilty! I am very afraid, if history is any indication, the charged man in this case will be found not guilty and the consequences of that verdict will be disastrous.
Let’s look at this from a completely different perspective.
WHAT IF ZIMMERMAN HAD BEEN BLACK AND SHOT AN UNARMED WHITE CHILD? WHAT SAY YOU?
A wise-man once said, “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” (Carter G. Woodson)
And that's my Thought Provoking Perspective...
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I have a FaceBook Group called Black Empowered Men created to be a potent source of empowerment for the Black Community and Black Men in particular. This is not a group for men only; rather what should be a revolution. Anyone is welcome to join who has the consciousness to add value with knowledge and willing to share powerful information with the nearly three thousand members.
One of the members posted a video that spoke truth to the most precious commodity in the black community – the black woman. The video is titled “Happy Mother’s Day” by Beautiful Queen SeeAsia a member of A Queen By All Means. The truth spoken in this video is powerful; as it is you mothers, who are the life givers and the soul of the community. You know that salute comes with a price right? Are you creating race of devils or Gods?
Beautyful SeeAsia talks ♥ EDUCATION ABOUT PROCREATION
Monday, June 10, 2013
I was thinking about someone to continue my effort to pay homage to the musicians who made such tremendous contributions to Black Music history. Now, I have a confession to make before I go further – I got chills thinking about this amazing lady who in my view one of the most unsung female artists of our time Siedah Garrett.
Siedah is a Grammy Award Winning and twice Oscar nominated songwriter and recording artist. As I started writing this article I was astounded by her accomplishments, which include writing songs and performed backing vocals for many of the legions in the music industry. Such as Michael Jackson, Brand New Heavies, Quincy Jones, Tevin Campbell, Donna Summers, Madonna, and Jennifer Hudson to name a few of the many great artists.
What really amazed me was that she has had huge hits singing duets but not on hit of her own. Most notably with Michael Jackson and she co-wrote Jackson’s #1 single “Man In The Mirror” as well as touring with him on his tours. She also had a number one hit with Temptations great Dennis Edwards “Don’t Look Any Further”. She has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and has won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media for co-writing "Love You I Do" performed by Jennifer Hudson for the 2006 musical film Dreamgirls.
Garrett was involved In 1987 Michael Jackson’s Bad album, singing a duet with Jackson on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. The association with Jackson enabled her to sing on several Quincy Jones albums. She co-writing his hit songs “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better me” on the "Back On The Block" and "The Secret Garden" albums.
She forayed into the world of acting starring in a TV sitcom pilot for NBC called "Wally and the Valentines” as well as other television appearances. She hosted the show America’s Top 10. In another association with Maysa Leak’s's (of the group Incognito) solo debut album as co-writer of the track "Sexy" in which she also sang backing vocals. A few years later, she joined the Brand New Heavies, collaborating on their Shelter album. As part of the band, she co-wrote their top 5 hit “Sometimes” and enjoyed a minor hit with Carole King’s "You've Got A Friend".
Garrett worked with Madonna as a backing singer and dancer on The Re-Invention Tour in 2004. Garrett's professional involvement with Madonna goes back some years as she previously supplied backing vocals on some of Madonna's earlier material including True Blue, and Who’s That Girl.
She represented America in the opening ceremony of 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games singing the song "I Know I Can", and in the opening ceremony of Expo 2010 Shanghai China, singing the song "Better City, Better Life" with Jonathan Buck, both songs which she co-wrote with Quincy Jones.
Few artists have maintained such esteemed longevity with so many of the greats as Siedah. Whether she knows she’s great or not - I for one want to give props to this very special lady who gave so much and in my eyes amazing and not unsung at all. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…