New Report: Rice Spat On Palmer, NFL Had Punch Tape

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by Gary Johnson

ray-rice

By Black Men In America.com Staff

Every day more information about the Ray Rice domestic violence incident is being reported and shared.  If true, these new reports spell BAD NEWS for both Rice and the NFL.  Today the Associated Press reported that the NFL was delivered a copy of the punch video back in April 2014.   In addition, additional details from the night of Ray Rice’s assault on his then-fiancee Janay Palmer have been made available in a new report from ESPN. These details include Rice spitting on Palmer two times before hitting her and that Rice knew he was going to be arrested.

According to ESPN Investigative Reporter John Barr, Ray Rice spat in the face of Janay Palmer the night he punched her in a hotel elevator.  According to media reports interviews with one current and one former security staffer at the Revel who spoke with ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” this week on the condition of anonymity, described additional details of the incident.  These staffers said there is a higher quality video that they reviewed.  In the “Outside The Lines” report, two of the men were on duty the night of the assault, while a third had full access to the security video, which he said he has watched dozens of times.

Here’s a partial account of the incident as reported by ESPN:

One former staffer said Rice spat in his then-fiancée’s face twice, “once outside the elevator and once inside,” prompting her to retaliate with movements that were ultimately countered with a knockout punch.

“The first thing he [Rice] said is, ‘She’s intoxicated. She drank too much. I’m just trying to get her to the room,'” one staffer said.

“When she regained consciousness she said, ‘How could you do this to me? I’m the mother of your kid,'” that same staffer told “Outside the Lines.”

With his fiancée still groggy, Rice dialed somebody on his cellphone and said, “I’m getting arrested tonight,” the staffer said. Police arrived in 10 to 15 minutes.

All of the staffers who spoke with “Outside the Lines” say they were not contacted by anyone from NFL security or the Ravens and they are not aware of any current or former co-workers who have been.

This situation is a mess and is getting worse every day.

 

Condoleeza Rice for NFL Commissioner

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Sports News, Women's Interests with tags , , , on September 10, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Condi Rice

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com

Let’s talk about a different person named Rice for a moment — Condoleeza Rice. 

It appears that the NFL has made mistake, after mistake, after mistake in their “investigation” of the Ray Rice situation. Every decision the league has made appears to be in reaction to the public’s outrage over the league’s inability to send the correct message to it’s players.  Perhaps it’s time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to be removed from his job.

How about Condoleeza Rice as NFL Commissioner?  She could certainly do a better job than the current commissioner. Maybe it’s time to break up the “boy’s club” and add a different and diverse perspective.

Current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appears to be flawed and inept in his decision-making on this topic and several others.  This from a man who reportedly is paid $44 million dollars a year.  $44 million dollars a year for this kind of weak leadership?  The league’s decision-making process should be formally reviewed with regard to how the league investigated the Ray Rice situation.

About 12 years ago, Ms. Rice publicly stated that she would love to be NFL Commissioner.  I say the time is right and she is the right person at the right time for this job.

What do you think?

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

Janay Rice Blames The Media for Ruining Her Life

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Sports News, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on September 9, 2014 by Gary Johnson

janay-palmer

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In America.com

September 9, 2014

Late last evening the Associated Press published video that showed what led up to the confrontation.  Prior to being knocked out, Janay and Ray Rice exchanged obscenities.  Additional video footage shows that Janay Rice spit in her husband’s face and then he punched her with a left hook rendering her unconscious.

Mrs. Rice says that the media’s reaction to the event didn’t take into account her role in creating the altercation.  Janay Rice took to social media via her Instagram account this morning and posted the following:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she said in an Instagram post. “But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”

Wow!  This is a bit much to digest.  Note to Mrs. Rice:  The media did not ruin your life.  Your husband ruined your life when he hit you in the face and knocked you unconscious.  He then treated you like a hefty trash bag and used his leg to push you out of the elevator and then dragged you into the lobby.

Janay Rice’s reaction is a sad and predictable commentary.  This is a woman who married the man the same month that he knocked her out.

The fallout from Ray Rice’s suspension from the NFL has even cut short his video game career. EA Sports will cut him out of their video game and Nike has terminated his contract. In addition, the Baltimore Ravens released details of their Ray Rice Jersey Exchange program. Fans can go to the stadium and trade in their Ray Rice jersey for a jersey worn by another Ravens player. This incident and the comments from Ray’s wife Janay sparked some very critical conversations about domestic violence in this country. This issue is not going away. It would not surprise me if some executives in the NFL front office lost their job. The entire Rice family needs some professional and quality help.

I wonder how her mother and father feel about what has happened to their daughter.  This family needs counseling and professional help and I hope they get it.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

TMZ Releases New Ray Rice Elevator Video

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Black Men In America, Women's Interests with tags , , , on September 8, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Ray Rice, Janay Rice

September 8, 2014

Update:  NFL Suspends Ray Rice Indefinitely

By Gary Johnson, Black Men In America.com

The newly released video shows Ravens RB Ray Rice and his now wife Janay Palmer, getting into an elevator inside the Revel Casino on Feb. 15, and within seconds after the door closing, Palmer approaches Rice, who delivers a punch that knocks Palmer off her feet.  Palmer’s head smashes against the elevator hand rail … knocking her out cold.  Rice doesn’t appear to be phased and drags her unconscious body into the hallway, where they are met by a security guard.

After viewing the latest video, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday suspended Rice indefinitely.  Goodell reportedly had not seen the “knock out” video showing Rice cold-cocking Janay Palmer before handing down a two-game suspension that was blasted for being too soft.

On August 29th, the NFL Commissioner instituted a new domestic abuse policy, where a first-time offender would get a six-game suspension and a second offense could lead to a lifetime ban.

On May 20th, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program to avoid aggravated assault charges.  Once Rice completes the one year program, the third-degree assault charge will be dropped.  I know the rules of double jeopardy say that you cannot punish a player twice for the same offense, but something has got to be done about this incident with the release of this new information in the form of this video.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this newly released video is worth tens of thousands of words.  This video is hard for me to watch.

Did the NFL do the right thing by suspending Ray Rice indefinitely?  What do you think?

Two weeks ago I collaborated with domestic violence expert Mildred Muhammad (The Ray Rice Apology: Two Points of View) on the Ray Rice incident.  Mildred sees domestic violence and abuse from a different set of lenses.  Mildred contended from the beginning that Ray Rice had a total disregard for her well-being.

Here is an excerpt of Mildred’s reaction from her Facebook page today: The force of the punch caused her to hit her head on the rail and she is out cold…He was not kind, careful or concerned with her! He did not display remorse, he didn’t care if she was coming out of her forced coma! He dragged her out of the elevator and was more concerned with his cellphone than with her…smh!  He treated her like she was worth nothing.  He is only concerned with his career.  Now, I hope he does not blame her for his actions, as most people have already began and continue to blame her (victim blaming).  He could have turned to the side.  He could have held her.  He could have done a lot of things.  However, he CHOSE to knock her out.  And these are the consequences of HIS actions!  Unacceptable behavior.  Agree with me or not…he was absolutely wrong.”

Mildred Mildred D. Muhammad is the ex-wife of John Allen Muhammad – the convicted and executed DC sniper who terrorized the Washington DC metropolitan area in late 2002. 

To read her perspective, click here to read our commentary.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

Black Consciousness in 21st Century America

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists on September 5, 2014 by Gary Johnson

 

voter_article-small_5516

By H. Lewis Smith

In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, concerned Black/African-Americans from all-over America converged on Ferguson, Missouri simultaneously presenting an intangible mirror reflecting Black consciousness in 21st century America. Whenever, there is a seemingly unjustified killing done by a white person to a black person, Black America historically since the 1960s will rise up in virtual rebellion. The sentiment being that Black America has low tolerance for police brutality towards blacks.

The reflection from the mirror however, presents an imbalanced and disconcerting image of Black America. It’s admirable of African-Americans to display unity in the face of what’s conceived as police brutally towards fellow Black Americans, but where is the same concern for the out of control killing of blacks by other blacks?

From Oakland to Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Newark gun violence takes a heavy toll on the black community where young black men are routinely killed at the hands of other blacks. The grief shouldered by black women, black families, black churches and the black community is enormous, but yet where is the internal concern, the outrage?
In my book, Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth About Lies, Deceit and Mind Games I present how the road towards freedom, equality and justice is a two-way street and how we as Black African-Americans must hold ourselves equally accountable and responsible in the same light as we do others to achieve racial harmony and equality; which can only be accomplished via a healthy, liberated mindset.

Contemporary Black/African-Americans are presently traveling on a path of self-destruction and need to wake up to this reality post haste. For the past 30 years, the prowess spirit of Black America have been replaced or diluted with messages of self-destruction, inferiority, and insignificance mostly due to the creation and acceptability of gangsta rap and its associated lifestyle.

Where is the outrage, the strong rhetoric denouncing the actions of these predators? To the contrary—financially successful black rappers and businessmen—are held in high esteem throughout the Black community. The products from which they have gained their wealth contribute to the corruption and pollution of the minds of many black youth, crippling the minds of the impoverished even further.

The building of character and the positive molding of young minds have taken a back seat to cultural genocide and menticide. The memories, sacrifices and struggles of African-American ancestors too have been urinated, defecated and trampled upon at the expense of bestowing high applause upon those who have financially benefited by selling out their race.

Fifty years removed from 1964, and the state of affairs throughout the Black community is on life support. Black-on-Black crime, gangs, rampant drug selling and addictions; a high volume of incarcerations, probations, paroles; and problems in schools such as suspensions, expulsions and poor performances are not just externally caused conditions. In fact, the primary causes of these concerns stem from internal influences within the Black community.

Such acceptance and promotion of the glorification of violence, sex, drugs, and profanity as a lifestyle leads to an unhealthy, broken and unproductive environment. This same acceptance and rationalizing with defiling behaviors and attitudes serves as a breeding ground for trouble, despair, discord, discontent and afflictions of grave consequences.
When Black/African-Americans support rappers and entertainers that humiliate and degrade their own race, those supporters are participating in cultural, mental genocide and the sanctioning of every whiplash and other atrocities felt by enslaved ancestors. These same fans are contributing to the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and cultural extermination of the Black race as the entire world watches in amazement at such abnormal behavior. Some rappers were present at Ferguson lending their support and kudos to them, but it doesn’t nullify the fact that they are part of the problem.

Rather than promoting positive images; encouraging black youth not to take the same violent or negative routes that they took to stardom; stressing the importance of education, self-awareness, and self-dignity (having some class and sophistication); and truly being accessible to youths to serve as impressionistic mentors, they only continue to suck the life from the Black community in terms of asking citizens to buy their immoral records and empty labels with no positive messaging.

Use and tolerance of the n-word is not indicative of a free liberated mind nor the desire or effort to achieve greatness. Rather, embracing the n-word, violence, denigration of women is reflective of a bonded mind or mental illness.
Blacks must begin to teach and show by example future generations a new way of thinking. African-Americans must also realize that with freedom, education and independence, comes the requirement to be accountable and responsible for one’s own acts; in other words there is a crying need for the Black community to hold one another accountable and responsible for the welfare and well-being of the community which isn’t presently being done in this 21st century.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., http://www.theunitedvoices.com author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games https://www.createspace.com/4655015.

Larry Graham Is Still Funky After All These Years

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Music with tags , , , , on August 28, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Larry Graham

By Gary A. Johnson,
Publisher, Black Men In America.com

The last time I saw Larry Graham and Graham Central Station I was in High School.  I saw him at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C.  I went to the show tonight expecting Mr. Graham to be FUNKY, but not this FUNKY.  After all, he’s been around for over 40 years.  I figured he may have lost a step, or developed a hitch in his “funk-get-along.”

Talk about being wrong.  After last night’s show, 68-year old Larry Graham catapulted himself into my All Time Top 5 List of live performers.  Before seeing Larry Graham last night my top 5 best live performers were:

  1. James Brown
  2. Prince
  3. Earth, Wind & Fire
  4. The Jackson 5/Michael Jackson
  5. Brian Culbertson

After the Larry Graham experience last night, Brian Culbertson has been voted out of the Top 5 to the #6 slot with Larry Graham and Graham Central Station comfortably occupying the #5 slot.

Larry Graham

Last night the show started with the band coming on stage from the right wing.  The crowd was looking toward the stage chanting “Larry! Larry! Larry!”  The crowd erupted in applause as Larry Graham came from the rear of the building walking through the audience playing his bass guitar as he made his way to the stage.  Dressed in his signature all-white suit and a white hat topped off by a huge aqua blue feather, Graham also wore a floor length “Elvis-like” jacket.  By now everyone was on their feet (including me and I hate standing at concerts).  Graham walked by our table playing that bass guitar like the Pied Piper of Funk.

His band, Graham Central Station (GCS) has gone through a number of changes in membership.  The current GSC band are all young folks who grew up idolizing Graham.  The band also featured female vocalist Ashling Cole, who goes by the nickname “Biscuit.”  Ms. Cole has the daunting task of taking over the vocals made famous by original GCS member, Patrice “Chocolate” Banks.  I had my doubts if the young girl named “Biscuit” was up to the task.  She quickly sold me and the audience when she belted out the song, “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”  Biscuit, who says her musical influences were Teena Marie and Chaka Khan, also sang a Chaka Khan song to prove that she could do the “heavy lifting” vocally when asked.

After about an hour into the show Graham told the crowd:  “You better call the babysitter and tell them you will be home late.” Dude played for 3 hours!  Graham had 5 encores! (I guess he forgot that some of us had things to do the next morning).

Throughout the night Larry Graham and the band performed their 1975 anthem “The Jam” before taking fans back in time with “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again), and “Dance To The Music” from Graham’s Sly & The Family Stone days.  At one point the band exited the stage leaving Graham playing the thumb funk box, alone with the drummer.  In addition, the band played a medley of musical influences that included music by George Duke, Prince, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, James Brown, The Originals and The Ohio Players.  If that wasn’t enough, Larry Graham allowed people from the audience to come on stage and showcase their talent by jamming with the band.  Can you imagine going on stage and saying: “I play bass,” and Larry Graham takes his bass off and gives it to you to play?

Everyone who came on stage had an opportunity to play their instrument of choice or sing and the band members stepped aside, gave up their instrument for you and let you jam with the band.  I almost ran on stage to sing Sly’s “If You Want Me To Stay.”  I would have turned The Birchmere out!

After the show, Graham, the band, and his wife Tina of 40 years, came out and signed autographs, took pictures and mingled with the crowd until well after midnight.  If you have a chance to re-live your youth, go see Larry Graham.  I was exhausted after the show.  I think I pulled a hamstring bouncing up and down to “1999” during the Prince medley of the show. It was that song or James Brown’s “I Got The Feeling.”

To learn more about Larry Graham visit his official website Larry Graham.comCheck out this classic video of Larry Graham with his buddy Prince.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

Johnathan Gentry’s Rant Against Al Sharpton and the Ferguson, Missouri Rioters and Looters

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Johnathan.Gentry

Shortly after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Johnathan Gentry became an Internet sensation when he went on a rant against the black community and civil rights leaders following the riots in Ferguson.  Gentry was also on the FOX News Network calling out everyone from President Obama to the NAACP and Al Sharpton.  If you have not seen or heard of Mr. Gentry, you can check him out here.

Here is Mr. Gentry’s appearance on FOX:

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