Archive for April, 2009

Walter Massey Is The New Chairman of Bank of America

Posted in Black Interests, Money/Economics on April 30, 2009 by Black Man

walter-massey

Walter E. Massey, president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, will become Bank of America Corp.’s chairman.  Massey, 71 takes over for embattled CEO Ken Lewis, who served as both chief executive officer and chairman of the board prior to the change. Lewis had been under fire from some angry investors after BoA purchased investment bank Merrill Lynch last year in a deal that took effect in January 2009.

Lewis will remain in his role as CEO. Massey is described as a distinguished physicist, respected academic administrator and longtime bank director.  Stay tuned for more.

Eugene Robinson Wins Pultizer Prize

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Men, Events and Annoucements with tags , , on April 22, 2009 by Black Man

eugene-robinson

Congratulations! Eugene Robinson Wins Pulitzer Prize

Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and MSNBC won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary Monday, but the newspaper’s lone award represented a much smaller haul than the six it earned a year ago.

Robinson received journalism’s top prize for his columns about the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the first African-American to win the nation’s top job. Robinson, a former foreign correspondent and assistant managing editor for the paper, also is black.

You can read the 10 winning columns by Eugene Robinson online at The Washington Post web site:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2009/04/20/LI2009042001830.html

Obama Must Pursue Bush Officials

Posted in Barack Obama with tags , on April 21, 2009 by Black Man

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By Brandon Whitney

I’m not looking for revenge or justice in the prosecution of the Bush officials who condoned, and encouraged the torture of captured militants. I am not vindictive against the Bush administration; I honestly think most of their mistakes were the result of arrogance and overconfidence in their own intelligence rather than spite. I think all legal steps should be taken to prosecute perpetrators because I am afraid that without a negative incentive in the executive branch for power grabbing and subverting the law, our democracy, or Democratic Republic if you want to be specific, will be endangered.

Democracy requires that the rule of law be obeyed. While I understand Obama’s desire to move forward and focus on our current problems, and sympathize with him for inheriting the mess he has in our economy, environment, and infrastructure, I believe that he is doing us a disservice should he choose not to pursue lawbreakers in the former administration. Every time, in our short history as a nation, that we have decided to move on for the sake of expediency we have paid a heavy price for it.

When the founding fathers decided not to face the issue of slavery, and the contradiction it represented in a free nation, their descendents were forced into a Civil War that cost 600,000 lives. When Lincoln decided not to punish the Southern leadership who drove us to war, at no provocation from the North, he was assassinated and Blacks were forced into the Jim Crow system for 100 years. When the Democrats decided not to pursue an investigation against Reagan over Iran-Contra, we ended up getting an administration that believed it could act with impunity.

Due process must be followed. We have reason to believe laws sacred to our Democratic Republic were broken. We have reason to believe that executive power overreached and acted against the best interest of the Republic. If Obama is to remain true to his oath to protect the constitution of the United States, he must ensure equal application of the law to all members of the society. Those who are in positions of power have the ability to cause great harm. Negative incentives must exist if the corruptible are to be prevented from harming our institutions. The rule of law must be adhered to.

brandon-head Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic Party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues.  He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.

Handshakes and Secession

Posted in Barack Obama with tags , , on April 21, 2009 by Black Man

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By Brandon Whitney

Barack Obama smiled and shook Hugo Chavez’s hand. Rick Perry flirted with secession. Who is the far right angry and obsessed with? Barack Obama. I don’t really know what Obama should have done in the view of Jingoists. Should he have frowned when he shook Hugo’s hand? Perhaps he should have shoved him and kicked him when he fell to the ground. The foolishness of the right, in light of the real crisis we are dealing with, shows a profound lack of care for the state of our nation.

Rick Perry made a semi-serious argument for separating a state from the country. This he did, because he felt that in the last 100 days the country has gone horribly off course and his liberty is in danger. He believes this because of a 3% tax increase on 5% of the population, a lower tax rate on the rest of us, and a reshuffling of military spending into weapons that can actually be of use in our current wars.

Secession is actually treason. (look it up). Shaking a hand at a diplomatic meeting is…..well diplomatic. I love my country, even when I’m getting pulled over for being the wrong skin tone. I never thought Detroit should secede from the United States when Bush was busy with his many errors and am offended at the implications of Rick Perry. Being a patriot doesn’t mean hugging one’s riffle, waving a flag, or drinking the right beer. It means working for what’s best for your country, even when you are in the political minority.

brandon-head Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic Party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues.  He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.


Guns

Posted in Black Interests with tags , on April 15, 2009 by Black Man

 By Brandon Whitney

I’m for Gun control, to a point. I think if you buy a gun, you should have to register that you own it, similar to how you register your car. One thing the NRA is probably right about is that responsible gun owners aren’t usually the ones shooting people, but many gun owners are selling their weapons to criminals who are. Recently the media has focused on the stream of guns flowing down to Mexico, but \ it is important to remember that many guns are flowing from southern states, like Virginia, into the hands of criminals in New York and Detroit.

In many places in the country, an individual can go to a gun show, or gun shop, and buy guns for criminals. They’ll be told what to buy and then sell the guns to a member of a drug cartel or other criminal enterprise. When Republicans and gun advocates talk about criminals being armed and the need to have guns to protect themselves, they often fail to talk about how the criminals obtain their weapons.

Registering a fire arm is not a hindrance on the 2nd amendment. A serious system for registration of arms allows us to prevent criminals from obtaining weapons while, at the same time, allowing individuals to buy weapons. It isn’t all of what the most liberal gun control advocates want or what far right gun toting conservatives want. It’s a practical compromise which allows us to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and in the hands of responsible citizens.

brandon-head Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic Party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues.  He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.

ACLU Accuses Cops of Targeting Black Barbershops

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , on April 9, 2009 by Black Man

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By Brandon Whitney

Imagine getting a hair cut in your barbershop of choice, and just as you’re getting your line up the cops kick in the door and begin searching you and your barber. Besides the increased risk of getting a “Timmy” , it’s got to be a disconcerting event at the very least. The ACLU has accused the Riverside, California police department of unfairly targeting African American Barbershops. Without warrants or probable cause, cops searched, and in one instance detained, individuals working at, and frequenting Black barbershops in Southern California.

In one of his books, Kim Stanley Robinson wrote that the shifting into a new era often involves the struggle between the old and the new. There is a time when the old way of thinking tries to strangle new ideas in their crib. We are now in a time when the old ideas of racism and bigotry are trying to kill the idea of the post racial society. It is an idea that does not deny racial difference, but eliminates it from view when considering the worth of another.

We must not allow social throwbacks and Neanderthals to destroy our hope for a better future. We deserve better than to allow the Becks, Rush Limbaughs, and bigoted police officers who hide among valiant protectors of the peace, to keep us stuck in racial prejudice. Hopefully, the issue in Southern California is the beginning of the end of acceptable prejudice.

brandon-head Brandon Whitney is the creator of Homelandcolors.blogspot.com a blog that focuses on issues that affect the African American community. He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. Brandon has political experience as an Outreach Director for the Democratic Party and is passionate about being a positive force in his community regarding African American issues.  He is also a frequent guest on News and Notes’ Blogger Roundtable. You can read more of Brandon’s work at Homeland Colors.

Michelle Obama: The True Image of an African American Woman

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Women's Interests with tags , on April 6, 2009 by Black Man

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By H. Lewis Smith

For many years, African Americans were perceived as being ignorant creatures incapable of thinking and successfully holding leadership positions and roles. However, African Americans are constantly defying this perception and reaching heights beyond any individual’s greatest expectation. For instance, blacks were supposedly incapable of playing the position of quarterback in football-at any level-because they were perceived as lacking the brainpower to lead a team.  Doug Williams, former NFL player, dispelled that myth when he led his team to victory in the 1988 Super Bowl XXII and was selected as the MVP. As well, blacks were supposedly incapable of coaching an NFL football team, yet both 2007 Super Bowl head coaches were African Americans. And today, the first African-American family chairs the highest office in the United States and resides in the White House. Repeatedly, blacks have proven, when provided the opportunity that they will rise to the call of duty and excel.

Michelle Obama, in her first 100 days as First Lady, is making many racist-thinking people very uncomfortable as she shatters their world of stereotypical assumptions through spreading goodwill, knowledge, and a solid persona of the African-American woman all over the world. Radio host and political commentator Tammy Bruce’s recent tirade labeling Mrs. Obama as ‘trashy and fake’ because of a personal speech she delivered to a classroom of students in Washington, DC, confirms the fear and anxiety that consumes the hearts of such racist desperadoes. Clearly, Michelle Obama is a lady of elegance, pride, intellect, appeal, charisma, and carries the image of First Lady admirably, and as long as Mrs. Obama is the First Lady, she will be a threat to the racist mentality everywhere.

The First Lady’s embodiment of the role invalidates any and all stereotypical suppositions that have been spoon fed to a nation of people via its institutionalized system for almost four centuries. Tammy Bruce’s attempt at character assassination of First Lady Michele Obama is an example of the ideologies that have been imposed upon unknowing intellects; and because this is what people like Tammy Bruce have been taught, they are fearful of the unknown-anything different from “the norm.” In response to this type of change, they panic, blindly continue to protect their sad mentality, and will go extreme distances to preserve the image and pigeon-holed perspective they possess of the black race in general.

Michelle Obama has stated that her school peers would mock her, saying that she talked “like she was white.” Quite often, blacks who speak with the proper diction and English-non-slang, non-street vernacular-are pronounced as “trying to be white” by other black kids. This situation raises the question that if speaking properly means that one is “trying to be white,” then does it mean that speaking ignorantly means that one is “trying to be black”? It makes one wonder what percentage of our black youth are being raised in an environment that mocks education, which leads to youth devaluing education and playing-up the street-cool personas just to “fit in.”

America is not accustomed to a black woman in Michelle Obama’s position receiving such favorable recognition and feedback. The norm has always been to support rappers and entertainers that humiliate and degrade black women and make a mockery of their own race. America is accustomed to hearing rhetoric that contributes to the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and cultural extermination of black race by African Americans. The music industry has made billions stomping on the dignity of black women.

First Lady Michelle Obama as well as President Obama brings to light that side of the African-American people that represents dignity, intelligence, and true dedication to hard work and self-respect-the key attributes our fore ancestors fought hard to maintain and pass down through generations in this new, unequal land. The Obama’s bring a genuine dignity and regality to the White House that will be a continual upset to the bigots of America, yet a stepping stone to the progress of the African American, and the American society.

Because Mrs. Obama is not living up to the pre-conceived stereotype many expected her to embody, they feel compelled to manufacture preferred images of her and try to sell this ideology to the American public. However, America has not fallen victim to the hype because again and again Mrs. Obama continues to consistently convey a solid and distinguished aura steadied on a foundation of integrity, sagacity, aplomb and fortitude.

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., a writer for the New England Informer Online, and author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP2U0jmZjec

We Remember Dr. King

Posted in Black America, Black Interests with tags , , on April 3, 2009 by Black Man

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On April 4, 1968, LIFE photographer Henry Groskinsky and writer Mike Silva, on assignment in Alabama, learned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. They raced to the scene and there, incredibly, had unfettered access to the hotel grounds, Dr. King’s room, and the surrounding area. For reasons that have been lost in the intervening years, the photographs taken that night and the next day were never published.  Until now.

Click here to see rare photos of Dr. King and his family on our MLK, Jr. Page.


Slumdog Millionaire On DVD

Posted in Movie and DVD News with tags , on April 3, 2009 by Black Man

slumdog_millionaire1

Movie Review by Brandon Whitney

Wow. The film is about a poor kid from the slums, or a “slum dog” who is one question away from winning the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The film begins with the police torturing him to find out how he cheated because it is assumed that an impoverished product of the slums could not possibly have known the answers to such difficult questions as those asked on the show. As he explains to the police how he knows the answers, we are shown flashbacks of the significant moments of his life that are tied to his knowledge.

The film is in both English and an Indian language with subtitles. We are able to see the plight of the Muslim minority in India. The abuse of women, children, and the poor is also highlighted in the film. The industry and grit of the Indian people is displayed in every moment of Slumdog Millionaire. The lead actor Dev Patel, is brilliant in the film, making the audience feel happy when he is happy, and sad when he is as well. His brother, Selim, is played by three different actors throughout his life, all of whom make you both love and hate the character.

Slum Dog Millionaire is a movie that has won many awards and much critical acclaim. You have doubtlessly heard of it. I want to let you know that, besides being a darling of the critics, it is also a watchable and engrossing movie that you will enjoy. It’s a buy.

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