Archive for November, 2010

Cornel West Calls President Obama’s Policies “Racist,” Endorses Leftist 3rd-Party Challenge

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Politics with tags , on November 28, 2010 by Gary Johnson

There’s an interesting article on the Firedoglake (FDL) web site about Dr. Cornel West and his recent comments that President Obama’s policies are racist. Dr. West is a professor of African American studies and Religion at Princeton University.

In a recent interview, Dr. West told Democracy Now!‘s Juan Gonzalez that, like President Bush before him, President Obama’s policies discriminate against African-Americans. West said the President’s neglect of the poor and of poverty programs has enormous racist effect, in that they disproportionately hurt Blacks, who are more likely to be more impoverished than Whites.

Gonzalez had asked Prof. West to comment on Kanye West’s assertion that “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people;” but the professor diverted into criticism of the current Administration. He said he thinks neither Bush nor Obama acts out of “racist motivation and intention,” but that both Administrations inflict(ed) “racist effect and consequence” on people of color, and that their policies have “generated levels of misery among Black people, Brown people, Red people, but especially among the working class poor.”

Cornel West echoed Kanye West in rebuking Obama: “… He doesn’t care about the Black poor: The evidence is overwhelming! … His policies [a]re racist in effect and consequence and especially classist in terms of generating misery among poor people, disproportionately Black and Brown. … The Obama Administration seems to have very little concern about poor people and their social misery: Look at the policies vis-a-vis Wall Street – downplaying  Main Street; look at the policies of Black Farmers – a settlement already in place but they don’t want to execute it because they don’t want to be associated with Black folk too explicitly; look at the policies of dilapidated housing; we can go right across the board – look at the policies of the new Jim Crow – the Prison-Industrial Complex.”

Prof. West said the system the President endorses “is tilted against poor people, against working people, disproportionately Black and Brown and Red … There’s simply no mention of poor people’s plight. Look for example of juvenile justice … the Juvenile Justice-Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 needs to be re-authorized. It’s been two years now, no re-authorization from either the Obama Administration or the public bureaucracy. Even our dear brother Eric Holder doesn’t seem to want to move on it.

Click here to read the entire article. You can visit the official Cornel West web site at www.cornelwest.com.

What do you think about Dr. West’s comments?

The Bridge: The Giving of Thanks

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags on November 23, 2010 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

“We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.’

–Malcolm X

The above quote from Malcolm X is in reference to the celebration of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in what they would call New England, ultimately creating the Mayflower Compact and laying the foundation for the United States.

Malcolm used this particular reference, because he understood clearly that the hopes and dreams represented by the metaphor the Plymouth Rock landing represented had an opposing representation for Africans in the New World.

For the Pilgrims, the Plymouth Rock landing represented hopes and dreams of freedom and life filled with prosperity.

For the Africans, the Plymouth Rock landing represented the crushing of hopes and dreams, with nightmares of bondage and death and a legacy of struggle.

When America created the Thanksgiving holiday, it should have specifically called for giving thanks to the Native Americans who were killed and robbed and the African descendants who were enslaved and killed.

In the celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Africans across the world should be paid a debt of thanks at the very least by every race of people in existence.

Specifically, Europeans and their descendants owe us for being the currency and unpaid workforce for the creation of the new nation.

Let’s identify some of those who owe us a debt of gratitude:

First up would be the Italians and the Spaniards, as represented early on by one Christopher Columbus. Columbus, an Italian, was commissioned by the Queen of Spain to find a sailing route to India. The idiot got lost, landed in the Americas and called the people there Indians.

The idiot’s story was romanticized and over the years, we learned in school that he “discovered” America. But what the schools didn’t focus on was that his bumbling in the new land created a storm of brutality against the Native Americans who were robbed of their land and the Africans who were forced into servitude while Europeans poured in to steal the land and the service of the slaves.

Thanks Chris!

To add even more to the gratitude the Italians owe Africans, they were the illegal merchants of pain who dumped Horse in the Black neighborhoods and ran the numbers operations before and after states made their own version of numbers, called The Lottery.

But they were hardly the only ones to prey off of the misery of the African descendant.

Middle Easterners came into our communities in the Sixties after the riots and took over everything the Negroes left behind on their way to integration, wherever that was.  They often displaced Jewish businesses as well.

When the Middle Easterners either moved on or moved over, the Koreans came behind them.

But of course the biggest debtors of all are the descendants of Great Britain and other Western European nations, who owned us and treated us like cattle.  They made the most money off of us and used us to finance and build a nation that they still don’t want us to share fully in.

Whites in America have taken everything from our inventions to our music, from our style of dress to our manner of speaking and even our hairstyles and skin tone.

Even the two political parties in America used us for political gain. The Republican Party used us to win a war that was ripping the nation apart and after less than one century, abandoned concern for us.

Currently, the Democratic Party tells us just enough sweet convincing lies to lull us into thinking that they are better for us than the party of our original loyalty, but until we become more politically savvy, neither party has to do more than make empty overtures to a few of us.

The first African American President may be a Democrat, but only time will tell if this is a true sign of lasting appreciation, or a temporary relationship based on use and abuse.

My point is that American has made promises unfulfilled and has made attempts to take back promises delivered. Yet, the African descendant is expected to give thanks for the founding of a nation with which we have had a very strange relationship.

Now, of course, much like many other holidays, Thanksgiving has taken on its own meaning for scores of Americans, including African descendants.

Many of us focus on giving thanks for the things in our lives we are grateful for, as opposed to celebrating the brutal founding of a nation that has mistreated us from its very founding.

I won’t be sending up any thanks for the dirty pirates who ransacked this land from the Native Americans; nor for them stealing my people from Africa and using us to build a nation for free and then disrespecting us during and after nation-building, treating us far less than human.

But I will give thanks for being alive and for being filled with hopes and dreams.

Those thanks will go to my God and not to America.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

Jim Clyburn-ed

Posted in Black Men, Guest Columnists, Politics with tags on November 18, 2010 by Gary Johnson

Raynard Jackson

In the immortal words of civil rights legend, Fannie Lou Hamer, when will Blacks become “sick and tired of being sick and tired?”

Once again the Democratic Party has shown its disdain for the Black community and Black Democrats, as usual, just sit back and continue to allow it to happen.

Blacks vote Democratic upwards of 92% during presidential elections and about 90 % during congressional elections.  Can Blacks actually say they have received a sufficient return on their investment for that level of support?  Of course not.  So, why do Blacks continue to allow Democrats to marginalize and disrespect them?

Jim Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina and current Majority Whip in the House of Representatives (making him the 3rd highest ranking person in the Democratic Party) was seeking reelection to his leadership post until he was forced to withdraw last Saturday night.

In the House, the leadership positions are:  Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi), Majority Leader (Steny Hoyer), and Majority Whip (Jim Clyburn).

Since the Democrats lost the elections, they have become the minority party, thus will lose the Majority Leader position.  As opposed to finding a new leadership position in the minority, Hoyer decided to challenge Clyburn for this position.

Not one word of protest from the first Black president of the U.S.  Not one word from the first female Speaker of the House.  Not one word from Hispanic members of Congress who constantly want Blacks to support their bids for amnesty for their people.

On Saturday night Clyburn was forced to withdraw from his bid to become Minority Whip so that Hoyer could assume the same position.  In exchange, Pelosi created a “new” leadership position so that Clyburn could have a position at the leadership table.

Are you kidding me?

Why is it that the Democrats always ask the Black candidate to back out of a race and not the white candidate?  This is the same party that makes a regular point about how “racist” the Republican Party is supposed to be.

Why didn’t Pelosi force Hoyer to drop out of the race?  She could have created a “new” leadership position for him.  This is the same party that, in September, tried to force current Congressman from Florida, Kendrick Meek, to drop out of his race to become the first Black elected U.S. senator from Florida.  The White House asked Bill Clinton to pressure Meek to withdraw from the race and support the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Mind you that Crist is a white Republican turned Independent.  Meek resisted the pressure and said no.

So, the Democrats care so much for the Black community that they wanted Meek to drop out of the race and endorse a de facto Republican. Again, where were the voices of the most loyal voting block within the Democratic Party?

What makes me most angry is the total silence of those in the Black community.  Clyburn has spent 4 years as Majority Whip.  During this time, Clyburn has done favors for many Democratic groups that have come to him for help.  Where were the voices of outrage from these groups?  Why didn’t they promise holy hell if the Democrats didn’t keep Clyburn in his leadership position?

Where was Marc Morial (head of the National Urban League)?  Where was Al Sharpton (head of the National Action Network)?  Where was Ben Jealous (head of the N.A.A.C.P.)?  Where were groups like the National Medical Association (Black doctors), National Council of Negro Women, Leadership Council on Civil Rights, National Newspapers Publishers of America (Black newspapers), The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, The National Association of Black Accountants, The National Black M.B.A.s, NAFEO, or all the Black Universities?

I will let you in on a little secret.  The reason why the Democrats continue to insult the Black community is because we allow them to.  Democrats fear no retribution from Blacks.  Obama has met with the Hispanic Caucus on several occasions to discuss amnesty for illegals.  How many times has he met with the Black Caucus?  Maybe 1 time!  Obama fears the Hispanic community (and their votes); but has absolutely no fear of losing the Black vote; therefore, he felt no need to intervene in Clyburn’s race or any other issue of particular concern to the Black community.

To my Republican friends, this is a classic case for the value of diversity.  Clyburn and Hoyer are both equally qualified for the position of Minority Whip.  So, if all other things are equal, you have to give the nod to diversity, lest you have an all white leadership team!

Everyone knows that I am a Republican.  But, why is it that I seem more upset and insulted by the actions of the Democratic Party, than Black Democrats?

Clyburn is a very decent man and a great political strategist.  I know he has been helpful to all of the above groups and individuals.  He has extended himself tirelessly to help with their causes.  But, yet none of these groups came to his defense.

Blacks should have made it clear to Obama, Pelosi and Hoyer, that there would be hell to pay if Clyburn was challenged.  Blacks are the most loyal voting block in the Democratic Party and they have nothing to show for it.

When all is said and done, there’s more said than done.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).

Book release date:  Spring 2011

Raynard Jackson has been named to Talkers Magazine’s “Frontier Fifty.” The “Frontier Fifty” is a selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters.

The Bridge: In Cash We Trust, Part 1

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Money/Economics, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on November 16, 2010 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

The new religion of Money has truly changed every game.

It has changed the way some Blacks think of themselves with the illusion of inclusion.

It really took off during the Eighties, when we saw many so-called Black Republicans become such not purely because of politics, but because they assumed that there was something for them based on having money and/or privilege. This was the first time that large numbers of Blacks were open about separating themselves from other Blacks based on the pursuit of individual goals, which they placed above concerns for the race.

Of course, white people had been doing it, but as a race whites could fall back on being white and having white privilege. Without a community, what could blacks go back to? Slavery?

The new religion of Money even changed religion.

Those of us with independent thinking already knew that many religious figures were in it for the money, but with the new religion kicking in, we began to see more religious icons embrace their new god unashamedly. This is why today we see so many disgustingly huge mega-church structures in the Black communities and pimped out preachers, who don’t care about hiding their avarice—openly embracing one of the seven deadly sins.

As religious people go, many Americans pursue a relationship with a church that will praise them and promise to reward them with prosperity for being faithful to the church, as though they are better than the average person who may be a good person, but not dedicated to the church.

The new religion of Money also changed the concept of being smart.

I knew that we were at a new point in time when people claimed that Puffy was smart–not because he did anything clever that they could point to, but smart because he had the aura of having money.  Intellectuals be damned—people would rather take their advice from Cosby, Oprah and Steve Harvey, rather than someone who thinks and does research.

To celebrate the likes of Sean “Puffy” Combs is horribly backward. This is a man who rhymed about “money hanging out his anus,” yet had a roster of artists who were getting pimped out of their anuses. He is such an empty human. His real claim to fame is that everyone around him got killed, locked up or financially raped.

At least Suge Knight bailed Tupac out of jail, before using him to breathe new life into Death Row. Puffy used Shyne, then when trouble came, separated himself from the rapper and completely abandoned him to languish in prison after Shyne placed himself in harm’s way for Puffy.

For people to openly revere that kind of man, shows what a debauched world we are in.

But why wouldn’t people celebrate the likes of Puff Diddy? Even so-called “leaders” have shown that they are all about the money. Take one Jesse “Cut the nuts” Jackson, who discovered early on that he could get favors and Burger King franchises as a result of threatening to boycott. Now, we see that Civil Rights is becoming as big a career as preaching—wait—he’s doing both.

Someone sells out and dead brained defenders of sellouts are quick to exclaim: “At least he got paid.” I’m sure Dave Chappelle is living a tortured life if he really had the epiphany he claims to have had. He claims that he realized that he was being used and was being laughed at, not with. Yet, some silly Negroes are still quick to celebrate his success, while dismissing his negative actions, because “at least he got paid.”

It’s so sad and so ridiculous that people see very little pure joy without finance.

Now it’s all about celebrating the rich and crapping on the poor. Those of us who worship money celebrate the message of 50 Cents—get rich or die trying. Most will die.

The rich white establishment has one game and it always works. That game is to pit the poor against the not so poor in each race—poor white trash against white elitists and impoverished Mexicans hated by Mexicans who want to become white and rich.

Now, we’ve come in to that game, where wealthy Negroes hate poor Blacks. Many of us celebrated when Cosby blamed everything on the “lower economic people.”  And why not? They are fair game during a breakdown of society.

Everything that could be counted on has failed us, and so we trust no one and nothing, except cash.

Next Week:  How We Came To Worship The Cash God

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From

The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

New Study Reports Black Male Achievement In A “State of Crisis”

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by Gary Johnson

A new study by the Council of the Great City Schools reports that 12% of black male 4th graders nationally and 11 % of those living in large central cities performed at or above proficient levels in reading on the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), compared with 38 % of white males in that grade nationwide.  The Council of the Great City Schools is a coalition of the nation’s urban school districts.

The council’s report digs into some of the factors that contribute to the lack of success this group of students shows, including higher infant mortality rates, more limited health care access, and a lower rate of participation in early-childhood education programs.

School-age black males are also more likely to be suspended, be held back a grade, and drop out of school than their white peers.

“At almost every juncture, the odds are stacked against these young men in ways that result in too much unfulfilled potential and too many fractured lives,” writes Michael Casserly, the council’s executive director.

The council’s report suggests that the underperformance of black male youths is nothing short of a national emergency, and it calls for the convening of a White House conference.

Click here to read or download the entire report or visit:  www.edweek.org/media/black_male_study.pdf.

The African-American Tradition of Giving

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Money/Economics, Women's Interests with tags , , on November 16, 2010 by Gary Johnson


By Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson,
Author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

African Americans have a long-standing tradition of philanthropy, or giving back to improve the human quality of life. It is rooted in the African concept of family, which formed the basis for social life and social values in Africa.

In the twenty-first century, giving by African Americans reflects many of the traditions that have been established over the years. Modern African American giving has distinct underlying philosophies and characteristics, namely:

  • A broad conceptualization of family and kinship ties that include not only blood relatives but also distant relatives, friends, neighbors, and long-time acquaintances. This is embodied by references to other African Americans-even when they are not related to us-as “brothers,” “sisters,” “cousins,” and the like.
  • A relative preference for giving directly to individuals as opposed to nonprofit organizations.
  • A higher value for contributions of time than money. The church is the single greatest beneficiary of African-American monetary donations. More than two-thirds of African-American charitable dollars are contributed to churches.
  • A deep feeling of obligation to help members of the Black community and others in need or crisis as a result of being helped by others. To the extent that someone is known or perceived to have abandoned this obligation they may be labeled as a “sellout” or an “Uncle Tom.
  • A sense of responsibility to not leave anyone behind, and success alone is insufficient without helping others to also be successful. Helping any part of the community is interpreted as helping the entire community.

One of the major challenges you’ll face as a successful and busy individual is making decisions about the approach you’ll take toward your giving. What is your strategy for giving? “Strategic giving” is a phrase we use to describe giving in the right way at the right time for the right reason, cause, or issue.

We believe the four foundations of giving are time, talent, treasure, and something we refer to as touch. It is our personal responsibility to find ways to give back generously in each of these areas. It’s been said that we should all donate 10 percent of our time, talent, and treasure to worthy activities and organizations that make the world a better place. The basic principle here is an ancient one called tithing – a concept that both of us wholeheartedly endorse. The idea of tithing has biblical origins. The people of God were required to give 10 percent of their earnings back to God. The priests received the tithe on God’s behalf, and their responsibility was to distribute this money, as well as other goods and in many cases livestock and crops, to widows, the fatherless, strangers, and the homeless and destitute, and keep some for the operation of the house of God – the temple or the church. Clearly, this practice had positive ramifications throughout the community.

The above is an excerpt from the book Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Adapted from Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness by Randal Pinkett & Jeffrey Robinson with Philana Patterson (AMACOM; October 2010; $24.95 Hardcover; 978-0-8144-1680-8).


Author Bios
Randal Pinkett, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, was the winner of season four of The Apprentice and the show’s first minority winner. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BCT Partners, an information technology and management consulting firm. Dr. Pinkett is based in Somerset, New Jersey.

For more information please visit www.randalpinkett.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeffrey Robinson, Ph.D.
, coauthor of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, is a leading business scholar at Rutgers Business School and lives in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The Bridge: For Colored Men Who Are Blamed For Genocide: The Male Bashing is Enuf

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags on November 8, 2010 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

It’s not that Black men in general hate Black women.

Truthfully, a small percentage of Black men may dislike Black women, just as a small percentage of Black women may dislike Black men.

But there is money in pandering to the hatred of Black men.

There always has been.

Since the founding of this nation, there have been cartoons, literature and verbal propaganda spread about the “danger” of Black men, stoking the fire of hatred toward us for the harm we may visit upon society.

Black men have been blamed for everything from the defiling of white women to vicious crimes of varying types, and from the destruction of communities we move into as well as various and sundry crimes against humanity, except the plague.

Wait—if AIDS is the new plague, then, well, Black men have been blamed for the plague, especially if you give credence to the “down low” propaganda which dictates that Black men are secretly having sex with other men so that they can infect their wives and girlfriends with HIV and kill them and their babies.

The problem with Black male bashing used to be that it came from the hearts and minds of vicious racist mongrels who were too ignorant to realize that one group of people could not be responsible for the destruction of an entire society.  Well, perhaps one group can, but we’ll leave that for another column.

Currently, some of the meanest, hateful propaganda about Black men comes from Black women.

And, now the old Black male bashing is becoming the new Black male bashing because “The Color Purple” just won’t seem to die and thanks to the sellout of all Black manhood personified in Tyler Perry, more Black male bashing drivel is being recycled.

I wrote two years ago that while some may cheer for Perry’s success, making claims of what it may portend for other Black films, I weep for what it portends for the Black male image.

What of the Black male, relegated to specific extremes of hypermasculinity or emasculization near eunuch status?  What of the Black boys who are taught by Black women to hate/despise their fathers? What of our new culture of Black male effeminization?

Perry is demonstrating clearly where he stands in all of this.

I now consider him an enemy of Black men.

I’m shocked that he didn’t don the dress and force a role for Madea in his new male bashing film.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” had all but died, except for the book that has been given to new generations of Black women as some pathological rite of passage. But Perry, who has enough success to create or purchase stories that uplift the entire race, has chosen this story out of all stories over time as his new watermark.

Certainly, “Sounder” was available for the remaking, as was “Imitation of Life,” or “Nothin’ But A Man.” And even though Puff Diddy nearly destroyed “A Raisin In The Sun,” the piece would still make a fine remake for the silver screen.

The problem with the likes of “Color Purple,” “Waiting to Exhale,” and “For Colored Girls…” is that they completely crap on the Black male image by presenting us as one-dimensional characters who appear in the stories for the mere purpose of harming Black women.

Seriously. Name one fully fleshed out positive Black male character in either “Color Purple” or “For Colored Girls…”

I’ll wait.

No I won’t. Because we all know there are none.

“For Colored Girls…” does nothing new, showing evil Black men who rape, toss babies from windows and, of course, have secret sex with other men.

And the subsequent destruction carried by promoting such ignorant stories is that Black women all over begin to identify with the downtrodden Black female images in the stories, which means that they identify the Black male images as representative of Black men all over.

This goes far in promoting the Black man as the omnipresent boogeyman with one true goal—the destruction of the Black female.

Of course, some Black men harm some Black women, but not all or even most. And portraying horrible images of Black men in stories proclaimed to “uplift” Black women serves only to drive a wedge between an already divided home. It makes it more and more palatable for more Black women to view Black men in general as their source of destruction and accordingly, their enemy.

So, what is the solution?

I’m not suggesting that we only present positive images of Black men. But I am suggesting that we demand and create more positive images of Black men and Black women, particularly images of us loving each other.

But that won’t happen until we show Hollywood collectively that we just don’t want to see another tired story full of Black women harmed by destructive Black men.

But first, we have to show Black women just how destructive these kinds of movies are to the Black male image and to gender relations in our community.

At some point, Black women will have to understand that their empowerment/freedom should not/cannot come at the expense of Black men. Those Black men who love them want them to be powerful with freedom–we just don’t want to be diminished in the process.

There is harm and destruction coming from both sides of the gender divide.

There is also love.

We decide which to promote, and right about now, I think that Black Love is in desperate need of promotion.

As a writer, I’ll be doing my part with my upcoming stage play and film, both scheduled for 2011.

What will you do?

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

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