Archive for March 26, 2009

We Remember John Hope Franklin

Posted in Black Interests, Black Men with tags on March 26, 2009 by Gary Johnson


By Gary A. Johnson

The passing of Duke University professor John Hope Franklin at the age of 94 on March 25, 2009, went rather quietly, much like the man who broke numerous color barriers during his long life.  Professor Franklin is probably best known for his work From Slavery to Freedom, first published in 1947, is still considered the definitive account of the black experience in America.  More than three million copies have been sold.

Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma, Franklin was among the scholars who assisted Thurgood Marshall in winning Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 case that outlawed the “separate but equal” doctrine in the USA’s public schools.

Franklin joined civil rights protesters in a 1965 march for voting rights led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1997, he was appointed chairman of President Bill Clinton’s One America Initiative, charged with directing a national conversation on race relations.

“Because of the life John Hope Franklin lived, the public service he rendered, and the scholarship that was the mark of his distinguished career, we all have a richer understanding of who we are as Americans and our journey as a people,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Many of us owe Professor Franklin and countless other citizens a huge debt of gratitude for their many sacrifices.  In 1995, Professor Franklin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Obama Drama

Posted in Black Interests, Politics with tags , on March 26, 2009 by Gary Johnson


By Raynard Jackson

Last year, President Barack Obama ran the closest thing to a perfect campaign ever seen in this country.  There was no senior level turnover during the campaign.  There was no public feuding from various factions within his campaign (unlike Hillary Clinton’s).  Even the transition was extraordinarily smooth.

So, I am dumbfounded by all the drama surrounding the early days of his presidency.  Seems like Obama went from a serious drama to a sitcom in short order.  When he made his announcement in Springfield, IL in 2007, it was All in the Family, with his wife and children.  The media portrayed him as the ultimate Family Guy.  He campaigned One Day At A Time with his cast of Friends.

He campaigned with a discipline unseen in presidential politics.  With his upset victory in the Iowa caucuses, his supporters were feeling Good Times.  But with the unexpected loss in New Hampshire, they felt Bewitched and Lost.  But, he proved to be a Survivor heading into Super Tuesday.

He refused to take his campaign into the Weeds, even when Hillary’s campaign went very negative on him.  For that, he received Big Love from the voters.  The Obama campaign got hit with The Facts of Life of politics as the Clinton’s showed their true Colors in South Carolina.  Bill Clinton basically said welcome to The Real World.  Obama tried to knock Hillary out in Texas, but they went down to the Wire.  But, he did ultimately destroy the Clinton’s Dynasty.  They never thought he could win The Office.  Their explanation was definitely from Spin City.

The Democratic convention was one of the best run conventions ever.  The huge crowds gave him loud Cheers, thereby making him an American Idol.   During the general election, Obama ran an Amazing Race, with John McCain being the Biggest Loser.  His campaign made McCain’s team look like a bunch of Scrubs and subsequently, they all disappeared Without a Trace.

Now that Obama made his Bones, it was time to move to the West Wing.  He found that it was a Different World than he thought.  He inherited an economy that was in the General Hospital, but is now in the ER.

There is no doubt that Obama has one of America’s Toughest Jobs.  But, with 20/20 hindsight, it’s quite obvious that his budget will turn our country into a Supernanny state.  As the World Turns and Obama searches for his Guiding Light, our country seems to see nothing but Dark Shadows.

Seems the Commander in Chief wants us to live on Fantasy Island—a place where the government is the answer to all that ails us.

But What’s Happening is no one trusts the government.  We know every president has Different Strokes once they get In the House.  But Gimme a Break. Before you start expanding the government, you must reform it and make it functional.  The government couldn’t protect people from Bernard Madoff.  The Securities and Exchange Commission couldn’t protect us from Wall Street.  If we are not careful, we are all going to end up in the House of Payne!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm.   You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m.  Go to to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.

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