Rep. Joe Wilson and DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
By Harold Bell
Congressman Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) recent outburst on the House floor is just the tip of the iceberg of racism in America. He yelled “You lie” during a speech by President Barack Obama as he tried to explain his position on health care reform to Congress.
Former President Jimmy Carter said, “The outburst by Joe was based on racism and rooted in the fears of a Black President.”
I totally agree some white folks in America just won’t get over the fact that a black man is the President of the United States.
The white media is leading the charge. You can count on one hand the Talking Heads on cable television when discussing the President of the United States who will use words like “Mr. or President.” You would think they were talking about one of their drinking buddies at the local bar.
Racism is a lot like alcohol, people can usually hide their true feelings until they have had one too many drinks. The alcohol gives them a comfort zone to be who they really are and the truth comes to light. Racism has that same intoxicating effect.
For example; friends and family defending the actions of Joe Wilson were heard to say “There is not a racist bone in my dad’s body he does not even laugh at distasteful jokes.” Alan Wilson is an Iraq veteran and is running for the office of State’s Attorney.
Former South Carolina Democratic Chairman and long time friend Dick Harpootlian said, “I think Joe’s conduct was asinine, but I think it would be asinine no matter what color of the President. I don’t think that Joe’s outburst was caused by President Obama being African-American. I think it was caused by no filter being between his mouth and his brain” that is the effect racism has on a true racist.
I would like to make one think perfectly clear about racism in America white folks don’t have a patent on it, some of the biggest racist in America are black. The list is too long for me to name all of them.
In many cases we are our own worst enemy. This is true of those who are black and think they have made it in America because they have two-dollars more than their brothers and sisters. They often refuse to reach back and pull someone else along. They are too busy being “Exclusive instead of Inclusive.”
Essence Magazine in its August 2009 issue published a story titled “Black Women behaving badly.” The story revealed the back stabbing and petty envy and jealousy taking place in the Boardrooms of Corporate America, Hollywood studios, on Capitol Hill, beauty parlors and in black families among sisters and brothers. It is no different among black men. It is an all too familiar story.
Where do our black children look for their heroes and role models in a Racist and Player Hating America?
NBA pioneer and superstar Spencer Haywood once told me “If a child has to look beyond his dinner table for his heroes, they are in trouble.”
NBA Hall of fame player Charles Barkley once shouted for everyone to hear “I am not your child’s hero and if I am you as parents are doing a piss poor job in raising them.”
This column was inspired not only by a guy named Joe, but by a recent e-mail I received from a friend. Attached to the e-mail was a video of a young man making a presentation during Black History Month 2008. Johnathan McCoy looks to be 10 years old.
His presentation was related to the black community’s disparaging use of the N-word. He reminds the audience that they are descendants of Kings and Queens and they are not economically, politically or socially disenfranchised as some would have us to believe.
He closed the program by singing his version of the Negro National anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” My friend was really and truly inspired by little Jonathan’s presentation and performance and I was also.
She said, “This young man is awesome. He keeps hope alive.” I thought to myself ‘One out of two ain’t bad.’
It should not be some LITTLE Jonathan’s responsibility to keep hope alive it should be some BIG Jonathan’s keeping hope alive.
In 2009 our children are looking for us to lead them and not for them to lead us.
There are blacks in positions of leadership who are making it very difficult for our children to see blacks in leadership roles. For example: The Nation’s Capitol is the SEAT of power in America.
We have a Black President and Black Mayor sitting in those seats but DC still has one the worst public school systems in America. A black President may be new to the landscape, but we have had black Mayors and a non-voting representative in Congress for decades and nothing has changed for our children.
Washington, DC has one of the worst public school systems in America. What makes it even more difficult is that black children across the country are dropping out of school at alarming rates (50%).
The Black President and Black Mayor see their kids off to the best schools Monday through Friday. In the meantime inner-city children whose parents are not the President of the United States and Mayor of the Nation’s Capitol attend the worst schools. Leaders must lead by example!
How many times have you heard a politician use the sound bite while running for office “Children First?”
To make sure our children continue to fail the Black Mayor hires an Asian woman by the name of Michelle Rhee to head a predominantly black school system.
Ms. Rhee had no administrative background experience on her resume. The Mayor tries to hide her lack of experience and skills by naming her to a newly created position titled “Chancellor.”
The Chancellor’s duties, reminds many of the duties of “The Turk” one the most feared men in the NFL during the pre-season. He receives the names of the players cut by the coach and hand carries them the pink slip. Players are often found hiding in their closets and under their beds when he knocks on the door. Ms. Rhee strikes that same kind of fear among DC school teachers. She is known as “The Hachett Woman” of the DC government (closing schools and firing teachers).
Ms. Rhee recently passed the pink slip and removed the black Principal at all black historical landmark Spingarn High School (total enrollment 2 Hispanics). She replaced him with a Hispanic principal who can barely speak English.
We at (Spingarn alumni) sit on the sidelines and act like the “Three Little Monkeys.” Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil.
I wondered where the Spingarn Alumni was during this upheaval. Probably some where having a party over here and picnic over there!
Historical Langston Golf Course sits directly across the street from Spingarn. As a youngster growing up and going to school on the 24th Street Benning Road NE corridor I watched Legendary black athletes like boxing champions Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson play golf at this historical landmark. Pro golfers like Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, Jim Thorpe and Jim Dent made the course their home away from home. Jim Dent still stops by when he is in town to give golf clinics for the children.
Long time black residents and golfers have successfully segregated themselves from the golf course. They can be found hanging out there Monday through Friday but disappear as the weekend approaches! Asians, Hispanics and white golfers take over the course on the weekends, is this Volunteered Slavery?
In my life time I have been an eyewitness to the march across the Selma bridge, three little girls blown up in church, the lynching of Emmett Till, civil rights activist Medgar Evers shot down in his driveway, the bodies of three civil rights workers found in a Mississippi swamp, the assassinations of a President and his brother, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X. And we are still singing We Shall Overcome and trying to keep hope alive?
Did those brave men and women sacrifice their lives to watch a black Mayor hire a white female police chief and her second in command a white female. He hired a Hispanic to lead the DC Recreation Department with an interpreter by her side–“No speak English!”
Mayor Fenty does not have one black woman or man heading any department in his administration. What was once “Chocolate City” is going vanilla in a hurry. The new flavor of the Fenty administration is vanilla.
The DC City Council is the worst I have ever seen, it is the blind leading the blind. They can’t even see the Washington Metro Rail system needing an overdue overhaul from top to bottom. Instead of them saving lives before the accidents and crashes, they are seen at the crash sites pulling the bodies out after the fact, over and over again. GM John Catoe and the Metro Board allow bus drivers to have three major accidents a year before they are suspended!!!
In Prince George’s County, Maryland, County Executive Jack Johnson and State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey are just as bad or worst. They recently claimed they could not find the murder of a young black man who was executed KKK style (broken neck) in an Upper Marlboro jail cell. His cell was in a secured part of the facility with guards and cameras. There is something is wrong with this picture!
Last but not least are “The Pimps in the Pulpits” of our churches. They are like roaches, once they gain entry they are hard to get rid of.
Churches are the NEW liquor stores in the black community. There is now one on every corner and business is so good some pimping preachers have two churches.
Have you checked out your church lately, I checked out my church?
My great-grandfather laid the first brick to build Mt. Airy Baptist Church in 1893. The historical landmark is located at North Capitol and L Streets in NW Washington, DC.
The Bell family is no longer involved in the day-to-day activities of the church. Bell family discord is the primary reason. When my great-uncle the Rev. Earl Tyler died we allowed one pimp after another to take over.
Several years ago one preacher and several deacons were seen on the television evening news being led out of the church in handcuffs.
I recently attended Mt. Airy for a funeral and discovered little has changed. The church has a new pastor by the name of Rev. Larry B. West. He is a slick talking pimp in the making. Someone needs to tell him, “It is best to be thought a fool than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.”
There are still too many of us talking Godly but not acting Godly—meet Rev. West.
Black folks are still looking for love and God in all the wrong places.
Racism, Joe and the man in the mirror continue to be our biggest enemies.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do and say nothing.–Albert Einstein
About the Author
Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television. He is a sixth generation Washingtonian, youth advocate and pioneer in radio and television sports talk shows in DC. Harold was the first black to host and produce a sports special in prime time (1975) on NBC WRC TV-4 (The Original Inside Sports). Harold has dedicated the last several decades to securing the rights of citizens and protecting children through his organization Kids In Trouble, Inc.