Archive for December, 2011

The Bridge: Gifts For The Black At Christmas

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Money/Economics with tags , on December 20, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Recently, I’ve been hearing Christians complain that Jesus is being taken out of Christmas because some people like to refer to the holiday as Xmas.

The funny part of it all to me is that these ignorant Christians have no idea that it Jesus was forced into the holiday to begin with.

The same Christians who complain that Jesus is being taken out of Christmas also celebrate the Yuletide season, without knowing where the Yule logs or anything else came from.

The original Pagan Yule holiday was a 12 day celebration of sacrifice and worship of the god Yule. Over a 12 day period, worshippers would make blood sacrifices in fire to Yule and burn a huge log—a Yule log. Sometimes those blood sacrifices were human!

The Roman Catholic church wanted to reform as many people as possible and have them join the church so Pagan rituals were massaged and added to Christian tradition.

The church took the 12 day celebration of Yule and began it on December 25th, claiming that day as the birth of Christ. The 12th day, January 6th, was proclaimed “Epiphany,” the day the Three Wise Men came to visit the baby Jesus.

That gift of knowledge should really give new meaning to the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

The economy is in the toilet, people are losing their homes and jobs and yet, some of us are still shopping until we drop.

Now that you have spent next month’s earnings of gifts that will last a few weeks, it’s time to focus on gifts that will keep on giving.

There are a few things that Blacks can give to themselves, which will continue to give throughout the year, making us a stronger, more unified and powerful people.

In another Black Top Ten List, I’d like to propose some things that Black people can give themselves for Christmas or for Kwanzaa. Some of these gifts are reflective of the Nguzo Saba—the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Top Ten Christmas Gifts Blacks Can Give Themselves:

1                 A Black Women’s Rights Movement.  My sisters, the women’s rights movement duped you into thinking that it was for you, but it was not.  It was for white women and you were pimped. If you want a real revolution, create a Black Women’s Rights Movement and many of your brothers will be first in line.  Black women have been speaking about their rights and talking about Black men as their oppressors, which is ridiculous. Oppression is a product of power, and quite frankly, Black people in this nation have not exercised power in any intrinsic manner since the 1960’s.  Let’s exercise our creativity (Kuumba) and create something that will benefit us all.

2                 A Million Man Investment Club.  Following the lead of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan I propose we bring one million Black men together to invest ten dollars each in one company.  It’s too easy to do.  That’s ten million dollars and that is empowerment and reflective of Ujamaa (cooperative economics).

3                 Black Love.  We hear the song “Give Love On Christmas Day,” and we like it, so why not give that love to ourselves as a people?  Tell someone you love them and then turn around and show someone that you love them.  Finally, look for ways each day to demonstrate your love for yourself as a Black person.  For a list of things to love about us, refer to my column called “Thanks For Being Black,” which lists the Top Ten Things To Love About Being Black (www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com).

4                 Black Pride.  There is no reason why we should have disparaging images of us in film and on television in 2011, but yet, many Blacks defend the images whether they come from white racists or Black self-hating sellouts. If we exercised more pride in ourselves, these images would be impossible to endure. There are a plethora of things to be proud of as a member of the most oppressed race in the world, and we need to focus on those things every day to spread the feeling of pride that will allow us to move forward in the new millennium with faith in ourselves, reflective of Imani (Faith).

5                 Black Unity.  How can any of us progress and feel good about it, when so many of us are not progressing?  Our gift to ourselves should be to care for the least of us, so that we can all move onward and upward together.  This is reflective of Umoja (Unity).

6                 Peace in the streets.  There are many brothers in the streets working for peace among the warring gang factions across the nation and they need the support of the entire community.  You can talk about how bad it is in the streets, or you can find out what you need to do to make it better.  I don’t want to talk about peace in the Middle East until there is peace in the Black community. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

7                 Self-Awareness.  My gift to my people would be to make them aware of the most critical issues facing us, and then to focus on those things without being confused by politics of religion, class, sex or political parties.  I would also give them the gift of history, so that we could remain mindful of whence we came. If you know where you came from, you can more easily determine where you are going.  This is reflective of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).

8                 Mutual Support.  As a people, we have everything we need to manufacture, distribute, buy and sell the goods and services we seek from others.  If each of us supports another of us, we can begin to recycle Black dollars and resources more productively. This can be done in the spirit of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).

9                 A good conversation.  Many of us just need someone to talk to who will listen and understand.  Let’s stop talking at or about each other and start talking to each other.

10              A collective consciousness.  Today, many of us scoff at the idea of most of us coming together for common purposes (Nia), but no matter what the socio-economic differences, we are still all the same people with the same challenges and the same work lying before us. This is also reflective of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility.

So, this holiday season, instead of wishing for expensive material items, let’s all wish for and give gifts that will continue to keep giving long after these current lives are over.

Happy Holidays!

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running throughout 2011. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

The Ramey Commentaries – The Consequences of Goodness

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags on December 18, 2011 by Gary Johnson


BY MIKE RAMEY

It is mighty tempting for a columnist to continually focus on the ills of society.

I–like you–see the negatives unfold on a daily basis. Yet, one must remind themselves to look for the good; to marvel at the existence of those young men who have learned their lessons and have decided to be positive forces.

Contrary to public opinion and social fact, there ARE young men who are making a difference and staying on the right side of the street. They DO exist! Unfortunately, the mainstream media (MSM) make its living on what one song notes as ‘Dirty Laundry’; focusing on the negative and ‘overlooking’ the positive.

Sipping upon the brew of evil eventually robs an individual of the vitality of upright living. Therefore, we’re going for a different direction this month and letting the breezes fill our sails and push us into a better understanding of the consequences–of goodness.

SHORT TERM CONSEQUENCES:

First off, living an upright life will bring you a lot of peace and relief. Medical science has proven that excessive stress is the trigger for a whole lot of physical and psychological ailments. A person who feeds upon evil, spending their waking hours plotting how to rob, steal and trick their way through life–as taught in the Book of Proverbs–is not long for this earth.

Evil eventually goes down, and the results are rather brutal.

Those who make the choice to abstain from the negatives of life–regardless of their temptation–are marked as individuals who have the capacity to bless their neighbor and community, they are ‘a great catch’ for marriage!

For young people, focusing upon the good side of going to school–even if you have had setbacks in the past–will reap you rewards. Employers are not all that anxious to hire the class clown, the class thug, or the class troublemaker…even in bad economic times. The student who gets their diplomas and degrees–with decent grades and minimal disciplinary reports–can look forward to being employable. Sure, there are times when you may have to work a ‘survival job’, but those with a clear criminal background will have a life ahead of them without having to worry about warrants for their arrest.

LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES:

It gets better for those who are determined to live on the up.

Take the matter of your being able to help others. Job references from the disgraced, the criminal or the thug aren’t worth very much to employers. Banks, stores, and landlords have little use for those who don’t have good credit. Law enforcement agencies, law schools or medical colleges have little use for individuals with DUI’s or suspended driver’s licenses.

Even temporary agencies will overlook those who have ‘shady’ backgrounds.

Maturity involved keeping a sober view of one’s life. The young man who has an eye on his future from his present vantage point won’t be engaging in the ‘wrong’ kind of activity, nor will he ‘cave in’ to his physical surroundings when the going gets tough.

They learn quickly…from other’s mistakes and missteps.

Now, I don’t want you to think that living life on the right side of the street is going to be easy. Friends–and enemies–will talk about you, questioning your motives. The good that you would do, in our modern age, will make you a suspect in some circles.

Sad, but true.

One of the factors that landed Jesus Christ on the Cross was that he went about doing G-O-O-D. By Jesus feeding the poor, healing the sick and raising the dead–among other noble acts–cut into someone’s money supply. His mere existence threatened ‘professional’ religion, not to mention the local undertaker’s association.

Nevertheless, He is still remembered for His modeling goodness in action.

GOODNESS COSTS–BUT NAYSAYERS AND HYPOCRITES EXIST:

Always remember: The crowd didn’t need much prompting to release Barabbas and to move Jesus towards the cross. Doing good always has a higher price tag than evil. In our modern day, the cry goes up from every vocation and genre: “We WANT to have someone to respect, admire and look up to.”

At least, that’s what is claimed.

In reality? The naysayers and hypocrites abound to mock the good and feed upon evil. The Caesars of our day recline in their royal robes and watch the festivities in the Coliseum of public opinion, quickly turning a thumbs down upon those who are making a difference by righteous deeds and living upright lives.

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos quarterback immediately comes to mind. Sure, someday he may ‘slow down’. However, let’s look at him in the present while he is still ‘hot’ and the crowd can’t quite figure him out.

With all the grief that Tebow has been getting both inside and outside of the National Football League, one would think that he was the next Michael Vick. What are Tebow’s crimes? Giving praise to His God. Playing a clean game. Giving credit to his team mates. Showing humility in public and being good at his job. Supporting his coaches.

Yet, the ‘sour grapes’ parade continues to roll on.

Heaven forbid if some of Tebow’s traits actually managed to find their way into modern society. Some of our Caesars might lose their jobs as goodness truly gets a foothold on Main Street–and in the homes of our land.

It’s never too late to live on the good side of the street.

RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email manhoodline@yahoo.com. © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

The Plane Truth

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , on December 16, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

How many of you fly on airplanes or frequent government buildings?  If you do, you know you must show some type of government I.D. to get on a plane or enter into a government building.

To my knowledge, I have never heard anyone claim they were discriminated against if they were not allowed to fly or enter a government building because they didn’t have an I.D.  To the contrary, people know the rules in advance, so therefore they comply.

I don’t know anyone (young or old, Black or white) who doesn’t have any form of government sanctioned I.D. (driver’s license, passport, etc.).

Even grandma, who is retired and needs to cash her check, has some form of government I.D.

I think most of us can agree that it is a good thing to make people provide “legitimate” I.D. before getting on a plane or entering into a government building, or cashing a check.

I don’t think many people would consider this an intrusion or inconvenience.  There is a safety component to this requirement that helps protect everyone.

So, to ensure the safety of the general public, the government has mandated these requirements in order to participate in certain activities.

So, can one argue that if one doesn’t have these forms of government I.D. that they have been discriminated against?  Secondly, if one doesn’t have any form of I.D., should the government be obligated to pay the cost to get them?

Again, I challenge my readers to identify one person that they know personally that doesn’t have some form of government I.D.

If you agree with me that the government’s requirement that one have “legitimate” government I.D. to get on a plane or into a government building; how can you then argue that to require the same in order to vote in political elections is discriminatory against the poor and minorities?

Poor people fly on airplanes and enter into government buildings like everyone else.

These are the absurd arguments being made by the radical liberals like Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous, and radical liberal organizations like the N.A.A.C.P., the Congressional Black Caucus, etc.

If it’s racist to require I.D. for people to vote, then it must be racist to require I.D. to board a plane or enter a government building!

Liberals never want to match a government program with any type of individual responsibility.  They constantly argue the extreme.  They claim minorities are adversely affected by requiring I.D. in order to vote.  According to them, the poor can’t afford the cost to pay for proper I.D.  They argue that grandma doesn’t have her original birth certificate; therefore it is much harder for her to get her I.D.

If the laws only applied to minorities or the poor, then I would agree with the liberals; but the law applies equally to rich and poor, Black and white.

Why do liberals constantly argue that if something is difficult or that you are required to actually do something in order to get a benefit, it somehow is discriminatory?

Again, I challenge my readers to name me one person they know personally who doesn’t have a government I.D.

Those who may not have a government I.D. are statistically negligible.  So, to make policy based on the exception is crazy.  It is not difficult to get a government I.D. and to argue differently is simply not the plain truth.

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), Freedom’s Journal Magazine (www.freedomsjournal.net), and U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).

 

The Bridge: The Roots of Christmas & Jesus, Part 2

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on December 14, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Religion and/or spirituality are personal choices and lifestyles that should be unifying forces, not divisive elements.

I notice that whenever a person runs from divergent beliefs it is because they are not as grounded as they say they are.  While I respect all religions, I find it disturbing that Christians, out of all religious people in America, can be the most closed-minded and judgmental.

As human beings of the same planet and of the same God (no matter what name you use for God, there is but one), we should seek to align ourselves with people who have good hearts and who do good work–not simply people who blindly follow things they do not fully understand. There should be no unification based on ignorance.

As a man of God, I am at once disgusted and saddened by the lunatics and overbearing heretics who claim to represent God and who claim to know Jesus (Yahshua, the Black revolutionary).  As a scholar, I already know that they have more than likely never read the Bible for themselves or studied history and therefore, have no real clue as to the reality of Jesus of Nazareth.

It is my greatest wish that people who wish to represent Jesus would study to learn who he truly was.

Jesus was a Black revolutionary who believed in all faiths for all people. He was not a Christian, but a Hebrew. He also rejected the concept of himself as a messiah or more of a son of God than any of us.

Jesus also rejected the concept of Church because he knew that it would exclude some of the people he loved the most. The sad part is that people have come to use his name and misrepresent him while they do things he would never do–like judge others based on differences.

Jesus worshipped his father with people of all religions (there was no Christianity during Jesus’ time) and walked with people of all walks of life. Yet, today, many ill-informed Christians claim to love him and desire to follow him, but turn ignorance toward differences.

If you really read the Bible, then you will know that Jesus was not trying to convince people to worship within any religion, and he certainly wasn’t trying to push people to worship him.  If you claim to aspire to be like Jesus, you should realize that you only do that when you are tolerant of other belief systems.

Knowledge of the Bible and of history will reveal that what Jesus was trying to deliver to other humans, more than anything else, was an understanding of conscious evolution, which means that he had mastered the power of critical thinking.  What would Jesus do?  Well, he wouldn’t hate people because they hold divergent faiths.  Believe that.

In organizations such as the Green Beret, the slogan goes, Many are called but few are chosen.” Such is also the case with universal conscious evolution.

Jesus states in Matthew 7:14: “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Jesus is saying that “narrow is the way,” and “few there be that find it,” which means that the true path will not be followed by the majority.  In other words, whatever is popular, is more than likely NOT the correct path.  Also, by saying “few there be that find it,” Jesus is illustrating that the path is not a mass pursuit, but that each individual should determine for self the way which “leadeth unto life.”

As A HEBREW HIMSELF, Jesus advocated for intrinsic spiritual enlightenment and conscious evolution, not blind and exclusionary participation in any one religion. Also, like many other prophets and revolutionaries, Jesus was not very popular during his time, and neither were his doctrines.

Remember, Jesus was not a Christian, and promoted only love for humanity and for his father, God, not for any religion.  Christianity was manufactured following his murder at the hands of crazed religious zealots, who curiously, were promoting THEIR religious beliefs when they killed him.

Please allow me to quote three immortal thinkers:

According to Mark Twain, “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be…a Christian.”

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread,” said Mahatma Ghandi.

And, finally, from the new school of conscious evolution and critical thinking, Darryl James preaches that “There are perhaps more atheists created from the unwitting repulsion generated by religious zealots than the careful work of the devil himself.”

The conscious evolution promoted by Jesus, Mohammed and other historical visionaries allows humans to transcend the clannishness of religions in order to focus on the universal love found in the true Kingdom of God.  There is no evolution in promoting one religion over another.  If all paths lead to God, then your path is as valid as my own, unless of course, you have spoken directly to God–in which case, you are either delusional, a prophet, or full of crap.

Religion, faith and spirituality are individual pursuits that are very elusive in their purity.  There is no evolution in pushing the same vapid thoughts to the masses without critical thinking and a historical perspective.

Take that into consideration the next time you send out your insipid Jesus emails or otherwise deliver such messages unwarranted without a care in the world for your brethren who did not ask for them.  How mean spirited and witless is it to continue to flood the masses with information that you yourself more than likely don’t really understand?

Those truly serious and dedicated Christians who have read the Bible know that Jesus never advocated the celebration of his birth. His message was to remember what his death represented. In that same Bible, such celebrations as Christmas have been identified as heathen activities, which makes people look foolish for claiming that people have taken Christ out of Christmas. Originally, he was never in it.

That having been said, the current season of Christmas has become more about love and togetherness than anything, which is why it is held by a number of people of all faiths.

This Christmas season, spread love, spread holiday cheer and spread the spirit of giving and sharing, which does not mean jamming your religion down the throats of the masses.

Quite frankly, in doing so, you are moving away from the conscious evolution pursued by Jesus of Nazareth, and are therefore, DANCING WITH THE DEVIL.  Nevertheless, our God has given you the freedom to do so, just as Hitler, the slave masters, and the warmongering leaders of the free world were allowed to make their own choices on God’s green earth.

Just don’t lie and claim to do it in the name of Jesus.

Happy Holidays!

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running throughout 2011. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

LAMONT PETERSON LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD: THE REAL ROCKY!

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Sports News with tags , , , , on December 14, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Harold Bell

On Saturday December 10, 2011 Golden Boy Promotions hitched up its wagon in the West and headed South to Washington, DC.  Golden Boy is a boxing production company based in California headed by boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya.

Their travel plans were based on a talented home grown Washington, DC heavyweight boxer who goes by the name of Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell and a talented super light weight boxer by the name of Lamont Peterson.

These two would headline a boxing card of local boxers from two different worlds even though they co-exist in the shadows of the Nation’s Capitol and a section of Maryland that is called the richest black county in America—–Prince George’s.  Rich is a word that would never be used in association with Seth and Lamont.

Seth is a former High School All-American linebacker from Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine, Maryland.  He took his academic and football skills to the next level, Michigan State University where he was a shining star until an injury cut his NFL dreams short.  He never looked back and graduated on time with a degree in Criminal Justice and Security Management.

On Saturday Seth lived up to his advance billing as a potential next “Heavyweight Champion made in America.”  His nickname is ‘Mayhem’ and his opponent Timor Ibragimov must have thought that he was in the ring with a tornado named Earth, Wind and Fire.  The fight was over in flash with a TKO in the second round.   Seth improved his record to 24-0.

The best was yet to come!

Lamont  Peterson lived parentless and homeless with his brother Anthony on the streets of Washington D.C. from age 9 to 14.  He was a 7-to-1 underdog against Briton’s Amir Khan (26-2, 18 Kos).

HBO analyst and native Washingtonian Bert Sugar is recovering from heart surgery at his home in New York but said, “This kid Amir Khan is on the verge of being one of the best all around pound for pound fighters in  the world.  If Lamont brings his A game this could be a great fight!’ 

Lamont not only brought his ‘A Game’ he brought along the entire alphabet from A to Z!  He gave the hometown fans something and someone to root for and that has not happen since the boxing era of Sugar Ray Leonard!

On Saturday night Lamont took a page out of the Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns “Play Book.”  Sugar Ray had a heart as big as the ring and Lamont shown his was just as big!

In the first couple of rounds Bert Sugar’s words clouded my judgment because Khan had Lamont looking like he was a tune-up for the great Floyd Mayweather!

Khan came out at the opening bell like he wanted to make fast work of Lamont.  He was beating him to the punch with one-two combinations before he could blink.

Khan looked like everything that Bert said he was and more.  I began to hold my breath just hoping that Lamont had enough to hold on without being embarrassed before his hometown fans of family and friends.  The first round ended with Khan knocking down Lamont twice but the referee ruled the first knockdown a slip.

In the second round Khan picked up right where he left off, making Peterson back up with a six-punch combination.  Khan seemed to be the faster, bigger, and a cleaner puncher, but Lamont started to get his act together.  He was beginning to find his legs and range by jabbing and returning punches on the inside.

In the third round Lamont really came alive he was connecting with flurries to the body and head.  This is where “Home Field Advantage” took on a life of its own.  The chants of “D.C., D.C.” began to sweep across the Convention Center.

When the dust had settled Lamont had won a controversial majority decision thanks to referee Joe Cooper who deducted two points from Khan in the 7th round for hitting off the break and two more points for pushing off in the 12th and final round.

This was beginning to look like it really could be a “Rags to riches” story, from homeless to World Champion!

Legendary trainer Freddie Roach, Khan’s trainer was highly pissed off about the decision.  He said, “The first knockdown was clearer than the second one.  He did a terrible job, the referee shouldn’t decide fights, he is not a judge. He made himself a judge tonight.”

Amir spent too much time on the ropes.  He gave him too much momentum, but I never thought he was in danger.

He took two points away for nothing and he didn’t give warnings.  This is like an amateur referee.  A referee at this level of competition shouldn’t make those mistakes.  He decided the fight, not the judges. The referee took it out of the judges’ hands, which is bull—t,” Roach said.

The President, Oscar De La Hoya, of Golden Boy Promotions was heard during the press conference explaining the controversial decision saying, “If the first point isn’t taken, Khan retains the title on a draw and if both are ignored, the 25-year-old Khan wins a unanimous decision.”

Khan said, “It was like I was against two people in there.  I knew it would be tough in his hometown but this is why boxing hasn’t been in D.C. for 20 years, you get a decision like this.”

Welcome to “Black America,” where we face 2-1 and 3-1 odds everyday!

It is too late to cry the blues now, it was Khan’s idea to fight in Washington after he was invited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to a White House dinner for prominent Muslim athletes in connection with the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Someone in his camp evidently told him that Lamont would make a good “Tune Up” for Mayweather who is on his radar for somewhere in the near future!  Man, did they dial a wrong number!

They forgot to include in the equation, Lamont’s heart, his life on the streets and the pride and hunger of being a black man in America.

Lamont said, “Things were always rough for me, recalling to his extraordinary origins.  Things have never come easy for me. I was prepared for a backyard fight and that is what it was.”

This fight could have easily gone in either direction and I hope Lamont understands this same scenario could easily take place in Khan’s hometown, remember “What is good for the Goose is good for the gander!” 

I found it interesting that everyone seemed to agree on — from Peterson to Khan to Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya — was that an immediate rematch was necessary.

Khan was heard saying while pushing for a return fight in the United Kingdom, “He won the fight tonight and I’m ready for a rematch, straight away, immediately.  I came to your hometown.  Let’s see if you’ve got the same balls as me.”

Lamont, the newly crown champion, seemed happy to oblige “I would definitely give him a rematch.  Why not?  He gave me a shot at the title.  I will give him a rematch anytime.”

Khan earned $1.1 million for the fight and Lamont will cash a paycheck of $650,000 a career-high purse for him.

He is now in the position to determine where he will defend his title—he is the world champion!  Lamont should now earn the lion’s share of the gate receipts (double of what Khan will earn).

I would advise Lamont to sit down with true family and friends and watch “Godfather 1” and carefully watch the scene where Marlon Brandon tells his son Michael, “beware of the messenger!”

The folks who tell Lamont that it is okay to travel to England to defend his title—they don’t have his best interest at heart—-they are the enemy!

Khan, remained upbeat about his future. He said, I am trying to position myself for a move up to welterweight but I need to win back my titles back from Peterson.”

Khan said, “I’ll come back even stronger I promise. This is what boxing is all about, how you come back.”

He hopes to move up to 147 pounds and a possible and much-rumored showdown with Floyd Mayweather.  This fight could easily draw 80,000 fans to Wembley Stadium.

For over two decades I was able to watch up close and personal “The Greatest” boxing promoter of all time as he shrewdly moved fighters from city to city, country to country.  He negotiated contracts like no one else ever had, his name—Don King!

Lamont, I am going to advise you like I tried to advise Sugar Ray Leonard when his promoter Mike Trainer was spending more time at the bank than he was.

Please, have an independent lawyer and accountant as means of checks and balances.  One of the biggest mistakes Sugar Ray made was his checks were being opened and cashed before he could see them!

You need to make sure every Eye is dotted and every Tee is crossed and ask to be a part of  every negotiation.

Trainer walked away from Sugar Ray and not vice-versa.  You want to be the one to walk away on your own terms (aka Bernard Hopkins).  Remember, this is business and nothing personal!

Black athletes beware, fraud and theft are now American as Apple Pie!  Hats off to referee Joe Cooper my “Man of the Year.”

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site H. B. Sports Legends.com.

Cain Was Not Able

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , , on December 8, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Former presidential candidate, Herman Cain, proved that despite a load of God given talent, he was unable to be a serious contender for the highest office in the land.

In the immortal words of former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, “to every man there comes a time when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a great and mighty work; unique to him and fitted to his talents; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the moment that could be his finest hour.”

Cain, by far, was the best candidate in the Republican field in terms of oratorical skills and ability to connect with an audience.  But, like Sarah Palin, he refused to take the necessary time to study the issues so he could articulate thoughtful answers to basic questions one would expect a presidential candidate to speak upon.

Cain had the innate abilities to be considered a legitimate candidate, but was not able to understand what would be required of him to be successful.  He had been planning his presidential run for more than two years.  But, when he received his tap on the shoulder, he decided to engage in buffoonery; as opposed to studying to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

I literally cringed when he spoke at the National Press Club and a white person asked him to sing—and he obliged; during another speech, he went into this tirade about the Koch brothers being his “brother from another mother.”  The Koch brothers are 2 white billionaires who he considers a friend.  These examples evoked the worst of all stereotypes about Blacks—that they are there for the amusement of their white audiences.  I don’t think this was intentional on Cain’s part, but this is what happens when one tries too hard to please a narrow part of the electorate.

Cain is a very likable person with a very intoxicating personality.  In some ways he reminds me of former president, Bill Clinton.  Cain (nor Clinton) ever met a stranger.  When you meet Cain, he makes you feel like an instant friend.

If you could merge Cain’s personality and style with Newt Gingrich’s command of policy, Obama would be toast!

Cain reminds me of a professional athlete that everyone concedes has the talent to be the best in his sport, but refuses to practice to be the best (LeBron James).  This athlete could win the ultimate prize of his sport, but just won’t dedicate himself to fully exploiting his God given talent.

This is why I am so disappointed in Cain.  I would not have had a problem if Cain was defeated by his opponents, but I do have a problem with him losing because he was unprepared.

Cain was tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a great and might work, unique to him and fitted to his talents.  I find it very tragic that he was found unprepared for the moment that could have been his finest hour.

The media did not destroy Cain’s campaign, nor the women who made unsubstantiated allegations.  What destroyed Cain’s campaign was the man in the mirror.

When Cain was tapped on the shoulder, he was found totally unprepared and proved to the world that Cain was truly not able.

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), Freedom’s Journal Magazine (www.freedomsjournal.net), and U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).

The Bridge: The Roots of Xmas & Jesus – Pt. 1

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags on December 6, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

For most of the Free World, Christmas is a holiday season celebrated more for its shopping, overeating and gift giving than the actual religious significance it once contained.

The season is represented by silver and gold adorned trees, as well as colorful twinkling lights spilling over homes, churches and businesses.

Family and friends exchange gifts, kiss under mistletoe, burn Yule logs and yet, sadly, most people have no idea where the Christmas holiday traditions come from, but they swear that it is all about Jesus.

The Christmas holiday as we know it is really an aggregation of a bunch of mythology and customs that were actually around before the birth of Jesus. And, the actual birth of Jesus has been placed somewhere around September.

And, while some Christians may not want to hear it, even the story of a god’s rebirth into a new being predates Jesus.

December 25th as a commemorative date was a Roman celebration of Saturn, who was the rebirth of the Sun God. According to the Romans, the Sun God was resurrected three days after his death. This resurrection caused the Romans to celebrate with gift giving and processions of celebration featuring priests carrying wreaths of Evergreen boughs.

So, how did the pagan traditions become merged with Christian traditions?

If we take a look at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, we see that the church repeatedly absorbed the traditions of as many groups as possible in order to increase its dominion.

We know that Martin Luther initiated the Reformation in 1517 and when the pagans came into the Christian church, they brought their pagan celebration of Christmas with them.

In 1611, when King James made his version of the Bible available to all people in England, other versions also became conspicuous and the roots of Christmas were revealed

Jeremiah 10:2-4 states: “Thus saith the Lord, learn not the

way of the heathen; and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven. For the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain. For one cutteth a tree out of the forest. The work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold. They fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not.”

Eventually, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed as witchcraft.

However, as other versions of the Bible kept creeping up, so did the celebration of Christmas. The goal was to keep as many people under the Christian umbrella as possible, and allowing them to hold on to their traditions was a good way to continue the “Reformation.”

The very word “Christmas” combines “Christ” and “Mass.”

“Mass” literally means death and the ritual of Mass, once incorporated into Christianity referred to the death of Christ and the “Host,” which is Latin for victim.

            As for the actual Christmas tree, the Germans used the Evergreen tree to worship the Yule God. Sound familiar? Of course—Yuletide greetings…Yule logs…”Yuletide carols being sung by the choir…” The Germans also had a tradition of giving gifts as a part of the Yule celebration.

A Winter Solstice celebration, Yule was Christianized as Christmas and imbued with the birth of Jesus story. The Romans incorporated this and a number of other pagan celebrations starting when Constantine recreated, rewrote and consolidated Christianity and the Bible in 432 AD.

And finally, the German Yule celebration included hanging mistletoe and holly. How “Christian” are these symbols?  Let’s see…going back to the Sun God, worshippers believed that the white berries on the mistletoe represented the Sun God’s semen, while the red holly was held by witches to represent the menstrual blood of heaven’s queen, Diana.

There are also other fertility references, including the evergreen tree, which was regarded as a symbol of the essence of life and was used as a phallic symbol in the rituals of fertility worship.

            Of course, since many Christians never really read the Bible or study history, I will be seen as evil and a hater of Christians, which is okay, because those who will label me as such are stupid anyway.

But, let’s take a look at who believes in God.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, ten per cent of Protestants, twenty-one per cent of Roman Catholics and fifty-two per cent of Jews do not believe in God.  Surprised?  Well, there’s more that may also shock you.

Eighty-four per cent of women believe in God, while only seventy-three per cent of men do.

In terms of education and faith, eighty-two per cent of those with no college education believe in God, while only seventy-three per cent of those who went to college have faith.

Eighty-seven per cent of Republicans believe, while seventy-eight per cent of Democrats and seventy-five per cent of Independents have faith.

When it comes to race, guess who has the greatest faith?  African Americans lead the faithful at ninety-one per cent, while eighty-one per cent of Hispanics and only seventy-eight per cent of whites have faith.

That brings us back to the holiday season.  Many people do not believe in God and yet they celebrate Christmas.  Still, others believe in God, but do not believe in Jesus Christ and yet, they too, celebrate Christmas.

The season has come to symbolize much more than the Christian holiday it originally was designed to be.  It is now a season—a season of love and giving, a season of understanding and a season of peace and kindness.

Such a powerful season should have a powerful impact on people, particularly men and women who claim to love and believe in Jesus Christ, who, incidentally, was not a Christian.

I’ll deal with that in depth next week.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running throughout 2011. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

 

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