Archive for July, 2012

The Multifaceted Dwayne Renal Sims

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Music and Video Releases with tags , , on July 19, 2012 by Gary Johnson

In the year of 2003 Dwayne Renal Sims took on a new endeavor that has become part of his passion – the Negro League Legends Hall of Fame (

As Founder and CEO he has been involved with several events sponsored personally, to share the rich untold story in American Baseball History the baseball players from the Colored Professional and Negro Leagues who played for the “Love of the Game.”

Dwayne’s book, Scurlock: Negro Leagues features photographs from the Scurlock Studio Records, Archive Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.  An exhibition tour is ongoing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Left to Right:  Sugar Ray Leonard, Jay Quander, Roger Leonard, Dwayne Renal Sims

Scurlock Photographic Studio opened in 1911 at 900 U Street, NW, District of Columbia, by Addison N. Scurlock.  The studio captured images of such notables as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Ralph Bunche, President Calvin Coolidge, Dr. Charles Drew, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, James Weldon Johnson, President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Charles Clinton Spaulding, Mary Church Terrell, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Carter G. Woodson to name a few.  The studio is responsible for capturing the social life, events and the architect of the buildings in the nation’s capital.

The Bridge: The Walk Of Shame

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , on July 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Traditionally, men were hunters and gatherers and held the sole responsibility for initiating the mating ritual, which included marriage proposals, asking for the first dance and initiating first contact.

First contact.

That’s the dreaded first “hello” or the first smile. And it used to be fairly simple.

Men did it.

Until society was turned on its head.

Society was turned on its head partially by the world becoming smaller, thanks to the Internet, where a great portion of relationships begin in online dating.

But society was also turned on its head by the hoax of a sexual revolution and by women beginning to tell the world (and men were listening) that they wanted to be something different. The problem for women, is that this requires that they also DO something different.

You see, it’s a dicey proposition to declare yourself equal to men (which for some women, means becoming men), and then proclaim a portion of life and love that will remain untouched by this equality.

The question is asked: “Who decides what portions of life are equal?”  The answer is: anyone, everyone and no one.

And therein lies the difficulty. Some women subscribed to the equality program and some men followed, but many men and women either made no such subscription, or simply stayed somewhere in the middle where confusion lives.

My point?

At this stage in the game, many men have no idea how to approach women because there is too much uncertainty.

And so, the “Walk of Shame” that has always been difficult, has become increasingly more difficult to the point of perceived impossibility by some men who simply refuse to initiate first contact.

The “Walk of Shame?”  Oh, that’s the walk a man takes when he leaves his comfort zone to move into a woman’s comfort zone in order to initiate contact. This walk can occur in any setting, but is most popular in group settings, such as clubs and parties.

The man typically walks over to the woman’s comfort zone and if he is met with disinterest or worse, disdain, he must then take the infamous “Walk of Shame” back to his own zone, which carries a stigma of shame—the shame of being rejected, which is just a tired, silly notion of “manliness.”

Of course, some women are quick to dismiss any sensitivity to this shame by pointing out that “a man should be man enough to take such a risk.”

Really?  That sounds like women who have been thinking like men, and frankly, that never turns out well, contrary to the comedian’s best-selling book.

My advice to women is to act like a lady and think like a wife. That’s if the goal is to actually become a wife.

You see, thinking like a wife means that a woman is doing some choosing based not on silly social signals, but on primary personal signals (looks, posture, etc.) and secondary personal signals (morals and standards revealed by discussion), which may be contrary to the signals relied on in the ever-changing society of the new century.

You may think you’re being open, but the man you’re attracting may see the same signs in you that he saw in the last few women who rejected him and he just may decide not to take the risk with you.

The elevator is broken, so I’m suggesting that you take the stairs.

Does thinking like a wife mean that women become aggressive? No. in fact, the fake sexual revolution ushered in aggressiveness amongst women, and that hasn’t really worked out very well.

It’s really not that deep.

All that is required in many cases is for a woman to smile at a man, or even to say “hello.”  The coy routine, in which the woman pretends not to be interested typically backfires. The game has changed too much for that.

What will happen is that you will likely waste time waiting for men to take the sole risk of initiating contact when they have no idea whether the risk is worth taking.

And, that is a huge risk these days.

Really, a grown woman has no business playing games and sending confusing messages to men who have been sent far too many confusing messages anyway.

In the age of “Independent Women,” its good sense for women to actually display some independence.

My overarching message to women is that it is pure folly to wait for men to do what you as an individual have accepted as “traditional,” because nothing truly is traditional anymore.

Changing times call for change.

That means that you may either have to make that walk less risky, or take a walk yourself.

The risk of shame must be shared or released.

I’ve quoted Will Smith as “Hitch” before and I’m not ashamed to do it again.  The film was very cool, but more importantly, it touched on a portion of men’s perspective that just isn’t often heard.

“Does it ever occur to women that maybe a guy might like to have a plan?  Because he’s nervous.  He’s not sure if he could just walk up to you and you’d respond if he said: ‘I like you. I like you.  I like you’…This is exactly why falling in love is so God Damned hard.”

–Will Smith as “Hitch”

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 in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

Bill Raspberry: A Love Lost

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , on July 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Harold Bell

When I learned of the passing of Washington Post columnist William Raspberry on Tuesday July 16, 2012 I was moved to remember the song “The Way We Were.”

I met Bill along with my mentor and friend the late legendary radio icon Petey Green in Face’s Restaurant in Washington, DC.  This was shortly before the riots in 1968.  Face’s was a hang-out for the so-called “In Crowd” in what was then known as “Chocolate City!”

Petey and I were sitting at the bar debating whether the Redskins would win a game during the upcoming season and he looked over at this little guy sitting a couple of bar stools away and asked “My man what do you think?”  Bill looked up from his plate and said “Man I don’t have a clue I am from Mississippi!”

As only Petey Green could the conversation went from the Redskins to picking cotton.  He made Bill laugh so hard he had to get up and go to the bathroom before he peed on himself.  The three of us would become fast friends and football, kids and politics would be our topic of conversation for the next several hours.

Petey was than working with the self help group the United Planning Organization as a Neighborhood Worker, Bill was working for the Washington Post (he never mentioned he was a writer) and I was working for the DC Recreation Department as a Roving Leader (Gang Unit).

We would meet at Face’s on Friday (lunch or Happy Hour) for its legendary fish fry.  Ms. Booker cooked the best fish in town.  I don’t remember when Bill told us he was a writer but there were two things Petey pretended to hate, the Redskins and anybody who wrote for the Washington Post!  But, Bill passed the smell test because he and Petey got along fine.

My wife Hattie and I founded the Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program and Kids In Trouble in December 1968 (the result of the 1968 riots).  The Center was located at 14th and W Street s in northwest DC.  The program was housed in the old Turner’s Arena where legendary entertainers once performed and it was the first home of the now world famous WWE and wrestling promoter Vince McMahon ,Jr., (he took over the mantle handed down by his father and James Dudley).  Mr. Dudley lived directly across the street from the arena and was Don King before Don King.  He was the first black to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  He was also my “checks and balance” guy.

The building was then the Hillcrest Children’s Center.  The Center was run by Children’s Hospital and catered to children with behavior problems.

During the riots there was talk of burning the building down because the neighbor children resented the fact that they were not allowed to use the building.  The center had an indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor basketball courts and classrooms.  It didn’t make it any easier when black neighborhood children would see white kids parading in and out of the building during the week.  The building was closed on the weekend (special needs children would sometimes stay over night and into the weekend).

The administrators became concerned when the neighborhood children begin to harass the staff and their clients verbally.  Someone in the community brought me to the attention of Center Director Nicholas Long as “Mr. Fix It!”

A Monday morning meeting was arranged for me to sit down with Dr. Long to discuss how to mend the fences between the center and the neighborhood.  Without my knowledge Dr. Long had already devised a “Game Plan.”

The plan was for me to coordinate and oversee a Saturday recreation program for the neighborhood kids!  I didn’t think much of the idea because it would intrude on me moonlighting as a wide receiver for a minor league football team on the weekends.  The Virginia Sailors was an affiliate of the NFL Washington Redskins.  I still had dreams of becoming a player in the NFL.  I left the office of Dr. Long saying “I would think about it.” 

What I was really saying was “No way Hosea!”

I could not wait to catch up with Petey and Bill on Friday at Face’s to get their opinions on how to get out of making a commitment to this “Dream Buster” of an idea!  I called Petey and Bill to make sure we were still on to meet because sometimes one of us would be a no-show because of prior commitments.  Petey could not make lunch so we agreed to meet at the evening “Happy Hour.”

Bill had never seen me play for the Virginia Sailors but Petey would come out to the home games played on Saturdays in Reston, Virginia.  He would leave usually at half-time without acknowledging he was there (Hattie would see him coming and going)!  He was a student of the game.  Petey could tell me precisely what pass patterns I had run and exactly when I would be free lancing on my own.  He would always say “You would have made a great actor!”  It was all a part of the on field game that I played with the defensive back to get the upper hand.

The meeting at Face’s took a turn for the worst when both of them jumped on me for putting football ahead of the kids.  I was surprised when Bill said, “You need to do this and we got your back.”  Petey just looked at me and said “Don’t look at me!”  The decision was made and the rest is community history.

My Spingarn high school teammate Andrew Johnson was a DC cop in the neighborhood and my brother Earl both physically covered for me on the weekends when the team was out of town.

Bill Raspberry’s word was good (unheard of today in media), during our relationship he never lied to me.  You could carry his word to the bank.  Folks in media run a close second to politicians when it comes to telling a lie.

Bill and I didn’t always agree, if I brought something to his attention and he didn’t feel comfortable addressing, he would say “Harold I am going to pass on that one you handle it.” And I would!

For the next decade Bill’s columns would challenged the DC Police Department when they refused to allow my brother Earl K. Bell employment because of his juvenile delinquent past.  Shortly after his story was published the department back tracked and hired him.  There would be several other stories in his column with me as the focal point.  He really had my back as he followed my trials and tribulations in the community as it related to kids in trouble.

With Bill and Petey showing their support by participating in my community endeavors others would follow their lead (athletes, judges, politicians, entertainers and media personalities, etc. joined the team).  It also didn’t hurt to have their VIP wives Sondra and Judy in their ears as back-ups on my behalf!

William Raspberry’s support allowed me to excel and blossom as a Youth and Community Advocate.  He also gave me an earful when he thought my radio show the “Original Inside Sports” was politically incorrect, but it was always “Constructive Criticism and never Destructive Criticism!”

We went our separate ways over a trivia disagreement and for the past 2 decades we have been like ships passing in the night (never seeing each other).  Much like Petey, Bill died without me telling him how much I appreciated and loved him.

In December 2012 Hattie and I will celebrate and coordinate our 44th Annual Christmas Toy Party for needy elementary school children (without grants or loans).  The first was held at the Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program in 1968.  It only happened because Bill Raspberry kicked me in the butt and made me get my priorities in order when I truly needed to.

Thanks Bill and Sondra.

A young Harold Bell and Bill Raspberry

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

The Quiet Reshuffle

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men with tags , , on July 13, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Mike Ramey

A few years back, I happened across a newspaper article advising parents on how best to prepare their teens for college. In this particular piece, the author noted that colleges were starting to ‘check out’ applicants’ grades, starting FROM the eighth-grade level, a full YEAR earlier than what we had previously been led to believe. In short, for OUR teens to have a decent ‘shot’ at a 4 year degree, parents are going to have to get their kids to start ‘buckling down’ with the books once they reach SIXTH grade.

By the EIGHTH grade? Student grades will be considered permanent.

This is just one card in the deck of what I’d like to call ‘the quiet reshuffle.’ The academic fences are being moved back. The rules are being rewritten–while the game still goes on. If OUR teens DO NOT get the message in time? Parents will be paying out more out-of-pocket costs to get their teens to the college of their choice, IF they go at all–NOT to mention the facts that these teens will be putting themselves farther back in the starting blocks when it comes time to compete for future jobs and–yes–mates.


You may be scratching your head and staring at this column in amazement, as you realize that you haven’t heard nor been told about this, nor seen this matter discussed in the mainstream press (MSM). You’re not the only one that has ‘missed’ this issue.

Many of our historic Black publications have overlooked this ‘reshuffle’ as they continue to be fixated on entertainment and sports more than the future education of OUR youth! Seems that, unless our teens can bounce a basketball, throw a football, or look good going to jail or prison, many Black publications and entertainers have chosen NOT to stress the need for academic achievement! Instead, we continue to hear a steady stream of ‘excusihood’ (excuses coupled with victim hood) reasons ‘why’ some of our teens can not seemingly achieve, while teens of other races have not only made the cut…but continue to EXCEL! Furthermore, many of our ‘bedrock groups’ such as the NAACP as well as various Black religious denominations have been more focused on hoodies and homosexual marriage rather than the academic and moral survival of our race.

‘Success’ seems to no longer be the mantra for our race. But, I digress.


Call me paranoid if you want to, but the Bible speaks of a culture where there is an explosion of information, but a lack of wisdom. How is wisdom developed? Mainly by READING and LISTENING. IF the academic training of a people is ignored, the economic progress of that same people is stymied. A continued lack of academic preparation BY US will grant us more–not less–crowds of young people with a ‘flash mob’ mentality–talking loud, sagging proud, and achieving nothing but misery and prison time. Non-readers ONLY care about self-gratification. They don’t care about their culture nor have the mental capacity to remember history–which is what the social engineers are counting on!


As Adolph Hitler rose in power in Germany during the 1930s, he instituted a well-documented string of events designed to eliminate written competition to his rhetoric. History identifies them as…book burnings.

Fast forward some seventy years. School libraries around the country are having book ‘recycling’ efforts–far away from the MSM radar–ranging from the wholesale destruction of taxpayer-funded books, to the giving away of said books to local libraries for resale. The voluntary ‘recycling’ of books for the sake of obsolescence is JUST as dangerous as book burning.

It has been documented that students who do not have solid reading and/or reading comprehension skills do not do well on standardized tests. With the increased use of standardized testing (not only act the academic, but in the employment selection process as well) a student who does not read well is NOT going to ‘make it’ academically and WILL be limited, economically!

Remediation? Only IF the budget ALLOWS!

Quick quiz, hotshot: WHICH students are OFTEN identified with ‘poor reading skills’? African American students. Who are the ONLY ones who can change this identification? African American parents! WHICH schools are having their books replaced the quickest? Urban schools! Where do the BULK of our children attend school? Urban schools! Need I say more?


When I brought this up on a recent radio talk show on the East Coast, the host could hardly believe that this was going on. Of course it is. But, it is happening behind the scenes, and VERY quietly…under the guise of ‘obsolescence’. If Adolph Hitler would have used this strategy, he wouldn’t have had to use bonfires. They could have touted the removal of books as a ‘need’ to replace ‘outdated’ material.

Many Germans of that era–and Americans too–would have fallen for the lie.

Like it our not, thanks to the advancement of the I-Pad and other tech marvels, more and more school libraries are getting rid of textbooks, in an ‘effort’ to, a) save taxpayer money, and; b) eliminate what are deemed ‘useless dinosaurs’ of thought.

They are NOT asking the permission of taxpayers–or parents–to do this.

Where will the war truly need to be waged to keep our kids from being victimized by any ‘quiet shuffle’? In the home! The home has been set in place by God with the specific authority of training children. Thus, the parent or guardian who doesn’t think enough to make sure their kids have the right spiritual, social, and academic foundations built within them from the cradle up, allow them to become victims–and possible slaves–to the society at large, whether it be at school, church, or applying for a job.

It is up to parents to fight ‘the shuffle’! Read your own Bible. Study our history, and culture and let your children SEE you reading, not just texting! Read now, or watch your children suffer later. The apple STILL doesn’t fall too far from the tree!

RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

Romney and the NAACP: A Missed Opportunity

Posted in Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Politics with tags , , , on July 13, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

NNPA Columnist

July 12, 2012

As anyone who has followed me knows, I have been extremely critical of President Obama’s non-engagement with the Black community. Obama has deliberately ignored the plight of the Black community while giving preferential treatment to the homosexual and Hispanic communities.

But I can’t in good conscious criticize Obama and then give the Republicans a pass when they display similar behavior towards the Black community.  I can’t excoriate Black Democrats for following Obama blindly and then remain silent when Black Republicans do the same towards Romney.

Yesterday, as I watched Mitt Romney address the NAACP, I tried to force myself to be optimistic about what he would say. But my years of being an avid Republican prepared me for the worst.  And that’s exactly what I saw.

Romney had a golden opportunity to make a credible argument for Blacks to support him. But because he doesn’t have experienced Blacks in his inner circle, he thoroughly embarrassed himself and deserved to be roundly booed.  For Romney to speak before a Black audience and not talk about the Black entrepreneur is like going to church and not mentioning God.

This is what happens when you don’t have the right people around you, people who understand communications, messaging and the nuances of the audience being addressed. That’s the elephant in the room.

Contrary to what the White media thinks, the preachers and politicians are not the leaders in the Black community – businessmen and businesswomen are. That Black business person is typically head of the board of trustees or the deacon board of the church.  So, if you get the business leader on your side, he or she will bring along the minister and the congregation.

Business leaders have a vested interest in having an educated Black community because they have to hire people in order to grow their business. Like everyone else, those leaders care about crime and don’t want employees to be victims as they travel to and from work. More than anyone else, business leaders understand the cost of capital issues and therefore are more likely to support a reduction or total abolition of the capital gains tax. He or she is more likely to support school choice and vouchers, all topics the NAACP members can relate to.

So, the point is, the Black business leaders are the most important entry point to the Black community and Republicans, of all people,  are totally ignorant of this fact. And they will remain ignorant of what’s important to the Black community until they have campaign staffs that look like America.

Like Jeremiah of the Bible, I have been labeled as one crying in the wilderness. And I am not about to surrender that label now. Am I the only one who is offended that Romney has fewer than five Blacks on his national campaign staff and none in top decision-making positions?  I am talking about someone who controls a budget, has the final say on hiring, and has the ability to put an event on the candidate’s calendar or arrange a private meeting with the candidate.

Am I the only one who noticed the optics of Romney not having photos of any Black Republicans on his campaign web site?  Am I the only one who is puzzled as to why Romney has never met with a group of Black entrepreneurs?

I was stunned to learn that Romney had chosen a recently converted Republican, Ashley Bell, to be one of his surrogates and to help him craft his speech to the NAACP. Bell is a decent guy, but am I to believe that Romney couldn’t find any veteran Black Republicans who have both party credentials and relevant presidential campaign experience to help him craft the speech that would define his relationship with Black America?

Does his staff know people such as Shannon Reeves, Allegra McCullough, David Byrd, Aaron Manaigo, Francis Johnson, Ada Fisher or James House?  If they don’t, I will be happy to put Romney’s staff in touch with them and many other able Blacks. For Romney to pick a Republican-come-lately over Party vets who have taken all kind of criticism for supporting the Grand Old Party is a grand old insult to those Black Republicans who have toiled for years in the fields of Republican politics.

Where are the voices of Black Republicans who know better? Their silence is deafening. In this respect, they are just as bad as the Black Democrats I have been criticizing.

With Romney’s speech to the NAACP and making Bell one of his surrogates, the candidate has spent more time with Black Democrats than he has with Black Republicans.  Where is the outrage from Black Republicans?  Oh, they can criticize Obama for his treatment of Blacks, but when Romney does the same thing they get laryngitis. As I often say, “the best way to get attention from the Republican Party as a Black Republican is to be a Black Democrat.”

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. His website is:

Obama Fundraiser Critical of The Campaign’s Strategy

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , on July 10, 2012 by Gary Johnson

Roy Donahue “Don” Peebles is a real estate entrepreneur, author and political activist.  Peebles is the Chairman and CEO of the Peebles Corp., the largest African American real estate development and ownership company in the US, with a multi-billion dollar development portfolio of luxury hotels, high-rise residential and commercial properties in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Miami Beach.

Lately Peebles has spoken out about the presidential campaign, particularly about fund raising strategies.  Earlier this week Peebles was quoted in the New York Times saying that he found certain attacks by Democrats on Mitt Romney’s wealth to be “offensive.”

“What I get concerned about is the message from the Obama campaign that we only want someone who has not been successful to run for president. What do we want here? You can’t be successful and run the country? We don’t want somebody who has been successful to run it? That doesn’t make sense,” Peebles said. “So I look at that and I see that those things are becoming offensive to some of his strongest supporters, financially.

“It would be unrealistic to think that that kind of thing would not impact the enthusiasm for those who are supportive of the president, financially, and certainly would turn off others who were on the fence to say, ‘You know, what the heck with it. I’m done,'” Peebles continued. “And they go on to Romney.

Peebles said he does not think criticism of Romney’s time in private equity are out of bounds as long as they focus on his performance there, and said he preferred the Obama campaign spend more time focusing on Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts.

But he also took issue with Obama’s recently revived talking point about raising taxes on those who make $250,000 or more a year.

“I’m so tired of hearing that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. Yeah we are,” Peebles said. “The super vast majority of wealthy Americans do not wake up every day and say, ‘Let’s see how we can pay less than our fair share of taxes.’ They say, ‘We’re going to follow the law and we’re going to hire some good accountants to tell us how to do it. And we’re going to pay no more or no less than our fair share.’

“So to say that wealthy individuals are not paying their fair is unfair and delusional,” he said. “So what should be said is that the wealthy Americans should have their tax rates raised because we need more money. Now by the way, if they got all these tax raises it still wouldn’t put a dent in the national debt.”

Click here to read the entire article at the Huffington

Black Folks and Spanking: Where Do You Stand?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Gary A. Johnson, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

Clutch magazine’s Kirsten West Savali wrote an interesting article about why many black parents resist the science that says hitting children is not the best thing to do.  I have NEVER advocated “hitting” children.  I think the only message you are sending when you do that is “I’m bigger than you and I can beat you up.”  There are other times when you hit a child out of frustration.  That’s not good either.

I’m not against an occasional  “popping” on the hand, but I am against whippings, beatings and slaps.  My wife and I raised two young men into adult and NEVER had to resort to whippings and beatings when they were children.  And we did not raise “bad” kids who “talked back” and threw a bunch of temper tantrums.  By all accounts we raised two very well-mannered and respectful young men.

I know firsthand, how it feels be hit and beaten with a belt that leave visible marks and scars on your body.  One can argue that I turned out OK.  I’ve never been in trouble with the law, I don’t drink and never used drugs–NEVER.  Trust me, my being a model citizen had nothing to do with being whipped and beaten.

My friends ridicule and tease me mercilessly for my belief that black folks whipping and beating their children can be traced back to slavery.  Their parents, grandparents and great grandparents were whipped and they are just continuing the tradition.  I say STOP it!

There’s another school of thought that says black folks spanking their children is a part of our culture, much like fried chicken and Kool-Aid.  OK?  And your point is what?

There are many reasons for corporal punishment.  I chose to break the cycle when I became a parent.

Click here to read Kirsten West Savali’s entire article at Clutch MagazineYou can also click here to read an article by LaShaun Williams who argues that spanking is part of black culture.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , on July 2, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Mildred Muhammad

Abuse is any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion, manipulation etc. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as repeated disapproval or even the refusal to ever be pleased.

Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching”, or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting that physical ones. In fact there is research to this effect. With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically. She has become so beaten down emotionally that she blames herself for the abuse. Her self-esteem is so low that she clings to the abuser.

Emotional abuse victims can become so convinced that they are worthless that they believe that no one else could want them. They stay in abusive situations because they believe they have nowhere else to go. Their ultimate fear is being all alone.
Emotional abuse can also be called psychological abuse, mental abuse. If it occurs within a family it can be called psychological incest or emotional incest.

Mildred Muhammad is the Executive Director of After The Trauma.  A non-profit organization established, based upon my own experience, to assist survivors of domestic violence.  Click here to learn more about how to protect yourself from domestic violence and abuse.

“Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? 

Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know, or appreciate you? The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you…the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.”

-Author Unknown

Memo To Romney

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on July 1, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Now that Romney is the defacto nominee for the Republican Party, I have been reflecting on the state of the presidential race as it enters the final stretch.  As a political strategist, I understand the necessity to run to the right during the Republican primary and then migrate to the center during the general election.

It is common knowledge that Romney has no intention of focusing on the Black vote during the general election.  From a raw political perspective, I agree with his approach, but from a strategic perspective, I totally disagree.  Below I will detail why this is a terrible strategy!

There is absolutely no question that Obama will get in excess of 90% of the Black vote (in 2008 he received 96%).  But this time he will receive 90+ % of a smaller number of Blacks—there will be fewer numbers of Blacks voting because they are disillusioned with Obama.  The first Obama run was history, his governing is a mystery when it comes to Blacks!

Obama’s recent endorsement of homosexual marriage and support for amnesty for illegals has infuriated the Black community.  The NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc. have not represented the views of the average Black for decades.  The NAACP will continue to hemorrhage support from within the Black community.  Many Blacks are publically withdrawing their memberships and support from this group.

Under skilled Blacks are livid that Obama wants to legalize over 1 million new people into the workforce to compete with them for jobs.  It’s hard enough competing with Americans for jobs, now you have to compete with those in the country illegally for jobs?  Who in their right minds feeds the neighborhood while their own children are starving?  Nobody, but Obama.

These issues give Romney an opportunity, by engaging with the Black community, to reach out to white, suburban, middle class women voters to let them know that the Republican Party is OK to support.  In other words, these are the Independent voters who will determine the outcome of the election.

These voters want to support a candidate and party that are not “perceived” as racist or mean spirited.  So, by reaching out to Blacks, they are signaling to these Independent voters that it is OK to vote Republican.

These voters don’t support homosexual marriage or amnesty for illegals, but they don’t want to see or hear harsh rhetoric either.

Romney, are you aware that Obama has never met with any Black entrepreneurs to discuss the high unemployment rate within the Black community?  When will you meet with Black entrepreneurs to listen to them, not to preach to them?

Romney, when will you sit with Black ministers who are with you in your opposition to homosexual marriage and under-skilled Blacks who will be hurt by giving work permits to illegals?

Why are you going to address the NAACP and the National Urban League at their respective annual conventions this summer without obtaining concessions from them?  Do you have any Blacks on your campaign or consultants who can negotiate concessions on behalf of your campaign?  For example, if these groups want you to speak before their membership, then they must have Black Republicans as speakers and panelists or you won’t agree to speak.

Because Republicans typically have no diversity on their staffs, they don’t know to extract these types of concessions, nor can they afford to send a white staffer to do this.  Republicans are the only people I know who will send a white male to speak to a group of women about women’s issues!


Romney, when you go before these Black groups, will you also have a white speechwriter to draft your remarks?  Anyone can write a great speech, but do you understand the nuances when talking with the Black community?  A white speechwriter can’t help you with that.

This is why Republicans typically receive tepid responses when speaking before a Black audience.  “Meanings are in people, not in words.”

So, what I am saying to you, Romney, is that by engaging with the Black community, you are simultaneously engaging Independent voters.  You get a twofer out of this approach and you, being the businessman that you are, should see the potential for a nice return on your investment of time.

I would welcome your thoughts on this approach as a first step towards substantive engagement with the Black community.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. His website is:

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