Archive for October, 2012

Vivica A. Fox National Get Out the Vote PSA for Unity ’12 Campaign

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Politics, Women's Interests with tags , on October 31, 2012 by Gary Johnson


1. VERIFY your Registration Status & Your Poll Location BEFORE Election Day by calling your Board of Elections, 1-866-MYVOTE1 or visit

2. Be sure to TAKE PROPER ID TO VOTE. Check ID requirements for your state in advance at

3. VOTE EARLY or Absentee Ballot if you know you will be out of town on Election Day.

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO REQUEST HELP from poll workers they are there to help YOU.

5. YOU HAVE A RIGHT to file a complaint if your rights have been violated. For legal assistance call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

6. STAND YOUR GROUND – if there is a problem at the polls you have a right to cast a provisional ballot if you are certain you are a registered voter.

7. VOLUNTEER to be a poll worker or monitor in your community at

About The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s (NCBCP) Unity ’12 Campaign

The NCBCP Unity ’12 Campaign, in partnership with A. Philip Randolph Institute and 40 other national and state-based organizations and affiliates, is leading its non-partisan voter empowerment efforts in fourteen states through its Black Youth VoteiThink 2012, Black Women’s Roundtable Power of the Sister Vote and Foot Soldiers for Democracy initiatives.

The Unity Campaign will have coordinators on the ground on Election Day and will also host a command center in Washington DC offering updates on ground operations. States include: AL, FL, GA, IL, IN, LA, MD, MI, MS, NC, OH, PA, VA, WI.

For more information on the Unity ’12 Campaign visit or To interview state coordinators email:


Harold Bell Remembers His Friend Emanuel Steward

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Sports News with tags , , on October 30, 2012 by Gary Johnson


By Harold Bell

The out pouring of love showered on Emanuel Steward after his surprising and sudden death was well earned.  His death shocked the boxing world.  He was a genius in the confines and corners of a boxing ring on any given night or day.

He was affectionately known as Manny to some but I preferred to call him Emanuel (I liked Emanuel because it was biblical).

His friend and colleague the late boxing historian Bert Sugar once described him as being “The Energizing Bunny” of professional boxing.  To me he was much like the character starring in the epic television series Richard Boone “Have Gun Will Travel,” instead of a gun he had boxing gloves.  Emanuel was always just a telephone call and plane ride away from his next boxing assignment.

There was always some champion, former or potential champion who needed to have his “Mojo” fixed and he was the man often called on to fix it!

His roots were in West Virginia but his heart was in the Motor City of Detroit.  He moved to the city with his mother when he was 12 years old.

Emanuel easily adapted to the bright lights and big city of Detroit.  He quickly learned the language of the streets.  He became a boxing hustler of young men in the good sense of the word.

He had an outstanding amateur boxing career with 94 wins and 3 losses and he quickly learned pro boxing was not his calling and turned to coaching.  The rest is boxing history.

The three biggest institutions in Detroit in the 70s and 80s were General Motors headed by Lee Iacocca, Motown Records headed by Berry Gordy and the Kronk Boxing Gym headed by Emanuel Steward.

I met Emanuel in the late 70s when he was making his mark as one of the great trainers and forces to be reckoned with in boxing.

U. S. A. amateur boxing.  The first thing that attracted me to him was his outgoing personality which made everyone around him a friend.  It took him a little while to warm up to me.

My personal relationship with Emanuel grew out my friendship with his partner Prentis Byrd.  Whenever I would enter in their space Emanuel would yell, “Prentis, here comes your man Harold Bell” and this big smile would break out on his face!

Emanuel knew I was closely attached to Sugar Ray Leonard and maybe this was his way of saying “no secrets discussed please.”

There was definitely a distinct difference in the two camps.  The Kronk Gym was built on a foundation of love, family and loyalty. Team Leonard’s foundation was built on one of mistrust, lies, theft and “Player Hating.”

Emanuel was flawed like most human beings.  He was not tall, but he was dark and handsome and two out of three is not bad.

These characteristics along with his taste for fashion, quick wit and infectious smile made him a lady’s man.  He had a girl in every port.  He never saw a crap table he didn’t like and a pipe he could not smoke.

This was the fast and furious world of boxing, but these character flaws did not make him a bad human being, but I do think they shorten his life.  I had his cell phone number and it was very seldom that I called when he was not on the run to an airport or meeting.  It seems like he always had a cold; we would be talking and he would be sneezing and coughing.  I would say “Emanuel you have got to slow down and take better care of yourself.” His response was often, “I am okay.  I will call you when I get back in town.”

His heart was as big as the boxing ring when it came to his fighters and the people he loved.  He would literally give you the shirt off of his back (if he had not already lost it).

I remember after one fight in Vegas when Tommy’s younger brother Billy got a hot hand at the crap table.  Emanuel and Tommy walked away with a bundle (I won over $1,000 betting scared)!

On the way to get something to eat he put another $1,000 in my jacket pocket.

It was business as usual for him to take one of the fighters off of the mean streets of Detroit.  His home would become their home.  According to him, this and other missteps cost him his first marriage.

Television personality Geraldo Rivera once described the world of pro boxing as a place where the rats were bigger than the lions (Don King).

There was a lot of stress connected with Emanuel’s boxing success.  For example; I remember one year in Atlantic City he was working the corner of Mike Tyson for Don King Promotions. After the fight Don had him running back and forth to his room and made him wait in line for his money.

When you work for DK (Don King) there are a whole lot of mind games played devised by him and a lot of going along to get along!

Emanuel often had money problems and during preparation for the Tyson fight he asked DK for and got a “Pay Day Loan.”  Big mistake.  After the fight DK acted accordingly–like a jackass.   Despite his human flaws, Emanuel Steward was one of “The Good Guys.”

His very first champion out of the Kronk gym was Hilmer Kenty (a gentleman and class act).  However, his crown jewel and meal ticket was the warrior known as “The Hit Man” the one and only Thomas Hearns.

I was in Detroit covering the fights when Hilmer and Tommy won their first titles.  Tommy and Emanuel were as close as brothers.  They were like shoes and socks, one could not go anywhere without the other!

Hilmer stopped Ernesto Espana in the 9th round in March 1980 to win the Lightweight World title at Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit.

Five months later I would return to Detroit to watch Tommy knock out Pipino Cuevas in two rounds to win the Welterweight title.

It was during this visit to Detroit I would introduce Emanuel to my friend Wayne Davis who was the Director of the FBI field office in Detroit.  Wayne and I had become fast friends when he was working in DC during the late 60s. It was that same time period I was working in the streets with youth gangs for the DC Recreation Department.

I knew Wayne and Emanuel would like each other because of their outgoing personalities.  Neither man was a phony in any sense of of the word.

Wayne would later write and thank me for introducing him to Emanuel.

When I became a trusted member of the Kronk Family Gym it was nothing for Emanuel or Prentis to call me and say “Harold we are going to be in DC this week and we are bringing Tommy and Hilmer, line something up for us to do in the community!”

I think they got a kick out of coming to DC and pissing Sugar Ray Leonard off and exposing him for forgetting who he was and where he came from!

In 2007 at the 37th Annual Christmas toy party for needy children we honored Emanuel with the Kids In Trouble, Inc., Life Time Achievement Award for his support of Inside Sports and our many community endeavors.

Emanuel had a lot in common with the great boxing guru the late Angelo Dundee.  They both were class acts and generous with their time.  Emanuel was definitely the Godfather of boxing in the Motor City.

When Emanuel’s passing was officially announced, words of love came in from around the world.

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman said, “There are no adequate words to describe the enormous degree of sadness and loss we feel at HBO Sports with the tragic passing of Manny Steward. For more than a decade, Manny was a respected colleague who taught us so much not only about the sweet science but also about friendship and loyalty. His energy, enthusiasm and bright smile were a constant presence. Ten bells do not seem enough to mourn his passing. His contributions to the sport and to HBO will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Washingtonian and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said, “With the loss of Emanuel Steward, we have lost a true Detroit icon.  Emanuel Steward embodied our city’s toughness, our competitive spirit, and our determination to always answer the bell. We are grateful for Emanuel Steward’s many contributions to our city and his impact on generations of young people.”

There were words of condolences from former heavyweight champions, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis and reigning heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

George said, “Boy if only we knew we had such a short time to laugh and celebrate  Manny.   Such a simple and kind man. The sports world will miss him. Not to mention boxing.”

Klitschko said, “I will miss our time together. The long talks we had about boxing, the world, and life itself. Most of all I will miss our friendship, rest in peace Emanuel.”

“(My brother) Vitali and I, along with the entire Team Klitschko, send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Emanuel’s family and friends,” Wladimir Klitschko said in a statement. “It is not often that a person in any line of work gets a chance to work with a legend. Well I was privileged enough to work with one for almost a decade.

“I will miss our time together,” Klitschko said. “The long talks about boxing, the world, and life itself but most of all I will miss our friendship. You will be greatly missed.

My team and I will carry on with the goals we had set while Emanuel was with us because that is exactly what Emanuel would have wanted. I know he will be with us in spirit along the way and we will accomplish these goals in his honor, until we meet again my friend.”

Klitschko, is training in Austria for a November 10 title defense against Mariusz Wach, knew the gravity of Steward’s illness and was forced this week to announce a replacement for Steward for the fight, tapping Steward Disciple and pro heavyweight Johnathon Banks, a Kronk Gym product.

Emanuel began working with Klitschko in 2004, and their first fight resulted in a knockout loss to Lamon Brewster. But under Steward’s steady hand, Klitschko rebuilt himself into a heavyweight force and one of the most dominant heavyweight champions in history.

He got a lot of the credit for helping Klitschko mentally as much as he did for training him physically. Klitschko and Steward shared a close bond that went deeper than simply trainer and fighter.

The words of Lennox Lewis I think summed up the feelings of those who knew and loved Emanuel Steward when he said:  “I’m completely devastated by the passing of my long time friend, mentor and trainer Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward, Manny has helped me get through some of the biggest fights in my career and I only regret that I couldn’t return the favor and see him through his biggest fight.

We’ve maintained a close relationship and the last time we spoke he seemed his usual upbeat self so it was very disturbing to hear about his illness and rapid decline. It is with a heavy heart that the realization of what I hoped were just rumors, are now in fact true. Manny always told me I was the best, but the truth is, he was the best and I’m grateful, privileged and honored to be counted among his many historic successes.  We’ve truly lost one of boxing’s crown jewels. Manny was giving, selfless, compassionate and stern. He always gave back to the community and never forgot where he came from. He was an institution unto himself and I’m proud to have had him in my corner for so many years.

I’m extremely grateful for the time that I was given with him and he will be severely missed by all who knew and loved him. I’ll miss his smile, his frank no-holds-barred truthfulness and our discussions on boxing and life. My prayers and condolences go out to his family at this very difficult time.” 

In this time where a lot of attention is being focused on sports figures and their struggle with finances, I hope Emanuel’s decade long employment with HBO, his relationship with Lennox Lewis and the Klitschko brothers will mitigate any potential financial woes.

Muhammad Ali, I think described Emanuel best.  I remember asking Ali how he distinguished his true friends.  Ali said:  “Friends are like our shadows they are with you as long as you are in the sun, but once you cross over into the shade your shadow disappears.  A friend is always doing something for you and never expecting anything in return.”  Sounds a lot like my friend Emanuel Steward!

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 The Original Inside


Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags on October 21, 2012 by Gary Johnson


Out of Detroit, a web clip surfaced showing a gas station being ‘overrun’ by local teens who have decided to make the station their ‘hang out’, scaring away business for the owner. The true bottom line of the story rests with two parties: The teens and their parents. Web and blog comments don’t matter when there is a collapse of parental responsibility.

The economic ignorance of teens and adults of our modern era is tragic. Taxes are paid are generated by people who go to WORK daily. MOST of the jobs in the USA, your state, and your city are generated by small business owners, NOT by the government. IF teens are allowed to ‘vent’ their frustrations today, and IF their parents allow them to continue, few employers–Black, brown or white–will be sticking around ‘the hood’ to employ anyone tomorrow.

The same can be said for education. IF students ARE NOT motivated by their parents they WILL NOT achieve in the classroom. The teacher can OFFER your child knowledge, and teach them skills. However, IF the parent decides to abdicate their responsibilities, a student can be placed in a gold classroom with a diamond desk and silver computer–and still not be able to read, write or count!

A teacher can take you child to the academic fountain, but only the HOME can teach their child to drink, and motivate that same child to swim–even if it’s upstream.


A few years back, I happened across a study concerning academic achievement and Black students. The article on the study was so insightful that I like to refer to it in those times when I hear how ‘unfair’ the ‘system’ is towards African American youth. The study was done by a Black researcher, and is available at The formal title of the work, in book form is: “Black American Students in an Affluent Suburb: A Study of Academic Disengagement,” by the late Dr. John U. Ogbu, a University of California at Berkeley Anthropology Professor. It was published in 2003.

There are far too many of us that like to believe that we–as a people–will never be able to achieve anything noteworthy. Let me offer some food for thought. Just because the ‘good’ news never seems to hit the newscasts or newspapers about our young Black men and women does not mean that we have to rely upon ‘majority culture interpretation’. IF other races can achieve…we can TOO! WE have to make sure OUR people are truly on duty in the home, and not just ‘hooked up’ to the entertainment system, taking their daily six to eight hours of ‘rump shaker’ trash intravenously.



In one ‘Geico’ commercial Mrs. Lincoln asked her husband, ‘Honest Abe’ about her figure in a dress…THEN stomps off out of the bedroom fuming when her husband tells the truth about her shape! Life lesson learned? Folks, no matter how much they say they ‘want’ the truth, can’t, don’t or even won’t handle it when it is right in front of them.

Back in the 1990s, Shaker Heights, Ohio, was a hip, happening suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It had a sizeable, affluent

Black population, a great school system–and failing Black students. Things were so bad in the classroom that–according to a high school newspaper at the time–Black students had an average GPA (grade point average) of 1.9, while White students had an average GPA of 3.45. Furthermore, Black students were simply not cutting it in other academic areas, ranging from standardized test scores to enrollment in advanced placement coursework.

Of course, many of the Black parents–who were college educated themselves AND had high-powered careers–FREAKED! They reasoned–they ‘gave’ their kids everything! Why weren’t the offspring of the Black ‘best and the brightest’ achieving?

“It must have been some kind of intentional, systematic racism”, they thought. Some of the Black parents banded

together and sought outside help to make sense of the underachievement issue. They begged Dr. Ogbu to come and help.

At first, Ogbu, a Nigerian native, was apprehensive. However, he and a research assistant eventually came to Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1997, lived in the community for the better part of a year and made an in-depth study of the school system, the students, the parents, and everything in between. It took Ogbu and his team three years to crunch the numbers, and compile the data. Before the study was published in book form, he gave the parents a full year to respond to his findings. According to a lengthy article written on the study by Susan Goldsmith (which is still available on line in various parts of cyberspace) no parent ever responded to the work before it was published.


One of the bottom line facts I have found out about life is that many people clamor for truth, only to rail against it when it surfaces. Even though Ogbu’s study was published nearly ten years ago, some of the results STILL stand out:

*Some affluent Black parents expected their merely moving to Shaker Heights to translate into improved academic progress of their children without their involvement. By ‘moving on up’ without keeping ‘parental pressure’ on their kids to achieve in the classroom, failure became not only an option, it became–a fact!

*Without Black parental involvement and pressure on their OWN kids, the ‘myth’ among young people that ‘achievement was a sign of acting white’ spread like wildfire, manifesting in lousy grades, dropping test scores and a host of other academic maladies.

*Lastly, in the classroom, there WAS a different treatment pattern by teachers towards Black and white students. Ogbu found that the cause for different treatment patterns centered in the fact that many Black students failed to complete assigned work and homework, while many of their white counterparts did. Thus, in the matter of performance and adhering to deadlines those who did not do their work did not reap better grades!

While Dr. Ogbu passed away a few years ago, his work will continue to speak for him–and to us–for years to come. It caused–and continues to cause–a LOT of controversy…ranging from sociologists who said that he ‘didn’t’ have the ‘credentials’ to properly do the study; to parents who ‘broke their silence’ after the study was made public, to those who stand to gain the most from the lack of Black responsibility–the ‘race hustlers’. Dr. Ogbu’s study unearthed more than a few unpleasant truths.

The central question: Now that we know, are we willing to DO what is necessary to reverse our own failures? Or, will we be content to follow the ‘advice’ from the ‘race hustlers’ over the cliff to our own destruction–while they line their pockets?

Why aren’t the children of our villages achieving? Read the article. Read the study. Let your kids read them as well, and discuss it with them.

Then re-introduce yourself to them as their parent (or parents) and start making academic demands of them.

People jumped on Bill Cosby a few years back when he wondered why many homes could afford the latest in electronic gear, but wouldn’t spend the money necessary for “Hooked On Phonics.”

The success of our Black youth hangs in the balance.

The REST of the world is not going to wait for your ‘precious baby’ to get his or her track shoes on to compete. They will be MORE than happy to run on and nab the brass rings of earning potential, jobs, and relationships while your child FAILS. Put another way; those IN the education system WILL motivate THEIR children to succeed. YOUR child is viewed as an ‘optional achiever’ to some of the same teachers who have ‘complained’ and went on strike about their ‘poor pay’ and working conditions while THEIR kids are enrolled in better schools and are turning in their work on time.

YOUR child is mentally starving to death daily in rooms full of academic food!

Dr. Ogbu said it best in his roadmap to academic freedom. The realities of academic progress MUST be stressed in the home…NOT learned via social media nor in the streets. Parental involvement at home WILL determine the types of grades brought home, and will cause our youth to strive to own businesses…not just ‘hang out’ at them.

RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites/blogs around the world. Email © 2012, 2013 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

Is Obama Being Bullied?

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , on October 20, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By William Reed

A “power politics” move is currently at play that could set the stage for the end of the world. What is your perspective on whether Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon? Or, are Americans, President Barack Obama, and the Western world being bum rushed into military adventurism? Do you understand that the fate of the species is at stake?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Israel is “bullying the United States” over the alleged threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon; using the prospect of an Israeli military attack on Iran to force President Obama into military action. Considered “persona non grata” among Westerners, at the 67th U.N. General Assembly in New York City, Ahmadinejad made what is likely his final address to the world body. As in previous years, Ahmadinejad assailed the United States, Israel and Europe, and called for a new world order. He also said, “Americans should be insulted if their government takes marching orders from Israel.” Ahmadinejad’s perspective is that Israel has no rightful place in the Middle East and is “an inconsequential interloper.” Ahmadinejad’s assessment is that “a few occupying Zionists” are telling the U.S. and President Obama “what to do” concerning Iran’s nuclear issues.

The U.S. Senate just voted 90-1 to support the Israeli position, but to be fair, Ahmadinejad made valid points worth considering. For decades, the U.S. has been at Israel’s beck and call. During recent months, Israel has stepped up threats of a unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. With the U.S. Congress on its side and elections just weeks away, the pro-Israel lobby is exerting concentrated pressure on Washington to lay down certain “red lines” before Iran. It is with a high level of chutzpah that Israel, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], is threatening an NPT signatory state for supposedly not complying with the treaty. Also, according to U.S. intelligence estimates, Iran is “not on the verge of having a nuclear weapon” and has “not made a decision to pursue one.”

President Obama is “being bullied” by a premiere power in American politics and popular culture, because he continues to resist military adventures for Israel. Ralph Bunche, an African American, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, for agreements he brought about that started the new state of Israel. Since then, Israel has regularly violated international laws and defied numerous U.N. resolutions.

Most of the world opposes Israel’s policies, and especially its oppression of the Palestinians. Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian who served as the seventh secretary-general of the United Nations, said, “The whole world demands that Israel withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories.” But on these shores, politicians and the media fervently support Israel. For decades, the U.S. provided Israel with critical military, diplomatic and financial backing, including more than $3 billion each year in aid. For more than 60 years, Black politicians who call themselves the “conscience of Congress” have been reliable supporters of Israeli issues and practices.

Though Blacks oppose any criticism of Obama, the Israeli lobby openly castigates the President.Amid tension between the U.S. and Israel over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israeli-supporters criticize President Obama for “failing to put Israel at ease.”  When Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly, he issued a stern warning to Iran, but stopped short of drawing the “red lines” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded.

Some segments of America’s population are saying Obama has “insulted and disrespected Israel.”  Through it all, Obama continues to have most Jewish voters on his side. People who say they “have the president’s back” refuse to allow any criticism of Obama will be shocked when they see the Republican Jewish Coalition’s $6.5 million campaign to convince Jewish voters that it’s OK to vote against Obama because of the “defiant” stance he has taken on Israeli-Palestinian issues.

It’s time to make peace in the Middle East. Instead of a new war front, Obama needs encouragement and support toward taking fair and measured actions on this issue.

(William Reed is president of the Business Exchange Network and available for projects via the

BET’s President Explains Why She Doesn’t Offer More Positive Programming

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags , , , , on October 20, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

Over the years when people ask me about my opinion of the programming on Black Entertainment Television (BET) my response has been something along the following lines:  “BET’s programming is so dreadful and intellectually insulting that I haven’t watched anything on the network in years.  I suggest they change the name to “Blacks Embarrassing Themselves (BET).”

Dr. Boyce Watkins has written a “must read” article on this topic.  Click here to read that article.

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute’s 8th Annual Concert Is A Must See Event!

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Events and Annoucements, Health & Fitness with tags , , on October 16, 2012 by Gary Johnson


WHO:  Beyond Mask Expressions presents The Art and Drama Therapy Institute’s 8th Annual concert featuring the Institute’s Inspirational Choir and Moroccan Ensemble.

WHAT:   The performance will include a duet with Brian Slaughter and Yahzareh performing “At Last.”  “Marvin Gaye” will be performed by Kevin Christian.  The Inspirational Choir and Moroccan Ensemble will also perform songs that have been recorded by Lou Rawls, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Edwin Hawkins, James Cleveland and Chuck Brown.

WHEN: Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm

WHERE:   The historic Lincoln Theater, 1215 “U” Street, NW, Washington, DC  20009

Tickets to the concert are free and can be picked up at the Lincoln Theater box office.

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute (ADTI) is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The institute’s innovative approach for the care and treatment of adults with these disabilities through the use of art, music movement and drama therapies along with innovative behavior management techniques, has been hailed by the President’s Committee for People With Intellectual Disabilities and The Washington Post as “a national model.”

The media are invited to attend.

Media Relations Contacts

Juanita Stephens –

Karen E. Lee –

Pepper Russell –

The Evolution of Sex

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Relationship Advice, The Bridge - Darryl James, Women's Interests with tags on October 14, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Ev·o·lu·tion:  any process of formation or growth; development

Whenever humans want to do something divergent from what is “traditional,” the first route of making things easier to digest is to call it “evolution.”

Sometimes, it is evolution. For example, eliminating slavery was growth toward man’s humanity to man. Abuse and evil are things to be evolved away from.

Garnering parity within the national community for all citizens is evolution for America, even though we’re not there yet.

But sometimes, people label something evolution or revolution, and its frankly, the opposite, or just stagnation.

Take the so-called “sexual revolution” for example. Without any real “evolution,” it was just something people did. Since that era, there has been more sex, but no real growth in ideas about sex and/or sexuality–just chaos and confusion. Particularly, since the results are arguably negative and backward, which is a sign of de-evolution.

Have we arrived at a place where we can exchange sex freely without connecting it to anything?

The answer can only be determined by examining what once was and what currently is.

In the 60’s people talked about a sexual revolution with the lie of “free love,” but all that happened was the de-evolution of love and relationships as people began to sex more and marry less, because hooking up for sex has become more important than connecting for love. That’s not evolution, that’s de-evolution.

And let’s be honest, men can be whores, because they don’t seek the same needs from a sexual encounter as women—the need to be valued, honored, respected, loved and cherished. Human females have always expected those things when allowing a man to take advantage of their sexuality. Most still want it today—even after participating in free love, hence the pursuit of redefining “whore.”

So what happens when the sex is given and no connection is given in exchange?

Frankly, women and children cannot afford the wages of sexual freedom.

More children raised by single parents is not evolution. More women growing old and alone without companionship and/or protection is not evolution. The world can change and be cold and cruel, but evolution is supposed to be about making us into something better. Sexing more with wider spread of disease and less comfort is not evolution.

Things are worse, not better.

And, while some women want men to make peace with female whorishness, they themselves have difficulty with it. Women rarely revere whores and many go to great lengths to disguise their whorish past, speaking hypothetically about whores they know who should be given freedom.

Participating in discussions with women who want random and prolific sexual proclivities to be recognized as evolution and not just plain whorishness gives another example of the misuse of evolution. Particularly when some of those same women express regret over pursuing lust instead of love, and exchanging sex for gifts or for nothing at all, only to end up with no human emotional attachment after the “freedom” has been expressed.

Things have changed, but that doesn’t make it evolution. There is more sex, but that isn’t growth. After all, isn’t random, unattached sex what humans were doing before we formed societies—before we were civilized?

Here’s what HAS changed: Women who would have been called whores in previous times for exhibiting whorish behavior, today no longer want the label, even though they embrace the actions. The push back is claiming that men are unable to handle the behavior, but if men can’t handle it (which really means men don’t want it), doesn’t that signal that there has been no evolution, particularly since all women aren’t on the same program, leaving men with CHOICES?

There was a time when women kept their sexual partner numbers down because it just made good sense for a lady to do. Now, some just get mad at men for not redefining “lady” and “whore.” Instead of keeping the Poison Principle (from BBD’s song: “Me and the crew used to do her…”), whores now just throw it back on men for being “sensitive.”

Men now hear comments such as:  “You are too ‘sensitive’ for not wanting to wife a woman half the town has sexed,” and “If you were a ‘real man,’ you’d be able to handle the fact that your brother and cousin had your fiance first.”

The bottom line is that neither the whole of men nor the whole of women have really evolved with sex and sexuality–we’ve just begun to talk about it more, and some of us have begun to sex more.

If there were a true evolution, the oxytocin that gets released when a woman is held by a man she has been sexed by wouldn’t be as strong. If we were truly evolved, it would no longer be easy to define a whore and a lady–and, let’s be honest, the definitions have not changed.

Comedian Steve Harvey may not have had evolution on his mind when he penned “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man,” but his message certainly added to the confusion. After all, thinking like something typically leads to acting like that same something.

Frankly, it’s not a good idea for men to be whores either, but the consequences are cheaper to pay for.

Whether you agree or not, the great equalizer has been the widespread transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, attaching a very high cost to “free” love.

That ain’t evolution.

Athletes Gone Broke: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems!

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Money/Economics, Racism with tags , , , on October 2, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Black Men In

Did you know that 78% percent of NFL players are under financial stress or bankrupt just two years into retirement. Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are broke, according to Sports Illustrated.

In the new documentary “Broke,” which is set to air on ESPN Tuesday evening (October 2, 2012), Director Billy Corben provides a “step-by-step guide on how to go broke” by talking to the current and former professional athletes who’ve gone broke themselves or have watched teammates and peers drain their bank accounts.

A disturbing large number of Black athletes have squandered millions of dollars due to bad business decisions, divorces, child support payments, uncontrolled lavish spending, overall poor financial planning and lack of personal discipline.

Two of the more recent athletes in the news who have gone broke are former NFL stars Vince Young and Jamal Lewis.

In August 2012, former NFL player Jamal Lewis, 32, was arrested and charged with child abandonment.  Earlier this year Lewis declared bankruptcy.   He is one of many professional athletes to file for bankruptcy.  According to court records, Lewis has $14.5 million in assets, and $10.6 million in liabilities.  Court documents also reflected that Lewis now earns $35,000 per month, and spends $34,050 of it.  In addition, Lewis’ cars cost $5,700 per month, his mortgage is $6,000 per month and he owns a $200,000 boat, along with a $150,000 Ford F-650 XUV.   Lewis also owns other vehicles, which explains why his car payments are so high.  The court documents reflected that Lewis did not contribute anything to charity.

In July 2009, Lewis continued to play football.  While still with the Ravens, Lewis invested in a cross country trucking business.  His company had a fleet of around 200 trucks delivering perishable goods.  Lewis personally guaranteed the loans with his bank.  By June 2010, Baltimore County Circuit Court records reflected that M&T bank won a judgment last year against Lewis for more than $350,000 in unpaid lease installments and late fees and $35,000 in attorney fees.

On July 30, 2006, Vince Young, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft, signed a six-year contract with the Tennessee Titans that was worth $48 million dollars.  The contract had a maximum value of $57.79 million, with $25.74 million guaranteed.  Here we are six later and young is out of the league and according to his lawyer, has run out of money.

Young earned over another $4 million last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Buffalo Bills in May.  Young was released in August before the start of the regular NFL season.

Let’s take a look at some of the athletes who have “gone broke.”

  • Eddy Curry – A few years ago, NBA player Eddy Curry, despite making over $60 million in his career, Eddy Curry (NBA) is in serious debt while still shooting the ball. According to an Associated Press report, Curry defaulted on a $575,000 loan with an 85 percent interest rate (you read that rate correctly—85%).  Curry was ordered by a judge to pay back $1.2 million to Allstar Capital Inc.  Curry reportedly lost his $3.7 million home to foreclosure while trying to maintain monthly expenses exceeding $250,000 per month.  Curry is currently in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Warren Sapp —The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Oakland Raider and NFL Network commentator owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.  Sapp’s $6.45 million in assets includes 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500; a $2,250 watch; and a lion skin rug worth $1,200.
  • Dennis Rodman — The eccentric Hall of Fame basketball star is allegedly broke and behind on over $800,000 of child support bills. Rodman’s also been challenged in court for failure to pay child and spousal support to his third wife, Michelle.
  • Travis Henry — This former NFL Running Back has 11 children with 10 different women.  Henry fell behind on child support payments and reportedly tried other avenues to generate money.  Henry currently serving jail time for cocaine trafficking.
  • Latrell Sprewell — Early in his career this former NBA player turned down a $21 million contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves citing that the contract did not offer enough money because he had a “family to feed.”  According to MSNBC, Sprewell had his Italian yacht seized by a U.S. marshal after his mortgage went into default. Eventually his home, valued at $5.4 million, went into foreclosure in 2008 despite the fact that he made nearly $100 million during his career.
  • Lawrence Taylor — The NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker’s life has been marred by cocaine addiction, statutory rape charges and bad investments. Taylor also plead guilty to tax evasion.
  • Kenny Anderson — The NBA Point Guard was already broke by the time he retired from the NBA in 2005 after making approximately $60 million.  Since then, he went back to school, got a degree and is now the boys’ basketball coach at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Fla.  Anderson accumulated over $40,000 in monthly expenses to go along with child support for eight children.  Anderson also owned eight cars, a home in Beverly Hills, a $10,000 monthly allowance, and regular $3,000 giveaways to relatives. In his divorce, he lost nearly $6 million in a prenuptial agreement.
  • Scottie Pippen — Although he made an estimated $120 million during his playing days, former NBA great Scottie Pippen lost millions in mismanaged money (he sued his former law firm for the mismanaging). He also made the ill-advised purchase of a $4 million Gulfstream jet and later found out it needed $1 million worth of engine repair.  At one point, Pippen owed U.S. Bank more than $5 million in principal, interest and attorneys’ fees, which he reportedly could not afford.  On June 30 of this year, Mr. Pippen left the Cook County courthouse in tears after a jury awarded him $2 million out of the $8.2 million he was seeking in one of those lawsuits against two attorneys at the Chicago law firm Pedersen & Houpt.
  • Terrell Owens — Back in January 2012, former NFL player known as “T.O.” admitted to GQ magazine that he was friendless, almost broke and “in hell.” He claimed that he lost his millions not because of an extravagant lifestyle, but because financial advisers steered him astray.
  • Evander Holyfield — The former 4 time Heavyweight boxing champion who made over $250 million during his career said:  “I’m not broke; I’m just not liquid.”  Holyfield’s $10 million 54,000 square foot home with 109 rooms on 234 acres was foreclosed in 2008.  He also owed a landscaping company over $500,000 in unpaid services and had problems paying child support for his 11 children.  Holyfied also owed $200,000 in back taxes.  The good news is that the house recently sold at auction for $7.5 million.  The bad news is that at the time of the sale Holyfield owed more than $14 million.
  • Deuce McAllister — Former NFL player McAllister lost millions when his Nissan dealership in Jackson, Miss. went belly up in 2009. Nissan is currently suing him, claiming the dealership defaulted on hundreds of thousands in payments and even more on exceeded credit limits.
  • Michael Vick — The elusive NFL Quaterback filed for Chapter 11 in 2008 after serving prison time for participating in a dog fighting ring. He lost millions in all sorts of ways, including failing to pay for 130 rental cars and defaulting on a loan to set up a wine store. Vick’s appears to be headed in the right direction as he recently signed a $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Muhsin Muhammad — The former NFL Wide Receiver owed tens of thousands in overdue credit card bills and ended up selling his home on eBay.
  • Antoine Walker – Former NBA star Antoine Walker, earned more than $110 million and filed for bankruptcy in 2009, one year after retiring from the NBA.  Walker’s financial moves reportedly included supporting 70 family and friends, building his mother a 10-bathroom mansion, owning at least two Bentleys and two Mercedes and collecting watches.  In an interview with ESPN’s First Take TV show on October 2, 2012, Walker said, his financial woes were not largely due to gambling.  He admitted to gambling but not as much as has been reported.  Walker said his problems stemmed from bad investments in the real estate market, bad advice and supporting a lavish lifestyle with friends and family.
  • Raghib “Rocket” Ismael – Ismael played two years in Canada and 10 in the NFL, earning an estimated $18 million to $20 million in salary alone. He then started to invest in a series of ventures that went bust, including a Rock n’ Roll Café, COZ Records, a movie, cosmetics, nationwide phone-card dispensers, and calligraphy proverbs kiosks.
  • Mike Tyson – This former boxer may be the “King of Broke.”  Tyson reportedly earned over $400 million during his career.  Tyson’s fall from grace included a nasty divorce, a rape charge that led to a prison sentence, felony possession of drugs and a DUI charge.  At one point, Tyson was worth less that $700 dollars.  His situation has improved. He appears to be doing well in recovery for drug and alcohol problems, has remarried, had a movie made about his life and he is on Broadway starring in a play about his life.
  • Allen Iverson – This former NBA dynamo reportedly earned over $200 million in salary and endorsements is reportedly broke.  Iverson, aka “The Answer,” apparently has no answer to cure his financial woes.  Iverson reportedly owes $859,000 to a Georgia jewelry store.  Trouble seems to follow Iverson in the form of arrests for assault, carry a concealed weapon and gambling debts.

White athletes go broke too.  Names like Bernie Kosar, Mark Brunell, Johnny Unitas, Bjorn Borg, Rollie Fingers, Curt Schilling, Sean Salisbury and Lenny Dykstra have gone broke.  We chose to focus on athletes whose names and careers you are more familiar with.

Is the reporting of broke athletes different for white athletes than black athletes?  Are there more racial stereotypes associated with the black athletes?  Or is it just a matter of sports stereotypes?  We’re just asking?  We believe that many people, regardless of their race would go broke if they became a multimillionaire over night, especially, without any financial training.  We need to teach our children financial literacy skills as soon as they learn how to count.

What do you think?

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