Archive for July, 2013

The Pee Pee Chronicle

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Guest Columnists on July 30, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Thomas Duffy

By T. Duffy, Guest Columnist

I could have said the penis chronicle, but it has nothing to do with neither way of describing it. What it does relate too, are the men attached to them. I emphasize attached, because removing it could change the conduct of men to help set the country on a better path, since that’s what usually drives him. Not physically, but by impulse, since most truly believe since he’s the alpha male, he has the right.

I’ve said many times, regardless of the creativity or good many has done, idle minds of adamant men have been able to beat the odds with long life and conjure up ways to disrupt, destroy and infect the lives of people. What adds to this is white men’s belief; he’s free to do most anything he wants with minimum consequences. Unfortunately in many situations past and present has proved that to be true. 

Although it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, I realize just from things I’ve seen and experienced over the years, it’s almost a natural occurrence since man /men have always been in conflict. Strange sometimes when the friction ends, few rarely knew why it started.


Many times when the country is going through something, the media often say’s it’s the people with the opinion. But hearing they feel this way or that way about the matter, I usually believe its men and only men, since a large percentage of them expect women to not have an opinion, unless it has some direct connection to them. Of course this attitude exists more-so amongst them, but it’s different amongst blacks. Although there may be some who believe women aren’t smart enough to have an opinion about most things, black men generally don’t view black women to be mediocre to the point where her views means nothing.   


But what really led me to this is observing the way white men today are trying to set the country back to where they can probably rule in their favor. They sweeten it up with words like conservative. Those in positions of power politically especially those running the states, are really doing their own thing irrespective of their responsibilities. The national oversight is rarely openly indicting them to be the primary culprit spewing out negativity that has kept the country polarized. Most rely on the poll game to support their antics. It occurs when the media say’s it’s the people who feel like they do about things. But it isn’t the people, it’s them only. They have contested new immigration policies, abortion, voter rights, and healthcare, [because of who initiated it] and until recently, denying any and all individuals selected by this president to head specific agencies. It made me wonder if things should go their way, what country would or could send someone here politically or militarily to help pressure them for some means of helping to put things back in order. If we look at our endeavors not forgetting the billions of dollars spent around the world interfering and trying to remove certain leaders of other nations who commit many of the same in transgressions, shouldn’t we question the double standards we’re living by and add freedom because it usually face some opposition for non whites, where most of it comes from white men.

Their immaturity and panic is seen in their persistence on abortion, with the deeper feelings if they don’t address it, it would help cause more of their chances to become a minority. The real immaturity is not realizing time would do that anyway, since the birth of white children isn’t a prerequisite. On a larger scale is how the people, who do include white women, don’t know who to point their finger at for creating their dilemma. It’s always someone else’s fault. Those politicians whose disenchantment with immigration, believe it would encourage that circumstance to become more prevalent and much sooner, since it’s been noted at least 11 million Mexicans are already here illegally. As far as their recent attack on voting rights, it’s to make certain fewer blacks or other minorities are selected to occupy political positions that would limit their chances of controlling how the country is being run. Sounds like another push for reconstruction again to me.

Much more bias are other white men on the fringe of possibly instigating some form of racial conflict, sitting behind their mikes interjecting their polarizing venom on television and radio. Strange but no one has ever asked them, what would be the benefits if things suddenly changed. Nevertheless as much as some of my own people seem to act negatively towards this president and I hate to say they are primarily black men, I still believe his election was important, because he has let the world see the true side of the country.                                           


To speak briefly about the Trayvon Martin case, is for me to say how I believe the perception of one’s blackness when you’re a child of mixed parents where one of them is white, can perplex the lives of those who feel they have questionable identity and acceptance. For some individuals it could be a growth factor, for others it could be an almost diabolical experience. Cruel enough in mindset to feel they will be left in a world someday where he/she or anyone else can connect them to anyone.

From the late Stokely Carmichael to Rap Brown who I knew very well, the need for personal identity and acceptance I believe helped them to become viable forces as community activists and key players for change during the upsurge of the civil rights movement. If I further my thoughts to Malcolm X who I also knew, Angela Davis and Jo Anne Chesimard to name a few, you will see they all led similar lives of turmoil. Unknowingly to even those who dealt with them, few would believe there was an inner concern about their blackness that made their efforts to ensure fairness for blacks much more passionate than most other blacks who participated. In fact none ever suggested any part of the civil rights effort be peaceful, like Martin Luther King Jr., Mega Evens or others. Other than Malcolm X, those who were members of SNCC, [Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee], were also connected to the [Black Panther Party] who believed an eye for an eye was appropriate. So I believe the most difficult thing they had to deal with was acknowledging on what side of the racial-divide they should be to be recognized. Of course it should have never been an issue, but there was period in this country where light skin blacks, wasn’t easily accepted by darker skin blacks. Nevertheless since most were in the forefront as leaders of the movement, this awkwardness of prejudice for them was unseen.

Unfortunately on that day, Trayvon Martin’s confrontation with George Zimmerman was perhaps at the height of Zimmerman’s feeling of uncertainty. I’m not saying this to let Zimmerman off the hook, since his guilt is obvious, but his lack of authenticity about himself took him away from his mother’s roots or maybe her compassion, to his father’s side, because he felt his father could give him something his mother could never give him, an identity living in America. The way he spoke about Trayvon Martin being a criminal and how blacks usually get away with committing crimes, was possibly an expression of what he felt his father would believe being a white man. Although he isn’t part Mexican but Peruvian, he may not know many Hispanics who watched the trial and then heard the results didn’t like the outcome either. Reading some of the papers from that area, some even felt he would probably end up being nothing more than a pariah.     


The Fall Of Detroit: A Story Told In Pictures and Words

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson, Money/Economics, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2013 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In (July 27, 2013)

The city of filed for bankruptcy last week.  The Motor City is reportedly $18.5 billion dollars in debt.  This is the the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.  Looking back it was pretty clear that the city was mismanaged for decades and that led to a steady population drop over the years and a staggering loss of tax revenue.  I’m not an economist, but I don’t think you need to be one to know that there will be staggering aftershocks as a result of this filing.

Detroit is not alone.  They just got here first.  The Wall Street Journal recently cited Oakland, Philadelphia and Chicago as other big cities with the potential to follow Detroit’s lead and file bankruptcy.

How did this happen?  I don’t have enough time or space to tell you, but the keyword here is “decline.”  Here are the highlights.

  • In 1960, the richest per capita city in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was Detroit.
  • Sixty percent (60%) of all of Detroit’s children are living in poverty.
  • Fifty percent of the population has been reported to be functionally illiterate.
  • Thirty-three percent (33%) of Detroit’s 140 square miles is vacant or derelict.
  • Eighteen percent (18%) of the population is unemployed.
  • And 10.6% of Detroit’s 713,777 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, considered themselves white.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Detroit had five decades of fiscal mismanagement, corruption and cronyism.

From all of my research I would say that the main reason for Detroit’s economic problems was the loss of jobs.  According to the U.S. 2010 Census data, Michigan lost 48% of all its manufacturing jobs from 2000-2010 with Detroit being impacted the hardest.  This led to massive “white flight” and exits by rich folks (including Blacks) and others people of means leaving the city with a shrinking tax base.  In other words, those who could afford to leave for greater opportunity elsewhere did just that leaving the city with a poorly qualified workforce and few job opportunities.

Given the economic environment around the country and the world, I hope and pray that a solution can be found to stop this economic decline and that we don’t see a spread of bankruptcies in other major U.S cities.   As I read through pages of Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and newspapers and economic journals and articles, I felt compelled to tell this story in pictures and song for people who don’t have the time to do research and get the facts.  Click on the video to view.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

What’s Motivating Some of Obama’s Black Critics?

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , , on July 23, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West - Tavis

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

CNN columnist L Z Granderson has written a “thought-piece” that may help some people understand why critics like Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West are so “over the top” in their criticism of President Obama and his remarks regarding the Trayvon Martin and the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.

Granderson comes to many of the same conclusions that I have written about over the years as to why the self-serving Smiley rants against the President.  Both of us believe this may have started during the presidential campaign back in 2008 when then candidate Obama sent his wife to speak on his behalf at Smiley’s corporately sponsored “State of the Black Union” forum in New Orleans.

The man was running for President.  Here’s an excerpt of Barack Obama’s letter to Smiley explaining his situation: 

In the final stretch, I will be on the campaign trail everyday in states like Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin talking directly with voters about the causes that are at the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union forum such as affordable healthcare, housing, economic opportunity, civil rights and foreign policy. I am committed to touching every voter, and working to earn their vote.

That is why with regret, I am not able to attend the forum. I understand that you have declined the campaign’s request to have Michelle Obama speak on my behalf. I ask that you reconsider. Michelle is a powerful voice for the type of real change America is hungry for. No one knows my record or my passion for leading America in a new direction more than Michelle Obama.

Tavis turned down the offer of having Michelle Obama attend.  Michelle Obama is not “chopped liver.”  She is as smart, if not smarter than her husband and she’s a damn good public speaker.  Many observers, myself included feel this was the start of the rift that got Tavis’ panties all bunched up in a wad.  From that point on, Tavis has been whining and complaining like a baby.

Smiley and West remind me of the two Muppet characters Statler and Waldorf who sit in the balcony and complain about everything.

Statler&Waldorf tavis-smiley-cornel-west

Granderson does a great job of providing a timeline of events that led us to this point.  I doubt that anyone will ever be able to figure out the “logic” that is driving the behavior of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, but Granderson does a damn good job.  His article is certainly worth the read.

Click here to read the entire article.

L.Z. Granderson LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for  He’s also a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and

Trayvon Inspired Obama to Act Like the First Black President

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism with tags , , on July 23, 2013 by Gary Johnson


By Raynard Jackson

Columnist Raynard Jackson wrote an interesting article published on the Atlanta Daily World blog.  In that article Mr. Jackson writes:

In 2004, at the Democratic National Committee’s presidential convention, I was mesmerized by Barack Obama, a little known state senator from Illinois. He electrified the convention and created a global buzz among those who watched on TV. In 2006, I was proud to see him elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois.

In 2008, I was even more proud to see a Black man elected to be president of the United States. Americans throughout the U.S. celebrated this historic accomplishment. This was one of America’s best moments.

In 2013, I am most proud that the first Black president finally seemed to find his voice before the American people on an issue that was of particular concern to the Black community.  After more than four years in the White House, President Obama finally spoke to America and directly to Black America simultaneously.

For the first time, Obama did not lecture or speak down to Blacks.  He spoke as one of us.  He spoke from his heart to our hearts, to my heart.

He did not give a speech, for that would have been cynical and would have fallen flat.  He simply exposed his soul to us; but he also allowed us to penetrate the veil that he had erected that prevented him from connecting with his own people.  For the first time, he actually showed an emotional connection to the plight of Blacks in this country.

Lord knows, in my columns, I have been one of his biggest critics of how he interacts with the Black community.  I would be nothing short of a hypocrite not to praise him for speaking directly to the American people in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial, especially in a way that connected to Black Americans.

Click here to read the entire article.

RaynardJacksonRaynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

Business Exchange: Profiling Black Mayors — The Good, Bad and Ugly

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

By William Reed (July 22, 2013)

In the 1960s, African Americans began being elected or appointed to mayoral positions following achievements Blacks made through the Civil Rights Movement, passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. These days, Blacks are mayors in more than 500 cities.

When Carl Stokes took office January 1, 1968, he was the first African American to head a major city government. As more Black mayors came on line, coincidentally American cities declined, as did their industries. For the most part, Black mayors were given the helms to sinking ships.  In the 1970s and ’80s, Midwest and Northeastern region cities became America’s “Rust Belt” as factories folded and critical jobs were outsourced to Mexico, China and Japan. This was also the time of “White flight” from large American cities that were plagued with gang violence and terrorism from crack cocaine distribution.

Mayors who counted as “bad” and “ugly” included: Coleman A. Young, who became Detroit’s first Black mayor in 1973. He then went on to run the city into ruin during a record 20 years, and Wilson Goode, Philadelphia mayor in the mid-1980s who’s only distinction was “Philly’s Black mayor who bombed some other Black folk.”  Those considered “mediocre” included Harold Washington, who was elected mayor of Chicago in 1983 but is overshadowed by America’s Mayor Richard M. Daley. David Dinkins, a one-term mayor of New York City in 1990, did do a lot for the city by addressing the issues of gang violence and public housing.

Those who rated “outstanding” included Lee Brown who in 1997 became the first African American to be elected mayor of Houston, Texas.  He was reelected twice to serve the maximum of three terms from 1998 to 2004.  Houston is a sure enough “boom town”, but if you rated Black mayors past and present and how their cities have fared over the years, Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C., are the top areas. Mayors Marion Barry and Maynard Jackson had the vision to make their cities places where African Americans, particularly professionals, gravitated. It was due to: superior economic opportunities for Blacks, the presence of a large Black upper-middle and upper class, Black political power and outstanding Black educational institutions located in those cities.

The nation’s capital is actually one of the best places for African Americans to live. Barry’s strong support for Black-owned businesses is legendary; along with his massive government hiring programs, Barry helped build the District of Columbia into the nation’s largest Black middle-class. When he served on the D.C Council in 1974, Barry spearheaded the movement to require that all contracts considered by the District government for services, supplies, and development included a mandatory 35 percent participation for minority-owned companies. He then served as the city’s mayor for three terms until 1990. Noted among his many accomplishments – significantly increasing the number of D.C. government contracts awarded to qualified African-American businesses.

Atlanta has one of America’s largest Black populations. Thirty years of Black mayors have done wonders for Atlanta.  Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, it was the place to be.  The housing was cheap, the weather temperate, the social and business networks were poppin’, the elected officials Black and enlightened, and the opportunities limitless. When Jackson was elected the first Black mayor of Atlanta in 1973, it was only five years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.  The late Jackson exemplified what a Black mayor should be. He was able to secure building of Hartsfield International Airport with mandatory minority participation for Black firms. Now, called “Hartsfield-Jackson,” it’s the world’s busiest airport.  He had a hand in building the MARTA rail system, and various other public works projects that helped modernize the city.  Later Jackson ran again to secure the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

The two, Barry and Jackson, proved to be the impetus for the nation’s two wealthiest majority Black counties, Prince George’s County, MD., and DeKalb County, GA.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the

Cornel West Says, “Obama Is A Global George Zimmerman”

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , on July 22, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West 2

By Gary A. Johnson, Black Men In

I’ve never seen two guys more desperate to remain relevant than Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.   In the court of public opinion, these guys are losing their credibility with nonsensical rants against the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  Smiley and West are criticizing the President so often and so outrageously that at times you think this is some prank and that these once relevant intellectuals cannot believe what they are saying.  These guys firmly believe what they are saying and they are very calculating and deliberate about how they criticize the President.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Dr. West was asked for his thoughts on the President’s reaction to the outcome in the George Zimmerman trial.  Dr. West replied as follows:

“Well, the first thing, I think we have to acknowledge that President Obama has very little moral authority at this point, because we know anybody who tries to rationalize the killing of innocent peoples, a criminal—George Zimmerman is a criminal—but President Obama is a global George Zimmerman, because he tries to rationalize the killing of innocent children, 221 so far, in the name of self-defense, so that there’s actually parallels here.”

Smiley and West are so over the top in their behavior that this web site is seriously considering not giving them any attention.  These one time media standouts and intellectuals are nothing more than self-serving con men and media whores.   Smiley and West don’t care how they are viewed in the public.  I guess on one hand, that speaks to their “commitment.”

Conservative media outlets are smitten with these guys.  I guess Smiley and West have taken the position that some publicity, even if it’s negative publicity, is better than no publicity.

While Smiley and West continue along their path, this blog will seriously consider whether or not we will give them any further attention on this site.  I love that the President does not respond to either one of these guys or what they say.  Like him or not, President Obama smoothly and seamlessly continues in his job as President of the United States.

Click here to watch a video and to read the full transcript of Dr. West’s interview.

In a related story, Dr. West referred to the MSNBC television network as a “Rent-A-Negro” network and said MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton was on the “Obama plantation.”  Click here to read the entire article.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

Tavis Smiley’s Criticism of President Obama (Again)

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on July 22, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Tavis Smiley

By Gary A. Johnson

Black Men In (July 22, 2013)

Here we go again.  What did Tavis Smiley say this time?  Tavis is consistent in his criticism of President Obama.  To many people, Tavis is probably more well know for criticizing President Obama than he is for any of his other accomplishments such as the “State of the Black Union,” and some of his earlier best-selling books.  If your name is Tavis Smiley, criticizing President Barack Obama will definitely keep your name in the headlines.

During a discussion on Sunday’s “Meet The Press,” Smiley criticized President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin’s death and the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.  Smiley took to Twitter following the president’s unexpected comments and tweeted the following:  “Took POTUS almost a week to show up and express mild outrage. And still, it was as weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid.”

Trayvon Martin’s parents said President Obama made a “beautiful tribute to their boy” and shared that they were “honored and moved” by his words.  That wasn’t good enough for Tavis.  Many have wondered if President Obama will be able to do anything that would satisfy Mr. Smiley.

While on “Meet The Press,” Smiley also said:

I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation; he was pushed to that podium. A week of protest outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House pushed him to that podium. So I’m glad he finally arrived.

But when he left the podium, he still had not answered the most important question, that Keynesian question, where do we go from here? That question this morning remains unanswered, at least from the perspective of the president. And the bottom line is this is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind.

You know my position with regard to Tavis Smiley.  I think he is a self-serving whiner who craves the spotlight.  If you look at his total body of work, Tavis is an accomplished and hard working media personality, author and advocate worthy of the hype.  While Tavis continues to legitimately make valid points on issues such as hunger, black unemployment and other civil rights issues, the way that he raises these issues can be called into question as self-serving.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why Tavis Smiley is invited to be a guest on FOX News and the premiere Sunday talk shows.  Tavis is black and he is an articulate and consistent critic of the President.  That makes for lively conversation on television that translates into higher ratings.

Tavis historically has had a close relationship with former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.  If Hilary Clinton runs for President, it will be interesting to gauge the support she gets from Mr. Smiley.

I don’t mind Tavis criticizing President Obama.  I do have a problem with “how” he criticizes.  Again, it appears to me that most of what Tavis does these days is overly self-serving.

Tavis has received a blistering response from many in the “Twittersphere” and social media.  People are expressing their opinions about
Tavis via our site’s e-mail box and our Facebook page.  Tavis appears to be unfazed by the comments.  Tavis accused President Obama of lacking courage by “kicking the race can down the road.”

Tavis also stated that President Obama has lost his moral compass.  Is it possible that Tavis has lost his way too?

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

To learn more about Gary click here.

Gary Johnson has written several articles on Tavis Smiley.  To review some of his past commentaries click on the links below:

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