Archive for the Ramey Commentaries Category


Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Ramey Commentaries with tags , , on August 13, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Legally Stupid Cover

By R. C. Murray

“There’s no excuse for accepting excuses. Administrators who pressure teachers to dumbed-down traditional teaching methods and expectations are only harming students and destroying our nation’s future. That sounds a lot like treason, doesn’t it?”
–R. C. Murray, Author

With the recent headlines and court fights over administrator firings, common core and teacher tenure, parents are hard-pressed to find one book that can help them sift through the ‘alphabet soup’ that has evolved into the modern, American public school. Enter R. C. Murray to the fray with: “Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny Doesn’t HAVE To Read” (312 pages, 2007, Peach-Pine Publishing). Murray, a military vet who spent time on the firing line of a high school classroom as an English teacher, eventually had to leave the classroom for health reasons. Nevertheless, the teaching profession’s loss is your gain, as you get a work that is written from an insider’s view. Murray is a Christian, an accomplished writer, and a believer in using the King James Version (KJV). This work is loaded with not only spiritual insight, but a means of pointing out where the classroom has gone wrong, from the college campus down to your local schools. Urban parents and churches will particularly enjoy Murray’s biblical and common-sense approaches to public education.

“Legally STUPiD” is a great “I told you so” book. It’s best thought of as a edu-reference book; a parental primer FOR exposing the current education system’s shortcomings as well as a firm warning to those who might be considering entering the teaching profession. The Glossary alone contains 13 pages of definitions, deciphering the mysteries of ‘edu-speak’. What Marva Collins did in ‘shaking up’ the education establishment 20 years ago, Murray continues WITH a new level of shaking in this work. Furthermore, it gives the parent the keys to rate their own child’s teachers and school as to whether or not their child is being taught–or indoctrinated.

Murray includes the charts, diagrams and examples of how classroom learning HAS been and how it has changed over the last 50 or so years. Some may consider some of his solutions ‘simplistic’. Some may not. However, for a parent who may have a bright child, and has been watching them ‘fall out of love’ with learning; or a child that may have been wrongly labeled as unable to learn, Murray offers a lot of wisdom and evidence as to how parents may be able to turn their child’s academic career around. “Legally STUPiD” is available at your favorite on line bookseller, or via

Ramey Mike Ramey is a Minister, Reviewer and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Line Reviews brings current and lesser-known titles to public light in the quest to re-kindle a love for reading in a sea of modern technology.

The United States of Excuses

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags on March 11, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By Mike Ramey

With the cries of: “Hike the Minimum Wage!” making the rounds of the nation’s capital, a report released late in February, 2014 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is worthy of mention. The report concerned the ‘real’ cost of such a move.

It seems that, IF the Minimum Wage is raised–again–the economy would lose yet another 500,000 jobs. President Obama has already ‘issued’ his decision to hike the wage to $10.10 per hour as it impacts those working under federal contracts. Members of Congress, spurred on by Democrats in the Senate, are putting forth legislation to expand the hike. Since teens are the most impacted by Minimum Wage hikes, I’ll leave it to you parents who read my column. Would you advise your son/daughter to give up their part-time, Minimum Wage job ‘for the common good’?

I didn’t think so.


 When it comes right down to it, many Americans ‘love’ the appearance of acting charitable in public. When the issue of charity starts to impact their children and a future shot at a job and college, it’s amazing how ‘stingy’ they become.

Let me say up front that this is going to be one of ‘those’ columns that should be shown to a teen you may know. Their future is–literally–hanging in the balance.

A few months back, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the criminal justice system. I can remember a time when one who drew prison time was called a ‘convict’. When that person served their time, and was released, they were called an ‘ex-convict’ or an ‘ex-con’. Many of them who returned to society were humble, because they KNEW that they had done wrong in committing crime(s). They also knew and accepted the fact that they had a long way to go in order to ‘climb the mountain’ to successful employment. My how the times have changed. In the continuing social quest to ‘negate’ individual responsibility, we have seen men and women emerge from prison–unrepentant. In fact, the attitude among many ex-cons today is that ‘society’ is at fault for putting them behind bars in the first place.

Say ‘Amen’, somebody!

Furthermore, the term ‘ex-con’ has undergone urban renewal as it has been translated to ‘ex-offender’; then translated again into the ‘PC’ term ‘reclaimed citizens’. Even US Attorney General Eric Holder has been heard making comments to further ‘pacify’ the egos of those who have done prison time by urging that society quickly restore their right to vote–ahead of their ‘right’ to getting a job, paying restitution and becoming upright citizens by paying their taxes.


 A few years back I addressed this issue in several columns. I never thought that I would have to bring up this matter of individual responsibility again, but there are some who are new riders of the ‘short bus’ and have to be re-taught the basics of common sense and proper social behavior.

Can we get back to telling the truth?

It seems to be worthy of noting that there are some–repeat, ‘some’–in our society who fly to trouble, innuendo and wrong doing like a moth flies to a flame, and demand the hard-working, regular people of society to wink at, overlook and cover the damages and consequences of their antics.

‘Rebels’ fail to understand the racial implications of their abuse of other cultures. They fail to understand the sexual implications of STDs and OOW births. They fail to understand the damage to their family name by going to juvie, jail and/or prison. They fail to understand the damage to their community by living deliberately destructive lifestyles: BUT…they want to have the ‘freedom’ to ‘do their own thing’ without consequences, while active citizens of “The United States of Excuses”.

There was a time in American history when our fore parents told us–in no uncertain terms–that we needed to be a ‘credit to our race’. Those words are still true, but have lost their luster and power, thanks to our becoming a nation of card-carrying excuse makers. In short, we have backslidden to social adolescence; demanding full rights and restoration after spending years of putting our churches, families, friends and communities through a very real hell on earth.

A SIMPLE CHALLENGE TO THE EXCUSERS: Years ago, a veteran homicide detective appeared on a local radio talk show fielding a call from person who was against capital punishment. The detective, with a great sense of cool, listened to his opponent rant and rave about the ‘rights’ of the criminal. Then, the detective spoke. “Sir, if you will come with me to the scene of my crime victims, I would be more than happy to honestly listen to your point of view.” What the detective was saying–if I may put it in a nutshell–is that there are too many do-gooders who have not seen the end product of a criminal’s inhumanity to the person on the receiving end of his/her crime spree.

To those of you who are ‘anxious’ to place ex-cons back into the workforce AHEAD of those young men and women who have taken the time to live crime-free lives, I offer you a challenge. Let me see YOU do it, with your own family as the sacrifice. Tell your son or daughter who are going for that first job, or continuing their education, that they must ‘give up’ their dreams for someone who has been to jail or prison. I’ll wait for word of your sacrifice…but not for too long.

Think that my challenge is a little bit too harsh? Well, let’s take this one step further: For those who write hour after hour about the ‘need’ for companies to hire ex-cons ahead of those who don’t have criminal records, try this one: I have yet to see a study of businesses–owned/run by ex-cons–citing how many of their behind bars brothers (and sisters) they have exclusively hired.

Do you see where I’m going on our excursion?

LET’S WRAP THIS UP:It’s always easier to be ‘charitable’ with someone else’s money or livelihood. It’s hard to be as generous or magnanimous when it comes to the economic security of those who live in our own homes. If I may get personal for a moment, if more homes did THEIR jobs, the ‘excuse’ community would dry up overnight, and the prisons would close!

Want to see our country get back on the right track? Let’s start shucking the excuses. A criminal lifestyle is MEANT to have a downside, no matter how many movies and TV shows may glorify the opposite.

Remember the Bible basics: A good name is worth more than diamonds, rubies–or excuses. The rebellious must change; NOT the righteous.

MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails always welcomed to  (C)2014 Barnstorm Communications


Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 1, 2013 by Gary Johnson


By Mike Ramey

If you kill him in the womb, you won’t have to bother at all.

But, bring him into the world to do the ‘real’ job;

Put him in braids and pigtails by two or three;

IF not married Teach him nothing about Mama’s or Daddy’s lack of sexual responsibility,

IF divorced Tell him his Daddy ain’t nothing (cause Mama will NOT allow him around)–for “You can get your Child Support girl”; Let the courts keep Daddy away, while Mama lies…and ‘hangs’ with her friends and blames…

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

If the TV commercials, iPods and iPhones, don’t warp his brain;

Fear not, for some…Mama and Boyfriend are seldom at home; let ESPN raise him!

By third or fourth grade, the system has it made–off him in the shade,

Pumping him full of Ritalin: ADHD, Bipolar, ‘crazy checks’ and mental slavery;

Misteach him about his worth–rewrite Black history: and the ‘superiority’ myth of Black girls…while Pastors are too busy planning ‘yet’ another ‘church’ holiday, doing nothing for Fathers to come home…THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

Of course…You can and do keep him from church or Bible, Jesus Christ is a ‘white man’s’ tool…don’t need it; Tell him about JW’s, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, TM and Yoga! Don’t teach him about right and wrong, or the cop on the beat;

When he’s hauled to juvenile, let him frown and ‘mean mug’; look down and blame

To your guilt…someone else? The social worker, the cop, the court…never you?

Oprah, 50, your soros or fraternity…or the Lodge, your boat trips?

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

The preacher can preach, but can’t teach…what Mama and/or Daddy

Should have done at home, by getting married FIRST and cohabiting fast;

But now the committal is past, the shovel of dirt is the last.

Face down in the street…drugs and gun in hand.

And on the East side of town…another male child is born.

The cycle starts again…full of worldliness and sin…instead of joy;

Much to the Devil’s grin.

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

AND…look how successful ‘the plan’ has worked!

–©Mike Ramey

Labor Day Weekend, 2013


The Ramey Commentaries

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on January 4, 2013 by Gary Johnson

By Mike Ramey

In the first part of this two part commentary on the subject of bullying, I wanted to make it clear that a ‘cottage industry’ has been built off of this issue, and a lot of people are making money off of the misery of others.

TRUE bullying is about power and control. The politically correct ‘thought police’ are doing their best to distort true bullying to further their real agenda–closing down public dissent and alternative points of view.

In short? A segment of our ‘enlightened’ society doesn’t want to hear truth!

I also mentioned that there are three GOOD things that bullies accomplish:

First: A bully will force you to stand on your OWN two feet and deal with what could be a major, real problem. Second: A bully forces you to focus on reality. Third: A bully will force one to protect that which is precious to them.


I shared some basic truth with the youth of my church one Sunday morning, which I will be happy to share in this column.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone is ‘funny looking’. God delights in variety.

Today, we put far too much emphasis on looks, public opinion and social media. We live in the “Era of Least Resistance.” TV shows are being ripped off of blogs, because TV producers are too lazy to be creative–but they want to be paid well. Relationships ‘rise and fall’ based upon what someone’s FB or blog page ‘shouts’–because people have grown too lazy to invest time and work in face-to-face contact. Marriages fail because one partner would rather push their own agenda over the stability of a home and family–but still want to ‘wear a wedding band’ while creating Hell at home.

Young person, God created you as an individual. From your fingerprints down to the DNA in your genetic code, you ARE unique. Don’t let another person ‘rob’ you of your individuality for the sake of peace, security and ‘going along to get along’.

‘Peace in our time’ never comes from satisfying people who love to whine!


Instead of crying about why you’re not like the ‘crowd’, you SHOULD spend your time finding out the gifts God has given you and use them for His glory.

You might find out why God likes to brag on you!

Oh, get ready for some criticism. But, here’s the antidote: When criticized, square your shoulders, lift your head high, and exhibit some backbone. You are NOT ‘bound’ by what a critic may utter about you! Be YOU! The quicker you learn that you are unique, and take pride in your religion, culture, talents, skills and abilities, the closer you are to maturity, and the farther you are away from being a bully’s conquest!

Critics NEVER grow up. Stand up to them, don’t ‘cower’ before them!

Better yet? Find or create a new crowd who appreciates you–FOR you!


A few months back, there was a big stink raised by parents over video postings of student-to-student ‘beat downs’ in hallways, locker rooms, classrooms and cafeterias. Some parents were outraged that their children were the targets of these on-school campus attacks.

This is, actually, and old issue.

A few years back, when Modern Street Gangs started recruiting openly in many public schools. Many school officials and juvenile authorities just let the gangs take over.

If schools won’t cooperate and identify gang leaders ON school grounds, why would one think they would do any better in stopping bullying? Students have BEEN using their iPhones as ‘combat-a-cams’ to post such videos to You Tube and other venues as soon as these tech devices came into the marketplace. Sure, some school districts have specific rules against students using iPhones in school. Still others have rules against students recording such beat-down events. Of course, having a rule and enforcement of a rule are two different things when it comes to school districts.

Since school administrators won’t show any backbone, nor hire the security staff needed to stop students at the door (and send them home with their iPhone and/or other electronic gear), they try to place their teachers in the role of ‘iPhone cop’ in their classrooms. Like the average teacher doesn’t have enough to do? Amen!

To refresh our memories, gang recruiters required members to sneak in iPhones to record ’jumping in’ ceremonies IN schools to ‘prove’ the reach and power of gangs. Many school districts ‘ignored’ the problem…until it made the TV news.

Guess what? Schools no longer have a gang problem. They now have a ‘bullying’ problem. In other words, gangs are still doing their dirt. Instead of the schools meeting the trouble makers ‘head on’ and either expelling them or transferring them to more secure, alternative schools, they have changed the ‘name’ of the game to bullying to qualify for more money to deal with this ‘new’ issue…instead of cutting off the REAL problem at its roots.


When public ‘concern’ is riveted upon a perceived issue, it’s time to take a historic pause–especially if a little something in the back of your mind causes you to wonder: “Where have I seen this public ‘concern’ before?”

How about ‘domestic violence’ and ‘homosexual domestic relationships’.

Prior to the seventies, the issue of domestic violence was considered a private issue. TV shows and comic strips made ‘fun’ of this issue. It was an unfortunate part of life, and women and men were BOTH capable of it. As America entered the seventies, a rising number of homosexual couples came out of the closet and started to set up housekeeping. Incidents of domestic violence among same sex couples started to increase…then skyrocket, often leading to the involvement of local police departments–and injury to some responding police officers. Instead of dealing with the ‘smaller’ universe of domestic violence among same sex couples, the public ‘concern’ was focused upon the ‘perceived epidemic’ of domestic violence ‘throughout our society’.

Who ‘focused’ the concern?

Why the Mainstream Media/Education/Entertainment/Sports/Liberal Kabal…the people who are in direct sympathy to the feminist, homosexual, global warming, etc. agendas. The SAME people–by the way–who are unapologetic when they take your money at the box office, record shop, sports arena, or Pay Pal and reside in gated communities far away from the common man or woman who consumes their wares.

This is how public discussion is being squelched and manipulated.

We’ve seen a bloody 2012 end with a series of very public and very brutal mass murder incidents involving guns–some of them registered guns. This aside from major cities–with gun control laws in place–seeing increasing homicide rates.

The calls for ‘more gun control’ have already gone out from the Kabal. New and tougher anti-gun laws are being brokered and ushered into existence with little in the way of public discussion.

Who are some of those who are calling for more gun control?

Why, the very people who ‘claim’ to have public ‘concern’ at heart:

*Actors and actresses who play armed violent characters on the screen.

*Politicians and reporters and rappers who have guns and gun permits.

*Sports figures…who have armed body guards to keep their ‘fans’ away.

Anyone disagreeing with the ‘wisdom’ of the Kabal?

They are called ‘bullies’. That’s the truth.

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


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.

The Selfishness of the Sexes

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 23, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Mike Ramey

Her name was Gomer. His name was Hosea. Gomer was a party girl who eventually became Hosea’s wife–but she had an agenda. She still loved the night life even AFTER she got married, had several kids and made Hosea into the world’s first ‘househusband’. To make a long story short, Hosea had to serve God, run his household alone AND keep bailing his wayward wife out of trouble. Sadly, Gomer’s selfish ways caught up with her, as she discovered a very valuable lesson: the streets and the people in them don’t ‘love you’ when you get old, broke, and broke down. Hosea spotted his wife at a slave auction, paid the price asked for her, and brought her home to her kids.

I thought about that Bible story while surfing the web recently. The Internet is certainly loaded with blogs, with the most unrealistic offenders being (drum roll please) the ‘relationship’ blogs. What makes many of them sad reading is the phrase ‘battle of the sexes’…and it is usually shouted from the web by the female of the species.

Of course, in our modern times, if Gomer had her own blog, she would be ‘chewing out’ Hosea for ‘not’ giving her the right to live as she wanted to (even though she was a married woman); demand he financially subsidize her abandonment of the children that she wanted AND birthed (child support/crazy check, please), and ‘thumbs downed’ the notion that her home and marriage were more important than her ‘career’ as a social butterfly and part-time ‘party girl’.

One would think that Gomer would learn from her self-destructive selfishness.

But wait; she’s not died. She’s modernized–AND multiplied.


One old saying about marriage is worth remembering. Women tend to marry TO change their husbands; Men tend to marry NOT TO change their wives. In short, both–IF they aren’t careful–will enter a marriage or relationship for selfish motives.

Marriages with any other agenda than ‘becoming one’ never last.

Why is selfishness such a ‘deal killer’ in a relationship?

Because it is easier to claim ‘victim status’ rather than to change behavior.

Adults like to chide teenagers for having unrealistic views of relationships, fueled by modern music and the entertainment kabal. Well, IF we were honest, many adults love to ‘hang on’ to unrealistic views as well, fueled by nostalgia and selfishness.

Here is the unwritten secret of eternal youth, in a nutshell.

It’s ‘cool’ to be a victim.

Right now, I’ll bet that there are more than a few people who have done a ‘spit take’ into their Iphone or Ipad. Here me out, as I say it again. It’s ‘cool’ to be a victim.

There are some men and women who enjoy ‘rehash hash’ for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even after their BFFs have heard their tale of woe for the umpteenth time.

The relationship is over; they have their ‘freedom’, and their ‘no-good’ ex is GONE! The ‘victim’ belt is theirs…by a technical–walkout!


Being a Christian (and not just playing one), I have a tendency to LISTEN to older folk–especially Christians–who have fought the battles of life and come up with the scars AND victories. I’ll never forget the sage advice of one veteran pastor from years ago: “You can LOSE what you GOT by trying to GET what you ALREADY have.” Clearly broken down for Generation Y, the Millennials and the ‘Disney Generation’; if you KNOW yourself to be a selfish person, you’re going to have to change you BEFORE you are ready to meet someone to be WITH you…OR you will eventually LOSE them.

Selfishness between the sexes has reached an all time high. There IS no such thing as a battle between the sexes; but the air abounds with selfishness!

Me-me-me; My-my-my; do it MY way, or say–Bye–Bye–Bye!

THEN folk get shocked that their ‘love for a lifetime’ decides to hit the door, because they have discovered that they are no longer needed in a relationship where one person is selfishly in love–with themselves!

Just how bad is it out there in relationship land? I recently read that psychologists and psychiatrists, because of the dearth of common sense shown by many of their patients, have taken to ‘administering’ tough love therapy sessions, just to keep their OWN sanity! They listen to the stories, then tell their patients the truth about their selfish behavior and self-destructive morals. In short, since the ‘psycho meds’ are NOW in short supply, the shrinks have discovered that a dose of the truth can do what medication has been unable to do.

Can I get an AMEN for the truth?


The legal system is not immune to the problems caused by selfishness. Courtrooms have become crammed with ‘exes’ of either sex, who like to use the courts as a kind of ‘roller derby’ to order resurrections in graveyards littered with the corpses of destroyed marriages caused by agendas based on selfishness. Family court judges fear the months of November and December as ‘emergency’ hearings spring up like so many blades of grass. Lawyers for custodial and non-custodial parents wrangle over everything from an extra day’s worth of visitation, to an extra five dollars in child support because one parent ‘heard’ or ‘had the kids research’ the other parent’s FB profile or web activity. The selfish who ‘train’ their kids against another parent eventually loses that parent outright, and their kids over the course of time.

God don’t like ugly, and ain’t too thrilled with pretty.

The selfish can ‘snag’ a book deal, a magazine cover, or a talk show. Never mind the fact that your ‘supporters’ are shielding themselves (and their relationships) from your venom. The selfish are sought out by the bitter–who fuel the 24/7 news cycle and cash registers of our modern era. The selfish can create ‘new’ words and phrases–or change the meaning of existing ones such as ‘bullying’ or ‘my career is more important’. The selfish strut into church, read the Bible, and sing all the gospel hits. Church splits and pastoral vacancies abound because the selfish in the pew would rather sing, “I Did It MY Way” rather than “Oh, Lord…I Want You To Help Me.”

If you view your relationship as ‘only’ all about you–and you enjoy it–take heart!

You’ll be alone…soon enough!

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.




Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags on May 29, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Mike Ramey

The business of business is to make money.
Black folk–especially our youth–need to be aware of this basic point.
The mainstream media of this country is–above all–a business. The news media of the USA is–a business. The sports industry of America–is a business. Your local television and radio station, major newspaper or magazines and even your minority-owned newspapers and magazines are all businesses. Each of them have boardrooms, lawyers, advisors and accountants focused on one thing. That one thing: making money.
Pity the person who steps in between them and their profits. Even with the truth!
The arrogance of the entertainment/sports/media kabal (which is what I call them because the three are cash linked) is best explained by them. Thus, reading the occasional media sheets, web accounts and business briefs on them pays big dividends in understanding one’s adversary.
A few years back, 2010 I believe, the annual ‘take’ at the Hollywood box office was published at about 10 Billion dollars. Industry analysts called this ‘an economic loss’. In 2012, we’ve read about certain ‘blockbuster’ movies that have lost out at the box office–like it was the fault of the viewing public. I recall reading that Hollywood ‘hates’ G or PG themed movies, but ‘thrives’ on R rated material. In reality–if you are wise about how the entertainment industry functions–it is INDUSTRY knowledge that G and PG movies actually account for more than 75% of the box office receipts EACH year…and R-rated fare only brings in about ten percent of box office cash.
Seems to me that movies should be made that the public likes…but I digress.
If you think that the new normal is viewing or reading news stories depicting ONLY; a) Black men being arrested; b) Black women on welfare or on corners; c) oversexed young Black women fighting each other in the streets, or; d) young Black men locked into a sports-rap-hip-hop-gang slanging personna a generation after the Civil Rights movement concluded, you’ve been hoodwinked by the MSM…TOO!
The propaganda tactics of the MSM have become tragic of late. A few years ago, a few tell-all books and articles were released by industry insiders. Surprisingly, many stalwarts of the MSM admitted that they ‘intentionally put forth’ their liberal political/social/moral agendas through their programs–many of them depicting people of color negatively in far too many cases.
The real world does not ‘run’ on a sitcom or reality clock. It runs on faith in God, loyalty, respect for authority, and perseverance.
The Kabal INTENTIONALLY doesn’t get this. A lot of OUR young men and young women don’t ‘get’ it either. In our advanced technical age, African Americans are STILL the number one consumers of television. America still is the number one exporter of entertainment to the rest of the world. In fact, the American entertainment industry has been quietly marketing major motion pictures overseas–OUTSIDE of the USA–prior to domestic release–in order for them to ‘firm up’ their box office take. OUR images STILL have not improved, but our consumption INCREASES!
Television and the MSM are now ‘a vast white-land’…by deliberate design.
Doubt me? Next time you watch the local news or pick up the latest video game fare for your child or yourself, spot the number of racially stereotyped characters among the heroes, villains and supporting cast. History has repeated itself!
The same ‘lack of color’ on the tube which sparked the riots of the sixties is going on in our enlightened 21st century!
In my travels, I have covered, appeared before, or observed courts and judges. The FIRST rule of thumb? NEVER address a judge by their first name. This is considered a major no-no and could earn one a possible trip to jail. The SECOND rule of thumb? Dress for success. It shows respect for the judge, and for the system of law.
Why is it important for us to monitor what we watch? Why is it crucial that young people especially need to be able to separate fact from fiction or myth from reality?
Let’s start with the obvious–the subjects of marriage, sex outside of marriage, and OOW births. Young Black men MUST learn how to prepare themselves to become husbands–not rappers, thugs and baby machines. Young Black women MUST learn how to become wives–not video vixens and thuggettes. Children born outside of wedlock are not cute; they are bastards–as outlined in the Bible. Homes are built by families headed by husbands, supported by wives, and are populated by obedient children trained by their parents. The MSM hates what I have mentioned, because it robs them of revenue and viewership. God loves and blesses the nation and people who side with Him.
It’s your call–blessing or cursing in your own life. Guard your mind, protect your image and you WON’T be hypnotized by those who glorify the negative.
We don’t have to ‘buy in’ to the propaganda and images which appear before us. We can either put pressure on the holders to the keys of the MSM to better represent us, or, we can opt out of the brainwashing by restricting our consumption of their wares.
In plain terms: You can spend your money where our images are sunny!
Whether you call them the MSM, Hollywood, sports journalism or ‘the Kabal’, they are ALL businesses. Until we get tired of being ‘hoodwinked’ and understand that not everything that depicts us and our race–even from those of our race–is good for us, we will continue to be consumers, rather than producers. Not only that, but those of our own race–and you KNOW who they are–need to also be put on notice that we won’t be a part of their ‘plantation minstrel shows’ as well.
Either better images…or lower profits.
The images and minds we NEED to protect are oursnot theirs
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email © 2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

The Ramey Commentaries – The Consequences of Goodness

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sad, but true.

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

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


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

At least, that’s what is claimed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted in Black Interests, Black Men, Ramey Commentaries with tags , , on November 25, 2011 by Gary Johnson



In the fall of 2011, it was reported that a one well-to-do school corporation were the target of a police investigation. The police had discovered that a school-based gang was busily recruiting members for a larger, local gang.

Both gangs were involved in burglaries, car break-ins and other thefts.

Of course, parents were the last to know about the police probe.

The existence of school-based gangs may be new to parents, but they continue to grow rapidly. The cops know that they are there. Schools officials know that they are there. The students know that they are there–and eagerly join AND participate.

The ONLY people who seem to be left out of the loop…are parents.

In far too many cases; what’s done IN the school house, STAYS in the school house. Once more, the taxpayer is being asked to ‘foot the bill’ for those school officials who maintain the mantra that ‘all is well’.


Back in the mid-2000s, federal authorities estimated that there were some 800,000 gang members in America. In 2009 the number swelled to slightly more than 1 million. Now, a scant two years later, federal authorities issued a new study, reporting that there are some 1.5 million gang members in the USA. Two things clearly seen; 1) The programs which have been touted to fight gang activity since 2002 have NOT been working, and; 2) Our public schools are turning out to be safe havens for gang activity.

Forget the fake social flags about school house bullying and poor self-esteem. Gangs–and their recruiters–are on the march, leaving teachers, students, and administrators either caught in the grip of deliberate ignorance…or willful silence. The ‘basic’ attitude of many school officials, in my view? “Gangs are not a school problem until ‘good students’ get hurt, or, the children of school employees (often enrolled in so-called ‘better schools’) become gang targets.”

Parents are not the only ones left on the outside. Many local churches–some of them great helpers of public schools–are being left behind. The subject of religion has become blurred in the school house to administrators, but not to gang members. While Christian students who bring their Bibles to school or have prayer over their lunches are held to be troublemakers by some schools, many Modern Street Gangs have adopted a religi-criminal mode of communications. Students ‘rep’ their favorite gangs with relative ease–and scant comment–by wearing gang symbols appearing to be harmless religious icons such as crosses, crucifixes and prayer beads in plain sight on school grounds.


Those who follow the teen scene are familiar with ‘the hoodie’; an article of street wear. Little more than a sweatshirt topped off with a hood, it has become useful in masking the identity of gang members–or others. They started to ‘catch on’ in the early 2000s as teens had adopted them as ‘the’ main choice of street wear. More than a few school corporations around the country banned hoodies as being “…disruptive to the education process…”. Many of these same school corporations later backtracked on their bans. Why? Simple economics and internal pressure.

Athletic departments and PE teachers saw hoodies as a means of; 1) keeping their student athletes warm with an article of low-priced clothing, and; 2) having something that student athletes could use to inspire ‘school pride’ via incorporation of the school athletic logo. The ‘use’ of the hoodie eventually slipped into the schools via student athletes–even though it was officially ‘banned’ by school administrators. Soon hoodies started to turn up in a variety of school colors courtesy of eager vendors. Thus, a clear item of street culture–which was officially banned–was quietly ushered into the school house because officials saw it as an economic fix. The hoodie could be ‘useful’ IF students bought them FROM vendors of the school districts’ choice!


Let me state this again. What was once ‘banned’ was ‘unbanned’ because it became a ready revenue source for the schools. Of course, gang members and recruiters were overjoyed. They could ‘rep’ their gang in trendy school colors and be LEGAL.

Public schools have not always been overtly ‘money hungry’. Tax revenue provided by the public ‘used’ to be enough to satisfy many school corporations. Many schools lived within their means. It seemed rare to hear that school budgets ran tight. It seemed even more rare for schools to go to the voters and request more tax revenue.

This has changed. Over the last ten years or so, school corporations have gotten greedy. Every new innovation; every new consultant’s dream just had to be ‘inserted’ into the classroom. In the mind of ‘professional educators’, the ends may not jive with the means…as long as we can count on using public money to pay for it. Furthermore, school corporations could ‘double dip’ by insisting that parents provide ‘extra’ items for schools, as in parents needed to ‘provide’ two reams of copy paper per each of their students for each semester.

When do parents see ‘cash back’ from schools? Hardly ever. Should schools ‘save’ money on an innovation, the public never seems to get a refund.

Remember the ‘Channel One’ innovation from back in the nineties? Local school corporations were to receive ‘free’ televisions and video equipment ‘in exchange for’ five to seven minutes a day access to students ‘before’ they began their studies. Before the Channel One experiment, students were limited to the outside television influences they could receive during the school day. After Channel One arrived, it seemed that schools–especially at the secondary level–couldn’t live without the use of the television in the classroom.

Let’s fast forward a few years. Now we have name brand vending & snack machines placed in many schools; name brand franchises being allowed to provide their foods in the lunch line (or have a mini-restaurant on the school campus), endless PTA/PTU fundraising drives, and students drilled to compete as young pitchmen in order to ‘win prizes’ for themselves and their schools.

These days, the 3 Rs may be interpreted: ‘Raise Revenue Regularly’.


During my tenure as a probation officer, one certain word was kept in the forefront of every case heard by the juvenile court. That word was ‘confidentiality’. There were internal rules and external rules of confidentiality existed to protect the rights of those on probation. In short, while a juvenile had committed a very real crime, they were still held to be a juvenile. They–and their parents–were entitled to having their cases kept confidential; information was not to be released to the general public. Because of the uplifting of the hip-hop/criminal ‘gangsta’ lifestyle in society, many teens have opted to ‘brag’ about their being on probation to their friends, teachers and schools. The reason for the bragging is two fold: 1) To impress their friends, and; 2) To attempt to intimidate their teachers and school staff.

Some school corporations–in co-operation with their local juvenile courts–have tried to bring back some confidentiality standards by allowing for the placement of probation officers in the school setting. Unfortunately, this innovation didn’t last. School-based probation officers soon became bogged down in the school house machinery they were sent to be above. Many of them have been used by schools as extra baby sitters or social workers for all students of their respective school, leaving them of little use to their own clients or courts.


The bottom line for parents? In keeping your OWN teens and children safe, it is up to YOU to educate yourself as to gang activity in your school. Remember the saying: “What’s done in Vegas, stays in Vegas?” Your local school house has the same, basic attitude towards the safety of your children. While there is a never ending shortage of programs for the prevention of bullying to teaching the joys of homosexuality and lesbianism, basic training programs for administrators and teachers to learn how to spot and stop gang activity are often ignored–even though they are plentiful.

The safety of your children rests with Y-O-U!

Schools operate on a stair step approach to discipline. Modern gangbangers are very familiar with not only school rules in the rule book, they are also familiar with them in actual practice. Just as a ex-con knows the prison system, juveniles who are involved with gang activity know how their own schools and teachers functions. Gang recruiters know that as long as they operate ‘just under the radar’, they won’t encounter much resistance from parents or the schools.

Parents have to get ‘wise’ as to the school world their children exist within.

It begins with asking questions and doing your homework.

Let me give you just a few things to look for in your teens backpack, room, notebooks or school locker. These items–and others–are identifiers of possible gang activity of your child, or some of his/her friends:




Tattoos [Including New UV Tats] Eyebrows Shaved In Patterns

Hairstyles Hair/Head Symbols/Shavings Hand Signals/Signs

Nose Rings Earrings Rosary Beads/Cloths ‘Mean Mugging’

Markings In Webs Of Hand/On Knuckles Religious Art Facial Markings Nail Polish

Speaking Unusual Languages/Slang/Symbols Sores On Hands



Hoodies NFL NBA College MLB Sportswear & Hats

Scarves Doo Rags Hankies Jewelry Ringtones ’Special’ Songs

Notebooks With Gang Signs & Symbols Excessive Use Of School/Uniform Wear Colors IF Gang Colors Weapons Books On Advanced Subjects

C.D.s MP3s Ipods Alcohol Cell Cams Drugs Mouthwash Inhalants

Excessive Cash Burglary/Break-in/Lockpicks Advanced Computer Websites

Custom Gang Clothing with Street Names Notes/Codes/Gang Symbols On Journals/Non-school related paperwork



Articles on Specific Gangs Disciplinary Problems At School Gang Websites

Active On Probation/Parole Gang You Tube/Twitter Lists

Late Night Calls Visits/Hanging Out With Older Teens/Troublemakers/J.D.s

Strange Odors/Smells ‘Bragging’ About Friends With Juvenile Records

Spending More Time Out Of Home/Away From Home

A wise parent will do a quick ‘head to toe’ check of their child before they leave in the morning, and when they come home in the evening. If enough of these items are found, it is likely that your teen has been recruited by a gang–or is already involved. Don’t get hung up on which gang your teen may representing. They are ALL dangerous, as Modern Street Gangs are quick to change their ‘look’ inside of six to nine months.


Their hope is keeping the upright off balance and ignorant to their existence.


Parents, when you see these items turn up; WISE UP and turn up the heat as to where your teen may have gotten them.

Don’t wait until you see on the TV news, or read in the paper that the school of your child is the target of a police investigation.

By then, it may be too late.

MIKE RAMEY is the Lead Instructor of THE GANG LINE, Indianapolis, Indiana. RAMEY is a Certified Street Gang Specialist and does workshops for law enforcement or non-law enforcement agencies. He can be contacted at his Email ©2012 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

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