Archive for Racism

The N-Word: An Interactive Project Exploring a Singular Word

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Diversity, Gary A. Johnson, Racism with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By Gary A. Johnson

The Washington Post has a fascinating interactive project exploring the use of the N-word.  Written by Dave Sheinin and Krissah Thompson with contributions by Lonnae O’Neal Parker, this N-word project is described by the Washington Post as follows:

“Following several incidents involving players using the n-word, the National Football League this year instructed game officials to penalize players who used the word on the field of play. The policy, though, was widely criticized as being heavy-handed and out of touch. As the league wrestled with the issue, a team of Washington Post journalists examined the history of this singular American word, its spread through popular culture and its place in the vernacular today.”

In short, this project features 34 people, 9 questions and 1 word.

According to search data on the social media analytics website, the word is used 500,000 times a day on Twitter — as “nigga.”

The N word project allows you to select several topic areas that lead to a custom video.  You can also watch and listen to 34 conversations or start a conversation by posting a question about the N-word and sharing it with your network.

Here’s a sample of some of the aspects of the word explored in this project:

  • Are we giving the word too much power or is the word just that powerful?
  • Why would anyone willingly use a word that’s only meaning is one designed to make someone feel bad for being born the way they are.
  • Why do white people want to use a word that would only make situations awkward in the context of their skin color?
  • Does avoiding the word actually deconstruct racism, or does it simply hide ongoing prejudice under a veneer of political correctness?
  • Why is it okay for African-Americans to say it, but only okay for whites to say the n-word when an African-American gives them a “pass”?

Click here to get started and join the conversation.

Photos courtesy Nikki Kahn and Michael S. Williamson

GJohnson 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.

NAACP and Donald Sterling: The Price Tag on Black America’s Head

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , on May 4, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By H. Lewis Smith, Guest Columnist

National Basketball Association (NBA) L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has a long-documented and publicly-known history of being a bigot; the revelation of the 2009 housing discrimination suit against him served as a monolithic red flag. Even in the midst of that 2009 scandal and in the face of provable, on-going blatant racial disrespect and loathe for Blacks and African Americans, the NAACP still awarded Sterling a humanitarian award that same year. With clear knowledge of Sterling’s actions, the organization again planned to award him a Lifetime Achievement Award this year (2014). Consequently, given knowledge of this past history, any sensible human being (regardless of color) would have to ask why the NAACP would have even considered honoring this person with such a prestigious award in the first place. (Truth be told, seems the only award Sterling qualifies for is some sort of donkey of the decade award).  This idea and mentality of continuing to uphold such a person in spite of his obvious disdain of blacks really causes pause and cause for concern. Ultimately, what do such influential organizations as the NAACP truly represent in terms of standing boldly as the guardian and lead re-constructor of Black America’s racial integrity? What do the NACCP and Black America in general have against speaking loudly for and requiring self-respect from within and without the community? Understand that the intent is not to slander or offend the NAACP. The objective is to make hot the blood that pumps in the veins of the organization to resurrect the strength and leadership it once wielded during the ‘60s. The point is to give vibration and depth to the unified, collective voice that is well-prepared to progress the Black African-American community. The only way this goal can be achieved is if Black Americans vehemently demand respect from others AND self, and hold all accountable for their actions, or non-actions for that matter.

During the years of the Civil Rights Movement and struggles for equality, people died, and in some cases outright sacrificed themselves, in order to secure cultural dignity, respect and usher the advancement of the Black American. The NAACP was at the forefront of the Movement preaching the significance and number one priority of developing moral character, self-respect, and personal empowerment/strength. The NAACP of today seems to be the antithesis of what it was during the ‘60s. Aside from the Donald Sterling fiasco, a complete breakdown in leadership and encouragement of cultural unity in general has long existed in spite of individual achievement and accomplishments since the strong push for Black power. Black America as a group has retrogressed due to a lack of leadership and losing its focus.
In recent decades, the African-American’s consciousness has been submerged in a toiling, never-ending sea of self-deprivation, and ultimately, self-destruction, at their discretion. The minds of its youths were (and still are) exposed to the poison and venomous lyrics of rap music and the Stepin Fetchit antics of black comedians. Their sole ambitions were to sell their souls and the souls of their community for fame and fortune. No one has cried out in protest against these “innovations” in entertainment— not even the NAACP. Rather, they either turned their heads and chose to remain ignorant or separated from the exploitations; bobbed their heads rhythmically to the degrading tunes; snickered boisterously at satire-filled stand-ups; and/or worked backroom deals to figure out how they too could get a piece of the pie.

It seems that the NAACP’s position in most recent years has been one of being very “PC” (politically correct) when the main reason for the organization’s founding was to be a disruptive, progressive organization for the total, well-rounded BENEFIT of Black America. Just as the n-word’s definition cannot be transformed based on passage of time or the way in which the term is said, the NAACP’s definition and/or founding values cannot and should not be changed or compromised in the face of an even more dynamic, undermining systemic. Surely the NAACP made a statement in deciding not to follow through with awarding Sterling the honor, but was it just to appease or pacify the Black community? Would the founding fathers of the NAACP be satisfied with that action or require more so that the world understands the NAACP’s seriousness behind requiring everyone from within and without the community to respect the black race?

NAACP Los Angeles president Leon Jenkins commented in a recent article that people must be forgiving, which is true; however, these same people must also not be blind or foolish. Was the immediate forgiveness just a way to leaving the door open, so that when this situation blows over or is no longer front page and front of mind, that they will allow Sterling to walk right on back in? Is the NAACP afraid that if they cut one racist bigot off that all of their other donors of that same type will pull away their funding?

The NAACP perhaps does have a valid reason in wanting to maintain a relationship with Sterling in that they noted Sterling regularly donates funds to support scholarships; however, as the old and completely relevant adage says “all money isn’t good money.” It is understood that blacks can benefit from the financial contributions; however, the argument is one about having and upholding driving principles, conveying the importance of self-respect, racial dignity, and the development of real self-awareness and moral character of a race of people. Any man can be financially rich, but if he owns no morals, he has not grasped the concept of life and will forever be poor. Moreover, to be treated as cattle (only purchased to use as a revenue-generating stream) and likened to dogs, no amount of money or price can justify acceptance of such classification or relinquishing one’s dignity.

The NAACP’s actions, and defense or justification of so quickly “forgiving” Sterling is reminiscent of Jay-Z recently deciding to continue his collaboration with Barney’s in spite of Black Americans being discriminated against. Again, even though there are potential financial benefits to gain from that relationship, it is time to teach those blatantly disrespecting Black America and using the system to carry out such heinous acts that the community won’t stand for it. Black influential leaders and organizations must be willing to “put it all on the line” for the real purpose or plight of their existence. To sell out morally for a financial benefit teaches a very poor and sad lesson to the very children they claim will gain excellent educations and greater accessibility to opportunities through earning these scholarships. The most unfortunate aspect of the entire matter is that the real lesson and education of growing a healthy moral richness and a genuine high self-worth will not be attained due to the larger ideal being conveyed: selling out for a piece of change is acceptable. Real personal value is intrinsic (priceless, invaluable), founded on truth, and is only developed when standing up to and fighting—with “clean hands”—for what is right just because it is the morally just thing to do.
Donald Sterling and many others make it no secret the contempt and disrespect they have towards the African-American community. Clearly, African Americans are used as pawns and work horses by everyone—including Black and African American people and organizations that sell out the greater community for a buck. Certainly, the Black African American community compounds the matter by insisting on disrespecting themselves with continued use of the n-word and acceptance of being sold out. For instance, in 2007, the NACCP made a superficial attempt to stem the tide of Black Americans’ use of the n-word. Mock funerals to bury the pejorative term sprung up around the country only to come to an abrupt halt. As irony would have it, the old guard within the NACCP was against the mock funerals; instead, it was the younger faction promoting the burial of the n-word as short-lived as it was. Where was the Black community at that time? Why did no one stand up and tell the NAACP that they were wrong for halting the burial of the n-word? And did the NAACP halt the burials due to them again being afraid that much of their funding would be pulled? Is this a way of the guard saying that they still “know their place” and are willing to maintain the “balanced imbalance” to keep receiving their slice of the pie?

Undeniably, if Sterling was not “caught red-handed” with the words of racism pouring with total conviction “from the horse’s mouth” in the taped telephone conversation, the unbelievable presentation of praise to such an undeserving individual would have once again taken place. The NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award is one founded long ago on dignity; appreciation and recognizable value of all mankind; and selfless, genuine efforts made only to help in the uplifting, liberation and independence, and celebration of the Black and African-American community. It should not be treated or used as just another punch card for someone who is only attempting to buy favor with Black America because of what Black America can do for his pocketbook. Further, Black America should be able to recognize the fake and not continue to enable the systemic.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games.

65 Students Of Color Share Their Experiences Of Life At Oxford University

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Racism with tags , , , , on March 13, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Students of Color2

This project was inspired by the recent ‘I, too, am Harvard’ initiative. The Harvard project resonated with a sense of communal disaffection that students of colour at Oxford have with the University. The sharing of the Buzzfeed article ‘I, too, am Harvard’ on the online Oxford based race forum, ‘Skin Deep’ led to students quickly self organizing a photo shoot within the same week.

Students of Color

A message that was consistently reaffirmed throughout the day was that students in their daily encounters at Oxford are made to feel different and “Othered” from the Oxford community. Hopefully this project will demonstrate that despite there being a greater number of students of color studying at Oxford now than there has ever been before, there are still issues that need to be discussed. In participating in ‘I, Too, Am Oxford,’ students of color are demanding that a discussion on race be taken seriously and that real institutional change occur.

Students of Color3

Click here to see all of the photos.

Click here to learn more.

Report: One In Three Black Males Will Go To Prison

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, Racism with tags , , , , on October 19, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Black Men Chained
By Black Men In
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, dwarfing the rate of nearly every other nation.  One in every three black males born today can expect to go to prison at some point in their life, compared with one in every six Latino males, and one in every seventeen white males, if current incarceration trends continue.These are among a stack of facts cited by The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for prison reform, in a report on the staggering racial disparities that permeate the American criminal justice system.

The report was submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Committee this week in advance of the U.N.’s review of American compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights later this month.  It argues that racial disparity pervades “every stage of the United States criminal justice system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.

“Racial minorities are more likely than white Americans to be arrested,” the report explains.  “Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences.”

Roughly 12% of the United States population is black.  Yet in 2011, black Americans constituted 30% of persons arrested for a property offense and 38% of persons arrested for a violent offense.  7 Black youths account for 16% of all children in America yet make up 28% of juvenile arrests.
The report concludes that the U. S. has employed mass incarceration as a convenient answer to inconvenient questions for decades.

In doing so, the U.S. government has glossed over the glaring racial inequalities that permeate every aspect of its criminal
justice system.  The government has both fostered and perpetuated those inequalities in clear violation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as other international agreements.   The overall report is worth reading even if you disagree with the group’s conclusion and findings.  Click here to download the report.

Don Lemon is Just Doing His Job! Objectors Are Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags , , , , , , on August 2, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Don Lemon

By Cleo Manago, CEO and Founder of the Black Men’s Xchange (BMX)   

In 2010, during a radio interview, former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, a Latino, called “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart a “bigot” and intimated that CNN was “run by Jews.” Swiftly, in response to Jewish outrage about his comments, Sanchez was fired. Former CNN pundit  Roland Martin would later be “let go” by CNN because White people who make up close to 100% of gay leadership complained about Mr. Martin and did not like him.

At the moment, many Black people are outraged by comments from CNN anchor Don Lemon. Lemon apparently “sided” with Bill O’Reilly, a known racist and White supremacist, during his typical anti-Black and ill-informed rant about Black people on his talk show. Of course Don Lemon offending Black people will not result in his being fired by CNN. As a matter of fact, Lemon has been featured on other high-profile talk shows to explain himself.  Neither Sanchez, nor Martin were afforded these opportunities. That is because White folks like and are comfortable with Lemon. And (right now) what White folks like – Jewish or otherwise – White folks get.

Lemon proved his undying love and loyalty to White people some time ago, particularly when dedicating his memoirs to a White male, after coming out as gay-identifying in 2011. Offending Black people, like murdering a 100% innocent Black child (Trayvon Martin) is not offensive in America or among media bosses. The United States’ media manufactures Black dismissing, dehumanizing, anti-Black, and White protecting and accommodationist thinking.

Again, this tendency in America directly contributed to Trayvon Martin’s cold-blooded murderer being found not guilty. This same thinking occurs and is internalized among Black people too. Without deliberate means, it can be difficult to avoid. It is not a rarity to locate a Black American who sees other Black people through the lens of a White racist. Even among Black people, the widely used term “nigga” came from racist White people.

Cleo Manago,  founder and CEO of the Black Men’s Xchange

Armstrong Williams, Larry Elders, Rev. Jesse Lee Peters, Clarence Thomas, just

to name a few, are often given a platform specifically to low rate Black people. Yet Black people are almost never given a prime time platform to do the opposite. Most of America’s systems are designed to be White comfort zones, or to be non-threatening to White people.

Typically, success for Black and Latino people, in corporate America for example, involves if they have the capacity to walk, talk and act in ways that comfort White folks. In America, being Black and actually loving yourself and your community without question is a challenge for many. Yet, having that disposition can get you more rewards, White associates, jobs and approval.

The recent hoopla about Don Lemon’s “race” comments divert from the fact that there are few to no Black males in high profile television positions like his, because of White racism and control. What other Black men in Lemon’s position (an anchor on a major network) have we heard from at-all regarding their views of the Black community?  None. When was the last time you’ve heard a high-profile media personality go into any detail, let’s say, about the impact of racism and the media on Black people? Never. How many other daily televised Black male anchors have given an analysis of life in Black communities, since the Zimmerman trial (let alone before)?  None.

Don Lemon is just doing his job, and was selected as one who would be good at it. And, he is. Lemon is just another ambitious, non-threatening, White accommodationist Black male who gets to be on camera because White CNN executives are comfortable with him.

Complaining about Don Lemon, and not holding his racist bosses accountable, again, you are barking up the wrong tree. Protest racism in America’s media. It does much greater damage to Black people than Don Lemon does.

Cleo Manago is founder and CEO of the Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) (, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior among diverse males of African-descent.

Am I The Only One Getting A Little Irritated by President Obama?

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

Obama Bites Lip

By Gary A. Johnson

I’ll try and keep this short and sweet.  I know plenty of folks who are “emotionally blinded” that we have a Black President.  So much so, they can see no wrong in anything President Obama does or says.  President Obama arguably has the most difficult job in the world.  I am not up to the task of being President of the United States of America.  He clearly is, and along with that comes scrutiny from supporters like me.  Yes, I said supporter.  I don’t have to agree with everything that the President puts forward on his agenda.  Some of the things on the President’s agenda are not in my best interest.  I can live with that reality.

Everything with me is viewed from a perspective of balance, (which I will try to be in this commentary).  When evaluating President Obama, one must first realize that he is first and foremost a politician.  In fact, he has proven to be one of the savviest politicians in recent history.  President Obama and his supporters have claimed that he is not the “President of Black America.”  I agree.  He is the President of the United States of America accountable to all of the people.

Politicians talk differently to different groups, sometimes when delivering the same message.  I get that.  What rubs me the wrong way is that President Obama appears to be talking to Black America in more of a condescending and scolding tone.  Lord knows there are problems in the black community and not enough folks are stepping up to help provide support and solutions.  There are some in the black community who need to have their ass kicked, taken to the woodshed and then go to a “Come to Jesus” meeting.  You will get no argument from me on that.  Everyone needs to be held accountable, including President Obama.

If the President feels the need to call out the black community, particularly black men in public, then he needs to be prepared to be called out and held accountable on his record and campaign promises.  One one-hand, I get the sense that the President feels the need or obligation to hold the black community to a higher standard.  I can understand that.  My growing annoyance with the President is that it appears that he is holding the black community accountable for the bad things that happen in their communities, but doesn’t hold other groups as accountable for the bad things that happen in their communities.

I could be wrong.  I could also have some “blind-spots” that prevent me from seeing the entire picture.

Earlier this week President Obama president addressed Morehouse College’s graduating class, and said:

“We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned. And whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and overcame.”

The President also told the Morehouse graduates:  “You have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and they overcame, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them too.”

Personally, I would like to see the President hold his top advisers and appointees more accountable.  These men and women are responsible for helping the President achieve his many campaign promises.  With the recent scandals involving the IRS seizing records and phone messages of media, the President’s administration appears to have a problem with transparency to the American people.  In my mind, transparency is closely aligned to TRUST!

Feeling The Heat

Obama Sweat

The scandals that are in the headlines have to do with the government surveillance of reporters telephone and computer records, the IRS tax scandal against Tea Party and conservative groups and to a lesser extent the Benghazi attack where our Ambassador was killed last September.  With all of the alleged misconduct in his administration, President Obama’s attempt to be above the fray and not having knowledge of anything that will connect him to any wrongdoing, reflects that his administration is out of control.  For the record, every administration does this.  Did the Obama administration go too far?

The President made a lot of promises to Black America during his last campaign.   How has he done?

According to the NAACP the Black community is in worse shape under the Obama Administration than under the Bush administration.  The Labor Department reports that the black unemployment rate was at 12.7 percent when President Obama took office. That unemployment rate is now reportedly 16.7 percent — making it the highest unemployment rate for Black since 1983 (Reagan Administration).  Black teens jobless rate was even more staggering at 39.3 percent in July 2012.

Cost of Obamacare

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three.  It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.  This doesn’t mean that Obamacare is a failure.  Obamacare is still developing.  In my mind it is too early to evaluate.

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at:

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at:

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at: has compiled more than 500 promises that President Obama made during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.  The sites tracks his progress on a scorecard they call the Obameter.  I’m not certain of the political affiliation of the site or its neutrality but the site is worth checking out if you want to learn more about the President’s track record for keeping his promises.  You can also click here and scroll down to read the campaign promises that President Obama has honored.

Obama Family2

I want President Obama to succeed.  The fact that he is President reflects his success.  I think President Obama, Michelle Obama and their daughters are great role models for America, but he is NOT above being criticized.  The fact that I am irritated at him at times in my mind does not make me a “hater.”  I’m simply questioning the President and his administration’s behavior in an effort to hold them accountable as they promised, something that I believe he would not find objectionable or unfair.

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.” 

Dr. Boyce: President Obama Lacks the Moral Authority to Give His Lopsided Speech at Morehouse

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

By Dr. Boyce Watkin

Obama Morehouse

This week, President Barack Obama gave the commencement address to the young men at Morehouse College.  I was happy to see the president speak to these men, for I’m sure they were inspired by his presence.  The achievements of Barack Obama are nothing short of legendary and inspirational, he deserves to be recognized as such.  Morehouse College President John Wilson should also be commended for his extraordinary leadership.  Dr. Wilson was gracious enough to join the presidents of Spelman and Clark in co-signing the open letter on mass incarceration written by myself and Russell Simmons.

The president’s message consisted of the same themes that I recall hearing from my grandmother:  You have to work twice as hard to get half as much if you are black in America, and racism is no excuse for you to give up.  I agree with this message, and I share similar messages every single day of my life.

The president’s decision to speak in ways that he knew would resonate with Morehouse men and their older black parents was an intelligent political move, without question.   The president’s speeches tend to be more conservative when he speaks to African Americans (I even noticed his use of the word “Lordy” early in the speech), and this is a good fit, since black people are also very conservative. The truth is that many African Americans would be Republicans if the party would just stop being so blatantly racist.

Another thing about black people is that many of us suffer from the low self-esteem that tends to afflict oppressed individuals.  We’re not much different from the housewife who believes her husband wouldn’t have had to beat her if she had not burned the cookies.  When her husband is out with other women, she is simply thankful that he took the time to pay the rent.   She’s ecstatic about any form of acknowledgement from her husband whatsoever, and when he berates her, she knows that she deserves it.  To some extent, she comes to embrace her oppression as the natural order of things, and the tranquility of her marriage is built upon the idea that his views, needs and status are superior to her own.

When President Obama graces us with his presence, we are simply honored that he took the time to even acknowledge us.   Any symbolic gesture, no matter how scant and meaningless, becomes precious to us, because for some, there is no greater achievement that any black man could aspire to than to get validation from white people.  Had President Obama passed on the presidency and taken a position at an all-black school and educated thousands of black children, we would have considered it to be a wasted opportunity.  Why would such an important man spend his time with us?  The political harmony between black America and the Obama Administration is a carefully-designed relationship in which our job is to shut up and cheer for anything the administration chooses to do with our votes.

Part of this asymmetric partnership with the Obama Administration is that we are actually HAPPY when the president berates us.   We like being told that we don’t try hard enough and that the reason so many of us struggle is because we have come to embrace an inferior set of habits and cultural norms.   We ENJOY the abuse, because deep down, many of us have bought into the myth of white superiority as much as white people themselves.

So, when Obama comes to Morehouse and says, “Stop using racism as an excuse and start taking more responsibility,” we LOVE it.  We also nod our heads in agreement because for the educated elite, Obama isn’t talking about us.  He’s talking about “them.”  You know, those n*ggaz who keep getting sent to prison, who can’t get jobs, and who are killing each other in the street.   They deserve their plight because they don’t work as hard as the rest of us, at least that’s the logic. It’s easy to grab onto the simple answers:  Black men love their kids less than white men do, black women are only capable of raising incompetent children who eat Popeye’s chicken for breakfast, and black people are slightly less human than whites, thus prone to more criminal activity.

Morehouse Grads

Graduates react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., May 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Click here to read the entire commentary.

The Bridge: Obama, Race & Politics

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama, The Bridge - Darryl James with tags , , on September 23, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Darryl James

Some people still don’t get it.

But anyone with eyes, ears and a working brain knows that President Barack Obama has brought out all the racism in America that many people lied about. Many people lied about racism being on the decline and how Obama’s election ushered in a “post racial society.”

But to the contrary, his election has ushered in a neo-racial society, meaning that racism has reared its ugly head in the forefront of our society once again, because some factions of America are filled with venom and ignorance, as opposed to a true love for this nation.

We see it with the death threats against the president, the filthy little white woman who shook her finger in the president’s face and all of the overt messages of hatred that the ignorant can no longer hide.

I said it during the presidential campaign and I said it when Barack Obama was elected.

His election will be used to polarize a nation, rather than unite it.

And it has been.

Although many Americans are smarter and more open minded than the nation used to contain, there are still pockets of racism that will hold on with tooth and nail to a world they are comfortable with.

That world is a world where Blacks and whites are bifurcated in language, culture and living quarters.

And it’s both good and bad.

It’s good because Obama’s existence is forcing racism to be played out in the most public manner possible on the world stage.

It’s bad because all of the venom held by the confused angry racists has finally boiled to the surface.

And it’s hurting the image of America on the world stage. The entire world can see that America is still very much focused on race and racism. No matter who denies it or pretends that it isn’t a major issue.

Most of the anger stems from the same place that always provides anger—the pain of lower and middle class white America.

The recession that launched under George Bush’s watch hit the nation hard, but was taken more to heart by whites than any other group. This group traditionally holds the belief that they are more American than anyone else, and accordingly, should benefit more and suffer less.

Unfortunately for them, the recession did not discriminate and ravaged communities all across racial lines. That ravaging left many whites angry, feeling desperate and looking for someone to blame.

And we know who they look for to point fingers at.

Ushered into the White House on a tide of desired change that followed change in society, particularly the nation’s demographics, Obama is now the icon for change, and for many angry, frightened whites, the icon for all that is wrong.

His iconic existence facilitates the anger of those angry whites who ignored the eight years of wanton warfare and economic depravity waged by George W and focus on the rapid changes sought by the nation’s first Black president.

Those of us who paid attention and who have working brains understood the schism between the young progressive whites who supported change and the backwoods redneck dirt farmers who refuse to move beyond outdated ideas of Black people, inflamed by the rich, white demons who hate Blacks, but who also hate poor people, which includes those dumb ass white racists on the bottom of society.

The political lies employed by the right wing crazies place the blame for all things wrong in the world on President Obama, ignoring what began on the previous president’s watch.

And where were these people when Bush was grinding the nation and the world economy into the ground?

Curiously silent.

From what I can see, race and racism are in the forefront like never before.

While the first African American President represents change, he also represents everything that is wrong and ugly about America.

He represents change because a great deal of people of all colors had to come together to get him elected. Frankly, many of us never thought we would see the day.

But he also represents everything wrong and ugly, because stupid Americans have begun to raise him as a scapegoat for all that has gone awry, using his image to fill the rosters of hate groups and hateful racist activities, while claiming that there is no more racism, because of his election.

As for the Blacks who are raging against Obama, they are no different than the bonehead Negroes who opposed Dr. King and who supported Reagan and both Bushes.

Even the self hating ignoramus Negroes come out of the woodwork in order to disagree with things that don’t exist.

The strongest taboo in America is to admit to racism. America has spent more than forty years denying that the vestiges of racism have a strong toehold on pockets of the nation.

But what else would explain the upsurge in hate groups and the sudden widespread interest by older whites in the minutia of national policy?

It’s like watching a sporting event where one team scores, yet the announcer says that the other team is playing hard and leading the game.

We saw this with the beating of Rodney King, where an entire nation and a jury refused to see the beating of a Black man by a group of white men.

But this November, a clear message will be sent to the entire nation and to the entire world:  America is NOT post-racial and the American people who desire to see the nation progress, or at least not falter will come together to send the racist, ignorant ratbrains out of business.

At least out of the White House.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.”  James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2011 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at

The Adidas Shoe Controversy: Shackles On Your Feet?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Money/Economics, Racism with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Black Men In Staff

One has to wonder about the sensitivity to the black consumer associated with the Adidas marketing team as they developed the JS Roundhouse Mids, scheduled for an August release.   The company has sparked outrage and been accused of ‘promoting slavery’ by creating a new pair of athletic shoes which have bright orange ‘shackles’ that fit around the ankles.

The promo for the new shoe reportedly says:  “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”

Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: ‘Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable.” He also said he accepted some people would accuse him of overreacting but added: ‘There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery.

We bet there will be a line of black people pulling their kids out of summer school and standing in line overnight to spend well over a hundred dollars for these shoes.  These same jack ass parents will find every reason why they can’t take that same amount of money and open a bank account for little Malik and Raheem.  What are we going to do with our people? 
You don’t have to be black to see that this advertising campaign is insensitive.  One has to wonder how this campaign managed to get this far. 
What do you think?
Update:  June 19, 2012

Adidas announced yesterday that it’s cancelling plans to market the shoe design that critics say evokes slavery.  Early Monday, Adidas defended the shoes as the handiwork of a whimsical designer.  The shoe was designed by Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott.  Thanks to social media, Adidas found itself in a public relations nightmare and scrapped plans for marketing the shoe.

The Adidas statement reads, in part:  The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”

The Bridge: Evidence of Racism

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists with tags , on June 6, 2012 by Gary Johnson


By Darryl James

The old saying goes: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”

Racism is the devil and racists are devils.

And racists have placed their program on remote control after convincing many of us that racism no longer exists.  Many of the myths perpetuated about Black people are now being perpetuated by us, and many of the ills plaguing us, are now blamed on us by us.

Some of us who are comfortable and who do not see racism on a regular basis have acquired the habit of denying that racism exists. When one of us talks about racism, another soul, deluded, may sling accusations of “whining.”

We don’t know what God looks like and yet, we believe.  We believe because we know that the flowers grow from the rain, we know that the rain comes from the clouds and babies smile for no reason apparent to us.  We know that there is something bigger than us and we can find evidence of things unseen.

Racism is also easy to trace, because we can feel its effects.  There may not be a gang of crazy racists chasing you down or preventing you from using the lunch counter, but racism is still alive and well–just wearing some new clothing.

Sometimes, the clothing is Black skin.

Those of us who are still thinking beings can look around and cite evidence of racism where the dead of brain refuse to see.

For example, if we take a look at the dropping of drugs and automatic weaponry in the Black community, which began at the same time that jobs began to dry up, we can see racism.  Why not?  There were no drugs and guns dropped in Beverly Hills, California or in Skokie, Illinois, or in any other affluent neighborhood with very few Blacks.

We can see evidence of racism when we view AIDS in the global Black community.

How did this disease come of nowhere and metamorphose from a gay white male disease to a Black disease, disproportionately affecting Africa and female African Americans?  If it were truly a Black disease, we would have been dying from it before the 1980’s.

The evaporation of after school programs is evidence of racism.

If we take a close look at the after school programs that began to evaporate in the early 90’s under Bill Clinton’s watch, while Affirmative Action, scholarship programs and other educational financial aid programs for poor Blacks were under attack, we see racism because the direct result is fewer Black men in college.

And that leads us into the building of more prisons and less gang prevention over the past twenty plus years, because the direct result is more Black men and women in prison.

The current state of Black leadership is evidence of racism.

Black leaders have been chosen for us over the past three decades.  Generally, they are harmless Negroes who bark loud, but are toothless.  The real leaders, found in thinking Black men and women who CHOOSE to become teachers to make a difference in our children, or single parents who place their children first are seldom recognized, but the NAACP can give an “Image” award to many of today’s modern House Niggers in entertainment

Referring to the election of Barack Obama as the initiation of some fake “post-racial society” is racism, because he is one man and the incidents of racism have increased since his election.

The diminishing of the historical significance of slavery is racism.

Even the Armenians have an annual commemoration of past horrors visited upon their culture.  At every turn, we are urged to remember the oppression of other cultures—remember the Holocaust, remember the Armenians, etc.  We even remember the Alamo, but we are always urged to forget about slavery.

The effectiveness of Black self-blame stems from racism.

We have some serious problems and while we are perpetuating much of it, the real shame comes in refusing to understand the root of many difficulties for African descendants in America, who never had it very good, but now claim that we are to blame for everything that is currently affecting us.

We can still see racism today, and sadly, we can even see it amongst our own people.  It’s the American way to disparage and dislike Black people.

Racism is institutionalized and far too many of us are good Americans.


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