Obama’s no Bambi

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), may or may not be A Bama.

But Barack Obama is definitely not Bambi.

“A Bama” being a person from Alabama. Euphemistically, a Black “Country” person from Alabama. An un-sophisticated person. A Bama.

In fairness, Sen. Obama is definitely not A Bama.

“Bambi” being the poor little, cute, adorable White Tailed Deer in the Walt Disney cartoon feature movie. The emotional high point of the tear-jerker came when Bambi’s poor mother was murdered in the forest by the dreaded gun-toting, White Hunter-Trappers (Swift-Boat Republicans).

In truth, the Junior Senator from Illinois and Democratic Presidential nominee with the even, dignified disposition has begun to act like he’s not going to be the innocent, Bambi, the victim-buck in this presidential debate story-line, even if the Arizona Senator tries to be the dreaded, gun-toting, Swift-Boat Republican.

So, Obama’s no Bambi.

In the Great Campaign Debate on the campus of the University of Mississippi Sept. 26…intentionally about “International Issues,” so as not to be about “race” in Mississippi: Sen. Obama more than held his own on what is presumed to be Republican nominee and Sen. John McCain’s strongest turf: international affairs and security.

Many early polls found there was a larger number of independent voters who felt Obama gained in the exchange, than there was those who felt McCain got the upper hand. So, Sen. Obama won. Continue reading

President Palin

A Lipstick Pitbull Unless I’ve completely missed my guess, sometime before Jan. 20, 2013 rolls around, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be the 45th President of the United States.
Sen. John McCain will likely be elected 44th President, only to be succeeded by his Vice President sometime when he’s not able to complete his term.

There are a lot of reasons for my hunch, most of them are completely illogical.

But there is one phenomenon upon which the forces which control this Republican presidential nominee rely: the dumb fear of White American voters. Thanks to Craig Wilson at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government whom I met at the Democratic Convention in Denver last month, I’ve gotten a little deeper insight into this devilish scheme to rule.

Until 1968 when Republican Richard Nixon took power utilizing his “Southern Strategy,” Christian, segregationist, White Democrats–so-called “Dixiecrats”–ruled the South telling White voters six “truths:” 1. the federal government’s a threat; 2. federal courts don’t understand the Constitution; 3. taxes are bad; 4. unions need to be eliminated; 5. you have a lousy hospital; 6. but at least you’re White. Continue reading

A Skunk at the garden party

The Black Band

INDIANOLA, MISS.–If there is one place in Creation which symbolizes White racists with their lips dripping with “the words of inter-position and nullification” more than Mississippi, it’s the depths of Hell.

From Simon Legree’s final torment of the loyal slave Uncle Tom; to the bulging-eyed body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, tarred and feathered then thrown alive into the Tallahatchie River with a millstone around his neck; to Medgar Evers and Mack Parker; to Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner; my home state has an unmatched reputation for racial terror-on-terror, on into the 21st Century.

I returned “home” to the Delta with good intentions: to honor Riley “Blues Boy” King, a man who just turned 83, but who has a heart as forgiving as Tiger Woods.

But for me, I just couldn’t forget. I couldn’t let go of the pain. Continue reading

Obama needs some fire in the belly…or elsewhere

That subject line when talking about the Democratic Presidential nominee is sublime, but I think the anatomical metaphor should question whether or not there is a deficiency somewhat lower on his torso. Personally, I’m afraid the candidate’s condition is terminal, vis-a-vis the Kerry campaign in ‘o4.

I first started feeling this way after the Saddleback Church encounter, when afterwards a couple of the CNN commentators described Sen. Obama’s performance as “nuanced.” Meanwhile Sen. McCain was the old Straight Talker, right from the hip. Since then, Sen. O has talked to O’Reilly on Fox and to Stephanopolus on ABC and seems to have continued to be “nuanced” according to what I’ve read. I did not watch because I didn’t want to be bored watching another endless stream of more “ums” instead of straight answers coming from the guy.

I saw a blogpost this morning, somewhere or another which convinced me that The Lipstick Pitbull will likely be the 45th President sometime during the next 50-52 months. The blogger described a campaign event somewhere in Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden kissed an older White lady on the forehead. It was not an affectionate kiss, but rather was a kind gesture. The woman told Sen. B that she could never vote for Obama because she just can’t imagine a POTUS named “Barack Obama.” Besides, she went on, he’s a Muslim faking like he’s a Christian. Continue reading

Proud, but not yet ‘post racial’

I once had the temerity at a Black Press luncheon at the National Press Club to whisper to Army General Vincent Brooks: “Don’t mess up. Don’t embarrass us.”

I had a lot of nerve.

Gen. Brooks is “The Barack Obama of West Point.” He is the first Black Brigade Commander at the U.S. Military Academy–the highest rank attainable by a cadet at West Point. That’s like being the President of the Harvard Law Review. Like being first in his class.

And just like Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) who is poised to be elected President of the United States, Gen. Brooks has Hollywood-leading-man good looks, and he earned his honors based on his undeniable qualifications inside a system that remains to this day, everything but a meritocracy, a level playing field.

But unlike Sen. Obama, who was reared by a single mom with the help of her parents, Gen. Brooks is the younger brother of an Army General–Leo Brooks Jr.–and his father, Leo Brooks, was also an Army General.

I had a lot of nerve cautioning a distinguished soldier like Gen. Brooks. But I come from the generation of Black men whose memories are fresh with the example of friends with college degrees, sometimes master’s degrees, who still worked the night shift at the U.S. Post Office because they could not get work in their fields of preparation. We knew the Post Office to be the “Graveyard of Black Ambition.” Continue reading

The real Charter School threat to “Public” Schools

Conventional wisdom informed me that Public Charter Schools are a threat, not an ally of urban public schools. Pushed by conservatives who have never valued public school education, charter schools and school voucher programs for poor students to attend private schools are an obvious drain on meager public school resources.

I thought that was it: charter schools and vouchers drain off funds (and presumably the most highly motivated inner city students) from the public schools; hastening the demise of urban schools, discrediting the public education system even more than it does on its own.

I read once that public education began in this country after the Civil War, as a way to educate the freed Black slaves. After all, teaching a slave to read had been illegal in some states, hence the open, racist, hostility to any kind of public education, not to mention desegregated public education in the South.

At the time of the Brown v. Board of Education decision for example, the state of New York spent four times the amount per pupil, per year that was spent in the state of Mississippi, my home state. That was for all children, not just Black children. Down South, while it appeared that only Black children were being cheated by separate and unequal schools, White children were also being cheated by their state governments.

But the true danger of charter schoos, in my opinion, is much, much, much deeper than just that. Continue reading

The Promise is True…Tony Snow

The last time I saw Tony Snow.

I really shouldn’t say anything about him.

We disagreed so fundamentally, on

Just about everything.

But the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad reminded

Us of a promise, that we would have

Money, Luxury, Good Homes, and Friendship in all walks of life.

I bear Him witness.

The Promise is true.

The last time I saw Tony.

Tony Snow was Press Secretary

For the President of the United States of America,

George W. Bush.

Some say the “W” stands for the “Worst” President in U.S. history.

But I owe Tony Snow my respect Continue reading

The Civil Rights “Generation neXt”

In the American youth-obsessed culture, young Blacks consigned Jazz music–American Classical Music–over to young Whites for its perpetuation and continuity. Jazz had already undergone one transition after another: from New Orleans Preservation Hall, to Ragtime and Harlem “Jungle Music,” to the Swing Era, to Be Bop, to Hard Bop, to Modern, to Avante Garde, to Free Jazz.

But one Jazz expert I know says he won’t consider the merits of a young Jazz group today, until he hears them play some of the old Jazz Standards, so he can “see if they can play,” by comparing their skills to the performances of the music’s Masters.

There is no such thing as modern Rhythm & Blues. That form, now called “Old School,” is simply relegated to reunion tours and performances on public television fund-raisers and Hand Dance celebrations by whichever original group members can still stand in matching sequined suits and groove in front of a microphone.

Musically, young people today have moved on, and now even the original progressive, consciousness-raising Hip Hop has devolved from so-called “Gangsta Rap,” into pure shake-your-backside debauchery. Continue reading

What’s wrong with being a Muslim…Muslims?

Before the 2008 election, Black people in the American political firmament, were customarily ignored by the Republicans and taken for granted by the Democrats. Pretty low. There is however now, one, even lowlier constituency: Muslims. They are even worse off.

The fact of the matter is: Muslims are still secretly considered America’s sworn enemies from the days of the Crusades, especially among the rock-ribbed, Red, White and Blue Republican true believers. And of course they’re shunted away by the Democrats, who are still afraid of being perceived as “weak” on terrorism.

And yet mainstream Muslim political types are mostly supporting Sen. Barack Hussein Obama Jr., who emphatically reminds everyone who’ll listen, that he’s not a Muslim, and furthermore, anyone who says otherwise is engaging in patent rumor-mongering. Okay. Message received.

What’s wrong with being a Muslim? Did I miss a memo? A meeting? I can’t see anything worse about being a good Muslim than there is about being a good Christian. A good Jew. In fact, some of my best friends are Muslims. And all of them are really fine people, excellent neighbors. They’re downright decent human beings, if you ask me. Continue reading

Jesse Who?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson told me once that he once returned to his hometown, Greenville, South Carolina, where he had been known as “Bo.” By this time he had marched side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his picture had been on the covers of Time, Newsweek and Jet magazines, he had frequently appeared on the Nightly News and on various Sunday interview shows.

When he walked through the streets of Greenville folks who remembered him would shout: “Hey, Bo! Where you been? What you been doing?”

That Rev. Jackson. Such a sense of humor.

Then, he went on and ran for President of the United States, winning the 1984 presidential primary in his home state, and earning more than 7 million votes all over the country. And the rest, as the expression goes, is history. History because in 1984 the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke other than the truth in a desperate ploy to save that political campaign, when he said he had never used the term “Hymie-town.”

I heard The Country Preacher use that very expression four years earlier, off-camera, after a 1980 taping of the TV show “America’s Black Forum.” Continue reading