Which Muslims are Americans going to hate next?!

Poor America. She does not know what to do in the Muslim world.

One day, Muslims are unforgivable enemies. The next day some of those same Muslims are allies. Bosom buddies. And those Muslim allies will take America’s money as long as it gets handed out, but they’ll only do enough “fighting terrorism” on their own, only enough to keep getting America’s money.

Yasser Arafat is a prime example. He was vilified, morning, noon, and night, until he finally kicked the bucket. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader now of Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO—was, for most of his time in power, not considered to be a reliable “partner for peace,” on whom the U.S. and Israel could rely. Until, that is, his party (after being trounced in free, Democratic elections last year) got into a shooting war with their militant counterparts, the Islamic Resistance movement, or Hamas.

But if you’d listened to America’s leaders 20 years ago, the Arabs who were held in the greatest contempt were the PLO. You couldn’t define a worse enemy to America than the PLO. Continue reading

The Petey Greene, Jerry Washington, James Brown-Gene

I am very happy to know that I possess the Petey Greene, Jerry Washington, Gaston Neal, Nap Turner, Jamal Muhammad, James Brown, Chuck Brown-Gene.

My foot is genetically pre-disposed to pat whenever James Brown music is played. Whether I pat it or not. I’ve got the James Brown Gene.

The same for Chuck Brown who is still in our midst. He is the Grandfather-Godfather of Go-Go. One year on my birthday, I went to see Chuck Brown at the now defunct Club Ibex on Georgia Ave. For some reason, I was grateful they had a metal detector at the door. I’ve bought three or four of his CDs. I’ve got the Chuck Brown-Gene, and I’m proud of it.

It’s a Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, John Brown, Marcus Garvey, George Jackson-kind-of-feeling expressed in haunting melody, hypnotic rhythm. It’s the James Brown-Gene.

Petey Greene was that kind of a guy. They recently made a movie about him, the icon, the live and kicking D.C. Will Rogers. The movie: One Flew Over. Dewey’s Big Break! Ma, he was a M-F contender. Write that down. Original Rapper. With the schoolyard ‘Yo Mama’ training. Continue reading

What Muslim member of Congress?!

Keith Ellison sworn in holding Thomas Jefferson's Koran 

Each of the 435 voting members of the House of Representatives has four options on each of the hundreds and hundreds of recorded votes which are called for in every session of Congress. A member can vote “Yay” or “Nay” or “Present.” In addition, a member can choose to not vote at all on any issue.

On Nov. 7, 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress. She was a Republican from the state of Montana. Like others who go forward to blaze the trail, she had an awesome responsibility, and with courage, she upheld that responsibility with dignity.

Shortly after Rep. Rankin took office in 1917, Congress took up the debate over U.S. participation in World War I. Women and others who have not always been welcome at the table of power-sharing in this country could learn a lot from Jeannette Rankin.

With the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote, still three years from ratification, women suffragettes were extremely conscious of the conduct and image of women in the public arena. Women wanted Rep. Rankin to go along with the prevailing sentiment for the United States to hurry on and join her European allies who were already fighting “the war to end all wars.” They did not want the first woman in Congress to be perceived as “feminine” and less able than men, to make the tough decisions required to govern a powerful nation. Ms. Rankin opposed the war.

On that fateful day, to the consternation of many women, she was one of only 50 votes in the House, opposing U.S. participation in WWI. Continue reading

A marriage made at ‘Mecca,’ but no bride

There is “Mecca” we all know in Saudi Arabia. It is the Islamic Holy City, where once every year millions of Muslims trek for a Holy pilgrimage.

Then there is “The Mecca,” Howard University, the place known in Black educational and cultural circles as the center, the capital, the headquarters–The Mecca.

Howard, therefore, was the ideal place for the second Presidential candidate’s debate at an historically Black university (An earlier presidential candidates debate was held  already this season on April 26 at South Carolina State, another historically Black university).

More than 1,000 of Black America’s elite were there to witness the ceremony featuring all eight Democratic candidates, which seems as though it should have been the investiture of Sen. Barack Obama as the one and only Black presidential “sweetheart.”

Radio/TV host Tavis Smiley was undoubtedly the “Best Man,” and he reveled in the role. His No. 1 Bestselling book “The Covenant” was the bouquet, but Sen. Obama seemed to leave his “A-game” at home and did not seek to grab it or run with it. Two of his rivals–Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) stole all the thunder with the “highlight reel” comments of the night. Continue reading