I’m no way jealous of Benjamin Jealous

You know you’ve grown older (not “old,” just “older”) when you are older than the President of the United States.

For the last 15 years, the Resident-in-Chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been junior in age to me: Bill Clinton by one year; George W. (for Worst in history) Bush, by two years. And the next President is all but certain to be much, much younger than I am. I have made peace with that reality.

But now, the Executive Director of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization is not just younger than me, he’s in fact the same age as my daughter! That’s an entire generation gap.

When I met Benjamin Jealous a decade ago when he was Executive Director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association–the Black Press of America–he behaved like a man who was wise beyond his years. I had no idea he was a neophyte. Continue reading

Wright’s wrong. But White’s right?

Granted, when the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright “threw up The Hooks” symbolizing Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. during his remarks at the National Press Club, he quickened the pulse of many Ques in the room and those watching on television. But his timing was way, way off.

Later in that question-and-answer session, when he defended himself and the savage, unjustified, taken-out-of-context attacks against his distinguished career as a pastor, a scholar, and a veteran of military service in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, by likening the attacks on him as nothing better than the Black-ghetto, school-yard tradition of “Yo Momma” trash-talk known as “The Dozens,” he had already stepped way over the line.

Even truth, when spoken out of season, does not bear fruit.

So, to continue in the ghetto vernacular metaphor, presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), was bang-on-right to “Pimp Slap” his former pastor, and throw him overboard for the sharks to devour.

Okay.

So, what if a White candidate for office speaks before a group which wanted to discuss the effects of pornography and prostitution on young “White” women and girls, but not “all” women and girls? Does making that kind of a distinction in a political contest rise to the level of “reject and denounce,” “denounce and reject?” Continue reading

SUVs, Thugs, and Bicycles

About 25 years ago, I first opined that internal combustion engine vehicles have a way of turning otherwise decent human beings into monsters.

An otherwise docile little librarian gets behind the wheel, and because she’s got 100 or more or more horsepower at her beckon call, just by tapping her foot, she feels like she’s the equal of the grimiest wrestling smack-down brute. “Get out of my way, sucker! I’ll blow your doors off!”

Now, I’m convinced that the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is that same contraption–which pollutes the air, crowds the streets and lanes, and kills tens of thousands of Americans on the roads every year–on steroids. And while there’s no putting the “horseless carriage genie” back into his bottle, most of us have not yet even recognized that our laziness, and daily motoring habits, are helping us dig our own graves.

Despite the TV commercials in which smiling motorists navigate winding mountain roads or remote trails in some lush rain forest, 99.99 percent of the owners of those oversized monstrosities, don’t drive any farther than home, to work, to school, to the fast-food drive-in, to the gas station, to home again! All of that big engine, big high view of the road, and big budget expense counts for nothing more than a vain image of superiority in the mind of the motorist.

Now that gasoline is already averaging $4.00 per gallon, sure to reach $6.00 per gallon by the end of the summer, and will be knocking at the door of $10.00 per gallon by the end of Barack Obama’s first 100 days as President, those who can afford to do so are trading those gas-guzzling SUVs for more economical vehicles.

But not everybody… (After I completed this article, by coincidence I was forwarded this YouTube link, which bears witness to the remainder of this reminder.)

Now enter your typical urban “Thug:” Continue reading

No anti-Obama Press Club ‘Jeremiah’ conspiracy

A lot has been said recently about the April 28 National Press Club appearance of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

A lot!

Because of the event’s apparently toxic effect on the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the post-appearance discussion has generated a lot of heat, but very little light, especially among Black journalists.

As far as I’m concerned, the most disturbing assertions are that Press Club Speaker’s Committee member, the Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds, “set up” the retiring Senior Pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ–the church where Sen. Obama has been a member for more than 20 years–set up the “Black Liberation Theologist” to appear there, in order to boost the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

No way.

That’s a bit much, because, who could have known that the distinguished pastor who has been unfairly lambasted by the corporate-owned, mainstream media, would respond on the national news stage with the back of his hand for USA Today reporter Donna Leinwand, vice president of the Press Club, who presided over the reverend’s rare breakfast speaking appearance; and that he would show the rest of White America his bare backside. Continue reading