Ramadan for everyone

Growing up in the United States, it’s impossible to not know when Christmas and Easter come around. It may be difficult to figure out in advance when Easter arrives each year (it is the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox, by the way), but everyone in this country pretty much knows when it’s Christmas and Easter time.

In one of my favorite songs by The Queen of Soul–Aretha Franklin–she sings a line almost as if she knows everyone already knows it: “We must believe in each other’s dreams.” Indeed.

So, along comes this Muslim Tide in the United States (converts as well as immigrants), and all of a sudden it’s the 21st Century and there are millions of Muslims here and they are observing “Ramadan,” a month-long fast during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. And because the Islamic calendar is measured in lunar time, rather than solar time, it’s almost as hard to figure out the precise dates of Ramadan as it is guessing the date Easter will fall next year. The lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar.

Ramadan began this year following the sighting of the New Moon on Friday Aug. 21. It should end around Sept. 21 or 22 with a celebration called the “Eid-ul-Fitr,” the Feast of Thanksgiving.

We must believe in each other’s dreams. Continue reading

Why not Medicare for all?

Yeah 

It doesn’t matter how you dice it–swastikas this time, nooses in the past, and don’t forget lynchings–there is a consistent theme in American White male thinking which must be openly repudiated if America is to survive, let alone reform the healthcare industry: and that is: “If you’re White you’re right. If you’re Black get back.”

This healthcare debate has brought all kinds of skeletons out of the closets. It even goes deeper than some White Guys just wanting to re-decide the Civil War in favor of the Confederacy, they really want to re-decide The Crusades of 1,000 years ago. And they’ve got a lot of White people gung-ho about it!

So, all of this swastika painting at the office of Georgia Congressional Black Caucus member David Scott is like a burning cross in the days of yore, by someone who did not want to get arrested: Send the message of racial hatred, but don’t show your face.

A lot of this hatred is coming to the surface now, because there is a Black President of the United States. And that is what is so counter-intuitive in the typical white supremacist-mind and is the source of confusion and frustration. “Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you shall always be slaves, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”–Joshua 9:23. That verse from the Bible, True Believers believe, refers to Black folks.

That is why there can be no Medicare for all in the United States, because it can’t be segregated for Whites only. Continue reading

Betrayed by his ‘Boca-Burgers’

Who would have ever thought that an African American public official from Cajun Country, Louisiana–where the food is so good, your tongue chases your palate clean out of your mouth–who would have ever pegged a Laissez Bontemps Roulette kind-of prominent Black, Louisiana elected leader as being a vegan, a vegetarian?

It’s funny what a warrant in the hands of a Pit-bull-type federal prosecutor can come up with. Just ask Marion Barry.

Well, it turns out that maybe it’s true. Maybe, just maybe former Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member William Jefferson (D-La.) is a vegan, a vegetarian. It seems that when federal agents raided his home here in Washington, they famously discovered $90,000 in marked bills he was paid by a government informant in his freezer.

The “Cheese” (pun intended) was found when The Federales raided his home and his office, prompting a Supreme Court Constitutional challenge to the raid of his office, because of separation of powers issues concerning executive vs. legislative authority over the U.S. Capitol Grounds. The raid at his home is where they found The Cheese in his freezer, hidden in fake Boca-Burger boxes, which led to his conviction Aug. 5, on 11 of 16 corruption charges.

Boca-Burgers. That’s fresh. No meat. Certainly no forbidden swine. But of course William Jefferson is a Harvard Man and why wouldn’t he have refined taste for all of the nicer things like Boca-Burgers and even Grey Poupon. Continue reading

The Cop, the Prof and The Prez

There’s this joke: You see, a cop, a professor, and the President walked into a bar.

On second thought, fuhgeddaboutit. It’s not really that funny. Or maybe it is. That’s because race is at the center of the story.

In real life recently, a White cop and a Black professor went to the White House for beer and conversation with POTUS, the President of the United States, who is Black.

What’s funny about that meeting is that the professor, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.: is a mild-mannered scholar who has bridged racial differences; is married to a White woman; and has joked about his genealogical discovery that he was part Irish, part Jewish and more White than Black.

“I don’t have a profile of being an angry black man,” Dr. Gates said after he was arrested for disorderly conduct at his own home on the Harvard University campus by Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass. Police. Continue reading