Where do we begin this conversation about another innocent Black youth murdered by vigilante justice run amok? This latest victim’s name is Trayvon Harris, a 17-year-old killed by a neighborhood watch patroller in Sanford, Florida.
Do we start with Emmett Till? He was killed in Mississippi for whistling at a White woman. Or maybe we ought to begin with Sean Bell? Or Amadou Diallo? Both killed in separate hails of bullets by cops in New York City. Or maybe it’s 14-year-old DeOntÃ© Rawlings? He was blown away by a D.C. cop who said the child stole his mini-bike.
Or how about Ali Ahmed Mohammed? He died after a savage beating by a mob of White bouncers outside a D.C. nightclub where they worked.
In each incident, Black folks were rightly outraged, because in each case the perpetrators literally got away with murder. It’s happening again in Florida. Continue reading
We are advised by the Scriptures that there is “None so righteous as the newly converted.” That means that often when we have a transformational experience we are anxious to prove our piety–especially to those who oversaw our conversion–that we are indeed true believers, true practitioners. So we often exaggerate our behavior when we are new recruits–to a faith tradition, a political ideology, anything new.
I can remember when I was a new convert to Islam. One of my first behavior changes was in my diet. At the time I was a roommate with three members of the Black Panther Party, and unlike me, they did not care much about what they ate. On the other hand, I was all “kosher” all the time.
Funny thing though. My roommates would share the kosher meat products (such as hot-dogs) I would purchase, and then replace them with any old meat they picked up at the store. That was a constant source of frustration for me. Continue reading
There is an “avalanche of hatred” coming down on President Barack Obama. And it’s been like this since his triumphant 2008 campaign which catapulted this son of Africa into the White House.
Governors of states, U.S. Senators, Members of Congress have all piled on with their hate speech. These are the “leaders” of the country, high officials, the opinion makers. If their mouths are so filthy they need to be washed out with soap, just imagine what some of the “Ordinary Joes” who respond to what is no longer coded hate speech, it’s now out in the open in plain, unmistakable language.
Montana’s chief federal judge Richard Cebull is the lates top official to add to the list. He admitted that he forwarded a racist email to six others from his court email account which suggested President Obama was the product of a sexual encounter between his mother and a dog. Continue reading
What are American military personnel thinking when they land on foreign shores–especially in Islamic countries–to fight?
Such a question is relevant today because the behavior of U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years would embarrass a nation of savages, and is certainly unbecoming of the world’s only military super power.
The latest disgrace involves U.S troops burning several copies of the Muslim Holy Quran at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The burnings sent throngs of protesters to the streets and military bases, some chanting, “Death to America.” Continue reading
The “bully pulpit” is American life is a position of authority and public visibility. The current commander of the bully pulpit is President Barack Obama.
The President caught my attention several weeks ago when I heard him quote his Vice President, Joe Biden. “Don’t compare me with the Almighty,” the saying goes. “Compare me with the alternative.”
There are only a few Republican contenders left for the GOP nomination to unseat Obama from the bully pulpit, and none of them compare very favorably with the President, let alone with The Almighty. So why would any of them want to call The Almighty to the witness stand? Continue reading
My super, well-dressed friend Roland Martin–who is known for sporting colorful, broad neck scarves known as ascots, as well as for his brash, yet pithy remarks on various CNN political analysis programs, and for his commentaries on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) and for his show “Washington Watch” on TV One–stepped in some deep doo-doo the night of the Superbowl, because of a couple of flippant remarks he posted to the social media network Twitter.
A musician friend who is far less prominent–and who therefore has much, much less to lose–posted a sharp comment about one of the musical managers known for helping shape the career of recently deceased pop music superstar Whitney Houston, on his Facebook page.
In one of his tweets, Martin commented about an underwear ad that featured soccer star David Beckham dressed only in his skivvies. “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!” said Martin. Continue reading
With all the nasty, hateful things so many Americans have to say about Muslims, both here and abroad, it’s a wonder that there’s a Muslim anywhere in this “wilderness” who doesn’t go around with a snarl and a scowl on his or her face all the time.
But Jamal Muhammad was a cheerful Muslim whose mouth was always full of smiles. When he ran out of smiles, he always had a cheerful or an amusing story to tell.
My Buddy Jamal joined the ancestors Feb. 4. Continue reading
What do I like about Republicans in 2012? In a word: nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I don’t like how they walk. I don’t like how they talk. I don’t like how they look. If I was close enough around any of them I probably wouldn’t like the way they smell.
I don’t like Mitt Romney and his duplicitous, scummy style. I don’t like Newt Gingrich and his pugnacious swinish style. He, after all, when he became Speaker of the House, did away with the staff structure that had been used by the Congressional Black Caucus and other Caucuses, with one stroke of his pen. Continue reading
There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in this country with credit far, far worse than mine, who can get anything they want, simply by signing for it. I know this because the advertisements are everywhere. And my credit is nothing compared to that of an official in the Capital of the United States.
If you want a new car: just sign then drive it away, no money down, no first month’s payment. If you want a used car: same deal, just go to one of those dealers who boasts, “Everybody who walks in, drives out.”
If you want a computer, with hundreds of dollars worth of free software, a free digital camera, a free HDTV, all you need is an active checking account. Why anyone can even get cash for his or her other “needs” simply by calling a toll-free phone number. Continue reading
I have long known that modern politics in the United States of America is nothing but a game. Period.
In the first place, half of those who are eligible to vote don’t even register. Half of those who are registered don’t even vote. So, at best we’re talking about only one fourth of the adult population even taking part in the process. That means that a majority of the vote is made up of some one eighth of the eligible voting age population. Some mandate.
On top of that, the new Republican-inspired laws requiring voter identification is a new tactic, not to increase participation, but to limit the participation in the governing process to fewer people still. Continue reading