What do Herman Cain, Emmett Till, and Tyler Perry have in common? (Sincere apologies to Emmett Till and Tyler Perry!)
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain–who never, ever, ever had even a snowball’s chance in hell to ever be anywhere near the eventual Republican presidential ticket, let alone the White House itself–prides himself on the fact that he overcame his roots as a poor African American growing up in the segregated South.
Just 10 days after he “suspended” his disgraced campaign on Dec. 3, Cain celebrates his 66th birthday, which means: more than his eligibility for Social Security and Medicare, which he would dismantle in a heartbeat, undercutting support for millions of Americans his age and older; which means that six months before his tenth birthday, the most shocking crime of the modern Civil Rights era took place–the murder and dismemberment of 14-year-old Emmett Till, near Greenwood, Mississippi. Continue reading
Back in the mid 1990s, when front-running Virginia Republican Senate candidate George “Macaca” Allen was Governor of the Commonwealth, Rep. Bobby Scott, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus from Virginia revealed a sinister scheme employed by Allen in order to bring about ruin to the dreaded social programs and entitlements in that state which he and other Republicans love to hate.
During his term of office Gov. Allen–who in his last unsuccessful campaign the Senate publicly mocked a questioner of East Indian descent at one of his campaign rallies as “Macaca”–set out to build prisons all over the state with the intention that years later, the state would have to financially maintain the prisons it had built during prosperous times, even if later the funds might be better used by the state for another purpose. Continue reading
Whenever Black people criticize the Black President for not sufficiently standing up for Black folks in this country, Barack Obama’s supporters say: “He’s the President of ALL Americans. He can’t appear to discriminate in favor of Black people…”
So, when the son of a father born on the African continent becomes the first U.S. President to champion a NATO-led bombing, and removal from power of a sitting African head of state, which many observers describe as the first steps to the re-colonization of Africa by Western European powers, Blacks are told to be quiet about it. Continue reading
In 1968, following hundreds of inner-city rebellions over the span of four years, the President Lyndon Johnson’s 11 member panel to study civil disorders in this country Kerner Commission warned Americans: “
Our nation is moving toward two societies, one Black, one White–separate and unequal.” And so it was. So it is.
Instead of having the affect of arousing public support to save Johnson’s Great Society, that announcement seems to have signaled to the plutocrats in this country that it was time for them to come together and reclaim the nation’s wealth that had been redistributed among the poor, first by President Roosevelt’s New Deal, and then by Johnson’s Great Society, with its civil rights, and its gender equality, and its Skirmish (War) on Poverty. Continue reading
I think I’ve figured out what really happened in Libya over the last seven months or so. This was a Western European “Mob Hit,” like in the gangster movies, and it was carried out in broad open daylight, with full media coverage–and Al Jazeera was in the lead to give the takedown the air of diplomatic legitimacy.
It was a “thug operation” pulled off by NATO, and sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council, and those Libyan so-called “rebels” are not independent, freedom-loving, “patriots.” They are not even “clients” of NATO. They are nothing more than “employees” who can be hired or fired by NATO. They are the real “mercenaries” in this scenario, and their every move is bought paid for by the Western European powers. Continue reading
Like most people in this country I remember distinctly what I was doing on September 11, 2001. I was on my way back from the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. I was sitting in BJ’s at the Johannesburg airport–that’s tucked between the “Juicy Lucy” and the “Chicken Licken” franchises there. The South Africans seemed to have perfected the U.S. gimmick of cutesy names for food franchise business names…but I digress.
I saw something on a nearby television monitor that made me spring to my feet. It was about 3:30 p.m. local time–9:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time–and it was a Tuesday. Over and over again CNN was showing an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center. Panic and confusion were the order of the day, soon even in South Africa. Continue reading
There may be some debate among folklorists about whether or not Mark Twain originated or borrowed the expression: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
But there is no doubt about the James Brown version: “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing.” Mr. J.B., “Soul Brother No. 1″ and Bobby Byrd recorded that anthem in 1970, although they did not have the topic “climate change” on their minds at the time. “Like a dull knife, just ain’t cutting. Talking loud and saying nothing.”
Residents of New York City’s Manhattan and some other areas in the path of Hurricane Irene feel like they “dodged a bullet” when the storm spared them from torrential winds and floods. But just a little north of New York, the storm wreaked havoc of Biblical proportions. In Vermont, even after being downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm status, Irene caused the worst natural disaster since the Great Flood of 1927, with waters washing away bridges in the state that have withstood the forces of nature for more than 200 years. Continue reading
When I was a child and Walt Disney’s playground “Disneyland” was young and his television show was in full swing, one of my favorite imaginary destinations was his “Fantasy Land.” It was the place of castles, and fairy godmothers, where childish dreams really came true.
As I grew older and was no longer enchanted by the hope for sugar-plum outcomes to life’s real problems, I also came to realize that Fantasy Land was just an illusion, a fake destination that does not exist in the real world.
I never imagined that grown-ups, even successful looking and sounding adults, could live their waking hours in such a Fantasy Land, or in similar destinations of their own creation. But they most certainly do.
Take African American Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for example. Continue reading
Many of the special days in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have taken on special meaning for all of us. This year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be dedicated in Washington on August 28, at which time tens of thousands will gather to celebrate The Life, The Dream, the Legacy of Dr. King.
Of course his birth anniversary is rightly observed as a solemn national holiday.
The dates surrounding his assassination have also become iconic. On April 4, 1967 Dr. King delivered his famous Riverside Church address in New York City, speaking out against the Vietnam War. On April 3, 1968 in Memphis, he delivered the immortal “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” remarks. Continue reading
There are hardly any grounds for disputing the fact that Black people in America are surrounded by “natural enemies:” who kidnapped us from Africa; enslaved us for 300 years; who lynched us for another 100 years; and who up until this very moment are fiendishly plotting to foil any advancement for which we might be eligible, to keep us forever on our knees before them. That goes without saying, unless of course you mention Oscar Grant in Oakland, or Amadou Diallo in New York City, or James Craig Anderson, a Black man, who just the other day was beaten by two carloads of White punks yelling “White Power,” before they repeatedly drove over his body in their cars.
But we are reminded by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam for 45 years, that we–Black people in America–are Our Own Worst Enemy. Continue reading