Michelle Obama and Stokely Carmichael

My friend Juan Williams is losing it if he thinks comparing First Lady Michelle Obama to Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) is a bad thing! Furthermore, Black journalists and others who took offense at the Williams absurdity should do some research before they recoil in horror because Stokely Carmichael was and is a hero.

On a cable TV show, on a network I avoid watching like the plague, Mr. Williams baselessly attacked the First Lady recently, claiming that “her instinct is to start with this ‘blame America’ stuff.”

Well the cable, so-called “all news” channels really offer nothing “new.” That’s first. Rather they simulate the sound of the AM-talk-radio, junior varsity, locker room, echo chamber, where snide putdowns resound like the snap of towels on bare bottoms. The remark was intended to appeal to the White-guy, beer-guzzlers in the cheap seats.

The author of the television documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” and a biography of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall clearly forgot everything he learned doing research on those projects when he asserted that Michelle Obama’s “instinct” is to “blame America” or to be “the victim.” Then he said she has “this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going.” Rim-shot! Zinger! Continue reading

President Obama: more than “half White”

The saga of the election of President Barack Obama has drawn out some pretty silly expressions from some people who would otherwise be thought to be intelligent.

Pres. Obama’s status as a “real Black man” has always been an open question. First, when he declared his candidacy, some Black folks said he wasn’t “Black enough.” After his victory some White folks began saying he’s “half White,” he’s “bi-racial,” wanting to rob the delirious Black folks of their moment of pride in the man who “self-selected” himself to be Black. Some Whites belittle his Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., for abandoning his wife–Ann Dunham–and his young son Barack Jr.

I continue to say that Barack Obama is “an American politician with an African father.” When I think about him, I realize he’s more than “half White.” He’s a pure American who, when faced with the identity choice in his early adulthood, made the best and proper intellectual, cultural, and spiritual decision–that was to self-identify as being Black. If he had chosen to identify as “White,” or “bi-racial,” or any other watered-down version of being a Black man we would have never heard of him. He would have been just another dude, trying to deny his true soul. Continue reading

America to GOP: You lost!

More than 20 years ago, I wondered aloud about the patriotism of corporate executives who urged American consumers to buy American-made products while they consistently exported jobs manufacturing products to sweatshops overseas in order for them to pocket a few more shekels from the exploited labor abroad.

Those were the days when “greed” was the name of the game. I remember seeing an expensive Mercedes Benz in those days with a vanity license plate reading “GREED.” Those were the days before the savings and loan crisis in recent history, which preceded the stock market meltdown, which preceded the crash of The Big Three automakers, which preceded the Congressional-Wall Street-handout, which preceded Bernie Madoff, making off with $50 billion, fleecing everybody, even including thousands of greedy, savvy, bankers, who were supposed to know better than to fall for the same kind of “Murphy” they’ve been running on the public all these years.

You’d think by now, someone might have figured out that scam and gotten wise. But no. Maybe the only person who’s minding the store in Washington is Pres. Barack Obama, and judging by some of his cabinet picks, I even wonder about him (He couldn’t find anybody who paid their taxes before being picked for an appointment? And that Treasury Secretary came from Wall Street. He’s another fox guarding the henhouse).

To his credit, Mr. Obama called a spade, a spade, during his first prime-time press conference Feb. 9. “Now, you have some people, very sincere, who philosophically just think the government has no business interfering in the marketplace,” The Pres told reporters. “And in fact there are several who’ve suggested that FDR was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal. They’re fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago.” So did I Mr. President.

“What I’ve been concerned about is some of the language that’s been used suggesting that this is full of pork and this is wasteful government spending, so on and so forth. First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt, then I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history. I inherited the deficit that we have right now and the economic crisis that we have right now.”

Yes, he did inherit, what one commentator described as “the in-box from Hell.” He inherited it from all those Republican, fake-fiscal-conservatives. There was nothing “conservative” about them, unless by conservative you mean against progress for Blacks. Continue reading

New Black GOP Chairman: no Fred Douglass

As the Bi-Centennial of the birthdate of the 16th President of the United States–Abraham Lincoln of Illinois–approaches, just days after the incumbent, the 44th President–Barack Obama of Illinois–took his Oath of Office with his hand on the Lincoln Bible, the comparisons abound.

But there is one comparison which may look like it’s similar to that of the time of The Great Rail-Splitter, which is decidedly unlike that time. One of Mr. Lincoln’s Republican Party contemporaries was runaway slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who hailed from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and lived right here in Washington, D.C. Today, there is a prominent Black Republican leader from Washington who once served as the lieutenant governor of Maryland.

But that’s where the similarity ends.

After six grueling votes, Maryland’s Michael Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee Jan. 30. Mr. Steele, who unsuccessfully sought a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2006, is the first Black man to lead the GOP.

The new African American RNC chairman won 91 votes to Katon Dawson’s 77. Mr. Dawson is the GOP chairman of South Carolina, who only cancelled his 12-year membership in the Whites-only Forest Lake Country Club in September, just weeks before the presidential election. Ohio’s former Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who is also Black, was also a candidate.

By recent Republican standards Mr. Steele is considered a “moderate.” And he definitely was the pick of this year’s Grand Ole Party Litter. Even the other African American candidate has a tainted past. As Ohio Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell was an active co-conspirator in the Ohio 2004 election fraud which enabled Pres. George W. (for worst in history) Bush to steal his second, presidential election. His first theft of course was the much more widely discussed 2000 Florida, “hanging chad” election debacle.

And then, there was the candidate for the job Mr. Steele eventually won, who sent hundreds of Christmas greetings to people with a CD containing a song parodying the-then President-elect, called “Barack The Magic Negro,” sung to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

Ha-ha-ha. Very funny. Not! Continue reading