Political, Uncategorized

Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood

I am a Law and Order groupie. You know, the television show. I like Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: LA and Law and Order: UK. I do not and have never liked Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

For years and years I have been sick and tired of television and movies glorifying the victimization of women and calling it entertainment. Nearly every rape, murder, serial killing, kidnapping and abuse story features a woman as the victim. And we are surprised at the  mysogynistic actions of young males in society. Then we tell them that in America you have the right to solve your problems (real or imagined) with guns. Then… we give them guns…

Go figure.

Political, Religious, Uncategorized

Shame on you…

Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marc...

Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayor Vincent Gray uninvited Donnie McClurkin from the festivities celebrating the 50 year celebration of the March on Washington. Now, I may or may not agree with Donnie’s Christian perspective on homosexuality, BUT, the brother has never, NEVER, to my knowledge run anybody down because of their sexuality. He is one of the FEW christian artist and preachers to actually preach the love of Jesus – exclusively. 

Mayor Vincent Gray is cowardly and hypocritical. Period.


The Individual Mandate – A Modern Fairy Tale

The Individual Mandate – A Modern Fairy Tale

One of the world’s oldest and most successful hustles is insurance. “What?” you say. What do you mean hustle? Well, imagine you and a few of your friends — lets call them pirates — are sitting around a table after a full day of pillaging the local town, killing the farm animals, and raping the women. The drunken stupor is finally wearing off, and you are ready to go out and do it all again. However, you have already sacked this town, destroyed it so that there is barely anything left to take away and sell. Nothing to sell, except, FEAR.

Yeah, that’s it! You and your friends will sell fear. You’ll make the townspeople fear that nothing they own is secure — not their farm, not their farmhouse, not the stuff in the house — including the people. Mayhem is lurking just around the corner! The folk will want to protect their stuff, their health, their very lives. And that’s where your gang comes in. You tell the townspeople that, for a monthly fee, you will promise to pay a PORTION of the replacement cost of anything they decide to insure. Even their wife and children — after all, don’t the husbands own their wives and children … uh, wait, that’s a different fairy tale. Anyway, as we all know, stuff happens. There could be a storm that destroys the crops, we tell them. Or the King and his staff (also referred to as your elected representatives) could raise your taxes and — wait a sec, thats a roving band of marauders … that’s what we do. Well, anyway, you get the picture: stuff happens. You just never know.

So the townspeople, having just come through a very difficult situation through no fault of their own, decide they like our idea. So people start signing up in droves to insure their stuff. Not everybody, but many. Other pirates from all around the world hear about the great business opportunity where you don’t have to produce ANYTHING, just make people nervous about losing their stuff, ask them to give you some just-in-case money — AND PEOPLE DO IT! Willingly and proudly. And the best thing about it is that since raping and pillaging is against the law, you don’t have to do that anymore and risk going to jail. Just tell folks it COULD happen. Sweet.

What do we do with all this money? We take it and buy gold! We invest in pharmaceutical companies. We make scary television commercials. We sell more insurance. Then we buy gold! We invest in… you get the picture. We just won’t tell them THAT. So, this goes on for many years. The new King of this (by now) VERY wealthy land, decides that it is a good thing for his subjects to have some protection against the unknown so that when times get hard they can at least remain marginally productive and continue paying taxes, making this an even WEALTHIER land. He (and most of the people) decide: “Insurance for everybody! Halleluia!” Great idea. Really! Except for one little glitch.

Instead of the King using some of his subjects’ hard earned tax money to provide the insurance, he decides that little ‘ole you MUST go to THE PIRATES (you know, the ones who did the raping and pillaging in the first place) and BUY it from them. And if you don’t do business with THE PIRATES, then the King will FINE you a pound of flesh. Now, in fairness, the King SAID he didn’t initially want to FORCE you to buy from them. The devil — I mean, THE PIRATES and their cabin boys, also known as lobbyists — made him do it.



Mitt Romney like Gordon Gekko? I don’t think so.

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
~ John Maynard Keynes

The Obama campaign seems to be trying to tie Mitt Romney to Gordon Gekko, the fictional character and main antagonist in the 1987 film “Wall Street.” However, the Obama campaign needs to remember that, in spite of the havoc that big banks and “vulture” capitalists have wreaked on the country, Americans tend to remain enthralled by wealth and power. Folks don’t like to admit it, but they like Gordon Gekko.

Dems, don’t compare Mitt with Gordon Gekko. Romney is really Joe Isuzu. Remember Joe Isuzu and the Isuzu commercials? That’s what it seems like I’m watching every time I see or hear Mitt Romney speak. He’s not just insincere, he says whatever he thinks we want to hear — whether it’s true or not. Whether he believes it or not. The only thing missing is the crawl along the bottom of the TV screen that reads, “He’s lying.”


“Still waiting for our first black president.” Really…?

Just read an article in the June 1 edition of the  Washington Post Opinions by Frederick Harris, a professor of political science and director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. The title of the essay is “Still waiting for our first black president.” In order to be sure I approached it with an open mind, I read it twice. After the second reading, I was sure it was a crock (in my humble opinion). But not wanting to be a bomb thrower, I mustered up the gumption to read it a third time. Just to be sure.

Now, I’m sure.

When are our academicians going to stop seeing black folks as a special-interest group? The key problems affecting African Americans are the same problems affecting everybody else: economic and social class-ism. African Americans are citizens, fully and completely. Anything any president does on a national level to address economic and social injustice should be done to benefit us and everybody else.

There are white folks living in abject poverty in Appalachia, and it would be great if someone were paying attention to their plight. Imagine what the reaction among blacks would have been if George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, or any other president, had announced that the economic situation of white Appalachian folks was so much worse than everyone else’s and the government was going to do something to help them — just them.

No, President Obama hasn’t let down black folks. All politics is local.

Black folks have been let down by their pastors, elected officials, and other recognized leaders who have had nothing to say about the economic discrimination happening right in black communities. These leaders have had nothing to say to the African-American drug dealers who run amok in African-American neighborhoods. They have nothing to say to their neighbors when resources intended for local services ended up lining their own pockets.

Religious leaders don’t hold vigils until after the blood is in the street. They won’t stand up and say, “Let’s run out the drug dealers. Let’s have a prayer vigil every night on this corner until they are gone. Let’s tell the police who the dealers are, who is sporting guns, and who is breaking into folks’ homes.”

No, the churches won’t do this. Instead, they busy themselves raising money to build bigger barns, I mean churches, or whatever they call them these days. ”Oh, bless me Lord, bless ME, Lord.” That’s all I ever hear.

Why point the finger at Obama when Black elected officials keep on dropping the ball right in their front yards? When it comes time to get elected, they are all over the community. But when it comes time to get into the community, to bring together the community to start affecting change, they are silent and invisible. Local policy makers continue giving us the same sorry excuses for their failures. In the school system, they point the finger at the easy target: teachers. But it can’t possibly be just the teachers. No, it’s a fact that there are leadership deficiencies at the top tiers of our local governments. We can look at the District of Columbia, Newark, Baltimore, Atlanta and Prince George’s County, Maryland, just to name few.

Perhaps, like Harris, local black leaders are looking to Obama to fix their communities’ problems. I sure hope not. If Mr. Obama doesn’t win in November (although, he most likely will), then there goes that plan. If Mr. Obama does win in November, there will be only four years left to get anything done for black America, if we rely on Harris’ logic. After those four years are up, it will be back to business as usual — unless our local leaders are counting on America electing a black man or woman president in 2016. If we don’t elect a black president in 2012 or 2016, then the best-laid plan of these mice and men — the hold-somebody-else-responsible plan — will have gone astray. And we will be screwed.

Then who would be our Moses? I can just hear the the crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. “Lawdy, lawdy, who gon’ save us now?”

Harris writes, “The key question is not why Obama, as a black man, isn’t doing more for the black community. Rather, what is he doing for the most loyal constituency of the Democratic Party, a constituency that just happens to be black, and just happens to be in need of policies that are universal as well as targeted to address long-standing inequalities?”

I want to know what President Obama being a black man has to do with doing the right thing for all Americans. I expected every president I ever voted for to do the right thing for all Americans. Segregationists in the south were a loyal constituency. If we follow Harris’ logic, doing what the loyal constituency wanted as opposed to doing the right thing would have resulted in Black folks being disenfranchised even longer than we were.

Black Americans, as well as all Americans, are in this economic and inequality mess  because few want to acknowledge the real  issue. The issue is class. Pure and simple. While the oligarchs steal the cake and run off, the rest of us fight over the crumbs.

The Godfather of Soul said, “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing. Open up the door, and I’ll get it myself.” A couple of generations later, Tupac said, ”If you won’t open the door, that’s okay. We’ll just take it off the hinges … but we comin’ in.”

You want to get serious about addressing social and economic issues in the black community? Deal with the locals. Create change on that level. Hold those on the local front lines responsible. Put their feet to the fire. Success on that level will rise to the national level. If it can’t or won’t get done locally, it won’t get done nationally.

I’m not waiting for a black president. We have one. I’m waiting for some local leadership with backbone, integrity, and guts — in our churches, in our city halls, and in our local governments.