People who read this blog on a regular basis know that I don’t particularly care for a lot of high profile black people in our midst. More often than not the high profile black celebrities that have found economic success are too absorbed with finding even more economic success than with finding a connection to the lesser fortunate black community. It is my observation that black people who have developed a name worth recognizing or who have accumulated a little wealth under their belt become more obsessed with the protection of the wealth rather than the protection of the traditional black community. Maybe this sounds like sour grapes and can be summarized, or minimized, as little more than jealousy. But there is a social component that gets lost with such a dismissive attitude.
At the moment, despite the economy, I have an excellent job. I have healthcare. I’m able to save a major portion of my paycheck. In the past year or so we’ve managed to save enough money saved to buy the family a used minivan with cash and a multifamily house, albeit a fixer upper. We have exercised personal responsibility and have managed to earn a small slice of the American pie. So why should I care about other people in the black community who don’t have it as well as I do?
I like to think that my concern for the black community comes from having a social conscience despite being in an America where we are constantly being programmed to protect our version of capitalism at any and all costs. In order to minimize any responsibility for the condition of the black community we constantly berate black people for not having the wherewithal to lift themselves out of whatever supposedly led to our lack of individual opportunity in a social system rooted in institutionalized racial discrimination on a scale that impacts a major portion of the black community. It is popular rhetoric that black people need to get an education, but even well educated black people have difficulty finding jobs compared to our white counterparts. It is a modern cliché to say that black people need to work ourselves out of our situation. But on the flipside of that coin black people have more difficulty finding employment than our white counterparts.
It is easy to dismiss the call to bring attention to these facts as nothing but sour grapes. It is easy to ignore the plight of the black community just as it is easy to ignore the plight of anyone who is in need of help. When we divorce ourselves of any responsibility for the next guy it is easy to say “get a job” to the unemployed, “get off the street” to the homeless, “suck it up” to the depressed, “pick yourself up by your bootstrap” to anyone who may need help, or “show some personal responsibility” to anyone when we don’t have a lick of empathy.
We have been taught that some of the greatest heroes in world history are people who went out of their way to show compassion for their fellowman. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Mahatma Gandhi, Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, the man known as Jesus the Christ, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Oskar Schindler, and many, many, more. And consequently some of the greatest evils of the world have been people who have absolutely no compassion for others. Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Baby Doc, Poulpot, Jim Jones, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, J. Edgar Hoover, Benedict Arnold, and their like. And yet, with respect to the black community, the dominant community could not display any less compassion and still consider themselves human.
Often times it’s questionable whether we show more compassion for a single speckle breasted hooked toed owl or the entire black community. When it was speculated that dog food manufacturers in China were responsible for the deaths of so many Fidos and Spots, people here in America wanted to go to war. When Michael Vick was accused of killing dogs in the dog pound in back of his house people wanted to give him the death penalty. However, when boot camp guards kill black children for not running we find the entire affair understandable and the guards are without fault. Say what you will but it should be obvious that a lot of people don’t want to give black people the kind of compassion we have for a loser dog.
This all might sound like nothing but sour grapes. But unfortunately, it also sounds like life for the black community. If more people had more compassion for black people they might be able to tell the difference between the two.
“I am an African American girl and I don’t like to see my sisters and brothers complain constantly about the long-ago past.
“yes our ancestors were once enslaved by white people but we are not, and we have not been for a long time, very many black men and women fought and lost their lives so that we can have the freedom we have today, not so that we could sit around complaining about it instead of bettering ourselves.
“my father is a lawyer and my mother is a nurse, they both come from poor families but both of their families pushed them to be the best they can be and work hard no matter what so that you can achieve your goals, and this is what both of my parents have passed on to me.
“don’t let things get you down on anybody, worry about yourself and learn to prosper and the rest will fall into place!”
Thanks for the feedback Ashley Jenkins,
I am always fascinated by the number of black people or African Americans who seem to think that racism is something that happened long ago in the past. It wasn’t our ancestors who were left behind to their own devices when the levies broke in New Orleans. It isn’t our ancestors who have to deal with unemployment rates twice that of the white community. It isn’t our ancestors who are being shot by police in a hail of bullets or shot in the back as they lay on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. It wasn’t our ancestors who were murdered by a group of boot camp guards because he couldn’t run any further. These things happened in the last year or so. What ever made you think these events happened long ago?
I have to admit that I don’t like to see my brothers and sisters, such as yourself, who think that showing compassion for other black people is nothing more than sitting around and complaining. Like you I come from a family of professionals. Dad worked for the federal government and mom was the first black woman to become a nursing administrator at one of the local hospitals. I have a sibling who is a school teacher, another is a train conductor, another is middle management at an international corporation, another is a truck driver, and another is a information technology professional. Our parents pushed us to be the best we can be as well. But simply because we are successful doesn’t mean that racism is gone. My parents taught me that it is better to care about others in the black community than to turn my back and say something like pull yourself up by your boot strap.
If a group of people do nothing but worry about themselves then means we stand separately and not as a unified people. It also makes us easier to defeat and easier to manipulate. Another image from back in the past is of the house negro who lived in relative comfort compared to the field negro. But the house negro would swear up and down things were great even though black people were white people’s property. And a lot of black people back then were saying that black people need to quit complaining and just worry about themselves. Such complacency then would have never led to the changes that you and your parents enjoy today. Good thing there were other black people who knew what the real deal was.
I am truly sorry, but not surprised, that you do not understand. A lot of black people have been programmed not to care about other black people. If we take care of ourselves then everything will fall into place. But fall into place for who? The dominant community that is made up primarily of white people will be the ones who benefit from black people’s inability to unite for our common good.
The past is used as a comparison as a measure of how little the black community has advanced as a unit. Back in the day, many black people had it much better than their black peers. Some black people were free to come and go as they pleased, as long as they had proof that they were free and knew their place. People could point to a free negro and say how far black people have come since the day all black people were considered slaves or white people’s property. But the freedom was fragile. All it took was an accusation from a white person and black people could kiss their ass goodbye.
True equality for the black community isn’t measured by the success or failure of just one man. True equality for the black community comes when we truly cannot tell the difference between statistics in employment and education and income and etcetera. Burying our heads in the “everybody is free to do whatever” sand is not conducive to making the changes than will truly put us on the path where everyone has the same opportunities regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or whatever it is that makes us unique individuals with common interests.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has some hardened steel balls. The man stands before a cheering crowd and invites anyone to tape his conversations because they are so lawful. He’s then caught on tape complaining that somebody expected him to give away the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama without getting anything in return. It’s fucking golden and you can kiss his ass if you think you’re going to get in there without making it worth his while to put you there.
Caught red handed Mr. Blagojevich says that he’s innocent of any wrong doing. Instructed by members of the Democratic Party not to assign anyone to the Senate seat because for all technical purposes nobody he selects will be fully trusted, Mr. Blagojevich settles for former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill the position. The word is settled because the first Senate picks were smart enough not to get caught up in this messy affair. Not Mr. Burris!
Mr. Burris, confident that he has the legal authority to take his seat as the junior Senator from Illinois, is more than happy to jump at the chance to become Mr. Blagojevich’s political bitch. Mr. Blagojevich can simply sit back and watch the spectacle of this political drama unfurl from his Governor seat. Now, long before Mr. Burris was selected it was made public that no one Mr. Blagojevich would select would be acceptable. However, Mr. Burris, who became the first black political something or other in the great state of Illinois, thought it clever to play the race card and scream that the only reason he is being denied his rightful place in the Senate that happens to be zero percent African American at this time is the fact that he is black.
The stench from this farce gets even thicker.
Now, Representative Bobby Rush wants to throw his two cents into this cock fight. Mr. Rush, who originally opposed Mr. Obama’s effort to become the junior Senator from Illinois and instead supported Mr. Obama’s white opposition, now says that the seat must be held by someone of African decent. Essentially, it is nothing more than blatant racism on the level of Alabama Governor George Wallace keeping black students from attending Alabama University that keeps the black Mr. Burris from entering the all white United States Senate.
I have to confess that my knowledge of Mr. Rush’s history with the black community is a bit lacking. However, if this racist rant is any indication of Mr. Rush’s thought patterns then it should be obvious that this man has become the very last thing the black community needs. Would it be fair to Mr. Rush if white people were to stand up and say that the other ninety nine Senate seats belong to white people? The fact that Mr. Obama and Mr. Burris share skin color is not a qualifying attribute for his appointment to the Senate and does not deserve a single moment of consideration from anyone.
You would think black people learned our lesson about getting any black person to replace a black politician or political appointment. For example, Thurgood Marshall, the first black appointee to the Supreme Court was replaced with Clarence Thomas, the second black appointee to the high court. Yes Mr. Thomas might have been a black man. But to think this somehow automatically made Mr. Thomas a more appealing justice to black people is simply ludicrous. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again, I’ll be happy to take Ruth Ginsburg, the little white Jewish lady on the Supreme Court, any day before I’d take uncle tom Mr. Clarence to hear my case. Being black doesn’t mean one should enter a quid pro quo with the black community. It’s this very kind of thinking that got Mr. Blagojevich in trouble in the first place.
It is a travesty of everything the black community has worked for to see these two black relics from days of yore play their race card so hard. They are allowing themselves to be played to do the bidding of a blatantly corrupt Governor. Mr. Burris and Mr. Rush are too caught up in the moment of getting that fucking golden something to know that all that glitters is not gold. And even if it was golden, everything golden isn’t always worth having. King Midas learned that lesson the hard way.
The simple fact of the matter is that the Mr. Blagojevich is about as far from King Midas as one can get. His touch didn’t bring value to the Senate seat. The Senate seat is not something golden that should be coveted. If anything it is a stinking, ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. It is tainted. It is contaminated with an infection of political corruption that needs to be sterilized with nothing less than political fire. The first people Mr. Blagojevich asked to accept a seat at the center of this controversy knew better than to blemish their reputation with such political poison.
But in typical human fashion there is always somebody around who is more than happy to snatch whatever glitters in their eye. In a perfect impersonation of the poor Smeagle / Gollum of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings fame, some people are simply blinded by that which shines believing it will complete them. I can imagine Mr. Burris at his home muttering to himself calling for his precious, ready to chase his golden ring off a cliff into bubbling lava.
The taint is simply too strong in this one. The simple fact that Mr. Burris doesn’t have the good sense to avoid the association with the Illinois Governor is proof that he is unqualified to become a member of the Senate. Mr. Burris would sell his soul to Beelzebub, or Blagojevich, if it would result in his appointment. A for sale sign could be placed around his neck without fear of exaggeration. That’s not what the people of Illinois need at this time. It seems the Governor is intent on making sure the people of Illinois rue the day they ever heard the name Blagojevich and Mr. Burris is just too happy to help.
Of course Mike Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said that he was appalled by the song called Barack the Magic Negro distributed by Chip Saltsman. Set to the tune of the sixties Puff the Magic Dragon, the song first reached national attention when it was played on Rush “The Lush” Limbaugh’s radio show back in early 2007. The title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested Mr. Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the nation’s history of mistreatment of African-Americans.
Mr. Duncan said that the presidential election should have been a wakeup call for the Republican Party to reach out and bring more diversity to their virtually white only membership. Mr. Duncan claimed that he was shocked to think that anyone would find the parody appropriate. The fact that a candidate for the RNC chairmanship would stoop to such juvenile political humor is proof positive that not everyone in the Republican Party is serious about more inclusion.
Mr. Saltsman, a former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, was a top advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and managed former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign, sent other RNC members a CD which included the controversial tune about President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Saltsman defended his actions Friday saying that the song was intended as a joke. Mr. Saltsman obviously has the same sense of humor as those white students back in Jena, Louisiana who thought hanging a noose under a tree was a good joke to play on black students. It was only after the manifestation of some of the worst racial disparity began to collect the nation’s attention with marches coordinated by members of the black community from every corner of the country did some people see that hanging nooses isn’t just fun and games but something to be taken seriously. Mr. Saltsman probably needs to learn the same lessons about his race tinged humor.
Now it just might be that Mr. Saltsman is a man who is sensitive to issues of race and just simply exercised poor judgment. But, there is the potential for this same poor judgment to apply to other issues of race as well. Mr. Saltsman already shows his willingness to play the race card. What chance would issues sensitive to the black community have with such a man in a position of high political importance? But black people are supposed to believe that the Republican Party stands ready to welcome us into their fold.
I remember the political race to the general election and the conservative rhetoric that Mr. Obama was an elitist out of touch with the reality of most Americans. Whether or not that statement is true or not is a matter of opinion. But it should be pretty obvious that people like Republican notables like Mr. Saltsman is a racial elitist who is out of touch with the reality of most black Americans.
In the current environment of social disparity that happens to fall along racial lines with black people falling short by every measure without a single exception, it should be no surprise to anyone of reasonable intelligence to recognize the need for racial sensitivity. Unfortunately, we see just the opposite. We see various Republican leadership wannabes attending their white only country clubs and living large with so many homes that they have to hire someone to research their property holdings. And when one of these high profile Republican members wants to play a joke, he stoops to racial discrimination. Next thing you know another member of the RNC wants to demonstrate how funny he can be by painting himself in black face and dancing a jig ala Al Jolson style. And when the man is busted for his foolishness, he’ll defend himself by saying it was a joke.
Unfortunately, over and over again, people in the Republican Party are quick to demonstrate that they have as much racial sensitivity and awareness as a rock. At least the rock has the good sense not to do anything that might be thoughtless or tacky. But the leadership of the Republican Party is not so astute. We are more likely to see a member of the Republican Party get on stage before his constituents and point to the only obvious racial minority in the group and happily refer to the attendee as macaca. We are more likely to see someone in the Republican Party say something stupid like black people who have lost everything in the world, including their loved ones, to a flood fueled by a hurricane as so fortunate to be housed in the Astrodome because they didn’t have jack before. There was a lot of sympathy for black people that day.
Yet, these are the types of people who represent the RNC. Is there any surprise that the number of black people we saw at the Republican National Convention could be counted on one’s fingers? The RNC is nothing but one huge, insensitive, hate filled, and racist joke with black people the subject. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so serious. Mr. Duncan wants to feign indignation and surprise with Mr. Saltsman’s latest manifestation that supports the Republican’s exclusive, white only mindset. But honestly, it appears to be nothing more than the standard GOP operating procedure.
More often than not, when someone says that they don’t notice the color of someone’s skin, that person is a liar. Skin color is one of those things that are totally noticeable. To walk up to someone and say that they don’t notice color is like walking up to someone and saying you didn’t notice their gender. Nobody would think it’s cool not to notice that a person is a woman or a man. Our gender helps to form our identity. Why should it be different for skin tone?
But a lot of people claim that they are racial neutral and argue that black people should not want to change the status quo. Everything is fine the way it is becomes the way things are developed naturally. It is only natural that white people have a vast variety of white role models and white representation in their daily pursuits while black people are often considered racist or racial separatist for wanting more black oriented representation in our daily lives. Often, someone defending the status quo will say something like, black people were well represented by some show with black characters either cancelled years ago or part of the BET or MTV network so that should be more than enough for impressionable black people to develop well rounded identities. One black person in a crowd of a hundred is more than enough to be considered racially fair and equal.
When the absurdity of the argument from the person claiming to be racially oblivious is brought to light, it is only a matter of time before the bias of their true racial nature starts to manifest. All it takes is just a paragraph or two to point out the inconsistencies of their argument and then their disdain for black people burst forth in all its fury. All of sudden, the person who never sees issues of race is tired of seeing black people on the television. The person who thought that the old black television shows were the exception because in general black people are immoral, have a propensity for violence, and/or have no decent work ethic. People who claim to be racially generic will say that if black people want equal representation then black people need to do for black people what white people do for other white people.
A lot of people think they are racially neutral and support people regardless of their color. But those are just flowery words with woefully little substance. The same person that says the racial status quo is fine will turnaround and say if black people want jobs black people should get an education. The racially prejudiced thinking is that the black person is not educated or does not have the experience for gainful employment. There is an assumption that black people will always be unqualified or inherently inferior to their white counterparts.
Why is there an inherent belief that black people are unqualified and inferior? Could there be a connection to the fact that we really don’t see very many images of qualified black people in a variety of well received role models? True enough that the majority of the population is white and so it probably stands to reason that more characters in media will be white. That’s a given. But the scant few black characters in media do little to represent the black twelve point five percent of the population that is black.
White people make up seventy percent of our national population. So it stands to reason that one in every seven professional characters in media is black. It would stand to reason that one in every seven movie or television shows would be centered on the lives of black people. It would stand to reason that one in seven of the pictures in magazines would feature black models or black subjects.
But instead of recognizing the racial disproportion for what it is, we have to assume that the deluge of white only images is an accident of the way things evolved naturally. It is a natural evolution based on a foundation of racial discrimination that is part and parcel of America.
People who claim to be racially neutral are far from it. All it takes is a brief exchange or two for the racist nature of their character to become evident. These people protect their racial prejudices with the assertion that skin color simply doesn’t register in their psyche and that their racial discrimination is a happenstance of life.
But all it really means is that they are insensitive to issues of race and have yet to admit the depth of their racial animosity. People who see and acknowledge a person’s skin color are about as racist as a person who recognizes and acknowledges a person’s gender is a sexist. Racial obliviousness is not a virtue. It is nothing more than an excuse to keep the racial status quo.
Months ago, when Senator John McCain actually pulled ahead of Senator Barack Obama in the polls asking people who they favored for the presidency, somebody actually wrote that black people will riot if Mr. Obama did not win the presidency, as if to say that black people have become so used to having our political aspirations satisfied that we have difficulty accepting disappointment. Everybody knows that when a black man or woman running for Mayor or Governor or any other political office and fails black people are quick to take to the streets. Kind of like hockey fans when their team wins the Stanley Cup. These are the same black people who riot when the company they work for don’t hire the black candidate to fill a position.
I hope you can tell that I’m being just plain silly. Truth be told I’ve never heard of black people rioting because a black candidate didn’t get the majority vote and lost to the white opponent. Black people are well aware that the political cards are stacked against the outcome that most favors the black community. If Mr. Obama doesn’t win, what’s one more disappointment for the black community? I seriously doubt if there’s going to be some big, nationwide black uprising.
But nevertheless, somebody wrote some time ago that black people are preparing to riot so therefore, white people need to prepare for anarchy. It is a situation similar to the Y2K scare that said at the end of the second millennium, civilization would seize up because our computer driven systems, nearly everything in the modern world, would suffer an information crisis. Nothing evil happened on midnight on the eve of Y2K. It would’ve been nice had it did. That way, all the people who invested in freeze dried food, electric generators, home water purification system, firearms and ammunition, a lifetime supply of toilet paper, and who knows what else would’ve gotten something for their survival gear investment. But Y2K turned out to be without exception the biggest dud to feed our collective anxiety.
When it looked like Mr. Obama would lose, some people thought it would be prudent to prepare for the day Obama loses, or DOL, on November 4th. DOL would be the straw that broke the frustrated black community’s back and we would all lose our minds and riot against the establishment. At least, that was the thinking when it looked like Mr. McCain could actually pull off an upset with his pick of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate and people became enamored with the idea of having a political unknown with an Ellie Mae Clampett persona going to the White House. It looked like Mr. McCain was truly going to pull off an upset akin to Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, upsetting the superior pugilist Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, in the Rocky saga.
But that’s all Hollywood improbable fiction. This is the real world and things rarely go along the written script.
The crash of the American economy showed Mr. McCain at his worst. The man was all over the place. The fundamentals of the economy were strong but just hours later the economy was in crisis. The next day he would hire a blue ribbon panel to study the economy for a few years. The day after that he said he would fire the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Later that day he suspended his campaign until the legislature can develop a bailout plan and he wouldn’t debate his opponent. After that he told David Letterman that he couldn’t appear on Mr. Letterman’s show because he had to go to Washington. As soon as he hung up the phone Mr. McCain was on his way to make an appearance on the CBS News with Katie Couric.
I guess Mr. McCain though in for a penny in for a pound and threw his integrity out the window with his sense of political direction. In response, many people snapped out of their flirtations with a possible McCain Palin administration and decided to put their support behind the Obama Biden effort. It looks like DOL has been averted and we are headed for DOW, short for the day Obama wins.
However, I seriously doubt if the people who were preparing for DOL will be happy that they lost their chance to assist in the reestablishment of law and order in the black community. It’s looking more and more like DOL is just like Y2K all over again, nothing but a big dud. However, all that preparation for the defense of the establishment from a black community uprising could easily be applied to an offensive against the black community for the defense of the racial status quo.
On July 4th of 1910, Arthur John Johnson, better known as Jack Johnson, fought undefeated heavyweight champion James Jeffries who came out of retirement for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a Negro. In Reno, Nevada, in front of a crowd of twenty two thousand, after watching Mr. Jeffries knocked to the canvas twice, Mr. Jeffries’ team threw in the towel to keep their man from being humiliated by a knockout. People in the black community were jubilant. People in the white community were incensed. That night, there were violent racial clashes all across the country. People called them race riots but the more accurate term would have been white people attacking black people in order to keep black people in their place.
If one thing the political campaign has shown this year is the racism of America that ranges from the very vulgar and blatant to the sophisticated and subtle. No other presidential candidate has ever had to deal with being referred to as a terrorist. No other candidate has ever been lampooned as a sambo eating waffles. No other presidential candidate had to deal with some jerk out of the opponent’s audience calling them unpatriotic or a borderline criminal or suggesting they should be decapitated. It might just be campaign rhetoric. But rumor has it that the death threats against Mr. Obama and his family have escalated in recent weeks and the Secret Service has the overtime pay receipts to prove it.
Back in the day when boxing was considered an exclusively white man’s sport because no one believed black men had the intelligence to formulate an effective boxing strategy, white people everywhere lost their minds when Jack Johnson, a black man, beat their best hope for redemption. I think it is more likely that white people who will be the ones turning violent on or shortly after Election Day. Somebody might suggest that people should prepare for an unruly black population if Mr. Obama loses. Black people might want to prepare themselves for some people’s disappointment if Mr. Obama wins.
Hopefully, after reading this, everyone will have a better idea of what it means to be white in America.
NBA referee Tim Donaghy is due back in court for sentencing today. He faces up to 33 months in prison. Last summer, on August 15, 2007, Mr. Donaghy stunned the league by pleading guilty to federal charges that he took payoffs from a professional gambler for inside tips on games, he conspired to engage in wire fraud and transmit betting information through interstate commerce. Since then, Mr. Donaghy has claimed corruption among referees runs deeper, drawing angry denials by the league and demands that he pay hefty restitution. Mr. Donaghy pleaded for leniancy citing a professional analysis that his defense could afford that discovered he would never have committed these offenses if he was not a pathological gambler.
Even though he was fairly compensated by the NBA and enjoyed a truly unique opportunity to be involved with professional basketball without having anything in the way of talent, Mr. Donaghy marred the NBA finals by making fresh accusations that the league routinely encouraged refs to ring up bogus fouls to manipulate results. He also claimed that the league discouraged calling technical fouls on star players to keep them active in games and protect ticket sales and television ratings in order to make even more money for American corporations that already had a virtual monopoly on the ability to generate income from the games.
Court papers argued that Mr. Donaghy deserved leniency for voluntarily disclosing the alleged corruption even though he did not come clean until he was arrested. The documents also refer to one instance claiming referees rigged a 2002 playoff series to generate more revenue by forcing a seven game playoff. Although no teams were mentioned in the documents, only the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings series went to seven games during the 2002 playoffs.
NBA commissioner David Stern has called the allegations baseless since Mr. Donaghy cannot prove his allegations beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mr. Stern accused Mr. Donaghy of “singing” in order to get a lighter sentence. Mr. Stern is obviously implying that Mr. Donaghy should have followed a code of silence and kept the secrets of the league out of the public. Mr. Donaghy also implicated two of his former high school classmates. Mr. Dongahy named James Battista, the professional gambler who paid thousands of dollars for Donaghy’s tips, and Thomas Martino, who acted as a middleman. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced last week.
To date, 100% of NBA officials indicted and convicted for gambling have been white.
Fatal Shootings in Tennessee
Jim D. Adkisson, an unemployed trucker, is accused of killing two people and wounding six others during a children’s musical production of Annie at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday morning. A four page letter found in Mr. Adkisson’s truck indicated he picked the church for the attack because he hated the liberal movement of the congregation. The letter is proof positive that Mr. Adkisson made the choice to commit a hate crime. Mr. Adkisson was on welfare and was on the verge of losing his food stamps
The attack Sunday morning lasted only minutes. Mr. Adkisson entered the church during the children’s performance and fired three blasts from his semiautomatic shotgun. The anger behind this attack may have been building for quite a while. It appears his lack of being able to obtain a job combined with his hatred for the liberal movement are two contributing factors. He said that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country. Mr. Adkisson was a loner who admitted that he hated blacks, gays and anyone different from him.
The Unitarian Universalist church advocates women’s rights and gay rights and has provided sanctuary for political refugees. The church also has fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site. The police chief said Mr. Adkisson bought the shotgun at a pawn shop about a month ago, and he wrote the letter in the last week or so. A .38-caliber handgun was found in his home.
To date, 100% of people accused or guilty of church shootings and bombings have been white according to the Cap the Steeple People foundation.
Record Breaking Federal Deficit
The United States government’s budget deficit will surge past a half trillion dollars next year, according to new estimates by the Bush administration. The deficit will hit $482 billion in the 2009 budget year. However, that figure will rise after adding the eighty billion dollars in additional Iraq war funding that is not included in the total. And the estimate could be higher yet if the economy fails to recover as the administration predicts. In a break from tradition, and in violation of new mandates from Congress, the White House did not include its full estimate of war costs. It will be the biggest deficit ever.
The deficit situation confronting the next President in early 2009 is reminiscent of that which Bill Clinton faced in 1993. Under financial pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Clinton abandoned promises of tax cuts and pushed an aggressive tax deficit reduction plan through Congress.
The Bush administration claims that the deficit was being driven to its all time high by the sagging economy and the stimulus payments being made to America’s households in an effort to keep the country from falling into a deep recession. The Bush administration refuses to connect the federal budget deficit to the tax breaks that were a tremendous benefit to wealthy Americans. Regardless, pressure is building to allow some tax cuts enacted early in Mr. Bush’s first term in 2001 and 2003 to expire as scheduled.
Monday’s figures capped a remarkable deterioration in the United States’ budgetary health under Mr. Bush’s time in office. He inherited a budget seen as producing endless huge surpluses after four straight years in positive territory. That stretch of surpluses represented a period when the country’s finances had been bolstered by a ten year period of uninterrupted economic growth, the longest expansion in U.S. history. In his first year in office, helped by projections of continuing surpluses, Mr. Bush drove through a one point three trillion dollar package of tax cuts. On average, Wealthy tax payers received about two hundred forty thousand dollars in tax savings. However, most people’s savings barely passed a thousand dollars.
To date, 100% of the people who have run the executive branch of the United States government have been white.
Keith Walendowski is accused of shooting his Lawn Boy lawn mower because it wouldn’t start. According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Walendowski said, “I can do that, it’s my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want.” Mr. Walendowski has been charged with felony possession of a short barreled shotgun or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed. A woman who lives at Mr. Walendowski’s house reported the incident saying that he was intoxicated. Mr. Walendowski could face up to an $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison if convicted.
White people are ninety hundred thirty two times more likely to shoot their lawnmower according to Lawnmower Shooters Monthly.
Poor Parenting Techniques
Dear Dr. Jan,
My wife and I have a loving marriage. We have been through more than our share of hard times. One problem that keeps coming up in our relationship is her eight year old son. He is Oedipal, extremely jealous of any attention his mother gets and inappropriate around her. He touches her breasts and her behind, and constantly tries to invade her space if she’s showering or changing clothes. He also walks nude into the room where she is and touches himself in front of her. I have been trying to tell her these are unnatural behaviors, but she says the boy is just more in touch than his contemporaries and doesn’t hide his curiosity. Who is right?
What this kid is in touch with is emotional disturbance. To think that the youngster is not hiding his curiosity suggests to me that the mother has oatmeal cookies for brains. Nothing you describe is in the realm of normal child development. You somehow have to get your wife to a session with a child specialist who can convince her that the kid is off the rails. It’s possible she is feeding his neurosis. Believe me, there is nothing customary about a boy who’s in the habit of touching his mother’s breasts and behind and taking every chance he gets to see her naked. Displaying himself and attempting what sounds like masturbation is a red flag for psychiatric intervention. That your wife thinks all this is normal means there are two people in your house who need help.
White eight year old boys are four million eighty two times more likely to masturbate in front of their mother without repercussions according to Choking the Monkey Monthly.
Dad Flees With Daughter by Yacht
A divorced father with a murky background snatched his seven year old daughter during a supervised weekend visit and may be trying to flee the country on a 72-foot yacht, police say. Boston police said Tuesday they had no new information on the whereabouts of Clark Rockefeller or his daughter Reigh Boss. Authorities alleged that Mr. Rockefeller, who they said has used several aliases, grabbed the girl Sunday during a visit supervised by a social worker and fled in a vehicle driven by another man. Massachusetts posted an Amber Alert for Reigh, but canceled it Monday after New York City police reported that Rockefeller had been seen the night before at the city’s Grand Central Terminal. Authorities said they believe he may be trying to flee with his daughter Reigh on the yacht, possibly to Bermuda. The New York Police Department Harbor Patrol, the Coast Guard and the FBI searched for the yacht Monday around New York City and Long Island.
Boston police issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Rockefeller on charges of custodial kidnapping. He was also charged with assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon because the social worker was injured while trying to hold onto the vehicle. Reigh lives with her mother, Sandra Boss, who works in London as a partner in global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and who also is on the board of The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate at Lenox, Massachusetts.
Little has been made public about Mr. Rockefeller’s background. Fraser Seitel, a spokesman for the descendants of John D. Rockefeller Sr., said Clark Rockefeller was not descended from that side of the wealthy family, and added there is no indication the fugitive was descended from William Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller Sr.’s only sibling.
To date, 100% of people who try to kidnap their children by 72-foot yacht in America have been white according to federal yachting statistics.
Prejudice Hiring Practices
Former Justice Department officials broke the law by letting Bush administration politics dictate the hiring of prosecutors, immigration judges and other career government lawyers, according to an internal investigation. For nearly two years Monica Goodling, a top adviser to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, discriminated against applicants for career jobs who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists. At times, the search for GOP activists delayed filling judgeships and threatened to clog immigration courts. Ms. Goodling routinely asked career job applicants about politics.
Ms. Goodling would ask candidates things such as, what is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him? Other questions to candidates were used to guage their conservative convictions on issues such as abortion or gay marriage.
The investigation was one of several examining accusations that White House political meddling drove prosecution, policy and employment decisions within the once fiercely independent Justice Department. Those charges were spurred initially by the firings of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and culminated with Mr. Gonzales’ resignation under fire as attorney general last September. Mr. Gonzales claims that he was unaware of the political hiring process outlined by Ms. Goodling and other Department of Justice officials.
The one hundred forty page report does not indicate whether Ms. Goodling or anyone else could face any charges. But congressional Democrats took aim, raising the possibility they would seek prosecution on a number of fronts, potentially including charges of lying to lawmakers for giving sworn testimony that contradicts Monday’s findings.
In one instance, investigators found that Ms. Goodling objected to hiring an assistant prosecutor in Washington because she said “judging from his resume, he appeared to be a liberal Democrat.” In another example, she rejected an experienced terror prosecutor to work on counterterror issues because of his wife’s political affiliations. She rejected at least one job applicant because of a rumor that she was a lesbian. Ms. Goodling is a former Republican National Committee researcher with little experience as a prosecutor. In her House Judiciary Committee testimony in May 2007, she admitted that she had crossed the lines while hiring career employees. She received immunity for her testimony and cannot be prosecuted unless proven that she lied while under oath.
White House spokesman Tony Fratto played down the report, saying, “There really is not a lot new here.”
Many are ready to believe that people in key positions to hire and fire people would rely on prejudiced political values when offering opportunities, but would never believe that people would offer hiring opportunities based on racial prejudices.
When Phil Gramm slammed Americans for being a nation of whiners and having a mental recession mindset, he was body slammed hard and heavy by many pundits as well as the man he was campaigning for, John McCain. Barack Obama ridiculed Mr. Gramm saying America already has one doctor Phil. When people are losing their homes, their jobs, their ability to earn a comfortable living, and provide for the future of their families it is not a crisis of psychology. When people are having difficulty just buying the basics such as food and gas for transportation, it is a crisis of real consequences that can have repercussions for us all. For Mr. Gramm, no doubt a handsomely paid and wealthy individual compared to the average American, to dismiss the problems with people’s finances as nothing more than a mindset is to demonstrate a serious lack of compassion for others who are not as fortunate.
In essence, Mr. Gramm was trying to tell people to quit having a victim mentality and a lot of people took exception to his indifference to most people’s plight. No one said that Mr. Gramm might have a point. No one said that things would get better when everybody took more personal responsibility for their conditions although it goes without saying that we the people could have better prepared for these rainy days. More of us could have purchased more efficient living accommodations. More of us could have purchased more efficient forms of transportation. More of us could have used our credit resources more sparingly. Most of us could have done things more wisely. But should haves and would haves and could haves do little to help alleviate the fact that people are concerned about what they need right now. We can point the finger later but right now people need help.
The parallel between the current economic conditions of America compared to the economic conditions of many people in the black community since forever are similar. Black people have always been given rhetoric to quit being a whiner and pick ourselves up by our boot strap. Many people have the attitude that black people are just a bunch of whiners and need nothing more than to change. Despite the overwhelming evidence that says there is a fundamental economic dysfunction within the black community, regardless of the reason it’s there, most people are content to turn a blind eye and say this problem would not exist if people in the black community didn’t suffer from their weakness of character that prohibits us from rising to the challenge and meeting our problems head on.
It is a matter of public record that on average people in the black community earn only seventy eight percent what people in the white community earn. And that is if black people can find a job. The rate of unemployment in the black community runs approximately twice the rate of unemployment in the white community. Black people are much more likely to be incarcerated and to have less access to adequate legal representation. The lack of compassion for people in the black community is tremendous.
But now that the other economic shoe is free falling and more people in the nation are being impacted with the specter of unemployment, unaffordable housing, poor public education prospects thanks to the ill conceived program called no child left behind and the other maladies that are plaguing us as a nation, more people want reassurance and some understanding that their problems are not psychological but are real and our frightening.
Why doesn’t the dominant community take this rare opportunity to show the black community how easy it is to just quit being victims and whiners when there are no jobs available or when there is no money available? I believe there is a lot to learn here! Everybody in the black community can learn first hand how to get a job when the job market is shedding jobs at a rate of fifty thousand a month. We can learn how to balance budgets between income and expenses when there is no income. We can learn how the responsible people are paying for housing even though foreclosures rates are rising almost exponentially. And mostly of all, people in the dominant community can take this golden opportunity to show exactly how we should respond to uncompassionate rhetoric from someone who just doesn’t give a damn.
So far, the reactions from the dominant community have not been very educational or enlightening. In fact, if anything, the responses from the dominant community have been quite similar to the type of responses that would originate from the black community. I would dare say that no matter the skin color, when people feel like they could use some help, it would be appreciated if others would show some kind of empathy or concern for their plight. If anything, the dominant community demonstrates that when you are a victim, there is nothing wrong with having a victim mentality. Picking up a boot strap to lift your self out of a predicament really is pointless if there’s nothing to hook that boot strap to.
“When are black people going to stop blaming white people for slavery?” – Deb
If white people aren’t responsible for slavery, then who is? I’m not sure what some white people want. Is it some white people’s contention that white people are not responsible for slavery? Is it some white people’s contention that they have done enough to undo all the damage done to the black community during , the same damage that continues to manifest itself in the black community today, that they no longer deserve a finger pointed in their direction?
A lot of people make shortsighted statements like no white person alive ever owned a black person and no black person alive has ever been a slave. That little statement might be true. But nevertheless, the black community has never been properly compensated for the unequal treatment that it suffered through America’s institutionalized slavery or through the era of blatant racism that continued long after a law was passed to subject the black community to its substandard status.
Slavery ended years ago. But the conditions that were caused by institutionalized slavery, where the white community enriched itself by not compensating black people for their labor, where the white community could establish programs to educate its population while the education of the black population was neglected, where members of the white community were allowed to accumulate wealth and pass that wealth down from one generation to another, where the black community in general was not allowed to participate in the accumulation of wealth and had nothing to pass down through its generations, continue to exist today.
When will black people stop blaming white people for slavery? I’m sorry but white people are solely responsible for America’s era of institutionalized slavery. I know some people like to promote the idea that black people were capturing other black people and putting them on those slave ships. But it was white people who established that trade with black people and it was white people who sailed those ships across the middle passage. It was white people who enriched themselves in the trade of black people. It was white people who packed black people like sardines into the bowels of slave ships, where black people had to defecate on themselves and each other, making it easier for disease to spread and infect everyone within the hold. It was white people who would toss black people over the rail like a sack of dirt, into the waiting arms of the ocean, when one of the pieces of cargo got sick.
It was white people who created the market of supply and demand that led to America’s institutionalized slavery. It was white people paying for black people at auction. It was white people who kept black people in rickety shacks and on sustenance unfit for white people’s consumption. It was white people that kept black people from learning. It was white people who broke up black families.
It was white people who put laws in government books that made it legal to consider black people nothing more than white people’s property. It was white people who passed laws making it legal to consider black people only three fifths human. It was white people who stood idly by while other white people would whip an enslave black a person within an inch of his or her life. It was white people who were willing to look the other way as black women were raped at the white man’s whim. It was white people who invited other white people like Willy Lynch to develop processes to separate black people from their land, from their families, from their community, from each other, from their culture, from their spirituality, and from any hope that they would ever return home and any hope to be made whole again.
I know there are many who would prefer to absolve the racially generic dominant community that just so happens to be predominantly white of any and all responsibilities for the condition of the black community. But the simple fact is that the white community worked for generations to destroy black people, the black family unit, and the black community. And after America came to its senses and realized that this blatant form of racial discrimination was in fact cruel and intolerable, it was white people who spread the myth that just passing a law to make slavery and racial subjugation illegal was all it took to make restitution to the black community. White people who worked so hard to subject black people did nothing to restore black people. Slavery was white people’s fault and no one else’s. White people were the ones who benefited the most from slavery. Black people were the ones who suffered the most under slavery.
Hey, everybody who was alive during that time is now dead so no one is obligated to do anything to repair the damage that white people have caused. More of the dominant community’s propaganda. The hijackers of the planes that terrorized America on September 11, 2001 died with their passengers and with all the other people who were killed. But that didn’t stop America from taking her wrath out on the Taliban and the rest of Afghanistan. America even held Iraq partially responsible even though the evidence against Saddam Hussein was transparent to a blind man. The perpetrators and the victims were both dead. Yet, America is still there, six years later with four thousand dead troops and a trillion dollar bill for war to show for it.
White people will hold fast to the idea that they’ve done enough to repair the damage to the black community. Black people have welfare, isn’t that enough? If anyone were to ever take an honest look at what race benefits the most from welfare he or she will see that white people are, once again, the biggest benefactors of the various welfare programs. Trust me, if black people were the ones benefiting the most from the welfare programs they would have been terminated a long time ago.
When will black people stop blaming white people for slavery? I’m sorry but white people are responsible for those pages in the America’s history book. The idea that we can change the history of slavery if we stop looking at it is a popular one among many who wish to protect the status quo. The proper question a lot of people should be asking is, when will America take responsibility for the damage it caused, and continues to cause, the black community?
American politics is a system that breeds cynicism, corruption, cronyism, and mediocrity. The most successful political candidates are usually the ones that offer quick and easy solutions to problems that can have deep social implications. Can’t afford to rebuild the roads? Issue a bond, borrow the money, and let future generations figure out how to pay for it. Need to balance the federal budget? Tap the social security money reserves intended to help pay for people’s retirement and let the politicians in office when it’s time for people to retire figure out how to get the money. People are complaining about the racial disparity in the public school system? Instead of spending money to support the schools that are lacking, usually in the black neighborhoods, we can spend money on bussing so we can shuffle students around to various schools so everyone can be mediocre. Are the gasoline prices getting too high? We can suspend federal taxes for a time period so that the eighteen cents that the government collects to repair roads and other services stops. Instead of paying four dollars a gallon gasoline with eighteen cents going to taxes we can pay four dollars a gallon and someone just pockets that extra eighteen cents. In the world of politics, immediate, simple solutions are key to winning over a public with little interest for the details of public social issues.
To compound this problem, there are powerful entities that want to make sure that their interest are well represented whatever the political environment. Wealthy corporate and private entities will use whatever vast resources at their disposal to wield influence on just about any serious political candidate from the local level all the way to the federal. These people have the resources to influence even the most powerful politicians to their disposal. It is a foregone conclusion that this influence involves money. But the ultimate goal is the power to bend others, even the most committed type A personality, to act against their own self interest no matter what. Often, it is a system of quid pro quo where I scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine. It is a prime condition for secrets that betray not the public’s trust or sense of faith, but the public’s sense of comfort that the politician will do whatever so the public doesn’t have to care about it. A politician’s penchant for secret deals and under the table partnerships and is a prime environment for fostering the corruption and cronyism.
It is truly difficult for me as a member of the black community to develop a comfortable trust in someone who has become so adept at thriving in such an environment. With rare exception, the political environment of the manipulators and the manipulated rarely has the black community’s welfare at heart. Indeed, a politician that makes the choice to reveal his or her self as a proponent of the black community is a politician that will be quickly guided to the exit door signaling an end to their political career. Therefore, a politician, whether black or white, will do well to keep any affiliation with the black community as distant as possible.
Black politicians have been able to achieve public office at all levels of government. Blacks have been city councilmen, Mayors, state representatives, Governors, and federal representatives. The only office black people have yet to hold is the President. But just because a black person holds a certain political office means nothing to black people. Black people are just as likely to be lynched by the police in cities with black Mayors or black police chiefs as we are in cities with all white public officials. The black community is ignored in states with black Governors just as we are in any other state. Poverty in the black community is just as rampant. Black unemployment is just as pervasive. Education for black people will be just as lacking. Medical care for black people will be just as disappointing.
With all of that said, there is an inherent flaw in the black community’s proclivity to put its collective faith in any politician. A cursory glance at American history will show that some politicians have appeared as champions of social change and an enormous boon to the black community. People in the black community have been programmed to accept America’s most famous politicians as people who have done well for the black community. The black community is supposed to appreciate George Washington because he freed his slaves in his will. But the fact is that George Washington condoned and supported the institution of slavery just like every land owner in his day. The black community is supposed to be thankful to Abraham Lincoln because he freed the slaves. But little is mentioned of the fact that Mr. Lincoln was a stout segregationist he never wanted to end slavery, who believed in the superiority of the white race, and would never condone black people achieving equality to white people. John Kennedy may have made the phone call to Doctor Martin Luther King when he was in prison for his civil disobedience. But Mr. Kennedy had a history of selecting some of the most conservative judges to fill the openings in the American south. And while the black community may thank Lyndon Johnson for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mr. Johnson condoned the public harassment of all civil rights icons throughout his presidency. And these are the Presidents we are supposed to admire.
Richard Nixon hired Donald Rumsfeld to head the office charged with the responsibility of eliminating poverty in America. Hiring the uber neoconservative to manage one of the most socially oriented offices in the presidency is akin to hiring a fox to guard a chicken coop. Ronald Reagan initiated his war on welfare with his story of the black welfare queen who sits at home and robs the federal government blind as justification to cut the social welfare programs that helped the black community to the bone. And no President could have manifested more disinterest in the welfare of the black community than George Bush during the Katrina disaster. President Bush declared a state of emergency for parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, but his declaration didn’t include New Orleans or the parishes with a heavy black population.
So it is with a great deal of suspicion and low expectations that a black politician becoming President will do anything with the black community in mind. Indeed, it is interesting that a black politician that has to defend himself against white people who regularly make everything from highly suggestive racial innuendoes all the way through to outright blatant claims of African American inferiority will dismiss such language as something that must be ignored, but will become visibly outraged and angry when his former pastor says that the black politician is required to make politically advantageous moves in order to win the highest political office in the land.
It is understandable after all. A lot of black people say that the pastor should keep quiet in order to help the black man win the presidency. But what will the black community gain other than bragging rights that a black man has finally reached the final political frontier? If the experience with the black Governor and the black Mayor is any indication, we won’t gain anything that will achieve anything for us. It will be business as usual.
Most of the social changes that have benefited the black community did not come from public office. The social changes that we have craved came through activism. It came through people who have been front and center in the church. Most of our changes have come from the black community that works hard and made sacrifices of dignity, sacrifices of physical pain, sacrifices of time and money, and the ultimate sacrifices of life. No politician is willing to make these kinds of sacrifices to help the black community. The black politician has an image that white people can trust him or her to uphold. Social changes, the type of changes many white people protest in order to keep their white privilege, will damage that image of trust. It is the black church that has gotten us this far. If black people are to ever come back together again to continue our long, arduous fight for some kind of racial equality in America, it will be through the black church and not through any political office.
The way things look it is a fairly safe bet that soon a black man will wear the title of President of the United States. In order to help the black man gain that title, a lot of people are ready to turn their back on the liberal theology of the black church. Many of us are willing to sell our soul in order to gain what we think is the greatest political office in the world. And black people want those bragging rights so badly that we are ready to allow the only institution that has ever truly worked in our favor, the black church, to be labeled as some relic of a segregationist past fueled by black people’s victim mentality. The black community stands ready to abandon our collective soul.