Many in Massachusetts are wondering if Deval Patrick, Democrat for Governor is their Barack Obama. People love the aesthetics, you know. Not that Obama & Patrick are just cosmetic, but you get the idea. The strong, black figure (oh yeah, not so strong that he threatens those certain white folks who think anything too black is a preface to a slave revolt) and makes us believe that politicians can actually have a good heart even though we might not necessarily agree with their politics.
Boston Phoenix: Know thine enemy

Well, Patrick has a problem and it comes with the name Bishop Gilbert Thompson. As leader of the 7,000 parishoner Jubilee Christian Church, he has a say in how blacks vote in the greater Boston area. Thompson has a problem with gays getting hitched and Patrick totally does not. So, is Thompson trying to hurt Patrick's chances by snuggling up to current and hopes-to-be-reelected Republican Governor Romney, who isn't so crazy about the gays either?

WHDH-TV: Hiller Instinct: Is Massachusetts Ready For A Black Governor?
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So, from this article photo, which is a new Mexican stamp, I can only assume that Mexico has a rather low opinion of us black folks. Okay that might be an exaggeration, but even removing the deceptive veil of political correctness doesn't keep this from being offensive. I bet President Fox ordered in bulk. Mexican stamp called offensive to blacks
KLTV: Mexico issues stamp of black cartoon character

More on the reparations campaign against corporations. With $$$ signs in their eyes, they are going hard after the banks. In Oakland, they've enacted legislation forcing any financial advisors of all kinds to disclose whether or not their parent companies have slave ties.
Oakland Tribune: City compels contractors to disclose slave -trade ties

There isn't much more to say about the reparations argument that hasn't been said to death. It's such a poison to race relations and will end up causing more problems for blacks than they think it will solve; which it won't by the way because nothing that is inherently unfair can create something good.

I guess here was more to say.
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Everyone has a lot to say about apologies for lynching or business ties to slavery. Ak'bar Shabazz's article, The Irony of an Apology, is from the perspective of a grandson of someone who was lynched. At conservative, he writes about another misdirection by the Democrats. He isn't the only one who finds it pathetic that Robert Byrd is one of the cosponsors of the recent Senate apology declaration. Either the Dems just don't get what that man represents to so many (obviously not all) black people or his seniority is so high that there is no saying no to him.

Just last week we linked to Alton Maddox's article on Black Unity. This week he writes another good one on Black Thinkers for Black Progress. I don't agree with most of Maddox's views on issues, but he doesn't just spout off accusations and generalizations like so many liberals do.


Not a political site, but a black business site worth taking a look at.
Emerging Minds
"It is our mission to implement a business strategy that has a positive affect on the communities that we serve. This means that through our magazine, bCommerce portal, business solution services, merchandising, business directory, search portal, and every other division of our company, we plan to always consider the impact on our community first."
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Okay, I get that this is almost a month old, but it's an interesting read. Tom Paine writes about The Democrats' Woman Problem at Common Sense. So why did so many more women than usual vote for Bush in 2004? With a margin of 3%, Democrats have a lot to think about. Yes, that gap seems to be widening again based on recent polls, but what the heck is a poll anyway? What matters is the tally at the end of the day.

So what do they have to do differently to make sure that their '08 candidate doesn't ignore women in pursuit of the almighty white male vote? Is abortion the key? Yes, the issues most important to women right now are about the day to days of keeping the family thing up and running, but with the Supreme Court acting so buck wild lately, abortion promises to be a major issue in 08. Despite that, Tom says it's going to take a lot more to woo us back.

I spent a lot of time in Richmond in another life, but not the real Richmond. I was in pretty Glen Allen, but I heard about the real Richmond and the growing crime problem there. Now that former VA Governor Wilder is the new Mayor, he says his priority is to clean up crime.

We also read at the blog, Booker Rising, that he has some lofty plans for Richmond; Mayor touts city's growth at forum. Condos, esplanades, marinas, hotels, etc. Good idea, but don't forget none of this works if you don't follow through on your first campaign promise.

To that end, we're reading in the Richmond Times Dispatch about plans to curb gang crime by a Gang Listing which will allow cops to use symbols, tattoos, signs or anything else that says, "I'm with a gang" to hike up the charges on regular arrests.

Maybe that new federal Gangbuster bill will come in handy.
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Damien Cave's NY times article, Scrutinizing the State of the African-American Male, and How to Improve It, reviews the issues and topics discussed at a conference in NY at NYU Law school. It is part of SAAM - State of the African American Male, a series of conferences held across the country.

Over 1,000 people attended the NY conference, including members of Congress, hoping to have thoughtful conversation about the challenges black men (specifically in New York and New Jersey) face and possibly come up with some solutions.

I'm not surprised it was a little disorderly, because tempers flare on this topic. Everyone agrees the black male is in crisis, but the divergent views on why and what can be done about it are so wide apart. You have the victimologists saying black men are victims of society, the government, whites, black women and anything else you can think of. Everyone, except the black male, has to change. They're wrong.

You have the other side that says black males are to blame for their situation and all they need is a swift kick in the ass to get their lives together. They are making irresponsible, immoral, selfish choices and their sense of entitlement is at the core of everything that is wrong. They're wrong.

The right answer is somewhere in between. Black males have it hard, but nothing near as hard as black males used to have it; men who didn't use their oppression as an excuse not to be real men. Black males get a pass from the day they are born until they are about 8 or so. From that point, they suddenly become the enemy, the suspect, the disappointment or the one to pity. This is before they can be expected to be responsible for their choices and behavior. So why are we surprised at the result?

I'll be the first to argue that 75% of everything that is wrong within the black community is because of the moral, social and economic choices we make, but we all know too many stories of black men who are out there trying to do the right thing only to come up against a brick wall time after time. So, where do we stand on this issue and what do we do?

The trend is looking to favor the personal responsibility focus and this will piss off a lot of liberals. We know the mantra, "Instead of complaining, get up and do something for yourself. Instead of saying what people owe you, do right by who you owe." Yeah, we've heard it and it makes sense, but where is society's role in helping black men who are actually taking that route and have to fight all the influences in the world (most from their own community) telling him he doesn't have to?

Read the article. It discusses some examples of positive programs that are working.
New York Daily News: Boroughs - Black men's meeting set for June 18
The State Of The African American Male
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Not so sure I'm buying this, but here's an AP Story that says tough child support laws may discourage men from becoming unwed fathers.

Seattle PI: Do support laws reduce unwed births?

The study shows that states with stricter child support laws have up to 20% fewer unwed births. Personally, I think most of the men out there busy knocking girls up aren't thinking about child support. They just assume that the girl will get welfare or tough it out on their own and he'll be done with it. I think most illegitimate children (70% of black children) are born because of two people who were being irresponsible and unconcerned about the future consequences.

It wasn't until I learned from a friend who practices family law the degrees to which some men go to avoid child support. I'm not talking about the ones who have nothing, I'm talking about men with serious money; doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. I had this image of some brother from the hood who was crying society and racism is keeping him from taking care of his kids after the argument that they weren't really his fails to work.

I was wrong. There are millions of adult, educated, gainfully employed men out there who honestly believe they don't have to provide financially for their children if it creates too much of a strain on them. Although that is the role of a parent; to provide for their child despite the strain, some men think that it doesn't apply to them.

There are various reasons behind opposing child support: it cuts too much into their 'playa' expenses, they don't think their child needs all that much; they want to make the mother suffer or don't want her to benefit; just don't give a damn. My favorite is "it's too much pressure." Men are not the victims of child support disputes; children are. Don't get me started.

Of course not all child support issues are clear cut cases. Some court laws are so stringent that they prevent men who are trying to pay their child support from working things out with the mother of the children because of generalized statutes that strangle them.

There are also some seriously warped, gold-digging women out there that make it their life's job to create hell on earth for men, but it still comes back to the man making the right choices about who he has children with. You can't just go around having unprotected sex with women whose character you don't know and claim victim when she shows her true colors. That's why children are supposed to come after marriage (assuming that you actually know the person before you decide to marry them). Although, there are no guarantees there either because people start trippin' when they go through divorce.

Generally studies from prestigious universities such as these are not as hypothetical as I'm portraying this one to be, so it's possible there is something to this. If so, we need to copy these laws in other states and see what happens. Child support laws need to be stricter anyway.

Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement
Seattle PI: Man shot to death in courthouse was upset about child support
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A staff writer collaboration at The Detroit Free Press writes about the not so popular mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. A recent poll shows that a series of scandals has taken its toll and the overwhelmingly African American city's residents are ready to move on. It's a shame, considering how hopeful folks were when he was elected. They wanted the new ideas, the business focus and the youthful optimism. Now, they just want OTHER.
FREEP: Kilpatrick slipping with voters

Although the problem of poor blacks being left behind in this real estate boom and neighborhood regentrification is national, Mary Mitchell of the Chi-Town Sun Times writes about it's local effect in the city of Maywood, Illinois (which we used to call Mayhood). So, the question is..When free market enterprise and opportunity conflict with social obligations, which side should the centrist choose? Chicago Sun Times: Neighborhoods change, but poor blacks stuck in ghettos

In Denver, controversy and racial tensions have risen from a grand jury's decision not to indict a white man in the shooting of a black man and wounding of his wife, a black woman. I guess they believed the guy's claim of self-defense. The guy was cleared to carry and weapon and there doesn't seem to be anything considered racially motivated about the case, but others are upset at the idea that if a black man had killed a white man and injured his white wife, the jury would have indicted under the same circumstances.

I would be inclined to say the same thing, but the presumption of would-be prejudice in a juxtaposed situation is not enough to rally my full support. Decision Not To Indict Man in Shooting of Couple Prompts Concern Among Black Leaders
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Obama gave a Father's Day sermon at Christ Universal in Chi-Town, directed at African-American fathers. Chicago Tribune: Obama's church sermon to black dads: Grow up

More on the Congressional Black Caucus' position change on 527s and campaign finance reform. Just a 5% drop in the ever-reliable black vote has Democrats thinking about campaigns and reaching African-Americans in 06 and 08. Maybe they sense a trend that was aided by campaign finance reform and want to take another look. CBC: Show me the money!

A Republican governor is about to appoint South Carolina's first black U.S. Attorney. Judge Reginald Lloyd is the top guy for the ticket and the man who has referred him is Republican Senator Lindsay Graham. Hope everything works out. The SC can use all the help it can get when it comes to racial progress. The State: Black judge may be tapped for top post

Chi-Town Sun Times columnists, Mary Mitchell, writes about Black Unity, which we just discussed last Monday. Mitchell takes a little different view of black unity and what the Million Man march means for us than last week's writer. Chicago Sun Times: No longer does black unity seem beyond our grasp.

There is a new black conservative blog out there, The New Underground Railroad. The site's theme is "Leading Blacks to freedom from the bondage of psychological slavery". With a name list of black conservatives titled "Others Who Have Fled The Plantation" I think the tone is set.
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This website, encouraging you to vote for the hottest U.S. Senator is bogus, because it doesn't offer up the hottest for candidacy. Okay, so Evan Bayh is there and he's kind of attractive, but the other candidates are...we'll let's be nice since it is a holiday. After all, we're talking about the U.S. Senate. Real slim pickins when it comes to hotties.
Decision 2005

I found it wise they choose not to include Obama cause he would wipe the floor with the rest of them, but just about anyone would wipe these guys up pretty quick. What about the Senator from Wisconsin, South Dakota and Virginia? They aren't Obamas or anything, but let's make it a game, guys.

Is Your Senator Hot or Not?

Is this weird or what? So, the Dems are eager to make something out of this Downing Street Memo. The press just isn't picking up on it and the American people aren't seeming too interested. Drastic situations call for drastic measures. So let's put on a play! Dana Millbank pokes fun at the display House Rep Conyers (D-MI) put on as they put together a fake hearing.
Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War

Millbank's article in the WAPO is entertaining, but it's kind of sad too. I mean, what was the fake hearing for really? To put on a show for the press? Because the press just made fun of them. I know this is Conyer's style, but there is a certain sense of impotence in the whole measure. Still, I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

Spoof News - Downing Street Memo Cracks Capitol Hill at Conyers Forum
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Although we have all known Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was going to run for the Senate since about 2000, he recently made it a formal deal. Other things such as actually having a career in politics and family scandals were in the way in previous years.

Ford has definitely established himself as a leader of future politics and one of the rare moderate politicians who doesn't sound like an apathetic dufus when he talks. His politically savvy can appear very rehearsed and so careful that it can piss you off a little, but overall, he's one of the more promising politicos out there. As a centrists, I'll be sure to support him and drop a few bucks in the coffer.

Ford has the Democrat nomination locked up, but he isn't taking the seat for granted. More famous on a national scale than locally, he knows he has a lot of hurdles to overcome in appealing to all of TN. There is his age, the family he has (see Uncle), the family he doesn't (no ring on that finger), his politics (Red State big time) and let's face it; his race. If Ford is anything, he's aggressive and ambitious. It's likely he'll overcome any obstacle in his way.

We'll keep track of him over the next year and a half.

WVLT: Ford airs first TV ad since declaring candidacy for Senate
SF Gate: Ford Faces Family Trouble Amid Senate Bid Rep. Harold Ford Criticizes Howard Dean
The Jackson Sun News: Promising younger Ford faces family trouble amid Senate bid
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Holly Rosenkranzt at Bloomberg writes about the Republican strategy of using Black Candidates to increase the family's power. Four black Republicans are running in Democratic stronghold states. The Democrats obviously have the mantelpiece for electing blacks to power, but it will be interesting to see if the newest, brightest black politicians come out on the Right. Democrats can always say, "Yeah, but we have Obama." Republicans Look to Black Candidates to Extend Electoral Hold

Here are some of the pols Holly's article refers to:
Maryland Lt. Governor & Possible Senate Candidate Michael Steele

Secretary of State and possible Governor Candidate Ken Blackwell

Michigan Senate Candidate Reverend Keith Butler

Pittsburgh ex-baller, Lynn Swan for Governor

Columnist Derrick Jackson doesn't pull any punches in his Chi-Town Tribune article, The GOP's poverty gambit. He goes after all the Republican "pimps" who played the impoverished black child card during the Janice Rogers Brown pre-nomination bruhaha.

"Janice Rogers Brown is the latest black face to betray the `color-blind' game of the Republicans."

The problem is Republicans did use race to bolster their point, but Democrats do it to. Whether it's to pump someone up or bring them down, someone always resorts to the race card and it's disappointing.

It's extremely insulting when someone, black or white, tries to act as if I should believe/support something/someone because of my skin color. Too many Republicans did the, "What's wrong with black people, she's black. Why aren't they supporting her?" My favorite was when CNN's Bob Novak tried to accuse the Democrats of being a racist party because they criticized Condi Rice's performance on her job. But he's a shepherd for the devil, so that's a conversation for another day.
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Has it come to this? Atlanta-Area Boy Scouts Lied About Black Members. I mean, a few here and there I can understand. After all, most of us have a few problems with the numbers. But 5,000?

What is the world coming to when the Boy Scouts can't get enough black boys in Hotlanta? Has their appeal lessened because of their "we don't like little gay boys" policy or is the problem on our side? Has the black family degraded so much that the humble, traditional values espoused by the Boy Scouts no longer appeal to us?

Well the ED of the chapter resigned, so that tells us something.

MSNBC: Number of black Atlanta Boy Scouts in dispute

Okay, this is kind of old news, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Outside The Beltway : Rush Limbaugh Offers to Mentor Al Sharpton.

When I heard that Rush Limbaugh was going to take Al Sharpton under his wings to teach him the radio pundit business, my first thought was to check the book of Revelations, because this has got to be one of the signs the big A is upon us.

I'm not a Sharpton fan and Rush makes me want to pray for mankind, but this is definitely an interesting pairing. They can share their legal trouble stories with each other.

I'm telling you right now, before this little apprenticeship is over, it will provide content for at least one episode of COPS. There will be bloodshed.

New York Daily News: Can Rev. Al be Limbaugh's air apparent? Radio's big hustle - Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton together?
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Alton Maddox Jr. writes aggressively about The Building Blocks For Black Unity for the black newspaper, The Amsterdam News. Maddox is concerned that we are not focusing on the right things as Bush and White America are trying to turn the clocks on black progress and history is about to repeat itself. He suggest we are chickens waiting to be slaughtered planning a big march with no focus, no demand and no agenda.

"This is not the time for materialistically oriented, media addicts and mental midgets to be confusing the Black community, especially since history is about to repeat itself. This is the fourth historical period during and since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Race divided the nation in each period."

As the Jackson case winds to a close, I'm reminded of that thing called Black Unity. It is always interesting to watch us react to a high-profile black celebrity who gets himself/herself into a mess. We stand up for them, right or wrong. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven not guilty, but that rarely plays into why black people support these folks. It's this idea that we are the victims. No matter what we've done, no matter how right it is to call anyone of another race on their actions, when it's us, it becomes oppression.

Even when the person on trial deserted us a long time ago, our support of him/her is unwavered. It becomes less about the person and more about overcoming the system that is created to take us down. Some of us need to be taken down.

The truth is, the justice system still suffers from racial bias and anyone who says justice is blind is plain stupid. Still, that doesn't include picking race over right.

So Michael got off, pardon the pun. I thought he would because I didn't believe this case. To put it plainly, I didn't believe the victim or his mother. Shady people all around. It's a good thing he got off considering you and I both know if that verdict had been guilty, MJ would have dropped dead right there in the court. There is no way Michael would go to jail. Just wouldn't happen.

Here's what some have to say about Mike's Freedom Time:
Wonkette: Jacko Not Guilty, Still Hurting President and Other Media Stories Legal reaction to the Jackson verdict
UK Times Online: Euphoric fans greet verdicts as jury rejects every charge
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More from Denise Huxtable's husband responds to readers who ask him if he is blinded by the right. Joseph C. Phillips, most recently seen as the husband of the black lady (names are not my strong point) on Without A Trace, is actually quite active in the conservative pundit world.
BAW Commentary: Despite Opposing Politics, Most of Us Have More in Common Than We Think

I have a hard time taking JP seriously, but that may be due to prejudice on my part. The article touches on partisanship and how, underneath it all, we are more alike than we're able to admit because of our polarized environment. I've always said that most Americans are moderates/centrists, but its the vocal conservatives and liberals who grab all the media attention. That viewpoint has changed a bit; I believe there are more conservatives than liberals and I'm okay with that. It's the extremists on both sides that we need to be afraid of. I don't think JP fits into that category, so in my book, he's okay.

Humility on occasion is a very attractive quality. Especially in today's political environment where politicians and pundits would rather go down with ship than admit they were wrong. This was why Brian DeBose's article in The Washington Times caught my attention.

The article says the Black caucus retreats on 527s, now that the funding programs aren't working for them. Some members are admitting they were on the wrong side of campaign finance reform in 2002 and are working with Republicans to make a change. Nothing like money in your pocket to bring people together.
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I'm getting behind on a lot of these interesting articles I come across, so I'm going to overload today.

Good one in The Washington Post on the poor and how the housing situation in D.C. is affecting them. On a recent trip to Ben's Chili Bowl, I got a good glimpse of the U Street Project and the new condos are pretty sweet. I don't need to know how much they cost because I'm sure it's a price that the current residents of that area can't afford. The saving grace for this particular project is that the new places are being bought up by affluent blacks as well as whites, so we aren't being completely kicked out, but this doesn't solve the problem.

Lori Montgomery's article is on the attitude of advocates for the poor, including blaming Mayor Williams for tossing the working class aside for the realty opportunity. In a market-driven world, where do you draw the line on moving forward with opportunity?
WAPO: Some of D.C.'s Poor Question Their Place in Housing Plan

Conservative Thomas Sowell writes about liberals, race and history for the Jewish World Review. He discusses how Democrats must keep black folks scared; believing that they are their only hope because if the move to vote Republican gains momentum, the Dems are gonna be ass out. They've lost the white male vote and the female vote is going back and forth.

Thomas Sowell: News & Opinion

Sowell suggests the Dems have to distort the present and past situation of things to manipulate us under their wing. Like many black conservatives, he doesn't seem to think very highly of black folks. If Dems really want to hold on to the black vote, they need to stop pouting about their current bad fortune, stop obsessing over blaming the Right for everything, kick the liberals to the curb and let the centrists and moderates take center stage. If they do that, they'll lock up the female vote and might get a few of those fleeting white males to come back.

Andrew Varnon writes about Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick in The Valley Advocate. He wants to know if Patrick is Boston's Obama?.

"For people looking for a quick reason to dismiss a candidate, Deval Patrick provides more than a few. He's black in a state that, although it prides itself on its history of supporting equality, has never seen a black candidate for governor nominated by a major party. He's an avowed progressive in a state that, although steadfastly Democratic, has elected Republicans to the corner office for the past 14 years. Throw in the fact that he's never held elective office in the state, and you've got plenty of reasons to sum up Patrick in two words: long shot."

Despite this, Varnon likes Patrick's story, style and network. Does he have a chance? I doubt it. Honestly, I don't want to dog Boston, but let's be honest about the race thing. It's supposed to be this bastion of liberalism, but when it comes to race,'s no Illinois. I'll give it to the brother; he shoots high and you can't fault him for that. I wish him luck.

Out of left field comes an article in Left Hook, a liberal bloggish type of thing with a collection of essays, poems and what not. This article, by Julie Southerland discusses the slight of women in the hip hop world and white folks who identify with the mood behind the music.
A Radical Youth Journal Based in the U.S.: A Discussion of Women and the “White Negro” in Hip-Hop

I'm not a big fan of hip hop because of it's violence and pornography and mostly because of it's portrayal of black women, so I don't have a lot to say on this, but I think the "white negroes" issue is an interesting one, worth discussing.

At, Black Enterprise (best magazine ever) Publisher Earl Graves says Black Consumers Should Boycott Mexico in response to President Vincente Fox's comments about how blacks, clearly the lowest of the low in America, won't do the jobs that immigrants do. This is the first time I've heard this suggested and it's only relevant because Fox's refusal to apologize for his ridiculous comments.

It's not going to happen, we all know that. Trips to Mexico are too cheap for folks to boycott, but the idea is a good one. Black folks need to stop complaining and crying about thos ewho wrong us and start using our substantial dollars and influence to speak for us.
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A new website, Republicans for Black Empowerment, is home for black republican grassroots where one can go for state level contacts among the black GOP. The site portrays high profile black republicans such as Rice, Powell, Justice Thomas and Ken Blackwell in Ohio. It's pretty new, but I'll expect it will keep building. It's a resource for conservative black advocates, media pundits and organizations such as Project 21.

Should Republicans be concerned that there are only contacts in 14 of the 50 states? Pretty paltry, but maybe it will build. As far as the list of prominent black Republicans. It can't really be progress until someone gets on that list that absolutely everyone hasn't heard of.

The very liberal site, The Black Commentator, has a cover story on The Congressional Black Caucus Losing Cohesion, where it points to last month's vote on the bankruptcy bill as proof that the Republicans (especially corporate Republicans) efforts to pull apart the power of the CBC is working. I have a lot of concerns about that bill as well, but the fact that several CBC members voted in favor of it doesn't mean there are problems in the CBC. It just means that there are differences.

Oh yeah, in politics today, differences is a problem. If you are a black member of Congress you are supposed to go along with the old guard, which is Democrat and liberal.

This isn't to say that there aren't problems within the CBC. I think it is clear that they have had a hard few years; not completely their own fault. However, when I was considering changing jobs last summer and mentioned communications opportunities within the CBC, I was told to stay as far away as possible. This was by a black Democrat and supporter of the CBC Foundation who warned me that the internal discord was reaching a fever pitch and the environment was poisonous.
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It's not really an update, but I haven't written about him in a long time. He has stayed pretty much under the radar, just like a freshman senator should. All of those people expecting him to show up on the scene and change the face of politics probably had a little let down, but got over it.

I'm from Evanston originally, so I would have voted for Obama if I still lived in Illinois. Upon further review, beyond the adoring non-sexual (at least I think it was non-sexual) crush the media had with him, I did find that his stand on some issues were patently liberal, but not out of whack. After reading his book, I was definitely impressed with his character. Then again, he was running against Keyes, so all he really had to do was breath and walk on two legs and he would have gotten my vote.

His website
Barack Obama - U.S. Senator for Illinois
His blog
Barack Obama - U.S. Senator for Illinois

In this polarized political environment, anyone had to expect a moderate would clash with the overwhelmingly liberal Congressional Black Caucus, but there isn't much the CBC can do. Obama is the man, they all know it.
The Hill: Obama and CBC split on cloture

I would have expected Obama to be on the road in May and June on the commencement circuit, but apparently he was taking it easy, keeping it light and staying near home. Senator places focus on Illinois
Galesburg Register-Mail Online: Crowd expected for Obama

He also just finished completing the audio version of his bestselling book: Dreams of My Father.
Chicago Sun Times: Obama voices 'Dreams,' hobnobs with legends

Quietly, he is exerting some influence when it comes to his state. The Chicago Sun-Times writes about a possible federal appointment by Bush recommended by Obama and Illinois' other senator, Dick Durbin, who exerts a quiet influence as well. With the negativity and partisanship in federal judge appointments, it will be notable if Bush takes direction from Obama and Durbin.
Chicago Sun Times: Bush likely to appoint judge recommended by Durbin, Obama

Pulling from the obscure entertainment world, at Enter Stage Right, Michael Moriarty has something to say about Obama. He's the actor you might remember him from the first few seasons of Law & Order. He was the leading Asst D.A. Moriarity makes an unexpected comparison:

"Illinois Senator Barack Obama is the English-speaking world's Mikhail Gorbachev. Say what? What does the last leader of the Soviet Union have to do with this wunderkind -- the youngest ever editor of the Harvard Law Review? If you believe in dialectical materialism, you'll understand the connection, although this article is not about a philosophy that would take a two-week course to fully understand."

Read more here:
ESR: Barack Obama: The African-American Mikhail Gorbachev
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Apparently there are:

"We weren't mobilized for the last election like we are now," said Dorsey Miller, founder of the Florida Black Republican Council. "There's 63,000 black Republicans in Florida. There's 144,000 black independents. We're going to be working very hard to turn out our base. We didn't do a very good job of that last time." The St. Petersburg Times.

Merissa Green's article, Black Republicans Form Their Own Club in The Ledger covers a small group of black conservatives in Lakeland who are just so doggone glad to know they aren't the only of their kind. The article talks about certain Black republicans feeling a fear in claiming their party.

I think it's been that way for a long time, but not anymore. Black conservatives have taken their place at the table and are letting their voices be heard. Although I think we'd be better off with some of them keeping silent, it's important to hear their voices because we need balance. We need to let our own people know they don't have to follow like sheep. If conservative is what they believe, they have a voice and they aren't alone.

In addition to the Frederick Douglass Republican Club of Florida, black conservatives in the sunshine state have:
Florida Federation of Black Republicans
Black Republican Caucus of Palm Beach County

Now if only black moderates would take the same stand, I'd really be happy.
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Wachovia has joined the list of financial institutions who have had their roots tied to slavery. They have issued an apology for transacting in slaves, but I sincerely doubt it ends there. Obviously executives/employees at Wachovia today are not to blame for what their founders did, although it is shameful and an acknowledgement is required. Only that is not what the reparations people are after. They don't want apologies. They want someone to pay; cash. This is about money and making somebody lose something. So, keep track of this story, because now that the acknowledgment is out there, someone is going to start making demands. Wachovia apologizes for ties to slavery
National Legal and Policy Center Rips Wachovia Slavery Apology
Charlotte Observer: Banks face sharper questions on slavery


Final Call has an article on the notable silence coming from members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the recently passed Gangbusters legislation, which seeks higher penalties for gang-related crime and adds a federal level of punishment. The article seems to suggest that this bill has sinister motives, but I'm not sure what is sinister about wanting to punish gangs and people who are involved in poisoning their community, making their neighborhoods too dangerous to walk around, prostituting black girls and recruiting black boys for more criminal activity.

Deadly silence covers passing of federal gang bill

This is a harsh bill, but maybe the silence is because many of the CBC members live in communities where gangs and the violence they impose upon law abiding citizens in the areas they run in have gotten out of control and they see a need to take this fight to another level.
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The Bush administration has gone beyond it's alliance with black churches to reach the religious black vote in America. According to the L.A. Times, he wants to use black churches to help his objectives in Africa.
A U.S. Faith Initiative for Africa

I don't have a problem with churches playing a role in helping the cause; any cause, but we have to be cautious here. Too many church leaders have their own agenda and the more you try to match morality with legislation, the further down the "fundamentalists taking over" slope we go. It won't stop. If we have proven anything as a human species, it is that we are most dangerous when we get out of hand with religious beliefs.

Picked this up from Booker Rising, my favorite black blog. We've mentioned efforts by some to get us to form our own political party. Hazel Trice Edney writes about it for the Chicago Defender.
Chicago Defender: Blacks urged to form independent political movement

I'm not a fan of the idea, but no need to argue it because we all know it would never work. You need organization and unity to make a political group effective. Enough said. Besides, our skin color should not define our political beliefs; our morals and values should. It just looks like another case of blacks trying to box blacks in.

Darryl Fears writes about the impending death of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for In addition to regional office closing, there is a lot of inside bickering between Dems and Reps on priorities; and of course the ever present budget cuts. Civil rights agency budget cuts decried

Many will say that in 2005, this agency should be cut to its bare bones, but read the article and you'll see that this agency is still very much needed. For the advocates that want to get rid of Affirmative Action, the only saving grace you have is that there are laws out there to protect minorities from discrimination and access barriers. The US Commission on Civil Rights exist for that purpose and many would be helpless against discrimination without it.
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