MY LATEST BLOG POSTINGS!

RACE & REPORTING ON KATRINA

8.31.2005


We're seeing a lot of this story around the blogosphere today. I feel compelled to share it even though I think race is becoming too much of an issue in this disaster story. It was just such an interesting look into how people view the same picture differently based on race.



Wonkette: "Finding" versus "Looting"
Gawker: You Are a Thief! I Stole a Loaf of Bread! and Other AP Stories
Dell Gines: White Folks Find - Black Folks Loot
Poynter: Romanesko's Blog
Daily Kos: The difference between loot and find
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PRAYERS FOR THE GULF COAST

8.30.2005

When the news was coming in about Katrina on Sunday, I wondered if people took it seriously. No one seemed to care much about her when she hit Florida and ended up killing seven people. More people were worried about washing out the VMA pre-parties than anything else.

The roads out of town and the lines to the Superdome made me believe that they were taking it seriously and no one was left. That was obviously not the truth. Now we hear that the shelters need to be evacuated, including the now 30,000 people at the Superdome, which has pretty much deteriorated.

The stories are heartbreaking and you can only pray for those left to keep their wits about them and remain calm and civilized under the stress. You can donate too.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists these organizations for those seeking to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina:

Donate cash
American Red Cross (800) HELP NOW (435-7669) English; (800) 257-7575 Spanish

Operation Blessing (800) 436-6348

America's Second Harvest (800) 344-8070

To donate cash or volunteer
Adventist Community Services (800) 381-7171

Catholic Charities, USA (703) 549-1390

Christian Disaster Response (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (800) 848-5818

Church World Service (800) 297-1516

Convoy of Hope (417) 823-8998

Lutheran Disaster Response (800) 638-3522

Mennonite Disaster Service (717) 859-2210

Nazarene Disaster Response (888) 256-5886

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (800) 872-3283

Salvation Army (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769)

Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief (800) 462-8657, ext. 6133

United Methodist Committee on Relief (800) 554-8583
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SHAME IS A LOST ART

8.29.2005

I saw this at my favorite blog, Booker Rising, and I just had to put it up. It's all about tough love. There are a lot of questions you can ask in response to these pictures, but I stand in favor of anything that will make this kid think twice about following the road his father has taken.

Besides, the picture of this mother just straight lounging with her cup of water like she's watching her stories on TV is hilarious.





Old School discipline rubs a lot of people the wrong way, but with the war against our children, some parents don't have any choice. Let's pray that this kid will be telling the story about this embarrassing incident as the catalyst to the successful life he has made for himself.

A lot of people are trending towards using shame as a way to deal with criminal behavior. I was reading in Presstime magazine that many local law enforcement leaders are listing the names of citizens with outstanding warrants in the newspapers.

One paper called a press conference to tell the community about the listing a week prior and said several people came forward to avoid being put on the list. Not only that, after the list was posting, hundreds of people turned themselves in, were turned in by others who knew them and more than $50,000 in fines were paid.

Shame is a lost art.
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BLACK VS. BROWN -- A GREAT TOOL FOR RACISTS

8.28.2005

We've been hearing a lot about Brown vs Black in the media lately; especially with the immigration/jobs issue. It all began with the new 2000 census when the news dropped that Hispanics are now the largest minority in the U.S. and will continue to outgrow us in significant numbers. It was exasperated by the Bush 2000 campaign where Bush was accused of bypassing the black vote in favor of the Latino vote.

During that year, a co-worker of mine, who is white, said that many whites feel that they have more in common with Hispanics morally than they do blacks. In her opinion, this was focused on the family unit. The majority of Hispanics still believe in traditional family values (out of wedlock births are around 32% - closer to white numbers of 23% and further from black numbers of 70%).

She also stated that there isn't the "slave tension" existing between whites and Hispanics, which she mostly blames on blacks. "You just won't let it go," she said. Basically, because we won't stop reminding them of what they owe us and how inherently racist they all are, whether we know them or not, they would prefer to partner with Hispanics who just want an opportunity to make a life for themselves; by themselves.

I am NOT in favor of illegal immigration from anywhere, but I think the whole Brown vs. Black is a great tool for racist who want to keep us browns and blacks occupied with strife, feeling threatened and competing against each other, taking time away from advancing ourselves and forming a brotherhood that would really present a threat to them. We can't let that happen. We have to see this argument for what it is; a distraction meant to keep us fighting each other instead of uniting to make life better for all of our brown and black children and ourselves.

HoustonChronicle.com: Latino's entry into race puts focus on black vote
AlterNet: The Black and Latino Clash
Miami Herald: Jackson calls for black-Hispanic coalition
VDARE.com: Brown vs. Black vs. America
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TWO TAKES ON THE GOP & AFRICAN AMERICANS

8.25.2005

I've avoided this topic for a little while because it is discussed much too often, but I enjoyed reading Harry Jackson's article, Bush, blacks and the GOP for the Washington Times. He shares his criticisms between both the Left and Right and makes some sense.

"...just saying "Cosby is right" will not reverse trends that have been accelerated by wrong-headed policies of the past. Further, noting that a lack of personal responsibility is at the core of the black community applauds keeping blacks from any socio-economic strata."

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I saw this article at my favorite blog, Booker Rising, and liked it enough to bring it back here. Boston.com: More young blacks ready to embrace GOP. Black students at Howard? They've always been there, but they haven't had a voice. I have to say that some of this surge in Republican affiliation is about fads. Black people are no exception to jumping on convenient bandwagons. Much of it is a desire to be different and try something new which is common with youth.

It is clear that there is a sense of a clean slate with some young blacks that they feel more free to go with their individual ideas than what is expected of them. If the Republicans have a candidate that is more appealing than Bush in 2008, we can expect to see that 11% go up by more than 2% like it did in the last election.
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THE NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY HQ - STILL NO WHITEYS ALLOWED

8.24.2005

While everyone is talking about another Pat Robertson nut-job exclamation, we'll take a different direction.


So, The New Black Panther Party; a kinder gentler black power militant organization, has moved its headquarters to Trenton, NJ this month. It is called The House of Consciousness.

"...the house is open to all and everybody who is progressive, including "Crips, Bloods, Christians, Muslims . . ., but not white people."

How progressive. I guess everything old is new again.

Wikipedia gives you the lowdown on the NBP which was formed in 1989 and originally HQ'd in Dallas.

If you're excited about learning all you can, check out the Southern Poverty Law Center website, which keeps a log of Hate Groups worldwide. You can find every NBP location.

If you're just not feeling the anger and hate (I mean self-defense), you can always visit the Original Black Panther website, where Dr. Huey P. Newton makes it clear that There is No New Black Panther party.


Oh, the drama.
The Locator: New Black Panther Party leader urges unity
The Trentonian: Panther Message Is Lame
The Trentonian: Racist note left at Panthers's door
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CIVIL RIGHTS -- 21st CENTURY STYLE

8.23.2005


Donna Brazile wrote a special for BlackAmericaWeb asking us to take a closer look at Bush's SC Nominee, Roberts' Record On Civil Rights & Equal Opportunity. It's a shame how the focus on Roberts died down. I enjoyed reading and hearing about it as long as it stayed civil; no thanks to NARAL. I appreciated the ambiguity and how both sides were in a bit of a panic over not being able to completely pin him down. He's clearly a very, very conservative judge; nuff said.

Sheila Suess Kennedy writes about
the difference between civil rights and civil liberties for the IndyStar. Many people don't really know off hand. Civil liberties protect us against infringement by the government and civil rights protect us against discrimination by person or entity. Something like that.

William Raspberry tells us Why Profiling Won't Work in his column at the WAPO. So we can't tell the difference between a Saudi National and an Arab American. Would airlines pull aside someone who looked like Timothy McVeigh? What about Jose Padilla? So what will work? That's the questions, because political correctness aside, when you're dealing with terrorists, people willing to die themselves while killing babies and old women, we have to do what we can until we find the right way.

A Montgomery based civil rights group is targeting cold cases of civil rights slayings.
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NEW BLACK GOP MAG -- CONDI, SISTER OR NOT? -- BLACK FAMILIES -- REPARATIONS PART DEUX

8.22.2005


There's a new Black Republican Web site on the block, National Black Republican Association. It's a resource of black GOP info and a home for a new magazine. The inaugural issue has Condi on the cover. I wonder if they'll have profiles of prominent black Republicans. That would be a short series. Honestly, they have a good slate of regional black candidates running in '06 so it might be interesting.

On their list of Black Republicans, they have celebrities such as Sammy Davis Jr., Denzel Washington and oh yeah, Don King.

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Speaking of Condi, E.R. Shipp at the Orlando Sentinel, says As a possible 'sister,' Condi Rice disappoints. Oh, the nerve.

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There's a black blog called Successful Families which discusses the pros and cons of spanking and advocates black families leaving the public school system behind among other things.

"This blog aims to provide to African-American, African and Caribbean-American families a forum to discuss, share and exchange ideas about successful family life, including, but not limited to childrearing, child development and the preparation our kids for academic success from birth to college."

Read the post on "How Black Parents Fail Their Kid." It's the first in a five-part series.

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I told you this was going to happen, didn't I? The State: Black lawmakers say Wachovia's donations not enough.

"The Charlotte-based bank apologized in June because two of its predecessor banks owned slaves. The bank later pledged $10 million over five years to scholarship programs and various civic organizations."

The reparations movement is not satisfied with acknowledgements, apologies and donations to scholarships. They want more, more and more. They won't stop which is why companies have to stop buying into this "we just want an acknowledgement" B-S.
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THE CURRENT STATE OF BLACK FOLK

8.18.2005

Here are a few articles on the black condition today.

For The Chicago Defender, James Clingman writes about Animal Farm--The Black Version. Everyone knows the 1945 Orwell book used endlessly to reflect governmental abuse, communism, constitutional violations and whatever else you can think of. Clingman says the message is more relevant than ever when considering the condition of black people today.

"In our current state, because we have not rallied our "best and brightest" Black folks, or should I say because they have not rallied themselves around using their tremendous wealth of intellectual and financial resources to help their people, we continue to languish and our economic fate is all but sealed. No, I am not blaming the entire state of Black folks on the Black elite, Cosby's remarks about the lower economic class of Blacks notwithstanding."


He also puts in a plug for Norman Kelly's The Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End of Black Politics and his analysis of black elitist.

Clingman asks if racism or classism has more affect on the black situation today. I think classism is the resounding answer.

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This article in The Sun Herald isn't focusing exclusive on blacks, but it is an issue that affects our current situation more than anyone else in this country. America's No. 1 source of poverty: Fatherless families. In 1890, 80 percent of black American households were headed by husbands and wives. Now, it's 30 percent. It's a damn shame and there is no excuse for it.
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LOCAL RACE & POLITICS UPDATE

8.17.2005


The famous Fords of Tennessee have welcomed another one of the klan into the fray. No need to spend the whole blog going down the list of existing and past political Fords and not enough space to list the scandals, so we'll just go with the new.
Sister wins primary for John Ford's seat. Yes, John's sister, Ophelia Ford, has put her name on the ticket for the District 29 State Senate seat that he occupied for 31 years. He had to step down because of being arrested for yet another scandal.

Ophelia is the aunt of current TN Congressman Congressman Harold Ford, Jr who is running for Senate in 06, but there was no mention of him in the article. Hmmmm, maybe he has just had it with the family for a while. I know how he feels. Don't know much of what she stands for, but if she wins she'll be the first female Ford. Haven't seen a website yet.

No, is that scandal I hear? Not exactly, but nothing's easy. Here we go.
Ophelia Ford's rival may contest election results
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This is kind of an old article on Michael Steele's possible run for the Senate in Maryland. Black support for Republican Steele a tough sell. I don't think he'll be a tough sell at all. Republicans, white and black, will vote for him and I think a lot of blacks who would have normally voted Democrat will vote for him for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, he's been in the community a great deal. My friends in MD have seen him all over the place, in Bowie a few times, hosting Hip-Hop Summits with Russell Simmons (not that this is a plus) and connecting with the folks.

Second, blacks will be mad at the Democrats for not backing Mfume. After the blunder Kennedy-Townsend made in the governors race and the party's choice to ignore Mfume (not that there aren't reasons to) and back the white guy, they'll be angry. And don't think they won't go out and vote, becuase there are other officials running in the 06 election that have a strong connection with Baltimore and PG County blacks that will bring them to the polls.

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On the other hand, I see this as being a harder sell. Kilgore hopes to woo blacks to his side. Jerry Kilgore, a white Republican wants to be Governor of VA again and this time he's reaching out to the black vote. It's an effort, because he doesn't need it. Republicans rule VA now with very little black support.

Kilgore doesn't have the numbers in his favor but he's got a little image problem because Democrats are already putting together the "racist" label for him. He's young, attractive, has a family, yada, yada, yada, so that works for him.
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Here is a quick FREEP article on women voters in Detroit and how Mayor Kwame Kilpatricts scandals have not endeared him to them. They feel betrayed.
Women voters desert mayor.

"They voted him four years ago, because of what he said he was going to do in neighborhoods, and for their kids and in the schools, and it didn't happen," Sarpolus said. "And they lost respect for him because of the integrity issue."
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MORE ON BLACK FATHERS & FAMILIES

8.16.2005


Darryl James writes an interesting article, THE BRIDGE: In Search Of The Metaphysical Father in EURWeb about our search for fathers within the community at large. Like real black fathers, the community black fathers are absent. He goes through a list of some of the first names that certain folks may think and reminds us that these men are not our metaphysical fathers; Bill Cosby is not because he's a deadbeat dad, not here while we were growing, but stepping in the last minute to criticize. There are more and James doesn't pull punches.

"Jesse Jackson is not our metaphysical father. A bastard of the Civil Rights Movement, Jackson has no idea what he is supposed to be, and the end result is foolishness and obsolescence. Neither athletes nor entertainers are metaphysical fathers. Magic Johnson has recently been putting in good effort, but he is no Mohammed Ali and Russell Simmons looks silly acting like a community activist after harming and/or ignoring the community for decades."

He has even harsher words for blacks who have white metaphysical fathers. Read it.

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This is a little old, but Charles Stein of The Boston Globe writes about troubles for black men finding jobs. You can look at a variety of sources out there, but a lack of education is key. I'm not saying that every black boy needs to go to college, but they need to at least finish high school. I think the large numbers of black men who have prison records affect these numbers as well. It has always been harder for someone with a record, white or black, to get gainful employment, but with the growing immigrant workforce, there is mounting competition that makes that criminal record even more of a deterrent to hiring. For black men, job market hurdles grow ever larger

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There are always interesting essays at The Black Electorate, a great resource for African American news. Editor Cedric Muhammad write this one titled, WANTED: The Non-Threatening Negro in response to the recent report noting the lack of black faces on Sunday morning news shows and television in general.

"The Fear Of A Free Black Intellectual, Whether Fox News, The New York Times, NPR, BET or The Dave Chappelle Show"

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It's not all bad news. Real Health Magazine: Guide to Black Wellness focuses on health issue within the community with a large emphasis on HIV/AIDS. Hilary Beard writes about how some fatherhood programs and loving men are part of the rebirth of the black family. Father's Day.
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THE N-WORD -- HIP HOP & AFRICA -- BLACKS POLITICALLY HOMELESS

8.15.2005

I'm back on the regular now.

Gregory Kane, my favorite columnist at BlackAmericaWeb is at it again with his recent column titled, Think of Yourself as the N-Word, and You'll Never Be More Than That. This article takes from an idiotic DVD with real criminals (many who were subsequently arrested thanks to the DVD - morons)warning against "snitching," which was made famous because NBA Star Carmelo Anthony appeared in it. Of all things, what really struck Kane was how many times the N-word was used in the video and this article gives his opinion of what effect that has on those involved.

Kaia Niambi Shivers writes about how Hip Hop Aides Africa In The Worst Way for The Black Electorate. This is apparently in response to Live 8. What angle is she taking? Here's an excerpt:

"I don't know what saddens me most, hip-hop artists participating in aid-to-Africa relief concerts organized by Europeans and white Americans, or our lack of trusting and supporting aid campaigns for Africa conducted through and by African Diaspora inhabitants, particularly blacks in America; or better yet, black people getting the hell up and taking a trip to the birthplace of their lineage. You know what I mean, using the money you could've blown going to Miami, or the Tom Joyner cruise, to invest in a ticket to immerse in the lands housing the beginning of life and help Africa with our own damn hands."

Jeremy Levitt writes about why Blacks must lay foundation for independence movement for the Chi-Town Sun Times. He says blacks are as politically homeless today as we were in the early 20th century.

"African Americans need a new paradigm of political engagement that is independent, uncompromising and not for sale. The "black vote" should be competed for by all in the political marketplace. Black consumer wealth ($660 billion per year) should be leveraged strategically so national and international market forces are forced to compete for it. African Americans, not others, must control the value of their political and economic stock so they can more effectively tackle important issues affecting black existence."

Not a new argument. The only problem I have with this is when are we going to stop nodding our heads to this and start doing it?
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RACE & POLITICS AT NABJ

8.11.2005


Part of my time in Atlanta was spent at the National Association of Black journalists Conference. Great time, good people, all that.

I heard President Clinton speak on what his foundation, The William J. Clinton Foundation, is doing on childhood obesity/diabetes and HIV/AIDS in Africa. Now, I'll be the first to admit that Clinton is a gifted speaker. The man is a genius and can make even the most intelligent people believe everything he is doing is good for them, but looking past all of that, I was immensely impressed by the progress, organization and purpose of his programs. I believe President Clinton, even more than Carter, will make the biggest difference in the world, post-Presidency.


E&P: Bill Clinton Addresses NABJ, Calls for More Blacks Among Washington Press Corps
BlackNews.com: Former President Clinton Talks Diversity and Responsibility At NABJ Convention
Oxford Press: Clinton rips Georgia's voter ID bill

He was also asked a series of questions by members of the audience, the last one being one of the most interesting. It was mentioned how much black folks love him and how he is doing all this and that, but the Cosby issue came up and Clinton was asked if he had any "constructive criticism/advice" for black people. As usual, he made a strong statement, stated simply with just the right wording to keep his detractors squirming for a response. Ultimately, and I'm paraphrasing here, we are responsible for ourselves. Despite all the programs and policies we've had, only blacks can prevent our self destruction. Where we are is about our choices and our ability to take responsibility for our problems, regardless of who originally caused them.

Like he said, "You have to give yourself permission to walk away from your child."

Jesse Jackson and Dick Gregory led a session on the renewal of the Voting Rights Act and I will say that it has encouraged me to speak out to my representative in Congress. I was somewhat apathetic about the issue, but I think with the current cloud over voting rights and issues, it is more important than ever that we renew all that is expiring in the Act. Honestly, I could barely understand anything Jesse said; he was mumbling through most of it and Dick Gregory seemed unable to do anything but blame the white man and yell at us for not realizing how our very existence is cloaked in racism. It was pretty embarrassing, really. Still, it's the message that I'm focused on; not the messengers so much.
Worldandnation: Panel fears backsliding on voting rights

There was also a session where DNC Chair Howard Dean and RNC Chair Ken Mehlman spoke to a big crowd on their strategies for the upcoming years. Now, I am not a Republican, but it was ridiculous how much better Mehlman was than Dean. My friend, Regina, sitting next to me even wrote a note and slid it to me saying, "The Democrats are Doomed" while Mehlman was speaking. I'm talking a sound strategy at the local level, several solid candidates and a knowledge of the numbers (which we all know can be manipulated to meet needs, but were used so intelligently here). Dean, on the other hand, took the route the Democrats have for a while; opposition. While Mehlman spoke of what Republicans are doing about issues important to blacks, Dean spoke about how we can't trust them; how their past is all that matters. I wasn't impressed.
Washington Times: GOP chief's pitch to blacks disavows past
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BLACK PROGRESS IN CRISIS

8.02.2005

I'm off to Atlanta for a week, so here is a parting word.

We've read recent articles on the stagnation of black progress from various resources, but this article in the Houston Chronicle caught my attention:

For first time since slavery, black lives not improving

In his column, William Raspberry says, "There is a crisis of unprecedented magnitude in the black community, one that goes to the very heart of its survival. The black family is failing."

You can't underestimate the affect the demise of the traditional family has had on the current state of Black America. A strong family unit is crucial to spiritual, economic, intellectual strength and progress for every race of people. It always has been and always will be. It isn't going to stop being necessary just because people abandon it.

As much as we may want to blame institutions, governments and programs for the harm or good they do for us, it is our family unit that makes the man or woman and with that going down the tubes, there is nothing that can help us. We have to bring that back together if we are to survive. We need to accept that, although it would be so much easier, there are no outside solutions.

On that positive note, I'm off to have fun (and a little business) in the Dirty South. I'll see you later. Have a good week and try to fall in love with somebody.
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LOCAL RACE & POLITICS UPDATE

8.01.2005

DETROIT
According to the Detroit Free Press, Kwame Kilpatrick, the controversial and seeming always under investigation mayor of Detroit, has got some stiff competition for the upcoming race. At least in terms of $$$$, as if there was anything else that mattered in campaigns these days.

"Freman Hendrix has raised more than three times as much money as Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick this year in what, with 3 1/2 months to go before the general election, is already the most expensive mayoral race in Detroit history."

The people of Detroit have gotten scandal weary and are definately looking for someone new. The hip hop mayor looks to be on his way out.

MIAMI
We've all heard about the former Miami city official who committed suicide by shooting himself in the lobby of the Miami Herald. One always wonders, can it be that bad? Well, in addition to allegedly lying to get multi-million dollar contracts, being convicted of threatening a police officer, the former commissioner is suspected of having contacts with drug dealers, crooked contractors and prostitutes, including a male transvestite.
BAW: Embattled Former City Official Commits Suicide in Miami Herald Lobby
OrlandoSentinel.com: Ex-commissioner's suicide stuns Miami


CLEVELAND
Another contract granting scandal hits an ex-Cleveland mayor, Michael White, who was the city's longest serving mayor. Nothing new here, but White, who lives comfortably on his farm and probably thought controversy was behind him, can't be too happy.
ONN. Ohio News Now: Ex-mayor turned farmer at center of corruption probe

MEMPHIS
Here's a story on the embattled Fords of Memphis. We all know Congressman Ford Jr who shines on Capitol Hill and unfortunately, we know about the scandal that has touched his father when he was in office and the buck wild stuff going on with his uncle. Unfornately, there's more. Many outside of Memphis don't know that this family is a bit of a local dynasty. Bonna de la Cruz talks about it in the Tennessean.com.

"They are members of a political dynasty that stretches back to the 1890s and has reached from the city council to the statehouse to the halls of Congress. They are meeting perhaps their biggest challenges now, as one faces federal bribery charges and another tries to become the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee."
The Fords of Memphis: Service and scandal define a dynasty - Sunday, 07/31/05
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