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STEELE --- DEMS FEAR HIM

10.31.2005


The big news in Maryland is that Lt. Governor Micheal Steele announced he is running for the Maryland U.S. Senate seat in 2006 and the Republicans are just so, so giddy over this. They are salivating at not only another strong black candidate, but at the chance to humiliate the Democrats in a state that was supposed to be theirs once again.

Washington Times: Democrats eye blacks for No. 2 on ticket
WAPO: Steele Vows to Link Democrats, GOP
Michelle Malkin: MICHAEL STEELE AND THE SAMBO SMEAR
NewsMax: Lt. Gov. Michael Steele Has Democrats Worried
Washington Times: Racial Slurs against Michael Steele
FOXNews.com: Md.'s Lieutenant Gov. Stands Up Legislative Black Caucus

The Democrats aren't going down without a fight. Although the party has made it clear they want to back Cardin, a white candidate instead of Mfume, who is black for various reasons, they are looking to back Cardin up with a black Lt. Governor. I don't think it will be enough. Steele is making himself known in the communities among MD, especially Baltimore and PG County; something Mfume simply has no desire to do. Also, the money is on Steele's side.

We'll keep an eye out to see what happens, but I have a feeling the deal's done in the M.D.
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MY FIRST & FINAL WORD ON PARKS

10.30.2005


I'm back and a little backed up, so I'll be brief.

Rosa Parks passed, and like many blacks, I've heard the stories of how she was one of many who did what she did. They talk about all the others who risked their lives, lost their lives to start the struggle that she was just a part of. They say she wasn't all that special, but she was. They all were and if we could honor them all, we would but that would be impossible.

Throughout history a certain person comes by at the right time, under the right situation and becomes the symbol for everyone like them. Rosa is that person that we have embodied a movement in. I'm really glad she's going to be at the Rotunda tonight and tomorrow too. If not just to outrage the racists that still exist, then to get a sister up in the joint for the first time.

Thanks Rosa and God Bless!


At the Baltimore Sun, conservative columnist says that blacks of today have failed this heroine of civil rights.
The Washington Post writes about the Bus Ride That Shook a Nation's Conscience.
Here is Rosa Parks'Wikipedia Bio
At an AME church in Alabama today, Condi Rice says that without Rosa Parks' bravery, she wouldn't be standing here today
The Black Commentator - A Moment of Silence for Rosa Parks
Black News Weekly: The Civil Rights Conspiracy has come full circle with Rosa Parks' honor at Capitol
VOA News: Rosa Parks to be Honored in Formal Ceremony in US Capitol Building
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ODDS & ENDS BEFORE I GO

10.25.2005


I'm off to Seattle, so I'll see you next week. Here are a few thoughts to leave you with.

This story at BlackAmericaWeb discusses the condition of healthcare for blacks. Study Says Blacks Living in Majority-White Countries Have Poorer Health. I guess blacks in Africa fare much better. Hmmmmm.

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A lot of members of Congress are blogging on the DailyKos.com liberal blog, which I kind of have a problem with. This is a very liberal site that can get a bit psychotic at times (there are plenty of conservative sites that do the same). Do members of Congress want to be associated with that? I think it might come back to them at election time. Here are a few:
John Conyers: Nonpartisan GAO Confirms Security Flaws in Voting Machines
Barack Obama: Thanks for the feedback
Brad Miller: It's past time for an Iraq exit strategy

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Another article following up the Million More March. I know it's a dead subject, but it deserves more than one week. Washington Times: Forget speeches; real movements require action
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RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP

10.23.2005


Here's an AP article quoting former Republican VP candidate and former HUD secretary Jack Kemp as in favor of allowing ex-cons vote after they've served their sentences.
ABC News: Kemp Says Ex-Felons Should Be Able to Vote

Not a fan of the idea. Okay, for some crimes after time has passed and probation is over without incident, people should be able to reapply for their right to vote, but not everyone. Not murderers, not rapists, not child molesters. These are people who can never give back fully what they took away, so why shouldn't at least this be held back from them?

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James Thwinda at the ultra-liberal site, Black Commentator, writes his opinion of How Black Conservatives Hurt Their Cause. Thwinda tells black conservatives not to expect any flock of black folks anytime soon. He argues against the general criticism of black conservatives and accuses them of the same self interest that most liberals do. You know, the same old stuff.

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At BlackAmericaWeb, Tonyaa Weathersbee says Blacks Must Start Paying for Our Politics Like We Pay for Vacations. She gives her observations of the untapped political potential of the black middle class. Basically, if you have the money to go on a cruise, you have the money to claim a stake in your political future. Something like that.
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BLACKS & FAITH

10.20.2005


Blacks and faith is a sensitive subject for me because I've seen such hypocrisy existing within the community. First, let me state that I know this isn't different than in the white or any other community, but I'm talking about my folks here.

I see black folks yelling to the rooftops how much they love them some Jesus and then act a straight fool every day. I'm not talking about the sin of existence we all hold and I'm not talking about the sin of mistakes we all make. I'm talking deliberately, willingly leading wrong lives with every intention of getting up the next day and doing the same. I'm not saying this isn't their choice, because the bible says life and God are about choice as long as you're willing to take the consequences. It just bothers me that these same people claim to be true followers of Christ.

Yes, I am one of those who says who has a right to say who is Christian or not, but it isn't really that gray is it? Too many of us, and I'm not excluding myself, think that being a Christian means loving Christ and saying, "God knows what's in my heart," but acting in whatever way we please. We pray to God to hear our prayers knowing as we pray that we intend on committing at least one of the ten commandments right after we say Amen. The bible says we will be judged by heart and deed and will not be able to fool God on judgment day about either.


Here are some interesting articles on blacks and faith I've read recently:
BAW: New Poll Says Black Coeds Practice Religion More Than Other Students
BlackNews.com: Mainstream Evangelical Magazine Takes A Hard Look At The Divide Between African American Christians and Evangelicals
Beliefnet.com: The Black Church and Hurricane Katrina by Michael Eric Dyson
People For the American Way - African American Ministers Convene to Address the State of Black America
Connection: For Some Blacks, Judaism is Home

A wise woman told me once, "God's love is free, but his salvation is not. No matter how much he loves you and you love him, you must earn your key to his Kingdom in deed and heart."
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RESPARATIONS - AS EDDIE CALLS THEM

10.19.2005


My least favorite topic to discuss because this is one of those issues where people are so polarized and emotional about it, intelligent discussion is almost impossible.

Although I am in favor of reparations for victims of white riots in the early and middle 1900s where entire businesses, homes and lives were lost because whites couldn't stand black prosperity, I am not in favor of the reparations argument for black descendents of slaves today.

This article at FrontPage Magazine is by David Horowitz, an unapologetic conservative who is clearly against reparations. Not So Forgiving: The Reparations Argument Revisited by David Horowitz

Hat tip to Booker Rising, my fav blog, for this Brown Daily Herald article by Ross Frazier on liberterian John McWhorter's criticism of reparations. Campus News: Author criticizes reparations movement

New America Media has an article by Kevin Herrera that says Survey Shows Most Blacks Favor Slavery Reparations.

"Eighty-nine percent of blacks believe the federal government should offer a combination of cash payments, debt forgiveness and social welfare programs to compensate for the devastating effects of slavery and racial segregation, according to a new survey released Tuesday."

I just don't believe that number is true.

What's the point of going into it? I always have the same questions and doubts, but get no answers; only counters. I hate the "what I'm owed" mentality that isn't just limited to the black reparations issue. It only breeds entitlement and animosity which leads to people rivers apart and eventually more hatred and violence.

I'm angry now, so a kitty picture to calm me down. Enjoy!
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POVERTY'S PRICE

10.18.2005

As Katrina moves further away from us, we have to remember the lessons we learned. Mainly, we have to do something about poverty in this country. I'm not promoting a socialist agenda; I'm a pure capitalist, but there is no excuse for this country to have so many people two days from living like animals. Poverty is an enemy and we have to fight it, not turn our back and hope it goes away or pity it, only feeding it's fuel.


Joseph C. Phillips has a good commentary at BlackAmericaWeb on the cycle of poverty tied to out of wedlock births. The Most Effective Anti-Poverty Program Ever Created? Marriage The example he uses in Canton, Ohio is heartbreaking. Statistics like this almost make you want to just give up. I know we can't, but it's painful to see the backwards slide these choices are putting us on.

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Juliana Barbassa's AP Article has gotten a lot of play, especially on liberal websites and blogs like Michael Moore's site.
Study Released on Poverty in the U.S.. In the article she discusses how disadvantaged minority households are trapped in pockets of concentrated urban poverty.

It is true that if you don't have a car or money for public transportation, how are you going to get to the jobs? You walk if you've got legs. It's what my father did as a young man before he could make the money to do otherwise.

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Former welfare mother turned conservative activist Star Parker offers New thinking about fighting poverty.

"More than $7 trillion has been spent on poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson declared his "war on poverty" 40 years ago, with effectively zero impact on overall black poverty. Yet 40 years of failure doesn't seem to be enough to suggest to liberals, black and white, that their approach to poverty might be wrong."

Zero impact is not true. I agree that those programs, although well-intentioned, have helped to diminish personality responsibility and traditional family values such as marriage within the community, but we can't blame all our woes on government programs anymore than we can put all our hopes in them. That said, the article is good.
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A MILLION MORE REFLECTIONS

10.17.2005

I'm reading, seeing and hearing a lot of different reactions to the Million More March this past Saturday. What I heard was a mixture of good and bad, but mostly time wasted ranting against the Bush Administration and ranting about Katrina. This is supposed to be about black men being men and saving black America. For me, that starts with returning to family, marriage and commitment to children. Here is what others have to say:


Black America Web is focusing on the family in their last installment of the Million More series. Note, this was published a few days before the march. BAW: A Million More, Part Three: Strengthening Black Families Post-Katrina

Stanley Crouche's commentary isn't flattering to Farrakhan who he says only showed us that there is nothing original about him. So why is he so popular still?
New York Daily News: A leader only by default

Keith Boykin, a writer a gay activist says that after eight months of discussion and negotiation (with an argument or two included) he was denied the right to speak at the March. So much for the inclusive theme. The Speech That Didn't Happen

The Chicago Defender goes further on the inclusive thing and talks about the lack of non-black faces in the crowd. Few non-Blacks attended Millions More Movement
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BLACK POLLING ON BUSH

10.14.2005

Checking out my favorite DC gossip blogger with the mouth of a sailor Wonkette, Politics for People with Dirty Minds, I saw a post discussing this headline on a post at The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington's popular very, very left-leaning blog:

"NBC/WSJ Poll: 2% Of African-Americans Give President Bush A Positive Rating..."

Would be interesting enough to look further, which Wonkette did:

"While two percent grabs headlines and make Tim Russert all wriggly ("Only 2 percent -- 2 percent!" as he spurted last night), the more significant number is buried in report. Dug up by Dan Froomkin, it's this: Out of 807 surveyed for the poll, only 89 were black. As Froomkin puts it, "there is a considerable margin or error." Our statistics are rusty, but it seems like it could be high as +/- 10 percent."

Here is the article by Dan Froomkim at the WAPO: A Polling Free-Fall Among Blacks

As Froomkim states, the recent Pew Research Center poll shows approval at 12%, which is still down post Katrina, but probably a more accurate sampling. Summary of Findings: Plurality Now Sees Bush Presidency as Unsuccessful

End Result: None of it is good news for Bush, but I think we all get that by now.
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SPIKE LEE IS TRIPPIN' THESE DAYS

10.13.2005

I'll put it all on the table and admit that I lost a lot of respect for Spike Lee when he decided to sue the Spike Channel because he thought they were biting off his name. I thought that was the most narcissistic thing I had seen in a long time and that is saying a lot for Hollywood.


That being said, I won't disregard the contributions to film he made prior to that ridiculousness. Despite not really being an really powerful entity in Hollywood anymore, Spike has popped up in the news because he has to pimp his new book, Spike Lee: That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It. Not the most creative title, but I'm not hating on him for that. He has a lot to share. The man was a pioneer in film and media and he was a trailblazer in taking control and not letting his vision be bastardized; at least not by anyone but himself which he of course has the right to do.

First I read from Booker Rising, via Dell Gines, he has decided to speak out against rap, an industry that he built his early image on. CTV.ca: Spike Lee derides gangsta rap lyrics in T.O. speech. I don't really chide him for this either. He's grown, he's matured and rap music has completely disintegrated from what it was when he was a part of it. Public Enemy and KRS1 was what rap was in his heyday.

Now, I hear he is going to produce a film that covers what REALLY happened when the levees broke in New Orleans. Now, I don't doubt the media is trying to push the conspiracy theory of the government blowing the levees to get rid of those pesky poor colored folk in promoting his deal, but it appears Spike is very open to that idea like his buddy Minister Farrakhan is.

SPTimes: Spike Lee plans film on Katrina disaster
Guardian Unlimited Film: Lee to take spiky look at Katrina
Philadelphia Daily News: SPIKE LEE-VEE
TVFodder: Spike Lee Making HBO Doc

I keep telling myself that men are not advanced unless opposing views and alternative ideas are expressed and I have respect for those who don't want to play it safe, so I'm just going to be happy a brother is making a movie. I'm not down with that theory, so I have to hope that Spike is only going to consider it and not try to prop it for political reasons. We don't need a black Michael Moore or another Oliver Stone.
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RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP (PLUS A KITTY TO DIE FOR)

10.12.2005

William Rasberry's WAPO response to Bill Bennett: A Better Cure Than Abortion. He goes past the outrage and disregard for full context to tell a personal story in response to what Bennett was really talking about. I feel no pity for Bennett even though I think his words were blown out of proportion. There was no other response that could have come from saying something like that and he knew it. He's not stupid and he's not naive.

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Michelle Singletary's Color of Money column comes back with more on new laws, going into effect on 10/17, which will raise the minimum payment on credit cards. I agree that although it will be a jolt for a lot of people, ultimately it's a good thing. Unfortunately it is in most people's nature to do only the least of what they have to.

A Much-Needed Jolt for Minimum Payers

A Gallup poll states that Americans are generally down with interracial relationships now. I'm a strong believer that love is where you find it; especially in the case of many black women who will grow old and gray alone if they continue to think only black men can be a good mate for them. It's also interesting that more people (not significantly) approve of white male/black female relationships than black male/white female relationships. I think it does have to with the image of male domination and what reflects that most still makes 'certain' people more comfortable based on what they think is right.
Gallup: Americans Now Support Interracial Dating

Of course this is all cool, but I'm sure some of them are referring to "other" people dating interracially, not necessarily their little boy or girl. I'm not just talking about white people. I've dated interracially and black folks can be just as ugly about it.

Unrelated, but can I just share a picture of this little love? How do you not spoil this one completely rotten? You tell me.

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ARMSTRONG PAYBACK -- THE BC GETS ALL OVER THE CBC

10.11.2005


Rising from the ashes he made for himself, Armstrong Williams might be giving the $$$ back. He's just now deciding this could be the right thing? Then again, he isn't doing it because it was wrong. He says he's doing it because he didn't pimp the program as much as the contract agreed he would. The other problem I have with this is that the administration doesn't deserve the money back because they were just as wrong as he was to do it. He should donate it to charity, but it's been so long, I think the effort would be lost.
USATODAY.com: Commentator says he may return fees

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Ya'll know I love me some BC editorials. The far-left leaning sight has a problem with damn near everything and everyone. I'll agree with the Black Commentator on one thing (God, never thought I'd hear myself say that), there is something wrong with the CBC. This recent article criticizes Mel Watt, head of the CBC on the priority he places on economic issues within the black community.
The Black Commentator: Congressional Black Caucus Chief Rejects Need to Account

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Just as an aside update, I've been following the flack in Tennessee where the state black caucus would not admit a white member. Here is the latest:

WATE6: Black Caucus says it may let Campfield in as honorary member
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PRE-MILLION MORE MARCH HOOPLA

10.10.2005

With the Million Man March Remix coming up this weekend, a lot of commentaries are being written and a lot of interviews conducted on its relevance, power, symbolism and importance. A lot of people have different views. I personally think marching is great, but what you do when you get back home is what matters. What I saw last year were a lot of people saying what should be and what ought to be, but not really doing anything.

60s style marches don't have the same relevance as they did in the day because the world has change; thanks to those 60s marches. Will this be about waxing poetic on how things should be? Will this be about blaming others and saying what they ought to be doing for us? I swear if another person gets on a mic only to proclaim what is owed to them, I'll throw up. It's such a waste of valuable time and influence.

On the other hand, will it be about action plans and strategies to make real changes? Will it be about realizing that our destiny is only in our hands whether or not it should be shared by others? Will it be about refocusing our effects on the things/people that lift us up rather than idolizing and admiring the things/people who bring us down? Will it be about commitments that the rest of the community will not only hold these men to, but support them in keeping?

I have to be honest and say I'm not hopeful considering who is in charge of the march, but I could be wrong. I pray to God I am.

Orlando Sentinel:'Millions More' message larger than messenger
Millions More Movement
BlackElectorate.com: The Black Left and the Millions More Movement
WorldNetDaily: Conservative blacks plan counterpoint to Farrakhan
Gay.com: With friends like these
Tallahassee Democrat: March stirs mild interest
The State: Millions More event a call to action, not just to march
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WHO SET HIM UP THIS TIME?

10.06.2005


Whenever I see a picture or hear the name of Marion Barry, I think of the words he yelled when the cops busted into his hotel room. "The b*^%# set me up!" Snorting coke in a hotel room with a hooker. I mean it really doesn't get any better than that.

Despite it all, Marion Barry has made a comeback. He's now a member of the D.C. City Council. Now, he's in trouble again and I think we can all agree, the I.R.S. can make you wish you were caught snorting coke in a hotel room with a whore.

He hasn't been paying his taxes for several years now. He used to pay taxes, so he decided one year he was not going to anymore. Not sure how that works and apparently, it doesn't.

Oh yeah, I forgot - Allegedly

BAW: Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Facing New Troubles: Tax Evasion
MSNBC & WAPO: Marion Barry is the focus of a federal tax probe
ABC 7 News - Tax Allegations Won't Impact Barry's Office
Ex-DC Mayor Barry Investigated for Not Paying Taxes
Councilmember Marion Barry

Of all the people in the world you don't want to mess with, the I.R.S. is on the top of that list. Especially if you're someone the government already has a problem with. They will chase your butt to hell to get their money.
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LOCAL RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP

I knew this little nothing of a story would reveal something. I wrote a while ago about the TN state black caucus denying a white state congressman entry into the group. It wasn't a good idea, but the guy took it too far by saying they were worse than the KKK because at least the KKK didn't 'say' only whites can join.

So, a few days and some research later, public scrutiny has more eyes on what the group does than before and recent financial filings have uncovered some no-nos.

The Tennessean: Rent paid by Black Caucus

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Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, is the first black man to hold this position and he has recently announced he wants to run again. White has a long history in Chicago, including playing for the Cubs and the Jesse White tumbling group which Chicagoans will remember from time outs at the Bulls games. He's 75 and still kicking it on 4 hours of sleep a night. This is a very powerful position to hold in a city where politics is everything.

"All my life I've always wanted to be the best I could be and I offer this bit of wisdom to young people," he said. "In life always look up. The only time you should look down is to tie your shoe."

Chicago Defender: White wants to continue serving Illinois residents

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Detroit has a racial divide? How is that possible? Isn't everyone that lives there, black? Oh, I get it; Metro Detroit. I love that term; code for the white people who live safely away from Detroit. Okay, so they have a racial divide and appareantly, there is one guy to blame. Coleman Young who was mayor from 74-93, was the city's first black mayor and many blame him for building the racial walls in the city.

Nichole Christie of the FREEP doesn't think it's fair to drag Young back into the mix now that the city is so disappointed with its state after Kwame Kilpatrick messed things up.

Do not lay blame for race problems at Young's feet
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CREDIT, DEBT & BANKRUPTCY - OH MY!

10.04.2005

Michelle Singletary's WAPO column, The Color of Money, is always an interesting read. I've seen her speak and she is waaaaay too frugal for me, but even if one takes half of her advice, you'll retire richer.

WAPO: We'll Have to Pay More. Good!

Credit is a serious problem for a lot of people and bad credit ratings are more likely to be behind denial of homes, apartments, cars and all those other things that many black folks blame on racism. It's a sad thing, because it's like a floating joke in the community how bad our credit is. It really isn't funny and although some of it can be blamed on predatory lending targeting less educated blacks, it's frankly irresponsible.

So with new bankruptcy and credit card laws coming into effect, of course there will be the few who say, "These are deliberately created to discriminate against black folks," and some will say it's big business knocking the little man down. There is no way these bills won't hurt some people who don't deserve it. Some people barely make the minimum payment on their credit cards, but who can they blame? Many, regardless of race, have several cards all maxed out. This is going to lead to what? Bankruptcy?

Those laws are changing too as of October 17th. It's not to say this is all about people who don't want to pay the penalty for trying to live above their means. We all make mistakes and many of us have gotten bad financial advice that led to poor decisions. Look at Hurricane victims, people destroyed due to health problems or divorces. Like every other bill or law, this won't be fair to everyone.

Generally, I think it's going to force more personal responsibility when it comes to credit and borrowing. It's just the shame that the education doesn't come along with the bill. If more people understood credit, what their options and their rights were, they would be better prepared to face the new credit & bankruptcy laws. Overall, it may take time and some hard lessons learned, but this could be a good thing.


The Black Commentator: Credit, Conspicuous Consumption and Crisis in Black America

BlackNews.com: What Blacks Should Know About Bankruptcy

Post-Gazette: Higher minimum payments on credit cards bring pain
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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS & BLACK FOLK

10.03.2005

One of the problems that exist within the black community is our general inclination to accept conspiracies. It isn't all to be blamed on the so called leaders who fill our heads with the idea that someone is trying to get us. The history of America's relationship with blacks has included several conspiracies to use, misuse, mistreat and otherwise screw over black folk.

That doesn't excuse those in our community who profess that there are a group of white men sitting in a room in the White House, Pentagon, Capitol Hill or wherever discussing how they can further screw over black folk. No matter what law or bill is enacted at a state or federal level, you will find some black leaders who will say it is designed to disadvantage black folks; such as laws requiring an I.D. to vote keeping blacks from the polls or that the government put dynamite to the levees in New Orleans to get rid of the poor blacks.

I don't have a problem with being suspicious of government. I actually think it is a healthy and very American thing to question your government;s motives and actions, but I find most of these theorists to be irresponsible and basically ignorant. It would be funny if ignorance wasn't so dangerous.

Here is a recent article discussing conspiracies and black people, including the convening of the Congressional Black Caucus at the recent Legislative conference.
The Weekly Standard: March of the Conspiracy Theorists

Why do we choose to be the almost exclusive victims of powers outside of our control whether or not there is any sufficient evidence to support it? It certainly can't be considered the intellectual choice. Yes, we have been wronged in the past and I'm not in any way downplaying those injustices, but how does that make us different than many other races throughout the history of time?

Our decision to believe in these powerful conspiracies is helping the spread of AIDS, keeping us from accessing opportunities and sources of knowledge and promoting general ignorance. How do we create the right perspective of skepticism based on experience and realistic analysis, or demand, of the facts?
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CONGRESSIONAL ROUNDUP

10.02.2005


Rep. John Conyers of Detroit pushed legislation adding crimes against gays as hate crimes and it passed the house. It was tacked on to a sex offender bill, which may have something to do with it. I was surprised because Republicans have not only been against hate crime legislation in general, but anything placing sexual orientation on the same level as race or religion.

FREEP: Conyers' hate crimes expansion added to sex offender bill

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Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas has introduced a proposal for low-income engaged couples in the District to establish savings accounts eligible for matching funds for the purpose of buying a home, sending a child to college or starting a business. The program would also provide support to organizations that are working to provide services to low-income engaged couples considering marriage.
Courant.com: A Marriage Proposal

Since this is the district, it will of course mostly effect blacks, but not exclusively. I'm in favor of anything that promotes marriage, family and helps married couples just starting out, but where is the $3 million this will cost going to come from? Yes, it may be conservative idealism, but it is practical and will probably be much more effective than other programs currently costing more than $3 million.

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I guess the people of Rep Cynthia McKinney's district in Georgia aren't in need of anything too serious, because she's decided to make her newest campaign introducing legislation to open the United States government files on the life and death of Tupac Shakur. Come on, now.

So, what are we looking for? The government had Tupac killed because they were afraid of his power? I mean, it wasn't like there was anything else going on in his life that would make him likely to be killed for any other reason. Or maybe he's not dead at all.

ThugLifeArmy.com Keeping The Legacy Alive
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