MY LATEST BLOG POSTINGS!

GOODBYE TO A QUEEN

1.31.2006


I've always wondered if Coretta Scott King remained the grieving widow because of public pressure. Were we, and our need for symbolism, the reason she stayed looking basically the same since her husband's tragic death? Did she want something different with her life in the 80s, 90s? Did she want a career unrelated to her image like Jackie O with publishing? Maybe with her music, which I hear she was very good at. Did she want to get married again? Did she want to change her looks (Oprah tried with her)? I wonder if she felt a duty to remain the symbol of the lost hero and the guardian of our memory of him.


Bless her heart. How many times did she wish she had a husband that didn't have a calling? How many nights did she wish for a husband who came home at 6:30 every night and spent his Saturdays cleaning the grill in the backyard? He was meant for more than that and so was she.

I certainly hope President Bush gives her a shout out during the SOTU tonight.


Here are some shoutouts from all over the web:
Pacific News Service: Coretta Was More Than Just King's Wife
TIME.com: Appreciations
The Wilmington Journal: Coretta Scott King Shared and Continued Dr. King's Dream
La Shawn Barber's Corner: Coretta Scott King, 1927-2006
RAGGED THOTS: King For A Day, Queen For A Time
MSNBC: Coretta Scott King, guardian of a legacy
WAPO: First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement Remembered
Dell Gines: The Death of a Queen: RIP Coretta Scott King (Where do we go from here?)

I didn't agree with every cause of Mrs. Scott King, such as her belief that criminals should be allowed to vote even while they were serving their sentences, but I understand the enormous sacrifice she has made and her undying commitment to her values and beliefs and those of her husband. What really saddens me is that after a few minutes of grieving over this loss to our nation, you know all those fools (and you know names are not necessary) are already volleying for position at her funeral.
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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION UPDATES

1.30.2006


Rep. Curtis Richardson in Florida writes his commentary at BlackElectorate.com on his opinion of FL Governor Jeb Bush's One Florida policy, eliminating affirmative action. He's not a happy camper. BlackElectorate.com: Bush Policies Caused Decline In Minority College Enrollment.

Here is Jeb Bush's recent article on the issue: TBO: Minority Initiatives To Boost Enrollment

You know wherever AA-hater Ward Connelly is, there's going to be some ugliness. This article covers his recent visit to a University where he got some of the usual, but he's used to it now. Newshound: Affirmative action critic speaks at SIUC. I do not like this guy.

This was an interesting article in the Detroit Free Press telling Ward Connelly and his boys that they are about to lose on all the work they've done in Michigan. How to lose the battle over affirmative action

The Rebel Yell at UNLV has dueling commentaries on the AA issue. The Rebel Yell: Article: Affirmative Action perpetuates racial divisions unnecessarily.
The Rebel Yell: Article: Affirmative Action still needed to combat inequality

In other AA issues, a group of minority contractors in Ft. Worth have a problem with not getting their fair share of construction projects with the new big hotel. Fort Worth Business Press. They say they aren't going to be happy with less than 25% of the business based on a local AA ordinance. How do you make demands as if you're owed something that is a set aside? Not only do we demand you give us the business regardless of our qualification, but we demand you give us 25%. Where constructing a major building is concerned, aren't there safety issues? Should diversity really be the primary objective?
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I AINT SAYING HE'S A BLASHPHEMER....

1.27.2006

But he aint afraid of no overexposure.

My very pitiful attempt at punning Kanye's rap aside, I'm not going to comment on it too much. Enough has been said. I'm not a fan of the image and I'm not a fan of Kanye (although I don't mind the way he dresses). He's being overexposed and lauded for mostly wrong things.

Oh yeah, I thought it was very classy that he shared his porn addiction as well. Just as Jesus would do.

CaribPundit: Kanye West, cluelessly egotistical
Dell Gines: Let's Mock The Gays, The Women, The Blacks, & The Muslims
RAPWEEKLY.COM: Kanye West Appears As Jesus For Rolling Stone
Yahoo: West Poses As Jesus for Rolling Stone
WKYC: Controversial photo: Rapper compares himself to Jesus
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NON RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP

1.26.2006


Looking for a Tie Die Dyshiki Pants Set? No, seriously. How about a game of Prosperity? Black Enterprise has an article on iZaniamarket, the ethnic ebay wannabe. BE: If You Build It, Will They Come?.

Street and Industry bills itself as where the block and the boardroom live with tabs such as The Deal Room and Power Directory. I think it's supposed to be some type of black news/business blog, but looks kind of like a rap video on the web.

Don't even get me started on how many sisters need to read up on this article. Chicago Tribune: Too sexy for work?

When I heard about all the NFL head coach's openings this upcoming year and saw how well three black head coaches did this season, I was thinking there would have to be some brothers moving up. I mean ten spots. Come on. Well, not so fast. ABC News: Despite Openings, No New Black Coaches. Florida Today; Minorities Get Shut Out

The history of African American greek life on campus is going to be celebrated at Vanderbilt University. Yeah, Vanderbilt. VNS: 100 Years of African American Greek Life To Be Marked At Vanderbilt. The first black greek The first African American Greek organization in the United States, Alpha Phi Alpha, was founded at Cornell University in December of 1906. I hope we hear about more campuses celebrating black greeks from my source, The Black Greek Network.
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RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP

1.25.2006


Black Activists weigh in on the wiretapping issue. BAW: Black Activists: Bush's Secret Wiretapping Recalls Days of COINTELPRO.

Juneteenth celebration is coming to D.C. Is a small town in Texas being the last to find out slaves were free a National celebration? Bush doesn't seem to think so. Congress hopes to change his mind. 7th Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance
Returns to the Nation's Capitol
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This is a little old, but some time back a lot of folks were criticizing the Congressional Black Caucus for getting on Bush about not responding to Katrina while they were keeping their Katrina money in the Foundation's pockets. AXcessNews.com: Congressional Black Caucus Accused of Holding Back Katrina FundsI think many of us were expecting a very, very nice CBC Holiday party. Well, the CBC has responded. Black Enterprise: CBC Foundation Denies Claims of Withholding Katrina Funds.

Another study on how black women are not getting the healthcare that they need. It's a two way street, sisters. We have got to go in for our check ups!!!! Co-pays are not that expensive and if you are poor, there are free clinics. No one likes a pap smear; especially if you're not getting any. Yahoo: Poorer Black Women Going Without Pap SmearsIt's easy to say, what do I need a pap smear for, I'm not getting any action. Do it anyway!
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HOPE FOR AFRICA

1.24.2006

Africa is the international challenge and opportunity of the early 21st century. If we can do something about the awful dictators ruling most of Africa's countries and promoting the tribal and ethnic warfare, there are resources that can be used to bring Africa to the international stage. Most Africans are eager to be a part of the new Flat World and make New Africa the place that everyone hoped it would become when its countries gained independence from the colonies. But health, education, violence, political instability, population and environmental issues continue to make the entire continent a huge gamble.


With the African Union meeting this week, there are a ton of articles on the state of Africa and news in that region which is not something you find often. Here are some I found interesting:

SudanTribune:AU summit opens with focus on peace, unity
Reuters: African Leaders to Seek Peacekeepers in Somalia
CNN.com: Nine dead in attack in Nigeria
SudanTribune: Sudan blames US for African Union chairmanship loss
Xinhua: African Union's Sixth Summit Wraps Up
USATODAY.com: Unknown number still missing in Kenya collapse
ReliefWeb: African Union summit focuses on improving the continent's education and bringing peace to Darfur
allAfrica.com: AU, EU Share Responsibility to Fight Corruption in Africa
MSNBC: Liberian becomes Africa's first female presidentCNN.com: Clinton expands program for cheaper AIDS drugs
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BLACK FAMILY ISSUES

1.23.2006


I'm torn. I think I should promote sites like this - African American Relationships Institute - but then I'm like, why we gotta have a website to tell us how to act like we have some sense with each other? Hat tip to Booker Rising.

With today being the big Roe vs Wade confrontation, I would be remiss not to lend a nod to issues regarding black abortion which continues to be a painful and difficult issue within black families across America. Here is BlackGenocide.org, an anti-abortion organization. I spent an hour searching for a black pro-choice group and could not find one that wasn't just for college students or something like that. So check out Planned Parenthood's page explaining Margaret Sanger's commitment to the black community which has been put to question for a long, long time. The Truth About Margaret Sanger.

Gills Triplett is a motivational speaker/preacher who writes about black families, marriage, relationships if that's something you're into. How Do You Handle Relationship and Marital Conflict?.


It's a sick shame, but black families are still facing this crap in some places. New York Daily News: Ugly scrawls won't chase family away. That's some b*#@^**!

There's a blog called Superspade with the subtitle of Black Thought At the Highest Level. Okay. Here's something on The Black Family Movement that caught my eye. I do think we need to do more about cleaning up our families before we go talking about what others should be doing about racism or the state of black America. That is unless you think everything wrong with us is somebody else's fault.
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BLACK YOUTH -- BLACK NAMES -- BLACK JESUS

1.19.2006


This is coming in a little late, but an interesting editorial in The Chicago Defender by blogger, What Would You Say If You Weren't Afraid?, and Project 21 member Casey Lartigue on Why Black Youth Must Think Bigger.

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Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? According to the NBER, yes they are. Employers' Replies to Racial Names. This isn't really a new story, but still interesting. As a recruiter in my former life, I definitely saw a different reaction to resumes with these names, but it was a case of class prejudice, not racial prejudice. The fact is that there is a certain stigma of class associated with those types of names. Code word: Ghetto or Project Names.

Everyone knows that middle class and upper class black folks don't name their girls Shaquanna or KaDaniel. There is a perception that someone with that name is not a person of class or intelligence, presence, whatever you want to exude in a corporate setting. Of course it isn't true, but the perception is there. These same hiring managers who did not want to hire Dishwanna to handle their million dollar account didn't turn their nose up at African names. As long as the person was well educated and had great experience, they didn't give me a hard time. So the lesson: Ethnic is a yes, Ghetto is a no.

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I've mentioned Diversity Inc several times on this blog. It's a great website of all issues diversity, business and otherwise. It's a subscription site, but it's well worth the money. Here's an article from their website on a new Black Jesus movie coming out. Personally, I didn't see Jesus as white, nor as a placid savior, but everyone has their artistic view:

Black-Jesus Movie PremieresCompiled by the DiversityInc staff
© 2005 DiversityInc.com®
January 19, 2006
The South African film "Son of Man" portrays Jesus Christ as a modern African revolutionary and aims to shatter the Western image of a placid savior with fair hair and blue eyes. It is billed as the world's first black-Jesus movie.

The South African film, which premieres on Sunday at the U.S. Sundance Festival in Utah, transports the life and death of Christ (registration required) from first-century Palestine to a contemporary African state, Reuters reports.

There are some changes. Jesus, instead of being born in a manger, is born in a shanty-town. His mother, Mary-still a virgin-is feisty and has arguments with the angels.

Gun-wielding authorities fear his message of equality and he ends up hanging on a cross.

"We wanted to look at the gospels as if they were written by spindoctors and to strip that away and look at the truth," director Mark Dornford-May told Reuters in an interview.

The movie, however, shows a Jesus who is more political than religious. "The important thing about the message of Christ was that it is universal. It doesn't matter what he looked like," Dornford-May said.

There was a film called "Black Jesus" made in 1968 and starring Woody Strode, but it is described as a political commentary rather than an interpretation of the life of Christ.

Dornford-May, who says he subscribes to Christ's teachings without necessarily believing he is the son of God, says the Jesus in the film is a divine being who rose from the dead and with his resurrection signals hope for Africa, the world's poorest continent.
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HOTTEST PRESIDENT EVER IS GONE, PLUS LOCAL STUFF

1.18.2006

Okay, I was away on business since Sunday, so I had to DVR 24, my favorite show. I just started watching it and found out that President Palmer was assassinated and I'm devastated. I need time to recover.

Meanwhile, here are some local stories of interest.

Looks like somebody's been showing up at ethnic churches on Sundays. NY1: Spitzer Picks Up Endorsement of Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Spitzer has earned the respect of a lot of New Yorkers by going after the big guys on Wall Street, so I think he has a really good chance. Not to mention all the money he's got in the pot.

Mixing a little of the national and local, covering issues in St. Louis, MO and Carbondale, IL, here's an interesting story about universities attracting minorities without breaking the law. STLtoday: Race Cases Put Colleges To Test. Why would it be breaking the law? That's what I wanted to know. It all harps back to the Michigan case which has universities scrambling to find new ways to attract minorities to their campus.

In Mississippi, Senator Lott has said that he's staying in the game. The Sun Herald: Lott: Not time to quit. Sad thing is, with things going the way they have for Republicans, he's not looking so bad.

Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell's trial is about to start. This was a shame to hear when it came up. OGH: Mayor Bill Campbell indictedNot a surprise, but a shame. So the jurors are being asked a lot of personal questions to test their objectivity. AJC: Questions delve into the attitudes of Campbell jurors. Prosecutors plan to get all up in his personal business (i.e. extramarital affairs). Seems out of place during a trial for bribery charges, but I guess you play you pay.
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RIDICULOUSNESS

1.17.2006

Since the Hillary Clinton gaffe has been over-double-quadruple analyzed, I'll just add the articles and save my two cents. I just think that her picture should be in the dictionary under pandering. I think she hurt her party tremendously. What is this? "And you know what I mean." Do you know what you mean Senator? A plantation is not a place where dissent was not tolerated. A plantation is a place where human beings were enslaved, beaten, killed and raped on a daily basis. But I'm sure what the Democrats on The Hill are going through is similar.

The GOP is going to have a field day with this one and she handed it to him right on a platter. She totally played herself.

NY Times: At King Event, Mrs. Clinton Denounces G.O.P. Leadership
CNN.com: Sen. Clinton: House 'has been run like a plantation'
New York Daily News: Hil's King Day shocker
New York Daily News: A blunder for Clinton?
New York Post: Hill Rips 'Plantation' Pols
Hillary Clinton Slams Bush at King Event
BET: Al Sharpton: Hillary Clinton Right about GOP 'Plantation'
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BEST HOLIDAY LOGO EVER

1.16.2006

THIS IS WHY I LOOOOOOOVE GOOGLE!


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IN SUPPORT OF FREEDOM, JUSTICE, EQUALITY & CIVIL RIGHTS, IF YOU'RE INTO THOSE KINDS OF THINGS

1.15.2006


What is the most memorable thing about Dr. King for me? When he made his speech; his last speech the night before he died. When he was telling the crowd that he wasn't worried about himself because he had been to the mountain top and he had seen the promised land. He looked like he was about to cry; his eyes were watery like he was about to be overwhelmed and turned and walked away. That is an image that I always see when I hear his name. It touched me. He was a wonderful speaker.

One of the things I hate about MLK day is all the people who decide they know what Dr. King would say if he were here today. He would be in favor of this or he would be against that. My favorite are the politicians who look so proud of themselves as they repeat the obligatory INSERT MLK QUOTE HERE in their speeches around this day.

So it should be no surprise that I be the exception to the rule for the purposes of this post and say I think King would be very disappointed in the much of the state of black America today. I think he would say we have lost our focus. I think he would say that those of us who have realized the dream have completely forgotten those who are still reaching for it. I think he would say many have played right into the hands of those who know that keeping us divided prevents us from moving forward.

No, I don't think King envisioned an America where all black people would walk hand in hand because he wasn't a fool and he knew that there are those of us, like there are those of every race, that are nothing but straight fools. Still, I think he would have expected more than this when it comes the personal and moral choices we make and the content or lack of in our arguments with each other.

He would also be very disappointed to hear that I have to go to a conference instead of celebrating his holiday, but that's a post for another day. I will be out of here until Wednesday, so I'll catch you later. Here are some assorted articles on the man, the holiday and issue related:

WAPO: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
News 8 Austin : The religious life and legacy of Dr. King
USATODAY.com: Organizers of MLK memorial quicken pace to get slain leader among greats
The Sunday Times: King Children Split Over Legacy
Science Daily: Many kids never hear King speech
MercuryNews.com: Celebrating spirit of King
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YOU MEAN THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR WHAT I SAY?

1.12.2006

A man like Pat Robertson is only going to be so crazy. Yes, he makes pretty insane statements on a regular basis, but he usually gets made fun of and forgotten. Only this time, he actually paid a serious penalty; it hit plans for his pocketbook.

ACT I
When Israeli PM Sharon suffered a severe stroke, most people thought it was because of an obviously crappy diet, excess weight and a stressful job. Robertson said it was God's smite because Sharon decided to withdraw from the Gaza. Yahoo News: Robertson Links Sharon Stroke, God's Wrath. That doesn't play into Robertson's view of what the bible says is supposed to happen. As if it was possible for a man to mess up God's plan.

ACT II
So, not only did the ADL, the White House, civil rights groups and anyone with a sense of reason feel the comments were inappropriate and crudely time (the man was near death), but word reached Israel. That's when the business hit the fan.

North County Times: Israel freezes contact with Pat Robertson for comments on Sharon stroke
Concord Monitor: Israel ends Robertson development talks
Religioscope: Evangelicals: Israel pulls plug on televangelist's Bible theme park

The man gets banned from the country, which poses quite a challenge to his plans for a $50 million Christian Mecca he planned to build there near sites of extreme religious significance including the northern shore of Galilee, where Jesus walked on water.

ACT III
So what is this? An apology from Robertson? Usually we get nothing. Every now and then, depending on how offensive the comment is, we'll get a "the media misinterpreted me" or "sorry if I offended," which let's face it...the second one is not an apology. It's just saying, "I was right and it's too bad you pagans are so sensitive."

But it looks like this time he is actually apologizing. Now, he did add that the press didn't include the good things he said about Sharon at the same time he mentioned the whole smiting thing.

CBS News: Pat Robertson Apologizes To Israel
FOXNews.com: Pat Robertson Apologizes to Sharon's Son

So what will ACT IV be? I'm Robertson is hoping that the land of the Jews will open their arms to him and let him do his business. As of now, the country has said it is open to building the Christian visitors center with someone else. KRON4: Israel remains 'outraged,' despite Robertson apology. Maybe those Left Behind guys will pick up the mantle. They have loads of money.
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ALITO'S CAP PROBLEMS

1.11.2006

So the big sparks from the day of SCOTUS hearings was the hissy fit between Kennedy & Specter over documents that are supposed to shed light on Judge Alito's involvement with CAP: Concerned Alumnus of Princeton, said to be a group of Princeton conservatives who had a problem with women and minorities on campus. Some of the statements made by this group are pretty ugly, but Alito seemed adamant that he wasn't aware of them and doesn't believe in anything of the such. What else was he going to say?

Daily Kos: Alito Hearing Drama
People For the American Way:Alito: CAP and Credibility
Newsday: Alito denies involvement in Princeton alumni group
National Review Online: Concerned Alumni of Princeton
U.S. Newswire : "RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Responds to Sen. Kennedy's Outrageous Attacks of Judge Alito"

The problem that I have with this is that he has no recollection of anything about this group, including when he was actually a member. Despite that, he choose to put it on an application in 1985, so his memory loss is 20 years old. I'm wondering why he choose to put that group affiliation on his application if it meant so little to him that 20 years later he can't remember a thing about it?

Maybe because he felt that his membership in this "conservative" group would make him look good for this particular application. That means he knew exactly what the group stood for in 1985.

I think there is more here.
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ACTING WHITE & THE CONSERVATIVE CONSPIRACY

1.10.2006

Ras Baraka, Newark, NJ's councilman-at-large shares his theory on the never-ending issue of what in the heck does "acting white" mean in an article at BlackElectorate.com. Debunking The Myth of Acting White. Well actually the article is his analysis and concern over politicians like IL Senator Barack Obama and Newark Mayoral candidate Cory Booker.

"These new young black conservative democrats pop up from virtually nowhere, Ivy League educated and well versed in black quotations and Civil rights trivia. On the surface they appear as a Godsend. The new black leadership we were long waiting for, but upon further examination or if you follow the money trail you will find some strange ultra conservative folks hanging around."

As someone who heard the "she thinks she's white" throughout highschool because I wanted to study instead of hang out, I'm not going to go all the way with Ras on this one. It is not a complete myth that blacks think being educated is acting white. When I reached college, I can't even tell you how happy I was to find black friends who wanted to excel and knew that the key was working hard and not feeling entitled. They also shared the same experiences as I did when they were in high school.

I have several nieces and nephews and many of them have experienced similar things. What I have noticed is that the higher the economic class of blacks, the less that happens. So as with most problems facing us in America, it's not about race, but about economic class.
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LOCAL RACE & POLITICS ROUNDUP

1.09.2006


VIRGINIA
There's a controversy in VA about restoring voting rights to the 243,000 residents in Virginia who have been convicted of a felony and it involves Gov Warner, who is likely to be a Presidential candidate in 2008. Are Black Politicians Suppressing Black Votes for Gov. Mark Warner.

"Over half of those disenfranchised in Virginia are black. As a result, one of every six black adults in Virginia cannot vote due to a felony (including 25% of black men)."

CHICAGO
Good news for the black press. Chicago Defender: Say It's Profitable for First Time in Two Decades. The paper has seen better days, especially at the whole debacle with Pearl Stewart stepping down after only two months. The article gives credit to Roland Martin, Executive Editor. I've been to several conference were Martin has questioned the big wigs and I've seen his very left lean. But I have to hand it to him. At the NAMME convention, he dug into Kwesi Mfume impressively.

IOWA CITY
DesMoinesRegister.com: Iowa City Chooses Black Mayor, but that's only the beginning.

GHANA BY WAY OF MICHIGAN
Yes, I said Ghana. Check out the photo on this brother. Freep: Conyers' ex-aide arrested in Africa. He cheated farmers out of $150,000.



SALEM, MASS
From burning any woman who had a black cat to electing an openly gay and black mayor. The Boston Globe: Inaugurals feature bit of history, fresh starts

LADERA HEIGHTS, CA
The folks of the upper-class black neighborhoods in Ladera Heights want to annex their school system! LA Times: Parents Want to Ditch City's Schools. An argument for vouchers. They can all go to the also upper-class black neighborhood next door, View Park Prep.

PENNSYLVANIA
We all know by now that former football great and current Republican, Lynn Swann, is going to run for Governor of Pennsylvania. Post Gazette: Swann enters governor's race as Republican
SwannForGovernor.com
The Herald Standard: GOP leaders react to Swann's declaration
Philadelphia Daily News | 01/07/2006 | Stumping here, Swann fumbles

CHICAGO
Okay, so this isn't politics, but check it out: Bears' Smith edges mentor Dungy for Coach of Year. Go Bears!!!!!!!!!!
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ON BOOKS

1.08.2006

Besides my list of recommended reading in the left side bar, I like to mention some new books coming out that would be interesting reads.


The Fate of Africa
I just finished reading this book by Martin Meredith; The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of Despair. This book is loooong, but a must read for anyone trying to figure out what in the hell went wrong with Africa and what happened to all the high hopes and dreams of independence.

Black In The White House
I've always wondered how a person could work so close to Dick Cheney and escape with their soul intact. That he is a brother only makes his story a little more interesting. I'm talking about Ron Christie's Black in the White House : Life Inside George W. Bush's West Wing. You might OD on the heaping praise.

This press release is about a new children's book by Kamichi Jackson, You're Too Much Reggie Brown, which has recently joined a prestigious group of young reader titles on KOL, AOL's site for kids. The main character is a young black girl named Regina Brown. This is great news. In the AOL world, this list is highly recommend and usually means huge sales. To learn more about Reggie, check out the blog! Introducing Reggie Brown!.
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SOMEONE STOP THIS FOOL -- FRENCH...FREEDOM EBONICS

1.05.2006


Is no one safe from Pat Robertson's psychotic prophecies? Israel's Prime Minister Sharon clearly is not. Robertson says the PM's recent very serious stroke which basically has his completely debilitated is divine punishment for dividing God's land. Yahoo: Robertson Links Sharon Stroke, God's Wrath. I know that it is unChristian to make God's decisions for him. I believe that only He can say who will go to hell and who will go to heaven, but I'm tempted to take a guess on this joker.


CNN.com: Robertson suggests God smote Sharon
ADL Outraged at Pat Robertson's Remarks Blaming Sharon's Stroke on the Wrath of God
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Diversity Inc is a great website for business diversity issues which is what I do in my secular world, but it is also good for cultural topics. It's subscription-based, so here is an article on French Ebonics gaining steam:
French Form of Ebonics Growing in Popularity

Compiled by the DiversityInc staff
© 2005 DiversityInc.com®
January 05, 2006

The French government has for ages worked to maintain its identity and keep foreign words out of its lexicon. So what then is Verlan?

Verlan is a variation of the French language spoken mainly by young people from the banlieues or poor immigrant neighborhoods, which exploded into several days of rioting two months ago.

Verlan mixes French, English and Arabic words, often transposing syllables. Guttural, throaty Arabic sounds are punctuated with sudden stops. The language is a centuries-old French form of wordplay that has been reinvented in the apartment blocks where many immigrant families from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa live.

"It's interesting because many of the young people in the banlieues were born in France and aren't necessarily fluent in a dialect of Arabic," says Meredith Doran, assistant professor of French and applied linguistics at Penn State University. "It's as if they're saying, 'OK, if you're not going to treat us as if we're French, we're not going to sound French.'"

To the horror of France's language purists, the fast-morphing street slang can be heard virtually everywhere from schoolyards, newspapers, the Internet, movies, ad campaigns, TV to radio. And now even middle-class young people are picking up the form of speech, USA Today reports. French parents, poor and otherwise also are not happy about the popularity of Verlan. The slang language is heavily used in French rap music which some say was a catalyst to the violent October riots, although many government officials are not convinced.

Unlike those who have tried to place the blame elsewhere, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who took a get-tough attitude toward rioters in the banlieues does blame the music or at least elements of it.

"There are inadmissible phrases, and we don't have to accept them," Sarkozy said recently and added that young rappers should not be "exonerated from the risk of sanctions" if their lyrics incite violence.
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IMMIGRATION -- DEMOCRATS INSTEAD OF REPUBLICANS?...MEEEHHH -- BARBERSHOPS & PERSONALITY RESPONSIBILITY

1.04.2006


My state of Virginia has just entered into the very sticky topic of Immigration by denying illegals state-funded benefits. Washington Times: Virginia denies benefits to illegals. For a long time I was on teetering on the side of "well you can't say no if they need it," but I have grown up. No to driver's licenses, college scholarships and work centers for people who are openly and actively breaking the law. I'm proud of VA and I hope more states take a stand. It's not wrong to be harsh to someone who is knowingly and willingly breaking the long.
St. Paul Pioneer Press | 01/04/2006 | Illegal immigration a 'real issue'
The Seattle Times: Opinion: A solution to illegal immigration
United States Immigration, Denying Benefits to Illegal Immigrants

The Republicans are having such a hard time of it lately, I thought I'd give you a few articles that remind us that Democrats are losers too. At Black America Web, Denise's husband, Joseph C. Phillips, asks and answers the question, Why Don't Americans Want Democrats in Charge? 'Cause We Like Winning. Larry Elder takes issues with the gloom and doom Dems. We're losing the war and our economy stinks


Only because the phrase "personal responsibility" isn't used enough, I want to share another Larry Elder article from Townhall about his holiday experience at the Barbershop. My dad's barbershop -- and personal responsibility.
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SOME RIDICULOUSNESS

1.03.2006


So we are back for the New Year. The big word around town is the Abramoff scandal and a few members of Congress are upping their Xanax intakes. ABC News: Abramoff Makes Plea Deal, Will Cooperate. After all of the nonsense that Abramoff had been involved with he had the nerve to ask for forgiveness from the Almighty at his court hearing today. I know, I know. It's never too late to ask God for forgiveness and he could actually mean it. But personally, I think it is all ridiculousness.

Here's some more ridiculousness:

Another reparations organization has a website up. I would like to know what went into the name AFRE -- All For Reparations and Emancipation. Sounds wrong; efforts could be of better use dealing with the present instead of the past.

If it isn't already clear how I feel about the reparations issue, here's another article I find ridiculous on the issue: BlackNews.com: Blacks and Non-Black Supporters of Reparations Withhold Their Spending On Sat. Dec. 24th. Why not do it on a day that the entire rest of the country isn't shopping so the difference would be noticeable?


At BlackPressUsa there is an article about the silly things people fight over. WhiteWashing King Tut analyzes the debate on whether or not King Tut was black or white. What in the hell is Caucasoid North African anyway? He wasn't white and it doesn't really matter the degree of black he was. Come on, people.


Remember these fools? Chicago Defender: Two New Orleans Cops Fired, One Suspended In Post-Katrina Taped Beating Case. They'll probably get off in court. To add to it, some other cops have gone and shot and killed some fool with a knife with about 10 bullets. What ever happened to the taser? The man had a knife, not a gun.

BET.com users have recently selected their 2005 'Person of the Year' and it is none other than the Jesus-lover, Minister Louis Farrakhan. Nuff said.

Want give a hat tip to the community activist in the Crenshaw district who worked together to make this fool take those t-shirts down. NBC 4: Activists Ask Merchant To Remove 'Stop Snitchin' Shirts. The shirt reads "Snitches Get Stitches." The other side of the shirt reads "Stop Snitchin." Shame on anyone promoting this message.
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