Some people are suggesting that this makes a difference. I don't. Come on. The UAE has been planning to buy these ports for some time now. Their contribution to Katrina victims,although greatly appreciated, was with this purchase in mind. Yahoo News; UAE Gave $100 Million for Katrina Relief

Protesting at a memorial service. When I read this, I was amazed. I know I shouldn't be amazed at how low some people go because there are so many Americans who have no understanding of right or wrong; only what they want. This action is mean-spirited and ugly-hearted. Don't people understand that God is a just God? That does not bode well for many of this. - States restrict funeral protests after uproar in Kansas

Although this doesn't qualify as a full blown ridiculousness because who is to say what crazy sense of race and history another country has. And although I hate being PC, I vote for this to stop.

"A flower shop in Lithuania stands accused of racism. Its pricing structure depends on the color of the delivery man's skin, say some. The shop says its "black hussar" is a celebrity."

Spiegel Online: Racism in Lithuania? Flowers from the Black Hussar.
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This is a little late, but here's an interesting article about criticism the Atlanta chapter of 100 Black Men of America's choice to honor SCJ Clarence Thomas recently. The former president was very upset that this was how some in the organization chose to celebrate the chapter's 20th anniversary. I think the criticism is unwarranted. There are black conservatives everywhere who emulate Clarence Thomas, for whatever reason, and if that was the person this group agreed on (I'm assuming it wasn't just one person's choice), then let them be. It was said that only 1/3 of the members attended the event. I wouldn't have showed up, but I wouldn't have said he shouldn't have been selected.
Wilmington Journal: Group Made 'Wrong' Decision To Invite Clarence Thomas100 Black Men of Atlanta.

I couldn't even begin to track it down, but way back when Jesse and all the others decided that 'black' was degrading and 'African American' was the only dignified way to label blacks, Smokey Robinson did a poem on why he will stay 'black'. We can go back and forth on the need to hyphenate our citizenship, but why waste time on the "my ancestors built this country with whips to their backs. I will not have my citizenship hyphenated" or the "the word black is purposefully associated with everything dark, sinister, negative," yada, yada, yada.

For myself, I mostly stay with black, but I use AA sometimes. It doesn't bother me except when someone tells me which word I 'should' be using. I thought the general consensus was that labels don't really change anything, but I guess the debate continues. KRT Wire: Blacks debate need for labels.

So I see this article about out-of-wedlock births among white women soaring and I'm not surprised. I generally think this is a sign of a desertion of traditional family values that exist among all races. The only issue that makes it different for us is that it has taken over the majority, no...the vast majority of our race and it causes all types of economic, emotional, social and criminal consequences.

Many of these white women the article discusses, such as the women pictured, are older, educated women with professional jobs who come from mostly stable families and baby daddies who are similar to them and able to pay support. If people think this is no different than a young, black woman with barely a high school education, no job or a minimum-wage paying job, coming from a broken family who can offer little support and with a baby-daddy that aint got no job, they are kidding themselves. This is a problem, but it is not the same problem.
The Tennessean: Maternity without marriage soars among white women

I've already shared parts 1 & 2 of Earl Ofari Hutchison's series. Here's part 3 of Why So Many Blacks Fear Illegal Immigrants at
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While the national scene is busy with a civil war in Iraq (no end in sight), Olympic cat fights (Team Davis!) and Dubai taking over our ports (don't get me started), I'd thought I'd share some of what has been happening on various local scenes.

There is a growing controversy in how the evacuees of New Orleans are going to vote in the November election. Black lawmakers even walked out of a recent session of the state legislature as some seem determine to only let those living in the city at the time of the election to vote. Of course there is a huge racial component to this because unfortunately whites will vote for a white mayor and blacks will vote for a black mayor. I don't know who the best candidate is for this job, but I haven't really taken to Nagin. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, because very few mayors, if any in recent times, have had to deal with disaster and stress at this level. What I do know, is they better let those folks vote because many of them would be home if FEMA would have gotten those trailers in N.O. like it promised. Black lawmakers leave House session

This is almost as unnecessary as TN Congressman Ford announcing his bid for the Senate, but Cory Booker has formally announced he is running for Mayor of Newark again as he promised after he lost the last election by 5,000 votes. I hope both sides are a little more civil this time around. Doubt it. Booker Keeps Promise To Run Again For Mayor

A legislator in St. Petersburg, FL has set off a controversy of spending as he introduces a new bill titled Council on the Social Status of African-American Men and Boys . Is it just a feel good bill, another government spending research program or something of substance that will address a problem that seems to only be getting worse. Tallahassee Democrat: Bill Calls For Study Of Plight Of Black Boys

IL Senator Obama recently put one in for TN Congressman Ford's campaign for the Senate, Southern Standard: Obama joins Ford at Senate campaign rally. Now he's using his very marketable endorsement power for Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Patrick Deval, WHDH-TV: As Patrick campaigns for Massachusetts governor, Obama helps. Not sure that he has a chance, but if anyone has cosmetic appeal with Independents outside of their state, it's Obama.

More bad news for the 9th Ward in New Orleans. City says that 120 buildings that are blocking streets will be torn down so they can clean up. Not that there is much worth anything in any of those places if they have already been swept into the street. N.O. notifying 9th ward properties

At AlterNet, Joshua Holland ask the question, Can Kweisi Make It in Maryland?. He certainly thinks so. He believes Kweisi is the real deal. My opinion: not so much. I think Steele is a better candidate and in addition to his own party leaving him ass out, Kweisi is going to have to answer questions as to why those in the NAACP, which he was head of for years, don't seem to want to support him either. Besides, I hear that Steele is being seen much more in black communities in MD than Kweisi is. That will matter.
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Glad to be back. With the exception of getting tagged in the face with a juicy cup on one of my flights, I enjoyed Orlando. I'm back and there is so much going on. Here are some very interesting articles on politics and some not on politics. I apologize if some are old, but I've been gone almost a week.

The New York Times has an article on the growing problems of minorities losing their homes to foreclosure. For Minorities, Signs of Trouble in Foreclosures. With Bush touting record black home ownership as a sign of success in his "ownership society" platform, someone should be paying attention to this.

This is just a suggestion, but if you make the cover of your magazine an advertisement that reads "Negroes For Sale" you'd better be prepared to catch some flack. Target Market News: Sports Authority pulls 'The Green' golf magazine citing 'offensive' cover.

While I was in Orlando, the Daytona 500 was going on. I met two black folks planning to attending. One woman I met on the plane was going to meet up with her husband who worked on one of the crews and another man I met in the hotel was an avid Dale Earnhardt Jr fan. I think Dale is pretty hot. I have a thing for redheads. I wonder how many blacks were at the huge event? Montgomery Advertiser: If NASCAR wants diversity, it must address atmosphere
Charlotte Observer: NASCAR puts headlights on diversity
Tennessean: Diversity in NASCAR not quite up to speed

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this title? SI LIVE: African-American women celebrate marriage, family. Unless we plan on marrying each other, it doesn't really work when only women are celebrating. I mentioned last year that it was kind of sad that we are the only race that needs to make marriage a holiday in order to encourage it. Whatevuh.

Black women and their hair; oh the many conversations we can have on this topic. The drama has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry. Here's an abbreviated historical timeline of this very complicated relationship. AZ Star: Combing the history of black hair

In a perfect world, this is how the health disparity between blacks and whites would be solved.
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I'm off to Orlando for business, so until Wednesday the 22nd, I'll have to leave you with these articles on interesting topics.

One of my favorite fiction authors, Walter Mosley, writes about A New Black Power, in The Nation. While not advocating joining the Republican party, he questions what being majority Democrat has done for us.

"Most black Americans have been Democrats for at least the fifty-three years that I've been alive. What have the Democrats done for us in all that time? We have the lowest average income of any large racial group in the nation. We're incarcerated at an alarmingly high rate. We are still segregated and profiled, and have a very low representation at the top echelons of the Democratic Party. We are the stalwarts, the bulwark, the Old Faithful of the Democrats, and yet they have not made our issues a high priority in a very long time."

Interesting excerpt from CNN's very handsome Anderson Cooper's 360 Blog entry on Katrina evacuees taking a toll on Houston and trying to rebuild their lives:

"Houston straining under weight of Katrina evacuees
I was off last night in Arizona shooting a story for an upcoming broadcast and am now on a plane heading for Houston, Texas. Tonight's broadcast will be from there.

We want to see how some of the people who evacuated from the Gulf Coast to Houston because of Hurricane Katrina are doing. This city took in more than 100,000 evacuees after the storm. It is coping now with growing pressure on its schools and hospitals while contending with an apparent increase in crime.

Despite these issues, I continue to be amazed by the resilience of so many people in the face of tragedy. Many have lost homes, jobs, everything they know, and yet they persevere.

"What option do we have?" one woman asked me this past weekend in New Orleans. She was about to be evicted from the hotel where she was staying. Of course, she's right -- getting up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other -- what else can you do when your world has crumbled?"

Here's an article from the San Bernardino Sun about the growing rivalry between Blacks and Latinos that is establishing itself in L.A. We knew this could happen when the 2000 census came out, showing Latinos as the major minority group in America. It was further inflamed by the Republican party seeming to jump over blacks to get Hispanic support.

It continues to be a struggle for local government power and, in some areas, jobs. People are people and this is what can be inside of us, but I would hope we would be better than this because it only helps those who want to keep both blacks and Hispanics down. Rivalry Grows Between Blacks and Latinos.

This is old, but I couldn't pass up this article in the Tennessean about the Crack Tax. The headline caught my interest. State says new 'crack tax' brought in $1.7 million. I'm in favor of the law and I wish more states would increase fines for drug dealers, but I don't think it should be assessed before a conviction.
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Earl Ofari Hutchison tells us Why So Many Blacks Fear Illegal Immigrants. He has so much to say that he needs a Why So Many Blacks Fear Illegal Immigrants Part II.

Illegal immigration is just that, illegal and it is unfair to Americans black and white, and ESPECIALLY LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, who depend on these jobs to feed their families. We should not let our pity for these people make us complicit in them breaking a law that is damaging to the economic opportunities of labor workers. However, I think most of the anger should be directed at the people who employ them and those of our own race who make employers want to hire a hard working illegal immigrants who will show up on time, work their butt off and not complain instead of those of us who do the exact opposite.

The Post Gazette talks about the strained relationship between African Americans and African immigrants. African immigrants face bias from blacks. Again, the article points out that tensions are highest in poor communities which is again suggesting that what some see as an issue of race is really an issue of class. We see similar trends in Carribean immigrants. You have some American blacks who need a job and money but think that manual labor is beneath them, so while they are complaining about what opportunities are owed them from the government, these immigrants roll up their sleeves and get to work. They move up in economic class faster and their kids are doing better in school.

On the immigrants side, you have many who unfairly think we are all lazy and undeserving cry babies. Many of them have come from environments much worse than what we face today and cannot abide by our constant complaints. They look at something like Katrina and say a week without food is nothing compared to having half your family chopped to pieces with machetes. They have no respect for us.
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You should check out this article in The Nation by Dave Zirin, reviewing NFL Veteran Anthony Prior's book, The Slave Side of Sunday, about racism in the NFL.

"The starting point for his new book is the much-derided 2003 statement by Tampa Bay all-pro defensive tackle Warren Sapp that the NFL acts as a "slavemaster" to its players. Sapp was pilloried for his comments, but Prior argues that there is a lot more truth to Sapp's statements than meets the eye."

I wouldn't doubt that race plays a huge part in sports, but that doesn't mean it's all racism. Sports is a business more than anything else, and business is about green. That's not negating the racism that truly exist and should be exposed like this book is doing. My one complaint is that I'm sure there are many black men in the NFL that think just having to listen to a coach or owner equates racism even though the white players have to listen to their coach or owner just like they do.

My favorite over the edge left side, Black Commentator has a problem with somebody. Well, get my smelling salts. Who do they not have a beef with? This time it's the WSJ. After a recent article in the WSJ suggesting that blacks and whites might agree on certain issues, the BC got mad. How dare they suggest we share any common cause!
The Black Commentator: BC vs. The Wall Street Journal

Ouch! The American Thinker talks about BET,The Klan's Favorite Channel. Well, when you think about all the mysogynistic and violent videos that pretty much define the channel's image, racists must really love BET. It reinforces what they preach; blacks are all sex-obsessed, uncivilized, violent and immoral people who only drink, do drugs, express pride in criminal behavior, sing or rap, dance and shake their junk. They probably use clips in their training videos.

Cedric Muhammad, editor of the great black news site, Black Electorate, is one of many who feel that the silver lining on the cloud of Katrina is a renewed activism among blacks in America. Hurricane Katrina, A Motivating Force And Breath of Life. Well it certainly opened our eyes up to the perils of poverty, but will the activism be towards us taking more initiative to get out of poverty or more government programs to make up for not being able to?
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Time has a good article on The Exquisite Dilemma of Being Obama. With his tiff with Senator McCain, his recent Emmy win and now this, Obama is getting a lot of attention lately. I think he's handled his freshman year well. Despite his very left leaning (many painted him as a moderate during the campaign), he's maintained his popularity based on his pragmatic style of communication, mixture of humility and strength.

NBC's Brian Williams has apologized to Congressman Harold Ford for calling him Obama when the camera found him during the SOTU address, so I won't make a comment about all light-skinned brothers looking the same. Ford has other things to deal with. The Hill talks about more problems between Ford and the CBC. Ford, black leaders at odds over Alito. Yes Alito is old news, but it just highlights the ongoing issues that date back to Ford's hasty decision to run for Minority Leader. I appreciate his decision to go with what he feels (even if it is for purely self-serving political reasons) instead of going with the flow.

Here's some old, but good news. Okay, maybe not good news, but interesting. We all knew that way right leaning Jesse Lee Peterson was suing way left leaning Jesse Jackson and his son, Johnathan, for some kind of a beat down four years ago in L.A. At an event where Jesse was speaking...yada, yada, yada, Peterson is crying that he was shoved and his civil rights were violated. So the courts said, "No, move on." I'm not a fan of either of them, so here's to both Jesses stepping out of the spotlight and making some room for the new visions and ideas together instead of media whoring for the chance to put each other down.
L.A. Times: Jury Clears Jesse Jackson of Threatening Adversary
BE: After Civil Trial, Jesse Jackson Claims 'Conspiracy' To Destroy Him; Rev Peterson Pleased Jackson Forced To Answer For Actions

Not related to anything here, but I thought this was funny. Now that we know the old guy Dick Cheney shot (78 and can take a bullet - you go Big Poppa), is going to be okay, I think it's safe to joke. I got this image from's Political Humor site.
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The D.C. gossip blog, Wonkette, has a humorous take on IL Senator Obama's grammy win last night for his Dreams of My Father audio performance. We Hear He Brought In Jon Brion For His Next One!
"Upon receiving the award, Obama said 'You got beef, McCain? Take it up with the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, bitch!"

Citing the racial divide highlighted during the Katrina disaster, the Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses on The Hill have combined forced to create one Tri-Caucus of color. Although they are maintaining their separate caucuses, they feel working together, they can get more done for the disenfranchised minorities. Getting more done working together rather than apart. What genius. I know, there's no cause for me to be ugly. I hope they get something done. It will be interesting to see how the black caucus members observe Hispanic group which has to acknowledge both parties represented in their caucus BAW: Minority Lawmakers Band Together Post-Katrina, Create Separate Caucus
ABC News: Minority Lawmakers Unite After Katrina

Despite repeated efforts by FEMA to inform hurricane Katrina evacuees that the deadline to reapply for housing aid extensions was coming up, thousands of them did not renew and are getting kicked out on the street. There are many reasons why they wouldn't renew; mainly because they found a real place to live or they are sick of waiting on FEMA who has been dragging its ass on those trailers they keep promising and are just going to go back home without them.

But as I read some of the articles on this story, some evacuees now on the street were claiming that this wasn't fair and is just another example of this administration's racism against the blacks and the poor. One brother, who found himself on the street with a plastic bag holding all his belongings said of his situation, "The pressure is on." What? The pressure is on now?

That was disappointing; especially after hearing that FEMA says it contacted every hotel room it was paying for at least six times about the deadline and requirements to renew. So they say.
Yahoo: Thousands of Katrina Victims Evicted
BET.Com: 4,500 KatrinaEvacueess Booted From Hotels
CNS News: Katrina Evacuees Evicted, Liberal Groups Cry Foul Homeless again in New Orleans
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I was touched at times, but thoroughly disappointed in those that hijacked the funeral to make their political statement and take a jab at Bush. I thought it was tacky and the audience was shameful for supporting it. The President and his Daddy were there as honored guests of the family and you don't treat guests like that. They knew better and so did President Carter. They forget there was a dead woman lying right in front of them. A woman who, although might have shared the same beliefs, carried her beliefs with dignity. She would not have disrespected someone she had invited to her home out loud in front of everyone else. She knew the right time and place to say such things.

I didn't hear the President until he was done, but he speaks best when he gets to talk about the Lord and heaven and all that. I enjoyed Malaak Shabazz's very emotional and personal statements, Daddy Bush was his usual kind and pleasant self (I do like that man), Dr. Height is always pleasant to listen to and of course President Clinton did his thing. He's a great speaker and his empathetic tone is always pleasant to listen to. Some people are mad at him for seeming to bask in the glory of the people's praise too long, but that's really on them. Besides, I don't think anyone didn't expect him not to be the most favored guest.

Oh yeah, and a cute little question was asked of BET, which DID NOT carry any of the funeral. They choose to show the booty videos instead. I'm not surprised. Philadelphia Inquirer: BET passes on televising Coretta Scott King's funeral. To be fair, the website did do a live stream.

The Courier-Mail: Political posturing at King funeral [09feb06] Politics at King Funeral Draw Notice
All Headline News: King Funeral Site Of Political Grand Standing - February 8, 2006 'Do you really do this at a funeral?'
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WAPO: Iran daily holds contest for Holocaust cartoons

This is in response to the Mohammad cartoons that many Muslims all over the world are going nuts over, killing and destroying over. Want to place a bet on how long before others follow the Iranian paper's lead?

I don't even know if ridiculousness is the word for this. This insanity is too much and Iran is making it worse. Okay, I'm not stupid enough to believe that Iran could ever do anything but make things worse, but the way the Muslim communities all over the world are reacting to a cartoon that came out last September is complete insanity.

This is a peaceful religion? Then why are they reacting so violently in defense of a peaceful religion? We've seen this before, people responding to insult with injury. When has it ever done anything but make things grossly worse and set back any progress?
IsrealNewsAgency: Israel Launches SEO Marketing Contest Against Iran Holocaust Cartoons
Moscow Times: Iran Cuts Trade Ties With Denmark
NYTimes: In Protest, Iranian Paper Solicits Holocaust Cartoons
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Last week a lot was going on over at The Hill with Nagin, Blanco and others speaking to Congress. Nagin gave up some gossip about Blanco and Bush ready to duke it out during some of the tougher times. Why the brother got to go and put people's business in the street like that? Nagin tells of storm chaos.

A documentary, Street Fight, about the heated Newark Mayoral race in 2002 has garnered an Oscar. 1010 WINS: Oscar Nom for Newark Mayor's Race Film. Cory Booker lost that election, but vowed to run the next time around and he is running against Sharpe again in 2006. I think the campaign has been even dirtier this time around.

So everyone has heard that thousands of Katrina evacuees missed the FEMA deadline for extended support for their stay in hotels in Georgia. They will have to start paying. Now, many probably have decided to move out and get on with their lives, but I'm going to be devil's advocate and suggest that many of them are just people who aren't used to doing for themselves and probably expected it to be done for them. Rep Cynthia McKinney didn't make things better at her recent Town Hall meeting. BAW: Town Hall Meeting Slated in Georgia as Thousands Miss FEMA Deadline. It's Congress and the government's fault. These folks knew the deadline was coming and didn't do their part.

Jackson City Council members voted 3-0 today to support proposed legislation that would study building a black athletes hall of fame in Jackson.. Sounds like legislative speak for 'let's stall as long as we can." Maybe I'm just negative today. Clarion-Ledger: Council supports effort to build black sports hall of fame in Jackson

I know there are a lot of mothers out there saying, "Can't a sister get a break in the day?", but I'm beginning to get on the homeschool bandwagon. Homeschool or private school. A lot of black Maryland parents are thinking the same thing. BSUN: Home schooling draws more blacks -

It's getting heated down in the Delta. Everyone has been eager to see what would happen when former mayor Bill Campbell's payoff trial began. Not suprisingly, before anyone could blink, race takes center stage. L.A. Times: Scandal Stirs Issues of Race in Atlanta
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Dog Manufacturer in New Zealand offers to send dog food to help 4 million starving Kenyans.

There really isn't anything I can say about this that I won't probably regret, so I'll leave it to others:

BBC NEWS: Kenya rejects aid of 'dog food'
Black Britain: Plans to offer Kenya 'Dog Food' as aid
L.A. Times: Dog Food Maker's Offer of Aid Insults Many in Kenya
'Don't give us dog food!'
NewKerala: Aiding Kenyan kids: 'it is not dog food'
MSNBC: Famine-plagued Kenya nixes kibble for kids - What Were They Thinking
News AU: Starving Kenyans back dog food plan
TVNZ: Dog food maker defends ration packs

The woman and her company:
Mighty Mix 100% Natural Dog Food
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As we kick off Black History Month during the shortest, coldest month of the year, we will enjoy the McDonalds commercials with the candles and images of Oprah, MLK and Harriet Tubman and schools all over America will remind children that George Washington Carver invented the peanut.

Oh yes, and listen to the countless accusations of the commercialization of the celebration (big surprise there) and back and forth arguments about whether or not a Black History month is necessary or even if it is racist.

Is it February again already? :)

Everyone is really excited about this PBS Special starting tomorrow night. Henry Louise Gates hosts African American Lives about tracing our roots with stories from famous black folks about their ancestry and heritage. DNA testing has provided new and improved results! Sounds interesting.

I didn't know the month had its own BIOGRAPHY. This History Channel's Black History page has a Did You Know section. Ohhh, trivia. Who invented the blood transfusion?

It's even celebrated in the UK! UK Black History Month: Home

Enough with the warm fuzzies:
ABC News: Black History Month: Does It Fuel Racism?
The Columbus Dispatch: Black History Month - Brought To You By...
BE: Critics Call for More Black History: Contributions Should Be Honored All Year
Orlando Sentinel: Celebration & debate
Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/01/2006 | Not ready to give up Black History Month
MSNBC: Black History Month: Has it run its course?
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