The Zimmerman Case: Has it opened Pandora’s Box

In Greek mythology, Pandora the first women created by the Gods was given a box that contained all the evils on the world with strict instructions not to open the box or those evils will be let loose on humanity. Pandora disregarded this order and opened the box letting those evils escape, luckily for humanity she closed the lid before hope could also get out.

The reaction or over reaction as some might say to the Zimmerman case by the Civil Rights Establishment and the linking of the case to gun violence, the abuse by some of SYG laws, School discipline of young black males, racial profiling and of course Racism, on a case that had little to do with those things and avoided facts about the case that did not agree with their assumptions. But something happened this time that was different, the usual reaction was not there, there was push-back coming from at times, unexpected places.

We are days from the 50th anniversary of the “March on Washington” a culminating point in the Civil Rights movement and credited with getting both the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965) passed. It is also where Dr. King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech. We now live in a new era, both the President and the Nation’s top law enforcement agent are black, prior to this we had 2 black Secretaries of State, a Hispanic Attorney General, black Senators and Congressman. There are 35,000 black millionaires and 7 billionaires, not only has the US changed but the world with it.

The type of bigotry, discrimination and outright racism that persisted 50+ years ago is no longer there, but to listen to some Civil Rights organizations it is still 1950. Why, these organizations rose to power and pre-eminence during those turbulent years while fighting a righteous fight.  Now there are mostly left, trying to ensure that the concessions that were gained are maintained, needed or not, while at the same time attempting to get new concessions.  The type of overt racism during those days is hard to find in America and when it is that person is shunned as they should be.  This is putting these organizations in a position of having to change their objectives, the NAACP, which already some leftist leaning has become a full-fledged Progressive organization.  By advancing a Progressive agenda,  the organization has opened up and restored its membership at the same time its original purpose has fallen by the wayside.

The NAACP now openly partners with Planned Parenthood and advocates for same-sex marriage something which has caused great dissension amongst the Black Clergy where the organization was traditionally getting most its support.  It now after the Zimmerman case opposed to SYG laws, something that some in the Organization saw as a way for the Black community to fight crime, which was rampant in the community for a long time.  Where one time it was seeking equality in Education, it now asks for diminished standards for black students,  different standards in discipline, not background checks in job applications, changed in sentencing for drug crimes and it has stated that it has done all it could to combat crime in the community its focus will be in other areas.  It has in a way given up on a segment of the community that bears its name.

John McWhoter writing for Time Magazine has the following to say:

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying “You get what you deserve, white boy” (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch “for Trayvon” (Mobile, Ala.).

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death of them.

It’s not that black communities are in complete denial about these statistics — Stop the Violence events are a staple of high-crime areas. But let’s face it: black America isn’t nearly as indignant about black boys killing one another or whites as about the occasional white cop killing one black boy, even though the former wreaks much more havoc in black communities. There is no coordinated nationwide movement equivalent to the one Martin galvanized. There are no thoughtful films “exploring” black-on-black crime the way Fruitvale Station treats the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by transit police in Oakland, Calif.

Read more:

In the Zimmerman case the Media performed as it had usually done, it took a “Narrative” that was the creation of the Martin Family’s PR team and choose to run with that.  Some went above and beyond what they normally do and edited audio and video evidence, disregarded those facts that did not agree with the “narrative” and simply did not investigate anything regarding the events.  Local papers were told by the editorial board that nothing that was negative towards Trayvon Martin or the Family, the Miami papers followed suit.  Aside from one story on the Miami Herald that disclosed that Trayvon Martin was not the scholar claimed by the family and had in fact been suspended 3 times that school year.  He was in Sanford serving his 3rd 10 day suspension when he got shot. This and more was ignored by the media, in fact when the photos from the Trayvon’s phone were released, I remember at least 3 editorials that all were designed to minimize was had been found on the phone,  calling normal teen behavior.  The media did its job so well that to this day many people are convinced that Trayvon was just a young smiling 13 year-old.

But it has been the overreaction to the verdict that has really ensured that Pandora’s box was opened.  To those that had watched the trial the acquittal was not a surprised but those that listened only to the PR coming from the family and transmitted by the media could not understand what had happened. ESPN’s sports analyst Stephen A. Smith probably said it best when he stated that listening to everything the Media had said about the case GZ should have been convicted, but after the verdict and he took the time to investigate and look at the evidence the correct verdict was rendered.  He also was very upset with his fellow journalists for having failed so miserably.

Now Pandora’s box has been opened, black on white crime is not being ignored, it can’t be but the usual excuses are not working and questions are being asked of those that claim to be leaders of the community not just by the community but by those that would normally just ignored or downplay such incidents.  As in Greek mythology, Pandora’s box was closed just in time to keep HOPE from getting out.

On the 50th Anniversary of a momentous event that had far-reaching consequences here and around the world, let’s put the rhetoric aside and remember the dream that once was, let’s us not forget the progress we have made because some trouble makers want to keep a pretense, and nostalgia of what once was, in order to push their agendas.


The Consequences of Separatism, an Ideal gone wrong


MSNBC’s Joy Reid to Rand Paul: ‘Take a Deep Breath Before You Talk About Race’

This was the message that Joy Reid sent to Rand Paul because he was talking about North Carolina new voting requirements.  She takes umbrage that white Paul would talk about something that according to some stats will affect 25% of Blacks who do not have ID.  So where did this information come from? After a little digging I was able to find the source.  The Stats were based on a Survey of 987 people done in 2006 by Brennan Center for Justice at NYU school of law. You can see the survey here.

Some of the sample questions are:

1) Do you have a current, unexpired government-issued ID with your picture on it, like a driver’s license or a military ID?

2) If yes, does this photo ID have both your current address AND your current name (as opposed to a maiden name) on it?

3) Do you have any of the following citizenship documents (U.S. birth certificate/U.S. passport/U.S. naturalization papers) in a place where you can quickly find it if you had to show it tomorrow?

4) If yes, does [that document] have your current name on it (as opposed to a maiden name)?

As you can tell by the questions the survey is geared to getting negative answers, unexpired id’s, current name and address, maiden names, etc.  So the issue is not the lack of ID but that some people do not update their ID’s as they move or get married or let their ID’s expired.  Reid also mentions that waiting in line is to onerous for some people and restricting early voting by one week will cause undue burden, as people might have to wait in long lines.  Is this the best argument, it is a civic duty if you find it that difficult…

The other issue was people who had been incarcerated because of “youthful mistakes”, maybe is time that we stop making it easier for those who keep committing these youthful mistakes and start teaching people of all ages that actions have consequences, whether you are young or old.

In my last post I mentioned the “Black Power” movement that immediately followed the Civil Rights movement.  Both movements had profound influence and effect on our Society and particularly the Black community, but the movements while they coincided towards the end of one, were diametrically opposing each other. The goals were similar, empowering the Black community which had been long oppressed, the way to achieve this was very different.

The Civil Rights movement as led by Dr. Martin Luther King was about achieving equality and assimilation into the larger American Society.  The Black Power movement was about separating the communities and attaining the equality but not assimilation. Instead, it was about demonstrating, embracing the differences, in a way it was Separate but Equal but from a Black perspective.  One was peaceful and was often the victim of violence, the other was willing to use violence to achieve its goals, by any means necessary.  Many of who had participated in the earlier movement, had joined the other due to their disillusion to the other movement.

While many think that the Black Power movement disappeared because of its anti-white, separatist tone the movement never did.  Its Marxist,  Socialist ideas and the feeling that White America had to pay for its past transgressions continue to live today, it is very much a part of the Black political structure.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the Black Movement was the Black Panther Party, which serve as a sort of armed wing of the movement.  it also was probably the most responsible for the dying of the movement.  But did is really die or did it just morphed and just became part of the  Black community psyche, at least in the Black Arts, Black Music, and the Inner Cities.

While the leaders of the Black Power movement embraced the idea “that power was the only thing respected in the world”, Dr. King before his death, said the slogan was “a cry for daily hurt and persistent pain” and he was opposed to what he saw some positives in the movement of attaining political and economic power for the Black Community he believe that its followers placed too much emphasis on the negative connotations: black separatism, retaliatory violence, isolationism, and a defeatist attitude.  Which made him argued that; “Black Power was a nihilistic philosophy born out of the conviction that the Negro can’t win” something he rejected vehemently.

Recently Don Lemmons CNN anchor, cause a stir in the Black community by unveiling his 5 things to do by the Black community.

  1. And number one, and probably the most important, just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out-of-wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues. So, please, black folks, as I said if this doesn’t apply to you, I’m not talking to you. Pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior. Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace. A culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you. And it’s not going to. That said, though, the political right is not off the hook.
  2. Number two, finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they’re acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English. A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year, a high school graduate makes $28,000 a year, a college graduate makes $51,000 a year. Over the course of a career, a college grad will make nearly $1 million more than a high school graduate. That’s a lot of money.
  3. Now number three. Respect where you live. Start small by not dropping trash, littering in your own communities. I’ve lived in several predominantly white neighborhoods in my life, I rarely, if ever, witnessed people littering. I live in Harlem now, it’s an historically black neighborhood, every single day I see adults and children dropping their trash on the ground when a garbage can is just feet away. Just being honest here.
  4. Number four now is the n-word.  I understand poetic license, but consider this: I hosted a special on the n-word, suggesting that black people stop using it and that entertainers stop deluding yourselves or themselves and others that you’re somehow taking the word back. By promoting the use of that word when it’s not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the master intended acting like a nigger?A lot of African-Americans took offense to that, too. I wonder if I gave the right advice, I really did. But confirmation came the very next day on my way home when I exited the subway in 125th Street in Harlem. This little kid in a school uniform no older than seven years old, he was crying his eyes out as he walked down the sidewalk with his mother.I’m going to be honest here, she turned to me, and she said “I’m sick of you. You act like an old ass man, stop all that crying, nigger.” Is that taking the word back? Think about that.
  5. Here’s number five. Pull up your pants. Some people, a lot of them black, gave me flak for saying that recently on “The Wendy Williams Show.”  If you’re sagging, I mean — I think it’s your self-esteem that is sagging and who you are as a person it’s sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules. Sagging pants, whether Justin Bieber or No-name Derek around the way, walking around with your ass and your underwear showing is not OK. In fact, it comes from prison when they take away belts from the prisoners so that they can’t make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role a prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex. The one with the really low pants is the submissive one. You get my point?

You can watch the video clip or read the transcript HERE:

As some of you might have imagined this list created quite a stir,  even those that agreed in part or with the whole list criticized him calling it overly simplistic and stereotypical, like 95.9 Magic out of Baltimore:

Although what Don Lemon listed rings true I personally do not think that wearing a suit and having a clean community will stop the problems in the black community. This over simplification of a complex issue is why I believe so many people believe that Trayvon deserved what he got. Until we get down to the root cause of the problems in the black community where going to keep spinning this wheel on how to solve a problem we do not understand.

Perhaps the most telling thing about that response is not the admission of a problem, but that they do no understand it or recognize the root cause of it.  Of course,  a black radio station that promotes all things  Black, would not say that the Culture that has evolved out the Black Power movement would blame itself or find itself at all responsible.

One of the most interesting responses to Don Lemmons list came from Russell Simmons.  Mr. Simmons who dresses as if he is going to the Country Club everyday, and has since his early days when he was just a struggling promoter before he hook-up with Rick Rubin in New York in the early 80’s.  I met Mr. Simmons at a couple of events when he was promoting a young rapper Kustis Blow before he hit is big with his younger brother,  who was part of the iconic rapping group RUN-DMC.  Simmons has become a multi-millionaire promoting what they termed as Black music, rapping and hip hop and his line of clothing which Lemmons’ list was an indirect attack on.

He wrote:

Dear Dom,

I got a chance to see what you said over the weekend about black America. At first I thought it was Fox News, but then I remembered you’re a CNN dude. I have nothing against Fox News, as Roger Ailes is my man, but the gospel you were preaching sounded like O’Reilly and Hannity were pulling your strings. Thank goodness my political director, Michael Skolnik, was on the show to stand up for African-Americans, because conservatives love when we blame ourselves for the conditions that have destroyed the fabric of the black community. I respect your courage on many other issues, but I can’t accept that you would single out black teenagers as the cause of their own demise because they don’t speak the King’s English or wear belts around their waistbands.

Right away he launch and attack by implying that Lemmon was being manipulated and used by 2 white correspondents. Bill O’Reailly and Sean Hannity, both who of Fox News, the Left’s boogeyman man.  He continued;

Hip-hop language and clothing styles are expressions of frustration with the status quo. Young people sagging their pants today is no different than young people rockin’ afros, dashikis or platform shoes in the ’60s and ’70s. And many of those rebellious youth grew up to be quite successful… bell bottom-wearing, pot-smoking, Barry Obama became the President of these United States of America and a long-hair, anti-war activist named John Kerry became Secretary of State defending our country in more creative ways than just using violence. They were knee-deep in a rebellious culture, and did anything but integrate into a world that they saw is filled with problems that needed fixing, filled with challenges, or in their mind, with problems that they could fix. And now they are fixing them.

This paragraph demonstrates not just of the historical context of that time but also of the problems that are rampant in the Black community.  He is ignoring that at that time the Black families were still a large component of the community, and those that dd become successful did it through education as most movement were actually part of college life.  Both of those things are sorely lacking in the community right.  Today’s non-conformists,  or rebellious youths,  don’t finish school, have kids out of wedlock, and are more likely to end in the justice system or dead.  Ignoring those differences is part of the reason why the Black community issues are so grave in places.

I want the black kids to grow up and be like you. I want them to know that their imagination is god inside of them and I want all kids, but especially black kids, to have the freedom to dream as well to create their own language. After all, without their jazz, blues, rock n’ roll and now their hip-hop, America wouldn’t even have a language of its own, much less a culture.”

This is how he closed his open letter, but what happens to those young people that dreamed big of becoming the next Jay-Z or the next Michael Jordan and only spoke a language they created if they fail at that.  They can’t leave the hood as they can’t communicate or function outside of their neighborhoods.  He also seems to forget that Black history is American history and such is its culture as hard as they try to separate the two, you would not one without the other, which was ultimately Dr. King’s point.

Don Lemmon responded to Russell Simmons with his own open letter, I can’t the video but it is worth a watch, here the link:

Don Lemmon obviously is taking the Dr. King’s approach to issues that linger in the Black community and others where poverty reigns, he wants everyone empowered to succeed in any community, not to be separate and unequal blame everyone but himself,  an approach that was taken by Simmons and other Lemmon detractors.

Mr. Simmons figured prominently recently because while launching his own Youtube channel, his company produced what was called the “Harriet Tubman” sex tape.  Mr. Simmons called it the funniest thing he had ever seen.  No I will not link to it, not because I don’t think he has the right to make, produce and market his business but because I thought it was very tasteless, extremely stereotypical and insulting to women of any color.  As I said that is Mr. Simmons right, but coming after the uproar after the George Zimmerman trial and days after the a rodeo clown was banned for life from performing at a State Fair because he wore a mask that resemble President Obama the hypocrisy is overwhelming.  Mr. Simmons felt compelled to write in the Huffington Post an article reaffirming the relationship that Blacks had with the Jewish community, after some in the Hip Hop community were directing their anger over the George Zimmerman verdict on Jews, who they mistakenly thought was of Jewish descent.

The same nihilistic, sexist, separatist  element that were present in the Black Power movement are very much alive and evident in the Hip Hop Culture.  Women are objectified, a live for the moment attitude persist.  So while the political structure has disappeared as such, they just moved to the Democratic Party which follows some of the same Marxist lite policies that were prevalent in the movement.

This Black Separatism that had been adopted by mostly the Arts community but also seeped into the consciousness of the community has prevented outside influences from assisting with its problems, it has also meant that anytime as someone such as Don Lemmon or Bill Cosby and many other Black Conservatives suggest assimilation and inclusion as part of the solution they have been marginalized, ridiculed and ostracized. It has also meant that finding a solution has taken a backseat to showing and demonstrating Black Pride and Solidarity, while dismissing everything else as acting White.

I want to close by saying that crime has declined overall,  virtually everywhere with the biggest drops in the Cities,  the problem is that the drop in overall crime has not been for the most part in the Black Communities, which have made the issues more evident.  To make matters worse the solutions being proposed do not address the issues most affecting the community.  For instance the Attorney General initiative to not prosecute certain drug offender violations,  which the Feds don’t prosecute anyway, States handle those but let say that it works, someone with several ounces of Marijuana for instance will not get prosecuted did that lower crime or just give that person an opportunity to commit other crimes to obtain said drugs.  It may lower the number of convictions but does that improve or help the community?

The same thing with the Presidents Executive Order — “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans” you can read the Order here, but in a nutshell all it does is create another bureaucracy within the Department of Education to look for solutions to Black students under achievement.  Aside from proposing and implying that Black students are disproportionately discipline if fails to address any other issues. No mention of the many single family homes that consist of most of the underachieving students.

It will be difficult for the Black community to effectively deal with their issues, if it ignores how much the culture brought about the Black Power movement, and now being promoted by Hip Hop artist and their promoters contributes to their problems.  It also means that until the black community accepts its own complicity and  that of the Culture that they are so proud of,  its problems will persist, it not just Whitey this time.

Not a Plantation but a Dependency

In previous post I have talked about the NAACP and how it’s mission has changed to now being an organization that only seeks to protects quotas and entitlements but does little to address the issues affecting the a sector of the black community. I also wrote about the old dinosaurs of the Civil Rights movements like Rangel, Jackson and Sharpton who are still using the success of the righteous movement as a reason to remain relevant in today’s society, even when they are more damaging than good.  Their time has passed but they won’t let go, as a result they have become controversial figures that only incite rather than help in most situations.

Now I want to address a different issue, but one that I feel is very important when it comes to race relations and some of the misunderstandings by Whites and other races relating to Blacks. W E B Du Bois wrote in his book Black Reconstruction in America:

All Negroes were ignorant;

All Negroes were lazy, dishonest, and extravagant;

Negroes were responsible for bad government during Reconstruction.

This sentiment written back in 1935, is being echoed again, by some well-meaning people.  The expression that Blacks are still in the Plantation or have never left it are common with a lot of people but it is a bad analogy, one I wish would stop.  It is a bad analogy because it prevents progress by staying in the past.  It is bad because it, in a sense gives Blacks an authority they never had as slaves.  They were not allowed to leave the plantation, so comparing that to Blacks today, means that Blacks cannot improve their situation. Once in the plantation you are there until you die or are transferred to another.  It also gives the impression that being in a plantation is preferable to the alternatives. But worse of all it gives a sense of hopelessness, and a feeling that this is the best that can be aspired as person or a group.  Or it will have an opposite effect and that is rebelliousness and uncaring for the norms of the Society that is keeping them enslaved, if not physically, mentally.

Part of the problem is that the historical context is skewed, to basically concentrate on 3 periods of time. Pre-civil War, Civil rights movement and today.  When things are analysed in this fashion it obscures much of what happened leading up the 50’s and 60’s Civil Rights movement and leaves a large part of story untold.

In 1870 the first census taken after the Civil War demonstrated that several Southern States had more Blacks in their population that Whites with many more where the population was split evenly between the two.  This allowed for the election of Black Congressmen and Senators into the Senate. There were 21 Congressman and 2 Senators elected to serve in Congress during that time.  The passage of Voting Laws, including toll taxes, literacy, and others laws by the Southern Democrats curtailed and eventually caused Black politician to not be elected, even in areas where they still formed a majority.

Though things were getting difficult for Black politicians progress was being achieved in other areas. At the beginning of the 20th they were 75+ Black colleges, illiteracy in Blacks had been dramatically decreased from 95% to 45% and was improving yearly. Those early Black students became the leaders of the increasingly segregated South and served to pave the road for the Civil Rights Movement 50 years later. But most importantly they also were a basis for growing Black communities.

Due to the growing tensions in the South, the great Black migration started at the beginning of the 20th century.  By the 1920’s Blacks had establish communities in many cities in the North. This led to the Harlem Renaissance were African-American culture was celebrated, embraced and enhanced.  Black art and literature works appealed not only to Blacks but the Whites as well.  Many African-American artists became mainstream acts, venues in Harlem were patronize not only by Blacks but White patrons as well.  This movement as opposed to later major Black movements like the Black Power movement aimed as assimilation into mainstream society, and was very successful.  It challenged the views of Black America and was the precursor to the Civil Rights movement.

Large Black middle class communities were established in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago and other industrial cities.  Even though discrimination was rampant in the South, in the North is was more abated, though still present, the Black middle class grew and was successful.  Gains in the Black communities continued after the Second World War, as returning GI’s used the GI bill to buy home and gain more education.

During the upheaval of the Civil Rights Movement particularly towards end some changes began that have spelled doom for a sector of the Black community.  A series of riots throughout the country in the late 60’s and early 70’s devastated establish black communities.  This in turn further exacerbated the White flight out of those areas into suburbs but with them the Black middle class left as well.  Leaving behind their poorer cousins to reconstruct these areas with limited success.  The mass exodus was sometimes mitigated by immigrants from other areas but these immigrants were usually poorer than the Blacks they were replacing. The city once the home to a growing Black middle class were now left with the poorer Blacks and minorities, this pattern was repeated throughout the country.

One of the areas that was a beneficiary of this new migration was the South, as many of the Black middle class and professionals returned to the South and helped to re-energized the many southern cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Greensboro and others.  But they moved to suburbs surrounding the cities, leaving the cities to deal with the poorer, less educated cousins. Other factors also played fundamental roles in bringing us to our current situation. Governmental policy changed with the establishment of the Great Society programs and the Black Power movement that immediately followed the Civil Rights movement.

The Black Power movement contrary to the Civil Rights Movement which was trying to gain equality within the society, was about separatism and black nationalism not assimilation.  For all its attributes whether real or imagined this movement created the sense that Blacks different, that only Blacks could solve their problems and ensured that the White establishment had an excuse to for its lack of involvement in the issues regarding the Black community.  At a time when the Black community was gaining the rights to fully integrate into society, the movement kept Blacks separate from the rest and it also gave rise to other identity based groups in other communities like some Hispanics groups.

The demands of self-determination and empowerment changed to one of requests for more entitlements, which the White Democrats now fully endorsed.  Programs for education, housing, quotas on hiring, government programs.  Almost anything that was requested was granted, but with the separation of repudiation of American values (the Establishment) also came the repudiation of traditional Christian values. The values that had seen the Black community through its worst times were now viewed as chains on the Black men.

That was specially evident in the large cities were promiscuity and fatherless homes became the norm.  Aided by governmental policies that provided aid and eventually replace the male role. In turn males have become more rebellious without a set role. Where the aspirations of males of becoming a father and provider were now of becoming a rap star or athlete.  Education and learning were seen as traditional and “white” aspirations, and not part of the new Black experience.

While many blame bad schools as a cause for the lowered scholastic achievement in the Black communities little is mentioned about the culture that has denigrated schooling as a waste of time and worthless activity since the black man will not be allowed to succeed in those fields outside of the arts and athletics. How many Black families find the money to buy sports equipment, and find the time to attend and even hire coaches for their kids, but don’t spend a dime or get a tutor for kids that are having issues at school.

These issue has ultimately created 2 Black Americas, those that follow in the footsteps of Dr. King and those that do not. Suburban Blacks and inner city Blacks.  The Black Power movement gave rise to a different Black Culture and it is here where the lingering effects of the movement are most evident.  The one on the news and depicted by Black Artists and another quietly trying to rise past all of that, raise families and contribute to society and another that look up to government for all its needs, a dependant constituency that still lives that way today.

The issue of the problems with the Black communities in the inner cities have become more apparent in recent years because of the gains in the Hispanic community who 30 years ago were behind the Black community but have improved generational and have surpassed the Black community to the point they are on almost on par with Whites.

Another reason for the gains in the Hispanic community have been its strong background in traditional families.  A recent survey by the Kaiser Foundation found that only 40% of Black women found being married extremely important, and 33% found it to be not important or very important.   In 1890, 80% of African-American households were composed of two parents. One hundred years later, only 40% of African-American children live in married-couple households. Compared that to 67% of Hispanic children that grow-up in a two parent home, and 70% of White children.  

The collapse of the Black family in the inner cities, have meant that generations of young black males are lacking the support and model of a father figure to help them while growing up.  Black mothers have had to assume the role of mother and father with some success in many cases but far too many times that has proven too much.  The young have to look outside of the home for guidance too often falling into the  willing hands of those that would lead them astray.  It has been here that many Black Leaders have failed the community the most.

For too long these leaders used these kids as a tool to get more political power, to enrich their cronies with grants to form organizations that they embezzled from and whose functions rarely do what they were supposed to do in the first.  Case in point from the Chicago Tribune;

Former state Rep. Constance Howard pleaded guilty Wednesday to diverting as much as $28,000 for her personal and political use from a scholarship fund she created to benefit needy students.

Howard’s “Tee Off for Technology” program raised money through an annual golf outing that was supposed to provide scholarships to people seeking a degree in computer science and related fields.

Howard, 70, entered a plea agreement to one felony count of mail fraud that could net her as much as six months in prison and six months of home confinement. Sentencing was set for Nov. 21.

The Chicago Democrat formerly chaired a House Computer Technology Committee, but she resigned her House seat July 6, 2012. Twelve days later, a federal grand jury subpoenaed a series of records from the Illinois House dating from 2000 to 2007, a period in which she ran the committee, the Tribune reported.

Ms. Howard had been investigated twice before but no charges had been filed, the leadership knew about the other accusations and failed to act on account of the wonderful things that she had done in the past.   Meanwhile the ones that suffer from this are the one that most needed and the taxpayers that financed it.  The same story has been repeated all over the country dozens of times in Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, in the South, all over.

This is one area where the Democratic Party, its leadership have been complicit and are partly to blame.  Often times the issues are uncovered and the Democratic Leadership has put its interest above the constituents that it claims to serve.  The Democrats took a “hands off” approach to dealing with their Black constituents, their most loyal constituency.  It has poured money to resolve the issues that had nothing to do with money but in doing so, it had contained the issue to certain areas.  For all its talk about integration its policies have almost ensure that a large amount of Blacks stay contained in assigned areas and any issues have been left up to the Black leadership to address which they do as has become their custom by requesting more funds, more targeted programs that have proven worthless.

Again from the Chicago Tribune;

As the national debate over gun violence escalates, the Congressional Black Caucus came to Chicago on Friday promising to put together a plan to curb violence in urban areas.

But at the end of the daylong event, many of the solutions they came up with were nothing new to people in neighborhoods hard-hit by crime: They need jobs. They need more educational opportunities. They need after-school programs.

Acknowledging that they did not have all the answers, the legislators said they hoped to leave with fresh ideas to take back to Washington. But they also acknowledged that funding for anti-violence initiatives is scarce, and it remains up to community groups and others to see that any programs are carried out.

They determine they need more government programs, more money to make new studies that are outdated before they are finished, more of the same.  While the Democrats and the Black leadership have to assume the bulk of the blame, Conservatives have also not been active enough in reaching out to the Black community or has it offered any alternatives to the Status Quo and that is to their shame as Republicans were the leaders in gaining equality for our Black American brothers, but now they are just forgotten, and only used to point out the problems of the big government  model of the Democrats.  Once again politics reigns where a community in need is used as pawn by all involved.

In my next post I talk more about the cultural influences in this debate.



Great brain teaser, if you want to call it that. About the existence of God. Only thing that I can disagree with is this, “I have never met an atheist I could not love; Likewise, I never met an atheist who knew love – how could they?” As someone who does not know cannot miss it. Anyway great post Sundance.

Racial profiling, prejudice and bigotry, why the Race Card is maxed out.

Bloomberg, a national publication used the following headline in a story a few days ago; “House Republicans Set to Defy Obama Are Mostly White Men,”.  Which begs the question, why they deemed it relevant to focus on the race and gender of the people in Congress opposing Obama? Is this another of those whistle the left is hearing to proclaim some sort of hidden racism.  Are they implying that those that are opposing the President are only doing so because they are white?  Is Bloomberg racially profiling the Congressmen?

Then there is this a fellow blogger from Australia ask this; Was it racial profiling?

Apparently not according to officials but a case of snitching.  The 13-year-old that got the beat down had snitched on one of the 3 for attempting to sell him drugs earlier in the day.  In hindsight someone should have noted that they might ride the bus together and  there could be problems.

A lot talk recently from the President on down about Racial profiling and Racism as a result of the George Zimmerman Not Guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin.  There have been howl of outrage, calls to replace laws to make it more possible for the prosecution to convict people, for the repeal of the Stand Your Ground laws, though they did not play a part in the case.  Some are calling to make it illegal for private citizens to racially profile as it is for government agents, cops, etc.

So what is racially profiling and it is something that needs our attention to the exclusion of other problems in the US but particularly to the black community?  It racially profiling the same as Racism or worse? Racial profiling at its worst is prejudging a race of people and assigned them a characteristic or group of characteristics that are not exclusive of the every one of that race.  It also used to describe Ethnic profiling as the same.  For example, all Asians are considered to be great at math, which may be true for some but not all Asians.  Another would be to say that all Mexicans are immigrants, or someone who sees a Spanish surname and assumes that you speak Spanish or that English is your second language, the last two being examples of Ethnic profiling.

Most forms of profiling even racial profiling are harmless, but sometimes the prejudice behind the profiling can become such that it becomes bigotry, and it affects how some people react to others, in some cases with disastrous effects.  As it was with slavery  and later the Jim Crow laws or Jews and the Holocaust. There are many other examples of where profiling a people led to great tragedy, most recently Bosnia and Rwanda come to mind.  In the US the issue is the profiling of certain young black males and minorities as dangerous.

Here’s the rub statistics show that this may be the case, certainly not for everyone but for enough to make the prejudice last and stick.  As a father of 2 young black men, this concerns me, which have made me try to ensure that my kids, understand and behave in a manner that is contrary to the stereotype.  I cannot get upset a people for behaving in a way that instinctual, while I don’t do ensure on my part that my kids are acting accordingly.  If I allow my kids to act and behave like thugs, who is to blame if they are seen as thugs.  Racial profiling is not the problem, humans are reacting to what too many young black males are doing.

In France the issue is young Muslim males, in Russia is young disaffected white males, so the issue is not racially profiling but behavior profiling, but those this rise to the level of bigotry or racism?  If you listen to civil rights leaders like Sharpton, Jackson or the NAACP they know so, but from my personal experience that is not the case.  In my estimation people are behaving to this the same way they behave all around the world in the face of young predators.

As modern humans we do not share all the same characteristics as our earlier ancestors. We don’t depend on instinct to make decisions we use observation and reasoning. Sometimes we read books about a subject or activity and depend on the observation and reasoning of others. As social creatures we share information, it is the sharing of this information, much which have been gathered by the observation and reasoning, sometimes of others that have allowed us to survive, to thrive and be the dominant species in this world. That is not to say that the observations and critical thinking have always been right, in fact many have been wrong but with time they have evolved ensuring our survival.

Each day is a struggle for survival, though it may be something that we don’t think about consciously, most  if not all our daily tasks serve the purpose of continuing our survival for another day.  Things we do in the course of a normal day such as eating, drinking, working so that we have money to eat and drink.  Exercising so that our bodies are fit, reading to calm our minds and entertain, bathing to wash away the daily grime and keep microbes in check just about everything we do daily can be tied to our quest for survival.

The night was specially scary for our ancestors as the darkness allow our predators, who were biologically more capable of functioning in the dark, some had better night vision, others had other senses that allowed to take advantage of the dark and would make us an easy prey.  It cause us to become more communal, as there was safety in numbers, we manage to control fire which not only brought us warmth in the cold but also helped to keep the predator away.  As our civilization advanced the tables were turned we not feared the night, and those predators were now our prey.  But with this advancement a new predator appeared, one that was more cunning, resourceful  and worst that any other prey that humans had come up against.

That prey was of course, other humans.  As our civilization progressed the need for communal living and help was abated.  We did not need to move only in groups to ward off predators and prevent becoming dinner.  We could live alone and apart from each other, with the knowledge that except under very rare circumstances there would be no animal predators just lurking to eat us. That worked fine for animal predators but for human ones not so much. We needed new ways to combat the new predator, our homes became impregnable castles in many places, we carry pepper spray, noise makers and guns.  We are told by the police who are tasked with suppressing these predators to travel in groups, use well-traveled routes in essence behave as our ancestors did in other to survive. As our ancestors did in that long bygone era, we have to learn who is safe, who is not, where it is safe to go, where it is not.

We need to know who is the predator and how not become a victim of one. Being able to distinguish friend from foe, and knowing which animals could provide food and which to avoid was something that is ingrained in us.  It is an ability that allowed us survived and build our civilization.  But in today’s civilization were are being asked to forget that which has served us so well, by surrendering to Political Correctness.  

There have been much talk about racial profiling, racism and Stand Your Ground laws, SYG for short, all while avoiding why this happens, and nothing really happens in a vacuum.  Many people don’t know this but the word “racism” did not become part of the English Vernacular until at least 1935.  Before then we use a word that is has a more appropriate meaning to what people mean now, when they use the word racist, bigot.  Though the word has a religious origins meaning a religious hypocrite as it is still use in Italian “bigotto”, it became to used to describe someone who is intolerant of someone because of prejudice or bias against that person or group. Racism on the other hand is the belief that one’s race is either superior or inferior to another race which leads to actions in accordance of that belief.

Let’s put that in the context of what the President Obama said in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, and the human instinct that allowed us to survive all this time;

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me – at least before I was a senator.

There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.
That happens often.

The implication of the President was that these actions were the actions of someone who was racist, but if we examine them they hardly rise to the level of bigotry, much less racism.  Department Stores owners follow people all the time for a variety of reasons, is the President saying that security follows or watches a white person that is prudent but watching a black one is racist.  Having had the experience of Managing a retail establishment, I would like to inform the President that in my experience the shoplifter at retail establishment, those that like to stuff little items in their bags are almost always white, if a black person is followed it is not because of the danger of stolen goods but for other suspicious behavior.  For instances they are tracking customers to pick their pockets.  Putting that aside in those communities were there are few blacks, it is still racism if  a store owner follows someone, it he doing it out of spite and bigotry or because he is trying to protect his business and those customers that come to his establishment?

The clicks on the car doors are they really because you are approaching and their has been a rash of carjacking in the area, by people who looked very much like you, until you became a Senator and started dressing differently,  As for the old woman clutching her purse and holding her breath is this because of racism or someone who is fearful and hoping that she does not become a victim of a predator.  Being in an elevator in a small enclosed spaced is terrifying enough but being along with a large stranger, more so.  But is this racism?  It is even bigotry?  Or it more likely, that it is a self-fulfilling prophesy, of those that see racism in the shadows, and interpret every action as such.

Nothing happens in a vacuum,  if a black shopkeeper follows some young black males is he being a bigot against his people or is he acting prudently to protect his business.  A black woman who clutches her bag under the circumstances described by the President is she also being bigoted, or perhaps someone who knows that she could become a victim at any time.  This is not to say that racism does not exist in the true meaning of the word.  But racist are all colors and not just white or white Hispanic as the PC establishment would have us believe.  It is evident all around us though few recognize for such, because we have been indoctrinated into thinking only white on black.

A few years ago,  Jeremy Lin an Asian American Harvard grad, became a sensation in New York when he became the starting point guard for the team, leading the team to a streak of victories.  What many don’t remember is the many black players and commentators that called him a fluke,  and that there were many black players that did what he did and better but were not getting the same type of publicity.  That is racism, the belief of their race superiority over the Asians ball playing skills.  It is the same with many European basketball players that come to play in the NBA, too often their role is of bench-warmer and they were given little opportunity to fail of succeed over comparable black players who were performing the same.  Sports racism is rampant in the US, though it is not recognized.

Racism exists and it will always be around, because we are all human, thinking and believing that we are superior to others in one way or another is just a way of group identity.  The issue is that most of the problems that are called racism are not, but what a reasonable person would think in a set situation.  Cops in NY, don’t stop and frisk more blacks and minorities for their jollies, they do so because it is an effective way to prevent crime and catch criminals, as it is shown by New York city being the safest large city in the country and the world.

Nothing happens in a vacuum,  people will continue to act in a way that will aid their survival, not because they are racist, or bigoted but because history has shown that being prudent and acting accordingly in the face of the threat of danger, can mean you live another day.  It is why calling every action a form of racism has exhausted the Race Card.   The problem will not be solved by ignoring the cause and people’s attitude and prejudices will not change until the cause is address and change becomes permanent.

Zimmerman Case: Has it ended the Civil Rights Era Giants

As I read an article about Charles Rangel, once the premier political powerhouse of New York politics and his thoughts about retiring I realized that he along with many other Civil Rights Stalwarts are all in the twilight of their years.  Their influence had been waning after all this time and those that are replacing them don’t have the same gravitas of being there during the movement; they are just hanging on trying to remain relevant in out changing society.

Congressman Rangel is a perfect example, the last two elections have not been easy.  In 2010 he had 5 challengers and barely got 50% of the vote.  In 2012 things got even harder as the District was redrawn to include parts of the North Bronx, over his loudest complaints.  His district is now over 45% Hispanic, yet he manage to eke out a victory by little over thousand votes, the next election might be his last.

All of these is happening at time when he trying to live down several scandals, the Dominican villa that he failed to pay taxes on,  the use of rent-stabilized apartment as his office, the use of Congressional stationary to fund raise, leading to censure by Congress and losing his Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee one of the most powerful in Congress.

Congressman Rangel and others in the Congressional Black Caucus were once fierce opponents to any Amnesty Bill, as they correctly pointed out those that would be amnestied would be in direct competition with blacks, but that stance has been replaced by actively seeking it.  Whether this change is out of political expediency, I don’t know, but many of the CBC members are now in districts that have large Hispanic populations and their support is essential for re-election like Karen Bass CA 37th, Al Green TX-09th, Steven Horsford NV-04th, Sheila Jackson Lee, TX-18, Eddie Bernice Johnson, TX-30th among others.

One thing that has not changed is the utter dislike for republicans and White people. quoting from the article:

House Republicans? Have done more damage to American competitiveness than al Qaeda ever could. “What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”

“The Tea Party? Defeat them the same way segregation was beaten. “It is the same group we faced in the South with those whitecrackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. ‘I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.”

To Rangel and others of that era, fighting against he Tea Party and Republicans is tantamount to opposing the segregationist 50 years ago.  If immigration amnesty is opposed by Republicans then he is going to do the opposite, is about fighting the fight. Is the South over again.

Another civil rights era leader that is still living in the past is the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal observes that the Rev. Jackson is calling Florida the new “Selma of our time”.  This is to compare Florida to Selma, Alabama and the marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama the state’s capital.  But it appears that this is a common refrain for Rev. Jackson as he called Florida Selma back in 2000, when the state was the deciding vote in the Presidential Election.  He also called Houston the new Selma in March to protest the ending of two racial preference programs and few months earlier as was reported by the NY Times he said the same thing about the Decatur, Illinois school system when he was protesting to win more lenient treatment for black students.

Taranto has other examples of Rev. Jackson evoking Selma to make a point, but all it accomplishes is demeaning the accomplishment of those of the era, and demonstrating how fall they have fallen.  From fighting a righteous fight for equality to throwing temper tantrums all around the country if they don’t agree with something.

Listening to the NAACP, Rev. Jesse Jackson, the charlatan Sharpton the impression is that we are still in the 60’s but as the 1st Black President,  2nd in count Bill Clinton,  things are better. A survey of High School blacks students last year 84% of the students thought that race was not a problem, (I have lost the link will post when I find it).

The adoption of the NAACP, Jackson, Sharpton and many others of the Zimmerman Case to raise issues of race, racial profiling, discrimination in the Justice System  and the rabidly persecution after the non-guilty verdict have caused more people to question their relevancy today.   Not only that but the united front that the movement had achieved, primarily has begun to show cracks, more and more  black voices are not toying the line.

CNN’s Don Lemon agreed with Bill O’Reilly about some of the issues in the black community in this video, for which he was called a turncoat MOFO


Russell Simmons a man who has become a multimillionaire by promoting the Urban Culture, selling music, magazines and fashion objected to Lemon and wrote a letter

I got a chance to see what you said over the weekend about black America. At first I thought it was Fox News, but then I remembered you’re a CNN dude. I have nothing against Fox News, as Roger Ailes is my man, but the gospel you were preaching sounded like O’Reilly and Hannity were pulling your strings. Thank goodness my political director, Michael Skolnik, was on the show to stand up for African-Americans, because conservatives love when we blame ourselves for the conditions that have destroyed the fabric of the black community. I respect your courage on many other issues, but I can’t accept that you would single out black teenagers as the cause of their own demise because they don’t speak the King’s English or wear belts around their waistbands. Read the rest here:

To Simmons the issues that Lemon talked about were just fashion statements, like bell bottoms and dashikis were in the 70’s and for some kids that is all that it will be, but for too many there are other aspects of the Culture, that promote violence and misogynistic behavior.  He points out that many of those rebellious youths became quite successful as adults, forgetting to mention that at lot of that behavior was conducted in the schools and colleges, today because of the bad behavior they are not finishing HS much less going on to college, comparing the two eras only damages the community.

Ann Althouse had a conversation with Glenn Loury the black progressive professor in Brown University regarding the case and whether it was the right case to become a racial cause celebre? To which he admitted that it was not, though he hedged when asked whether it was proper for the NAACP and Sharpton to adopt cases to make political points.

Other black voices have also spoken to express their agreement with the verdict in the case, people like Charles Barkley, hall of fame basketball player and TNT announcer and Stephen A. Smith ESPN commentator.  Smith expressed his dismay at the utter failure of the Media to portray the case fairly, which led to his original amazement at the verdict.

This of course has not stopped the NAACP, Rev. Jackson or Al Sharpton from their stance regarding the verdict or their attack on Stand Your Ground laws that were not involved in the case to begin with.  The same law that is used disproportionately by blacks in Florida and that had the support of both President Obama, when he was a State Legislator in Illinois or Congresswoman Wilson who voted for the law when it was passed in Florida in 2005.  After all the black community suffer disproportionately by the violence in their communities.

So what is going on by all this fuss,  it appears that the old dinosaurs are trying to demonstrate their relevancy.  The have failed their community and the community is noticing.  The attention on SYG grounds distracts from other areas that are more important and have a higher impact on the community.  Crime, unwed motherhood, drop-out rates all of these issues will have a larger and more lasting effect on the community.  A law that has been used on average 28 times a year, almost half of which have been invoked by black defendants in Florida, will not make long-lasting effects on the community, but it sure looks like they are doing something.

Rev. Jackson used to say: “Take a moment and turn it into a cause” but this cause is not getting the attention that they commanded and that is a good sign.    Maybe now we can focus on things that will make a difference in the Black community for the betterment of the whole country.