Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mike Tyson and ANC Leader Share Similar Pasts


African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a charity fundraising banquet honoring former boxer Mike Tyson on Wednesday in Johannesburg, South Africa. However, he withdrew after being criticized by South African women’s groups.

South Africa is a country with one of the highest rates of rape. About 50,000 rape cases are reported each year in South Africa, almost 150 per day. Women's rights groups estimate that only one in nine rapes are reported to police. Zuma himself was found not guilty of raping a family friend two years ago. Tyson served a three-year sentence for the 1991 rape of an 18-year-old beauty queen in Indiana.

Women’s groups had called on the ANC leader to withdraw from the event. Earlier Wednesday, the One in Nine Campaign, a group of women’s rights organizations, had called “the pairing of ANC leader Zuma and Tyson…particularly distasteful and abhorrent.” Carrie Shelver, of People Opposing Women Abuse, called Zuma's withdrawal a good step. "It may be, and it seems to us, that pressure placed on him in the media may have swayed him," Shelver said. Reporters arriving at the event were handed a statement from organizers saying Zuma "had been called away on urgent ANC business."

Organizers promised Tyson would make a statement at the banquet denouncing violence against women. However, Tyson did not address the issue. He took to the stage and made a brief statement about how pleased he was to be in South Africa and thanked the organizers for their hospitality. He then returned to his seat next to the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who he befriended some years ago in New York. The master of ceremonies, Carol Manana, did make comments supporting women's rights and the eradication of violence against women. Manana is a television sports presenter and survivor of domestic abuse. An auction of Tyson items was to benefit children's organizations.

Both Zuma and Tyson are seen as fighters who have survived harsh upbringings to become powerful popular figures. Both have had run-ins with the law, and have poor records when it comes to women's rights. The 41-year-old boxer, who infamously took a bite out of rival Evander Holyfield's ear, also was accused of abusing his former wife, actress Robin Givens.

Zuma, who is facing corruption charges, said during his rape trial that the woman had been wearing a skirt, which he interpreted as inviting his sexual advances. Zuma has apologized for his statements during his trial, but recently earned more criticism from women's groups when he took a second wife. Polygamy is in line with some South African traditions. Zuma's "statements prior, during and post rape trial reveal his patriarchal beliefs on men and women's roles and rights in South Africa," the statement from the One in Nine Campaign said.

Tyson, once called the "baddest man on the planet," will tour Soweto on Thursday and be a celebrity commentator at a boxing event on Saturday.

Australia to Apologize to Aborigines


Australia will issue its first formal apology to the country's Black indigenous people, better known as Aborigines, next month, in a milestone that could ease tensions with a minority once subjected to policies including the removal of mixed-blood children from families on the premise that their race was doomed.

The literal translation of the word Aborigine is: the people who were here from the beginning. Aborigines lived in areas that were being settled by the Europeans, and were forced off their land as towns and farms were developed. Thousands were massacred to make way for farms and settlements.

The Feb. 13 apology will be the first item of business for the new Parliament. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose Labor Party won November elections, had promised to push for an apology, which has been debated in Australia for years. The government hopes the apology will signal the beginning of a new relationship between Australia and its original people.

The apology will be made on behalf of the Australian government and does not attribute guilt to the current generation of Australian people. The government has previously ruled out financial compensation for the impoverished Aborigines. "Once we establish this respect, the government can work with indigenous communities to improve services aimed at closing the 17-year life expectancy gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians," said one cabinet official.

A national inquiry in 1997 found that many children taken from their families suffered long-term psychological effects stemming from the loss of family and culture. Ya think! The inquiry recommended that state and federal authorities apologize and compensate those removed from their families. But then-Prime Minister John Howard steadfastly refused to do either, saying his government should not be held responsible for the policies of former officials. Sound all too familiar? That’s the same lame line of reasoning followed when the subject of reparations to Blacks (for slavery) in the U.S is broached. We were taught that actions speak louder than words, but it appears that doesn’t apply when money is involved.

From 1910 until the 1970s, around 100,000 mixed-blood Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and placed into institutions under state and federal laws based on a premise that Aborigines were a doomed race and saving the children was a humane alternative. Sounds like massa was doing the same thing to Black women in the outback that he was doing in the slave quarters.

From the late 1830s the remnants of the tribes in the settled areas were moved onto Reserves and Missions where they were 'managed' by White men and were forbidden from teaching their children their language and customs. Separation was an official government policy which lasted for many decades and today, many Aboriginal people do not know their origins. They have no idea which tribe they are descended or the names of their parents and/or grandparents. Australia's original inhabitants, Aborigines number about 450,000 among a population of 21 million. Aborigines are the poorest ethnic group in Australia and are most likely to be jailed, unemployed and illiterate.

Recent scientific studies have concluded that the Australian Aborigines were the original Americans! In other words, the theory is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were adventurers who arrived in the North American continent before the Vikings or Columbus. This theory states that the ancestors of the American Indians are Australians Aborigines. Separate studies by both Brazilian and US scholars are revealing that the first humans to enter the New World more than 14,000 years ago were not Mongoloid peoples as has always been thought - but were instead people of the same race as Australian Aborigines.

Finding Their Way: The Fruit Falls Near the Tree

The son of the greatest icon in basketball history averages just 0.9 points. But you would never guess that by listening to him describe his freshman season at Illinois. "I'm having so much fun," Jeff Jordan said last week. "I'm glad I decided to give this a try."

With no athletic scholarship offer, Michael Jordan's oldest son became Illini as a walk-on. He's averaging just 4.2 minutes per game and has made just three shots all season. At this point, he is just glad to be on the Illini roster.

The refreshing thing is that, at Illinois, no one seems to care. He said his classmates don't sweat him because of his dad or tease him because he can't do a 360-dunk. Instead they're treating him like any other college student, which is what Jeff hoped for in the first place.

Jeff figured his basketball career would end after his final high school game. He averaged 15 points as a senior at Loyola Academy in Highland Park, IL, but without any big-time scholarship offers, he seemed content to give up the sport and enroll at Illinois on an academic s scholarship

Illini coach Bruce Weber said Jeff's biggest weakness is his 3-point shooting, but he praised his midrange game and his ability to slash into the paint. According to Weber, Jeff's most impressive characteristic is the way he conducts himself off the court.

"He's as humble as any kid we have in our program," Weber said. "He's proud to be Michael's son, but at the same time he enjoys being Jeffery Jordan." Dad, Michael was on hand to watch Illinois play Duke in the Maui Invitational in November, but he's yet to attend a game in Champaign because of his duties as the part-owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

"He's pretty hands-off," Jeff said. "He only gives me information when I come to him and ask for it.

Other famous former athletes with sons following in their footsteps include Michael Jordan’s sidekick with the NBA Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen. His oldest child, Antron Pippen, plays for Collins Hill High School in the Atlanta metro area. Pippen, who grew 6 inches when he got to college, says his son is much better than he was at this stage.

"I get nervous," Antron said. "When my dad's there, I want to do my best, which sometimes makes me press. But I calm down and play my game." Pippen is one of several offspring of professional athletes who play high school basketball in metro Atlanta. Former North Carolina star Charlie Scott's son, Shaun, plays at Lovett; ex-NBA all-star Ralph Sampson has a sophomore 6-foot-10 son, Ralph Jr., at Mt. Pisgah; former NFL back Craig (Ironhead) Heyward's son, Cameron, plays at Peachtree Ridge; Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams' son, Adrian, is a starter at No. 1 Wheeler. Shawn Kemp, Jr., is a ninth-grader at Sprayberry.

"There's satisfaction as a father seeing him play and seeing the love he has for the game," Scottie Pippen said. "I love watching him play. But he's his own person and he has to go through his own life. I understand the pressures he has because I'm his father. People expect a lot out of him. But he has to expect more out of himself."
"That is not as easy as it sounds." said Doug Williams' son, Adrian, who has flourished as a basketball player at Westminster and Wheeler.

Other college sons of former professional athletes include Stephen Curry at Davidson, son former NBA player Dell Curry, Maryland’s D. J. Strawberry, son of former major league star Darryl Strawberry, Georgetown’s Jeremiah Rivers and Patrick Ewing, Jr, sons of Celtics coach and former NBA guard Doc Rivers and former NBA Center Patrick Ewing, respectively.

NBA players include Mike Conley, Jr., whose dad was an Olympic gold medal-winning triple jumper, Joakim Noah, son of former tennis star Yannick, Al Horford and Taurean Green, whose dads played in the NBA.

And how about Georgetown coach John Thompson III, restoring the program to the glory days built by his dad, a former coach at Georgetown and NBA player.

The main challenge of all kids with fathers as former athletes: Finding their way."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Detroit Mayor's Troubles

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, put in her letter of resignation Monday amid allegations that she and the mayor lied under oath about their affair.
The allegations came to light when the Detroit Free Press reported details of steamy text messages between Mayor Kilpatrick and Beatty. The newspaper examined 14,000 messages, which revealed a flirty and sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their meetings. An example, on October 16, 2002, Kilpatrick reportedly wrote Beatty, “I’ve been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for three days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love.” There was also evidence that Kilpatrick and Beatty used city funds to arrange their romantic getaways.
The mayor and Beatty testified in a trial last summer that they did not have a physical relationship in 2002 and 2003, when the messages were reportedly sent. The text messages contradict this testimony with such messages as: Beatty: "And, did you miss me, sexually?" Kilpatrick: "Hell yeah! You couldn't tell. I want some more.
The case involved a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs. The trial records read like an episode of the HBO hit series “The Wire”. The mayor and the Detroit City Council voted to settle the pair of whistle-blower lawsuits against Kilpatrick for $8 million settlement to the two officers involved in the civil suit, and an additional $400,000 to a third officer who was ready to begin civil proceedings related to the whistle-blower trial. Kilpatrick said "I've humbly concluded that a settlement ... is the correct decision for my family and the entire Detroit community."
The mayor is married with three children. Ms Beatty was married at the time of the messages and has two children. The two have been friends since they attended the same Detroit high school. He appointed her as his chief of staff when he became the state House minority leader in 1999 (the first Black to hold a leadership position in the Michigan Legislature) and she managed his campaigns for the state House of Representatives and the mayor’s office.

The newspaper did not explain exactly how it obtained the messages, but this just goes to show you that all your phone calls, text messages, emails, etc., can be monitored. When you run for public office, remember it is just that, PUBLIC.


Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, age 37, was on everyone’s list of the rising stars for the future. Elected at age 31, he is the youngest mayor in the history of Detroit, as well as the second youngest current mayor of any major U.S. city. He is currently Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. He graduated from Florida A&M University with honors. He was also captain of the football team. He earned his law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law. Prior to his election as a state representative, Kilpatrick was a middle school teacher at Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit.

His mother, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, serves as President of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Since taking office as mayor in 2002, Kilpatrick has spurred unprecedented reinvestment in the city’s neighborhoods and downtown while making and implementing a series of difficult decisions to wipe out an inherited deficit and rescue the City from the threat of receivership.

"The New York Times" Travel Section recognized the city’s tremendous progress when it listed Detroit in December as one of 53 “must-see” destinations around the world for 2008. Detroit received national recognition for its success hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2005, Super Bowl XL in 2006 and the 2006 World Series. Those accolades enticed The IndyCar® Series and American Le Mans Series to add the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix to their schedule every Labor Day weekend through 2011. It also brought the National Association of for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) 98th Annual National Convention. The Kilpatrick Administration also landed the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Finals, 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, and 2010 NCAA Men’s Hockey Frozen Four.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Exercise Your Right to VOTE

Yes, Senator Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary by a landslide margin, and yes, he was by the best-known family in Democratic politics, first by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President Kennedy, and then by Senator Edward Kennedy. And excitement is widespread throughout the Black community, for this is the first time that a Black candidate has a real shot at the presidency. His youth and energy have drawn comparisons to John F. Kennedy during his run.

Yes Senator Obama has a real shot. He has not won. He has not even won the Democratic race. In South Carolina, Black voters made up more than half the electorate. We will have a much better picture after next Tuesday when 22 states will be voting including the state with the largest population, California, and New York, with the second largest population. Of the states that vote on February 5th, only Georgia has a Black population equal to that of South Carolina. Maybe that will not make any difference since he won in Iowa and came in a close second in New Hampshire, where the Black population is very small. If the senator is to win the nomination he must once again prove he can reach his goal “to get beyond…racial politics.

It appears that Senator Obama is getting endorsed from all the major players of the Democratic Party, excluding the Clintons of course, with the exception of a sector where he should have been endorsed first. Other than Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson, I haven’t heard of any so called “Black leaders” committing an endorsement. Al Sharpton, Bob Johnson, Representative John Lewis of Georgia, etc., all appear to have placed their own agendas and interests before the people that put them in the positions they hold. Could it be they have debts to pay?

At any rate, WE all have to get out and do what thousands fought, bleed and died for in the 1950’s and 60’s. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE. EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Must See TV

I love watching TV during the month of February. Since it is Black History Month it seems that almost all the networks broadcast special programs slanted toward Black audiences, as if we don’t watch during the other twelve months (but that’s another topic to be covered at a later date).

Of course BET and TV One broadcast specifically for us year round, but Sunday, January, 27, BET is adding some extra flavor. Just check out this lineup:

11:00 am - Exalted - Exploring the lives of today’s renowned preachers. This weeks episode: “Juanita Bynum”.

12:00 pm - The Bishop Speaks - In a national exclusive, Bishop Thomas Weeks, III speaks to BET’s Gerard Henry, telling his side of what went down the night he allegedly beat his wife, Prophetess Juanita Bynum.

5:00 pm - BlackBuster Movie - “Fabric of a Man”, BET premiere of David E. Talbert’s outstanding play. Considered the crown jewel of Talbert's romantic
musical plays, it is the story of a woman who is forced to decide which man's fabric
suits her best.

8:00 pm - Celebration of Gospel "08 - BET’s popular COG ’08 is back for another
round of inspiring gospel music. Host: Steve Harvey. Performances by: Kirk Franklin, J. Moss, “KiKi” Sheard, Yolanda Adams, Patti Labelle, John Legend and more!

9:00 pm - An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Smokey Robinson - The United Negro College Fund honors legendary songwriter and singer William "Smokey" Robinson.
Star-packed and commercial-free.

Great Black entertainment television…. That's what I'm talking about!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crisis In Kenya

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and African statesman is in Nairobi, Kenya to try and resolve a bitter standoff between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition challenger Raila Odinga. The crisis involves a disputed poll that plunged Kenya into chaos and ethnic bloodshed. Annan is escorted by fellow mediators Benjamin Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania, and Graca Machel, the wife of former South African leader Nelson Mandela. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni also arrived on Tuesday to join in the mediation efforts, though the opposition distrusts him because he is one of few African leaders to have congratulated Kibaki on his victory.

"We expect all parties to enter into dialogue in good faith and to seize this opportunity to end the suffering and uncertainty," Annan said. However, it remains to be seen if any progress can be made since Odinga and Kibaki have refused to speak to each other despite pressure from Western powers like the United States, Britain and the European Union. Mr. Annan's mission follows a similar attempt by African Union head and Ghanaian President John Kufuor. He failed to get Kibaki and Odinga to meet.

Clashes between Kibaki and Odinga supporters, ethnic unrest, and a brutal crackdown by the security forces have killed at least 650 people over the past month. Mr. Odinga says a December 27 poll that returned Kibaki to power was fraudulent. His supporters have taken to the streets, and mobs mostly targeting Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe have hacked people to death and burnt homes. There have also been reprisal killings.

The opposition will hold a memorial gathering starting at a mortuary then proceeding to a football field near Nairobi's Kibera slum on Wednesday for those who have died in the unrest. Police have banned all rallies and have broken up previous gatherings of supporters from both sides but said they will allow the memorial gathering to go ahead.

About 250,000 Kenyans have been uprooted by the fighting that has tarnished the country's image, cost east Africa's biggest economy more than $1 billion, and choked fuel supplies and trade to landlocked neighbors like Uganda.

As we here in the U.S. are in the mist of a presidential election year, it is a sad sight to see real political fighting in an African country. But it is also great to see Black men and women from other African countries attempt mediation between the factions.

The western media criticizes the civil fighting in African countries but somehow fails to remember that the U.S. had its own civil war at one time. After all most of the African countries have had independence for only fifty or so years. They are just following the example of their former enslavers.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. King Honored At His Home Church

More than 2,000 people, including Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, former President Bill Clinton, and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, crowded Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s commitment to peace and equality and note the importance of his legacy in this election year.

King's birthday is Jan. 15, but the federal holiday bearing his name is observed on the third Monday in January. It has been a national holiday since 1986, but his birthday has been observed at Ebenezer Baptist — where King preached from 1960 until 1968 — every year since his assassination in Memphis, Tenn., at age 39 on April 4, 1968.

The diversity of the presidential race that includes a Mormon, a Black man, a woman, and a Baptist preacher, is definitely in line with Dr. King’s vision.

"Martin aimed high, acted with faith, and dreamed miracles that inspired a nation. Mayor Franklin said. "King's legacy gives light to our hopes, permission to our aspirations and relevance to our dreams."

"He freed us all to fight the civil rights battle, to fight the poverty battle, to fight all these battles and do it together," Clinton said. "He made a place at the table for all of us."

Mayor Franklin, who recently endorsed Democratic hopeful Senator Barack Obama, said, "We are at the cusp of turning the impossible into reality. Yes, this is reality, not a fantasy, or a fairy tale." Bill Clinton has been criticized in the Black community for describing aspects of Senator Obama's candidacy as "a fairy tale." The largely Black crowd erupted in applause at the mayor’s comments.

The war in Iraq also drew a mention. "We would be remiss if we did not commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., a champion of peace in a time of war," said Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of King and president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Farris urged diplomacy, economic incentives and other nonviolent efforts "as an alternative to military intervention to end the war in Iraq," drawing applause from the crowd.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Don Cheadle Receives Peace Award

Actors Don Cheadle and George Clooney recently received peace awards for their efforts to raise awareness about the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region. Both actors were presented with bronze statues at a ceremony marking the opening of a yearly meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates organized by a foundation headed by former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Cheadle remarked, “these people need help and protection, but they do have hope”. He started in Hotel Rwando, a movie with similar circumstances as the situation in Darfur, as well as Crash and Talk to Me. He is also the executive producer of the recently released documentary Darfur Now.

Cheadle and Clooney, who co-starred in the movies Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 12, and Ocean’s 13, co-founded the humanitarian organization Not On Our Watch (NOOW) together with other stars, to focus global attention on the plight of Darfur’s people. More than 200,000 have lost their lives and 2.5 million people have been uprooted from their homes since 2003.

This country has committed troops and resources all over the world in the fight against terrorism and helping people in need. Darfur seems to meet both of the conditions and I don’t see us lifting a finger. Sudan’s Arab-dominated government is systematically committing genocide against the people of the Darfur region.

NOOW has raised more than $9.3 million for humanitarian efforts in the region. However that is private money. We as a country spend more than that each day in Iraq. Maybe it’s because there is no oil in Darfur…just Black people.

Orgin of the "N" Word

The word “nig…” at one time was one of the most revered and sacred words of the ancient Egyptians, to be more precise, the Khemites, who called their land Khemet (The Black Land). Ngr, (pronounced “en-ger”), the father of the “n” word, was the ancient Egyptian word for god. As one can see, there are no vowels in this word. In the ancient African and even the present African languages (the Afro-Asiatic linguistic family) the vowels “a,e,i,o,u” are not found in many translations, particularly of ancient Hebrew and Egyptian languages.

Ntyr, (pronounced net-jer), the Egyptian word for “nature,” is also a word used for god. It is easy to see how a slight mispronunciation could easily lead to “nig...”
In many African languages, particularly the Niger-Congo language family, words that connects with people, gods, and groups begin with “n” and that word is always the first word. Many common names also begin with “N”.
Some common examples follow:
N-g-r (Egyptian; pronounced en-jer) = god
N-t-y-r (Egypt; pronounced net-ger) = god, divine
Negash (Ethiopia; ne-gash) = king
Negus (Ethiopia; ne-goos) = emperor
Nkosi (Xhosa; en-kosi) = god
Ndaba (Zulu; en-daba) = council/officials (gathering of elders)
Naga (East Indian, Nubian = people
Nugarmarta (West African = people

HOW THE N BECAME CORRUPTED

The Romans are probably the first Europeans to misrepresent the word. About the early part of the First Century, Romans tried to invade Ethiopia. The Romans had a name for Blacks; it was “Niger” and it meant Black or people of African origins. Thus, Septimus Niger would have meant, Septimus the Negro. Yet, how did the Romans connect the word “Niger” to Black.

In ancient times, Black kings were worshipped as gods. The gods of Greece came from Egypt. The worship of the Black Madonna is connected with the worship of Isis, the Egyptian goddess. Moreover, Blacks in Egypt called their Pharaohs “En-ger” or “N-g-r”; he was literally referred to as “the god.” It is very possible that when the Romans tried to invade Nubia, they asked for the name of the leader and the term “N-g-r” was probably used in place of “leader” or “king”. In Angola, the same also happened during the 1600’s when the word “N-gola” which means “king”, came to be “Angola,” the name of a kingdom in south western Africa. A Roman general invading Nubia from Egypt would probably have used the Egyptian term for Pharaoh, which was “N-g-r” (god). This term then was used to refer to all Blacks and as time went by, the word N-g-r became Niger.

Thus ends the first installment of little known Nubian history. and I’ll add this for free. The Romans also classified their Emperors as “gods,” to follow the Egyptian style. Moreover, as the History Channel pointed out, Rome was a collection of villages before the Egyptians built it up.
(You can read more the book, “Susu Economics: The History of Pan-African Trade, Commerce, Money and Wealth,” published by 1stBooks Library, (1stbooks.com also see barnesandnoble.com).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Politics of Hope

The Politics of Hope

Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s promise to bring us together – blue states and red, young and old, women and men, blacks and whites – has come under fire from those who would like things to remain as they are. Critics and rivals alike have described his vision as a na├»ve pipe dream that would be dead on arrival if he were elected president.

Obama’s message, as one critic put it, “goes against the natural condition of politics. “I’m right, you’re wrong” battles are fundamental to the republic.
From the beginning of our history, U.S. politics has thrived on the routine policy of division and the adversarial party system.

However, several passages in Senator Obama’s memoir, “The Audacity of Hope,” suggest that America was founded on core ideals of hope and the pursuit of happiness. He recalls teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago and always going back to “the founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and the Constitution,” which provide “the record of the founders’ intentions” and “the core ideals that motivated their work.”

Let the argument about the viability and practicality of Obama's major message go forward. But as it does, even his critics need to acknowledge that he is not a weird historical aberration. His message has roots in our deepest political traditions. Indeed, it is in accord with the most heartfelt and cherished version of our original intentions as a people and a nation.

I find it refreshing that at least one candidate for the presidency of the United States is reaching out to all Americans to return to hope and for continued greatness of this great country.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Michael Vick

When Michail Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for dog fighting, many, including myself, thought it might be the end of his football career, or at the least as the quarterback that we are accustomed to seeing. However after learning which prison he is assigned and his plans while there, I'm inclined to believe that he just might make it back to the National Football League.

Vick is assigned to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons minimum security facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. His attorney, Billy Martin said, "Mr. Vick hopes to participate in programs offered at that facility, including the Bureau of Prisons drug treatment program."

The residential drug treatment programs at Bureau of Prisons institutions take place in units set apart from the general prison population, lasting at least 500 hours over six to 12 months. And upon completion of the program, non-violent offenders may be granted up to one year of early release.

I would love to see Vick turn his life around for the better. I don't want to make excuses for him, but we are all products of our environment. (But for the grace of God, there go I). What I'm saying is that we place these great athletes on a pedestal, forgetting that they have only been exposed to a certain unfavorable environment, then we give them a bunch of money and expect them to change.

Many of these kids grow up in the inner city and get caught up in this sort of underground world, such as the "Dirty South" sub-culture, especially the stretch of I85 from Atlanta, Ga to Richmond, Va. And the closest thing to a father figure is their coach. And most coaches, from high school and up, have the same motto as the Raiders, "just win baby"; you're only here a couple of years anyway, then you're someone eles's problem.

That is why we miss coaches like Eddie Robinson, who put over 200 players in the NFL, but taught them how to be men along the way.

Yes, I hope Michael Vick turns his life around. After all, America loves a great comeback story.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Although we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr's. birthday on the third Monday of January each year, today, January 15 is his actual date of birth. He was born in 1929.

Clinton tries to hender Culinary Workers

Next up for the Democrats were precinct caucuses Saturday in Nevada. There, Clinton's supporters awaited a court ruling on a lawsuit seeking a last-minute change in rules they agreed to months ago when the former first lady was the overwhelming national front-runner in the race. But the union voted last week to endorse Obama, and the lawsuit followed.

Their objective was to prevent several caucuses along the Las Vegas Strip, where thousands of Culinary Workers Union employees — many of them Hispanic or black — hold jobs.

So, is it that the Clinton campaign want Black and Brown voters to participate only when they vote for them? Sounds like Republicans to me.

It seems as though Hillary is more concerned was a bit over confident of the support she would get from Blacks. May be she should pay more attention to the every day Black person instead of paying so much attention to the likes of Bob Johnson, Charles Rangel, and Al Sharpton.

Fruits and vegetables help ward off asthm and allergies

Momma was on to something when she made you sit at the table until you finished your vegetables. A recent study by Greek researchers revealed that children of women who eat a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables while pregnant are much less likely to develop asthma or allergies later in life.

The diet emphasizes vegetables, fish and healty fats such as olive and canola oil over red meat. Mediterranean people use olive oil with every meal including breakfast. Eating vegtables more than eight times a week, fish more than three times a week and legumes more than once a week seems to boost the protection.

The researchers based their findings on 468 pregnant women tracked for 6 1/2 years after giving birth using questionnaires on diet.

The women provided details on respiratory and allergic symptoms of their children, who were also tested for persistent wheezing and allergies. The children of mothers who followed the diet were 80 percent less likely to have persistent wheezing, the most common symptom of childhood asthma. They were also 45 percent less likely to develop allergies.

At the same time, children of women who consumed more red meat seemed to be at higher risk of developing these problems.

But we really don't need to hear what researchers say do we? We just have to do what momma said, "you are going to sit there until you eat those vegetables"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Democrats at odds

The Democratic Party which found that it had at least two candidates who were seen as widely "acceptable" to its various factions just a few weeks ago could soon find that happy consensus has evaporated. After the past few days, the pertinent question to ask is, is the crack-up happening already? Far-fetched as it would have seemed a month ago, the seeds of self-destruction are being planted in the war of coded words about race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The bickering has exploded in the space of a week into Topic A in the Democratic race, supplanting for the moment the war, the economy, and health care - and shows no sign of a quick resolution. Both campaigns are stoking this fire - and worrying at the same time about what this could do to them in the fall. They ought to be concerned: Keep this up and neither candidate may be able to marshal the votes from the various corners of the Democratic coalition that he or she will need in the fall.

The mess began - as these things almost always do - in a normal tit for tat between the candidates. After Obama was poised to surge past Clinton after his victory in Iowa, Clinton charged that Obama was raising "false hopes" with his soaring rhetoric that emphasized ends over means. Obama skewered Clinton right back in New Hampshire, asking where the nation would be if both JFK - in making a manned mission to the moon a goal - or Martin Luther King Jr. - in his 1963 Lincoln Memorial speech - had instead shut down their visions and told America they were simply too hard to achieve. Delivered with humor and soaring applause, Obama's was a devastating reply.

But then Clinton came back and, far less artfully, said that King's visions were great, but it took an experienced politician like Lyndon Johnson to get them enacted. At the very least, Clinton had equated the sometimes crass master of the legislative backroom with one of America's patron saints. (The real problem is that Clinton seemed to put LBJ on a pedestal higher than King's.) That was probably not her intention, but neither was this her best example in the deeds-not-words crusade she was on. In any case, at that point, things began to unravel.
Now we have both campaigns accusing the other of stoking the fire, of deliberately misunderstanding the other, and both sides have had their various lieutenants and seconds trying to "help" explain things, which almost always makes things worse. That much was clear over the weekend, when BET founder Bob Johnson, in trying to defend the Clintons, appeared to all the world to be bringing up Obama's admitted history of drug use (Johnson later claimed he was actually referring to Obama's history as a community organizer, a laughable explanation that only dug the hole deeper.)

The real truth is that Martin Luther King, Jr. came to President Kennedy with proposal to get the Civil Rights Act passed and Kennedy hedged on it. Then after Kennedy was killed and Johnson became president MLK came to the White House and demanded that LBJ get ur done.

It hasn't helped matters that one of the men to whom the party has turned to defuse these fights in the past is conflicted out of this one. Bill Clinton's comment that the Obama campaign - or Obama's Iraq war position, depending on who you believe - was "a fairy tale" makes it impossible for him to play that role here. It's going to take some wise soul to sort this one out.

I suggest they both get back to what the country is interested in, the war, the economy, etc..

Close Democratic race in Georgia

Democratic rivals Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton are in a tight race, according to a state poll done for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. Senator Obama of Illinois was supported by 36 percent of those surveyed and Senator Clinton of New York has 33 percent according to the newspaper. Former Senator John Edward is third at 14 percent.

Black Schools Tap New Funding Source

Faced with shrinking budgets, an increasing number of publicly funded historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) are turning to older, successful alumni. "There's a new recognition that there is wealth out there in the Black community and that the colleges have a strong claim on it," said Michael Lomas, president of the United Negro College Fund.
"There are large numbers of baby boomers that went to Black colleges. Over the next 20 to 30 years, they are going to be part of the wealth transfer," he said. Who or what is a baby boomer? Following World War II, the U. S. and other countries experienced an unusual spike in birth rates, a phenomenon commonly known as the baby boom; persons born between 1945 and 1964.

Black colleges are expanding their fundraising offices to tap a network of aging alumni, according to administrators at historically black schools. The colleges are encouraging donors to include their campuses in estate planning or in life insurance policies. Fundraising has often ranked low on the list of priorities for many Black schools, particularly for public schools dependent on state and federal funds. However, as education costs soar and government budgets shrink or stagnate many such schools are now doing what their private counterparts and larger, majority White institutions have done for decades.

In 2007 Morgan State completed its first capital campaign, raising $31 million. Prior to the drive, the school used telemarketers to call alumni. Now the school plans to actively woo alumni at homecoming, commencement and other events.

The Great Debaters

I very seldom buy a movie DVD, but The Great Debaters is one I will definately purchase. Inspired by a true story, "The Great Debaters" chronicles the journey of Professor Melvin Tolson, a brilliant but volatile debate team coach who uses the power of words to shape a group of underdog students, from a small Black (Wiley) college in the Jim Crow south, into a historically elite debate team. A controversial figure, Professor Tolson challenged the social mores of the time and was under constant fire for his unconventional and ferocious teaching methods as well as his radical political views.

The movie features two Oscar winners in Denzel Washington, who also directed, and Forest Whitaker. It also stars three youngsters whom I predict will become household names, Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, and Denzel Whitaker.

Who would imagine debates as exciting as a football game? Great movie!!! A must have for your DVD collection.

50 Million Pounds Challenge

I just signed up for Dr. Ian Smith's 50 Million Pound Challenge and I am so excited. It is sponsored by State Farm Insurance Co. I have set a really challenging goal, but I will accomplish it long before the May 2009 deadline. Dr. Smith's challenge is an attempt to help African-Americans tackle one of the nation's top health problems: obesity. They're offering free online weight loss support and complimentary kits filled with jump ropes, pedometers and more to Blacks across the U.S.

On the Web site you have your own account to track your weight loss, get recipes and diet tips, and your own personalized workout schedule. Dr. Smith states that there are more than 35 million African-Americans in the U.S.. And more than half of them need to lose weight. If only 5 million people lose 10 pounds the goal can easily be reached.

How did obesity get so bad in our community? Two reasons quickly come to mind: (1) the ease of fast foods, (2) and with the advent of social conveniences, we've become a less physically active society. You can get your dry cleaning delivered, your DVDs delivered. You can stay home and order just about everything.

What is the key to success in losing weight: We just have to realize that we can lose weight without drastic changes. If we eat more fruits and vegetables because they are super foods that fight and prevent diseases because of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in them. If you drink one regular soda a day, switching to diet soda alone could help you drop 15 pounds in a year. And if we get some kind of exercise; just 30 minutes of walking for at least three days a week. Exercise is important because it conditions your heart, improves your breathing ability, and helps prevent arthritis in your joints.

For more information or to join the challenge log onto http://50millionpounds.com/

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Black Vote Moves To Center Stage

With nomination contests in Iowa and New Hampshire settled, Black voting power now moves into the spotlight.

Historical realities suggest that Blacks won't play much of a role in determining the Rublican Party presidential nominee. But this year's Democratic primary and caucus schedule will find all the leading candidates, Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards, actively seeking Black voters. According to the Pew Research Center, Blacks are 10 1/2 times as likely to identify themselves as Democrat than Republican.

When South Carolina Democrats hold their primary on January 26 -- the state Republican contest is January 19 -- the choices of substantial numbers of Black voters will be tallied for the first time in this election.

Blacks make up about half of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. A political science professor at Furman University in Greenville, S. C. thinks turnout in the party primary there will be 4-to-1 Black.

Senator Obama's stunning victory over second place finisher former Senator Edwards and Senator Clinton's third in the Iowa caucuses combined with his strong second in New Hampshire's primary showed he could win White votes. And he continues to gain major endorsements daily.

Research Email Rumors Before Forwarding

In response to the false email circulating that presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama is a Muslim who turns his back to the U.S. flag and slouches when others are reciting the Pledge of Alegiance:

The last I heard is that this great country was built on religious freedom. We are not all White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP). They tried to say President John F. Kennedy would not be a good president because he was a Catholic. We all received our introduction in religion by whatever our parents believed, then we made our own choices by that which we grew to believe. Senator Obama is now a practicing Christian (so is President Bush...). The only thing that will make you a good or bad president is your leadership abilities.

In this age of the ever present camera, there is no way that he could turn his back on the U.S. flag while the Pledge is being recited. Don't believe the hype people

One good thing is that Black people are talking and excited about politics. So get out and get registered and vote. Research the candidate of your choice and concentrate on his or her ability to lead the country.