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Friday, December 18th 2009

10:43 AM

BRWON TIGERS

Having
dissected,
inspected and
claimed to erected
A man who only owed us a game of golf
One wonders when the killin’s done
When the sport of making fun
Has finally run
Its course
No more blood in the water
Interesting how just a bit ago
In fact now even so
The electronic noose
Encircled another brother
Yes, he was wrong as we discover
But it comes down
to when is enough?
Just how long do we leave them hanging
On someone else’s tree?  
The difference for us
It just as easy could be
You…or me.
Chappelle understood
What they had to say
So he got up
and walked away
Rather than be
Arrayed
Displayed
Dismayed
On the platinum plantation.
They called him crazy…
Deluded
And lazy…
Drugged out?
Had to be
A platinum plantation
And you choose to be free?
though he didn’t do a damn thing wrong…
he was
inspected,
dissected,
until he chose
to disconnect it
all.
On his terms.
When you knock yourself down
How do you rise when
Folks be standing on you then
Decide that you need to be walked on
One more time.
Vicarious sins heaped upon  
Upon one
In place of one
Who long since fled
But is still in our head
Not yours to forgive
Nor mine.
Letting go of the notion
That time
is not a one-way street
Going in the opposite direction
No bell can be unrung
No pain can be undone
But healing can come
If you let it.
Second chances
Not an equaled opportunity
Some get them
Some don’t
Apparently.
Who chooses?
And when?
But then again
In the darkness of snow
The waters are angry
And hungry for blood.

(c)12/09 E. Joyce Moore
35 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, August 26th 2009

9:32 PM

New Website and Blog

i am currently posting blogs and comments on facebook and twitter, as well as my new book website, www.moorehamenterprises.yolasite.com.
 I post daily on Huffington Post as well, which feeds to FB and Twitter.  Hope you'll visit.  I will be back on occasion, though.

32 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Friday, June 26th 2009

8:11 PM

The Meaning of Michael Jackson

My friend and fellow writer, Tyrone Umrani wrote this piece and for me it says it all:

Words don't come easily for this. The news of Michael Jackson's sudden death was a shock for me, as I am sure it was for everyone. We are all still trying to wrap our minds around him being gone. Word was that he was about to tour again. There was even word that he was going to tour with his brothers. I had visions of sitting down front eagerly waiting for them break into "Maybe Tomorrow."

Michael's death is a loss that will take some time to comprehend, particularly from those of my generation. Michael and I were the same age. I've heard many comment that they felt like they grew up with him. I've only seen him from a back row seat in the Capital Center, but I feel the same sentiment -- we DID grow up together.

It is hard for the younger generation to understand what Michael and his brothers meant to us. Most forget that when the Jackson 5 made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, it was a time when black folks used to read Jet magazine to see what blacks were going to be on TV. We waited for the September Ebony to count the number of black players on NFL rosters.To see those five brothers from Gary, Indiana, dressed in stripped bell bottomed pants, butterfly collared shirts and perfectly shaped afros was magic!

Michael was us. Michael represented a new place in the world for a black boy to be. His talent was electric. We loved him for it and we never stopped loving even when it looked like he didn't want to be us anymore. We all made fun of his
metamorphosis. We laughed at the jokes, but we never forgot the magic and we were always in awe of his art. Michael always got the benefit from me and I'm sure I'm not alone. Through all of the craziness that engulfed him in recent years, I gave him the benefit of doubt because of what he meant in those formative years.

I received a text from my brother saying that we will all remember where were when we heard the news. That is true and ironically fitting because I surely remember where I was that night those five stair stepped brothers came into my living room courtesy of Ed Sullivan. We will all, old and young, have our memories of Michael to hold. My daughter Jasmine literally broke into hysterical tears when his HBO concert aired, so that may be her memory. Whatever it is for you, and there are many to choose -- Motown 25, Billie Jean, Beat It, Thriller, and many more -- I am sure that Michael's transcendent talent will forever endure.

A footnote:
When Michael bought the Beatles' catalogue, he found that he'd
also bought the publishing rights to Little Richard's music. He gave Little Richard his music back. GAVE it to him. He had a respect for the legacy of artists that made him possible.

Michael, we will miss you. May GOD forgive your shortcomings, accept our prayers, and grant you paradise.

25 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, June 17th 2009

5:50 PM

Princesses, Frogs and Racial Images

As I observe the racially motivated insults  in the last few days, such as First Lady Michelle Obama (insulted by a SC GOPer) and the President insulted by some government employee forwarding an image of all the Presidents that depict President Obama as a pair of eyes open in a dark room, I wonder.  I have written about the matter of this Disney film a couple of years ago, when it was nothing more than a thought.  Even wrote a letter to them in hopes that they would get this right, by not giving us what they want us to have, but giving us what we want: A great and positive image of a real princess of color and African descent.  To the credit of a couple of the Disney board members, a couple of them asked to be involved in the development of the film but were refused by the two men creating the film.  I was discussing my thoughts with my  business partner, who has twins, one of whom is a little girl. He'd taken them to the movies where a trailer of The Princess and the Frog was shown.  His little girl asked him: Why would the princess have to turn into a frog?  My partner was not at all happy with what he saw either.
I had a chance opportunity to speak with an insider who wanted my take on the upcoming movie.  He had been given a clip to check out and expressed concern in its content.  As a result, in February 2009 I wrote a followup commentary, which includes the original posting.  I have included it here and will simply say this: Is it truly a positive thing for us to have our princess become an animal creature, given the history in this country about how we have been viewed as 3/4 human?  Is there a reason why they could not portray the prince as a black young man?  I am not willing to accept good as enough, when better was always an option.

 DEAR PRINCESSES: SOMETIMES A FROG IS JUST A FROG


I wanted a story that would make my niece smile.  A story that she could relate to,  a story about what really defines her, a fantastic journey upon which she knew she was a passenger.  So I  researched and wrote her a story.  What gives me absolute joy is that smile I see, I hear every time I read that story to her.  On March 16, 2007, I wrote the following on my Blog:
Disney has announced that they are finally going to have a black princess.  Hmmm....  Makes perfect marketing sense, given that all money is green and this is yet an untapped market.  Problem is...the image of this black princess is not dissimilar to what is done by doll manufacturers.  Take an Anglo featured doll and color it brown.  Further , there is nothing to relate this image to the history or culture of the African American population, unlike Pocahontas or Mulan, which are at least  [very] loosely based on the history of the cultures they represent.  I can hear the jokes already:  A frog princess; if we kiss her will she turn white?  and on and on...


Maybe a bit of bias on my part, since as I promised my niece,  for whomI took the time to do research and write a really good story about an African princess, yet I cannot get an audience with the powers within the animation industry to pitch it.  I am disappointed.  Disney has a great opportunity here.  Instead of going the usual route of giving the African American market what you want us to have, instead of what we really want -- which is traditionally what happens --  then get mad if we complain about the way we are represented.  I am one who believes that if better is an option, good is not enough.

Today, nearly two years later, I read in the online version of USA Today  (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2009-02-15-disney-black-princess-tiana_N.htm)  that Disney was releasing  their line of toys for the Princess and the Frog although the movie is not scheduled to hit the theatrers until  December 2009. I suspect the Disney corporation wanted to leverage the current interest in the Obama family and all things "tween."  I  contacted  Lisa Skriloff,, president of Multicultural Marketing Resources (http://www.multicultural.com/), who the article quoted as saying: "It's [a black princess doll] very significant," says Lisa Skriloff, president of Multicultural Marketing Resources. "It's like a stamp of approval for one of the most outstanding family (entertainment) companies to say this is important."   She was kind enough to respond and honest enough to let me know that she wasn't completely aware of the point of view of the African American market when it comes to this subject.  She was gracious enough to invite me to her website and open the door of dialogue. 

While there are formidable names associated with this animated feature, with Disney casting Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lewis and  Anika Noni Rose, it still does not measure up to my expectations.  I am just not so excited about the end product.  I am not a fan of being given what they -- who are empowered to provide big screen imagery -- want you to have versus what has been asked for.  I think that Mothers of color will take their daughters to see the film, their daughters will clap in delight to see a darker version of the Disney princess line on the big screen, yet  the mother will feel a vague sense of disappointment and not really understand why. 

Two years ago, I was hugely disenchanted when the producers of this project chose to create this film without a lot of input from those it is targeted toward.the producers even refused volunteered assistance from two Disney board members.   For the record and according to a knowledged source, the Asian market was not thrilled with the Mulan feature film either, as it was not a true depiction of who they are, or even remotely depicts their true history and culture. They saw a part of the film and confirmed my expectation of what this film would turn out to be.  Yes, this is fantasy, yes these are commercial films, but when you have limited opportunity to be defined on the big screen, you just want a certain degree of truth woven into the tapestry of the story told.  While there were some name, title and image modifications since 2007, it is what it is: a sanitized version of the same story, just in living color and voices that they still believe define us.  .

I am a realist.  My point if view is not enough to derail the Disney train; they have made it clear that they could care less about what I think.  The film will be profitable, will likely carry some degree of controversy, if for no other reason than because controversy sells in this country.  Most will decide that good is enough, even when better was an option, because  that is how we often do.  We accept the mediocre as the best we can get, assuming nothing else will be offered.  I am however, still hopeful that I will realize the dream I have for what an animated feature of and for African America will look like.  And I smile.

14 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, June 17th 2009

5:40 PM

Book News

Some news about my book, Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought:   Received word that SORMAG, an online literary magazine, with annual book awards since the 1990s, has awarded Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought with 2009 Poetry Book of The Year and 2009 and Poet of the Year awards.    Also received a review of my book by noted artist and curator Amalia Amaki
 
My publisher, ATTM Press has informed me that my book is now available in Europe through Amazon Germany (Amazon.de). throughout Europe and the U.K. and sold in Euros and Pounds.  ATTM Press is also offering a special to avid readers: If you buy my book in print (okay, or any other ATTM Press book_ you will get one free e-book of your choice! 
HOW IT WORKS:Go to www.allthngsthatmatterpress.com and choose a book. Send proof that you purchased RAMBLINGS THROUGH THE ATTIC OF THOUGHT in print during the month of June (just cut and paste a copy of your Amazon confirmation order) via e-mail, along with the title of the free e-book your have selected.  Send your request to  allthingsthatmatterpress@gmail. Offer ends July 1, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

16 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, March 11th 2009

7:36 PM

The Psychology of Control: Profile of a Socio-Predator

Oprah is going to do a show Thursday on abuse and teen dating.  The issue of abuse is definitely on my mind and I suppose that its on the minds of many, not just because of Rihanna and Chris (see the post below) but because there seems to be an increase in reported domestic violence,  multiple victim murder/suicides  This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, where I profile a socio-predator.  If it helps at least one person to take a hard look at his/her relationship...:. 

 

THE SOCIO-PREDATOR

 

I was surprised to hear from Reese.  We had a casual business relationship over the last two years.  I had heard the tragic story about his estrangement from his wife because of her alleged sexual preferences, from other mutual contacts.  He sounded so depressed, so victimized -- his wife was looking to take his life's work away after all.  He was a musician -- not a lawyer or a businessman.  I made suggestions for solutions that would protect his work.  I also discussed how the business side of his music was at a standstill and sliding downhill.  I don't know exactly when the conversation became personal, I hadn't been paying much attention to the secondary comments.  "I've had a crush on you since I met you.  Didn't you know?"  I was stunned by this "revelation".  He is a married man, so I never paid any attention to him.  He told me months ago, that he was living with a married couple, friends of his.  Now they were moving into a new house and he was essentially becoming homeless.  We talked for a long time.  He surprised me by calling back with poetry…written by him…for me.  Wow.  I had a free open airline ticket and thought that this was a good time for a business trip to Miami.  If the personal didn't work, the business would.  Interesting what one discovers when you are face to face with the reality of another human.  Reese wasn't living with married friends, he was living with the woman with whom he had a relationship of over two years, and she wanted him out of her house.  She wanted him gone because he was consuming her financially and emotionally -- and she was trying to summon the strength to get rid of him.  Reese had actually left his wife for her -- another woman -- not because of alleged misbehavior.  Reese was not the person he portrayed to the public.  He was actually insecure, verbally abusive,  had a tendency toward physical abuse, and a chronic liar.  Reese was looking for a new place to land.  After all, women had always taken care of him, even though he seemed to have a lot of anger -- even hatred -- for them, especially if they exhibited any emotional or personal strength.  Reese was a predator.  I wasn't going to be his next meal.

Socio-predators show up in a variety of genders, sizes, and colors.  A socio-predator is one who attaches him or herself to another human being using a variety of tactics to blend themselves into the lives of the unsuspecting victims.  Socio-predators are more sinister extensions of the controlling personality.  We speak of the male form of a socio-predator in a joking, yet somewhat reverent manner.  "Oh, he's just a wolf in sheep's clothing."  Someone who is a little mysterious, a little naughty and, well, a little romantic.  Unfortunately, socio-predators, male or female, are voracious in consuming their victims emotionally and financially.  They know who to target.  They know how to make you their next victim unless you are paying attention and recognize the attributes of the socio-predator.

 

PROFILE OF THE SOCIO-PREDATOR

The term predator is normally used to identify someone who preys upon the unsuspecting child.  These predators usually look for the child that seems unsure.  The socio-predator preys upon adults -- male or female -- and has some generally distinctive attributes that you should be aware of: Charm is an important part of their facade.  They seem to be so nice, so disarming.  They are always in a little bit of a difficulty; there always seems to be a problem or crisis.  They always need help, preferably yours.  He or she is usually being victimized by someone else… at least according to him or her.  From their distorted point of view, there is always someone who is doing something to them, creating a problem for them, hurting them somehow.  They just don't understand why. 

Their focus is always on you in public.  No one else gets your attention but him or her.  If you choose to talk to anyone else, jealousy appears, or they isolate themselves until you come to their rescue.  You are charmed by the attention, but the reality is that it is important to them that you become consumed with providing what they need.  There is always an anger lying beneath the surface of their personality.  They portray themselves as disliked, unloved, and misunderstood.  "I don't know why no one likes me," is one of their more common complaints.  Insecurity, jealousy, and a tendency to isolate themselves and you from other people are components that tend to surface at some point. 

You find yourself emotionally exhausted after dealing with them.  Predators not only want what you offer materially, they want all of your emotional loyalty, all of what you are.  It's fun at first to feel so needed.  Then you begin to realize that what makes you you is being consumed by him or her.  Money usually becomes a part of the support they need.  Without realizing it, you have begun to spend money to help solve whatever the problem is.  As time goes on, you realize there is always some kind of a problem.  You've made an investment in the potential and now realize that there will be no return on that investment. 

Truth is usually not a part of the package that you have purchased.  You begin to discover that there may be two or more sides to the sad stories they tell.  They never take any responsibility for the situations they are in or the problems they have.  It's always someone else's fault, your fault, never theirs.  As long as you are compliant, the facade is usually what you experience.  When you begin to question or not agree with him or her, a new personality appears.  The person becomes cold, distant, mean, verbally abusive, emotionally abusive and in extreme cases, physically abusive.  There is likely to be an attempt to make you feel guilty about upsetting them; the situation, in fact any situation, is your fault.  Threats to end the relationship begin to be made.  It is only when you give in or become compliant again that the new behavior stops and the facade reappears.  You find yourself apologizing for everything, becoming more compliant "just to keep peace."  This new personality is the real personality; as time goes on, the real personality becomes more prevalent in your relationship.  As you are being emotionally consumed, you begin to believe that it's your responsibility to keep the real personality in check. 

If there are children involved, watch closely to see how the person relates to them.  If these are his or her children, are they ignored, neglected, or abused?  If they are yours, how are they treated when you aren't in the room?  What do your children say about him or her when they are alone with you?  Don't dismiss their reactions and responses; children have a good sense about whether an adult is worthy of their trust.  Note: women are especially good at using their children as a part of the emotional package they get you involved in.  As you become emotionally tied to the children, the children become the blackmail she uses to make sure that you are compliant.  " I think I'll just move to California," or "I should go back to their father."  These threats translate into "either you do what I want you to or you won't get to see the children again."  There is never a change in their circumstances; financial and emotional independence never comes about.  He or she always needs you.  In reality, he or she needs to feed upon your emotional security until it becomes insecure, your financial stability until you are financially depleted.

 

ARE YOU A TARGET?

While anyone can be a target for a socio-predator, there are some of the attributes that make you a more likely candidate While anyone can be a target for a socio-predator, here are some of the attributes that make you a more likely candidate:

You have a reputation for being the nice guy (male or female).  Most people know that you'd do anything to help someone.

You have a quality of naiveté.  You expect people to be who they claim to be.

If you are male, you have the "Superman Syndrome."  You are always the knight in shining armor, the hero, the one who shows the way to the good life. 

You are the caretaker; you look for the stray cat, the homeless dog with puppies; you usually end up scratched or bitten in your relationships.

You are a publicly secure person with hidden insecurities.  You are good in the corporate world.  You may be a professional with a degree or two.  Education does not automatically make you smart when it comes to those you pick for relationships.  If you are insecure on a personal level, your vulnerability shows, no matter how much you believe you hide it. 

You are meek, humble, and giving in nature.  Socio-predators usually mistake kindness and humility as weaknesses that they can use to their advantage.  When he or she discovers that a person with these characteristics is actually strong and unwilling to be submissive and consumed, he or she will usually run off.  They are, after all, actually cowards.  Unfortunately, before they slink away, the socio-predator may attempt to use physical force, spread lies to ruin your reputation, or  create some extreme crisis that would cause you to remain involved with them.

You tend to be the one who takes care of everyone, especially the "underdog."  You have either the martyr mentality or the superman syndrome; you believe that it is your job to take on the often unhappy task of taking care of someone else whether he or she deserves it or not. 

You have a propensity for being victimized.  You get used to being the victim -- not recognizing that it is a role you choose to play in your relationships. 

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW

A socio-predator does not become one unless he or she chooses to be one.  The character of a socio-predator is not going to go away or change because of or in spite of anything you do or don't do.  The ego of a socio-predator is huge; they view themselves as being psychologically superior.  They know just what to do and what buttons to push to get what they want.  He or she takes it as his or her responsibility to mold you into the person he or she needs you to be.  If they are successful, you will find yourself defending their behavior, supporting their lies and living a life that is not yours but theirs.  Predators consume, and when they are finished, they look for new prey.  You may choose to allow this type of person into your life; that is your decision.  However, you have a responsibility to yourself to recognize the risks that come with this decision, and at least draw a line in the sand as to how much of yourself you will allow another person to consume.  Ask yourself: is the reward worth the risk?

13 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, March 11th 2009

7:28 PM

Chris, Rihanna, Abuse: My Thoughts

 UPDATE: Earlier today (Sunday, March 9, 2009), there was a retrospective story about Chris Brown and Rihanna on E! Apparently -- according to their pictoral timeline, Rihanna was actually down in Mexico, contradicting the reports of her whereabouts in the weeks after the alleged beating. They not only alluded to the notion that the picture of her face that the police allegedly leaked may not be be factual --police authorities would only say that the photo appeared to have been taken "during an official domestic violence investigation" and that they were vigorously investigating any leaks" -- the candid shot E! claimed was taken two weeks after the beating and published on February 26, 2009, show her in a white bikini in Mexico and without a single mark. So I am confused as to where the truth will finally take us or if E! was simply manufacturing new sensation. However, it does not change my point of view as stated below.

But wait, there's more:  New reasons why we need to wait until we all should wait for all of the information before passing judgement.  NOTE: I still don't believe that a man EVER should hit a woman.  It takes more courage just to walk away.  That said, there was a new leak apparently, on Monday, March 9, 2009, from the police department.

I have seen it too many times: you become or manifest in your life what you don't resolve. So it seems that they have reuinted.  Yet the situation is far from resolved Chris Brown needs to be by himself and in an intense therapy program for at least a year. Believe it or not, when I saw an interview of him some time ago, my first thought was that he was an angry, troubled young man, even though he may have a good heart. But if he does not resolve his issues now, those issues will be an ingrained part of his character and who he is. No amount of jail time will fix what's broken in him. Forget, the career, he needs to repair who he is first.

Know a little about the Bajun culture and noted that Rihanna's father, who minimized her injuries in his initial public comments, seems to have no problem with her returning to the relationship. Her testimony will be court ordered, not voluntary. That speaks volumes about her mindset and supports  the fact that she needs counseling as well.

Abuse comes in all races, sizes, shapes, religions, cultures, genders, ages, classes. There are as many rich as poor who are abusers. There are many more men being abused than any of us know.  It can be your neighbor, it can be your friend It can be your sister, it can be your brother.  It is, unfortunately a legacy passed from one generation to the next. Psychological abuse is as life threatening as physical abuse, yet there is no way to legally control its effect, short of the California law on threats. The only way we can limit the damage is to help people recognize all of the warning signs.   Until we put all abuse on the national and global table as something to be discussed and eradicated, it will continue to be ignored.

This is a teachable moment for all who see these two as "role models" or are the parents of those who see these two as "role models"   --  and they shouldn't be, you don't know a thing about them, really. If you are in a relationship where he or she is verbally, psychologically, physically and/or sexually abusing you or your children or, for that matter, his or her own children, it has to be the immediate relationship deal breaker. Get out. It will not change, it will get worse -- the "I'm sorrys" do not change character or resolve issues. It takes a full year, at minimum, of intensive therapy for someone who WANTS to change to become a better person who does not abuse. They need to do so away from you. If there are children involved and they aren't yours, then you need to report it, because children have no choice and no voice over adult misbehavior AND when/if it's unresolved., become the next generation of abusers. You and I have to be that voice.
 
On a personal note, this -- the issue of abuse -- bothers me greatly.   Even though it was many years ago, I still remember my friend who lived a few houses down from me and I knew her father abused her, a lot, even though she never spoke of it.  I had helped her with her paper route  one day,so that she wouldn't get home late.  She went into her house and to this day I can still hear her screaming as he beat her.  One of the most beautiful, gentle men I ever knew and loved, died in an auto accident, and it wasn't until weeks later that his brother shared a secret: his father had consistently abused them all, especially his wife, who later died.  As a writer, I have interviewed several men who witnessed and experienced  physical and sexual abuse, and saw, first hand, how those experiences shaped who they are.  I am currently at the beginning stages of researching and writing a true story about an entire Alabama family and the horrific abuse they endured  and continue to have to deal with-- and how the legal system and the community did not save them.  If their story will help you -- or you -- or you, to realize what kind of toxic relationship you are in, show you that the door is open and you can leave, it will be worth it to them...and to me. 
 
 
 
Here is what I know. You cannot fix someone who is broken.  You cannot save anyone who doesn't want to be saved and you can only change one person: yourself.  You make his/her problem yours when you choose to stay in an abusive relationship or allow your children to be abused just to keep a man or a woman.You make his/her problem yours when you continue to believe the myth that you can fix the problem you had with your mother or father by making the relationship work with someone who is just like him/her.  You become or manifest in your life what you don't resolve.  If you are an abuser, your only hope is professional help, and to leave.  If you are being abused, your only hope is to leave and get professional help.  Don't think about it, don't rationalize over it, don't justify it, leave.  Don't let your choice not to change be the legacy you leave behind.
 
I learned that sometimes saying something more than one way can reach more people.  I wrote a series of poems on abuse over the years.  Perhaps someone will hear this one today.
 

BITTER REALITY

 

You see, they wouldn’t listen.  And now...

they play their usual sad song

once again the victim of …whatever

the day brings.

You see, they wouldn’t listen.  And now...

the words they use to defend

the offender

taste bitter with the salty tang

of blood that tends to flood

the mouth when slapped

with the back of the hand

or punched with words that

would make a real man cry…

You see, they wouldn’t listen.  And now...

when you tell them the consequences

of believing honey-dipped I’m sorrys – which is

probably their only spoken truth --

well-designed to lure them back

into the depths of a hell

only a fool would believe in,

they look at you and sigh

about how you “can’t understand

why… he needs me.”

Or “but I love him”

Love?  That you cannot define?

As you recline

on the floor where he slammed you?

You see, they wouldn’t listen.  And now...

I deliver this eulogy for

all of those who believe

in staying too long,

realizing too late that the

door was always open

just as the final blow

is delivered.

(c) 2008 from Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought

4 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Thursday, March 5th 2009

8:15 PM

STATE OF THE BLACK UNION X

STATE OF THE BLACK UNION X

When your rhetoric
Turns into acts of true change
Then I will hear you.



In a place
In a space
Where I/you/we are
Where dreams are fading/ero
ding/erasing
As the ticker tape parade on Wall Street falls
Into the economic abyss.
With a cunning thief's kiss
But we never asked what's amiss.
While we waited for the trickle to fall down on us.
'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most"

New Chief in town.
And to their dismay, his skin is brown.
Time for change
To rearrange
Our thinking.
`Cause we are at the beginning
Not the end
Of what has to change.
So we have haters,
And infiltrato
rs,
And instigator
s
On both sides of the coin.
All of whom cannot accept the fact
We don't have a Black President
We have a President who is Black.
And brilliant.

But not understand
ing the difference
They continue to hack
Vicarious micromanag
ers
Virtual armchair quarterbac
ks
"What's in it for us?"
"Where's our piece of the change?"
Have a shovel ready plan….
Or just an agenda?
The phrase "Yes We Can"
Requires us to spend a
Lot more time figuring out what direction
We should be walking in, not talking
Then
We can be near the top this time
As Phoenix rises.

(c)2009 E. Joyce Moore, author Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought

7 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

4:52 PM

ARE WE "SHOVEL READY'?

What projects are the African Americans where you are, working on that are "shovel ready" and eligible for the stimulus package?   Read the response below to a public e-mail complaint shared with me, about the Stimulus plan not benefiting African Americans:
 

Original E-Mail Unlike our Black "leaders",  Jewish leaders met w/BO  before he launched his campaign  for the presidency & secured his support  in exchange for theirs.  That 's why they  got $1bill. We did not meet w/BO fearful that it  would alienate his white base & cost  him the election so he didn't have to  promise us anything for our support  so we'll probably get nothing unless we are prepared to hold his "feet to the  fire" w/the threat of mass civil disobedience  tying up DC for weeks & jeopardizing the  solvency of his regime. Are we ready & able to play hard ball  w/BO?  I don't think we have the will  or the skill. We were had.


Response:
The question that is asked -- "I wonder how far toward the end of the line  Black folks are?" -- is asked in an unfocused way.  Many of us tend to ask about "Black folks" as if we are an amorphous blob without shape or form. Of course, our pain is universal, and we all feel the impacts of unequal suffering.  The reality is that some Black folks are near the front of the line, and some are not even in the line.  Which Black folks is the questioner asking about?

This news report points to a lobbying effort, and celebrates success of that effort in the form of funds  that the organization will receive.

The referenced "wee" in the response seems to me to not be directed at any organized "wee" who have been lobbying, or are currently lobbying, or organized in any way to receive dollars from the stimulus bill.  Please don't mistake my comments as a negative tirade.  All of us have a stake in the outcome of this bill.  And those of us who are organized and prepared to compete for public funding should do so aggressively.  All the gears are turning.  The Mayors of cities where we live were in Washington on Friday. Anyone on this list who has access to their local mayors should get into that line.  Those who have access to their congressional representatives,  should get into those lines.  Those who are currently operating programs that receive public funding should be aggressively advocating for their fair share of the funds.

I heard about another form of "earmarks" last week.  It is called "phone marks".  That is when representatives and Senators call the agencies where the money is channeled and make personal appeals for a pet project.  This type of earmark takes place after a bill is passed, and occurs under the RADAR - only to be discovered by an audit, after the money is spent.  Do you have a pet project that is "shovel ready?"  Do you have access to a representative who voted for this bill?  This includes Black representatives that we voted for.  Then phone calls and emails should be directed to those who can help.

ARE WE IN THE GAME FOLKS?

Standing around wondering where "Black folks" are in the line will accomplish nothing.  What I would like to see in response is some recommendations and ACTIONS from those who know where the dots are connected.  All of us aren't unorganized.  Someone is doing something successful.  Why not share success stories rather than invite us to a pity party?  Is everyone on this list not even in the line?

I am engaged with a Black-owned company that is focused on projects that we can execute.  I see a total of $8.4 billion appropriated for clean water projects:

  • $1B to Bureau of Reclamation for infrastructure projects for drinking water in rural areas
  •  $6B for local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements
  • $1.48B for loans and grants for water and waste disposal in rural areas.

I see money directed to education, and I am involved with Baba Amefika Geuka in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Together, we are contacting everyone from the local school district, to state representatives, and engaging in a nationwide initiative to raise funds for one project - The Joseph Littles - Nguzo Saba Charter School in West Palm Beach.  We see: $5 billion in incentive grants to be distributed on a competitive basis to states that most aggressively pursue higher standards, quality assessments, robust data systems and teacher quality initiatives.  This includes $650 million to fund school systems and non-profits with strong track records of improving student achievement.

I also host an online community at www.izania.com, where we have a directory of more than 2500 Black-owned businesses that are scrambling for success, and sharing information with one another in our forums, blogs, and we also feature articles that focus on HELP.  If you are not a member of this community, membership is free, and you can receive our Weekly Newsletter that always focuses on wealth-building, health, and issues of high importance to the virtual Black community.

I am not sharing this for the purpose of drawing attention to myself.  The point I am making is that some of us are busy doing things.  Maybe all of us are busy doing things.  But we accomplish nothing if we don't share information about what we are doing.  I would much rather see emails about positive actions.  I created
www.iZania.com  as a place where we can share ideas that help one another.

If we are going to spend time talking to each other, let's talk about ACTION.  If anyone on this list can help with any of these projects that I am involved in, I welcome the help.  I would help you also, IF I KNEW WHICH LINE YOU WERE IN.  Otherwise, let's stop wasting each other's time with empty emails that ask empty questions.

Roger E. Madison Jr.

CEO, iZania

 

 

I applaud and support the comments of Mr. Madison and am adding a few of my own:

 

1) If you are still waiting for the forty acres or that ship to come in, my advice is you better start looking around for some good wood and build your own boat and the oars you will need to row it.  We are in a place and time where we must stop waiting for permission to make our own pie or keep looking to get a sliver from someone else's.  You may not be qualified or have the stamina or even the desire to build your own business, and there is not a thing wrong with that.  But the question is, what can you do to become qualified for the "shovel ready" jobs that will become open to you?  Have you looked to see what the potential opportunities are going to be and begin to plan to be a part of it?  If you are educated, have you put your resume in order, freshened it up, pre-applied for possible openings?  If you are limited in education and marketable skills, what are you doing to find out what's available to enhance your odds to get a decent job?

No one will be coming to your door to find you and give you a job.  Opportunities will not float by on the financial waters you are drowning in.  You will need to take a realistic view of how to save yourself.

 

I think that the economic downturn is an opportunity for those who are prepared or becoming prepared to wade in and turn the situation into success. If you are an entrepreneur, what does your business or business to be really offer that the market needs or wants?  Do you have a real business plan that is tuned in to the current economic status?  If not, are you in denial?  If you are not in denial, what is your plan B?  Have you looked around to see who you can collaborate with and take two mediocre businesses and build a stronger single business?  Have you considered broadening your market to include regional, national even global opportunities?  Are you a member of local chambers, where you can network for support of your projects and find resources who can fill the gaps in your product offering?  And no, I am not speaking of the concept of "partnering" where someone looks to latch onto another party, business, entity -- bringing nothing to the table, but wanting to benefit from the association.  You need to stop that notion at the door, do not invite it in, because wasting your time is wasting your money; none of us can afford to do that.

 

2) Stop "buying the box".  I repeat: "STOP BUYING THE BOX".  African Americans, Economically and educationally disadvantage Anglo Americans, Disabled Americans are the primary targets of those who seek to prey on their desperate need for income.  So they come to the table with government grant packages, MLM schemes, legal aid services, long distance services, cleaning products, etc, etc.etc,. that you -- just by attending a seminar at a local hotel  -- can achieve your financial dreams just by purchasing, at the end of "motivational talk" that's available today only for the discounted price of $100 - $1000 a box, that has everything you need to succeed.  Except for one thing: the only one who succeeds are those who sell you the box.  Usually what they are selling is either already obsolete, does not really provide what it promises, has gone past its saturation cycle in the marketplace -- the discount long distance service is a perfect example -- or there was never a real market need for it in the first place.  These people are characteristically short on actual provable examples of this scheme really working, i.e., the federal grant packages.  They always have a "millionaire" who has already made his money and is just doing this out of the kindness of his heart, but don't waste his time if you don't get it and join in right now. 

 

Those who buy into these schemes, handing over their check or credit cards because they are in, then discover that the "box" doesn't really work like they told him/her.  So they are embarrassed, feel like failures and/or want to keep their bad "investment" a secret.  This is much more common than you can imagine.  If you have never seen "Pursuit of Happyness"  or even if you have, I highly recommend you watch it again.  The buying of the box is what contributed to the demise of the man's family: he had purchased equipment to sell that was already obsolete.  He was able to sell them at a loss to keep himself and his son scarcely afloat during their homelessness while he worked on a plan B.  But most of us don't have a plan B.  Plan A must be to stop "buying the box."

 

3)  If you don't know what you are doing, stop doing it.  If you don't know anything about repairing,reconstructing, constructing houses, looking at HGTV and DIY will only make you conscious of what it is you don't know, it will not necessarily teach you how to do it, it certainly will  not make you a professional.  Get your GED if you don't have it.  Get certified to be an electrician. Become licensed and bonded as a contractor if that's what you want to do.  Take actual classes to become a mechanic. Continuing to do what you aren't qualified to do will leave you with a reputation that will catch up with you and ultimately reinforces your belief that you fail at everything.

 

We need more of us to become qualified to do the jobs of fixing what we already have as the economy requires us to make do with what we've got.  That's why shoe repair shops are back and booming.  That's why used car sales are up.  Our community has limited funds to get something fixed the one time.  We can't afford  to and SHOULD NOT hire someone who isn't qualified to do a repair or renovation.  My kitchen floors are filled with cracked tiles and poorly mixed grout where we hired a "family friend" who assured us of his experience.    And let all of the buyer's beware, get good references, check Angie's list and the Better Business Bureau and DO NOT PAY UNTIL THE JOB IS COMPLETED.  If they can't afford to do the job before being paid, they are not the right source for you.

 

4) Do a reality check of your lifestyle, your business ability, and the truth about what you are really capable of. Again, it takes a certain mind and skill set to be in business for yourself.  You need to make sure you have those skills, you need to make sure you are offering a product or service that someone will buy and you need to know how to sell what it is you offer, most importantly, begin to change your mode of business operation to reflect the fact that it's not personal it's business.

 

5) Find a way to seriously contribute to your community while you are waiting for new opportunities.  Volunteer at neighborhood schools, nursing homes;  Get your neighbors together and build a neighborhood garden; I have, in fact, suggested to the White House that we should initiate a national project called "Stone Soup" Gardens. Just by doing something, by giving, you will at least reinforce your worth to others. You never know when you will find what you are looking for that will get you employed, just by being in the right place at the right time, right there on the street where you live.  I have a personal wish list: every large city needs a mid-career teachers program that would enable more people who are out of work, have a four year  college degree in good standing, and  a desire to contribute to the community through education, to certify as K - 12 teachers within one year.  Certification must include diversity training from the perspective of teaching inclusion and acceptance.  I would love to have a program within the larger cities, where writers, performers, fine artists, musicians have a rotational program that consistently exposes K - 12 children to the arts throughout the school year, in exchange for greater opportunities to exhibit/create/expose their art in public places, during city events without cost to the artists

 

6) If you lost or might be losing your job, the best and brightest say that you need to have eight months worth of living expenses stashed away.  You should look at your spending and pare it down to the basics, which means you may have to give up premium cable, the twice a week dinner out and  the weekend drives to the casino. 

 

There's more to say, but this will hopefully give us all, myself included, a lot to think about.  We cannot continue to be the victim of circumstances.  We must become the directors of our destinies.  Is your life "shovel ready"?

 


'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most.' -- Dr. Amos Wilson

 

4 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, February 4th 2009

12:40 PM

RNC Chairman Steele: Well-Suited Irrelevance

This is most likely the shortest post I've ever made on this site, which tells you what I think of the subject who really doesn't matter.  There is a news article," RNC Chair Steele Itching for a Fight with Obama" posted online today.  Soooo...let me get this straight..... according to another article posted recently where Republicans were polled, their preference to having the example of Palin consistently spread the myths of terrorist -- along with other racially divisive rumor mongering in an effort to politically hang President Obama -- is exactly what Republicans want to be when they grow up...yeah, that's exactly who I'd want to tell my kids to follow as a role model. Now they have current RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who claimed, this past Friday, that the Republican party is just fine the way it is, which is seems to be a cultural oxymoron -- coming from him. Steele, who tried portraying himself as a Democrat in his failed 2006 Senatorial race in Maryland, handing out a "Democratic Sample Ballot" that implied he was a party member and distributing signs that read, "Steele: Democrat." Steele who, according to reports, has yet to pass the bar exam. 

I still believe that when people show you who they are, you should believe them and act accordingly.   Steele sounds more like a person who likes to believe he  actually has  relevance, or maybe he realizes how irrelevant he is and is doing the usual attention-by-controversy run for media attention. Steele would do better to figure out what is fundamentally killing the Republican party and find the cure. This childish nonsense of trying to pick a fight is just more of the same rhetoric from a group of people who have nothing else to offer, certainly haven't seen any real solutions to the current economic crisis penned by the GOP, but maybe I missed the memo.  Steele is nothing more than a transparent view to the heart of the desperation and lack of focus the Republican party is immersed in. In their arrogance they believe that we will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, calling all the shots. (For those who don't recognize...a reference to the Wizard of Oz).

506 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Friday, January 30th 2009

9:16 AM

Amnau Eele Interview: The Real Story

Michelle's Controversy Swirls. - Women's Wear Daily, 1-27-09
First Lady Under Fire... - Women's Wear Daily, 1-22-09
Michelle Obama under fire for not wearing black designer - Chicago Sun Times, 1-26-09
Black Artists Association Co-Founder Slams Michelle Obama's "Kumbaya" Designer Picks - Huffington Post, 1-26-09

Like most, the above headlines piqued my interest. Curious, I read the original article that launched the perceived firestorm, the Women's Wear Daily, and found myself becoming annoyed. Coincidentally, I was working on a re-write of an op-ed for a newspaper and since I wanted to include an example, this seemed to be the perfect storm. The blog attached to the Huffington Post version of the story was filled with sarcasm, anger, outrage, indignant overtures, exasperation, along with the usual suspects who hide behind their computers spewing their venomous racism.

Who was Amnau Eele and what was this Black Artists Association anyway? Why did their point of view rate interest from WWD and the Chicago Sun Times? It didn't add up. I searched the Internet for information about this organization, asked around among visual fine artists I knew, to find out why the opinion of this particular African American organization was deemed important enough to gain attention from WWD. Could not find it, there was no 501C3 certification and they were not incorporated in the state of New York, not even a website. All of the normal trappings one expects of an organization that had the clout to gain the attention of three primary media outlets. This organization had none. Well, who was Amanu Eele? Why was her point of view attention worthy? By the Monday night, the comments online had become meaner, with some reaching self-determined conclusions, judgments of both the person and the organization, and - as happens still - with African Americans in general, since many still believe that one person speaks for all, when it comes to African America. But then there was still something that bothered me about this story. Yes, the First Lady's choice of designers is not even on the scale in comparison to the economic landslide this country was struggling to survive, along with global unrest and environmental concerns. But to me this was not so much about the players as it was about the play. As much as I could tell, this was the opinion of one person, not a celebrity, not a fashion designer, was not really a known artist. So it was really about the play, namely, the media. This is a perfect example of a false story, a term coined for stories manipulated by journalists to create controversy and outrage. Controversy has become the gold standard that today's media is mining. Controversy is rewarded by more visibility for the journalist, never mind the effect on the subject of the controversy.

I acquired contact information for Eele, and left a message. To my surprise she called. It was Tuesday and there were new additions to the story; highlighting the fact that she had been threatened because of the story in WWD. I believe in objectivity when searching for the truth, otherwise it's harder to see when bias obstructs the view. Here is what I found: the Black Artists Association is a group of painters, none of whom are fashion designers. The group has been around since 1996 and is self supported in its mission. It is a community outreach organization that is completely focused on aiding the homeless, the underserved, the displaced and most importantly, the youth." We paint secondary artwork to pay bills or for what we do. We are simple, there is nothing to hide," said Eele. They have their own version of social enterprise, selling books and other paraphernalia throughout the day, and use the money raised to purchase Metro cards, food, whatever is needed by those they serve on the streets of New York City. "We are an underground organization and we like it that way," says Amanu. "I have had my twenty minutes of fame and I am not interested in being in the public eye." stated the former runway model. "We don't have websites, and we have no need to be a corporation. We call people when we need them to buy a coat for a person or help them get a job. I don't want anyone to ever ask what we did with their money, so we don't ask anyone for it. .I use my own money and do what I need to do to help." "I have been accosted on the street as a result of the article, which I hadn't even read," said Amnau. "People just assumed that I was disrespecting First Lady Obama and that cannot be further from the truth." "I have the utmost respect for the First Lady and all that she has accomplished. I just have the point of view that, for the young ones who are struggling to find their way, they needed to see her in support of the African American designers. They are not on the runways during fashion week. Now we deal with the young every day. I just wanted to get some attention given to the African American designers by First Lady Obama, since she is the ultimate role model right now. I don't give phone interviews, yours is one of the very few, because I would rather e-mail answers to questions and not have my words changed.' Eele continues, "It's more important to us that the truth is written and spoken. And we can use that free time to do what we do everyday, feed homeless people, pass out metro cards to them, help young kids attending schools get computers, art supplies, coats, jobs." Amnau had to leave our interview because it was time to distribute the metro cards and the line was already forming. She did want me to read the e-mails she'd sent to WWD and to the Chicago Sun Times. She said no other publication had contacted her, even though they ran stories. "You'll see that I never, ever would have disrespected First Lady Obama by saying anything like "Kumbaya" or "We Are The World" or "This was our moment." or any of those comments in Women's Wear Daily." "When I found out what the article said, I asked the writer at Women's Wear Daily, [Rosemary Feitelberg], why did she do that?" "Black Artists Association does not represent designers, we represent painters only. oil on canvas. In fact, my husband is upset with me because all of this is a distraction from our role in the community; we represent painters, not fashion designers. We help a lot of artists whose work is labeled "outsider art" to find shelter and jobs in NYC. Many of these artists are sent to HAI, an organization that helps outsider artists in NYC. We also help other artists to find work in the art world - TV and Indie film industry as art directors - set designers, prop masters etc....BAA does not speak for anyone except our organization." "First Lady Obama is not obligated to support any designer, no matter the color. "We applaud her choice of including non-African-American designers like Isabel Toledo and Jason Wu for many of her White House functions. Both are very talented designers. We also thank Ms. Toledo and Mr. Wu for booking African-American models for their runway shows before Mrs. Obama entered the White House. But as a former couture model who has watched non-black designers ignore qualified black talent for years, it's sad to see some of those same designers line up to dress the new first lady of America while many young talented black designers face losing their studios and homes. That was my point." "Now I have this interview with Nightline on ABC and heard from CNN and then I will go back to doing what we do, because we are helping people. We are not interested in any more interviews."

Amnau invited me to come see her when I am in New York and walk with her for a day and see what she is trying to impact. Amnau became emotional, feeling overwhelmed by the increased number of homeless and displaced, wanting to provide more emotional and physical support than they are physically able to give, yet the Eeles are not deterred from trying. "I have three teeth I lost when we were in Miami helping homeless un-documented Haitian refugees, artists who hid under bridges in Miami . I was punched in the face, beaten because we were there helping them. I did not get them replaced because, for me, it is my badge of honor for what we did there." "I believe that we, my husband and I, are doing what God intended for us."

Author's note: 'We hold as the arbiters of truth, those who have lied to us the most.' -- Dr.Amos Wilson. This story is not about the story. This is about human behavior, the media and how fiction can easily become fact if the media source is deemed credible and the subject is an unknown. Amnau Elle's life journey is an interesting one, there is certainly more to her than what most will ever hear about. What I personally took from this experience is none of us should rush to judgment and allow perceptions we are offered to replace reality, just because we think the information source can be trusted. Now, more than ever, truth has to become the new gold standard, if we are to ever affect real change.

E. Joyce Moore is a writer and author of Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought.

3 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Thursday, January 22nd 2009

2:19 PM

An Open Letter to CNN, MSNBC, and all News Media...

An Open Letter to CNN, MSNBC, and all those in Media,
 
We are in the second full day of the Presidency of our newly sworn in Leader,  President Barack Obama.  He has, more than once committed himself, and those who serve on his team to swift movement and action in their efforts to provide a transparent view of the decisions made by this administration.  In his eloquent inaugural address he also encouraged all of us to take individual responsibility, during this critical time of economic upheaval and global distress with two existing wars we are participating, as well as the developing crises between other countries.  From where I sit, as a citizen he also asked us, essentially, to grow up.
 
So I am baffled.  What part of responsibility, change we can believe in and acting with maturity do you as journalists, or at least who represent what should be journalist do you intend to own?  From Anderson Cooper of CNN, who I had in the past, held in high esteem, to the nameless females pouting on MSNBC Live, who seemed interested in creating controversy where there is none, since that is how one gains visibility and opportunity in the news industry nowadays. I am stunned by both the attitude and general lack of respect I have seen displayed toward this new administration. The rants of faux journalist O'Reilly over the important issue of private jet plane traffic at Dulles Airport during the Inauguration weekend was absolutely surreal, as he babbled on about a rumor that celebrities held up air traffic and about the people who didn't get in to the inauguration because there was no more room to get in-- as though there was some sort of conspiracy. The ongoing rants and pouting because you believe there should be more information than you are receiving and you want access and you want it now have become absurd. 
 
Take a moment to realize a couple of key things: 
 
Transparency means that the information will ultimately be made available at the appropriate time, it does not mean that the media has full real-time access.  You have apparently misunderstood this administration: because this does not mean that the White House is now a reality show and you are the primary participants.  I will quote one of my fellow bloggers who stated this point perfectly: Whenever Obama issues directions, the press takes those directions to the extreme. Open government doesn't mean Reality Show government. We want moderation. We want a permanent audit trail that we can follow to determine when, how, and why our representatives made their decisions. We want a willingness to answer questions in a timely and honest manner so that U.S. citizens can make informed decisions. That's open government.
On behalf of the thinking community that makes up the majority of the American citizenry, who are also your clients, as viewers of the programs you offer on your networks, readers of the publications you write on paper or online, listeners to the radio networks, from local to satellite networks, gather yourselves and grow up.
We want responsible journalism that is fact based, not an ego trip on your personal point of view.  If you are wondering why your ratings are dropping, why your circulation is falling away, perhaps this gives you a clue. The public is not interested in the verbal  micro-managing and armchair quarterbacking  by the media and it is becoming increasingly annoying. Transparency means that the information will ultimately be made available, it does not mean that the media has full real-time access. 
 
Secondly, I think there needs to be a reminder of what journalism is, In the context of news broadcasting, journalism is the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business. In other words, a conduit of facts based upon acquisition of substantiated truth and researched information. Singular points of view and opinion are saved and identified for the appropriate venue of discussion.  What used to be a privilege -- to be a journalist -- that was provided to a person who has proven his or her ability to deliver an unbiased reporting of the facts in a way that the reader, listener or viewer could rely on as a credible source.  Today it seems that reputations in the news business are being built and rewarded based upon visibility by controversy or access to the mike based upon camera appeal.  It is time that the entire industry takes a page from the new administration and begin to do some introspection and determine how you need to make some significant changes.  While there are certain newscasters who I genuinely believe are true journalists, there are many of you, as well as your producers, who need to reassess how you choose to do your jobs.  I have had enough of the bias and the bull for which no one seems to be holding your feet to the fire. I do not need you to tell me how I should think or feel about the facts that you provide. So here it is: We are looking for and will be going where responsible journalism is offered.  If it is not through you, we will go elsewhere.  You want your ratings?  We want authentic journalism, it's as simple as that.  Grow up. Become responsible.  Not sexy, not controversial, but it is what you should have been doing all along. 
 

2 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Monday, January 19th 2009

9:07 PM

President Barack Obama: Change: We're just getting started...

I started this on my birthday. as  I had a tradition, over the last seven years, of writing a reflective piece to honor the experiences of the passing year and to offer homage to what the future brings.  This past year, and the year 2009 have a special significance.  We had a presidential election and for the first time I got involved, voicing my views, responding to those of others, watching how humans reacted and responded to changes in nationally held social and political paradigms and documenting it all.  I decided to walk my talk; getting involved in supporting the candidates I felt best represented my political views, who had a vision for what they wanted to accomplish, and the character, intelligence, courage and competence to achieve that vision.  My birthday, my mother’s birthday and the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is January 15th; in fact, my mother and Dr. King were born on the same day. My mother lived in a time and place where prejudice and discrimination was the norm in the small town of Franklin, Tennessee.  I am full of excitement and great anticipation, for her as much as myself, as the inauguration of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama as the forty-fourth president of the United States is hours away. 

 

I blogged and wrote articles right up to the day of the presidential election.  I was at City Hall to work the polls on Election Day, worried over the behind the scenes chaos with the absentee ballots as human behavior became a looming factor while the minutes before the closing of the polls dwindled away.  I was determined to gain the ultimate experience of that historical night, so I dragged myself downtown to the Democrat’s party here in this so-called red state.  Lo and behold, not only did this red state turn blue, I was stunned when the words flashed on the big screen and the crowd roared, as the media announced that Barack Obama would become our forty-fourth president of the United States.  I could not help but cry.

 

As the months and days pass, the economy tanks, the strife between neighboring countries escalates, natural disasters continue, yet, gas prices magically drop amid all of the insanity on Wall Street and white collared crooks began to rise to the surface like cream in a bottle milked dry, a man with a plan began to gather his team, choose his plays and prepare to implement his vision of what it would take for this country to rise from the economic ashes it was mired in.  All the while, corporate media continued to beat its critical drum albeit with more covert and muted banging, and -- to its discredit -- the Republican Party did what it has always done, continuing to eat its sour grapes, while verbally cannibalizing itself.   But I was exhausted and my writing turned back to my creative self, as my book was unexpectedly picked up and published while the economy continued its freefall, taking with it the artists and art industry of all genres – from visual to literature, from film to music. 

 

Michael Anthony Brown, a native D.C. artist, was so inspired by the election of Barack Obama, he created an amazing painting that is priceless (and he is retaining) but did decide to share it with the world by reproducing it as a poster.  I saw the piece and was inspired to write his artist statement:

 

Vision. Hope. Change.  Four years ago, an unassuming voice rose from obscurity to center stage of the National Democratic Convention, initiating the most incredible political journey in our nation’s history.  A ground swell of support, a monumental grassroots effort, engaged the young, not so young, men, women, even children in a national dialogue about change. 

Barack H. Obama will become the forty-fourth President of the United States on January 20, 2009.  He will become the first American of color and African descent to attain the most powerful position in the country, transcending the myths, stereotypes, labels, and politics as usual in the process.  It is a role he does not take lightly and did not come easily.  His journey began before he was born. Thousands of steps taken through the shadows of history cleared the path Obama was destined to follow, culminating in his successful hard-fought election to an office most only dream of.  Many footsteps taken, many voices lifted, those who in their own right as ground breaking leaders, as historians, activists, artists, scientists, musicians, politicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, ministers, housemaids, writers, and yes, community organizers who had the courage to walk their talk, who acted upon their vision and determined that they had a part to play in shaping the fabric out of which this country, our country, the United States is built.  From the life-saving heroism of Harriet Tubman, to the legal judgment of Thurgood Marshall, from the theatric voice of Paul Robeson to wordsmith Zora Neal Hurston, the dance of Twyla Tharp to the philosophy and leadership of Mahatma Ghandi, well over one hundred historical images have been artistically woven into the fabric of President Obama’s shirt and chronicled in the matting surrounding the painting.  This painting captures the demonstrated humility, integrity and heart of a man who has – as the visionary leaders preceding him – setting aside personal pursuits in sacrifice for the greater good.  And he is not alone in this sacrifice. Behind every great man there is the support of a strong and capable woman, whose greater sacrifice, along with that of family and friends demonstrates a generosity of heart and a shared vision of what can be accomplished.  Michelle Obama’s decision to support the candidacy of Barack Obama is an unsung sacrifice of great proportion.  Without her, we would not be celebrating this crossroads in U.S. history.  This work of art is a passionate delineation of history honoring our past, celebrating our future.  As a people uniting, one nation, irrevocably connected by the common crises of economic, ecological and societal devastation, working toward the common goal of resurrecting ourselves as global citizens of a diverse community, in hope of shattering the racial paradigms long held as truth,.  We each have our own journey to take, our own path to make during these challenging times.  Change is the operative action; we must begin to walk our own talk, willing to make our individual sacrifices for the common good of our families, our neighbors, our selves.  We must be realistically optimistic about what can be accomplished.  The journey will not be without challenges, neither the path nor the leader will be perfect, but with continued clarity in vision, hope in the teamed efforts made by we the people, Change will come.

 

Change.  Change your behavior, change your paradigm, change your mind, change your actions, change the outcome, Change.  Change takes time, change takes patience, change takes effort, change takes trying, change takes setbacks, change takes you, change takes me, Change.  Here is what I know: President Barack Obama is not superman, he is human.  He is not perfect, because humans can never be perfect, but that in itself is a separate topic and I don’t want to digress.  He will not be a perfect president; there will be missteps.  To expect miracles, to expect immediate results, is setting him -- and yourself -- up for sure failure.  What we do have, can be assured of, is that he is visionary and a genuine leader.  A true leader serves, includes, directs, listens, collaborates, responds versus reacts, did I say listens, knows when to say when, knows how to say I made a mistake, now how can we resolve it?  His greatest power is in his need not to abuse it, instead he uses it to serve, lift up, empower others who thought they lacked a voice or had a choice.  He does not fear the one thing that defines long term success, yet most don’t have the courage nor the sense of self to realize: that you surround yourself with those who are more experienced, smarter, more creative, more knowledge, more strategic acumen than you do, yet share your vision – even if their concept of how to achieve that vision may differ from his.  And that concept should differ when there is a better answer to the question, a better solution to the problem.   “Yes men or women” are not necessary on the team of a real leader.  You see, a true leader does not need an echo of his own voice, he needs a team that encourages him to make the right choice.(Besides, how boring would it be, if everyone I talked to sounded just like me?)

 

To that end, I have this to say to those insistent upon their attempts to micromanage every move that our new President takes, those who continue to believe that they are right, that there is no way that this President is the best choice for our country: If anyone has done the same comprehensive study and consideration that the team President Obama put together and comes up with a better idea, then put it on the table immediately; I am certain he will listen. If not, criticism from Congress, Right wingers,  media or any other armchair quarterbacks -- without any alternative solution -- is worthless noise. His decisions may not be perfect and please everyone, he may not move on matters as quickly as you or I would like, but we are in uncharted territory. We have two wars, a flat-lining national and global economy, fighting between other countries that will ultimately affect us, not to mention a myriad of social, environmental and human rights issues that require attention. Patience and restraint is required. I also suggest that each of us should contact those who represent us in Congress and let them know where we stand as individuals and that we expect them to voice our points of view through their votes. We do not have time to play political kid games or placate those who believe their personal position is more important than the state of our nation.  It is our individual responsibility to hold them accountable for what they do.  Because what they do – or don’t do – affects you, affects me.

 

While we are waiting for change to come at the government level, we too have to put some skin in the Change game.  It would be tragic to allow that one word – change -- to become a cliché as useless as a New Year’s resolution.  One person   -- you -- can change society one step, one person, one community at a time.  You can change the paradigms within your self, your family, your school, your community, your job, your city, your state, and collectively, your, no our, nation.  We must talk less, act more.  Stop waiting for your ship to come in; figure out how to build a boat, get in it and row.  It has become the cliché to say that our children are our future.  The reality is that they are the mirror reflecting us. Kids do – and believe -- what they see.  It is one thing to tell children what to do – quite another to show them.   If you have lost your self, you cannot expect them to follow your direction to the path down which they need to go.  I/You/me have plenty to work on while we wait for change to come from the external sources.

 

I/you/we have individual and collective responsibilities; if we aren’t a part of the solution, then we are indeed a part of the problem.  Small changes, big changes. Change that moves me/you/us forward, no matter what size it comes in, is growth. Collectively, all change has a big impact.  Hugging your children more, yelling at them less, teaching them the difference between breaking a rule and making a mistake – that is change.  Choosing to listen and learn who people are, rather than assuming their position in our society – that is change.  Picking up the trash on the street where you live, checking in on the elderly couple across the street – that is a change.  Become an advocate for creating neighborhood schools – that is change.    I thought about writing more, but I think that maybe less is more.  I am anxious and excited to see what change will ultimately look like four years, two years, one year, from today. Don't get it twisted. Dr. King  would agree: this is just the beginning, we are just getting started. Change is gonna come.  It’s up to us to determine how.

8 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Saturday, January 10th 2009

7:29 PM

MUCH MORE THAN AN INAUGURAL SOUVENIR...

 

 

TO ORDER  GO TO  www.obamaworks.net

Artist Statement
 
Vision. Hope. Change.  Four years ago, an unassuming voice rose from obscurity to center stage of the National Democratic Convention, initiating the most incredible political journey in our nation’s history.  A ground swell of support, a monumental grassroots effort, engaged the young, not so young, men, women, even children in a national dialogue about change. 
Barack H. Obama will become the forty-fourth President of the United States on January 20, 2009.  He will become the first American of color and African descent to attain the most powerful position in the country, transcending the myths, stereotypes, labels, and politics as usual in the process.  It is a role he does not take lightly and did not come easily.  His journey began before he was born. Thousands of steps taken through the shadows of history cleared the path Obama was destined to follow, culminating in his successful hard-fought election to an office most only dream of.  Many footsteps taken, many voices lifted, those who in their own right as ground breaking leaders, as historians, activists, artists, scientists, musicians, politicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, ministers, housemaids, writers, and yes, community organizers who had the courage to walk their talk, who acted upon their vision and determined that they had a part to play in shaping the fabric out of which this country, our country, the United States is built.  From the life-saving heroism of Harriet Tubman, to the legal judgment of Thurgood Marshall, from the theatric voice of Paul Robeson to wordsmith Zora Neal Hurston, the dance of Twyla Tharp to the philosophy and leadership of Mahatma Ghandi, well over one hundred historical images have been artistically woven into the fabric of President Obama’s shirt and chronicled in the matting surrounding the painting.  This painting captures the demonstrated humility, integrity and heart of a man who has – as the visionary leaders preceding him – setting aside personal pursuits in sacrifice for the greater good.  And he is not alone in this sacrifice. Behind every great man there is the support of a strong and capable woman, whose greater sacrifice, along with that of family and friends demonstrates a generosity of heart and a shared vision of what can be accomplished.  Michelle Obama’s decision to support the candidacy of Barack Obama is an unsung sacrifice of great proportion.  Without her, we would not be celebrating this crossroads in U.S. history.  This work of art is a passionate delineation of history honoring our past, celebrating our future.  As a people uniting, one nation, irrevocably connected by the common crises of economic, ecological and societal devastation, working toward the common goal of resurrecting ourselves as global citizens of a diverse community, in hope of shattering the racial paradigms long held as truth,.  We each have our own journey to take, our own path to make during these challenging times.  Change is the operative action; we must begin to walk our own talk, willing to make our individual sacrifices for the common good of our families, our neighbors, our selves.  We must be realistically optimistic about what can be accomplished.  The journey will not be without challenges, neither the path nor the leader will be perfect, but with continued clarity in vision, hope in the teamed efforts made by we the people, Change will come.

 

2 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Friday, November 7th 2008

1:58 PM

To All Congressional Republicans: A Bit of Advice

It's been all of three days and I have already seen an article on the Republicans expressing a strategy among some of them to be a petulant group of politicians who will thwart the efforts of President-elect Barack Obama at every turn.  An open and honest suggestion to those considering this strategy: Grow the hell up.  The time for "the old boys will be old boys" game has long since past.  (By the way, how did that work out for you?)  There is a new President elected and he was not who you chose.  You've had your moment to pout, to point fingers, hold your breath, screech and shout behind closed doors -- and now that you have, get a grip.  You were selected and elected as caretakers of this country.  That's your job.  It isn't personal it's business. If your party is broken, then fix it, but you have neither the right nor the reason to jeopardize the lives of your individual constituencies just to get revenge. This isn't high school or your college frat house.  We need mature, strategic representation of the people on both sides of the aisle in this very critical time in our country.  If you can't fill that bill,  then let the voters you represent know and they will be happy to relieve you of your responsibilities. 

 
Whoopi Goldberg stated in her Blog on www.wowOwow.com that : "We have finally become part of the fabric of the United States of America."  While I certainly agree with Whoopi's sentiments, I am also encouraging all of us to realize the veracity of this monumental and historic benchmark: we've just gotten started.  We need to continue the spirit of change while the momentum is there, reeducating from the top down of a corporation, from the child in kindergarten to the school counselor in high school that the color of skin, the gender of a human, how short or tall one is does not define who I am or who you are.  We have got to be proactive in changing the mindset of fear and hatred predicated on a chosen lack of knowledge.  This election has demonstrated that we have come a long way; just imagine what can be accomplished if we continue the journey.  We have a president who is African American, not an African American President.  We voted based on character, not color.  What an amazing affirmation that we are finally, finally going in the right direction.
 
On a personal note, having nothing to do with politics, my publisher has informed me that my book, Ramblings Through the Attic of Thought, is now available on Amazon.  If you decide to read it let me know what you think.
1 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Thursday, November 6th 2008

5:51 AM

CHANGE: We Are Just Getting Started...

 

photo: Joyce L. Moore, Indianapolis

Whoopi Goldberg stated in her Blog that : "We have finally become part of the fabric of the United States of America."   While I certainly agree with Whoopi's sentiments, I am also encouraging all of us to realize the veracity of this monumental and historic benchmark: we've just gotten started.  We need to continue the spirit of change while the momentum is there, reeducating from the top down of a corporation, from the child in kindergarten to the school counselor in high school that the color of skin, the gender of a human, how short or tall one is does not define who I am or who you are.  We have got to be proactive in changing the mindset of fear and hatred predicated on a chosen lack of knowledge.  This election has demonstrated that we have come a long way; just imagine what can be accomplished if we continue the journey.  We have a president who is African American, not an African American President.  We voted based on character, not color.  What an amazing affirmation that we are finally, finally going in the right direction.

5 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Friday, October 31st 2008

7:47 PM

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

To say that I am emotionally, even physically exhausted by this election is an understatement.   This election has generated more frustration, wonder, profound astonishment, infused with lots of creative writing.  Heck, I made it into the hallowed halls of Huffington Post three times.   I have volunteered in ways I would never have imagined, spoken out in the fitness gym, in the grocery store, even in the sauna to perfect strangers -- about this election.  I feel as though I am addicted to CNN and Jon Stewart.  So I decided to sit down and determine what, if anything, I learned from this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

 

Lesson One: Truth does not have the same definition for everyone.  What both baffled and frustrated me was how many people chose to listen to only what they wanted to hear, bending the truth to fit what they perceived to be reality.   The notion that someone could repeatedly tell one who they are, show them who they are, tell them again who they are….only to have the same people say “I don’t  really know who you are” tells me you just don’t really want to know, What I took away from this is that there are people who have a very clear view, in their minds, of who people are according to race, gender, physical characteristics.  When someone does not fit that view and, in fact, destroys that view, some become uncomfortable, some become suspicious, others become angry.  Because you now have to see them as they are, not as you want them to be.  And you can't pretend they aren't there, as you have in the past.  So you look for anything, anything to justify bending the truth.  How sad for those who choose that path.  Some time ago, I wrote a small piece about the concept of truth and its impact:  There are always at least two sides to every story. Somewhere in between is where the truth is hidden. Those who seek the truth, even when it is not what they want to hear, will live the most genuine life. Your decisions may be the same, but they will be based upon an unadulterated integrity. If there is a small voice inside you whispering questions, have the courage to seek the answers, lest your personal truth becomes counterfeit by omission. Decisions made, actions taken, judgments ruled -- sans listening to every faction with as much objectivity as humanly possible -- will always be based upon warped evidence, ultimately causing those who continue stand upon such flawed reality, to fall.   

Lesson number two:  For the right reasons, even the most passive American can be awakened to action.  Like Barack Obama or not, most will agree that he has had quite an impact on the American public.  Young and old, every gender and race, has got an opinion and have acquired a voice about this election.  Which leads to…

Lesson number three:  All of America now realizes that race in America is still a major issue in which there is plenty of room for growth. “Joe Six-pack”, “hockey mom” and “small town America” becomes code for the Anglo population that Palin is so approving of.  Most have been able to keep their racial points of view out of the public eye, but this presidential race brought the color of skin issue to every citizen’s doorstep, Race could not be dismissed, made invisible , or ignored. The repeated mantra, “I don’t know him.,”  has become another way of saying one can never really know a person of color, their genuine motives or if they are who they say they are, if they do not fit into the prescribed stereotypes that have been consistently, historically and politically socialized in the United States.   The use of labels – socialist (which in and of itself has a historical meaning when used to refer to African Americans), Marxist, Communist, terrorist -- all allow for the notion that confirms African Americans as a people who are always suspect.  This actually has historic relevance, as there has always been the myth that if three or more African Americans are together and talking, in a school, social, or corporate environment then they are plotting something.  Having had this and other anecdotal experiences, knowing others who echo similar experiences tells me that the paranoia and mistrust of others who don’t look like ”you,” is a pervasive stain on the fabric of this country.  Consider what might happen if you chose to change your mind?

Lesson number four: The public media does not have the journalistic integrity I assumed.  When I first heard terms like “corporate media” liberally sprinkled though out public commentary as the primaries began to collect steam, I actually had to dig and find out – much to my amazement --- who really owned who and how many of those corporations had millions of lobbyist dollars on the line in Washington, DC.  Watching news stations, as these members of the small society with the power of the mike began to inject their bias and the bias of their corporate employers.  With their bias came their personal opinions; upon the discovery of having one, they decided that because they were in control of the mike, they hatched the misconception that we needed to hear – repeatedly – what that opinion was.  True journalistic reporting went out the window as straight forward coverage of the facts turned into a game of I-got-next rhetoric, parsed with sensationalized gossip, sliced up and served as news.  Most of my favorites sources fell from their journalistic pedestals landing in the mire of the reality that they are all, in the end, just humans with prejudices, opinions, agendas and egos.  There are times when I found more facts on The Daily Show.

Lesson number five: Having a television show does not qualify your opinion as credible.  I found the eclectic mix of fact and funny on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report an interesting  take on truth.  Mostly because they knew how to support their spin.  Then there’s the View.  Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a loser from a reality show with absolutely no credentials that give any of her opinions credibility.  But because she is kept on the View (controversy sells in America, the fact that we don't like her allows her to keep her job) she actually believes her own hype and actually thinks people care about her opinion. Apparently she believes that if you repeat misinformation often enough, it becomes the truth -- which seems to be the current Republican strategy.   Cute sells ads, but one has to have something more to bring to the table, as time will prove out. I personally hope her fifteen minutes are about up. 

Lesson number six: This campaign has gotten people to talk to one another.  A friend of mine commented that she has engaged in conversations with more strangers of all races, ages and genders about the election.  I have to admit I never saw myself being this involved in politics, writing, calling, volunteering. Talking to strangers in the checkout lines at the grocery, the sauna at the gym, anywhere people are gathered for more than a minute.

Lesson number seven:  The Bible warns us not to put new wine into old wineskins because they will split.  As I watch state after state use their existing process of voting to accept and count a record number of votes, including my own state where I am actually working at the polls, I will not be at all surprised at the chaos that will likely result from trying to make old systems work with new voters.  Your best bet is to vote as early as you can.

Lesson number eight, you can’t double dip at a  party because you leave behind some really gross looking germs, ginger really does help with motion sickness and  refrigerated onions are less likely to make you cry when you chop them.  I learned this because I am exhausted by this election and watching Food Detectives on the Food Network is mercifully without commercials.

 

Get your Vote out today. By telling everyone that the race is basically over, the Republicans are hoping that the less motivated of the Democrats and Undecideds will think that it is not necessary to vote. Those of us who want Obama to win MUST vote. We can not be complacent, or else the lead will very quickly turn to a no point lead or worse.
This is all a political game. Some of us have a better understanding of it than others, and some of us (like myself) are still just trying to learn all of the rules - forgetting that there are no rules. Each side will do whatever is in their power (good, bad & ugly) to win this or any election. So the power we voters have is go out and vote

7 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Thursday, October 30th 2008

1:10 PM

The Great Average American White Guy Hope

The Great Average American White Guy Hope

by John Gilmore 

 

 

 

Hope is in short supply these days. News of foreclosures, sinking markets, and vanishing 401Ks have been beamed into American living rooms ad nauseam.  We are sick of it, but deep down we know that this economic malaise is about more than bailouts and CEO pay.  This is big.

 

Americans in general have been marginalized to the point of being slaves to a plastic economy and masters of denial and procrastination.  The fact that Americans will no longer be guaranteed a ticket to the American Dream is brutal and quite

sobering. For many Americans the “American Dream” was just that, a dream, often a dream deferred.

 

For one group the American dream was essentially a birthright.

That group is the coveted Average American White Guy.

 

Election 2008 has been a real head-scratcher for the Average American White guy.  Powell's endorsement aside, the Average American White Guy can still "close the deal" on election 2008.  In the beginning the question was, "Do I vote for my mother-In-Law or Affirmative Action Jackson?" Now the question is, "Do I vote for my Father-in-law or a guy who "pals around" with Osama?"

 

Politics is partly about symbolism.  Both parties have had strong symbolic leaders -- Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton.  These men personified policy and change to the masses. They were vital to the progression of America and were men who dared to change the country no matter who or what got in America's way.

 

Obama exudes change and vitality. To many Obama is the change we need. To some he is the "magical black friend", version 2.0.  To others he is a "slick Commie", a.k.a., Mr. Socialism. Say what you will, but Obama makes his mark and he IS a symbol. But the Average American White guy would prefer that Obama wear the provided label.

 

In times like these, the Average American White Guy needs a symbol. The GOP has done a piss poor job in providing one.  McCain is not that symbol. He is old and old men never make good symbols for "vitality and change".

 

Sara Palin works for all the Average American White Gals, a.k.a., hockey-soccer, moms-moose-hunters, but her symbolism is that of a macho-earth-mother-sex kitten. That type of symbolism won't do for the Average American White Guy. SNL sideshows aside, Sarah Palin will never do for this demographic, no matter how “hot” he thinks she is. The Average American White Guy needs a "Great White Hope."  The McCain campaign hopes they found it in Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, better known now as "Joe the Plumber."

 

Now, I'm not going to talk about Joe's tax lien, phantom business acquisitions and plumber license, or lack there of. I'm going to remain on the surface of this phenomenon, since that is what this whole thing is really about.

 

We don't have to dig very deep to see and more importantly "feel" why "Joe" is McCain's "man." The Average White guy likes Joe because he's done something that they, and for that matter John McCain, could never do.  He confronted Obama face to face, Mano-a-mano.  And I'm not talking about "confront" Obama the way Palin does. No, Joe had the stones to “get in Obama's face". Joe's stones are indeed huge.

 

That's why the Average American White Guy loves Joe. Joe IS the "October surprise" of election 2008.  He’s raw, flawed and unapologetic.  He’s part “Dog the Bounty Hunter” with a pinch of Hannity and a spoonful of Drew Carey. Ohio indeed! 

 

The McCain campaign, grasping desperately for a lifeline, found it in Joe and they have no intention of letting Joe go.  To let go of Joe would be the political equivalent of flushing 2008 down the political drain. McCain knows this and has reattached himself to "God and Guns" via Joe.

 

Ultimately none of this is really about socialism, Barry, John, Sarah or even Joe.  It's about "race" AND "place"; more about "place".  Where is my "place" in all of this reshuffling of America. Will I, the Average American White Guy be at the head of the table?  Will I, the Average American White Guy still HAVE a place at the table?

 

Fear has been THE winning ticket for the GOP since Reagan rattled his saber at Iran in 1980. Fear is a strong motivating force.  Fear almost never fails to deliver its results.  That’s what’s so sad and scary about the “Joe the Plumber” phenomenon. It reeks of fear and loathing. Fear that the Average American White Guy can no long bank on an age old American truism: “Well I may be __________________, but a least I'm not Black."  Loathing that someone other than an Average American White Guy will be THE MAN.

 

There, I said it. Truth hurts.  The truth is raw and unapologetic, kinda’ like Joe. How tightly the Average American White Guy clings to this age old American truism is what the 2008 election will ultimately come down to. 

 

How many Average American White Guys would rather go down with the ship than accept a helping hand from a black man?  My friends, in five days we'll find out, you betcha'.

 

 

16 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Wednesday, October 15th 2008

10:23 PM

FINAL DEBATE OVER: YOU GOT NEXT

This video is a must see for everyone:  It is Donna Brazile in a panel discussion in New York:
 
What I have determined, after reading the interview of Gayle Quinell, after watching the videos of the people in  Palin/McCain rallies, that these people have neither the capacity nor the desire to hear the truth. They don't want the truth, they want to be right, they want to believe that "White is right." And that is frightening when combined with the delusional behavior of Sarah Palin, who simply does not understand that she does not understand, comprehend or has the faintest idea as to what she has done wrong in Alaska, what harm she is doing in this country with her focus on making lies become the truth by continual repetition.   And the McCain campaign is not stopping her.  She is incredibly dangerous to this country on so many levels.  Even the conservatives are giving pause to what has become a bizarre side show and an almost surreal soap opera-level drama. 
 
There is a saying that character is what you are when no one else is in the room. I received a forwarded e-mail, which I don't always open nowadays because I get so many.  But I decided to open this one. At first I thought: This has to be a made up story, it's too good to be true.  So I decided to fact check, sure that I would be proven right.  I wasn't.  I think this story simply reinforced my view of Barack Obama, when it comes to his character.   When all is said and done, it is character, intelligence, ethics and the courage to follow your vision for the greater good that will be the qualities imperative within the next President of this country.  As I watched this final debate, watch the anger, contempt and something close to hatred ooze from behind the fairly transparent mask that John McCain wore, I knew that the people of this country will have a choice to make about changing their internal paradigms and beliefs in order to come to the same conclusion I have.  This is too important to get hung up on skin color or perceptions that are not reality.  And try as they will not to do so, it is encouraging to see the slow shift in attitudes. 
 
Those who follow my writings know what I have said about polls.  Believe it or not, I think that it is even more important now than ever before that you DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT THE POLLS SAY.  POLLING IS A BIASED SOURCE OF INFORMATION, THAT IS EITHER INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY MISLEADING.  The reason for so many polls that are being referenced on every news media available, is that there is a psychologicalcal effect of political poll information. There is an inherent part of a human being that likes to be on the winning team. So when someone hears polling statistics, one of three things occurs: 1) They pay no attention to the information, because their individual choice is based upon other factors. 2) they actually use the poll statistics to decide how to vote, JUST to be on the side they perceive to be the winning side or 3) They decide not to vote at all because the polls say their choice is going to lose so what's the use. So here are some reality checks you need to put into place when it comes to polls: No one really tells us who they are polling and how many people were polled, and what questions were asked to get the information.  You see, I know from experience that many pollsters/surveyors ask questions in a way that will yield the answer desired by the client. That means the questions are biased. While there are different points of view on the number Next there has to be at least 500 responses if the statistics are to reflect the opinion of a large group of people. And no one tells me who they asked or how many. Here's an example: on last night's news, the local television station in Indiana stated that their poll indicated that Obama had 47% of the votes, McCain 44%. This is a traditionally red state, so this was news. So imagine my surprise when watching CNN this morning and their polls showed McCain with 45% of the votes and Obama with 41% (I may be off by a point). Two different polls, one state, huge disparity. Confirmed for me that polls mean nothing.  And now that the polls show Senator Obama with a double-digit lead, you should be even more focused, not less on getting family, friends and neighbors to the polls EARLY, to make sure they have the best opportunity to vote, and/or to find out if anything about their eligibility has been mis-handled, while there is time to fix it.  November 4th will not be the day to resolve any individual voter problem.
 
DO not get this twisted. We have to take this seriously enough to make sure that every single vote is counted, every one we can reach out to votes. We need to stay focused on making sure we get out the voters on or before November 6th, and then make sure every vote is counted so volunteer to monitor the polls, volunteer to drive people to the polls to vote.We have to take this seriously enough to make sure that every single vote is counted, every one we can reach out to votes. Forget the polls, forget the noise. Every vote counts this time. Until November 5th nothing is in the bag and we cannot assume that the worst in this country will not happen. Tell your friends, families, peers that they must, must, must make sure that they VOTE.  Our country's future depends on it.
 
Visit my YOUTUBE blog for the latest video -- McCain's Problems Revisited.
11 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS

Friday, October 10th 2008

11:43 AM

A QUESTION FOR REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS

 
The latest article depicting the search for another Obama smear: Right-Wingers Mock Obama's "Ostentatiously Exotic" Pronunciation Of Pakistan  C'mon, really? This is the biggest issue for conservatives? What exactly is the platform of the GOP, is it continued sleaze, innuendo, and mistruths that I have heard over the last few days, rather than any real information about issues? All of the covert racism, race baiting, the knowing smiles as the crowd is worked up into a lynch mob fever pitch? Have any details for me on the McCain fix for public education? Oh wait, I already know, according to his site there isn't one...for PUBLIC schools. What mistruths you ask? Let me help you out: Cindy McCain's cold blooded comment on Obama's voting on the bill she is speaking of: FactCheck.org called the McCain claim that Obama voted against troops "highly misleading."Obama has voted in favor of war-funding bills at least 10 times since becoming a U.S. senator. Using the same standard, McCain has supported cutting off funding to U.S. troops. To justify its claim, McCain's presidential campaign cites one vote that Obama cast against a funding bill, but that vote came after President Bush vetoed a version of the bill that included a date for withdrawal from Iraq. In fact, Republicans voted against the 2007 war-funding bill that Obama and other Democrats supported. McCain was absent for that vote; he urged Bush to veto the bill. "Based on those facts, it would be literally true to say that 'McCain urged a veto of funding for our troops,' " but in context misleading.
 
My question for Republicans: What if you had a Harvard graduate, with family values (that was your issue in the last election) who had genuine responses to the issues of education, the economy and the war in Iraq, instead of generalized solutions without any specifics (Yes, I read the McCain website on issues). What if you had a vice presidential candidate who did not see the role of vice president as a developing shadow of power and abhorred Cheney's law? And what if that presidential candidate was white? Who would you vote for? If race is your issue, did you forget the other half of Senator Obama's ethnicity? Because he is as Anglo/white as he is African American, if race is what you need to connect. When one considers that over 1/3 of perceived white America has some percentage of African blood coursing through their veins, can we not get past the issue of race and on to real issues that are facing this country?
 
NOTES:  New video on my blog: Sarah Palin: Dick Cheney Unfiltered http://www.youtube.com/jemiltd
 
The Rezko smear ad by the RNC.  Went to factcheck.org to find the truth.  The truth is that the ad is highly misleading, aka, a lie.  http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/rezko_reality.html  Obama made a statement about William Ayers that was just aired on MSNBC.
 
 
 

    
33 user comments / YOUR THOUGHTS