Thursday, September 25, 2008

Black Conservatives and Me

I have written before that I am a Kemp Republican: fiscally conservative and socially moderate. I feel that this is the best direction for this extremely diverse country of ours as opposed to the rampant liberalism or rabid conservatism that we often see trumpeted on talk radio or elsewhere.

I am opposed to income taxes as inherently unfair and I don't appreciate our government using them as a social engineering device. I am a proponent of the FAIR Tax ( as a more complete method of raising revenue for our government without the biases and puppeteering of our current tax code. I am not going into all of the benefits of the FAIR Tax nor will I be preemptive in its benefits but do invite you to study it to fully appreciate it.

I am not a fan entirely of affirmative action because I believe that we as Black people can do so much better on our own if we take the time to take care of our own. I believe we should settle for absolutely nothing less than the best that we have to offer; ranging from OUR own schools to OUR own neighborhoods. We do not have to always be identified as poor or leeches on society when so many of us are not. We pay a lot in taxes and contribute mightily to the infrastructure of this nation...we should benefit just as much.

I believe that nearly everyone of us should look to go into some kind of business for ourselves and hire the best of our people to achieve the "American Dream" that is so highly sought by other ethnic groups who will brave death itself to get here from other nations.

My dear friend Olu Asade just became a citizen after coming here from his native Nigeria nineteen years ago. He is extremely proud of this and he is highly accomplished in his field. He too demands the best from his people and even though he has an empathetic heart and soul, he will soon tire of someone not giving their best.

Does this make me sound like a so-called Black Conservative in the Republican mode as defined by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, or even Clarence Thomas? Let me throw a few more names in the mix to help you further clarify your definition: Larry Elder, Walter E. Williams, Thomas Sowell, Wardell (not Ward) Connerly, and Armstrong Williams.

If you think so, then I beg to differ.

To differentiate myself from those gentlemen, let me give you a name of someone who I believe I identify with more: John McWhorter. Mr. McWhorter not only will point out what is wrong but challenge us to ask ourselves why is this so, and what can we do about it. The others do not or least not that I have seen.

I think that Black people as an entity is a group worth studying to see where and why we have not lived up to our identify those trappings that cause us to be categorized by so many as a have the first thought of us be one of mortal dread and fear by many folks, including ourselves.

But, I do not, as those other gentlemen do, speak of Black people in the third person. When I speak on my people, I am including myself and I am not going to distance myself to the point that I am above and beyond my folks on any level. I do feel VERY strongly that we should live our lives with dignity and respect. I strongly advocate that we are courteous and civil with each other and that we do whatever we need to do to protect ourselves from everyone including our own. For instance, those who believe that "No Snitching" is ok can go to hell. Further, do not do anything around me that you don't want snitched on!

Larry Elder for instance has an extremely difficult time making the case that he is Black at all. I do not see where his writings offer any salient suggestions for correcting our ills or providing an uplift for us to seek to obtain.

So many Black conservatives have, in the canard of old, forgotten where they came from and find it so easy to speak of us in detached manners, much to the delight of those who chortle with glee at someone reminding everyone of just how "different" we are.

You see, I have no problem with Black wealth nor living well or behaving with culture and sense of dignity. I do not believe that is turning our backs on those who haven't gotten there yet, but I do believe that one should not be excoriated for wanting the best out of life.

Where the jealousy comes in is when people think that by achieving these statuses that Blacks have morphed into some variation of White people when it is more a case of being more American than anything else. I don't care how one defines being "American" but it doesn't have to mean being White.

When Bill Cosby speaks truth to wisdom and you have a Michael Eric Dyson castigate the messenger but offer NO suggestions of his own, choosing to characterize Dr. Cosby as a hypocrite because his life heretofore was not a model of perfect living, I have a problem with that.

One of the interesting things that has come out of the Barack Obama candicacy for President is the latent racial biases and prejudices and bigotry that has bubbled to the surface. When you have Black Republicans feeling that it is OK to make statements like, "Slavery was a good thing for Black people because it taught Black people the work ethic" you have a polarized society ready to pounce on every little stereotype imaginable and actually forget that behind closed doors or in private company, their ass is being labeled the same way!

So, I say to any Black conservative that believes in the laissez-faire treatment of Black people to just try once to address the problems that beset us in a first person manner. Don't create position papers or tout the right wing lines about "content of our character" when you know that unless and until we remove racist thinking and societal mores built on the notion of our inferiority which are held by ourselves (not anyone else...what they think is unimportant unless it boils over into our arena), and take advantage of opportunities to improve our own lives with their supposedly superior help, we will not advance as a society.

I challenge any Black conservative to just see how racist and patriarchal policies are addressed to them as well.

We will continue to be regarded as anchors around the neck of America...pariahs that suck the welfare system dry when all the facts point to everyone else but us doing so...we will continue to exist as second-class citizens both in lifestyle and in attitude.

Black conservatives are by no means above any of us in the broad scheme of things. In fact, before we were "freed" by the 1960's, we were more conservative than anything else. After all, we were all we had. After that, we became wards and slaves to the state and we are no better off as a group (Black conservatives love to cite individual examples of why this is not so) than we were before.

Come on, Black conservatives...just once, sing it loud: "I'm Black and I'm proud" and not wait for some racist law or policy forces you to do so.

We still love you!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Which Black Candidate Then?

Barack Obama
is the candidate of the Democratic Party in this year's election. Needless to say, he is a Black man with African and American roots. His politics are from the left side of the political spectrum and has been given a solid chance to be President of the United States of America.

There are some people who will vote for him because he is Black and many who will not because he is Black. As much as we would love to get past the racial aspect we cannot no matter how hard we try. It is perhaps a failing of this country that this is so but it is something that sooner or later will have to be dealt with.

From a Black perspective, there are many Black people who are enthusiastically and hopefully backing him with the anticipation that with him in the White House, Black people's grievances can be addressed. There is considerable debate connected with that hope... that he will perhaps not be a governor of all the people on one hand, and the governor of only a few on the other.
He is in a no-win situation on that score.

We've had Black people run before: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Chisholm, etc. but none were given a chance to be President because they were dismissed as Black, or in some cases, too Black.

More than likely, it was their liberal politics and racial perspectives which also played a large factor as the country turned more conservative with Ronald Reagan's ascendancy.

So, let's look at something for a minute. What if Barack Obama does NOT win?

Let us say that his politics prevents him from being the candidate of all of the people and he does not win.
What Black man, or woman, will then be the best choice to be "the Black candidate?"

I can hear scoffs now as some will bristle at the words "Black candidate" but isn't that what most Black voters seem to want? Someone who will be "presentable" enough to be "accepted" by all of America and therefore her President?

One can argue that if it were ANYONE running against John McCain, they would vote for them but we know that the real reason Barack Obama is so highly treasured by Black voters is his skin color and not necessarily his politics even though most Black people are more liberal than conservative.

Do they HAVE to be more liberal than conservative? Who says so? Are liberals the only people who can identify and feel empathy enough about Black people to have us become fully functional members of this society; to stand on our own feet without feeling beholden to the government for our very existence? Do we feel an allegiance to anyone at all, liberal or conservative? Should we?

Clarence Thomas is Black...and an angry Black man at that. He is angry at how Black people treated him throughout his life and how he was dismissed and discarded along the way because of his complexion. Should he simply forget that? People may want him to and want him to remember that he is Black after all and that he is subconciously "one of us" when his politics make him a pariah.

Condi Rice
is Black and an extremely talented Black woman at that. Yet, she is vilified for her politics because she is more conservative than liberal and works for a Republican administration...yet, have you noticed the pull of Obama on her identity is being drawn out of her; how her affinity for her ethnicity and the horrors of her youth have not caused her to forget?

Colin Powell is Black and an accomplished military man...afour-star general with a distinguished career. Yet, because he worked for Republicans he is not "qualified" to represent Black people and his politics paint him as uncaring and insensitive to their needs. He considered a run for the Presidency but we all know where that led. Shouldn't a man possessing the highest in strategic skills as well as the strength to be a strong representative to the rest of the world be qualified for us?

Let's face it. Black America is in so many ways separate from, well, "White" America. The contrast in skin tone is one clear component of it yet we are Americans nonetheless and I think that most of us simply want America to do what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked: honor your IOU to us.

We have problems of our own making and many of others doing but we are still here trying to survive and overcome--even overcoming ourselves most of the time.
So, I ask what kind of Black candidate should/could/would represent "us" best? Should they be a man or woman of principle like a solid and well-rooted minister? Their impeccable morals could not ever be questioned, could they?

Should they be a man or woman of industry? After all, their sense of business and conquest and savvy would be a boon to anyone, right? Should they be a man or woman of the intelligentsia? After all, it takes a person of remarkable intelligence to navigate this complex world of ethnic and national entities.
Should it be a Black man or woman at all? Do we believe that we are actually capable of running a nation like America with its built in challenges to progress on so many levels with one of them being racial progress?

I think of my friends who are fervent Obama supporters. I know they are supporting him because he is Black and yet no one questions the white voter who supports a white candidate because he is NOT Black. No one calls into question the racial motives of the rest of the electorate but all candidates find it necessary to give enormous import to "the Latin vote" or the "Rust Belt vote" or the "stay at home white mother vote" and so on and so on.

Only the Black vote has to be qualified in this manner so no matter how much one wants to paint the Obama supporters as racially motivated, it goes both ways, doesn't it?

This blog entry is not an endorsement of Barack Obama nor is it an indictment of him. Politics being what it is, I have a hard time with all politicians no matter how well-meaning their rhetoric is.

It asks the question of what kind of Black Candidate should there be in the future if Barack Obama does NOT win? From where and what part of our society should they come and be a viable candidate who can possibly be seen as a candidate first and a Black person secondarily.

I am not even talking about THIS election but those in the future so as such I am not even speaking of Barack Obama.

November 5th will tell this country a lot about what kind of country it is by the ticket that wins. You can extrapolate your own vision of the future if either party wins but since so much attention is being paid to Mr. Obama's ethnicity, I think that this blog entry asks a very fair question about who should be the Black man or woman within our eyesight of the near future who could possibly get this close to the greatest brass ring there is.

Again, this is not a pep rally for anyone in this election. It is about the political future and footprint of Black people in this country going forward.

Your thoughts...please?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What IS our problem???

I taught CPR and First Aid today to a group of foster parents and as I always do when discussing heart attacks and strokes, I began a lecture on how smoking is the leading cause of heart disease, and how diet is the leading cause of strokes through increased blood pressure.

I venture to say that this is not new information to these parents and I'm sure there were a few there who suffer from the ill effects of smoking and bad diet. If fact, one woman said after the class that she just started smoking AT 48! No catalyst...just started smoking.

During the discussion, an elderly gentleman was nodding knowingly throughout and when we were nearing the end of this section, he asked a very salient question: "Why do we do this to ourselves?"

He himself is anaphylaxic (severely allergic to seafood) and suffers from heart disease yet he did not have any antihistamine or his nitroglycerin with him. He admitted that he was wondering out loud about himself too.

But, let's look at the larger context here. In this society of supposed plenty, we overindulge to the point of gluttony. We ingest drugs (particularly nicotine) to the point of addiction. We rely on outside influences (government entities) to direct our lives to the point of dependency. We fall prey to the harmful influence of fast food, "historically black" foods, and the insidious innocuousness of snack foods.

As Black people, we do things which even we cite as "ghetto" yet we keep seeing them occur over and over again. Are gold teeth, rampant free-wheeling sex, and bling a lifestyle indicator or a ridiculous fad that has been foisted upon us by the video culture depicted by BET, VH1, et al?
  • Why do we smoke?
  • Why do we drink?
  • Why do we do drugs?
  • Why do we eat too many fatty foods?
  • Why do we have so many unwed mothers?
  • Why do we believe it is "ok" to dress like harlequins?
  • Why do we allow Ebonics to be our national language instead of English?
  • Why do our reading scores range so much lower when we are learning the same language?
  • Why do we drive without seat belts even when it is against the law in many places?
  • Why do we drive distracted without bluetooths or other hands-free devices when it is against the law in many places?
  • Why do we give in to all the stereotypes that have plagued us for years, even centuries?
When I see an African, and I mean a "real" one, and they dress in their native garb, I see pride and dignity. I see many Jamaicans go into business for themselves, work hard, and live the finer life because it is what they subscribe to...then I must ask, what is our excuse? I see the Ethiopian or Somali brother go into ANY kind of entrepreneurial endeavor while we complain about minimum wage?

There may be a cultural breeding principle where one can say that we have never escaped the ravages of slavery and its psychological handcuffs. There may be an inculcated sense of parochialism because we live where we live and cannot believe we can actually live better. There may be the demoralizing effect of an inbred sense of white superiority that makes us feel discouraged and trapped.

But, with any of these, I don't think so.

I think that with so much available for us, even in our own communities, the horizon is one that is simply within walking distance. We don't have to say that we can never do/be better than we do today, or did yesterday. I don't think we have to feel that it is "acting white" to be a better American because we are all acutely aware of what it is to be a bad citizen.
  • Our neighborhoods do NOT have to look like this.
  • Our neighborhoods do NOT have to have liquor stores on every other corner while the "villages" in other communities have pharmacies and delis and boutique restaurants.
  • Our neighborhoods do NOT have to have ANY drugs in them if we just turn the parasitic bastards in and be done with them.
This "live and let live" syndrome is becoming a disaster. We live lives of relativism where if "it ain't bothering me, I can let it go." Fool!! EVERYTHING is affecting you!! If you let even one foppish and idiotic jerk be the definition of what "being Black" is to everyone else, you have given over to the lemmingish mentality of self-destruction.

Further, if you realize that as long as it is in YOUR neighborhood, no one else is going to give a damn about it... or you. If you realize this, then who can you blame then? Republicans? The Klan? Democrats? "The Man?"

The source of nearly all of your maladies is right in your mirror...a darkened cracked mirror that reflects a lost soul.
So, I want to put this question out to all of you. Why DO we do these things? Why is our behavior so self-destructive.

And, what do YOU think we can/should do about it?


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Don1228's Thought Process: Press "1" for English; Press "2" for Ebonics

Don1228's Thought Process: Press "1" for English; Press "2" for Ebonics

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Obama's 50 Lies

The lengths that some people will go to are astounding.

When you read through this list, you will see that some of the opposition to Obama is frothing at the mouth with all kinds of assertions that are out and out false.

Further, I've read where some portions of the opposition media (and make no mistake about it, they are just as bad as the left wing press when they smell blood in the water) are pandering to the fears and morals of their listeners when they make wild claims that are not based on facts or issues but rather the way he comports himself on the campaign trail; the way the stadium in Denver was set up; the crowd and venue in Germany; and on and on.

It is as if they are flat out jealous rather than coming back with an argument versus his stances.

So, enjoy this essay on I think you will find it all interesting.



Monday, September 8, 2008

Press "1" for English; Press "2" for Ebonics

I was over on Black Planet recently which is as we all know an essentially Black person's site. The Planet with its millions of members spans the globe and brings so many of us together in a social way. But, at the same time, it exposes our weaknesses and shows them to us in a very raw fashion.

I'm not sure why people mistake Black Planet for Nude Africa; or why people believe that when they are trying to appear educated, they write as they speak on a casual, every-day basis. Of course, most if not all of us are "bi-lingual," meaning we understand Black slang as well as proper English so we can get to what the writer is saying.

But, the question begs as to when does your online persona end and the real life person must begin. For instance, at the workplace, do you speak Ebonically? Do you write the same way?

At our job the receptionist is Black and I was standing there chatting with her one day. Also in the lobby were visitors: 6 white men and 1 Black woman. One of our co-workers walks up and in a very audible voice asks, "Ain't y'all got no peanuts?" Good God! The receptionist and I looked mortified! The eyes of the Black woman visitor and ours met and the look that registered on our faces caused her to smile...probably in embarrassment.

But, come on, THIS something that you want an outside visitor to hear and believe that THIS is what your company is all about?

I go into some government offices and I hear the hip-hop station playing and Black people with bad voices singing along...during working hours.

So, I'm not talking about what goes on in offices that are predominately White but when it comes to US, have you ever wondered WHY we are the butt of racial jokes? Where is our sense of pride? Where is our supposed work ethic that says that we must work twice as hard to get just as far?

When you write/speak do you make these errors:

  • Bare with me, instead of bear with me?
  • Guessbook (on Black Planet) instead of guestbook?
  • Dis instead of this?
  • Dat instead of that?
  • Prolly instead of probably?
  • Then instead of than?
  • Than instead of then?
  • There instead of their?
  • Their instead of they're?
  • Imma instead of I will?
  • You don't pronounce your "t's?"
  • You end sentences with "at?"
  • And every other sentence has the F word or N word in it?

Now, don't get me wrong...slang is slang and there is "chat speak" when you're online but in business, you cannot do that. The reason for it is that English is the ONE thing we ALL have in common in America...and it is important that ALL of us get it right.

When you are writing a business plan and a proposal that you will submit to investment bankers/brokers, is your English so bad that you are immediately labeled as unintelligent?

Do you STILL think that mastering English is "speaking White" or do you NOW realize that mastering English is mastering the society at large? Can you understand what that contract that you're getting ready to sign is all about?

I have no pity for people who should know better...and do not look for me to help you after the fact when you went through 12 years of a FREE public education and didn't take advantage of !

We can be our own worst enemy and if you don't believe it, go to If you think that all the stuff up there is "cute" or you don't see anything wrong with it, then you have a problem. If you look in the mirror and see STUPID HOT GHETTO MESS all over your face, then you have your answer as just how prosperous the rest of your life is going to be.

Wake up, folks...being smart is a Black thing...has been throughout recorded history...until we got to America and thought that it was too European to be a thriving member of this society. On your way out, if you ever leave, make room for all the Africans, Haitians, and Jamaicans killing themselves to get here and decide who will get the better end of the deal.

Anyway...I'm going to breathe now and see what someone else has to say...

(Repost) Would you know success when it comes?

You know, there are so many lessons that I have learned by being a lover of Star Trek. I know, I can hear some of you groaning now, but you know that eventually I will get to the point.

I was thinking of things that happen that often escape our notice. These things that shape the future in ways that we can't see at that moment. In fact, certain things that turn out to be successes along the way which may seem like failures. A professional baseball season is 162 games long. The season sometimes seems interminable and one may not notice just what kind of season it was in terms of successes until one realizes at the end that they are the champions, or not.

Even in failure, the maturation of younger ball players can lead to a point where the team is now able to congeal and operate as a cohesive unit and then play championship-level ball.

There was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Loud as a Whisper" from the fifth episode of the second season where a deaf person named Riva had a very unique relationship with three special people. As a deaf and mute person, these people called his "Chorus" could instantly read his thoughts and speak for him and vice-versa.

When Captain Picard meets them, (from Wikipedia) he begins by introducing the away team. The woman says; "I have been expecting you", seemingly answering for Riva who remains completely silent. The warrior asks (Counselor) Troi if she is an empath. She nods and the warrior states "I am looking forward to this journey, more than ever because it gives me a chance to spend time in your company." Picard is confused and wonders what kind of communication is going on here. The woman explains, "It is a process that has developed over the centuries, one that I find most harmonious." Picard then wonders if Riva is deaf. The warrior confirms with conviction; "Born and hopes to die". Picard asks; "Then you all speak for Riva?" Together, all three answer yes. The scholar states; "We convey not only his words, but his emotional intent as well." Troi explains Riva's "Chorus" serve as translators, each represents an archetype of the man's personality. The Scholar represents Riva's intellect, philosophy and logic, the Warrior his libido and passion, and the Woman his wisdom and harmony.

This relationship was symbiotic and helped Riva to be a truly great negotiator settling conflicts all over the quadrant.

This one planet which had been at war for centuries cried out for Riva to come and help them. They were so entrenched in their hatred for each other but as one species, the feeling was that they had to resolve this and Riva was to be the conduit.

When they landed, one of the militant parties was not going to join in and ended up killing Riva's Chorus...all of them. As such, Riva was now without his greatest assets and was floundering about feeling sorry for himself and totally helpless, as well as useless. Counselor Troi, as an empath, was someone who could communicate with Riva and helped him to overcome this horrible loss. How? Riva was going to teach the warring factions how to sign to each other. In this way, this new common language would be a simple, yet eloquent binding agent for change.

I've written before on how to eat an elephant, and of course, you know the answer is "one bite at a time." When we lose weight, we should keep in mind our goal but we should also concentrate on losing only the "next pound" until we do reach that goal.

Any relationship should be based on how can I serve my _________ (fill in the blank), one day at a time. If we serve with a glad heart, there is a Biblical principle where we reap what we sow. Og Mandino advises, "I shall only sow good seeds today."

Zig Ziglar has said, "Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be."

Friendships are born and constantly nurtured and grown one memory at a time. Those memories build a condition of trust where future behavior can be predicted and relied upon.

Love is also a process by which we have one success after another. "Agreement" is the cornerstone of any loving relationship. You come together on one point after another until the point is reached where the two of you speak with one voice. After all, you DO have the rest of your lives together to get it right.

A salesman, if they are a good one, does not focus solely on the signed contract or the check. They focus on one "win" at a time...and each win must serve the customer answering their needs along the way. Unless and until this happens, a salesman's job is never done and future business can never be taken for granted.

Do we recognize our growth as Black people in this country for what it is, and what it can be? Do we acknowledge our victories? Does our youth look back on our history through such vehicles as "The Great Debaters" or other retrospectives and stand in applause for those successes along the way that allows them to be as "free" as they are today?

Barak Obama won in Iowa but lost in New Hampshire. Do his supporters acknowledge that his loss is a success or a setback? Does his message still resonate despite the numerical defeat or do we blame someone else for it? Perhaps this loss sharpens the debate and refocuses on common issues?

My blast on my page today was heard in a radio commercial and, God, what a powerful statement it is! "Today will be over soon." If you have something to accomplish today, don't wait until 11:59 pm to get started. Will tomorrow show up as hoped? What will be your legacy if it doesn't? By what deed/moment would you want to remembered by/as?

I am constantly complimented on my youthful face; a face that, despite its scars, belies my 57 years on earth. I can only attribute that to the genes in my family pool which reflect youth throughout but I also know that I live a happy life...a life that seeks joy wherever it is. I am so appreciative of opportunities to love and be loved by family and trusted friends. I am thankful for an affectionate heart and a romantic soul...both which contribute to my motto: "affection and humor--daily--is the key to a successful relationship."

So, as you start your day, or as you examine your day which is half over, or if your day is ending as you read this, can you recognize the success that is around you virtually everywhere. It is as the fruit on a low hanging branch. It is there for you to pluck and enjoy. If you need a ladder to get to it, make getting that ladder your first success story on your way to the delicious ending that awaits you.

Keep a smile in your heart and your arms open and welcome at all times. Be true to yourself and, like a magnet, people that need you and what you have/are will find you and splice their needs with your solution.

Again from Zig Ziglar: "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want"

May you know love, and success, today.


(Repost) Putting Jesse into a larger context

I think we can all agree that what Jesse said about Obama was reprehensible and beyond reproach. I've read a lot over the past two days about how Jesse and by association, Al Sharpton, et al, are relics of the past and to a very large degree, I agree with that.

This is a new century and despite all of the things that have been given to us legislatively, we still have a long way to go. The tactics of the 60's and 70's were of value back then because they addressed the moral wrong that was visited upon us as a people. But, since then, what have we done with those gains when a great many of the roadblocks have been cleared away?

Do we still suffer from a slave mentality that prohibits us from advancing further and taking our rightful place as equal citizens in this society? Do we still need for the majority to "give" us something/anything?

  • We have our HBCU's. Do we support them? Do we make them world-class?
  • We have our own communities because with fair housing, that's where we have chosen to live? Do we keep them clean and neat and worthy of residence?
  • We have our churches--still. But do we still consider them as our moral center?
I have been in lively debates with Black people about the candidacy of Barak Obama. Let me say, I am not a Democrat. But, I see myself in him because I feel the attacks by the right and the Republicans acutely. Why? Because they question his capacity as a Black man, no matter how they want to couch it. They play to the fears that Whites have always had about us. I want to see that overcome and with Barak Obama, I see a chance for that to happen. It does not mean that I will agree with him politically but I see him being a better "opportunity" for change than I do with John McCain who is publicly calling for the status quo to remain.

So, when I see people defend Jesse Jackson as if we still owe him largess, I say no...not when he does something dick-headed like he just did. "Talking down to Black America?" Was Obama wrong with ANYTHING he said on Father's Day (the one day where if we as a community wanted to feel shame, this was it. 70% of all Black children are in non-nuclear households)? Was Bill Cosby incorrect? Why do we need our spokespeople to be in flowing robes and floating in on clouds? We all fall short of the Glory, right?

I find it so amusing when people criticize the messenger but do not offer ANY alternatives to the message.

Barak Obama has 90% of the Black vote because he is a viable Black candidate. But, I think the reason we bristle at Jesse's comments are akin to the reaction we had when Denzel and Halle won their Oscars. We were upset because of the roles they played. It didn't matter that their performances were world-class; it was that Black people were being shown in a negative light. What Jesse did was reprehensible...even Tom Joyner was declaring him the Bama of the Week before Huggy Low Down even came on today.

What I have a hard time understanding, and I can appreciate one's skepticism as that is their right, but we have a man (no matter his ethnicity) who can cobble together a coalition to create change when he gets into office. I'm not quite sure what Obama's Democratic critics are looking for him to do or if he has to come out of the mold of the old-line civil rights people, but when you see someone (given the choice between him and McCain) who is in a position to create something different where McCain seems to advocate the status quo, what do YOU want him to say/demonstrate will be for Black America exclusively?

He cannot be for Black America no more than we could ask The White Candidate running for president to be for only one group. We see where that has gotten Bush with his and Cheney's advocacy of the oil industry.

When you see a man who looks like us with a very real opportunity to be in power for the first time, knowing full well that he cannot be for any one group over another because it would be political suicide, I must respectfully ask all of you what do you want him to do? What agenda do you need to see from him?

It reminds me of the joke where the man says, "I have three PHd's. They're all sitting in the other room." Does Barak Obama or any presidential candidate NEED to be the smartest person in the world? Given Biblical prophecy, that will be the Anti-Christ.

So, to the question of Jesse/Barak in the broader context, I would really like to know what do Black People want done...

(Repost) Naked in the Dark

Naked in the dark...irrelevant...beyond the wind's caress...

Aimlessly adrift on the snores of a thunderstorm.

Feeling not the ground beneath my feet...absent...empty valleys abound

No marker on the unknown path to follow.

The quest is not why nor who but where? From today, from last hour,

I seek the direction to you.

I hear you call...feel your draw...I seek and grope and crawl and struggle.

Are you...over the next rise...around this or that corner?

I seek to be what I seek...I seek the reflection of you in me.

I am naked in the dark...irrelevant.

Are you my Redemption? Are you Love? Are you the Answer?

Will you clothe my nakedness...provide relevance?

I hear my tears fall...noisily...on the walls of this prison.

I slip on the sodden silk towards a fate not imagined.

From this night's dream, I pray for arousal...pray for your touch

To waken from the slow desperate death of this nightmare.

Break my fast; pull back the heavy blind which grays the day

And prevents the glow of fondest wishes coming true.

Provide the Hand to reach for; Be the Voice to hear

Between my heart's hollow echoes; to shatter the desolate aloneness.

I am naked in the dark...irrelevant...

To cry and not be lash out at the nothing there;

To hold onto only wisps of awake...and blink useless eyes.

I am naked in the dark...irrelevant...

Chained to myself...bound to yesterday.

My rounded edges provide no grip on the staircase of Escape.

I shall pray...

I shall seek release...

I shall awaken...

I shall be clothed in daylight...

I shall be freed to breathe...

I shall be


Don't Rue The Past; Rule The Future!

I used to spend a lot of time at a site in its 40-Something portion and I coined that phrase in response to a topic about Regret. Of course, some of my people thought that I had misspelled the word rue, making the sentence redundant until I had them look up the word.

All of our lives have been one long flow with trickles at some points with raging torrents in others but all along the way, the path that was carved out will remain forever. There may have been some tributaries that fed our stream with influences from other people's streams and together, mountains may have been humbled while entirely new islands were created.

The thundering waterfall of your life today makes sounds heard off on the horizon and draws others to the symphony of your newly created river. Together, we have created canyons and oceans, mighty and deep!

My life contains many regrettable events and sometimes I look back on them and literally cringe at what I've done. The damage done to people, and myself, in my youth was considerable in some cases; yet, on the other hand, the positive influences that resulted and the lessons learned hopefully will outweigh the negatives.

Last night, we were hosted by a lovely woman on Black Planet, HopeFourToday, who has a SPECTACULAR condo overlooking downtown Baltimore. The view is one to die for (here are Olu's pictures!) and we had a wonderful evening with great food, playing cards, watching movies, and just enjoying the fellowship of our on-line friends; friendships made complete by meeting and becoming closer friends offline.

In the room, I'm sure there were many life stories that could be interpreted as regrettable flows yet now existing as peaceful harbors. We naturally strive to create these back harbors where we are protected from the raging storms and to create a peace that, in its tranquility, belies the hurricanes that helped to create it.

On the way to the party, SmittyB003 said something that is the genesis of this blog today. She said that she always tried to teach her children to "never create regret." My God, what a phrase! The power of that admonishment is astounding in its simplicity.

"Never Create Regret"

Can you imagine what would happen if we only took the time to think about our next move; to do due diligence before proceeding? Maybe not the smaller moves as they can "just happen" some times and may add a certain zest to life, but the larger ones...the ones that involve other people's lives and what the impact of that decision could mean in years to come?

"Never Create Regret"

There is no need to go back and needlessly worry about what one has done before. That's a neurotic's paradise. However, we all have a chance--right now--to shape a future that contains promise, possible prosperity, and certainly a kind of peace that would be "of our making!"

Don't rue the past; Rule the future!

Do you think you can shed that past this morning, this afternoon, or this week, and be a positive influence on YOUR future? Do you think you can live a life where you essentially do not create regret for yourself?

Dr. Martin Luther King in his Drum Major for Justice sermon said:

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’" (emphasis added)

I want to thank Smitty for that phrase; I believe it will stay with me forever! Amazing!

I want to thank my Yahoo 360 family for being part of a life that is no longer living in the past tense but is future perfect (you like that, Lis and Goosie? *grin*).

Again, from Dr. King's sermon:

If I can help somebody as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,

If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,

Then my living will not be in vain.

If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,

If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,

If I can spread the message as the master taught,

Then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world. (again, emphasis added)

If I were to die today, I would want someone to read at my homegoing celebration that I tried to live a life without regret...that I tried to create a world where I was a safe harbor for my friends...that I did not rue my past but I tried to rule my future with love and kindness for those with whom I came in contact. Let it be known that my body of water contained all of you.

Today is our day, my friends...with love and kindness, attention and care, sun and definitely the rain, we can grow a life that is splendidly lush, emotionally nutritional, and a virtual work of art in the matchless name of Jesus, The Christ.



Saturday, September 6, 2008

Conversational Etiquette

Let me begin by saying that I really love my mother-in-law! She's smart, witty, erudite, and fiercely loyal to her children and extended family. She's also, for those that know the reference, "Ma Claven" in person! There is very little that she doesn't know about and at 84, she can be extremely independent.

There is however, one small thing that she does that I'm sure she's not aware of. She has this habit of one-upping someone. It's not always her accomplishments but she is also more than willing to cite someone else, or their accomplishment during a conversation about you.

I remember having an essay published years ago. I was very proud of that and worked very hard on it, and to see it in print was very important to me. A friend was over the apartment visiting and I told her to watch what happens when I announce my article. Sure enough, she cited the time that SHE was published.

There was another time when I was talking about something that Jocelyn had done and how proud we were of her. Bam! She cited the accomplishment of her niece and some of the other little cousins.

This must be a genetic thing because all of the missus's cousins do the same thing! They seemingly cannot wait for you to finish what you're saying to begin their list of accomplishments...all of which are better than yours.

Now, I'm not going to fault her for it as a lot of people do it, and in her case, I'm sure she is just being conversational and drawing upon the things that she knows. But, after a while, when you know it's coming, you tend to not give her anything to talk about. I know...that's mean! LOL

But, have you also run into someone that will pooh-pooh what you have done/got/received and thereby one-up you there too? I remember when I got a portable DVD player for Christmas a couple of years ago. To me, it was a big deal as I thought they were so cool and were perfect for traveling. Well, Jocelyn shared my joy with me and when she announced what I received to a girlfriend's mother, the response was "Oh yeah...we've had one of those for a while!"

And, "proud" parents can be the worse when it comes to talking about their children!

So, lately, I've noticed a lot of one-up-manship in conversations occurring around me and I find it hilarious to a degree. I recall reading years ago in "How to Win Friends and Influence People" about a man who was in a conversation with another man for what seemed like forever. The first man came away with glowing praise for the second man. The reason? The second man let the first man do all the talking and all he talked about was himself!

Good conversation is an art and should include enough give and take to allow each person to feel that they were indeed IN an conversation, not a speech. Sometimes, though, there are people who by their make-up like to take front and center in all things. They seek the limelight and any and all of the praise that goes with it. Just watch the dynamics of people when you are in a social setting and look for the Lead Dogs or the Head Sisters In Charge! They will position themselves in such a way that THEY are the ones that you must go through; or that you will notice before you do everyone else.

Pride is a sorry thing sometimes.

I also venture to ask that when one is having a cyber conversation, say, text messaging each other, how much listening are YOU doing? Are you digesting everything that is being written to you trying to determine their meaning? You know how hard it is to do with only black and white text...there are no emoticons most of the time so listening intently is extremely important.

Or, do you overlook all of that and try very hard to make your point irrespective of what they are saying to you?

If you really know me, you will know that I have always tried to prop up those around me and in the process, I will get some praise for it but it's enough to make me feel good about myself. But, the important thing is that those around me get MORE! The Golden Rule is always in effect!

I have found, however, that when I do NOT listen closely enough, then I'm also not paying attention to myself and my actions in the exchange, and I always lose out. Always.

And, when you lose out on love as I have by not paying attention to them, or even myself, the lesson is a harsh one indeed!

So, what examples do you all have, my family? Make them juicy!

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I'm doing Acai!

One of the easiest things for a person to say when someone like me announces that they are starting a business, or a new line of business, is to snidely remark:

1. What are you selling now?
2. Selling that stuff is not for me? (as if I asked them to do so)
3. I'm not interested in ____________ not even knowing what it is or what it can or cannot do.

I need to point out that there are any number of people who are on a quest to create good health for themselves. Some may go "conventional" or do what their doctors tell them, or they may decide to go "natural" and see what the holistic community has to say about different products.

As many of you know, I was selling Xango for a long time...and love it. The taste is great and the positive effects on me were telling. But, being one who is always on the lookout to improve my lot in life, I kept seeing things about the acai Oprah (groan) had it on her show, etc.

So, as I did with Xango, I researched it. Further, I ordered some to try it to see what it would do for me. After trying it and telling another 360er about it, who also ordered it, we both came away feeling highly energized and a heightened sense of well-being. Not only were my joints not feeling any discomfort as often is the case with gout sufferers, I honestly felt "lubricated." I often have to do a lot of walking at my job and could notice that I was moving far better than I had...and with a lot more pep.

Just like the product description said...

The acai berry has a positive impact upon one's digestive system and after what I had gone through earlier this year, I can honestly say that I am not having any of the issues which lead to some pretty horrible problems earlier this year.

When I first hinted about acai berry, I got private emails from friends who are aware of it and had heard of some good things happening with those who take it.

So, after doing my due diligence, and really delving into the testimonials and medical journal websites ( for one), I decided to become an affiliate.

So, I am hoping that via word of mouth of those friends who are taking it and having positive results, you won't have to take MY word for it. No One Is Asking Anyone To Sell acai...I'll do all of that! LOL

But, what you can do is go to my website by clicking the link below and order some for yourself and see what it can do for you. Do all of your research. Ask around. Go to any medical site and check it out.

But, be careful...not all acai berry products are the same! My website will spell out those differences quite clearly for you.

Then, you can wish me luck...and good health!

Now, wasn't that painless? LOL