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The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

Freeman Predicts a 24-17 Bills Win Over Dolphins

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by Pat Freeman

The Buffalo Bills open the home portion of their schedule against arch rival Miami on Sunday. This game should be a great challenge for the hometown team because Miami not only moved the ball against New England last week, but also sacked Tom Brady four times.

This will also be the first regular season home game since the passing of Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson and also marks the beginning of a new era for the team with new owners Terry and Kim Pegula. It should be a memorable Sunday game in the newly-Renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium because it will also be Bills Alumni weekend.

Since the announcement of the accepted sale of the franchise to the Pegula family the joy of Western New York is undeniable. The new owners are committed to keeping professional football here in Western New York and must also put forth a new formula to increase revenue for themselves and the rest of the league owners with a short term plan to accomplish this. This plan must include a new multi-use facility in the commercial district of the city of Buffalo. Our elected leaders still must realize that the profit margin for Mr. Wilson was on a $25,000 investment in 1960, and this margin is not acceptable on a more than billion dollar investment. The other problem is that our stadium with all of its improvements is one of the lowest revenue sharing facilities in the NFL. There is no doubt in my mind that the Pegula’s are already looking at the best way to tackle this problem with the rest of the owners. The concern that I have is when our local leadership will face this reality so we can move forward in a reasonable fashion.

I do understand that one of the deciding factors involved was getting the new owner in place and sitting down with them to see what direction they would like to proceed. The problem is that the other NFL owners have already told our elected leaders that you need a new stadium and that the facility in Orchard Park can’t be retrofitted despite the efforts of the popular media to convince us that it can. The Orchard Park Stadium’s location and structural defects play an even larger role than most ordinary citizens can imagine. So the push for anew downtown stadium continues at full speed ahead. Let me bring you up to date with where we are now.

We have now identified three workable sites which could accommodate the proposed Stadium complex proposal which I believe will solve the remaining problem we have in keeping professional football in this area for the long term. Unlike the firm hired by the Governor all three of my sites are located in the city of Buffalo, and renovating the 40 year old stadium in Orchard Park is not an option. Time will tell how history will treat a person who has continued to fight for what he knows is the right thing to do and that is change our formula and bring a Multi use Entertainment complex to the city of Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills will win Sunday 24-17

If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.

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Written by cs

September 14th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Will There be an ISIS/MS-13 Alliance Starting in Texas?

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The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is coming … to Texas? Yes, if you listen to conservatives, particularly those from Texas.

First, let’s say this flatly: ISIS is an outrageously barbaric group that poses a real threat to the Middle East in the short term and possibly to Western countries in the long term.

And watching the beheading of American journalists by ISIS is most unsettling, to say nothing of the pain and torment it must cause the victims’ families. It offends and infuriates. The heart breaks and the eyes water. And there is a natural revulsion and rousing of anger.

But through the anger we must still stay levelheaded, and not allow politicians and pundits to talk us into armed conflict without clarity of mission and scope. And we also mustn’t allow them to inflate the image of the enemy to such a degree that we feel that caution and patience are not options.

The latter seems to be very much underway. ISIS is being presented as so great a threat that action cannot be forestalled, and that amplification of threat is even being used as a political tool in the immigration debate.

The conservative website WND “reported” in July that “a top U.S. Defense Department analyst under President Bush says ISIS, the Islamic jihadists creating a Muslim caliphate in Iraq and beyond, could use the Mexican border to infiltrate America, and it could happen ‘sooner rather than later.’”

The site continued, “ISIS may be working to infiltrate’ the U.S. with the aid of transnational drug cartels, he said, citing the violent Mexican criminal gang MS-13 as a highly likely candidate for the partnership.”

WND was not the only one to hype the cartel line. Representative Ted Poe of Texas said in August that there was interaction between ISIS and Mexican drug cartels and that they were “talking to each other.”

Fox News “reported” Friday on a so-called “situational awareness” bulletin sent out by the Texas Department of Public Safety and obtained by the “news” network. According to Fox, the bulletin read, “A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of U.S., for terror attack.”

And members of the Obama administration — wittingly or not — fed the frenzy. In a joint news conference in August, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, further inflated ISIS and raised the issue of immigration and the border.

Hagel called ISIS an “imminent threat to every interest we have” and said, “This is beyond anything we’ve seen. We must prepare for everything.”

Dempsey said, “Because of open borders and immigration issues, it’s an immediate threat, that is to say, the fighters who may leave the current fight and migrate home. Longer-term, it is about ISIS’ vision.”

Broadly speaking, this is all true. Everything is possible, and one should never underestimate an enemy. But, neither should one inflate the image of the enemy. And a legitimate threat from foreign forces should not be used as political fodder for anti-immigrant, enforcement-over-citizenship border politicians.

And yet, that appears to be what it has become.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas recently hinted that ISIS fighters might have already crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Perry, “There’s the obvious great concern that because of the condition of the border, from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be.” Perry continued, “I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that.”

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said on CNN, however, that although ISIS had a desire to strike Western targets, there was “no information that leads us to believe” that ISIS fighters had crossed the border.

The Conservative Judicial Watch issued a statement last week claiming:

“Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.”

The National Counterterrorism Center director, Matthew Olsen, said that while ISIS did pose “significant threat to us” it was not “Al Qaeda pre-9/11” and “we have no credible information” that ISIS is planning to attack the United States.

The ISIS-at-the-border hype appears to simply be an attempt to kill two birds with one stone — be pro-war and anti-immigration at the same time.

(This column originally appeared in the New York Times Sept. 3, 2014 under the title “ISIS, Deep in the Heart of Texas“)

Charles M. Blow is a New York Times Columnist and nationally-known commentator: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.”

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Written by cs

September 13th, 2014 at 8:05 pm

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Zimbabwe President Mugabe tells White People to “Go back to England”

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by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

I absolutely love President Robert Mugabe – Africa would be much better off, and much further along if the rest of the so-called leaders took the same stance he, Julius Nyrere, Jomo Kenyatta and other intelligent Black leaders took when it came to putting Africa for the Africans first. It’s because of the psycho-sociological brain washing and continued dependence on white approval and technology that Africa continues to cannibalize herself.

Can we inject the rest of the “leaders” with his DNA? Better yet, can we clone President Mugabe???
I’m sharing this article I received from my friend, CP Ohio, with all my African and African American brothers and sisters. I truly hope President Mugabe is grooming a successor and an administration to carry his policies and principles forward.

 

 

Robert Mugabe rails against British Soccer Player Uruguayan Suarez for biting Branislav Ivanovic- cs (photo- Getty)

 

The brits and other eurotrash have raped, robbed, pillaged and enslaved Africans for centuries – did they really think that we should just forgive and forget and let them continue with business as usual – that the concept of “freedom” was just some theoretical thing, but not to be taken seriously? Thank goodness there is a President Mugabe in Africa to show how it’s really supposed to be done. Now is the time for the rest of the African countries and their leaders to wake up – later is too late. By now you must know that you can’t make deals with the devil. The condition your people are in is a direct result of not making the demands for parity at the outset, and sticking to them.

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it???

Stay Blessed &
ECLECTICALLY BLACK

bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com

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Written by cs

September 12th, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Feeling The Musical Vibe Of Cabo Verde’s ELL Cosme

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by ANN BROWN

Cabo Verde may be a small island nation off the coast of West Africa, but it’s big on musical traditions.

From Cesária Évora to Ildo Lobo to Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (TLC) to jazz great Horace Silver, singers and musicians of Cabo Verdean heritage have made their mark on various genres of music.

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ELL Cosme

Enter ELL Cosme, one of the newest singers to arise from the archipelago in the Atlantic. His first single, “Koza Sab,” done in a genre dubbed Ghetto Zouk, tore up the local airwaves and even gained him media attention in the United States and Europe. His second single, “Amor na Club” was a club cut that proved he could handle many forms. Now readying his debut album to drop by year’s end, ELL Cosme says he has more surprises. “I just love music and I love to work in all genres,” he says. “My album will include some R&B songs sung in English, some Kizomba, some Zouk Love, and more.” ELL Cosme is also aiming to crack the American market with his English language songs.

ELL Cosme’s popularity has risen fast in Cabo Verde. Having only debuted on the scene as singer in the last eight months, he’s done a number of major shows, including opening for Anselmo Ralph, from Angola. Anselmo is one of Africa’s hottest star on the continent and in Europe. Rick Ross even just collaborated on a song with him.

Born Eder Luiz Cosme, ELL Cosme hails from the Cabo Verdean island of  São Nicolau, known for its morabeza—welcoming spirit. And like his hometown credo, ELL Cosme wants all to enjoy his music. “I want to bring my music worldwide. I think people everywhere can relate to my music, can have fun with my music, dream with it, reminisce with it, fly with it,” says ELL Cosme.

Among ELL Cosme’s musical inspirations are not only such Cabo Verdean legends as Cesária Évora but also American icons like 2Pac and Michael Jackson. “Of course, Cabo Verdean music is my heart, but I just love music, no matter where it comes from,” says ELL Cosme, who now lives in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago.

ELL Cosme loved being around music so much he took a second job at night at a local radio station. For three years, he was the drive-time DJ at Cidade FM 91.1 Cabo Verde. Being there only further fueled his own musical ambitions. “I wanted to do something different,” says ELL Cosme. “I love American R&B, hip hop, even some Rock ‘N Roll. And I love the musical traditions I grew up with—so why not put it all together.”

Besides mixing musical genres, he also combines languages and sings in English, Portuguese, and the two major dialects of Cabo Verdean Creole. “While I sing in various languages, I truly believe music is the universal language. You just feel it. And I hope people are feeling my music.”

Ann Brown is a longtime New York journalist whose columns appear in The Network Journal, New York Trend and other publications. She currently resides in Cape Verde.

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Wall Street: “Central Park 7,” Garner & Brown

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Rules of Engagement: Orta

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by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

On Monday, September 8, 2014, I will be a guest on the “Carl Nelson Show” at 5:00 p.m. Carl Nelson has a history of discussing controversial, current affairs and public affairs programming. This Monday afternoon on WOL-AM will be no different. I will also hopefully discuss “How to Bridge the Communications Gap between Blacks and Whites.”

“Carl Nelson” can be heard live at www.woldcnews.com. All cadets will need to bring a pen, paper and pad to the “Carl Nelson Show” which is valued on this Monday at the very least, $500 per person. This discussion will not be available at a top-rated law school. In 1787, no one ever envisioned Black attorneys in the United States.

Language is at the core of every culture. It not only supports communications but it also undergirds critical thinking. I refused, during a trial, to allow my clients to take the witness stand. Instead, I forced the legal system to be adversarial including demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor in all racially-motivated cases. It is hard for a slave to be adversarial to his or her master.

An elected prosecutor in the case of a state-sponsored murder violates the search for truth. An elected prosecutor is an ally of the police. Thus, no elected prosecutor can prosecute a police officer without giving the appearance of an impropriety. A code of ethics militates against any impropriety.

English is about antonyms and homonyms. The law is supposed to be an adversarial system. Instead, it is judicial conspiracy. The state pays the prosecutor and the client pays the defense attorney. It is larceny by trick. This is a confidence game and it is intended to enrich both the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

I wrote a manuscript entitled “How to Represent the Black Defendant.” No course exists in any law school on this subject. Thus, every criminal defendant is the victim of the Sixth Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has only taken feeble steps to remedy this glaring, constitutional flaw since Powell v. Alabama (“Scottsboro Boys Case”) in 1931.

The prison-industrial complex is the exception to the Thirteenth Amendment. The United States never intended to end slavery. Thus, white supremacists are using this exception as a back-door approach to mass incarceration. Our children are moving from “Black incubators” to “white paternalism.”

On this Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., Michael Greys of “Community Cop” will be the keynote speaker at UAM’s weekly forum. I will interpret the September 6 court appearance of People v. Orta in Richmond County Supreme Court and the settlement in “Central Park 7″.

To understand the outcome in People v. Orta, you would need to know the story behind A. Phillip Randolph’s demand for a March on Washington on June 18, 1941. Seven days later, FDR who had opposed the March on Washington, signed Executive Order 8802 which placed a ban on discrimination in the war industries and apprenticeship programs. Blacks would be given the same opportunities as whites. The right of legal representation belongs to the people and not to an attorney.

This historic discussion on Wednesday night, which will include events throughout October 2014, will occur at the Brooklyn Christian Center, 1061 Atlantic Avenue (bet. Classon and Franklin) in Brooklyn. In 1913, public transportation was in its embryonic stage in New York City. Nonetheless, This fact was not an obstacle to Blacks traveling between the boroughs. Take the “C” train to Franklin Avenue.

Rules of Engagement: Orta

Sixth Amendment

Every criminal defendant is entitled to a public trial. This includes all phases of a criminal trial including all hearings. This right to a public trial belongs to the defendant and not to the public. The right to the effective representation of an attorney belongs to the public. This is a restraint, among other things, of abuses of judicial power.

The defendants should also enjoy the assistance of counsel and the right to choose one’s own counsel if counsel is privately-retained. Counsel must be free of any conflict-of-interest which may affect the lawyer’s performance including counsel who is an organ of the state. A criminal defendant also has a right to proceed pro se.

Transcript

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a transcript as follows: “A handwritten, printed or typed copy of testimony given orally; esp., the official record of proceedings in a trial or hearing as taken down by a court reporter.” A transcript provides the basis for any legal argument before a trial court or an appellate court.

It is a disservice to any criminal defendant for any person to create a noise or to excite a disturbance while a court is in session. The criminal defendant may end up paying for anyone’s indiscretions. Any defect or omission in a verbatim transcript may cause irreversible harm to a criminal defendant.

The ideal atmosphere is to emulate a public or college library except that any violation of a quiet atmosphere may cause irreversible harm to a criminal defendant. This happened to Brian Nichols and he ended up killing a white trial judge, the white court stenographer, and a white law enforcement agent.

Nichols had been accused or raping his white “sugar mama” in Georgia after she found out that he was a “player.” Instead of providing Nichols with the trial transcript of a hung jury, the judge ordered an immediate, second trial. This was a denial of due process of law. Among other things, Nichols was unable to use the trial transcript to impeach witnesses.

Symbolic Speech

The First Amendment not only requires freedom of expression but also symbolic speech which may include the wearing of a black armband or the burning of an American flag. Absent any disruptive conduct, a state may not suppress a message according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Tinker v. Des Moines School District.

P.S. People v. Chrissie Ortiz will appear on the criminal calendar in Staten Island Criminal Court, 67 Targee Street in Staten Island on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Chrissie Ortiz is the wife of Ramsey Orta, the videographer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.  The NYPD is employing a full-court press. Call the Freedom Party at 917-947-8994.

Too honest for the White Press and too black for much of today’s Black Press; bullet columnist Alton Maddox upsets the same people and status quo as he did as an uncompromising Defense Attorney. He is also a founding member of the Freedom Party. Please support the movement to Reinstate him. Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471.

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Spending Black Earned Dollars with Black Businesses…..

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We can do this because we’re very Smart, but Why aren’t We?

ZachHusser2withTie

 

by Zachary Husser

Dear Family of Friends Network,

Why are we, Black Folk, spending Our hard Earned Dollars with Black Businesses in the Neighborhoods we reside in? We can spend our dollars with Black Owned businesses because $900 Billion Dollars is spent by Black Folk every year in the market place. However, We give most of Our hard Earned Cash back to people who don’t give a damn about Our Well Being. I give the White Supremacist Koch Brothers as a classic example of us buying their company products and they in turn use the money to attempt to destroy Black Legacy. Do You Read Me Loud And Clear?

I’m not one who deals with this “Middle Class” BS that white folks have sold Black Folks on because my grandmother, Ms. Malinda Husser-Ellington said people “either have class or no class and there’s no Middle!” I say that all of Us can purchase goods and services from Black Owned Businesses. We build a Black Owned Business Guide or use the ones that are already available and haven’t been used. We can do this because we have the smarts to do it. Do we have the will? Check out The Empowerment Experiment. Our Family. Our Movement about one families trials to spend their money with Black Owned Businesses.

In several Cities in the United States we have local community newspapers that function and survive because Black Businesses advertise with those papers. We already have a start and just don’t know it. We must support these papers and you know the one in your City or Town. In New York City I read the “Harlem News” that was created and published by Sister Pat Stevenson and it’s a very insightful newspaper about what is going on in our neighborhood as well as telling us about the great business folk in the community. In Philly, we have the “Black Professional News” created and published by Mr. Earl Harvey. The paper is an outstanding look at Black Business working together and supporting one another. The advertising dollars along with the great stories told in the paper make it a must read in the Atlantic City to Philadelphia-Wilmington, Delaware metro areas. As I’ve stated previously, we have the network, we’re just not maximizing our efforts to spend our dollars with one another! Check out the two examples I’ve mentioned in this article about neighborhood newspapers and also check out your own local paper to see how you can become a part of keeping Black Dollars in our neighborhoods.

In concluding, we have the Black Owned business “Flecks Coffee House and Cafe in Chicago, Illinois that is owned by the mother daughter team of Zuli & Olga Turner. The business just celebrated it’s one year anniversary and brings love, jazz, and an outdoor eating area to the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. The Business is located at 343 East 79th street in the windy City. You can’t miss the Cafe because great service and love from the owners permeates the corner location! So folks, let’s support these businesses because the more you give to them, the more they give back to our neighborhoods. We must tell our story and look out for one another. Do You Read Me Loud and Clear?

Let’s Spend Our Dollars With One Another.

Zachary Cornell Husser is a NY/NJ Community Organizer and member of the Columbia University men’s basketball teams of 1967–70. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Buffalo Bills Preview

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by Pat Freeman

The Buffalo Bills open their regular season schedule against the Chicago Bears on September 7, 2014 at Soldier’s Field in Chicago, Illinois. This will be the first season since this team was founded that will start without founder the late Ralph Wilson who passed in March. Before we get started we have to pay homage to his vision that has provided us with one of our greatest passions, the Buffalo Bills

First let’s look at the offensive side of the ball beginning with the offensive line.

Left Tackle_ Cordy Glenn is primed to be one of the best in the league
Left Guard_ Chris Williams needs to show consistency in his performance and being able to stay healthy.
Center- Eric Wood is one of the best at his position in the league
Right Guard- Eric Pears has switched to right guard from right tackle should be good, but watched to see if he has leverage in the running game.

Right Tackle- Seantrel Henderson was the best offensive linemen during the pre-season excellent draft choice.

Unit grade preview- A+

Wide receivers- This is one of the best units in pro football period!!!! Beginning with Sammy Watkins , Mike Williams, Robert Wood, Marquise Goodwin, Chris Hogan, and Marcus Easley.

Units Grade- A+

Tight Ends- This unit as a whole will have to perform at a high level because the quarterback’s best friend is his tight end. High expectation for the emergence of Chris Gragg as a downfield threat with his 4.4 speed!!!

Running backs- Once again one of the best units in pro football today led by CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. Excellent group. Frank Summer’s is a powerful force at fullback also should help the running game

Quarterback- EJ Manuel must make us believers in why he was the first quarterback taken in the 2013 draft and become the franchise leader of this team.

Offensive coaching staff- This is where I believe the problem exists for the Buffalo Bills. I am not a fan of the philosophy of Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Maybe in the last 12 months he has learned to utilize your skills of the personnel that you have best. If he does this could end up being a great year to be a Bills fan in Western New York.

Unit Grade- ????? or incomplete

Defense

The defensive line of the Buffalo Bills is also one of the very best in the NFL today led by who I believe will be named the most dominant defensive tackle in the game Marcel Dareus.

Unit Grade- A+

Linebackers- The additions of Keith Rivers, Brandon Spike, and the emergence of the hard hitting Nigel Bradham this could also be one of our strongest units.

Unit Grade- B-

Defensive Backs- This could be one of our best units in recent memory for the Buffalo Bills. This group is filled with playmakers that have an ability to change a game.

Defensive Coaching staff under new Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz should dominate!
Unit Grade- B+

Special Teams- If there is an area that has a serious concern for this team it’s special teams. The philosophy of the special team’s coach has been play it safe, and sometimes you have to try to make a play!!!!

Unit Grade- D-

The final preview look has to be Coach Doug Marrone who I think must make a sharp improvement from last year ,or he might be one of the first changes of the new owner.

Prediction week 1 Bills 27- Chicago 17.

If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 4-5:00PM hosted by WUFO Sports Director Patrick Freeman on 1080AM WUFO radio or via the internet at www.wufoam.com. Or catch Sports Update for clbTV (ch.20 Buffalo) and YouTube. Also join us for the number#1 recap show every Monday at 7:25AM with Lee Pettigrew, and The Mighty O’Ba Pat Freeman.

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No White Privilege… O’Really?

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Is white privilege real? Not according to Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

This week O’Reilly debated the issue of white privilege with a fellow host and then returned to the topic the next day with this doozy of a statement:

“Last night on ‘The Factor,’ Megyn Kelly and I debated the concept of white privilege whereby some believe that if you are Caucasian you have inherent advantages in America. ‘Talking Points’ does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society than whites do.”

It is difficult to believe that those three sentences came in that order from the same mouth. Why would it be harder for blacks to succeed? Could interpersonal and, more important, systemic bias play a role? And, once one acknowledges the presence of bias as an impediment, one must by extension concede that being allowed to navigate the world without such biases is a form of privilege.

That privilege can be gendered, sexual identity based, religious and, yes, racial.

When one has the luxury of not being forced to compensate for societal oppression based on basic identity, one is in fact privileged in that society.

O’Reilly even trotted out the Asian “model minority” trope to buttress his argument, citing low unemployment rates and high levels of income and educational attainment for Asians compared not only to blacks but to whites.

Whenever people use racial differences as an argument to downplay racial discrimination, context is always called for.

What O’Reilly — like many others who use this line of logic — fails to mention (out of either ignorance or rhetorical sleight of hand) is the extent to which immigration policy has informed those statistics and the extent to which many Asian-Americans resent the stereotype as an oversimplification of the diversity of the Asian experience.

A 2012 Pew Research report entitled “The Rise of Asian Americans” found:

“Large-scale immigration from Asia did not take off until the passage of the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Over the decades, this modern wave of immigrants from Asia has increasingly become more skilled and educated. Today, recent arrivals from Asia are nearly twice as likely as those who came three decades ago to have a college degree, and many go into high-paying fields such as science, engineering, medicine and finance. This evolution has been spurred by changes in U.S. immigration policies and labor markets; by political liberalization and economic growth in the sending countries; and by the forces of globalization in an ever-more digitally interconnected world.”

Following the publication of the Pew report, the news site Colorlines spoke with Dan Ichinose, director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s Demographic Research Project, who was critical of some parts of the Pew report, but seemed to echo the role immigration had played. Colorlines put his response this way:

“The more complex and far less exciting explanation for Asian Americans’ relatively high rates of education has more to do with immigration policy, which has driven selectivity about who gets to come to the U.S. and who doesn’t, said Ichinose.”

Much of the African-American immigration policy came in the form of centuries of bondage, dehumanization and unimaginable savagery visited on their bodies. And that legacy is long and the scars deep.

O’Reilly mentions this in his rant, as a caveat:

“One caveat, the Asian-American experience historically has not been nearly as tough as the African-American experience. Slavery is unique and it has harmed black Americans to a degree that is still being felt today, but in order to succeed in our competitive society, every American has to overcome the obstacles they face.”

But this whole juxtaposition, the pitting of one minority group against another, is just a way of distracting from the central question: Is white privilege real?

In arguing that it isn’t, O’Reilly goes on to raise the seemingly obligatory “respectability” point, saying:

“American children must learn not only academics but also civil behavior, right from wrong, as well as how to speak properly and how to act respectfully in public.”

Then he falls back on the crux of his argument:

“Instead of preaching a cultural revolution, the leadership provides excuses for failure. The race hustlers blame white privilege, an unfair society, a terrible country. So the message is, it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you are a criminal. No, it’s not your fault; it’s society’s fault. That is the big lie that is keeping some African-Americans from reaching their full potential. Until personal responsibility and a cultural change takes place, millions of African-Americans will struggle.”

No, Mr. O’Reilly, it is statements like this one that make you the race hustler. The underlying logic is that blacks are possessed of some form of racial pathology or self-destructive racial impulses, that personal responsibility and systemic inequity are separate issues and not intersecting ones.

This is the false dichotomy that chokes to death any real accountability and honesty. Systemic anti-black bias doesn’t dictate personal behavior, but it can certainly influence and inform it. And personal behavior can reinforce people’s belief that their biases are justified. So goes the cycle.

But at the root of it, we can’t expect equality of outcome while acknowledging inequality of environments.

Only a man bathing in privilege would be blind to that.

(This column originally appeared in the New York Times August. 27, 2014 under the title “Bill O’Reilly and White Privilege“)

Charles M. Blow is a New York Times Columnist and nationally-known commentator: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at chblow@nytimes.com.”

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On Quitting the Iraqi Quagmire

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What to do about ISIS?

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by playthell benjamin

As the Iraqi’s struggle to form a viable government under Haider al-Abadi, who replaced a disgraced Al Maliki as Prime Minister, fanatical Muslim Jihadists in ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – gobble up more and more of Iraqi territory in its ruthless march toward Baghdad, destroying Christian and Shia shrines and beheading “non-believers”, it is time for us to question the decisions of our policy makers.

We need to ask: What exactly is going on there? What was the role of the US in creating this tragic mess that is destroying the nation of Iraq as it existed before the Bush invasion? And what do we do now? This matter should be examined without regard to past ideological positions and guided by the paramount objective of formulating a policy that best serves US interest. However, given the complexity of the situation in the Middle East identifying the best policy options is easier said than done.

Looking at the situation on the ground in Iraq from a historical perspective, one is forced to wonder if the professional historians are right when they argue unanimously that history does not repeat itself. It certainly seems so when observing American foreign policy over the last half century. The historical record reveals a recurring pattern of the US attempting to impose its will on the politics of other nations, especially Third World countries that are presumed to be easy pickings.

It is a record cluttered with spectacular failures – Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan and now Iraq. In Vietnam the US picked the wrong side and the result was a multibillion dollar debacle that resulted in the deaths of over a million Vietnamese and many thousands of Americans; the poisoning of the environment in Vietnam with “Agent Orange;” a crisis in American society and thousands of walking wounded who never recovered from their service in that war.

It was such a blunder that the US abandoned the selective service draft, thereby removing the requirement for military service among the more educated and affluent youths of the nation. This eliminated a major source of anti-war activism of the sort that wreaked havoc on the nation’s college campuses’ during the Vietnam War.

With an all-volunteer army we now have an armed force largely composed of the “have nots ” – the kids who years ago would have come out of high school and gone to work in a factory – thus there has been little protest from American youths. US corporations that used to provide industrial jobs have become multi-national conglomerates with global interests that are beholden only to their investors, not national states. Thus they have exported their jobs overseas and decimated the US manufacturing sector because they can reap greater profits from non-unionized industrial slaves in foreign countries. Hence for many poor working class American youths volunteering for the military appears to be their only route to advancement in life…if they survive America’s constant wars with their body and brains intact.

We have now been involved in constant wars in the Muslim world for a generation, whether backing one side in a conflict or directly waging war. Yet our policy makers appear to have learned nothing! Just as the decision by President Eisenhower to overthrow the constitutionally elected government of Muhammad Mossedeck in Iran by a CIA led military coup in 1953, led directly to the Islamic Revolution in Iran that the US constantly agonizes over today; the decision to overthrow Sadam Hussein and install and American backed Shia government in Iraq has led us to the ISIS crisis where Islamic Jihadists are threatening to take control of Iraq and establish an Islamic Caliphate under Sharia Law.

So what should the US government do now? To begin with US policymakers should be made to take an oath similar to the Hippocratic Oath required of medical doctors: “First do no harm!” That would be an auspicious start given the blunders of previous US administrations, especially the last Bush man. It is essential that the policy makers are open minded and objective in their analysis, ideology must take a back seat.

The danger of allowing ideology to obfuscate reality is ever present and was at the root of the Invasion of Iraq by George Bush – a clueless neophyte in foreign policy matters who was hoodwinked by the cabal of advisers handpicked from the Project for a New American Century, a think tank founded by “Dirty Dick” Cheney and his ideological cronies. (See: How the Iraq War Was Hatched in a Think Tank*)

It was because of the ideological obsessions held by these advisers, which were spelled out in position papers written at PNAC, that the US attacked Iraq in the aftermath of the massive 9/11 terrorist attack carried out by the affluent sons of well to do Egyptians and Saudi Arabians, America’s closest allies in the Arab world. Instead of examining the misbegotten US policy of arming and training Islamic militants – then known as the Afghan Mujahedeen – in terrorist tactics to be employed against the Soviet Union, out of which grew the Taliban and al Qaeda, who later used them against us, Bush was persuaded to invade Iraq!

The Bushmen callously took this nation into a war of choice against an unoffending country – which according to established international laws that govern the relations of sovereign nations is a crime – in order to achieve the long standing ideological objective of overthrowing its leader Sadam Hussein.

This is what happens when politicized intelligence colored by ideology becomes the basis for policy making – it is the same path that led us defeat in the Jungles of South East Asia. If Bushmen had listened to the leading scholars on the Mid-East region in the CIA and the academic community – such as Professor Juan Cole -we would have never invaded Iraq and they would have discovered that secular Arab strongmen like Sadam were the frontline resistance against the Jihadists. If they had heeded the warning of the Arab League that an American invasion of Iraq would “open the gates of hell” history could have taken a far different, less costly and destructive course over the past decade.

For instance, what if the US and formed an alliance with Sadam against al Qaeda? I would argue that US forces would have captured Osama within a year and two wars waged over a decade – at a cost of four trillion dollars, untold destruction of the invaded countries, and legions of wrecked families who lost loved ones on both sides – could have been avoided. Instead, just as in Iran and Vietnam, a misguided incompetent American policy has resulted in just the opposite of their stated objectives.

Are we going to repeat these historical blunders yet again and at even greater cost? The alternatives before President Obama are limited and distasteful. Hence the question before the architects of our foreign policy is which are the lesser evils? Now that the US has abandoned Al Maliki, the Prime Minister that our actions put in power, and is now supporting Haider al-Abadi, the handpicked choice of the Iraqi President in a process that al Maliki initially protested as “unconstitutional” before resigning for the sake of national unity, the question is what now?

One thing is certain: No half-assed rag tag army commanded by a government in disarray is going to defeat ISIS, a highly disciplined force driven by religious passion, armed with state of the art American weaponry and hundreds of millions of dollars to support their mission among men for whom devotion to Allah trumps the comforts of earthly status or personal wealth. Hence this money will be used to combat the “Great Satan” and his minions in the Muslim world. That’s how they are managing to support an armed force that some experts on the region estimate at 50, 000 men.

This state of affairs leaves President Obama two choices: arm the Kurdish militias with the most advanced American heavy weaponry and let them fight it out with ISIS, or form an alliance with Iran and let their elite Revolutionary Guards lead the fight to crush ISIS. In the first instance it would spell the end of the unitary Iraqi state, because the Kurds will seize their long sought independence in a separate state which a grateful US could not oppose.

The other alternative would permanently expand the power and influence of Iran in the region….  a development the US has long opposed. Furthermore an alliance with Iran, although clearly in the US national interests, would enrage Israel – who has tried their best to goad the US into a war with Iran – and thus mobilize the Israel Lobby against the President. Once that happens it would alienate a cowardly Congress and the President’s agenda for the remainder of his Presidency will be dead in the water.

Yet the alternative to arming the Kurds or forming an alliance with Iran who, like the US, passionately oppose ISIS, is to reintroduce American troops in Iraq; a policy most Americans would vigorously oppose – since we are still withdrawing our troops from that hell hole of our making – or just stand by and watch the murderous Islamic fanatics in ISIS take over a large swath of the oil rich Middle East.

Alas, no thinking person who understands what is at stake in the Middle-East can oppose all forms of American military action, although it should be limited to air strikes and covert operations in cooperation with Iraqi government forces, especially in situations where there is eminent danger of genocide such as ISIS’ attempts to exterminate religious minorities such as the Christians.

However it is long past time for American foreign policy to be driven by an objective cost/benefit analysis based on actual US interests. We can no longer afford to indulge ideological fantasies such as Senator John McCain is given to; a surreal vision of American military dominance of the world that would commit this nation to perpetual wars that gobble up financial and intellectual capital this nation desperately needs for our own internal development.

Benjamin is a veteran political journalist out of Harlem NY. His essays can be read on his blog site Commentaries on the Times.

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Written by cs

September 1st, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Shunning:

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Reversing The ‘Don’t Forgive The Sinner, But Forgive The Religion’ Philosophy

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by Chris Stevenson

Shunning is religion’s last link to the Dark Ages. While it may be a policy in more than a few sects, not many churches actively enforce it. The reason is simple, normal people just feel awkward implementing or practicing it. Once you shun someone in society the very next step is physical abuse or even murder. On the other hand you don’t have to murder someone to cause great psychological damage through shunning, under it’s many names in various faiths or cults. It’s safe to assume that all religions that actively shun are simply a cult.

Synonyms for shunning include: To keep away from: avoid, burke, bypass, circumvent, dodge, duck, elude, escape, eschew, evade, get around. The purpose is completely narcissistic, to induce shame and guilt within the target.

Religious synonyms for shunning are; excommunication (viewed as slightly different than shunning), disfellowshipping (Jehovah’s Witnesses), disconnection (Scientology; Scientologists denied disconnection for years until they admitted it on their website. It is an especially brutal form of shunning, well-known to break up marriages), Cherem (Jewish faith. a form of shunning that ended during the 17th century’s Age of Enlightenment), vitandi (Catholic shunning, this ended in 1983), Kasepekang (Bali, Indonesia, a more communal-shunning).

A shortcut to regaining self-esteem after an individual has already been shunned, is for the shunned person to shun someone else themselves. But it’s false-esteem. Labor unions and companies have used their own form of social rejection on strike-breakers and whistleblowers respectively.

Shunning isn’t seen as dangerous on the religious extremism scale by governments or big non-profit organizations because on the surface it doesn’t result in (immediate) death. In actuality it can be placed right alongside bullying, terrorism and in an indirect way kidnapping in many cases. Most strict religions will tell you not everyone is cut out for their faith, meanwhile they not only want your membership, but as many in your family as possible. it’s important for them to bring in as many followers as they can for money, and control. It used to be if they shunned you, then all the friends you made within the organization would stop speaking and associating with you. The Watchtower have now stepped up the virtually-demonic practice, by ordering blood and immediate family members to stop speaking to disfellowshipped individuals.

Although I marvel at the audacity of anyone assuming they are worth costing you your natural relationship with those whose closeness you previously took for granted, I can’t dismiss the reality of mothers telling me their son’s or grandchildren won’t speak to them or son’s and daughter stories about their parents cutting them off from the family.

The most famous form of shunning was non-religious and practiced in South Africa, it was called Apartheid. It’s goal was an economic and social denial of goods and services to the black majority there. Always understand and remember it was brainstormed and practiced by a people who didn’t even originate from that land, Europeans or white people. It officially went into law in 1948. Picture me walking into your home either as a guest or intruder, and over time convincing your mate and children to either limit or cut off their interactions and association to you. What would that make me in your own words? By strange coincidence the Watchtower Society (always watching closely the powerful tenants of the same world they outwardly condemned) began practicing “disfellowshipping;” a form of shunning where they even made up their own bizarre-sounding word between 1948-1952. Very few of today’s practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses know that before then the Watchtower openly condemned other churches that practiced shunning. Even more mind-boggling is the fact that they can be shunned just for researching their old publications and looking that up.

The man most responsible for forcing the destruction of Apartheid is of course Nelson Mandela. Few people know that during his early years as a young activist/attorney his first wife Evelyn (Mase) was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Through her the Watchtower tried to get him to stop his anti-Apartheid activities. Using their oath of neutrality, they were able to become political while at the same time conveniently claiming not to. Back then they fully knew the value to themselves and the overtly-racist South African government had Mandela simply listened to his JW wife and resigned himself and black South Africans to 2nd-class citizenship by joining their religious order. This is part of the reason I consider the Watchtower just another component of what is known as the Religious or Christian Right. One of the jealous religion’s slick accomplishments is their prohibition of political and civic involvement through what they call neutrality, but what is actually for black members stifling of race progress through their lack of participation as a trade-off of a promise of living forever in a non-racial earthly paradise. Millions of blacks, many potentially would have been another Mandela, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall or Huey Newton, have through their intense involvement in this organization been politically neutralized.

It’s possible the people who push some form of shunning have never even been in a fistfight before. It’s born of a spoiled, low-level, confrontational, trifling spirit that simply seeks to draw others not directly-involved in the personal hangups of the shunner. Later some the most skilled religious publishers have adopted this as their policy, outwardly using a pretext of keeping the church “undefiled.” You will find no history of Jesus using shunning as a tool to teach or keep followers loyal to him. Jesus was not all into buildings of worship like that if you check his record, he advocated the most difficult task of all, improving personal character. There are more scriptures where Jesus in so-many words tells people to ‘stop being an asshole’ than there is of him ordering followers to build a church. Only after he left this planet was there a rush to form churches named after him, Christianity.

Many people are baffled as to how to turn the tables on this type of archaic treatment in modern times. But what overbearing cults masquerading as religions have done is make the archaic and unnatural look normal within their own insular surroundings. But don’t be discouraged, if you are undergoing this as a member of a faith that ousted you, you can still win back your family if they are still in. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say it was going to be easy. The best way is to help topple the very thing your family worships, their cult. The gullibility of many church followers is stronger than the cement holding it’s bricks together. The next option is to prove to your still-kidnapped loved one that their faith/cult is not the exclusive pipeline to God or Jesus or Allah as they claim. Free the mind, the ass will follow. For example if you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses the trick is simple but complicated; you must prove to him or her the Watchtower is not God’s only channel to mankind. Once you can convince them of this, you got ‘em.

To do this most effectively you must figure out what in particular makes her or him think this is God’s ONLY true organization (people are different and do things differently), and convince her otherwise. Those whom will be the toughest, because in reality those governed by old friendships are going to be harder to convince than those who might leave based on their discovery of the Watchtower’s changes on blood, or the secret UN membership, or the unreported child-molestations. Others are simply terrified of a day when most of the people they know all turn their nose up at them. Currently right now there is a Mormon woman facing excommunication for doing what women in that faith need the most, forming a womans’ group. That’s yet another issue they have. Strict faiths hate resources.

An unwanted activist group has been growing from within the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) calling themselves Ordain Women. As much as the men worshippers hate it, I think it’s way overdue. The leader is a woman named Kate Kelly, a longtime member who is also an international human rights lawyer, feminist, and the founder of the movement.

Ordain Women’s goal is no more hard to figure out than the two words used to form it. Having been born into the church of the LDS , she has long viewed it as stifling, over-patriarchal, rigid, and in danger of losing members if they continue on in this course. She enrolled in Brigham Young University and American University Washington College of Law. She is reported to have formed OW on 3/17/13. There is a website that has grown from 19 supporters initially to over 400 today. You would think issues of gender equality and women priests shouldn’t be a concern given the runaway-freight-train of corruption male clergy have been slamming inside the churches for generations now, but it still does.

Kelly has shown herself to be an effective community organizer since her days as a college student.  This year she has come under fire for her stance against LDS by of course their all-male leaders. Back on 5/5 she was put on probation for being in public opposition to the church after having been previously warned not to do so, and on 6/22 she was put on trial by a panel of judges and “excommunicated.”

Though shunned by the church she grew up in it’s notable to mention that her family has always supported her voice to reform the Mormons, and still support her actions. No small feat given their tenure in that religion (A lot of you would have shunned her because you’re dope-fiends). Churches like the LDS have long been nothing more than LSD to a society-at-large seeking to find their own line of communication to the creator. The problem comes in when they bring too much baggage with them for God to demonstrate any exclusivity with them.

Chris Stevenson is a regular columnist for blackcommentator, and a contributor to The Hampton Institute, and a syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, you don’t have to join any of them. Watch his video commentary Policy & Prejudice for clbTV & Follow his Blogtalkradio  interviews on 36OOseconds. Respond to him on the link below.

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Written by cs

August 30th, 2014 at 3:32 pm