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The Buffalo Bullet

The Missing Op-ed page in most Major Newspapers

Archive for June, 2012

Racism and the Black Quarterback

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by Pat Freeman

Since the inception of professional football in America most would agree that black Americans played an integral part in its development. There is no doubt during its early years blacks played and excelled at just about every position they were given the opportunity to play at, but the history of stereotypical racism in this country prevented many black football players from playing certain positions that required thought, and field generalship. The two positions that blacks were said to be incapable of playing was middle linebacker on defense, and what we are discussing today the position of quarterback on offense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2-sport, 2-school athlete Russell Wilson says it’s gonna be football for him. He was just signed by the Seattle Seahawks-cs

The position of quarterback on a football team is the highest paid position, and gets the most attention. It is the one position that requires an ability to communicate, and lead men not only with your play on the field but with your personality behind the public’s eye. These racists’ stereotypes are the basis of why there are just a few names that were given some opportunity to play the position during the early years of professional football. Names such as Fritz Pollard, George Taliafero, and Willie Thrower were given token opportunities to play the position but never over the long term as was given to white counter parts. Blacks were natural runners, not leaders were the decries of many during that day, and I believe that is the very basis of how the black quarterback is judged today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a name like Thrower how could he be anything but a Qb? Willie was signed by the Bears in ’53 after leading Michigan State to the NCAA Championship. George Blanda said he could throw the ball through the “eye of a needle.” He could also throw 70 yards-cs

Stereotypes that have become the basis of racist decisions are very difficult to change in society. The perception of blacks being unable to play the position of quarterback continued during the late sixties with the emergence of the AFL league that was formed to compete against the NFL. The Denver Broncos drafted a magical quarterback named Marlin Briscoe who started 14 games for them and was rewarded with being traded to the Buffalo Bills and was quickly converted to wide receiver. The Bills later flirted with another Black quarterback in 1971 named James Harris who became the first Black to start at quarterback after the merger with the AFL. Well the story of how black quarterbacks are treated as compared to their white counterparts continued to define how blacks were treated who wanted to play the position of quarterback. Black QB’s were not given the same amount of development time, or patience that was afforded to their white counterparts by NFL teams. James Harris went from a starter with a bad Buffalo Bills team to being traded to the LA Rams and leading them to an NFC division title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams famous SI cover after leading the ‘Skins to a blowout win over Denver in the Superbowl after the ’87 season-cs

The emergence of Warren Moon and Doug Williams during the late 70’s further showed that black quarterbacks were still not being given the same opportunities as others. Warren Moon had to start his career in the CFL leading a team to five straight Grey Cup Championships before he was found worthy of returning to the NFL Houston Oilers and leading them to multiple playoff appearances. Doug Williams who was drafted by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually led an expansion team to their first playoff appearance but was later not given a new contract worth his value and jumped to the new USFL football league. He later found his way back to the NFL Washington Redskins and became the first Black Quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An old trading-card image of former Bill James Harris who led the LA Rams to several Division Championships and playoff berths.

The Black quarterback has continued to be a victim of various kinds of racism and there is always the hint of position change no matter how successful he has been in college, or the pro level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok this is just me sneaking in a pic of my cousin Marcus Crandall of the CFL who won a Grey Cup back in the ’02 season with Calgary- cs.

Recently the rumor that Vince Young was struggling to learn the offense in Buffalo is just another outrageous lie reported by national media outlets but not local western New York affiliates. The National media has put this out misquoting Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey who merely stated the other quarterbacks were in the offense longer, and never referenced Vince Young’s ability to understand the offense. I’ve said it since Vince Young’s arrival that it is my belief he will be the eventual starting quarterback in Buffalo , and it’s totally in his hands. The reason I say this is Buffalo is starved for success on the field so much so that this could be the one instance of a black quarterback arriving in a perfect storm where he can reach his full potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super-Rookie sensation Cam Newton aims for the same success in the NFL as he had in the NCAA and SEC.

In closing from Fritz Pollard to Cam Newton the Black quarterback is still in my eyesight being judged to a different standard than there white counterparts. That the forces and stereotypes of racism still impede the decisions of those who judge our young athletes no matter how much success they have achieved at the collegiate, and pro level. Think about it Cam Newton just had one of the greatest seasons in NFL history for a rookie quarterback but you still here that Andrew Luck is the perfect QB not Cam Newton who beat out Luck for the 2010-2011 Heisman Trophy. Please take a look at this yourself the standard for the Black quarterback is still an issue that ultimately lies in race.

If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 12PM-1PM 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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Bullies on the Bus

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by CHARLES M. BLOW

 

“Making the Bus Monitor Cry.”

That’s the name of the video. It’s more than 10 minutes long, but if you make it through more than three of them with your eyes not getting misty and your blood not boiling then you are a rock, or at least your heart is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bus Monitor Karen Klein (photo-WHAM & YouTube).

The video shows Karen Klein, a 68-year-old grandmother and bus monitor in upstate New York, being relentlessly tormented by a group of young boys.

They hurl profanities. One asks for her address because he says he wants to go urinate on her door. Others are more explicit about defiling her.

One boy tells her that she doesn’t have a family because “they all killed themselves because they didn’t want to be near you.” (Her eldest son committed suicide.)

One suggests that if he were to stab her, his knife would go through her “like butter.”

Since the video was posted to YouTube, there has been an outpouring of shock and outrage.

An online campaign set up to raise $5,000 to send Klein on a vacation had raised more than $500,000 by midday Friday, Klein has made the media circuit recounting her ordeal and some of the children have apologized.

But what, if anything, does this say about society at large? Many things one could argue, but, for me, it is a remarkably apt metaphor for this moment in the American discourse in which hostility has been drawn out into the sunlight.

Those boys are us, or at least too many of us: America at its ugliest. It is that part of society that sees the weak and vulnerable as worthy of derision and animus.

This kind of behavior is not isolated to children and school buses and suburban communities. It stretches to the upper reaches of society — our politics and our pulpits and our public squares.

Whether it is a Republican debate audience booing a gay soldier or Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attack on a female Georgetown law student or Newt Gingrich’s salvos at the poor, bullying has become boilerplate. Hiss and taunt. Tease and intimidate. Target your enemies and torture them mercilessly. Maintain primacy through predation.

Traditionally inferior identity roles are registered in a variety of ways. For Klein, she was elderly and female and not thin or rich. For others, it is skin color, country of origin, object of affection or some other accident of birth.

The country is changing, and that change is creating friction: between the traditional ruling classes and emerging ones; between traditional social structures and altered ones; between a long-held vision of an American ideal and growing reality that its time has passed.

And that change is coming with an unrelenting swiftness.

Last month, the Census Bureau reported that for the first time in the country’s history, minority births outnumbered those of whites. And The New York Times recently highlighted a Brookings Institution demographer’s calculations that, “minorities accounted for 92 percent of the nation’s population growth in the decade that ended in 2010.”

Furthermore, there are now more women in college than men, and a Pew Research Center poll published in April found that, “in a reversal of traditional gender roles, young women now surpass young men in the importance they place on having a high-paying career or profession.”

A Gallup poll released Thursday found that a record number of people (54 percent) say that they would be willing to vote for an atheist for president, and a Gallup poll last month found that more people support same-sex marriage than oppose it.

These dramatic shifts are upending the majority-minority paradigm and are making many people uneasy.

The Republican-Democratic divide is increasingly becoming an all-white/multicultural divide, a male/female divide, and a more religious/less religious divide — the formers the traditional power classes, and the latters the emerging ones.

This has led to some increasingly unseemly attacks at traditionally marginalized groups, even as — and possibly particularly because — they grow more powerful.

Women are under attack. Hispanics are under attack. Minority voting rights are under attack. The poor are under attack. Unsurprisingly, those doing the attacking in every case are from the right.

Seldom is power freely passed and painlessly surrendered, particularly when the traditionally powerful see the realignment as an existential threat.

The bullying on that bus was awful, but so is the bullying in our politics. Those boys were trying to exert power over a person placed there to rein them in. But bullying is always about power — projecting more than you have in order to accrue more than your share.

Sounds like the frightened, insecure part of American society.

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

June 29th, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Rodney King: Murder or Accident?

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by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

On Tuesday, June 19, Rev. Al Sharpton told his audience that he would have to await an autopsy report to ascertain the cause of death of Rodney King who was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool. Rev. Sharpton is like most Blacks. The white man has to ascertain the cause of death. For Blacks, whites usually employ voodoo science.

When a white woman was found unconscious in Central Park in 1989, and unable to give any description of a suspect, the NYPD filled in the blanks using racial stereotypes. The suspects had to be Black or Latino. Whites have typically employed stereotypes as major and minor premises. For the rape of a white woman, there must be a Black or a Latino in the mix.

Instead of relying on white people to guide us, I would suggest the use of history as a guide. History has shown that when a white person is the perpetrator and a Black person is the victim, the Black person must pay for any harm visited on the white person. The focus is on compensating the white perpetrator.

An example is slavery under the Confederate States of America. To settle the issue of slavery, white slaveholders had to be compensated for enslaving persons of African ancestry and, afterwards, tolerating their emancipation. It was unthinkable that those enslaved Africans were victims and were, therefore, entitled to reparations.

I experienced the same logic among white lawyers who were supposed to be combatting poverty in Harlem. I had conducted an independent investigation which showed that a single, absentee landlord owned several multiple dwellings in Harlem. My suggestion was to lump these buildings together and conduct a rent strike directed at the single landlord.

The white lawyers at Harlem Assertion of Rights hit the ceiling. They shot back that “we are not up here to hurt the landlords” who owned buildings that were dangerous for human habitation. The Black tenants were paying for services that were never delivered to them. In short, the tenants were being severely short-changed.

To ascertain the cause of death of Rodney King, history is our best guide. It is never safe for a Black lawyer to represent a Black defendant against a white victim like in the Central Park 7. On the other hand, it is not safe to represent a Black victim, like Tawana Brawley, against a white person accused of a crime like Steve Pagones.

In 1987, I was attributed with causing the imprisonment of several whites in the death of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach. Three years later, I was given credit for a sentence of thirty-years to life to Joseph Fama in the death of Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst. These victims contributed to the election of David N. Dinkins as mayor of the City of New York in 1989.

Within five days after Joseph Fama had been convicted for the death of Yusuf Hawkins, the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department in Brooklyn jumped all over me. Amid the trial of People v. Sharpton, I was immediately disbarred from the practice of law except that I could complete the trial of People v. Sharpton.

My immediate disbarment amid an actual trial was unprecedented. With no notice and hearing, it was an obvious violation of due process. This intermediate appellate court was also flirting with exposing Sharpton to a claim of double jeopardy. At the very least, racist emotions had overwhelmed these jurists. In short, Joseph Fama should not have been going to prison for snuffing out the life of a Black person. I had to pay. This is consistent with history.

Because of the video-taped beating of Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department, two of whom were convicted of civil rights violations and sent to prison, Rodney King had to pay for the convictions and the billion dollars in property damage in addition to the severe beating of a white man, Reginald Denny.

The likely suspect in snuffing out the life of King is Bush 41. The 1992 rebellion in Los Angeles tied the hands of Bush. He had no other choice but to initiate a civil rights prosecution against members of the Los Angeles Police Department. This prosecution and subsequent conviction of two police officers did not help Bush 41 with his conservative allies. He lost his lease on the White House.

Rev. Al Sharpton would claim that he has also been responsible for sending a white person to prison. His claim is his stabbing in Bensonhurst on Saturday, January 12, 1991. The stabbing was also video-taped. Yet, Rev. Sharpton went to Brooklyn Supreme Court to beg for leniency for his assailant. Otherwise, the posse would chase him.

He also had zero to do with the imprisonment of two police officers for sodomizing Abner Louima. These police officers violated New York’s shoot-to-kill policy. It costs the City of New York more money for not killing Abner Louima. For not being murdered, Louima was able to haul in nearly Ten Million Dollars away from New York City’s vault.

Reluctantly and unfortunately, I had to step into State v. Zimmerman to put George Zimmerman back behind bars. The lawyers for the family of Trayvon Martin were MIA and for good reason. Someone had reminded them of my history. These lawyers have chosen to be ambulance chasers rather than private attorneys general.

White people are big on numbers and especially round numbers. They love to celebrate anniversaries. This is twenty years after the rebellion in Los Angeles. Rodney King should have put twenty years on his calendar. There is no evidence that Rodney King knows about the history of white racism despite his tragic encounter with members of the Los Angeles Police Department. Two police officers went to prison. Now, we know his cause of death.

People v. James Bryson James Bryson has to appear in Part AP2 of Queens Criminal Court, 125-01 Queens Blvd, in Queens on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Take the “E” or “F” train to Kew Gardens. He needs your support.

Bryson has been a member of UAM for more than two decades and a loyal volunteer of Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls for nearly two decades. He is well-versed on courses given to young people on survival skills, constitutional law and trial tactics. These courses have been invaluable to our young people. Because of “Stop and Frisk” in New York, every Black person is vulnerable to an unlawful arrest. He has no criminal record and he is an elder. The criminal charge is a misdemeanor.

Preventive law is not as costly as an illegal arrest and wrongful prosecution and any confrontation with the police can lead to years in prison. Freedom Retreat for Boys and Girls is preventive law. This is not what happened to the “Central Park 7″ and no member of the New York City Council is willing to compensate them for false arrests and wrongful convictions.

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 sign his Petition to save “Like It Is.” Contact him at c/o UAM P.O. BOX 35 BRONX, NY 10471

Rodney Glenn King:

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Human, Hero, and now Heaven-bound

 

 

 

 

 

by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Somewhere back in the late 80′s, Joan Rivers hosted a daytime TV talk show where the subject was about how ordinary people where thrust into life altering situations that affected the entire nation. One of the guests on the show was Rosa Parks. I had the privilege of escorting Ms. Parks to the show, and doing a post interview with both Ms. Parks and Joan Rivers. The “little act of sitting down” according to Rivers changed for ever the entire landscape of the Civil Rights Movement and justice in America.”

Well you might say that Rodney Glenn King was likewise one whose simple, ordinary life completely changed the course of history and put a city and a country’s racist behavior into the living room of millions of households in a way no public relations genius never could. And most likely in a manner that Mr. King would have cheerfully avoided, if he could – because he was beaten in the most vicious, vile hostile manner. Had he been a lesser man, he would have been dead.

Rodney King did not start out to be a catalyst for policing change. He definitely did not start out to be a martyr; nor did he start out to be an alcoholic. Like many African American youth, he was already marginalized by the time he was twelve years old, and “obsolete” by the time he was sixteen (as so eloquently outlined in Haki Madhubuti’s book Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?”). Not that Rodney didn’t have a loving, stable family life as a child – because he did. Not that he didn’t have a fairly decent education, though he had a learning disability – because he did. Not that he came from the ghetto – because he didn’t. Altadena, California is a beautiful, nearly suburban community nestled in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, where most of the homes are well kept – not expensive, but attractive; and most of the residents are (were?) Black, close-knit and supportive. I know because I was Town Council Representative for Altadena. We moved there for a better life and raise our children in a safe environment.

But, because Rodney King, like many of our youth, back in the day, had gotten involved in frivolous, dumb stuff – activities that were more self destructive in nature, than a menace to society – he was an ongoing target. Having already had his brush with the law, having spent some time incarcerated, and he was looking to complete his parole and build a better life. Mr. King was definitely not in a mode to have any additional brushes with the law enforcement community of California. He had already “paid his debt to society” and wasn’t looking to open up any more “accounts.” Unfortunately, like most African American youth, particularly those on the “left coast” Rodney King was profiled before anyone had a name for profiling.

The night CHiPs (California Highway Patrol-you remember the show, don’t you?) pulled him over for allegedly speeding in excess of 100MPH was March 3, 1991. Having moved out of Altadena, he was within feet of his home, which is no doubt where he was trying to get to when he got pulled over. He was probably frightened out of his mind that night at the potentiality for being arrested, so he panicked and made several mistakes. Mistakes that, had he been white, would probably meant no more than a slap on the wrist.

But for Rodney King, who was driving while Black, and who refused to “bow” to their demands, the fear very nearly cost him his life. And when you look at it in retrospect – considering at all that he has gone through since that fateful evening, to his final death two days ago – it actually did. In point of fact, Rodney’s life, any semblance of quality. or any dream he may have ever had for peace, tranquility, a family, fun – was dashed forever that night; and later trampled to death under the feet of Black brothers and sisters, who understandably responded to the travesty fostered by the gross miscarriage of justice in a lilly white Simi Valley community, by trying to tear LA apart. Now when I say “trampled” I’m not blaming the brothers and sisters for their reaction. Somebody needed to get their attention. And they definitely had to put them on notice that they were “Mad as hell, and weren’t going to take it any more!” I am referring to the obvious vendetta the LAPD and CHiPs have had against Rodney King ever since.

While we are clear that we would have preferred not have had a riot happen, to try to give Rodney King credit or blame for the reaction of the Black community clearly indicates that the meanstream and the judicial system is still clueless when it comes to Black people’s individual and collective lack of tolerance for their racist, abusive b.s. (“Don’t push me ’cause I’m close to the edge – I’m trying not to lose my head – ah huh huh! It’s like a jungle out there; some time I wonder how I keep from going under!” – you remember that one, don’t you?)

The 20th anniversary of the acquittal was April 29, 1992. LA exploded for three days. Some mention may have been made in the meanstream media about the significance of the date, but by and large, most of us in the greater African American communities of the US pretty much overlooked the date completely. And perhaps that was as it should have been. It appeared that Rodney King may have moved on and life was actually beginning to be kind of normal. I mean now you could hear some comedic reference to his tearful plea, “Can’t we all just get along?” and kind of laugh. We all got the joke – the answer in the main even now is “no” not really. But we understood the context of the joke. So we’d laugh and continue doing whatever we were doing.

But the headlines that flashed across our collective computer screens on Fathers’s Day, caught all of us off guard. I could hear the Black community yell out collectively “Oh Hellllll No!” What the heck could have happened? The rest of the report slowly scrawled across the screen, “found in the bottom of his pool by his fiancee…waiting for autopsy to determine if there was foul play.”

I was stunned, but not so much that I didn’t surmise that even if they found him bound and gagged with bricks around his feet, the real foul play did not begin there, but had been present in his life for quite some time – and at the very least, from the night those officers beat, kicked, punched and tasered that brother – thinking that no one was observing their behavior.

And had it not been for George Holliday’s digital camera documenting their depravity so all the world could see that we were not just imagining the hostility, racism and unfairness on the part of the so call reps of “law and order,” it is doubtful that Rodney would have come forth, pressed charges, or even been compensated the paltry sum he received from the City of Los(t) Angeles. No one would have believed that it is real and continues to take the lives of African American and African youth across this nation. Even then a “Black man in California had no rights that a white man was bound to respect (a’la Plessy v. Ferguson – 1854), was indelibly driven home by their actions. And if we haven’t erected a monument in honor of Mr. Holliday, we should.

As the news of Rodney King’s death continues to trickle in, there have been some fairly hostile commentaries posted on *Yahoo (see below), and other websites, deriding him, the Black community, even President Obama. Some make reference to his mysterious and untimely death -no doubt ignorant whites, who had absolutely viewed Rodney King as a threat to their racist way of life; others who had no idea who Rodney King was; just that he was Black. It was evident their mindset is no different from the mindset of those racist cops when they beat the living daylights out of Rodney for allegedly running a stop sign, and for allegedly being drunk – none of which was ever proven; and certainly none of which warranted their brutal behavior.

The Rodney King that I met ten years ago, was this soft spoken, polite, mannerable, and very handsome young man. You could see that he was truly the same one who made the tearful plea for all of us to “just get along.” That genteel spirit and good heart were still there, ten years later. His ordeal of being beaten by deranged cops had done little to change that. Though he had been thrust into the limelight he had neither become egotistical nor bitter. He had a bright, genuine smile. And he looked you in the eyes when he talked to you – at least he did that night.

The fact that Rodney King was found dead almost 20 years to the day of the LA riots, which were precipitated by a racist, all white jury doing what they do best – letting the perpetrators go scot-free – is puzzling to many of us. It just doesn’t make sense. There are many of us who are concerned that he was somehow the victim of fowl play – again.

You see, even though the federal government stepped in, prosecuted and incarcerated the perpetrators, Rodney King has never seen a moment of peace since March 3. *He subsequently suffered repeated “arrests” over and over and over again – can you spell police harassment, boys and girls? Many of us feel this was more the residual of police brutality being visited upon him because their fellow rogue cops served prison time, than because of any real criminal behavior on his part.

Rodney really was “dead” when they incarcerated him for being a “thug”. He was most assuredly the victim of the assassination of his soul, brought on by post-traumatic stress syndrome for having been beaten severely within an inch of his life He did not hit anyone. He did not have a weapon. He was not running from the scene of a crime. His self pride, unfortunately, would not allow him to “bow” before those rednecks who wore badges and considered themselves representatives of the “law.” (okay it was three white cops and a Latino – close enough).

As Min. Farrakhan often says, “They meant if for evil, but God meant it for good!” Had it not been for that video, which was played throughout the world, catapulting Rodney on the national and international scene, in a way no one could have ever predicted, he might have really ended up just another victim. But Rodney King became the poster boy for all Black males who have been suffering the heinous egregious miscarriage of justice at the hands of white racists for centuries.

Rodney really should have sued the city big time for what happened to him. He should have been able to collect “big time,” triple the paltry $3.8 million he received – most of which was eaten up in legal and medical bills; and a shyster lawyer who ripped him off. They should have paid for a lifetime of therapy for the pain, suffering, flashbacks and harassment that have ensued since that horrible night.

At least that’s what I told him when I met him ten years ago, in 2002, when he was honored by Jimi Holloway at his annual MLK Event at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. You see, Rodney, was a former constituent of mine. As I mentioned earlier, I was town council representative for his district in Altadena, until I moved back to New York in 1984. And while I didn’t know Rodney personally, he certainly remembered me because of the impact I had on that unincorporated community, which at the time, had nearly become a waste and sewage dumpsite for Pasadena. I was able to stop that and reinstate Lincoln Park, the only recreational center in the predominantly Black community, and make it available to the youth. According to Rodney, he and his friends used to come to play at the center; while his parents attended my monthly community action meetings.

At the time I was not aware of the tie-in, and was trying to conduct an interview with him after he received the award from Jimi. But, instead, he interviewed me!! He asked me why I left Altadena. When I told him that I was homesick for New York, he stated, emphatically: “But you did so much for us. We had a lot of fun. We need you back; they don’t do anything for the kids anymore.” I was totally flattered. I told him that if there had been any way that I could have brought Altadena back with me to New York, I would have done so. But I also had to admit that I really had no love for California – especially in light of the way he had been beaten and brutalized. I had seen far too many African American youth forced to lay face down in the middle of LA street, with white cops standing over them. The fear of that same thing that happened to him happening to my own son was the other reason that I moved back to New York City. I also explained that I had to bring my three children back to New York City where they would get a decent education. I was afraid my son would end up being marginalized in much the same way so many Black youth have been systematically done there. He gave me a big hug, and promised to stay in touch with me (he didn’t have a computer and was not internet savvy at the time). That, however was our first, last and only conversation.

Though I’m cognizant of the fact that what he had suffered there was not the exclusive province of California’s police department, our youth get shot in the back here as well, I always felt I had a better fighting chance in New York of making sure my children had the advantage of better educational opportunities and programs than they had there. And, I was right.

The years has done little to erase the nightmare of having been severely attacked by rabid red necks. Over those past ten years, he said, he had tried to adjust, but sometimes, “I get those flashbacks, you know. And then I pray them away,” he said in a half-joking/half-serious manner. Rodney was touched that we in New York thought he was a hero. He said he never thought people in New York cared about people in California. I assured him that Black people cared about Black people no matter where they lived – even in California.

Rodney had body guards around him who, it turned out later, were his cousins trying to make sure they were there for him and nothing else bad happened to him, stated that he was so excited when he got the invitation to come to New York. He was afraid that we wouldn’t know what to say, or that the people wouldn’t like him. As it turned out, at least for that evening, he got the hero’s welcome he deserved.

He was brutalized for what would have been a slap on the wrist had he been white!! I know, it’s a cliche` we use frequently in the Black community. Unfortunately it is also the truth. The ugly truth. The level of condemnation from the comments on Yahoo show me that there are still truly some Ugly Americans out there who are part and parcel of what makes this the most racist, backwards country on the planet. Some of the more disgusting comments are listed below.

I assume that most of the writers are caucasian. The sad thing is that there are few, if any, comments from Black people. And I think Rodney deserves some kind words spoken in his behalf. I think we definitely should be more aware of what’s being spewed out over the internet in reference to us – and not just relegate our attention Facebook and Twitter. By the way, if you feel moved to do so, please do comment on, or respond to these vicious posts (my comments are in parentheses).

As an addendum, I have also included headlines from the Los Angeles Times which I think show that there was an ongoing pattern of harassment perpetrated against Rodney King to make his life a living hell! If you can’t access them in your browser, you may be able to cut and paste them.

Catherine777 • San Diego, California • wrote: He was an addict then & he died an addict. No great loss to this world. (was this ever verified. I don’t ever remember him using heavy drugs) possession of PCP was a misdemeanor.

LibYahoouser • wrote: One parasite bites the dust….at the bottom of the pool. Good riddance..Obama is next .back to Kenya!! (President Obama is an American born citizen. By the way I’m forwarding this to the Secret Service as a threat against the President’s life – you twit.)

Whowouldathunkit… • Canton, Ohio •If I were black and 80 cops beat me to death I wouldn’t want Sharptongue in the same city as my rotting corpse, unless the cops promised to beat him to death as well. (it’s obvious from your ignorant statement that you are of the same redneck tribe as those who beat Mr. King. If you had been “Black” you’d be more than grateful to have had Rev; Sharpton’s sharp tongue speaking in your behalf).

Gramma Joanie • El Paso, Texas OK and I got a ABC breaking news on my cell phone about his death??? This is Breaking news? NOT who freaking cares? (coming from a redneck right wing community such as El Paso, I over understand your major maladjustment. Since it is clear that you neither value or respect one of God’s creatures, I totally understand how it would escape your understanding that each and every life on this planet – Black, blue, white, green or purple – is precious and sacred. You can turn in your human suit at the door. You’ve officially stepped into the rank of the inhumane -gramma joanie – I hope your grandkids didn’t inherit your warped genes.)

Craig Tucker • Sure black people had the right to be mad, but that doesnt give room for a few dozen idiots to go run a muck. I feel bad for the other black people who have to associate themselves even with race to such morons who sparked the LA Riots because it gives them all a bad name. (FYI the “morons” who sparked the LA Riots were the redneck racist jurors, who acquitted the racist white cops and the judge who backed them up by letting them go free as though it was all completely hunky dorey now that justice had been mis-served. Not the Black men and women who stood up to show their displeasure. Only a moron such as yourself would say such a thing. When you say “run amuck” how would you characterize the behavior of the cops with nightsticks beating a man who is already on the ground in a fetal position? Civilized? And while I am not in favor of riots, especially when they destroy our neighborhoods, instead of the neighborhood of the perpetrators, I think the Black people of California are to be applauded for making it patently clear that they were not going to stand idly by while these miscreants hiding behind badges were allowed to walk.

Paul (response):more than a few dozen. there were a few dozen killed during those riots. all blacks should condemn actions like those.(and remember, that whites should have condemned the actions of those cops, as well – it works both ways, n’est ce pas?)
Platano • Rodney King didn’t ask any one to do riots….on the contrary, he came up on TV to ask people to get alone (ALONG)….remember? (0ne the few intelligent comments, and the response to his statement was negative because he wrote “alone” instead of “along”)

Whowouldathunkit… • Canton, Ohio • “Through all that he had gone through with his beating and personal demons, he was never one to not call for reconciliation and for his people to overcome and forgive,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement on Sunday. Strange that those particular words are coming out of Sharptongue, because during his years in the spot light he has NEVER preached them in his diatribes and rantings. In fact Rev Al generally oozes hatred and racism. (NOT SO, YOU LIAR!! BUT I GUESS IT SERVES THE PURPOSE OF THE RACIST TO TRY TO POINT THE FINGER OF BLAME AWAY FROM HIS OWN BEHAVIOR.)

Anyhow, RIP Rodney, you paid your dues, and left us with probably one of the more profound yet simple reminders of who we are, “… can we all get along? Can we get along?” You also left with a serious reminder of how terrible of a place LA really is…”Come to L.A. where we treat you like a king…Rodney King.” (That may well be the most intelligent thing you’ve said thus far.) Now the police and press need to find someone new to beat up!” (As much as I dislike the derogatory remarks this person made, there is also a ring of truth in what he said about the overall tenor of LAPD – let’s don’t forget how they also tried to frame OJ Simpson).

tv girl • Rohnert Park, California • RIP Mr. King – (she was one of a very few who gave his passing the respect it deserved.)

In an article entltled, “Rodney King seen as catalyst for policing change” AP’s Linda Deutsch, wrote: “Rodney King, who died Sunday after a troubled life, never meant to change the Los Angeles Police Department — but that’s what he ended up doing.”

I concur, Rodney King was an “accidental hero” who changed the very course of law enforcement in racist, redneck California, and had broad rippling effects on policing in general throughout the US for years to come. Had it not been for the “coincidental” purchase of a digital camera by George Holliday, and the resulting video capture of the heinous beating of Mr. King by the LAPD, this entire incidence would no doubt have gone unnoticed, been conveniently swept under a rug, or written away with the bureaucratic b.s. they have gotten away with for decades. But not so in this case. Played out over television screen after television screen, in household after household, the brutality tinsel town tried to hide under the panache of stardom, better known as Hollywierd, broke through in a way no horror movie, or civil right movement could ever have portrayed.

As Deutsch correctly stated, “The mention of King’s name will always recall painful video images of his 1991 beating and the following year’s Los Angeles riots.” And now we have an even bigger tragedy looming, now that Rodney King, just a few scant weeks from the 20th anniversary of the horrific experience, is found dead in his home, at the bottom of his pool by his fiancee. And there are many of us on both coasts who want to know what the hell happened?

The beatings precipitated overdue reforms in the LAPD. Police chief Darryl Gates was fired; and a commission headed by Warren Christopher – later President Bill Clinton’s secretary of state — recommended a number of reforms. They put an end to the “lifetime chief.” From the 50′s to that date a police could remain in place for decades. William Parker, for whom Parker Center – LA’s police headquarters – is named, was there for decades. The virtual lifetime tenure meant that a lot of stuff was glossed over. According to the LA Times, Los Angeles was only 60% white, but they still occupied the communities treating Blacks largely as though they were on a plantation, and the police were the overseers. The police were out of control.

The Christopher Commission ushered in eight years of federal oversight of the LAPD, after long pattern of abuses. Many of the reforms proposed by the Christopher commission were mandated by the federal consent decree. Under police Chief William Bratton in the 2000s, the department focused on community policing, hired more minority officers and worked to resolve tensions between officers and minority communities who continued to complain about racial profiling and excessive use of force. It became more perilous to pull someone over for driving while black without true probable cause.

Further, King has become a national symbol of civil rights and for the anti-police brutality and anti-racial-profiling movement, the Rev. Al Sharpton said. “It was his beating that made America focus on the presence of profiling and police misconduct,” he said.

The city’s current police chief, Charlie Beck, agreed that King’s beating served as a catalyst for reform. “What happened on that cool March night over two decades ago forever changed me and the organization I love,” he said in a statement. “His legacy should not be the struggles and troubles of his personal life but the immensely positive change his existence wrought on this city and its police department.In those days, you might have claimed excessive force but there would have been no way to prove it,” he said. “Now, you see case after case with videos. People watch their conduct because everyone has a cellphone and can take a video. But it was unusual then.”

Below are chronological headlines and excerpts from the Los Angeles Times about Rodney King over the past 20 years. See if you pick up a pattern of harassment here as well:

Crisis In The LAPD: The Rodney King Case: April, 1991: The March 3 videotaped beating of motorist Rodney G. King prompted calls for Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates’ resignation. chief’s comments: “One incident doesn’t indict an entire department.”
L.A. Police to Experiment With Use of Video Camera in Patrol Car April 4, 1991 |A patrol car-mounted video camera that could be used to record the behavior of suspects, or the behavior of police officials and proposed after Los Angeles officers beating of motorist Rodney G. King.

CHP Officers Face Discipline in King Beating April 23, 1991 |- A California Highway Patrol lieutenant has been recommended for demotion, and a captain and sergeant who work with him face suspensions without pay for failing to investigate the Rodney G. King beating quickly enough, The Times has learned.

King Is Issued Warning After New Traffic Stop: May 17, 1991 | Altadena motorist Rodney G. King was stopped by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy over the weekend and warned for driving a car with an expired registration, tinted windows and failure to have a driver’s license in his possession, authorities said Thursday.

Catalyst to Investigation: The Rodney King Case – July 10, 1991 A beating by police stirs a furor: Just after midnight on March 3, a man with a home video camera captured the Rodney G. King beating on videotape, above, unleashing charges of rampant police brutality and demands that the LAPD be investigated. The incident involving King precipitated the formation of the Christopher Commission.

Driver Charged in Crash That Killed King Witness July 9, 1991 The driver of the car in which a witness in the Rodney G. King case was killed last month was charged Monday with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving, Deputy Dist. Atty. David R. Disco said. Robert Gilliam, 26, of Altadena will be arraigned July 29 in Pasadena Municipal Court on charges stemming from the deaths of Freddie Helms and Bobbie Dixon, both 20-year-old Altadena residents and passengers in Gilliam’s car when it crashed.

Recovery Is Slow for Rodney King, His Lawyer Says: December 31, 1991 | Ten months after his videotaped image under the repeated blows of police batons and boots was captured for all time, Rodney G. King continues to live in a world of doctors, psychologists and a fear of the police, his attorney says. King has moved out of his (Altadena) home to a secluded apartment in Los Angeles, where he spends long afternoons watching nature films on television. He rarely goes out, and never without a bodyguard.

Rodney King Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge in Orange County July 17, 1992 |Rodney G. King,was arrested early Thursday in a restaurant parking lot on suspicion of drunk driving, the California Highway Patrol reported. Officers said they had followed another traffic violator into a restaurant parking lot about 1:40 a.m. when they noticed a vehicle back out of a parking space in an “erratic manner” before skidding to a stop and hitting a concrete block, said Officer Angel Johnson, a CHP spokeswoman.

LOS ANGELES : Rodney King Told to Visit His Parole Officer Weekly: July 30, 1992 Rodney G. King was ordered to visit his parole officer weekly instead of twice a month because of his latest arrest for investigation of drunken driving, officials said. It was the third time King had been arrested after being beaten on March 3, 1991, 27, was on parole for armed robbery at the time he was beaten and was being required to see his parole officer twice a month.

LOS ANGELES : Council to Hire Lawyer for Claim Linked to King Case, September 3, 1992 The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to hire an outside attorney to represent the city in a claim filed by a police officer, Paul Gebhart, who witnessed the Rodney G. King beating. Los Angeles Police Officer Paul Gebhart, who is listed as a defendant in King’s civil lawsuit against the city, filed a workers’ compensation claim, allegedly for stress.

Doctor Says Fall, Not Baton Blow, Left Sand Grain in King’s Face March 31, 1993 APA single grain of sand removed from Rodney G. King’s face months after his beating was seized upon by the defense in the trial of four police officers Tuesday to show that King’s injuries were caused by a fall. Dr. Dallas Long III, an emergency room physician from Irvine who did not treat King, said he examined medical records and found that on May 15, 1991, King had some scar tissue removed from his face. During the procedure, he said, a particle of sand was found embedded in a scar.

Profile: Rodney G. King – April 19, 1993 Rodney King did “not want to see the pain and the destruction after the verdict that took place last May and April.” –Attorney Milton Grimes, when asked what his client had said before Saturday’s verdicts in the federal trial were announced. Rodney G. King, the central figure in the trials of the four LAPD officers charged with beating him, has kept a low profile since Saturday’s verdict

Koon Criticizes Briseno as ‘Traitor’ Out to Save Himself April 20, 1993 – Convicted LA Police Stacey C. Koon, in the Rodney G. King civil rights trial, said that acquitted co-defendant Theodore J. Briseno – who said his colleagues were out of control when they beat King – was a “coward,” a “rat” and a “traitor.” Officer Laurence M. Powell was also convicted.

Get Involved to Bring Change, Blacks Told : Race relations: Now that Rodney G. King federal civil rights trial is over, panel tries to plot a course for African-Americans wondering, ‘Where do we go from here?’ April 25, 1993 | The black community in Orange County should get more involved in sparking change and pushing for social, economic and religious equality following the verdicts of four Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Rodney King, a panel of African-American leaders said Saturday. “The verdicts are over and the decision has been made,” said Pastor Isaac L. Patrick, who organized the forum at the Gospel Light Church of God in Christ in Santa Ana. “My concern is: Where do we go from here?”

Tearful Briseno Insists He Tried to Stop Beating : Courts: ‘Is it only me that’s admitted something wrong happened out there?’ he says in testimony at trial of Rodney G. King’s civil case. April 27, 1994 | A former police officer tearfully testified Tuesday that he tried to stop th e beating of Rodney G. King and implored fellow officers in the courtroom: “Is it only me that’s admitted something wrong happened out there?” Theodore J. Briseno, who broke ranks with his Los Angeles Police Department colleagues early on and called the beating unjustified, choked with emotion as he blurted out his feelings about being considered a pariah by some police officers.

Koon Again Testifies That King Beating Was Justified April 27, 1994 | Dressed in a blue prison uniform and wearing plastic sandals, former Los Angeles Police Sgt. Stacey C. Koon testified again Tuesday that the beating of Rodney G. King was justified. It was the third trial in which Koon, who was the senior officer at the Lake View Terrace beating scene on March 3, 1991, had testified that neither he nor the officers under his command had violated Los Angeles Police Department policy in subduing King.

City Offers to Pay Damages in Rodney King Beating February 25, 1994 – Los Angeles, in an effort to put the Rodney G. King beating case behind it, offered Thursday to admit liability for the motorist’s beating and pay “actual damages” for King’s injuries–a settlement a federal judge indicated he will accept. But U.S. District Judge John Davies said the proposal, which he called “unusual and imaginative,” probably won’t save the city from a lengthy civil trial in which the now-familiar issues of the police beating are replayed through the testimony of witnesses.

Los Angeles : Judge to Review Order That King Pay School District September 20, 1994 A federal judge agreed Monday to reconsider his order that Rodney G. King pay nearly $238,000 in legal fees to the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was ultimately dropped from the civil lawsuit stemming from his beating by Los Angeles police. On Aug. 11, U.S. District Judge John G.

Rodney King Is Charged With Drunk Driving in Pennsylvania May 23, 1995 – Rodney G. King was charged with drunk driving here after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test, police said. Officers stopped King about 11:30 p.m. Sunday after he was involved in a one-car accident and tried to make a U-turn near New Castle, according to the Union Township police report.

Decision Delayed on Filing Charges Against Rodney King August 17, 1995 Rodney G. King showed up in Alhambra Municipal Court on Wednesday as ordered on his domestic violence arrest last month, but a judge released him after prosecutors said they have yet to file charges.

Fete Planned for Former Officer Powell : Benefit: Politicians hope to raise $25,000 for policeman convicted in Rodney G. King beating. October 28, 1995 – The evening after former Los Angeles Police Officer Laurence M. Powell–convicted in the videotaped beating of Rodney G. King–is to be released from a halfway house, he will be honored at a “homecoming welcome” fund-raiser hosted by an array of conservative politicians. The dinner, scheduled for Dec. 1995. San Gabriel Valley : Trial Set for Rodney King in Assault, Spousal Abuse Case – January 26, 1996 – Rodney G. King is scheduled to face a jury trial April 1 in Alhambra Municipal Court on misdemeanor assault and spousal abuse charges for allegedly striking his estranged wife with his car during an argument last summer.

Rodney King Acquitted in Pennsylvania DUI Case – March 30, 1996 -A Pennsylvania jury Friday acquitted Rodney G. King on a charge of drunk driving, after a distant relative claimed that it was he, and not King, who was driving a rental car that ran off the road last May in rural Lawrence County.

King Files Malpractice Suit Against Former Attorney August 13, 1996 – Rodney G. King has sued his former attorney for malpractice, contending that lawyer Steven Lerman misappropriated money won in a civil suit against the city of Los Angeles stemming from King’s 1991 beating by police. In the suit, filed in Superior Court on Friday, King alleges that Lerman has failed to comply with repeated requests to fully account for money awarded to King. In April 1994, a jury awarded King $3.8 Million

Rodney King Serving 90 Days for Hit-and-Run August 22, 1996 – Rodney G. King is serving a 90-day jail term for a hit-and-run incident involving his estranged wife, lost an appeal of his 1996 conviction for the Alhambra incident. King reported to the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail on Aug. 4 and is serving his sentence separated from the general population “due to his notoriety or celebrity.”

Rodney King in Legal Quagmire – August 16, 2000 – Nearly a decade after he was brutally beaten by Los Angeles police, Rodney G. King says he is still taking a beating–from his lawyers. He says they have made more money on his case than he has and, by his reckoning, have cheated him out of more than $1 million. “I feel like this,” King testified last year in a deposition in a civil lawsuit against some of them. “I feel like first I took an awful beating from the police, and now my own lawyers are beating up on me.”

Drug Charge Filed Against Rodney King – August 31, 2001 – Rodney G. King was charged Thursday with being under the influence of the drug PCP a misdemeanor charge. King, 36, was arrested Tuesday in nearby Claremont after a motel clerk called police to say that a man appeared to be intoxicated or on drugs (really?). The Altadena resident was freed on his own recognizance and ordered to appear for a hearing on Oct. happened there also in 1991.

Rodney King Sentenced to Year in Drug Center: October 27, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports – Rodney G. King was sentenced Friday to one year in a drug treatment center after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges in three cases, to three counts of being under the influence of PCP and one count of indecent exposure to one year at the American Recovery Center in Pomona.

Ron Paul’s racist link: December 21, 2011 – In 1992, Ron Paul, now a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, published a newsletter called the “Ron Paul Political Report.” That year, the report published a special edition on “racial terrorism,” a favorite theme. It included an observation about the Los Angeles riots, which erupted after a Ventura County jury acquitted four police officers charged with beating Rodney G. King. “Order was only restored in L.A.,” the publication opined, “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.

According to this most recent edition of the LA Times: “King was found dead in his backyard pool early Sunday morning. Police found no alcohol or drug paraphernalia near the pool and said foul play wasn’t suspected.”

Author Lou Cannon said. in his book, “Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD,” the real tragedy of Rodney King was that he never got the help he needed, King clearly had neurological problems and addiction issues, and learning difficulties as a child which were never addressed. “He wasn’t a bad person. He just didn’t know how to behave.”

I truly hope Rodney King will be remembered lovingly as the young man who stood up for himself and all of us. He made mistakes that all humans do; but he was moving forward with his life. Spread the word that Rodney G. King was an absolutely our hero, and we celebrate him, now and forever. Condolences to his family and the African American community.

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

Gloria Dulan-Wilson is available for speaking engagements: Black History, African History, Foreclosure Prevention, Home Ownership, Education, etc., Contact her via gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com

Written by cs

June 24th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

The Gospel According to King James!

without comments

A Victory that Resounds Beyond the Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Playthell Benjamin

Averaging 30 points and 10 rebounds throughout a grueling NBA final, Lebron James led the Miami Heat to a World Championship and was selected by unanimous vote as The Most Valuable player in the championship series. The trophy will make a handsome companion to his league MVP award for the 2012 season. Not only was King James honored by league officials, he was showered with love from his teammates and warmly embraced by opposing players after their defeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Merry Band of Brothers

James put on a rare performance of such magnitude that Magic Johnson, a first ballot Hall of Famer who is one of the greatest artist to play the game, was moved to enthusiastically declare Lebron James “One of the greatest athletes to ever put on basketball sneakers!” He placed him in the Top Ten of all-time greats right now, and suggested that Lebron could well be anywhere in the top three by the time he is through.

In this playoff series Lebron demonstrated why he deserves the title “King James,” as he put on a clinic on all aspects of the game: passing, rebounding, smothering defense, and unstoppable offense. Unlike the late King James of England, who had the temerity to rewrite the Judeo-Christian Bible – although many suspect he employed William Shakespeare to do the actual writing – there is no doubt that the marvels attributed to Lebron were of his authorship. The whole world watched him do it! And unlike the original King James, Lebron was not born to his title: he had to earn it!

Today Basketball is a game where grace and prowess are wedded in a public spectacle that has transcended the sport Dr. James Naismith invented at Springfield College in 1891, an era distinguished by “white supremacy” and American imperial expansion. Naismith, a trained minister and Physical Education teacher, created the game of basketball because he was ordered by his superior to create an indoor sport that could channel the energies of virile young men into constructive activity during the long New England winters.

Dr. Naismith intended his game to promote spiritual objectives, not serve as an arena for cutthroat competition. But that was before basketball became a market driven professional sport in a multi-billion industry. His Christian purpose of cultivating piety and moral toughness is clearly evident in the fact that he invented basketball under the auspices of the Young Men’s Christian Association.

This reflected the the spirit of a time when the doctrine of “muscular Christianity” stressed physical fitness as a prerequisite for white Christian soldiers – men who were tasked with spreading the gospel everywhere, civilizing the colored savages and ruling the world. In this evangelical view the role of sport was to promote western interests through “godliness and good Games.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. James Naismith: Inventor of Basketball. He conceived a Very Different Game

That vision of sports has evaporated as the world changed. The collapse of the racial bar that made professional sports in America a white man’s affair permitted the emergence of Afro-American athletes, who reinvented the game of basketball. What was once a stiff game of rigid prescribed plays with gangly stiffs doing a Two Step shuffle, has become a free flowing improvisational ballet performed by agile giants.

Afro-American ballers have bewitched the world with their magic show, but not everyone is applauding….and there is no paucity of Playa Hatas. No playa has been the object of more virulent enmity, expressed in pious putrid invective, than King James. So what’s it all about…really?

The source of this animus is located in Lebron’s decision to announce that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and taking his talents to the Miami Heat on a cable television special – his critics conveniently ignore the fact that the TV show raised two million dollars to fund programs for poor kids like he once was.

Yet in an era where athletes are being arrested and tried for real crimes Lebron is like Caesar’s wife: pure as the driven snow. Whether it’s using illegal performance enhancing drugs to gain an unfair advantage against his opponents, carrying illegally concealed weapons off the court, disturbing the peace by cutting the fool in the public square, or even showing up late for practice; Lebron is above reproach! So what’s the beef?

Among New Yorker’s, and hard core basketball fans in all the cities that vied for Lebron’s talents with dreams of a World Championships dancing in their heads like the Sugar Plums in Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite, this hatred is the universal response of rejected lovers. But for the majority of those whose team was never in the running, the hatred is an irrational response to Lebron’s self-confidence and business decisions.

Hence Lebron was cast as an arrogant, self-centered ingrate; some thought him an uppity nigger who was disloyal to the franchise that provided him the opportunity to play pro-ball. This is ridiculous: Loyalty to a corporate sports franchise? As former pro-footballer and sports commentator Marcellus Wiley pointed out on ESPN Sportscenter: Professional sports is a business and players often don’t find out that they have been traded to another franchise until they hear about it on Sportscenter.

I explored these issues in two essays at some length and posted at them at Commentariesonthetimes.wordpress.com while it was happening. But what objective observer could fault Lebron for quitting the “Mistake by the Lake” for that perpetual bacchanal in the Magic City? It doesn’t make sense.

That’s why I believe much of this hatred is racial resentment expressed by closet racist who detest King James’ wealth, fame, independence and color. It is rooted in irrational societal and cultural issues that transcend the game. Hence Lebron’s victory resounds beyond the court! And the haters will have to live with the fact the King has claimed his crown! Every head must bow! Every tongue must confess it!!

They Rode their Horse to the Top!

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

Written by cs

June 23rd, 2012 at 9:41 pm

An Open Letter to all Western New York Elected officials, and Citizens

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by Pat Freeman

Recently the Buffalo News reported that progress is being made with extending the lease of the Buffalo Bills here in western New York . The renovations estimate to 40 year old Ralph Wilson stadium will total more than $200 million. Which is more than county official first estimated that they would be around $100 million last fall. According to this report County Executive Mark Poloncarz hopes that most of the required funds will come from the state, and the Buffalo Bills hopefully will kick in some of the funding following the trend of other NFL cities. The state of New York is said to receive between $10 million-$20 million annually from tax revenues that are generated from the Buffalo Bills annually from playing in western New York , and county government is hoping they will pay for the bulk of the requested renovations over a three year period.

Well I have several concerns that I have tried to make myself available to our elected officials in regards to this effort of keeping the Bills in this area that need to be heard. The first concern that I have is that our local officials are basing their negotiating stance on the belief that Ralph Wilson stadium can last another 25 years with the proper up keep. The physical structure of the stadium is no doubt one of the best in the league, and has been kept up very well by the county over the last 40 years. The problem is that the stadium does not fit the modern production requirement of an NFL stadium any longer. The design of NFL facilities has changed greatly in just the last ten years providing several options to attract fans from watching the game in their living rooms to wanting to attend live contests. Our stadium offers very little amenities once you enter the gates of Ralph Wilson stadium.

The second concern is the current NFL production standard is one of the worst in the NFL, and lags behind many NFL teams. This standard makes covering major games at the stadium a major inconvenience for the networks, and photo media who now do most of their editing in stadium photo rooms over the internet.

The third concern is the stadium usage, and location which no longer is the trend of NFL cities. Orchard Park is not the hub of Erie County that distinction belongs to the city of Buffalo . The current trend nationally is to strengthen the urban centers, and move large venue facilities back into the heart of the city. No longer are cities being looked at as secondary to suburban townships because if urban centers begin to flourish they begin to produce jobs, and opportunities for the bulk of population areas. This trend leads to a natural reduction of poverty because government action has triggered private sector job creation. There has been very little if any private sector job creation related to Ralph Wilson stadium because it is not part of the western New York convention space, and is only used a mere ten times per year. I find this fact alone as being fiscally irresponsible to even consider investing $200 million into a facility that would take ten years to break even in tax revenues.

If the stadium was located in downtown Buffalo , and with its construction a better and more expanded convention space the stadium would pay for itself within three-to-five years. The project would also attract more hotel investors, new businesses, and existing businesses would move quickly to reap the benefits of the remodeling of one of the most beautiful areas on earth. The fourth problem with remodeling Ralph Wilson stadium is that it’s only a temporary band aid to the eventual sale of the team to a new owner. It also opens the door to the team leaving western New York . Sorry elected officials, I’ve covered the NFL for 18 years which includes playoffs, and 12 Super Bowls. There has never been an owner relocate a team from a city that just built a new stadium.

The relocation of franchises from cities usually involves areas that can’t agree on building a modern Multi-use structure for an NFL team. So elected officials in other areas that have the same problems of western New York are building multi-use facilities to provide NFL teams with modern state of the art facilities, but to also produce revenues outside of football which include conventions, entertainment, and trade shows. Why here in western New York we can’t see the writing that is on the wall that there will be a new owner of our NFL team that will first make a demand for a new NFL stadium located in downtown Buffalo?

If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 12PM-1PM 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

 

 

Written by cs

June 21st, 2012 at 11:16 am

Darkness in the Sunshine State

with 2 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

by CHARLES M. BLOW

Florida ought to know better. And must do better, particularly on the issue of voting and discrimination.


 

But, then again, we are talking about Florida, the state of Bush v. Gore infamy and the one that will celebrate the birthday of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, with a statewide holiday on Sunday.

What am I getting at? This: Few states in the union have done more in recent years to restrict and suppress voting — particularly by groups who lean Democratic, such as young people, the poor and minorities — than Florida.

In May 2011, the state’s Republican-led Legislature passed and the Republican governor, Rick Scott, signed a sweeping election law that cut early voting short and imposed onerous burdens on voter registration groups by requiring them to turn in registration applications within 48 hours of the time they are signed or face fines.

The threat of fines has meant that many groups that traditionally registered voters in the state have abandoned the effort, and it appears to be contributing to fewer new registrations. According to a March analysis of registration data by The Times, “in the months since its new law took effect in May, 81,471 fewer Floridians have registered to vote than during the same period before the 2008 presidential election.”

But there is good news. On Thursday, a federal judge overturned the 48-hour deadline as unconstitutional, writing, in part, that “if the goal is to discourage voter-registration drives and thus also to make it harder for new voters to register, the 48-hour deadline may succeed.”

Recently, the state announced that it would begin another round of voter purging to ensure that no ineligible voters were mistakenly on the voter rolls. Seems noble enough. But the problem is that Florida is notoriously bad at purging.

As the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice pointed out last week: “In 2000, Florida’s efforts to purge persons with criminal convictions from the rolls led to, by conservative estimates, close to 12,000 eligible voters being removed” from the rolls. As most of us remember, George W. Bush beat Al Gore in the state of Florida that year, after the recounts and the Supreme Court stepped in, by 537 votes.

And as The Miami Herald reported on Thursday:

“So far, Florida has flagged 2,700 potential noncitizen voters and sent the list to county elections supervisors, who have found the data and methodology to be flawed and problematic. The list of potential noncitizen voters — many of whom have turned out to be lawful citizens and voters — disproportionately hits minorities, especially Hispanics.”

More good news: In his keynote address at the inaugural Faith Leaders Summit on Voting Rights, a joint effort by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. told the group:

“Congressman John Lewis may have described the reason for these concerns best, in a speech on the House floor last summer, when pointing out that the voting rights he worked throughout his life — and nearly gave his life — to ensure are, ‘under attack … [by] a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, [and] minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process.’ Not only was he referring to the all-too-common deceptive practices we’ve been fighting for years. He was echoing more recent fears and frustrations about some of the state-level voting law changes we’ve seen this legislative season.”

He didn’t mention Florida by name, but, on Thursday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Florida secretary of state demanding that they cease the purge.

Florida has more electoral votes than any other swing state, and the battle to win it — or steal it — will be epic because the election is likely to be another nail-biter, both nationally and in the state.

In an NBC-Marist poll of battleground states released last week, President Obama was leading Mitt Romney in the state 48 percent to 44 percent. But as NBC News pointed out, the president’s share was “below the 50 percent threshold usually considered safe haven for an incumbent president,” and Romney has narrowed the races in Florida and other battleground states since earlier in the year.

A Quinnipiac University Poll also released last week had Romney leading Obama by 6 points in Florida, although there has been some debate about the methodology of that poll.

We can’t predict a winner, but we must insist on a fair fight. Voter suppression can’t be allowed to overshadow democracy in the Sunshine State.

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.”

EVENT ALERT: Farmers Boulevard Empowerment Week; Caribbean Heritage Month; Black Music Month; NAACP March Against Stop & Frisk; & Obama-A-Day

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by Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

Well we’re nearly in the middle of June, and this month has just been moving on, NON-STOP. There is so much going on simultaneously, you practically have to be on rollerblades, or clone yourself to do it all.

Not only is June Caribbean Heritage Month, celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our brothers and sisters throughout the Caribbean, but it’s also Black Music Month, celebrating the vast treasure trove of music we have contributed and continue to contribute to the world. This also Juneteenth, the celebration of the first pronouncement of the Emancipation Proclamation – though slaveholders in Texas and other southern states tried to hide the truth from our ancestors. This is a time for celebration and jubilation. We also lost our beloved Icon, Michael Jackson, in June.

Wow – of course for those of you who are June Geminis, the fact that this month speeds by twice as fast as any other month is perfectly normal to you. Being that you’re twins, you are accustomed this break neck pace. My June Cancerians, on the other hand, have a way of mellowing the month out and taking it all in stride.

That being the case, those of you who are in Queens will definitely want to participate in this monumental community development event. I received it from my friend, Glenn Greenich, a co-member of NY CitiWorks:

Farmers Boulevard Empowerment Week to be held from June 14-16, 2012

Empowerment. Oppression. Historically these have been very forceful words that conjure up images and memories of the civil rights movement and similar struggles from the history of nations around the world. Farmers Boulevard Community Development Corp. (FBCDC) is using these terms in a somewhat different manner for a series of forums being held from June 14-16 called Farmers Boulevard “Empowerment Week.”
We put forth that “empowerment” is a conscious decision to settle for nothing less than the best that you deserve and the best that you are capable of. Hence, “oppression” is a pattern of settling for less than your best. Are you living an empowered life, or an oppressed life?

Who are we to ask such an intrusive question, and how does this conversation relate to our mission of revitalizing Farmers Boulevard? Well, take a look at our agenda for Farmers Boulevard Empowerment Week 2012, and please join us in these important discussions about the development of our community:
Entrepreneurial Empowerment Forum: New Idea to New Venture Thursday, June 14, 6:30 p.m: Presented by Queens Economic Development Corporation in partnership with FBCDC. We have the goal of attracting new and vibrant businesses to fill the storefront vacancies along Farmers Boulevard. We need empowered entrepreneurs to achieve our goal, but this event is open to anyone considering starting a new business venture, whether you plan to locate on Farmers Boulevard or elsewhere.

Artist Empowerment Mixer & Forum: First Comes Love, Then Comes Manage Friday, June 15, 7:00 p.m: This ground-breaking event will be held at the soon-to-be reopened “triangle building” on Farmers Boulevard, which is being redeveloped as an event space. By registration only we are including painters, poets, authors, actors, playwrights, producers, musicians and many other types of artist in the June 15th social mixer and panel discussion about earning an income from your creative talent.

Early Childhood Empowerment Forum: As We Rise, They Will Shine Saturday, June 16, 11:00 a.m: Farmers Boulevard is a hub for a significant concentration of daycare centers, pre-schools and K-5 public elementary schools. Many of these programs have been experiencing a variety of challenges, including reduced enrollment, budget constraints, need for renovations, and other issues that detract from the teachers’ ability to provide a first-class experience to these young children. Our June 16th forum will bring together parents, educators, pre-school directors and community stakeholders to identify the most important action steps and investments that we, as a community, must make to secure a bright start for our young ones.

Returning to Work Saturday, June 16, 4:00 p.m: There are unspoken numbers of men and women in our local community who are unemployed or underemployed, and several who were formerly incarcerated. FBCDC recognizes that it is difficult for all kinds of people to find employment in this economy, but minorities and especially those among us with criminal records and without diplomas and degrees have a strikingly challenging battle to fight. The traditional channels of education and job-seeking do not always welcome everyone with these backgrounds, but we must identify the best ways to gain employment and to empower each member in our community to earn a productive living.

The Empowerment Week events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is necessary for the Artist Empowerment Mixer. All events will be held at the African Center for Community Empowerment, 111-20 Farmers Boulevard, St. Albans, except the Artist Mixer which will be held at the Triangle Building. If would like to attend any of the forums, please RSVP to events@farmersblvd.org.

Thank you. Visit Us Online at www.farmersblvd.org Follow Us On Twitter http://twitter.com/farmersblvd Glenn Greenidge, Commercial Mortgage Consultant; Commercial Real Estate Specialist Unlimited Realty Services, Farmers Blvd Community Development Corp; Money Quest/Cost Segregation Services Inc. 347 776-7817 cell “Ask me how I can create Tax Savings for Commercial Property Owners for 2011 Tax Year”

June is CARIBBEAN HERITAGE MONTH: In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the SenatE. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. This year marks the seventh anniversary of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month.

The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies, to ensure that America is reminded that its greatness lies in its diversity. Caribbean immigrants from founding father Alexander Hamilton, to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who have shaped the American dream, Shirley Chisholm and Una Clarke New York City Council; Yvette Clark, US Congressional Represent from Brooklyn’s 11th CD; to the Mighty Sparrow, and so many others Celebrate June… Caribbean American Heritage Month

JUNE IS BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
In 1979 President Jimmy Carter named June Black Music Month. President Obama recenty announced it to the public as African American Music Month. It is a time to appreciate all that our musical talents, past, present, and future, have added to this rich culture.

That said, I, selfishly, chose to honor MANDRILL, a group whose music spans rhythm & blues, Latin, Jazz, Caribbean soul, including calypso and reggae.

The group, which now celebrates it’s 42nd year, has consistently gone above and beyond the mundane when it comes to music, with as much appeal to our contemporary artists as they had to us Black in the day. Such songs as Fence Walk, Ape Is High/Git It All, Lord of the Golden Baboon, are as danceable to day as they were in the 70′s.

MANDRILL continues to tour, as they stated in their recent interview on 900 AM WURD, Philadelphia, (WWW.900AMWURD.COM) hosted by Richard M. Cooper, Ph.D. MSW.

The Bad Boys from Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy (do or die) deserve much props for their continued commitment to excellence and quality through music and lyrics. They have shared the stage with legends such as Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron, the late Jon Lucien, Miles Davis, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Bootsie Collins, Tito Puente, Earth Wind & Fire, The Eagles, Santana, James Brown, Deep Purple and David Bowie, Randy Weston, War, among so many others. According to Kenneth Mallory, of the Washington Afro-American: “Mandrill’s music has shaped Rock & Roll history.”

To The Wilson Brothers: Lou*, Ric, Carlos and Wilfredo more power to you – in 2012 and beyond!!

To their many fans, if you happen to be on the West Coast, mark your calendars for MANDRILL LIVE IN CONCERT 2012, Presented by Mandrill on SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 @ 7:30 P.M. at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater. Hollywood will pulsate with excitement when MANDRILL, pioneers of Funk and World Music, comes “outta da bush!!”

For those of us on the East Coast, who want to see more of the group, start requesting – no, demanding – that they be included in the upcoming events, such as Summer Stage; and concert tours – are you listening LIVE NATION?

NAACP SILENT PROTEST MARCH AGAINST STOP AND FRISK: Sunday, June 17th

This Sunday, we’ll be marching from Harlem in a disciplined silence, determined to put an end to racial profiling. And though we will march in silence, our voices will be heard loudly in New York City and nationwide thanks to thousands of supporters like you. Last week, the NAACP asked supporters across the country to serve as the voices of their silent marchers, who will walk to end “stop and frisk” this Sunday. Thousands submitted messages to appear on banners and posters. Now they just need someone to carry them. These words are strong, they are bold, and they say exactly what our silence on Sunday will mean. We’re missing only one thing: YOU! Those of you who are either victims of “stop and frisk” tactics, or have friends or relatives who have been through this humiliation, must join the NAACP’s protest march to put an end to this travesty.

NAACP President Ben Jealous shared the startling statistics last week: In 2011, New York City police made more stops of black men between the ages of 14 and 24 then there are black men between 14 and 24 living in the city.

This Sunday the NAACP is doing something to stop this. Thousands of supporters will silently march through the streets of New York to protest the “stop and frisk” policy. And millions across the country who know our children are being profiled and targeted because of the color of their skin will support them.

Their words will be my voice as I march in silence this Sunday. Take a stand against the profiling and targeting of our children—march with us to end “stop and frisk” on Sunday: SKIN COLOR IS NOT PROBABLE CAUSE TO STOP AND FRISK A BLACK YOUTH!!!
Get involved. For details log onto: http://action.naacp.org/march-with-us Pick up a poster and walk with me, Hazel Dukes, in the NAACP’s silent march through New York to end “stop and frisk” on Sunday, June 17th.

Last, but not least, June is the month that I officially launch “Obama A Day”, which will include something positive about our President that will be included in every Blog I write from now on. I am also urging my fellow Bloggers, writers, BLACK journalists, ministers, activists to do likewise, as a pro-active measure against all the hate, lies, and garbage spewed out on an ongoing basis by the Rep-ugh-blicans, Koch Brothers, Tea Baggers, and corporations that would drag us back to the bad old days of segregation, racism and lynching.

This is my Obama-A-Day report for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

White House Report from June 2, 2012 – in case you missed it: Extraordinary People: On Tuesday the President awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to 13 extraordinary individuals. These people came from all walks in life, ranging from a doctor to a musician, the President said that each has made his or her mark on America, “Together, the honorees on this stage, and the ones who couldn’t be here, have moved us with their words; they have inspired us with their actions. They’ve enriched our lives and they’ve changed our lives for the better. Some of them are household names; others have labored quietly out of the public eye. Most of them may never fully appreciate the difference they’ve made or the influence that they’ve had, but that’s where our job comes in.”

A Step in the Right Direction: President Obama also signed a bipartisan, Import-Export Bank reauthorization bill to help strengthen our economy. “Soon, there are going to be millions of new customers for our goods and services in Korea, in Colombia and Panama. That way, even though we got some Hyundais over here, we’re also going to have some Chryslers and Fords and Chevys in Seoul that are imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago.” The President also took this time to reiterate that more needs to be done in order to fix our economy and particularly focused on the need for Congress to get to work on the “To-Do-List” that President Obama has been pushing for over the past month.”

If you know of something positive, empowering, endearing, significant that our President has done, please feel free to share it with me and the rest of your friends, family and associates. Don’t keep it to yourselves. Remember, an Obama-A-Day keeps the stupids away. Don’t let corporations brainwash you into thinking that because they have more money they can determine the outome of the presidential election. Remember DOLLARS DON’T VOTE, PEOPLE DO. If you have an 18 year old in your household, make sure he or she is registered to vote. Instead of just a birthday card, give him or her a Voter Registration card as well. And hand deliver it to the Bureau of Voter Registration. We are each and all responsible for making sure President Barack Obama is re-elected to continue the good work he has started.

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

Gloria Dulan-Wilson is available for speaking engagements: Black History, African History, Foreclosure Prevention, Home Ownership, Education, etc., Contact her via gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com

Lessons From The Wisconsin Fiasco

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by Playthell Benjamin

There is no hotter topic in Americans politics just now than the defeat of the recall effort against Wisconsin’s right-wing Republican Governor, Scott Walker. Naturally, the Republicans are claiming victory for their vision of where America needs to go. However as of today the polls from that Midwestern state shows President Obama leading Mitt Romney by nine points in the forthcoming presidential election. This begs the questions: What does the election results mean? And what are the minimum essential lessons we are to take from this political fiasco?

What the outcome of the recall drive means, on the most fundamental level, is that organized labor took on the plutocrats in a pitched battle in a state where labor has a long and honorable history and got creamed. But instead of retreating to lick our wounds, the progressive left needs to take a pause for the cause, essay our strengths and weaknesses, rearm ourselves with new knowledge, and retake the field to continue the fight for our vision of America with enhanced vigor in the coming national elections. The quality of our lives, and perhaps life itself, depends upon it!

In order to succeed in the impending struggle there are certain minimal essential lessons we must digest and address or, like all political actors who refuse to learn from their errors and continue following an outdated script, we will repeat our history of defeat.

The first lesson that we must learn is that the plutocrats, the filthy rich who own the lion’s share of this country’s wealth, are clear in their purpose and have the financial resources to electronically beam carefully constructed disinformation directly into the brains of millions of potential voters 24/7; as the masses of workers remain clueless and confused.

In wisconsin that confusion was aided, actually promoted, by money from billionaires like the nefarious Koch brothers; which enabled the embattled Republican governor to outspend his Democratic challenger on media ads at a rate of 8 to1! While the Plebeians are amusing themselves with bread and circuses, the Plutocrats are running hog wild plotting the destruction of the working class.

We must especially help workers understand that the recent Citizen’s United decision is a green light for corrupt amoral billionaires to buy politicians; shameless whores who will serve as shills for private wealth against the public interests. They are by nature the enemies of labor. The Wisconsin recall effort also exposed the fact that Republicans are employing a well-planned strategy of “divide and conquer” toward workers; in the words of triumphant Governor Scott Walker.

The result of the Governor’s strategy is that members of private sector unions were persuaded to vote against the bargaining rights of their public sector counterparts; thus helping to reelect the a man who is arguably the most anti-working class Governor in Wisconsin history. This is a very dangerous development that could lead to the working class cannibalizing itself based on the ubiquitous lie – funded by the plutocrats – that it is public sector workers who are responsible for the financial problems of our cities.

This is view designed to justify the unwillingness of the rich to pay taxes at a rate that is sufficient to seriously address the decay of our cities, which they helped bring about. Blaming financial crisis on public employees is a malicious fiction that does not take into account the radical changes in the structure of our urban economies over the last half century, when our cities were transformed from manufacturing centers to service economies.

This silent revolution has resulted in the impoverishment of the working class due the flight of well-paying factory work overseas, relocating in countries with labor standards American workers fought a century to abolish. By some estimates there are ten million people working for “American” corporations in foreign countries; leaving only low paying service jobs and prolonged structural unemployment here at home. This phenomenon has been well documented in “When Work Disappears,” by Dr. William Julius Wilson, Professor of social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Hence the activist left, in conjunction with labor unions, must launch an ongoing mass education project to explain the structural nature of the unemployment crisis and the benefits of unionization. They should concentrate on victories of the union movement that has enhanced the life style and chances of the working class. Things such as paid vacations, health care benefits, unemployment compensation, etc. are benefits of the union movement that all workers now enjoy. We must help workers to understand that there is no such thing as “job security” without unions.

And, finally, we have to teach workers the advantages of union membership as a vehicle for gaining both economic justice and political power; that the power of workers is in unity. The plutocrats have the money but we have the numbers. Thus when working in class conscious unity we also have the power to keep the plutocrats away from the levers of political power.

The working class must learn that government regulation is our only defense against the pillage of heartless billionaires, who bought the election in Wisconsin. That the anti-government propaganda spouted by the right is a ruse designed to persuade workers to vote against their interests. For without government regulation of their activities we are at the mercy of heartless capitalists like Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

And union organizers must also attempt to give direction to the Occupy Wall Street movement; which is unfocused, apolitical, and like Jack the Bear is making tracks but going nowhere. Because without clearly defined political demands and a specific enemy on which to focus the movement’s energies, the demonstrations which has mobilized thousands of well meaning young activist from coast to coast, will yield few concrete gains for the working class. Alas, it will become, as Shakespeare wrote at the close of McBeth, “A tale told by an idiot/ all sound and fury….signifying nothing!” That’s the most essential lesson of all.

“The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”
- Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity

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

 

Written by cs

June 11th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Bills OTA Update

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by Pat Freeman

The Buffalo Bills continue with their OTA practices at the facility at One Bills Drive this week and you can tell that there is something different in the air this year. It’s almost a swagger that if things go the way they should this could be a great year for football in western New York.

The offense of the Bills this year will finally get a full offseason of tape review by coaches, which leads to a full off season to correct what went wrong in the second half of last season. The Bills suffered through one of the worse losing streaks in their history last year which could have had lasting effects on their season ticket base. The team’s season ticket sales have been in decline the last few years because of the team’s inability to be competitive over the last ten years. But this year GM Buddy Nix promised the Bills were going to do whatever it would take to improve their team, and with that promise the Bills have signed two of the top pass rushers in free agency this year in Mario Williams, and Mark Anderson.

The Bills also resigned all of their coveted veterans a list that includes Stevie Johnson, Bryan Scott, and Scott Chandler. Then the Bills brass made another move and signed quarterback Vince Young who I believe has come to reach the true part of his potential, which I believe is to lead a team into battle for a championship. Many believe the story that he was brought in to be a back up but I have faith that this young man has come full circle and when the opportunity presents itself the champion in him will take over.

Yes I am predicting that before all is said and done Vince Young will be the Quarterback leading this team!!!!

If you enjoy talking about the world of sports tune into the number#1 sports show in the nation every Saturday from 12PM-1PM 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

Written by cs

June 8th, 2012 at 10:42 pm