Wednesday, April 30, 2008


As a preacher’s kid (PK), I can’t imagine anything worst than my father, as I perceive, sabotaging my ambitions. Pastor, my father is my hero. I say “is”, even though he claimed his reward ten years ago, because his influence still looms large in my life. Barack Obama, the boy, did not have his father in his life as I did. For this reason, I know the past few days, he experienced an avalanche falling on his head. He looked up to you, Pastor Wright, as the father-image he lacked.

I heard your speech at the NAACP conference in Detroit (posted on this blog) and your Q&A session at the National Press Club here in D.C. I did not have a problem with the essence of what you had to say. I just question your timing and antics. Only a month ago, I mentioned to a good friend that I was pleased that some of our more strident leaders/spoke people have been keeping a low profile. I believe that they have done so because they respect Barack’s campaign enough to not want to draw negative attention to it. After all, there is plenty of Obama opposition out here and there will be even more in the general election.

Then, why would my own father sucker-punch me?

This PK knows that when preachers feel moved to share what’s on their mind, it ain’t much we can do about it because you feel that you are held to a higher power. But, pastor, pleeease. For all intents and purposes, Barack is your son! Your antics during the Q&A session at the National Press Club just weren’t necessary! We all know how the media and the Lee Atwaters/Karl Roves of the world are just waiting for the type of opportunity that you gave them on a silver plater. And you really delivered, yesterday.

Pastor Wright, if you truly love Barack, leave him be! What he is trying to do is much greater than you and I. We, the public, can only imagine the injustice that you must feel after so many years of remarkable service to our community and to this country. And to have the “blood suckers” latch on to your jugular in an attempt to destroy you and Barack is an abomination. But, our God is an awesome God. He will neither leave us nor forsake us! Therefore, let Barack be, for we all will be better for it.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

I got hustled!

I use to enjoy going to the gas station to fill-up my ’91 Chevy pickup, “Old Blue”. Not because I like spending money, but because I enjoyed mixing it up with the “fellas”. I don’t know about your gas station, but my station has the best “gas station hustlers” in D.C.

I’m not one to give a buck to anyone who just asks for it because I know how hard I had to work to get that buck. Three years ago, the best hustle line I heard was what I perceived as the truth. There was a brother, who we will refer to as Skip, approached me one night (I was immediately turned off) and asked, “look brother, I ain’t goin’ to bullshit ya. The truth is, I’m a recovering addict and I can’t find work because I did some time. I’m just trying to get something to eat. I want to work but, right know, the system is working against me. Can you help me?”

I thought, ‘damn, I believe him’. With a tear in my eye, I reached into the cab of my truck and pulled out a Subway bag with my full size turkey sandwich with cheese, relish, lettuce, a boat load of tomatoes and mayo and gave it to Skip. The brother looked at me in amazement and took my hand and shook it with both of his hands. Either Skip was a good actor or he was truly hungry. Nevertheless, I felt good about what I did.

Yesterday, I went to my station and I didn’t see Skip and I didn’t see the usual cast of characters hocking their wears and begging for money. But, I did see that the station increased its regular gas price to $3.59 a gallon for regular. I only got a half tank of gas.

Is there a correlation between the increase in gas cost and not seeing Skip and the fellas, anymore?

I began to wonder more about how the oil cartels and major oil companies are affecting lunch bucket workers like me on a daily basis. I can remember filling up my VW for only $3 in 1971. Now, I’m spending almost $100 to fill-up Old Blue!

Imagine George Bush telling this country “his truth”, that he and his boys were concerned about an oil crisis and that we needed to secure and own a “gas station” in the middle-east so that we would not have to rely on the whims of OPEC. Imagine him saying that we needed to forget about al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and focus on a great business opportunity in Iraq. I’m sure Bush and the fellas factored in the collateral damage (dead bodies) and assessed the long term return on investment to their stake holding buddies (cash in the pockets of the Gordon Gekkos).

Imagine the best hustler line used on the world to go to war. Can you condone the actions taken in Iraq, given the cost of fuel today at your gas station? Hmmmmmmmm

While I pull out my 21-speed Bianchi road bike because my conscious won’t allow me to stomach the human cost for Old Blue and me to get around anymore, check out microbro’s cheap gas locator.

Friday, April 25, 2008

White America can't handle the truth

My many years in the black church, listening to Pastor Jeremiah Wright's take on the gospel as it relates to his ministry with Bill Moyers tonight was no new information to me. Perhaps, it was nothing new to you, too.

To put it quite simply, he spoke the truth. However, I am afraid, just like in that great Jack Nicholson line, white America “can’t handle the truth”. I’m sorry, but regardless of how well Pastor Wright makes or does not make his case, this failed generation who is passing judgment on him will never understand the gravity of his thought or any other prophetic black speaker.

Understanding is developed through association. We all know that the 11:00 hour on Sunday morning has been, historically, the most segregated hour in America. Most church members talk to other members like family, because it is family. If one has never experienced a black church, one will, perhaps, never understand the meaning of the church in our community. And by the same token, we will never understand the worship culture of a mosque or of a temple if quality time has not been spent in these homes of worship.

As I write, I am still wrestling with the question of whether or not it was worth the effort on the part of Wright and Moyers to attempt to explain the thinking of the Jeremiah Wrights of the world, especially, at this critical time in history. At one point, I said to myself, ‘oh, please pastor….don’t go there. It will only confuse white folks and they will take it out on the O-man at the ballot box’. But, I’m reminded of how each new generation grows a little taller, reaches a little higher and runs a little faster in order to improve our place in society.

Pastor Wright and Senator Obama have just raised the bar, again, for a serious dialogue about painful and unspoken truths that go to the core of these disunited states on race.

Sean Bell's Executioners Acquitted

Excuse me folks, but I’m full of questions today:

Mr. "Big City" Mayor, let me ask you, how many bullets do you think it would take to bring down, let’s say, a crazed white man, high on crack? Firing a 9mm automatic pistol with hollow point bullets, I’d say, one, maybe two shots……just checking. I don’t know because I’m stupid.

Does Bloomberg think that all black folks are stupid and foolish like me, enough, to just stand by and watch our people continue to be shot down in the streets of New York like rabid animals? Come on! To be shot fifty times and expect no reaction because you said be calm? Pleeeaaase.

Oh, forgive me Mayor, at least New York's finest spared Sean the indignity of having a broom stick shoved up his ass like they did Abner Louima.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's time to step down, Mr. Mugabe!

…“No more internal power struggle, brother you’re right, you’re right, we’ll have to fight for our rights, divide and rule could only tear us apart, in every man’s chest there beats a heart and I don’t want my people to be tricked by mercenaries…Africans liberate Zimbabwe.” …Bob Marley

It seems only yesterday, as a young and idealistic member of the Southern African Support Project (SASP), we sat and watched the transition of the colonial rule of Rhodesia to the newly independent African country of Zimbabwe! Oh, it was a glorious time.

After years of lobbying, fundraising and demonstrating in the streets of Washington, DC, we finally saw the fruits of our labor come to fruition. It appeared that Rhodesia was going to be the first of the southern African countries to realize independence. Robert Mugabe was mentored by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and later became a teacher in Rhodesia. Mugabe rose to lead the Zimbawe African National Union (ZANU) and waged an armed struggle against the British-backed colonial power led by Ian Smith because of the atrocities committed against the indigenous people by the white-ruled minority.

Today, as President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is considered one of the most vile leaders on the continent, if not the world. With inflation running as high as one thousand percent and the brutality against political opposition, his administration is criminal. The atrocities occurring under Mugabe’s watch are despicable. It is difficult for me to read the news daily and learn of the continuing abuses of the Mugabe dictatorship. Some thirty years ago, I had worked with others for the liberation of Rhodesia and imagined it as being, one day, an example of the success of a post-colonial country for the whole world.

Unfortunately, I am only left with the political axiom, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

It's time to step down, Mr. Mugabe!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's her day

I congratulate Senator Clinton on her victory in the Keystone State. She won this battle, but Obama will win the war!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In Search of Environmental Justice

Growing up on the banks of the Anacostia River, in a small enclave of working-class black folks known as River Terrace, was a joy for microbrother and his boys. We played football and baseball there. We flew our kites during the gusty winds of March and fished for Catfish and Cod under shady trees in July.

Occasionally, we’d see rich white folks on their forty-footer “yachts” cruising down the river and wondered what it would be like to ride on a boat. The electrical power plant, PEPCO, was about a half mile on the river, just north of where we played. The large billows of black smoke coming from the plant were a landmark.

One day, we were in our football huddle planning our next play and some kid asked, “o.k., who busted their butt?” Of course, everyone denied it. But, the foul odor remained for hours. Later, I remember the grownups talking about the raw sewage being dumped in our sacred river and, at times, we saw tens of fish, floating dead.

It is now that I understand that I grew up in a toxic environment! Sometimes we could not sleep because of the foul odor coming from the Anacostia. My parents, along with other concern neighbors, began to speak out about our condition. When I look back, I wonder: could my father’s death, from multiple myeloma, could have been environmentally induced. What about Mr. McGhee’s death or Mrs. Anderson’s or Mrs. Whitehead's? We all lived on the waterfront.

Today, the world celebrates Earth Day while I search for environmental justice.

My Vote's for Obama (if I could vote)

........ thank you, June
On Mon, 4/21/08, <> wrote:
My Vote's for Obama (if I could vote) Michael Moore

April 21st, 2008

I don't get to vote for President this primary season. I live in Michigan. The party leaders (both here and in D.C.) couldn't get their act together, and thus our votes will not be counted.
So, if you live in Pennsylvania, can you do me a favor? Will you please cast my vote -- and yours -- on Tuesday for Senator Barack Obama?
I haven't spoken publicly 'til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.
Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen। It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting। I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert। He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!

Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded। Like you were nuts. Like you were a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry "Uncle (Tom)" and give it all to you.

But that can't happen। You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war. When you did that you were like Moses who lost it for a moment and, because of that, was prohibited from entering the Promised Land.

How sad for a country that wanted to see the first woman elected to the White House। That day will come -- but it won't be you. We'll have to wait for the current Democratic governor of Kansas to run in 2016 (you read it here first!).

There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that। But that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate.

That is not to take anything away from this exceptional man। But what's going on is bigger than him at this point, and that's a good thing for the country. Because, when he wins in November, that Obama Movement is going to have to stay alert and active. Corporate America is not going to give up their hold on our government just because we say so. President Obama is going to need a nation of millions to stand behind him.

I know some of you will say, 'Mike, what have the Democrats done to deserve our vote?' That's a damn good question। In November of '06, the country loudly sent a message that we wanted the war to end. Yet the Democrats have done nothing. So why should we be so eager to line up happily behind them?

I'll tell you why. Because I can't stand one more friggin' minute of this administration and the permanent, irreversible damage it has done to our people and to this world. I'm almost at the point where I don't care if the Democrats don't have a backbone or a kneebone or a thought in their dizzy little heads. Just as long as their name ain't "Bush" and the word "Republican" is not beside theirs on the ballot, then that's good enough for me.
I, like the majority of Americans, have been pummeled senseless for 8 long years। That's why I will join millions of citizens and stagger into the voting booth come November, like a boxer in the 12th round, all bloodied and bruised with one eye swollen shut, looking for the only thing that matters -- that big "D" on the ballot.

Don't get me wrong. I lost my rose-colored glasses a long time ago.
It's foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country। Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgement and a hope that one day we will have a party that'll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"

But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.
That's why the crowds who come to see him are so large. That's why he'll take us down a more decent path. That's why I would vote for him if Michigan were allowed to have an election.
But the question I keep hearing is... 'can he win? Can he win in November?' In the distance we hear the siren of the death train called the Straight Talk Express। We know it's possible to hear the words "President McCain" on January 20th. We know there are still many Americans who will never vote for a black man. Hillary knows it, too. She's counting on it.

Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right। It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only "three fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.



To join Mike's mailing list, click on the link below:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What will be my legacy?

Having gone to St. Emma Military Academy, but not being Catholic, I always marveled over Catholics' fascination with the Pope and all of the pomp and pageantry that goes along with the title. Just a few years ago, most people never heard of Cardinal Ratzinger /Benedict XVI. Today, the Catholic world is clamoring to touch his robe.

In my mind, I think of people who develop a body of work that is recognized by the masses who earn that kind of adoration. Benedict XVI has been cloistered in academia, delving into the minutia of papal policy and never sought the limelight. Now, all of a sudden, he is a rock star. I could understand Pope John Paul because he seemed to have struck a cord with people over so many years by dealing with issues that concerned average people, especially of the Catholic youth and non-Catholics. Albeit, Pope John Paul was enjoying all of his popularity while Cardinal Ratzinger was back in Rome minding the shop.

This Pope is in the winter of his life and I think he could make his mark if he addresses at least one important issue before the end of his papacy. I know that sexual abuse has been a major issue among Catholics in the States and he did make an acknowledgement of it, but I think poverty and hunger is a larger issue in the world. For all intent and purpose, the Pope is a world leader and it world be a shame if he did not use his influence to assist in setting things in place to make a difference before he leaves this world.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Will somebody help me understand?

“Senator, why won’t you wear an American flag pin? I question your patriotism”.


I can’t believe how people can be old and still be S.O.S., stuck-on-stupid! There has to be an awareness vacuum in this country. You know what I mean…, little pockets in this country where different types of information can’t penetrate, where people can’t get new information and discuss contrary points of view.

Charlie Gibson and George Stephanapoulos should be embarassed of themselves.

And what in hell does a button have to do with this man’s willingness to put his life on the line to salvage what remains in the aftermath of Gordon Gekko-like greed and self-interest of the multi-national oil companies and the military/industrial complex?


Ok, ok, ok….I’m going to chill because I must continue to remind myself that what we are witnessing are the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove playbook tactics at play, designed to distract and bog down Obama so that he can not deal with the real issues. BUT, just one last stab: don’t these people know that their ignorant questions are being recorded for posterity and will be aired over and over ad nauseam?

I can’t help thinking about Jackie Robinson and what he had to go through as the first black in major league baseball. O-man may not have been the right candidate twenty years ago . Nor do I think he may be the right man twenty years from now, but he is the right brother, today. It takes the patience of Job and the skill of a surgeon to put up with the asinine tactics we see being played out on a daily bases.

However, I continue to question both democratic candidates’ position on pulling troops out of Iraq in the time-frames they suggested. Having some experience in the military, I remain pessimistic on that note. Also, they both fell in the same trap that Bush-1 fell into, remember: “Read my lips: NO NEW TAXES”

Come on, O-man! I love you, but that was a naive statement then (a la Bush-1) and it’s a naive statement now. It only bolsters the enemies’ point about you not having the experience required. I understand that things are said on the stump to appease the masses….ok, fine. But, things change. The situation on the ground may require a different strategy once you’re in office. You are only limiting yourself when you make commitments like that, and by the way, you didn’t look comfortable when you made those statements. If you can’t deliver by getting the troops out on your time-frame and/or you can’t affect change in the budget and have to raise taxes, well……..

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The District of Columbia Emancipation Act

In tribute to my great grandfather, Henry Smith, who escaped from slavery at the age of twelve and traveled north to Washington, DC, and all the great souls that made that journey too, I dedicate this post to them. The following piece is taken from the National Archives and Records Administration. The sketch to the right was done by F. Dielman in 1866 during the D.C. Emancipation celebration.

* * *

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Passage of this law came 8 1/2 months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The act brought to a conclusion decades of agitation aimed at ending what antislavery advocates called "the national shame" of slavery in the nation's capital. It provided for immediate emancipation, compensation to former owners who were loyal to the Union of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to locations outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 for each person choosing emigration. Over the next 9 months, the Board of Commissioners appointed to administer the act approved 930 petitions, completely or in part, from former owners for the freedom of 2,989 former slaves.

Although its combination of emancipation, compensation to owners, and colonization did not serve as a model for the future, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act was an early signal of slavery's death. In the District itself, African Americans greeted emancipation with great jubilation. For many years afterward, they celebrated Emancipation Day on April 16 with parades and festivals.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is playground stuff

The world needs to understand that Barack Obama is not just campaigning for President of the United States by himself. It's like the Verizon Wireless commercials, he is running with a whole movement behind him. A movement of people who have been used and abused by this political system. These folks know that never before has anyone who look like them have ever gotten this close to the highest office in the land, if not the world!

Tavis Smiley, the former Black Entertainment Television talk show host, recently resigned as a commentator on the syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show", according to Joyner, because he was tired and busy with other things. Joyner stated that he believed that the real reason is because Tavis was beaten up by the listeners of his program for being too critical of Obama. If this is true (which I'm certain it is), for Tavis Smiley not to be sensitive to the enthusiasm of Obama's supporters whom perhaps, are a major part of his audience as well, amazes me. Tavis questioning candidates' platform and veracity is justifiable. But, to rebuke Obama for not attending the State of the Black Union, that Smiley hosted and criticising him for not attending a Dr. King memorial is ludicrous. After all, Obama suggested that his wife, Michelle, could attend the Union meeting because he had a scheduling conflict. Everyone knows Michelle's capability. Why wasn't she good enough if he couldn't make it himself? Also, Tavis slammed Obama for not attending recent commemoration events in Memphis for Dr. King. Why Tavis? The senator just spoke at Dr. King's church, Ebenezer, for Dr. King's birthday commemoration.

It appears that Tavis got his ass whipped on the play ground and decided to take his ball and go home, not to play with those guys any more!

Come on, Tavis...grow up! You are trying to stand in the way of a elephant stampede that will mow you down. Let's lose the child-like pouting and join in a constructive debate and not a power play to see who can really capture the imagination of the American electorate because you ain't going to win that one.

We need your voice. We need your talent. We may even need your ball. So, let's makeup and play some ball.

That'a boy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Unfathomable Possibilities

It has become apparent to me that the O-man is the most dangerous man to the maniacal right-wing members of this society and they will do whatever is necessary to destroy the credibility of the senator. By the same token, they will go just as far to tarnish Senator Clinton.

After reading a recent email from another Obama supporter, sharing the video about the Peter Paul scandal, criticizing the Clintons, I considered the unfathomable possibility of O-man being derailed by the Lee Atwaters and Karl Roves of the world.

With Clinton in the “kitchen sink attack” mode, the nomination determination is coming down to the king-making decision of the super delegates. Should it stand to reason that we must be extremely careful of the criticisms leveled against the democratic candidates? If Clinton does become the nominee, the caustic tactics of the radical right-wing can destroy Obama supporters’ inclination to support Clinton in the general election.

For this reason, I believe that all criticism should be carefully vetted before we makeup our minds about any candidate because the alternative could destroy the Democratic Party and any redemption of America on the world stage.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Prince of Peace

Today, we commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. I can only imagine the pride he is feeling, right now, knowing how far we’ve come and how proud he must be of the candidacy of Barack Obama.

Thank you, Dr. King, for your dedication to a task much larger than yourself, your love and ultimate sacrifice.