Monday, June 23, 2008

A sad day in southern Africa

On 24APR08, I called for Mr. Mugabe to step down as president of the southern African country that was once considered the bread basket of Africa, Zimbabwe.

Mr. Mugabe’s 1980 historic revolutionary overthrow of the former Rhodesian government has been marred by his ruthless hold on power of the now impoverished Zimbabwe. Today, President Mugabe succeeded in thwarting the democratic election candidacy of Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai (in photo) as president. According to Tsvangirai, he is pulling the plug on his campaign due to the violence caused by the highly contentious contest.

This is a sad day in southern Africa because this region has the greatest potential to fuel progress for the whole continent. We have seen the overflow of Zimbabwean refugees into South Africa. The strain of this influx on the South African government revealed ugly images last seen during its own liberation struggle.

The heroes of the new South Africa are too old to see southern Africa through these latest challenges of the region. I believe President Mugabe is not a well man. And in his medical/psychological dilemma, a whole region of Africa can be destroyed. Therefore, I am calling on respected organizations such as TransAfrica to lobby the United Nations and non-governmental organizations to assist in the resolution of the problems in southern Africa.

As in the middle-east, regional problems can become international problems if left unattended.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Juneteenth Day

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas, and read a special order from President Abraham Lincoln:

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer. The freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts, and they will not be supported in idleness, either there or elsewhere.

Instantly, June 19, or Juneteenth for short, became a day of celebration and family reunions in Texas.

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It seems hard to believe that it took two-and-a-half years for the news to reach Texas. An old folktale explains that President Lincoln sent the news from Washington by a Union soldier who rode all the way on a slow-moving mule. According to some historians, many slave owners in Texas were aware of the Emancipation Proclamation but refused to tell their slaves about it.

Juneteenth was celebrated in Texas until the late 1960s and early 1970s. The civil rights movement seemed to overshadow the holiday. But in the late 1970s, Juneteenth became a popular holiday again, and the tradition began to spread beyond the borders of Texas.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

L.A. Lakers: MIA - Missing In Action

I don’t know about you, but I really got bored in the second half. The Boston Celtics just ran roughshod over that “pick-up” team that showed-up at The Garden, last night. I just sat their wondering when the Lakers were going to show.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett did exactly what they were signed-up to do: showed their stuff! If point guard, Rajon Rondo, stole in the street like he stole the ball from those other guys in last night’s game, he’d be serving time now. That young brother has a great future. As a matter of fact, the whole Celtics squad was outstanding!

I’d like to give Doc Rivers his props on his first win as a NBA head coach. I know Coach Auerbach is beaming with pride. At the end, did you see the legendary Bill Russell embrace Kevin Garnett? It reminded me when Charlie Sifford embraced Tiger Woods after Tiger won the Masters….the passing of the torch!

Since the Lakers had the audacity to not show-up last night, the real show was the GMC truck commercials with that wild brother, Keegan-Michael Key. Thanks, Keegan. You saved the evening.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

To my hero on Father's Day

While listening to the moving tributes to Tim Russert, I was struck by the admiration he had for his father, “Big Russ”. I remembered thinking, ‘Tim felt about his father the same way I feel about my father, Pastor Ray!' Aunt Lil's baby brother. My father claimed his reward ten years ago and there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of him.

My parents were of the 1950’s. My father would catch ‘em and my dear mother would fry ‘em and somehow they always made ends meet. Today, I marvel at how one man could afford to maintain a family of six mouths to feed plus the many dogs, rabbits, ducks and turtles we had over the years in River Terrace, Washington, D.C. Oh, how could I forget, Pastor Ray’s father, Poopie, had fourteen kids who loved and adored him, too!

My father had no visual sight in the last fifteen years of his life, yet he was able to see so clearly. I cherished his wisdom and consulted with him on major issues and even on those not so major. Sometimes, I find myself picking up the phone to call him only to remember that we now communicate, spiritually. My only regret is that he can not be with me to share the excitement of Senator Obama’s candidacy the way we did when D.C. won Super Bowl XXII. Right after the game, we rode up and down Pennsylvania Avenue , honking the horn, yelling and screaming like two maniacs!

My father was the greatest man I’ve ever known and if you had known him I’m sure you would’ve agreed. If you do not have a father in your life, find one…adopt a father so that you can experience what Tim and I had in our lives, too.

Love ya, Dad!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bush Presidential Library

The New York Times, 29FEB08, reported that the manufactured candidate, George W. Bush, will probably accept foreign donations to build his presidential library in Dallas and would consider keeping the donors’ names confidential if they did not want to be identified. Given his “accomplishments” in office, I can surely understand why Bush contributors are not from the U.S. and may want to remain anonymous.

A good friend just sent me this satire of the proposed Bush Library that is floating out there in cyberspace. I think it is hilarious and I want to share it with you, too….thanks, Brian.

W Presidential Library

The George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning
stages. The Library will include:

The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.

The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won't be able to remember

The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.

The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.

The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to

The National Debt room which is huge and has no ceiling.

The "Tax Cut" Room with entry only to the wealthy.

The "Economy Room" which is in the toilet.

The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you
go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tour.

The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete
with shotgun gallery.

The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.

The Supremes Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.

The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite
Republican Senators.

The "Decider Room" complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija
board, dice, coins, and straws.

The museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate the
President's accomplishments.

Admission: Republicans free; Democrats $1000 or 3 Euros

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We've come this far by faith!

To my presidential candidate of choice, Senator Barack Obama,

You remained faithful to the principals of your campaign and you won a good fight. I salute you, sir, on a job well done!

I need not remind you that the real fight has only begun. There will be many forces that will attempt to obstruct your path to the White House. But, there are many more who want to see you be successful and will help you because you have inspired us in a way that no other politician has done in quite some time. We, now, believe that a better way is possible.

It is well known that all great things that have been accomplished in the pass began with a single thought, an inspiration. That thought for this generation is “change”. That inspiration for this generation is your candidacy. We stand here, sir, in support of this movement to prove that this country can truly be a place for the whole world to respect, not by fear, but by the good that we do for the least of us!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Politician gone wild!

Personally, I’m tired of my candidate of choice, Barack Obama, having to apologize for stuff other people say or do. I guess Barack is going to apologize to the country on my behalf for telling another commuter what I thought of his driving skills, yesterday. Obviously, he has no control over that. But, that Tourette's syndrome vice president, Dick Cheney, runs around and says anything that comes to his mind.

It’s hilarious when you think of how politicians who are running for office have to walk delicately to not incense the electorate and you compare them with politicians that just don’t give damn. hmmmm….who could that be?

Unfortunately, there is some talk that Cheney maybe, distantly, related to Barack. The VP noted that he had Cheneys on both sides of his family.

"And we don't even live in West Virginia," Cheney quipped.

"You can say those things when you're not running for re-election."
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, quickly asked Cheney to apologize.
"I truly cannot believe that any vice president of the United States, regardless of their political affiliation, would make such a derogatory statement about my state or any state for that matter," he said.
On Capitol Hill, Cheney's comment was denounced by both Democrats and Republicans.
"This is exactly the type of stereotyping that we don't need from our elected officials," said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. "It's disrespectful, and it's certainly not funny. ... As a proud state, I can say we are disappointed."
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., blasted Cheney, saying that for a vice president to openly display "such contempt and astounding ignorance toward his own countrymen" was an insult to all Americans.
"Now that he or the administration he represents no longer needs their vote, Mr. Cheney apparently feels that he is now free to mock and belittle the people of West Virginia," Byrd said.

Well, we are shocked! Cheney can direct the manufactured candidate from the VP office. He can appropriate billions to Halliburton. He can use foul language in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives. He can shoot friends in the face. But, Barack felt the need to apologize to a young woman for using a term of endearment, “sweetie” ??????

Monday, June 2, 2008

The 2008 DNC Rules & Bylaws

Fannie Lou Hamer, the 1964 DNC heroine.

I don’t care how old folks get or how many degrees we earn or how many kids we raise, some of us still act like children on the playground! If the game ain’t being played the way you think it should be played, pull the rules book out of your hip pocket and show everybody where you are correct. But, if you know you can’t, shut-up, get out of the way and let the game continue!

I’m probably not saying anything new here, but it’s good to reiterate an important principal: before you play the game, understand the rules, especially, if you had a hand in developing the rules. If all the players/candidates understand the rules that govern this process, why did we go through the exercise?

The 2008 Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting took place, almost, in my backyard. I was going to walk over there to the hotel and check it out, but after the rain and all of the Hillary/Florida supporters clogging the sidewalks, I decided to just watch it on CSPAN.

The 2008 Democratic primaries are unlike the pre-1964 Democratic primaries that intimidated black folks and other minorities with the imposition of illegal taxes and tests. No, b.s. like that didn’t take place because every Democratic candidate and delegate from every strata of this party had a say in developing these rules. I’ll be damned if the likes of Everett Ward and Donna Brazile will allow fairness to be abrogated in this process during these primaries because they remember their mommas and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Harold Ickes, you can take Hillary’s cause to the DNC Convention and wage your floor fight if you like, but just remember that you’ll be doing it at the expense of destroying what most of us want and I’ll remind you, again: to go to the convention in unity and defeat the Republican Party in the fall! And while you’re thinking on that, remind your peeps that if unity is not their objective, they stand to have Roe v. Wade challenged, pro-choice obliterated and an imbalance on the Supreme Court for at least two generations to come!