Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'll get it right, this time!

Perhaps like you, I have been monitoring Gustav and, especially, the government entities involved with the preparation to meet the level-4 hurricane due to hit the Gulf States tomorrow. It disgust me to think of the lost of life and property because the administration had no clue as to what to do during Katrina.

I have not been in the practice of complimenting the current administration for anything. However, I will congratulate the Bush Administration in its preparation for Hurricane Gustav. It appears to be trying to do the right thing. When I first saw the initial images of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, I thought I was looking at another hellish catastrophe in Haiti. I was shocked to no end to learn that these photos were taken on the continental United States.

As a president in the winter of his term, President Bush will not be able to improve much on his overall approval rating, but he will be credited for saving lives tomorrow. I think the political process needs to continue, given the fact that the convention will be in the Twin Cities and away from the gulf. Nevertheless, key party decision makers need to be at their post to be able to deal with Gustav issues, immediately. Perhaps, this is a blessing in disguise for Senator McCain. The last thing he needs is another love feast, bear-hugging photo opportunity with his hero, President Bush, on a high profile, internationally-seen event like the Republican National Convention.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An arranged marriage

The McCain Campaign is truly a throw-back to the last century by conjuring up an arranged marriage of sorts with Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. But, hey, you know the old adage, “politics make strange bedfellows”. I got to hand it to the old battle ax; all of his “picks” have been easy on the eyes.

I’ll be the first to admit that this presidential race will be won by a small margin and that the American female electorate has been extremely active in this political cycle. Therefore, is it wise to select a running mate whose positions have nothing in common with this vigorous electorate other than having a vagina?

Governor Palin is against women’s reproductive rights. This one point, alone, runs smack against the core of many of Senator Clinton’s supporters' principles. And to bring on a person that has any hint of controversy (a la rogue brother-in-law)? I’ve heard Senator McCain is a risk taker, but this choice sounds like an act of desperation.

Senator McCain, Senator Clinton stands for the full spectrum of women’s rights. The whole world knows Hilliary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Democratic Nominee

As an Obama supporter, I heard from my presidential nominee in his acceptance speech tonight no less than what I had expected. I am grateful to be alive, to have witness this historic moment…..Obama/Biden’08!

A fellow blogger, Tees, over at Fox raised interesting questions with me, questions that I have pondered in the past. She asked, “Would an Obama presidency make a difference for black folks in America? If not, what makes him any different from white presidents from the past?”

Well, I thought about Nelson “Madiba” Mandela’s presidency. After years of civil strife and armed struggle in South Africa, much was expected from him. Shortly after his inauguration, there was uneasiness among white South Africans because a black man was in charge who suffered so much under their rule, whose people were denied equal rights for generations. OMG! What will become of us? What will happen to our land, businesses and our entitlements?

Black South Africans began to believe that all of the inequities of life in the most prosperous country in southern Africa would change immediately. After years of institutional greed and the “good ol’ boy” way of doing things in America, change won’t happen that fast. However, prudent policies and inspiration for change can be set in place to bring about change. Change is a process. Change requires a new mental paradigm to facilitate it. Therefore, I submit that an Obama administration will not, immediately, make a difference for black folk, as well as all America. However, I do believe that an Obama administration will start the process for change we seek. It will be incumbent on all of us to do our part to make these changes possible.

Tees, the difference, I hope, a President Obama will differ from white presidents in the past will be to throw out the presidential playbook of the past and govern this country openly and democratically that demands our respect and trust.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As I mature, I find myself making a larger effort in seeing multiple sides of pressing issues of the day. And so goes my thinking on ardent Hillary Clinton supporters, tonight.

Her passionate supporters are no different than the Obama supporters. Let’s be honest: the country for the first time in history had the opportunity to see either a woman or a black man become an American presidential nominee. These two people represent groups whom have been beat down and kept down under an oppressive white patriarchal society have finally been lifted to, possibly, lead the free world!

There was much sacrifice and emotions spent in seeing the first African American or women in the highest political office in the land and I respect the lost that Hillary’s supporters are feeling, right now. I thought Hillary delivered the best speech I have ever heard her give, to begin the healing, to bring these passionate groups together and support Barack Obama as our presidential nominee.

Hillary’s speech, like Michelle’s last night, did what it was suppose to do. The senator from New York implored her followers to understand that it is not about her or Barack. It is about making good health care a right and not a privilege. It’s about not borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Saudis. It’s about improving life for the least of us. It’s about ending the war in the middle-east responsibly. It’s about putting a Democrat back in office and that Democrat is Barack Obama!

Tonight, I’m not interested in what took place in private backroom meetings. I’m only concern with seeing this party break camp this weekend, united and stronger in order to defeat the on slough of Republican divisive campaigns that I know are coming. And tonight, Hillary did her part to insure our defense.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The First Lady

Tonight, Michelle exceeded everything required to settle the uneasiness anyone could possibly still abhor against her and Barack.

I never understood the acceptance by some of the myth that Barack and Michelle Obama are elitist. If money is the measuring stick for elitism, well, what they have earned through hard honest work has come just recently. If elitism is a measure of how much you want to improve your station in life and to want to uplift the people around you, then who can cast the first stone?

The success that the Obamas share is far different than the McCains. One family, pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in the shadows of a working-class existence, to go on and excel academically and to come back to pull others out of abject poverty and despair. And the other family, inheriting untold wealth and living a life that very few of us can neither relate to nor imagine. It must be blissful to have so many homes that you can not remember how many you have, especially when you are just trying to make the mortgage each month.

Yes, the Republican “mean machine” can fool some of the people some of the time, but, tonight, Michelle set the record straight.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The trifecta of Entertainment

I’m Selfish!

I want to keep all of the jewels that our community produces. Call me crazy, but I want them all to continue!

The trifecta of tragedy in entertainment: Morgan Freeman, Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac impacted my life with their genius in the art of portrayal of life on the big screen. Fortunately, Morgan Freeman is still with us. These men’s body of work had the power to evoke a special emotional response in my soul. The following three posts are a tribute to their lives.

Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of Joe “Batman” Clark, Principal of Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey in “Lean on Me” had me on my feet cheering when his students marched on city hall to demand his release from jail for having defended the children’s ability to get a quality education, free of drug dealers and thugs. Along with Denzel Washington, he went on to portray a Union inductee in the U.S. Civil War. As an elder slave, Freeman’s character encompassed dignity even under the indignities of neither having shoes to fight in or compensation equal to white inductees. His prayer and the encouragement he gave to others during a revival scene the night before their last battle was moving.

Thank you, Morgan! I wish you continued good health.

Isaac Hayes

Isaac “Black Moses” Haye’s “Ike’s Rap” got me through my first serious love affair as a young man…..we played it over and over and just couldn’t get enough of Moses’ take on the sensitivity between a man and a woman. The 1971 release of Shaft was a bad motha-shut-your-mouth! Richard Roundtree’s character, John Shaft, super black macho role was accentuated by Isaac Haye’s musical score. Folks would go crazy at the sound of the first chord of the electric guitar’s wow-wow! ♫ Who is the man that will risk his neck for his brother man? Shaft, can you dig it? ♫ The Shaft score boosted the pride of many of us because we just didn’t see black super heroes on the silver screen that often in those days.

I had the pleasure to attend an Isaac Haye’s concert at Constitution Hall in D.C. It was wild! Every guy looked like John Shaft and every girl looked like his woman. The lights went out and all we could hear was the wow-wow, there was complete pandemonium – SHAFT! It was a night I’ll never forget. Ummm….I’m ready to dust-off my old LPs, right now.

Thank you, Moses! Rest in peace.

Bernie Mac

Contrary to popular opinion, I never thought Bernie Mac was a great actor….he was funny, but not a great actor. Bernie was great at playing Bernie Mac, the best. As the kids say, ‘he kept it real’. Bernie’s characters always stated what they had on their mind, just as Bernie did.

Bernie’s standup performances reached a crescendo in the “Kings of Comedy” series along with Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer. My favorite Bernie Mac movies are the Ocean series with George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt and the guys. And I was looking forward to an Ocean 14.

Bernie, unfortunately, stepped on some toes at an Obama function in Chicago last month. Our presumptive presidential nominee had to, quickly; get on stage to repair the sensibilities of some of the highbrow attendees. It reminded me of the Chris Rock movie, Head of State, where Bernie played the brother of Chris’ character who was running for president, too….it was hilarious!

My father lived with sarcoidoses, too. I understand life living with this mysterious respiratory disease. Thank you, Bernie for sharing your brief time with us. You made us laugh, you made us cry… will be missed!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's your day!

As one who has had a love-hate relationship over the years with my hometown football team, the Washington Redskins, I was made proud today by the team and fans as I watched Art Monk and Darryl Green being inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

I can’t think of many things that bring diverse groups of people together, voluntarily, than sports. There were so many D.C. fans with maroon and gold on in Canton that one would have thought it was Washington’s opening game day. And it was all owed to the respect and love that they had for this year’s inductees.

What more can be said about Art and Darryl than to have supporters come up to be with them on their special day in the way that their fans did. You gave of yourselves unselfishly which is a rarity, today.

Thank you, gentlemen, for all of the exciting times that you’ve given us.