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There's a movie called "Surviving The Game" starring Ice-T that came out in 1994 where he plays a homeless dude who goes on a hunting trip with some rich white guys thinking he's going to be a hunting guide, but ends up being the hunted...their prey.

After I saw that flick, I vowed I'd never go hunting with white people. But seriously, whether I actually go hunting or not, I--although a law-abiding citizen--could end up the "urban prey" of overzealous racist cops or even some untrained rich guy who gives the police chief or county sheriff gifts in exchange for the opportunity to play cop with a loaded weapon, ala Bob Bates in Tulsa, Okla.--who by the way is on his way to a vacation in the Bahamas after murdering Eric Harris. I guess Bates saying, "I shot him. I'm sorry." was enough for the judge to grant him a low bail amount and approve his tropical vacation.

Anyway, this is not hyperbole on my part.  It really does feel like open season on black men in America for law enforcement officials...and whether we run or not, whether we're criminals or not, we stand a much better chance of being accosted and perhaps shot by police officers than white or Latino men.  

That's a historical fact. Going back to slavery days through today.  Even now in the 21st Century and in spite (and perhaps due to) our first black President, incidents of police officers sending unarmed young black men to early graves under dubious circumstances are on the rise.  Go down the line from Oscar Grant to Eric Garner to John Crawford to Tamir Rice to Eric Harris to Walter Scott to Freddie Gray...the list goes on and on--with no end in sight.

Given those murderous atrocities, the question shouldn't be: Why do black men run from cops?" Rather: "Why shouldn't black men run from cops?"

Discuss

Somewhere in the back of my mind were memories from 2008 of some rich woman who fervently supported Hillary Clinton and had a huge meltdown when Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for president. This woman was so upset not only did she go out of the way to lambaste Obama, but she went on a full-fledged media campaign to champion her support of John McCain.

This excerpt from an article published last year in Slate.Com will help put Lady Lynn de Rothschild into perspective (http://www.slate.com/...):

In 2008 an angry de Rothschild took it upon herself to speak for all of the Hillary Clinton supporters who felt cheated by Barack Obama's win. She was obviously a better advocate for the PUMAs—those who rallied under the slogan of "party unity, my ass"—than the yowling and somewhat bigoted-sounding Harriet Christian, who won fame after telling the DNC's rules committee that it was "throwing the election away" by awarding delegates to an "inadequate black male.
Lady Rothschild wasn't bold or dumb enough to call Obama an "inadequate black male" like the idiotic Christian did, but she made it abundantly clear she wasn't a fan.

I'd actually forgotten about Lady Rothschild (she's married to an English Lord), until Sunday when Hillary announced she's running for president again, prompting Lady Rothschild to tweet this:

   

"My goodness," I thought. "Here we go again." More unnecessary, derisive jabs at Obama.  In announcing her glee that Hillary is running again, Lady Rothschild said President Obama has failed and now it's: "Hillary to the rescue!" What a hateful tool. Not sure how Lady Rothschild or anyone can say America hasn't rebounded economically under Obama's leadership, that he hasn't done more than any president in recent memory to ensure fairness/equality for all Americans and that he isn't one of the best foreign policy presidents ever.

Anyway, I didn't like it when Lady Rothschild dissed Obama back in 2008, but I understood the disappointment of women who had backed Hillary hoping she would become America's first woman president.  Hey, it's something I hope to see in my own lifetime, too. So, yeah I got that.  But what I didn't get was how quickly Lady Rothschild and others of her ilk, bitterly denounced Obama and got behind McCain. There was more to it than disappointment.

In interview after interview, Lady Rothschild literally said she didn't like Obama, that he was an elitist and that she switched to McCain because she believed he was would do more for middle class families and was more trustworthy. Both ridiculous claims, especially the trust factor for a guy who chose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

And how funny is it that someone worth billions and carries the title "Lady" calls anybody elite with a straight face?!  However, in this case I believe the Lady's use of the word "elitist" to describe Obama was code for "uppity."

Here's another example of how ridiculous and suspect her criticism of Obama were. This is what she said in a CNN interview in 2008: "This is a person who went to  Berlin to speak to 200,000 people. This is a person who made speeches about how he's the one the world has been waiting for." Say what?  

Obama is a humble, conscientious man. It's not his fault that 200,000 Germans wanted to see him. He never anointed himself as the "Chosen One," as so many Republicans and Lady Rothschild call him condescendingly while berating him.  It's just hateful, jealous coded rhetoric...dog whistling.  And I regret to say it's racist. It's like saying: "This boy thinks he's better than us. He needs to stay in his place."

In an interview 2008 on MSNBC Lady Rothschild, a self-described lifelong Democrat, said, "I never, ever thought I would vote Republican."  In my view, what she was really saying was she never, ever thought the Democrats would nominate a black man for president.

Let's face it. Obama and Clinton essentially had the same positions on all the major issues.  So it's not likely that the good Lady chose not to support Obama based on policy.  Seems to me the issues that were important to her when she thought Hillary was going to be the nominee became irrelevant once it became apparent Obama was going to be nominated.

But once he was nominated, McCain somehow became this "white knight" in shining armor. Go figure.

And now Lady Rothschild--one of America's most out-of-touch-political and potentially racist boosters--is back. And although most black voters probably didn't remember her name initially, we do now and all the vileness that comes with it. If Hillary embraces Lady Rothschild going forward it will only push black voters farther away from Mrs. Clinton than many of us already are.

 

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Guys like Charles Barkley and Stephen A. Smith can be very entertaining--when they stick to sports and leave stuff like race relations, domestic violence, religion and politics alone. You know, things that happen outside of a  basketball court or football field...things that really matter.

I get it that both fellows have to maintain somewhat of an edge to remain relevant and interesting...and that they have to be provocative, even controversial to get and maintain viewers and listeners.  But some of the insane things they've said when they veer away from sports and sometimes even within the context of sports are enough to make you cringe and wonder, "Who put a microphone in front of that fool?"

Recently, Stephen A., who is known for his loud, in-your-face and "I don't give a damn what you think" style, said during a speech at Vanderbilt University, "What I dream is that for one election, just one, every black person in America votes Republican.  Black folks in America are telling one party, ‘We don’t give a damn about you.’ They’re telling the other party, ‘You’ve got our vote.’ Therefore, you have labeled yourself ‘disenfranchised’ because one party knows they’ve got you under their thumb. The other party knows they’ll never get you and nobody comes to address your interest."

Smith is hardly the first, nor will he be the last to peddle that faulty bill of goods that Democrats take the black vote for granted. Obviously, Republicans have written it off.  But I take strong issue with the assertion that Democrats/liberals/progressives take black votes for granted and ignore issues the black community cares about. Can Smith or anybody who preaches that line please tell me exactly how Democrats have and are taking black votes for granted? Seems to me that we've gotten excellent return on those votes for a long, long time.

From President Lincoln (yeah I know he was technically a Republican) to FDR to JFK to LBJ to Clinton and of course Obama and it can be rather effectively argued that Democrats/liberals/progressives in the White House and in Congress have made equal rights for African Americans one of their top priorities.  So, yes they have responded to black folks' votes and steadfast support in adequate, if not spectacular fashion.

Advancements for poor people, women and people of color have almost all come due to the efforts of Democrats--that says the votes of those groups have been well placed.

In his article "150 Achievements Of Liberalism That Conservatives Seek To Destroy," Stephen D. Foster Jr. came up with an exhaustive list of liberal accomplishments (http://www.addictinginfo.org/...).  Here are his top 30:

1. The 40-hour work week
2. Weekends
3. Vacations
4. Women’s Voting Rights
5. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
6. The right of people of all colors to use schools and facilities
7. Public schools
8. Child-labor laws
9. The right to unionize
10. Health care benefits
11. National Parks
12. National Forests
13. Interstate Highway System
14. GI Bill
15. Labor Laws/Worker’s Rights
16. Marshall Plan
17. FDA
18. Direct election of Senators by the people
19. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Workplace safety laws
20. Social Security
21. NASA
22. The Office of Congressional Ethics. Created in 2008
23. The Internet
24. National Weather Service
25. Product Labeling/Truth in Advertising Laws
26. Rural Electrification/Tennessee Valley Authority
27. Morrill Land Grant Act
28. Public Universities
29. Bank Deposit Insurance
30. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I'd add The Voting Rights Act, The Clean Water Act, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, eliminating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and student loan reform and pell grant award increases, to his list.  And of course, ObamaCare!  I could go on and on.

I'm not saying Republicans/conservatives haven't done anything for people of color or women, or the disabled or people in the LGBT community... but I honestly can't think of anything right now.  For real.

So to me, for Stephen A. to suggest that anyone black, brown, red, yellow, female, poor, middle-class or non-Christian vote GOP--even once to send some sort of absurd signal--is beyond ludicrous.

I can't speak for all black folks, but I can tell you that I could never and would never in good conscience vote for a party that has literally tried to repeal everything that has benefited women, poor/middle class people and specifically black people since slavery was abolished (at least in theory).  Even Barkley who at one time considered running for governor of Alabama as a Republican said in 2006, "The word conservative means discriminatory practically.  I was a Republican until they lost their minds."

At least Democrats have tried and continue to try to be inclusive.  Not only is that not true of Republicans, the exact opposite can be argued. GOP minority outreach initiatives are non-existent at best, bad jokes at worst.  Frankly, other than Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas and Stacy Dash, most black folks see the GOP as a racist organization.

In a March 25, 2015 article published on the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...), Earl Ofari Hutchinson made it plain:

There's the endless foot in the mouth, racially insulting gaffes, racially loaded campaign ads by Republican officials and politicians and the refusal by mainstream GOP leaders to loudly condemn them and even defend them. This has continually ignited black fury the last three decades. The fight of House Republicans against the Affordable Care Act, affirmative action, the slash and burn of job and education programs, and the inflammatory attacks on Obama, time and again reaffirmed that the GOP is chock full of bigots.

The flip side of this is that blacks vote Democratic not solely because of GOP reaction and bigotry but simple pragmatism. Most blacks still look to them to fight the tough battles for health care, greater funding for education and job programs, voting rights protections, affirmative action, and against Reagan, Bush Sr., and George W. Bush's draconian cuts in job, education, social service, funding and programs, and their retrograde nominees to the Supreme Court who have done everything possible to roll back the civil rights clock, and peck away at affirmative action, civil rights and civil liberties protections.

The Democratic Party often has been roundly criticized and deserves that criticism for not fully mobilizing and engaging African-American voters in state and local elections and for downplaying their interests at times. But even at its worst the Democratic Party is light years ahead of the GOP in what it has done or will do for black voters.

Stephen A. is telling black folks they need to vote Republican as if that's going to work as some sort of "shock therapy" for the Democrats and some sort of "eye-opener" for Republicans. That's just silly noise from a dude who loves the sound of his own voice.

Most black folks are telling Stephen A. Smith to stick to sports and to get hip to history and the current state of the GOP. The Democratic Party is far from perfect, but the GOP is nuts.  Utah just reinstated firing squads and Indiana just passed a law that essentially makes it legal for religious zealots to discriminate against those whose lifestyles they don't agree with. That's what happens when the GOP is in charge.

By and large, most blacks are smart enough and perceptive enough to stick with the Democratic Party.  It has produced results over the decades and still appears to be working for the best interests of not only African Americans, but all Americans, while the GOP continually carries the water for big business, the military industrial complex and the rich--not to mention supporting foreign leaders over our own.  

Mr. Smith, I'd rather not vote at all than vote for anybody in today's Republican Party. Same for the vast majority of black people and people of other persuasions with good sense I know.  

But please Stephen A., please proceed if you choose to do so.  Go ahead and make your senseless point by voting for the party that is working hard to pass laws in several states that suppress the right of people like you and me to vote. Go ahead and vote for the party where racists, sexists, homophobes and Islamophobes feel at home. Go ahead and vote for the party that tried to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from being President of the United States of America.

Go right ahead. The only thing you'll likely get for your wasted vote is some Republican somewhere talking privately about how stupid you and any African American is who voted GOP and a false feeling of accomplishment. But what you might get is President Ted Cruz--even if you vote GOP just once.

But, Stephen A., when you get back to talking about who's going to be the NBA MVP or which college basketball team will win March Madness or if AP is going to end up with the Cowboys, holler.

Discuss

Last night I ended a friendship with a guy I thought I knew fairly well over his insensitive and actually racist comments to me about a black football player.

I've known this dude since we served in the U.S. Air Force at Hill AFB back in the early 1990s. He's white, I'm black. He was raised in Pennsylvania.  I'm a native Texan.  He's a Philadelphia Eagles fan. I'm a Dallas Cowboys lifer. In spite of those differences, we got to be pretty good friends...constantly woofing at each other about our teams and football in general.

Over the years, we've stayed in touch primarily through e-mail and an occasional phone call.  Last night we were going back and forth via e-mail about his Eagles working out and possibly signing Tim Tebow.  

I essentially ridiculed the Eagles for bringing in a quarterback who cannot throw.  And this dude shoots me this in an e-mail:

"Why the sarcasm? If a team brings in gay, brings in a dog killer or franchises a mother beater that is acceptable or even praised for giving that member a second chance.  When a team brings in someone who is a high visibility Christian who professes his faith, is an extremely high integrity individual and great person that is viewed with ignorance and sarcasm."

Of course the three players he was referring to were Michael Sam, Michael Vick and Dez Bryant--all black by the way.

I e-mailed him back:

"I never questioned Tebow's character. I just said he can't throw...which he can't. Two professions where you have to be able to throw: pitcher and quarterback."

At that point my man snapped and sent me this:

"And wide reciever...to be a franchise tagged WR you have to be able to slap yo mamma."

I get it. You have to be able to "throw" punches.  But wow. Another jab at Dez Bryant, this time complete with ebonics.

I responded: "That makes no sense and plays to racial stereotyping. Can't believe you went there. Sure Dez was wrong to slap his mom, but using the term "slap yo mamma" to describe what he did crossed the line.  You would not have used those terms had a white guy assaulted his mom."

He shot back: "Double standard again!! They are having a debate on CNN about the N-word tonight. There should be no debate. If a white uses the N-word they get castigated, if a black does that is OK. Riley Cooper used a despicable word, he apologized, yet it's still held against him. Jameis Winston used despicable words against all females, he apoologizes...no problem."

Huh? What? Last time I checked Winston is ridiculed and reviled at levels much higher than Cooper ever was.  If anything, Cooper got a pass, while Winston is still battling for respect.

But at that point, I turned off my smart phone and stopped the e-mails because I was so shocked, disappointed and on the verge of anger.  I have no plans to ever communicate with him again because I realize he was spewing all of the white resentment that he harbors and has probably harbored for years. Dude has some racial baggage that he dumped on me in a series of e-mails.

We went from Tim Tebow to double standards in America that he belives benefit black people. He stopped just short of saying black people skate and are never held accountable, but whites don't have that advantage. Talk about ignorant, self-pity.

Guess I don't understand why some whites get so upset about not being able to say the N-word because they hear some black rappers and comedians use it.  Oh yeah, those are people I'm sure white folks want to emulate.

Don't get me wrong, I don't use the N-word and wish nobody did.  But it's ridiculous to say there's moral equivalence between whites using that vile word and blacks using it. It's all about context and yes, in this case, the color or race of the person saying it absolutely matters.

As for my former friend, fortunately Trayvon Martin and Ferguson didn't come up in our conversation.  I shudder to imagine what he thinks about those subjects. But I imagine he's glad he finally got his views about black people off his chest to somebody black, but effective immediately he'll have to find another "black friend" to spew it at.

Discuss

A rash of young black males have been shot and killed by so-called law enforcement officers lately, but the case that really bothers me is the story of 22-year-old James Crawford III who was shot dead at Walmart by a cop--compounded by a grand jury's decision not to indict the cop who shot him.

For those who aren't familiar with the story, Crawford was at Walmart looking at BB guns and when another customer saw him and called 911 telling a wildly inflated story about a black man waving a rifle and pointing it at people.  In my view, the person who made that call was driven by racism and irrational fear of black people. That call prompted anxious cops to show up expecting something that wasn't there and unfortunately one of them shot Crawford dead anyway.

Of course the cops' story is that they're trained to take aggressive action against "active shooters."  And of course they say they ordered Crawford to stand down when they approached him.  The only problem is the store's surveillance video clearly shows that Crawford wasn't holding the BB gun when the cop shot him.  In the video, he was on his cell phone and then was startled and panicked after hearing the commotion created by the cops' charging toward him, dropped the gun and fled.  It's entirely possible that since Crawford was on the phone he didn't clearly hear whatever the cops may or may not have been saying. Then, he apparently realized he dropped the gun and went back for it.  At that moment he went back for it, one of the approaching cops killed him.

In the wake of the grand jury's confusing decision not to indict the cop who killed their loved one, Crawford's family issued a statement. Here's the part that stands out most to me:

"It makes absolutely no sense that an unarmed 22-year-old man would be killed doing what any American citizen does every day: shopping at a Walmart store. The Crawford family is extremely disappointed, disgusted and confused."

I think it's okay to say any fair-minded American who believes in justice is extremely disappointed, disgusted and confused at this point--especially since the customer who made the 911 later recanted what he or she allegedly told the dispatcher.  

Here's a portion of a balanced story by Sheila McLaughlin from Cincinnati.Com (http://www.cincinnati.com/...) on the incident:

Crawford's family insists the shooting was unjustified and that the case has racial undertones. His father has suggested that police would have been more patient and not have fired if Crawford was white.

Authorities said Crawford was walking around the store Aug. 5 with a MK-177 BB/pellet rifle he picked up from an aisle in the sporting goods section. He was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital around 9:25 p.m., shortly after police opened fire at the store.

Crawford Jr., who has viewed a security video of the shooting, said his son was at the store with a female friend to pick up picnic items on the way to a cookout in Dayton. The video showed that Crawford casually walking around the store with the pellet gun, which he picked up from a shelf in the sporting goods section, Crawford Jr. said. He said his son was on his cellphone talking to the mother of his two young sons, with his back to police, when he was shot.

Police officials said the responding officers – Williams and Sgt. David Darkow – ordered Crawford to drop the gun but he didn't comply. But Crawford Jr. said there was no reaction from his son, so he couldn't have been given any commands from police before he alleges Williams fired.

"We were waiting to see him menacing, waving this thing in a threatening position with women or children. None of that happened from the footage we saw. He wasn't doing anything. He was just standing there. The final analysis is that my son was murdered," Crawford Jr. told The Enquirer earlier this month.

"All this nonsense of (them saying) 'Put the weapon down' two or three times. There was no reaction from him. There couldn't have been a cadence given."

Police said they responded when a customer called 911, saying a man was waving a gun inside the store. The customer has since retracted the account, according to media reports on the case.

Retracted the account?!  A young man is dead and that person can just retract the account?!  The person who called 911 should be charged with making a false call to 911. The blood of James Crawford is just as much on his/her hands as it is on the police officer's who actually pulled the trigger and shot him dead.

The lesson learned for me and every black man in America: Do not pick up a toy gun in any store, even if there are open-carry gun nuts around toting real, loaded weapons--because if anybody is going to be accosted and/or shot by the police it will be us.

Discuss

Before fact-free Obama bashing came into vogue, the opinion pages used to be my favorite part of daily newspapers.  But now, many of those same pages have become "fact-free zones" and are among those I generally dread because the hate, disrespect and lies being spewed there against our President are intolerable.

There's a huge difference a personal opinion and lying to make a point.

In today's Vero Beach (Florida) Press Journal there's a letter to the editor from a gentleman I'll call "J.P."  The gist of his letter is that President Obama is a negligent Commander In Chief and racist who failed to say anything about Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, recently killed in Afghanistan, while the President publicly honored Whitney Houston and Michael Brown after their tragic deaths. And for some reason J.P. also slammed the President for having a public opinion about Michael Sam having a shot at playing in the NFL.

I guess that applies because Sam is black and gay.  Who knows?

But whatever, here's an excerpt from J.P.'s letter (http://www.tcpalm.com/...):

Major Gen. Harold Greene, the highest-ranking officer to be killed in foreign action since 1970, was killed in Afghanistan in August. This man devoted 34 years bravely serving America. Neither the president nor the vice president attended his funeral.

When Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose, our president publicly expressed his condolences. When Michael Sam, an openly gay football player, was drafted into the NFL, the president publicly congratulated him. When Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, the president and Mrs. Obama publicly sent their deepest condolences, as "the death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking." Three White House officials attended Brown's funeral, and our attorney general coordinates the investigation efforts.

Gen. Greene's death and service to his country merits no statement (as reported by The Washington Post). After the fact, Obama claimed no one loss is greater than the other and to single out the general's death would make it appear generals are more important than other service members lost in action. This announcement followed many articles taking him to task for not publicly expressing anything on the loss of the general.

The problem is (and I'm not sure why the Editorial Page Editor) didn't bother to check this out, J.P. is completely wrong. The President did comment on General Greene's death and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel attended the funeral.

Check this out.  It's part of an article from USAToday.Com, posted August 7, titled: Obama pays tribute to general slain in Afghanistan:

Serving in Afghanistan "continues to be a difficult and dangerous mission," Obama said before signing a bill on veterans health care.

"Our prayers are with the Greene family, as they are with all the Gold Star families and those who have sacrificed so much for our nation," Obama said.

During his veterans' health care speech, the president also said:

"In the years to come, many from this generation will step out of uniform, and their legacy will be secure. But whether or not this country properly repays their heroism, properly repays their patriotism, their service and their sacrifice, that's in our hands."

As for the funeral, a Right Wing pundit had to apologize for spreading the lie that no senior White House officials attended.  Here's a portion of a report from MediaMatters.Com (http://mediamatters.org/...):
On August 18, Washington Examiner editor and Fox News contributor Byron York described how claims that the Obama administration neglected to send a representative to pay respects to Greene began on right-wing blog Legal Insurrection and began to gain traction in the right-wing media. York apologized for personally pushing the story and pointed to coverage of Hagel's attendance to set the record straight:

"I was wrong. It turns out Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel did, in fact, attend the Greene funeral, a fact I should have known. Before sending out the tweet, I made a couple of perfunctory checks to see whether Hagel had attended, didn't see him in the news coverage I read and passed on the information without further checking. If I had looked into it just a bit more, I would have seen, for example, a Stars & Stripes article that specifically mentioned Hagel's presence. Once I saw that, I sent out two tweets correcting the mistake." [WashingtonExaminer.com, 8/18/14]

That might be the first time I've EVER seen anyone from the right admit a mistake and apologize for it.

Anyway, I guess J.P. and the editorial page editor at the Vero Beach Press Journal were too consumed with trying to portray President Obama as a negligent racist to notice York's apology. Perhaps that's what basking in white persecution or being to eager to prove that there's a "war on white people" will do to you.

Unfortunately, I imagine vitriolic letters filled with falsehoods and half-truths like this one are regularly and routinely printed and posted on newspaper editorial pages and web sites across America.  Editors must do better jobs of separating fact from fiction before publishing this drivel.  That's their job.  Otherwise, they're complicit in spreading right wing lies--in spite of what Chuck Todd says.

Discuss

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 09:00 AM PDT

Blacks: The People Nobody Wanted

by Kwik

I was naive enough to think racism was an American thing...like I could go to Beijing, Moscow, Rome or Tel Aviv and be treated with more respect than I get here in my own country. But now I realize that it would probably be harder for me to get a cab in those cities than it is in New York City, Chicago or Ferguson, Mo.  

Black people are victims of racism and aren't wanted or respected almost anywhere you go in the world--except maybe on a basketball court or American football field...European soccer fields notwithstanding.

Racist attitudes associating blacks with every negative stereotype from crime to drugs to disease to barbaric behavior to government dependency appear to have spread around the world.  There are countless examples of rampant global racism against people of color, particularly black people.  Blacks are ostracized and/or even physically for allegedly taking jobs, burdening health and education systems or simply dating native women.  Whatever the motivation, it's ugly and downright depressing.

Perhaps the most despicable example is that the Jewish state of Israel is running refugee camps (tantamount to concentration camps) for thousands of African immigrants the country desperately wants to get rid of.  Is that the supreme irony or what?!

Here's an excerpt from an article by Bob Dreyfuss that appeared in The Nation (http://www.thenation.com/...):

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar bluntly links his concerns to the fear of losing the “Jewish” nature of Israel:

“There are currently around 30 million people moving around Africa, people who have left their home countries and are looking for a place to be. We can all understand that pressure, but if we are too liberal, then we will lose the country. We will lose the only Jewish country that exists.”

Israel is seeking to deport the African migrants to Uganda, an ironic notion, since in the early days of Zionism Uganda was once held out as a long-shot possibility to host the creation of a Jewish state for European Jewish refugees.

Tensions and protests by the migrants, along with anti-African violence by vigilante citizens of Israel, has been on the rise. Reports Al Jazeera:

Tensions began on Dec. 10, when the Knesset passed an amendment to the Anti-Infiltration Law, which authorized the detention without trial of approximately 55,000 Africans currently living in Israel. On Dec. 12, Israeli prison officials began transferring Africans from the Saharonim prison to the brand-new Holot facility, which is still under construction only a few hundred meters away in southern Israel. Once the first 1,000 beds are filled with Africans from Saharonim, the government plans to move another 2,000 Africans now in Tel Aviv to the detention center.


And if you think that's bad, get this: The Israeli government is apparently practicing Eugenics on Ethiopian immigrants.  Check this out from an article in The Daily Banter (http://thedailybanter.com/...) by Ben Cohen:
After learning that Israel admitted it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections without their knowledge or consent, I must confess to feeling ashamed of myself as a Jew. While the nation state is not, I believe, synonymous with Judaism or Jewish people in general, its behavior does in many ways reflect on us.

From the Independent:
The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

One of the Ethiopian women who was interviewed is quoted as saying: “They [medical staff] told us they are inoculations. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.” It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia.

Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio, warned that illegal immigrants from Africa “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Israel’s continued pathway to outright fascism is horrifying to watch. Its behavior towards the Palestinian people can be described only as modern-day colonialism, and the revelation that it is neutering its black citizens puts Israel up there with South Africa’s apartheid government.

IRIN reports: Growing up in Israel, Shay Sium became accustomed to being called a “nigger”. Sium, 32, has lived in Israel most of his life, but says he and other Ethiopian Jews are treated differently from other Israelis: factories do not want to employ them; landlords refuse them; and certain schools turn away their children.

“The word discrimination doesn’t describe what we experience. There is another word for it: racism. It is a shame that we still have to use this word today,” he told IRIN.

As disturbing as Israel's racism is, it's not the only Middle Eastern nation where racism is a problem.  Nearby Turkey is another.

This is from an article published by Palash Ghosh in International Business Times (http://www.ibtimes.com/...):

African immigrants in Turkey are facing the same types of discrimination and prejudice as they do in Western Europe. The Hürriyet Daily News of Istanbul, citing comments from an academic, reported that African immigrants in Turkey feel excluded and discriminated by both the Turkish public and the state institutions.

“It is so strange this country [Turkey] is not welcoming Africans,” Mahir Şaul, a Turkish anthropologist and professor at the University of Illinois in the United States, told the paper.

“They [African immigrants in Turkey] have a hard time finding a place to rent, most of them are cheated by locals, and they face social exclusion even on the streets.”

Saul estimated that at least 50,000 African migrants live in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul. About one-third of them are from sub-Saharan Africa. Saul made a distinction between the treatment accorded to North Africans (Arabs) and sub-Saharan Africans (blacks) in Turkey.

“There are substantial differences among the two groups,” he said. “North Africans are Arab in culture and mostly Muslim, whereas sub-Saharans are not Arab in culture and are mostly Christian,” adding that North Africans face far less discrimination. “Black skin marks people out, and it socially affects their lives very negatively,” he added.

In years past, many Africans used Turkey as a launching pad to somehow move to Europe. However, now that most European nations are mired in a deep economic malaise while Turkey’s economy is relatively buoyant, more are choosing to remain in Turkey. But it is not easy for them, especially when they confront the Turkish police.

“A [black] African migrant is generally exposed to more violence and mistreatment by the police than any other migrant of a different race,” Saul said.

Unlike Middle Eastern racism, most of us are aware of European racism, but maybe not the violent extent of it.  Per an article by Obi Akwani posted on IM Diversity.Com (http://imdiversity.com/...):  
"...several African students were attacked on the streets of St. Petersburg by people described as “a group of youths.” On the same night, in the same street on two separate occasions, two students were attacked. One was killed and the other escaped with serious injuries.

In 2005, more than 15 people were killed in racially motivated attacks. A year before that there were 44 such slayings, according to the Moscow Bureau of Human Rights.

Survival for non-white people in Russia means that they must learn how to behave themselves in order not to become casualties of the raging wave of racism in the nation’s cities. For Africans in Russian cities this has come to mean knowing where they can go and when it is safe to go there.

Behave themselves? That's synonymous with "stay in your place."  Unreal.  Is this 2014 Russia or 1963 Birmingham, Alabama?!

And then there's China.  Here's part of an article by Gabrielle Jaffe posted on CNN.Com
(http://www.cnn.com/...):

Liberian student David Johnson moved to China just two months ago. He said he has already been subjected to several racist remarks. "One time I was walking down the street and someone called me a stupid black c***," he reported.
"Maybe it was because I was with a Chinese girl and they don't like that."

Reports of this kind of racism date back to when Africans were first welcomed into China to study at Chinese universities in the 1960s. And in 1988, a violent, 300-strong mob broke into an African students' dormitory at Nanjing University and destroyed their possessions while chanting "down with the black devils."

The number of Africans and foreigners living in China has risen significantly since then. Communities have grown up in major cities such as Guangzhou, where 20,000 Africans now live, according to official figures. Some scholars, trying to account for the number of undocumented migrants, put the estimate at around 200,000.

However, "even in those cities where there is now a concentration of black people, still most Chinese have little to no contact with them," said Barry Sautman, a professor of social sciences at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology who specializes in the issue of race in China. As such, their ideas about blacks are largely shaped by the media, Sautman, said, adding, "In the media, Africa is portrayed as a house of horrors, with a huge number of people dying from diseases, wars and extremely high crime rates."

Racism is not just an American thing.  It's goes far beyond Ferguson, Mo. and Sanford, Fla.  It has no boundaries.  It's worldwide.  And by all indications, it's getting worse.
Discuss

There's an eerie parallel between John Boehner suing President Obama and all those despicable creeps who committed crimes against their own family members...and then falsely and conveniently blaming a black man (real or imagined).

Dating back to slavery days, sometimes a white person who wanted to get out of a seemingly impossible jam of their own doing would say black man did it, knowing full well that a society mired in racism would be quick to believe them--no matter how ridiculous their stories might be. Sadly, much the same is happening today with John Boehner's planned frivolous and ridiculous lawsuit against the President of the United States of America.

In this case, however, the accuser is not blaming the accused of stealing a pig, raping a white woman or murdering a child.  The accused is being blamed for all of the crippling dysfunction in Washington, when in fact, most of the blame should fall upon Boehner and the obstructionist, hateful House Republicans he allegedly leads. I mean after all, they've schemed to ensure the failure of the Obama Administration since the day the President was inaugurated on January 20, 2009.

So in a move of desperation, Boehner has succumbed to the "blame the black man syndrome" to deflect the blame for his and Congress's failures and outright sabotage. Here are some examples of this syndrome taken from http://destee.com/...

Scottsboro Boys -- In 1931, two young white women alleged that they had been assaulted and raped by nine "Negro boys." After swift "legal" (pre-lynching) procedures, eight of the Blacks were sentenced to death. Eventually, the women recanted their story, though it did not result in freedom for the young Black men.

Riot of 1908 -- In Springfield, Illinois, a white woman, falsely accused "a black fiend" of raping her. Local whites formed a mob, killed two Blacks chosen randomly, then burned and pillaged the local Black community. Blacks fled to avoid a mass lynching. The woman later admitted that she lied about the rape to cover up an extramarital affair.

Charles Stuart -- On the night of October 23, 1989, Charles Stuart shot his seven months pregnant wife in the head, and then shot himself in the abdomen. Stuart told the police that the murderer was a Black man, sparking a police round-up of hundreds of Black men for questioning. The Black community was outraged. Charles Stuart picked a Black man out of a lineup, who was subsequently arrested for the crime. Stuart's story unraveled and he committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.

Jesse Anderson Hoax -- In April 1992, Jesse Anderson, a white man, told the police that while leaving a suburban Milwaukee restaurant he and his wife were attacked by two Black men. According to Anderson, the men stabbed him and his wife. His wife was stabbed multiple times in the face, head, and upper body. She died following the attack. After a five-day search for the fictional Black criminals, Anderson was arrested and charged with his wife's murder. Anderson was subsequently convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

Susan Smith Hoax -- In 1994, a South Carolina white woman named Susan Smith claimed a "Black male in his late 20s to early 30s, wearing a plaid shirt, jeans, and a toboggan-type hat" had commandeered her car and kidnapped her two children. Smith appeared on television and tearfully pled for her children's lives, telling them "your Momma loves you.  Be strong." The pastor of Smith's church said in reference to the Black suspect, "There are some people that would like to see this man's brains bashed in." Nine days later Smith confessed to killing her own children, 14-month-old Alex and 3-year-old Michael.

And then there's this recent weird one I found at http://www.nydailynews.com/...

February 2014: Brent Thomas Posada told Redding, Calif. police that a black man had shot him in the stomach during a scuffle, but they could not find any evidence to back up his claim and he eventually admitted the truth: He shot himself, although it's not clear why he wanted to injure himself.

Um. Ok...seriously, Mr. Posada? Talk about literally shooting yourself in the foot just so you can have something to blame on a black man.

Bottom line: Boehner is adding his name to this list of scoundrels. Somehow, I'm not surprised.  

So yeah, Mr. Speaker. Please proceed with your blame the black man strategy.  It didn't work for Susan Smith, Charles Stuart, Jesse Anderson or Brent Posada. And I don't think it's going to work for Boehner or the Republicans either. The lazy, government-hating, race-baiting rogues are shooting themselves in the foot, just like Posada did.

Discuss

While sitting in a study room at the Satellite Beach (Florida) Public Library this morning, I was disturbed by a loud voice vehemently proclaiming: "I'm no longer with the Republican Party!! I'm Tea Party.  I won't be in the Republican Party again until they get rid of the clowns running it!!"

I looked through the window and saw this old codger--who looked to be about 80--yelling at a couple of younger guys. I couldn't tell what they had said or done, but apparently whatever they did made the old boy go ballistic. But hey, gotta admit, I agree with him about the "clowns" part.

Anyway, when he looked over and saw me, he had to add this, "They don't know how to stand up to that idiot Obama!"

I just chuckled to myself and went back to my work and he huffed off thinking he'd made a point.

But really, I find it interesting and alarming that we share the point of view that GOP leaders are clowns--albeit from much different perspectives.  In fact, it's actually very scary that he probably doesn't think people like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are conservative, obstructive or hateful enough. Case in point, look at what just happened to Cantor.  No doubt, thousands of people in Cantor's district obviously think like that.

I imagine there are millions of Americans who have that mindset...wingnut extremists who hate the federal government, the President and want to take America even farther right or destroy it if they can't.  

My encounter at the library was just another reminder of how critical it is for right-minded, progressive citizens to stop worrying about the 2016 Presidential election, get focused on the 2014 mid-terms, vote and get others to the polls...because people like that pissed off old man in the library will.

He's one of the legions of angry old white guys that Lindsey Graham and the rest of the GOP have lost and may not be able to get back, unless of course, they turn up the crazy...which, I fear they will--especially in the wake of Cantor's loss.

 

Discuss

Seems like giving black folks credit for anything in America except crime and poverty is controversial.

And the origin of Memorial Day is no different. Some want to say it started out as "Decoration Day," which was started in northern states in 1868, or that the first Civil War soldier's grave ever decorated was in Warrenton, Virginia, on June 3, 1861, implying the first Memorial Day occurred there. However, in my opinion laying flowers on a grave doesn't meet the standard.

The overriding consensus is that the first "Memorial Day" was organized and held by former slaves in Charleston, S.C. in 1865 to honor Union troops who lost their lives in the Civil War and were buried nearby.  Here's part of the Wikipedia entry:

The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children newly enrolled in freedmen's schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers, and white northern missionaries.   Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park.  Years later, the celebration would come to be called the "First Decoration Day" in the North.

David W. Blight described the day:

"This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”

Even though I'm a military veteran, I didn't even know that history until I saw this on Twitter yesterday:  
KHARY PENEBAKER @kharyp  ·  May 24
#MemorialDay was started by former slaves on May 1 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers #UniteBlue
Great stuff.

Happy Memorial Day!!

Discuss

I was shocked when Madonna French kissed Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears on the Video Music Awards back in 2003.  It was the first time I'd seen women kiss like that. I saw it as too much. But I also saw it for what it was: A publicity stunt to get people talking...and boy, did it ever.

Fast forward to the 2014 NFL Draft. There was another kiss or two or three televised live between openly gay draftee Michael Sam and a guy I believe is his boyfriend. This was no publicity stunt. I believe it was a legitimate jubilant and celebratory, triumphant moment between two people who genuinely care for each other. So, I wasn't as shocked by their first couple of kisses as I was by the kisses between Madonna, Britney and Christina.  

In fact, I was touched by their affection for each other, because after all, love is love.  And we all should have the right to openly love who we love...and marry them if that's our choice.  However, when they smushed cake in each other's faces and then slurped it off each other I felt like they took it too far.  The palpable silence from the ESPN analysts--who hadn't been quiet about anything all day--spoke volumes, as they struggled to find the "right" things to say.

And I'm the first to realize that my comfort level and that of others is not the issue. I get it that just because I'm not comfortable with something doesn't make it wrong or that it shouldn't happen.  But if I'm being honest my thought was: "I didn't need to see that. Get a room."

I'd like to think I would have felt the same way if I saw a heterosexual couple do the same thing.  But I'd be less than honest with myself if I didn't admit that seeing two men carry on like that took the shock factor to a whole 'nother level.

I imagine some people reading this are labeling me as homophobic...and perhaps I am to a degree, while I grow and evolve as a human being.  But I can also honestly say I rooted for Sam to get drafted and I'm rooting for him to succeed in the NFL and in life.  I can also say that I have no doubt he should've been drafted higher and that teams shied away from him due to his sexual orientation, which is wrong.

I'm not one of those people who fail to see the parallels between gay and lesbian rights and African Americans' ongoing struggle for equality.  I wholeheartedly agree with what NBA legend Bill Russell said a few weeks ago during a panel discussion about the Civil Rights Act at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

“It seems to me, a lot of questions about gay athletes, were the same questions they used to ask about us,” Russell said. (http://rollingout.com/...)

Russell is a wise man and I'm trying to get there. People adapt to change at different paces...and most adapt to change slowly.  Even President Obama said he had to evolve on the issue of gay marriage.

In the meantime, I like the direction our society is moving in terms of the acceptance and equality of folks in the LGBT community.  The entirety of the Michael Sam situation shows we're making progress, but that we still have a ways to go.  There are many of us who are supportive, but who are still evolving and trying to keep up with this movement, which should absolutely keep moving full speed ahead.  

 

Discuss

In one of the biggest shockers in one of America's most racially charged periods of my lifetime, George Zimmerman apologist, Nancy Grace regular and confirmed racist Frank Taaffe is now saying something many of us have said all along: Zimmerman got away with murder.

During a recent interview with Orlando-based News Channel 13 (http://www.mynews13.com/...), Taaffe seems to be a changed man and is singing a much, much different tune.  Here's an excerpt:

"What I know of George and his tendencies and also my opinion is that he racially profiled Trayvon Martin that night because if that had been a white kid on a cell phone, walking through our neighborhood, he wouldn’t have stayed on him the way he did and that’s a fact and I believe that in my heart," said Taaffe.

This is very different from what Taaffe told News 13 numerous times after the shooting, including during an interview back in May 2012 when he said, "That George Zimmerman in a position in a volunteer role wanted to ensure the safety of the community he lived in and he became the victim."

But today, Taaffe claims he just wants to clear his conscience, "I can only ask for the country to forgive me and today I believe that he racially profiled him based on the color of his skin. Reporter: Some people may wonder what does Frank Taaffe have to gain by doing this? Are you working on a book? No book. A TV show? No. I’m just working on me right now and getting right with God.”

Wow. Just Wow. With a scoundrel like Taafee all you can do is wonder why? Why now? Taaffe says recent losses of his brother and his sons changed him. And he claims he's trying to get right with God. He'd be better off trying to get right with all of those he offended with the way he staunchly and brazenly defended Zimmerman--especially Trayvon's parents.

Later in the story Taaffe made a feeble attempt at apologizing to them by saying: "I’m sorry that you lost your son, I know what that’s like and I wish things had been different."

You always have to worry about the motives of a reprobate like Taaffe. Why didn't he testify against Zimmerman during the trial. Why did he defend him so staunchly with subtle and not so subtle hints of racism? My best guess is that Taaffe is jumping off the Zimmerman bandwagon because the opportunities to make money off defending him are likely drying up.

Only God knows how sincere Taaffe is now, but for me this change of heart is way too little, way too late.  

Discuss
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