Monthly Archives: May 2008

Latin Video Tribute to Obama

As reported by The Associated Press, Andres Levin produced the video “Podemos con Obama,” or “We can With Obama,” featuring more than 20 artists from the Latin music and film community, including actor John Leguizamo and hip hop artist Don Omar, and international pop stars Alejandro Sanz and Paulina Rubio. Actors George Lopezand Jessica Alba also participated. I don’t know what they’re saying, but it’s very moving. I also find myself wanting to break out in African dance…good stuff.



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Friday Question: Is there still a “Talented Tenth” in Black America?

The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races.W.E.B. DuBois, September 1903 [Full text]

“The Talented Tenth” is the phenomenon of one out of ten black people who is influential in the world, through methods such as education, artistic talent, musical talent, athletics, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change.

DuBois is talking about the 10% of the race who he charged with uplifting the race by providing morally sound, socially conscious, and unselfish leadership to Blacks in the post-Reconstruction era. Interestingly enough,  1948, Dubois recanted this claim, acknowledging that he didn’t realize the extent to which egotism, self-interest, and self-righteousness would prevent the Talented Tenth from serving its intended purpose.  I think he would recant even further if he were alive in 2008.

Do you think that there is a “Talented Tenth” in Black America today?   Who is the “Talented Tenth” of today?  Are they willing to accept DuBois’ challenge in this era.


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Scott McClellan “hating on” Bush in his new book

LOL, I just love it when people act like they had nothing to do with a terrible situation when they were right in the midst of of. Scott…you were one of the main talking heads…the HEAD talking head when it came to the media. Now…years later you want to tell the truth? Well…thanks buddy! Thanks for lying to us and then writing about it. $$$ellout. Are you donating any of your book sales to veterans of the Iraq war?

Note to all you Politicos: Don’t tell the truth on the backend, be a whistle blower and help your fellow Americans. I’m sorry but blaming Bush is like blaming a 5 year old who’s mom dresses him funny. Sure he might want to wear that red and white stripped long sleeve shirt and pea green and orange pants, but mom and dad are supposed to bring guidance and direction. It’s a team effort.

Steve Holland / Reuters WASHINGTON – Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan charges in an explosive new book that President George W. Bush shaded the truth and manipulated public opinion to make the case for the “unnecessary” Iraq war.

McClellan, the first Bush insider to write a book criticizing his former boss and fellow Texan, drew instant condemnations on Wednesday from former White House colleagues who wondered why he stayed on the job.

“If he thinks he’s going to ingratiate himself to his critics, he’s sorely mistaken, and unfortunately, the only friends he had, he just lost,” said Dan Bartlett, who served as White House counselor.

McClellan, in “What Happened — Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” presents himself as a one-time true Bush believer who mistakenly fell in line behind “the campaign to sell the war” in Iraq.

McClellan, who had argued strenuously from the White House podium on why the war was justified, wrote that the decision to go to war in Iraq was a “fateful misstep.”

“What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary,” he said.

McClellan called Bush “a man of personal charm, wit, and enormous political skill,” and “plenty smart enough to be president,” while sprinkling criticism of him throughout the 341-page book. Continue reading


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Obama deals with recent racist incidents, security threats

ABC News is reporting that racism and potential security issues are emerging as factors in the race to the White House for the Obama campaign.  When I heard Hillary Clinton’s comments on Bobby Kennedy’s murder and the 1968 election the first thing I thought about was the same thing happening to Barack.  Oh Lord, for her sake I hope it doesn’t happen (and of course for his too.  LOL).  People will be saying she called for the hit…she had something to do with it…just because of that comment.  She actually said it more than once.  Hillary was quoted in Time Magazine saying the same thing (saw it on CNN when they interviewed her campaign manager).

In recent weeks, the role of race in the Democratic primaries has been increasingly discussed. And while racist caricatures and jokes about threats against Obama’s life have been widely condemned, they seem to reflect an undeniable element of racism that still exists in the country and could play an unknown role in a general election.

“There is no question that the possibility of violence directed at presidential candidates, especially Obama, is the elephant in the middle of the room,” says Peter Fenn, adjunct professor of political management at George Washington University, to describe the media’s careful coverage of the issue. “There is a hypersensitivity about this issue. And in one sense, there should be because you don’t want to put the idea out there. But you also get overanalysis, like with Hillary’s comments about RFK [Robert F. Kennedy].”

Fifty-nine percent of Americans (and 83 percent of African-Americans) said they were concerned “that someone might attempt to physically harm Barack Obama if he’s the Democratic nominee for president,” according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll from March 2. Twenty-four percent of those polled said they were “very concerned” about that possibility.

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Racism in NH: The Jamaicans only get $8 an hour

Great article by Rebecca Hughes for – Witnessing racism firsthand in York

Recently, I graduated college, came back to York for my final summer at home, and quickly began the search for a summer job. After filling out several applications, I went to a local restaurant.

Although the restaurant was closed, several managers were there and the doors were open. After introducing myself and settling in at the bar to complete my application, a black woman came in. In a thick Jamaican accent, she introduced herself and explained that she was looking for a job as a dishwasher. The kitchen manager, a white man, came out to interview her.

He told her that he didn’t have many dishwashers and that he would give her lots of hours. When she asked about the pay, he said the starting wage was $8 an hour. She countered with $9 an hour, but he responded that he was only willing to offer her $8.

While she paused to think about the offer, another manger (also white and male) came over to her.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“I’m thinking about the offer I just got to work for $8 an hour instead of $9,” she said. At this, the man snorted and said, “Well, you aren’t going to find anyplace around here willing to hire you for that much. You better take this job, because in a few days there won’t be any more left. We are one of the last places hiring.” The woman thought for a few more seconds and acquiesced. She was told to come back at 5 o’clock the next day for training.

After she left, the second manager turned to the first and said, “Good job, the Jamaicans only get $8 an hour?”

According to the 2000 census, York is a town that is 98.36 percent white. In a town with so few people of color, racism is hard to notice. But that day, I witnessed it. Continue reading

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How about a Historically White Kollege

Time and time again I hear white people say…

“What if there was a college fund just for whites??”

“What if there was a TV station called Caucasion Entertainment Television?” [I call that the Country music channel actually]

This cartoon did the best job of expressing just how these statements sound to me.  It really puts it into context…extreme context, yes…but context none the less. Good job Cox and Forkum.


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CNN on Black In America

CNN is doing a whole lot of promotion and creating a lot activity around their “Black in America” series.  I’m glad to see it.  They’ve even teamed up with Essence Magazine for a special report, The Big Challenge
Those are some of my favorite black luminaries so I had to check it out.

“Abortion. Gay marriage. Immigration. For years we have debated these issues behind closed doors. Now GOP strategists are selling such subjects to us as the greatest threats to African-Americans, seizing on the conventional wisdom that we are politically liberal yet socially conservative. As 2008 approaches, we asked Black America’s keenest minds to weigh in on the real pressing issues we will need to deal with in the coming year.”  [Click here for what they had to say]

What do you have to say as an African American on the subjects of abortion, gay marriage, and immigration?

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Morehouse’s first white valedictorian

I had to share this article because the guy is from my hometown, Kansas City. He’s a cutie too. One of those Spelman girls needs to try “Something New”. LOL  Oh reverse racism…you’ll see it in the article.  Sad, but…I’m not surprised.  Come on Morehouse Men…let’s try to be a little more open minded!

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Joshua Packwood knows what it’s like to be a minority. This weekend he’ll be the first white valedictorian to graduate from the historically black, all male Morehouse College in the school’s 141-year history.

Morehouse, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one the nation’s most prestigious universities of its kind. For more than a century, the school has prided itself on personifying the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the school’s most notable alums, by producing “Morehouse Men” – intelligent and successful black leaders.

“Because I’m one of the only white students, it’s easy to call me ‘the white boy,’ I’m naturally going to stand out,” says Packwood.

But Packwood, 22, doesn’t stand out solely because he is white or has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. For those who don’t know him, what is surprising is that a Rhodes Scholar finalist turned down a full scholarship to Columbia University to attend the all-black men’s university.

This came naturally to Packwood, who attended a predominantly black high school.

“A large majority of my friends, like all my girlfriends have been minorities,” says Packwood. “So it was very, it was kind of strange that I always kind of gravitated to the black community.”

Packwood fit in immediately at Morehouse. His charm, movie-star good looks and chiseled physique made him popular among students. He was elected dorm president and to class council during freshmen year – and was a favorite at campus fashion shows.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Packwood. He grew up in a poor area of Kansas City, Missouri, where he says he found himself gravitating to the black community at a young age. Continue reading


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What Did She Really Mean?

You know, I didn’t really know what to make of Hillary Clinton’s latest ill-advised comments. It’s been a long race and it’s easy to slip up and say something innocent, but damaging if taken the wrong way, so I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. The below article is a very interesting take on the whole thing. Either she didn’t know the time lines of the democratic elections she was referencing or she took a serious shot at Obama (no pun intended)…

Clinton’s Grim Scenario
(The Washington Post) – If this campaign goes on much longer, what will be left of Hillary Clinton?

A woman uniformly described by her close friends as genuine, principled and sane has been reduced to citing the timing of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination as a reason to stay in the race — an argument that is un-genuine, unprincipled and insane. She vows to keep pushing, perhaps all the way to the convention in August. What manner of disintegration is yet to come?

For anyone who missed it, Clinton was pleading her cause before the editorial board of the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus Leader on Friday. Rejecting calls to drop out because her chances of winning have become so slight, she said the following: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand it.”

The point isn’t whether you take Clinton at her word that she didn’t actually mean to suggest that someone — guess who? — might be assassinated. The point is: Whoa, where did that come from?

Setting aside for the moment the ugliness of Clinton’s remark, just try to make it hold together. Clinton’s basic argument is that attempts to push her out of the race are hasty and premature, since the nomination sometimes isn’t decided until June. She cites two election years, 1968 and 1992, as evidence — but neither is relevant to 2008 because the campaign calendar has been changed.

In 1968, the Democratic race kicked off with the New Hampshire primary on March 12; when Robert Kennedy was killed, the campaign was not quite three months old. In 1992, the first contest was the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 10; by the beginning of June, candidates had been battling for about 3 1/2 months — and it was clear that Bill Clinton would be the nominee, though he hadn’t technically wrapped it up.

This year, the Iowa caucuses were held on Jan. 3, the earliest date ever. Other states scrambled to move their contests up in the calendar as well. When June arrives, the candidates will have been slogging through primaries and caucuses for five full months — a good deal longer than in those earlier campaign cycles.

So Clinton’s disturbing remark wasn’t wishful thinking — as far as I know (to quote Clinton herself, when asked earlier this year about false rumors that her opponent Barack Obama is a Muslim). Clearly, it wasn’t logical thinking. It can only have been magical thinking, albeit not the happy-magic kind.

Clinton has always claimed to be the cold-eyed realist in the race, and at one point maybe she was. Increasingly, though, her words and actions reflect the kind of thinking that animates myths and fairy tales: Maybe a sudden and powerful storm will scatter my enemy’s ships. Maybe a strapping woodsman will come along and save the day. Continue reading

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Friday Question: Do we still have real elections in America…

…or is it just a glorified popularity content conducted by parties, corporations, and the popular media?  Do our votes really count or do corporations control the president and congress in the end anyway?  Is america’s government determined by the people?  Are politicians just a type of celebrity?

Weigh in


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