Monday, October 19, 2009

Come Correct or Stay Home or go Elsewhere...

but not to Morehouse College. The Historically Black College has banned urban gear from students on campus. No not NorthFace jackets, I'm talking about grills (fronts), saggy/baggy pants that expose underwear, and a concise list of other fashion backward stylings that our children think is cool to wear. Frankly, I agree, not because I despise the way our children present themselves at times, but this is Morehouse. If they institute a uniform policy, students would have to conform or go elsewhere. This is nothing new or unheard of. The uproar over what is worn on "free" time is irrelevant as well, especially if that free time is spent in any campus building or on campus grounds. One might think that this "culture" would not have even invaded the hallowed halls of such a historically rich college, but they obviously have. What you decide ully wear when you graduate, or as you enter the corporate world IS your business, what you wear on the same ground that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walked on is Morehouse's business, and rightf

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked. "What's the point, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I?

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle Adversity? ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?


Don't tell GOD how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your GOD is!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In case you haven't seen it yet...

St Philips' Baptist Church Sunday School Youth Choir at McDonald's Gospelfest 2009.

Look where God has brought us!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh yeah, He said it, and to make sure you heard right, he repeated it...

On the same day the NAACP celebrated 100 years of existence, on the same day when the first African-American President spoke to African-Americans about the continued need of a refocused NAACP, on the same day that some naive souls went so far as to question the continued need for the NAACP...
On that same day....Rep Todd Tiahrt (R) from Kansas took to the House floor and let loose what can only be described as an unbelievable set of what ifs....

What if...abortions were free, and Obama's mother wanted one...

What if...abortions were free, and Clarence Thomas' mother wanted one...

The NAACP is necessary to counter the thought processes of people like Todd Tiahrt, not just for the consistent inequalities that HELP to keep some of us from acheivment, but as a source of leadership and guidance for our future generations.

Hey! Rep. Tiahrt! What if abortions were free and your....okay I don't usally go there, so I wont today either....but you know how I feel.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

There's nothing I like more than "HONEST" Racism

View more news videos at:

Yeah that honest racism is just so refreshing. I'm tired of people trying to hide how they really feel. Why lie? If you really can't stand to be around other races, at least be up front with it. I believe a special award should go to the Valley Swim Club in Philly. They were upfront about their racist views... too many black kids in the pool will change the complexion of the club. Some guests snatched their precious unexposed white children out of that horrific environment of black kids having fun. The club officially came to the aid of thier white patrons and threw the kids out, even though they had paid $1900.00 for the "exclusive" privelege of using the pool. Their money was refunded and they were told (paraphrasing) that they were no longer welcome. 1950? no, 1960? no 2009!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not so fast Mike!

Mayor Bloomberg is overly pleased with himself with regard to recently released statistics regarding the graduation/dropout rates for NYC 2008. Without even addressing the fact that the numbers may very well be skewed based on the "new" way the city identifies so called discharges. Even if you disregard the stats that stipulate that the trend toward better numbers began 4 years before Bloomberg ever entered Gracie Mansion. If you disregard all of that, there still exists a major disparity between black and white students with regard to graduation and dropout rates. Oh the "gap" has narrowed, by 16% over the past four years, better, but certainly nothing to celebrate. To date the achievement gap, based on students that enter and leave High School on time, is 21%. This is, simply put, unacceptable. What is being actually done to change these numbers? Why such a large gap? We all know the base answers, from environment to parental involvement to self-motivation and determination, but those issues still don't answer what is being done. Why are our children (and Hispanic children) so far behind? We have a part to play in this equation, of that there is no doubt, but the numbers point to a much larger issue at play here. This is not about passing blame, there still exists an underlying institutional separation and discrimination throughout our education system. The "system" leans fiercly against succes for minorities, and while some groups have overcome (and surpass) the majority through extreme cultural differences (notably Asians), there is still something missing. The numbers, however faulty do idicate progress, but progress for some, while leaving thousands of others behind is not progress at all.

see some stats here -

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cop(White) on Cop(Black) Shooting is no surprise

Tradgedy? Accident? Unintended consequence? None, not one of these words can or ever will comfort the family of Omar Edwards. It doesn't matter that the details (likely to be formulated in a lawyer's office) are not out yet. The end result is the same. In my view it would be the same level of shock, if it were any other race of officer, and even if the deceased wasn't law enforcement. The facts to date sppeak volumes to the value of an African-American's life on the streets of NY. Omar Edwards was shot by a pursuing officer without provocation. Mr. Edwards never fired a shot. The pursuing officer may have thought he was saving a citizen when he fired the first two shots. He likely thought, "hey, I'm doing my job". As he fired the next two shots he likely thought to himself, "this dirtbag doesn't deserve to live". Then the euphoria hit, as he thought about the speech he would give as he accepted the key to the city from the mayor. He thought about how much "trauma" time he could squeeze out of this "incident". Now his thoughts rest on saving his job, his career, his respect in his community. Whether he knows it or not, all of those things are gone, they were actually gone before he pulled the trigger, the shooting just brings it all to the surface so that everyone knows. It doesn't matter how many Black friends he has, his thought was not that Omar might be family to one of them. We can all guess how the story will go...There will be some BS story about how Omar didn't obey commands, or about how he turned and leveled his firearm at the pursuing officer (the way he would be trained to do by the way). In the end, there will be another, and another, and another....what needs to change is not the number of Blacks in prison or on drugs. What needs to change is not how many young black men will see prison walls before they have the opportunity to see university walls. What needs to change is how THEY (and sometimes WE) VIEW US. This is a view that transcends fishing trips with your Black friends, attending the wedding of a Black co-worker, or even dating a Black person. None of these things change INHERENT racial bias steeped in history and sub-consciously taught in schools, in homes, and even in our houses of worship. The meat of this issue is that it really is a learned behavior, the disdain for another race, it is as taught as naming animals and colors. The best part about the new generation with their baggy clothes and technology savvy, is that they see less color than we do. The worst thing is that their parents will break them of that color-blind trust.

Click here for full story.

I try not to edit posts once they are up, but exception becomes the rule when I get angry. Those who know me, truly know me, also know that it takes a lot to get me riled.

The following developments have transpired since my original post:

Don Lemon of CNN interviewed a former DC police officer with regard to the case. The interviewee immediately began defending the racial component of the story, (without being asked), and went so far as to say what Omar Edwards probably did wrong. He added insult to injury as he emphatically stated that the officer who shot Edwards did identify himself. This is significant because to date, the shooter has given no official statement. NYPD is in full damage control mode. Click HERE to see transcript of Don Lemon interview with CNN Security Analyst Mike Brooks. He also makes the allegation that the pursuing officer shot only after Omar Edwards turned toward him. This lie is significant because today the medical examiner released the fact that Officer Edwards was shot in the back, and that the bullet went through to his chest. All news reports, including a video conference by Commisioner Ray Kelly have reported that Officer Edwards was struck in the chest. Those are the developments so far, I allow you to make your own jdgement...but you already know what I think.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Never Promised...

you I wouldn't take a hard look at what we do wrong too...

Jon Stewart hits the nail on the head by pointing out the morality of DC Mayor Marion Barry. see the video here:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Gaywatch - Marion Barry
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reverse Discrimination...maybe, but probably not.

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case invloving what has been labeled reverse discrimination. In an effort to 'level' the playing field, Some companies and municipalities have become gun-shy about issuing promotions to desertving (white)individuals in order to avoid either the appearance of discrimination, or lawsuits by minorities. Oddly in the case presented, I believe the City of New Haven acted imprudently. They had every right to promote the number one position from the test. Performance based exams are the crux of equality. The problem of discrimnation in hiring practice has the best chance of disappearing when performanced based tests are used, but New Haven takes it a step further. They have to "see you" and hear you speak. It is this part of the "test" that presents the opportunity for discrimnation. Two people, one black, one white, can give the exact same answers, word for word, and be perceived differently. It is FACT that even the most liberal among us, including some blacks as well, harbor hidden racist attitudes towards minorities. Until that FACT changes, we are doomed to trying to legislate fairness. It is through legislation of fairness that a cyclical unfairness becomes self-perpetuating.

Before my brothers and sisters drop their jaws in disbelief, please understand that the goal is not to promote black over all as some form of retribution or restitution. Our goal should always be an equal opportunity based on fair practice and merit. We don't want to use laws to prove we are just as good or better than our white counterparts. The 'system' has made it that way. So until the underlying attitudes that shape our percptions are either changed or completely removed from the process, for some, the law will be the only chance for fairness. As for whites that find themselves on the downside of this equation, make it your business to point out and correct issues of discrimination that regularly take place in oother parts of the department. Nepitism continues to prevail throughout many companies and municipalities. It is a cycle that can only be broken from the inside.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A guilty verdict does NOT mean justice

Some of my more militant brothers are celebrating the conviction of former police officer Raphael Lora for manslaughter in the death of Fermin Arzu.

The account, according to the only survivor, went something like this. Mr. Lora heard a crash outside his home. Though off duty, rather than go to assist the driver, he armed himself and proceeded to ask for the license of Mr. Arzu. He goes so far as to admit that Mr. Arzu was in a drunken stupor. For whatever reason, Mr. Arzu did not comply, according to Mr. Lora, and proceeded to drive off. Mr. Lora claims his arm was in the window and that he sought to protect the rest of the neighborhood from this drunk driver, so he shot Mr. Arzu... in the back... as he the back....did I say in the back?

Well, the police have a tactic they often use to escape the scrutiny of their "peers". They choose a bench trial as is their legal right. In a bench trial the judge is the only jury member...logically, if a judge sees criminals all day long, and understands the difficulties police have to deal with, not to mention the fact that they are painfully aware of how plea deals and technicalities often skew justice towards the undeserving, then surely that judge will be more lenient/understanding towards a officer of the courts. NOT THIS TIME, Bronx Supreme Court Judge Margaret Clancy applied the law, and fairly adjudicated the case. Of course the police are not happy. Of course the family of Mr. Arzu is not exactly on cloud nine, they stated no verdict can bring back their father.

Now here is the cautionary portion of this sordid mess. A guilty verdict, does not mean justice. We, the public, cannot determine justice until sentencing. Many cases have been won at trial only to be given a sentence so trivial as to liken a murder to stealing a candy bar. While we should never celebrate the downfall of anyone, we should be reassured each time a proper punishment, suiting the crime, is meted out. This is what tells us the system that still treats us unfairly is not totally corrupt. Wait for the sentence in this case...with any luck, justice may very well be served after all.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

This one hurts...

I am not generally known as a sensitive person. In my blogs, I often express anger, frustration, bewilderment, and sadness. Often I am moved to pray for those involved, and occaisionally I am moved to shed a tear. This is such a story that has moved me.

N.Y. Daily News - A Brooklyn-raised Marine sergeant and his new bride were tortured and killed execution-style in their California home - allegedly by four other Marines under his command.

Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak, who was raised in Bensonhurst, and his wife, Quiana, were found bound and gagged in the ransacked house, each shot in the head.

Pietrzak’s mother, Henryka Pietrzak-Varga, said she had prepared herself “for the possibility that my son could die in Iraq.”

“But to die like this, in their own home?” she told The News. “They were good kids. They didn’t deserve to die like this.”

Investigators said the motive for murder was “financial gain.” Neither mother believes that.

A spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney’s office would not comment on reports that Pietrzak was killed by his own men.

Detectives also did not divulge what the accused Marines were looking for, but the suspects were tied to the crime by items found in their homes and on the military base.

A mechanic who worked on helicopters, Pietrzak, 24, met his wife three years ago at a party for Marines being deployed to Iraq.

Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, who worked for the county’s Black Infant Care Center, was reluctant to date a Marine. But Pietrzak wooed her, and they were married in August.

“They were in love,” her mother-in-law said. “It didn’t matter to them that they had different skin colors.”

The bride wore her favorite white Converse sneakers, and she was still in the process of writing thank-you cards when she was killed.

On Oct. 15, deputies were dispatched to the Pietrzak home in Winchester, an exurb of San Diego, when the Marine did not show up for work.

When they arrived, the deputies found the Pietrzaks in the living room and evidence that the robbers had tried to cover their tracks by torching the house.

Charged with murder and other crimes are Pvt. Emrys John, 18, of Maryland; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20, of North Carolina; Pvt. Kevin Darnell Cox, 20, of Tennessee, and Pvt. Kesuan Sykes, 21, of California.

Lawyers for the men could not be reached for comment.

Everyone has an opinion, and we all offer them, often without being asked. I don't need all the facts to see that this was much more than a robbery. While the details may be short right now, before this story is over, we will likely hear facts that will turn our stomachs. We have a right to be angry about the treatment Black people often recieve. we have a right to be outraged when one of our innocent men, women, or children is gunned down senslessly by overzealous police. We have a right to march, to speak out, to vote and to let our voices be heard whether collectively or individually. We do not have a right to exact revenge or to manifest our displeasure with violence.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to minimize the truth, without too much effort...

The biggest story on Staten Island, receiving suddenly less 'airtime' is the incident that occurred on the campus of Wagner College. The college has offered a reward for naming the individuals that racially vandalized posters and drew a noose around the neck of a fellow student, but what about the future? How is that going to preempt and prevent another incident? Now I'm not privy to the goings on at Wagner, but it is an institution of 'higher' learning, and as such a certain level of civility and mutual respect is expected. So how did this outrageous transgression fall so quickly from the headlines? Well, our Island is now abuzz about a cell tower that was installed months ago. Once again, crimes against people of color take a back seat (not even funny), to the fears of a few. The vandalism is the smaller part of this story, the meat of the story lies in racial division among the student populace. I realize that these few 'bad seeds' do not speak to the state of race relations across the entire student body, but that doesn't make their behavior any less egregious. While the tolerant portion of the student body sleeps, the intolerant portion is hard at work, gathering resources, injecting their twisted views into conversations and lesson answers, and growing. Not unlike the adult community surrounding the college (all neighborhoods). When we "just let it go" we empower those that hate us to gain support and strength for their cause. We all share a very small corner of this planet, without bridges and boats, we really would be 'in this together'. When will we begin to show the haters that their brand of protest is not wanted on OUR island?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Profile Posting Guidelines

Folks we are not putting our best foot forward. Our online profiles are more than just the who, what, when, where, and how. They are often either an invitation to get to know us better, an advertisement for networking opportunities, or the most popular, a means of selling (not literally) ourselves to the members of the opposite sex (not me, I'm taken).

That said I feel its justified in saying WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I get that it is your favorite picture, right after you got a new outfit and a fresh hairstyle...but you took the picture in your messy room....with the clothes on the floor!? I understand the bathroom is the only place for private picture taking in the mirror, but some soft scrub and a little tidying up can go a long way. I get that you are leaning on some strangers Mercedes or BMW, but what are you going to say when they ask you to 'pick them up'? I know that they are your best friend since grammar school, but a boogah-bear is a boogah-bear, and you are likely to scare someone off just lookin at your ugly friend. Now I am by no means advocating not being yourself. If by all means you are a slob with ugly friends, then so be it. But most online profiles offer the opportunity to meet new people, to open new avenues of commerce, or to find a new mate. Just be sure that what you are selling, people actually want to buy. For the young ladies out there...what you show, is what they want...if you are half-naked, that is what they will expect when they meet you...learn ladies, sexy is not naked, they are not the same..a little class will net you the right friends.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Do You Support Domestic Violence?

If you know someone in trouble, and you do nothing, you may as well answer yes. Folks lets set the record straight, don't count on being the exception to the rule. The rules are simple; hit once will hit again, love does not hurt, and blaming yourself or their life situation only adds fuel to the fire and enables the abuser. Parents, if your child is rough with their mate now, you are raising a beater. C'mon people, we're all smarter than this, they always say they'll never do it again, and they always do it again! you don't both need counseling, the abuser needs counseling. The abuser needs to learn how to address issues that transpire in the relationship without violence. If you read through the above statements you will soon notice that it is not gender specific...neither is domestic violence. In light of the Chris Browm/Rhianna incident, here is a situation that did not turn out so well;

(CNN) -- Slain attorney Chiquita Tate was such a believer in the legal system that she had a tattoo of Lady Justice on her back, college friend T. J. Crawford recalled.

Greg Harris, Tate's husband, is charged in her slaying and is being held on $500,000 bail.
2 of 2 "She just had an attachment to justice and doing what's right by people. She was always very serious about that," said Crawford, a teacher and community organizer in Chicago, Illinois.

But Tate, described by colleagues as a tenacious defense attorney who fought for her clients, could not save herself.

Family members and friends in Chicago; Atlanta, Georgia, and Tate's adopted home -- tiny Baker, Louisiana -- are reeling from the grisly details of Tate's slaying, and police say it was at the hands of her husband, Greg Harris. They had been married about 14½ months.

Harris, 37, is in custody, accused of stabbing Tate to death. He is charged with second-degree murder and the illegal use of a dangerous weapon. A judge last week set his bond at $500,000.

In a phone interview with CNN, Harris' attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said police have the wrong man.

"Greg Harris by all accounts ... is innocent. I don't know anybody that thinks he did it, except the police," Uglesby said. "There's nothing in his background. He has cooperated completely with the police; he's signed everything they've asked him to sign. He's let them search his house, his car."

Tate, 34, had started her own law firm in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was doing well, family and acquaintances said.

"She was up and coming," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely, a police spokesman in Baton Rouge.

Tate was representing a defendant in a high-profile murder trial when, police say, she became a homicide victim herself. Her body was found inside her law office on February 20. Tate was stabbed 38 times, according to a police warrant for Harris' arrest obtained by CNN.

While questioning Harris about Tate's death, police discovered an outstanding warrant for him in connection with a battery-domestic violence case. It stemmed from a December 22, 2007, incident at the couple's home.

Harris was accused of using "force and violence" against Tate, according to Baker City Court records. The court said Harris entered a not guilty plea on March 6, 2008, but did not appear for a May 8 pretrial conference. A warrant was issued for his arrest for contempt of court.

When Tate met Harris in late 2007, she fell for him, head over heels, said East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Court Judge Pam Taylor Johnson, Tate's mentor and former boss.

"She came in my office one day: 'I met the most wonderful guy! I need you to perform our marriage -- tomorrow,'" Johnson recalled Tate gleefully telling her.

"I told her she had to wait three days," as required by Louisiana law, Johnson added.

Tate did wait a bit. The couple's marriage license is dated January 10, 2008, just two and a half weeks after the domestic violence report from Baker police. They married on February 8, their marriage license shows.

Only the couple's immediate family members and two friends attended the ceremony at Green Chapel in Baton Rouge, said Tate's friend Shawn Collins, who was one of those on hand for the wedding.

Neighbors in suburban Baker said the couple seemed to settle into a good life in their home on Charry Drive.

Baker, population 13,000, was one of the cities that absorbed hundreds of families from the FEMA trailer homes after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The last families housed in Baker moved out last spring.

Neighbors recalled seeing Tate frequently driving down the street in her late-model Hummer and Harris steering a Mercedes.

Ethan Koobs, who lives across the street from the couple, said Tate was a "really nice lady, very upper-class, presented herself very well."

Koobs said he didn't see any discontent in the couple's lives.

"They seemed like a pleasant couple, just real nice," said neighbor Don Patton, who lives two houses down. "They kept their house and their lawn very nice."

He recalled the couple's concern for their neighbors after Hurricane Gustav, which raked south Louisiana on September 1, 2008, before petering out in southeast Texas. It knocked out power to 1.5 million homes in southern Louisiana, and thousands of homes were damaged by the wind.

Harris, a carpenter, found his skills useful.

"[Harris] was just generally concerned about everybody's well-being," Patton said. "We'd huddle in the street and he'd ask if anybody needed anything."

The couple helped their neighbors rebuild. But the warrant for Harris' arrest in the murder case revealed a fracture in the marriage. Tate was "planning on divorcing the defendant due to marital problems" and had leased her own apartment, the warrant stated.

As far as their friends were concerned, there was no trouble in the marriage and Tate appeared to be a doting wife.

She also enjoyed battling it out on behalf of her clients in the courtroom.

Tate, who was raised with six siblings, was tenacious even as a youngster, recalled childhood friend Ursula Bryant-Hill.

"She was always strong-willed and she analyzed everything. Everybody told her 'You'd be a good lawyer,'" said Bryant-Hill, of Hueytown, Alabama.

"If you knew Chiquita when she was growing up in Baton Rouge, she was always cautious about who she let in her intimate setting. 'Watch your surroundings,' that's how she was," Bryant-Hill added.

Upon graduation from college, Tate worked briefly as a legislative secretary, recording minutes at Atlanta City Council meetings.

But she longed to return home to Louisiana to attend law school at Southern University.

"When she told me she was in law school, I screamed," Bryant-Hill said.

Her friend, Juvenile Court Judge Johnson, said Tate lived by one creed: Justice for all, especially for those more vulnerable in society.

"I couldn't get her to accept the fact that 'things happen.' I told her some things you can't change [about the system], but it is our duty to see if we can equalize things," Johnson said.

Tate is remembered as someone who fought tirelessly for what she believed in. Now her loved ones hope the legal system will work for her.

The days have been long for Tate's family. Asked how she has been coping, Denita Tate, the victim's sister, said, "I'm not. It's harder every day."

"We want closure with our family and with our sister, and we want justice," Denita Tate said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Which facet of Tammy Bruce do you hear?

Is it racist? is it jealous (catty)? or is it just plain trashy?

In her stint as a replcement for Laura Ingram's conservative radio show, she stooped so low as to refer to the First Lady of the United Stetes of America as trash. Now to me, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but for some reason, and I prefer correction here, there has never in the history of the American Presidency been such viscious attacks against the First Lady. It is unheard of... No one attacked Laura, no one attacked Barbara, no one attacked Nancy, and even when a few didn't agree with Hillary, it was never like this. So lets put our thinking caps on and think about what is different about Michelle Obama, that makes it okay to visiously attack her on a public forum...I got it! Its because she is taller than the rest...right?

listen to her outrageous comments here

Monday, March 23, 2009

Training prepared her for the inevitable

CANDICE CLARK: 'I'm comfortable in my skills.....I have a wonderful support system'
Sunday, March 22, 2009
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Candice Clark prepared herself for the inevitable. With the economy shrinking and positions being eliminated at her company, she made sure she received the latest training skills in her field and kept in touch with her sphere of influence.

"The writing was on the wall. After two years with my last company, they decided to downsize the department. A lot of the work that we did was outsourced," said Ms. Clark, a computer software specialist.

She was laid off in December. "I'm still in contact with quite a few people there. And, they are still doing layoffs."

With 20 years worth of experience in the telecommunications industry, the Graniteville resident is confident she is marketable.

"I know a lot of people who work for other companies and I just put my resume back out there. I also know a lot of headhunters. I made sure I got a lot of training for the future, and I made sure my bills and mortgage were caught up," she said.

Ms. Clark felt comfortable enough in her skills to take some time off before job-hunting to work as a volunteer last month during the special City Council race on Staten Island. She filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last month.

"I know that God will make a way and I'm comfortable in my skills. My boyfriend is very supportive and I just know that I will be OK. I have a wonderful support system, if I ever had to lean on them -- but so far, I'm OK. I have a savings," she said.

Recently, a company called Ms. Clark for independent contract work.

"Hopefully, I won't be on unemployment long because, quite honestly, it doesn't pay the mortgage," she said.

Employers with a job offer for Ms. Clark are invited to e-mail Stephannia F. Cleaton at

courtesy Staten Island Advance/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'll do Anything for You...

now that I have embarrassed myself, embarrassed you, possibly ruined my career, and brought to light an illicit May/December affair I've been having (or had, kinda doesn't matter at this point)

I didn't want to do it, but there has been so much pressure. Besides everybody is getting in on it, why not me too? I mean Oprah, Joy Behar, Denise Brown, heck they even dredged up Robin Givens from why not me? What because I'm a man, does that automatically make me the enemy? Maybe I'm just a spectator, or I'm reformed.. you know; rehabilitated. Maybe I'm a facilitator, or worse an excuse maker and enabler. Nah none of those things...I have remained quiet to give this thing enough time to let nature take its course...well I didn't have to wait long (that's where the title comes from; you know the song from Denroy Morgan - I'll do anything for you, I'll give the world to you, if you want me to.

Rhianna and Chris Brown - seems like he's willing to do anything, rather suddenly too... fire his manager/lover? no problem!....spend some hideaway time at P. Diddy's house? sure! I'd bet he would bend over backwards right about now. And as he does whatever she wants, the immaturity of their years shines through. He gets his lawyers to work behind the scenes trying to get her to drop charges. Typical...and sad.

I didn't weigh in until now because I wanted to see how they would act, in public, apart or together. I have to say that the timetable did surprise me. I certainly didn't expect him to apologize and beg forgiveness so soon, and I certainly didn't believe she would so readily take him back. Now I'm not about to sit here and lecture anyone about the ills of hand to hand combat in a relationship, nor am I going to debate who hit who first or if it is appropriate to over-defend yourself against the onslaught of a woman scorned. What I will talk about as it relates to this drama is the role of a male friend to Chris Brown...people like P. Diddy, Jay Z, or any number of people that genuinely call him friend. You see I feel it is the man-friend's place to help him out. Not necessarily to scold or lecture...more to encourage and enlighten. The only corrective measure that is known to work for abuse is self-enlightenment and a word we love to say in church repentance.

See repentance means more than saying I'm sorry, more than making it up to the offended party, and more than moving on from the past. Repentance requires a shift in your way of thinking about a particular subject or behavior. Repentance does not come from the outside in, it must come from deep within the heart of the offender. It must be born, not of necessity or fear, but of genuine love and concern. If Chris Brown is sent to jail, he might not repent...If Jay Z pops a cap in his ass, he may not repent...If Rhianna sues him, he may not repent. Chris Brown is the one who has to convince Chris Brown that what he did was wrong, and that no matter what the issue or problem, violence solves nothing. As has already been proven, it just makes matters worse. This lesson is not confined to affairs of the heart, it is a lesson that can be applied across a broad spectrum of issues we face every day. As children of a very wise God, we all enjoy the gift of free will. As citizens of the United States we enjoy practically limitless freedom to do whatever er like. There is and always has been only one stipulation...

"we always have to be willing to accept the consequences of our decisions and actions."

Police Given an Open Season Pass to Kill Innocent Blacks

This is going to anger you. This is going to get you riled up. This may even prompt you to action. When did it become okay to murder our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and what makes them think they can get away with it? Here is a sample of some recent cases, most are well known, and links are provided if you wish to dig deeper. They are presented chronologically;

In June of 2006, in Atlanta, GA, 92 year-old Kathryn Johnston was shot dead in the apartment she occupied for 17 years. Police using an illegally obtained no-knock warrant burst through her door dressed in fatigues. As they were breaking in, she fired a single warning shot into the air, to no avail. After they entered, shot her, left her without care to bleed to death on the floor, they began to plant marijuana in her basement to 'justify' the shooting. see -

The three officers involved were later convicted of a slew of charges, the worst mansklaughter, and including falsifying the initial warrant request, lying to investigators, and civil rights violations. The maximum sentence any of the three will serve is 10 years...less time off for good behavior.

On New Years Day, 2009 Bay Area Rapid Transit police had stoppped a train due to a fight on the platform. As they tried to sort out the incident, they detained some of the people who appeared to be invloved, for questioning. Among those detained was
Oscar Grant a 22 year-old, father of a 4 year-old daughter, who worked as a butcher. While most of this was happening, many people on the train were using cell phones to document what they felt may have been ill treatment of the detainees. These same phones recorded the fatal shot from Officer Johannes Mershle's gun.

Johannes Mershle has been charged with murder, an extremely rare charge for any law enforcement officer for a line of duty killing. A charge prompted not by the outrage or even the overwhelming evidence. The charge largely stems from the fact that the officer to date still refuses to explain why he shot Oscar Grant.

Most recently, on February 20th, while enjoying the presence of his children and grand children, 73 year old, retired electric utility worker, Bernard Munroe, was killed in the doorway of his home. See -,0,7686526.story Though there are conflicting reports, the police presence that day was a routine patrol, and for apparently no good reason, moments after engaging some of the people on the street, Mr. Munroe was shot and denied medical attention until he died. The one consstency of the story is that it is well known that Mr. Munroe maintained a firearm on his porch at all times. Witnesses state they saw the police remove the firearm from its usual place and put it next to the body of Mr. Munroe. See -

As if the entire incident were not tragic enough, the police Chief, Russell Mills, highlights the racial insensitivity and profiling that mirrors the actions of his officers. It is statements like these that support the level of tension and mistrust between the opolice and the citizens of Homer. During an interview, he made the following chilling statement on the heals of the words, "Thats how it should be" as he responded to the complaints by the NAACP about the harrassing stops and searches; "If I see three or four young black men walking down the street, I have to stop them and check their names," said Mills, who is white. "I want them to be afraid every time they see the police that they might get arrested. We're not out there trying to abuse and harass people—we're trying to protect the law-abiding citizens locked behind their doors in fear."

I read an interesting part of this story that jumped out at me and prompted this rage against these injustices. Rather than paraphrase, I have taken an excerpt directly from the article. The horror is not that such a thing can exist, the horro is if you really think about it; there is NO WAY to correct it. That can only mean, more of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, dead for no good reason.

"All the anecdotal information demonstrates that African Americans are the most frequent victims of zealous, inappropriate police activity that often winds up in a shooting," said Reggie Shuford, a senior attorney with the racial justice program at the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's a shoot first, ask questions later approach to policing."

The evidence is not merely anecdotal. The most recent national analysis from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that blacks and Hispanics were nearly three times as likely as whites to be searched by police—and blacks were almost four times as likely as whites to be subjected to the use of force.

Psychologists are stepping up research into the implicit, unconscious racial biases that may be driving such statistics and affecting police behavior.

"If in fact police have implicit biases—if they automatically associate blacks with crime—then that would be relevant to an officer in a split-second, shoot-or-don't-shoot situation," said Lorie Fridell, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida who is creating a new anti-bias police training program with funding from the Justice Department. "Is the officer more inclined to believe he sees a gun in the hand of a black person, rather than a cell phone? I think that is possible."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

American Violet - based on a true story

If you haven't heard that title yet or if you haven't seen the trailers...get ready! This will literally turn your stomach. To think that this sort of thing happens in a so-called civilized society, within the same legal system we all depend on to keep us safe from the criminal element...its simply outrageous.

In short, American Violet is a movie based on the real life situation that faced a single mother in a small town in Texas. Her name, along with 26 others was given to police by an informant facing charges himself. All but one (allegedly, there was a single white defendant, but to date, his/her name has not been made public)of the defendants named were black. I would love to tell the story, but watch the trailer for a better depiction of what happened in the year 2000. Come back after you've viewed the trailer....I promise you there is more. See -

Truly a sad way to provide entertainment. I watched the trailer and became intrigued when the trailer mentioned that it was based on a true story. After some hunting I came across the story upon which it is based. Hear the story from the people who lived it and continue to live it today - (click on Chapter 2 the entire story is there) See -

That this could take place, and these people, people like District Attorney John Paschall is STILL the District Attorney in Hearne Texas. The end result, a lawsuit won by the young woman who held her ground and the other 14 defendants that did not plea might seem as though some measure of justice had been met. But those that plead guilty, and even some that were released continue to suffer the consequences of that fateful day.

This happened, this is recent, its not the first time (research shows a similar incident in a neighboring town involving 45 defendants from a period just prior to the 2000 arrests and nothing is preventing this from happening again. The laws may have been addressed but the laws were never the problem... Here is yet another situation where we need to educate ourselves and know enough of the law to stand on the side of right until you prevail. Never admit to anything you haven't done, always remember the police are allowed to lie in order to obtain a conviction, and you can never go home if you tell their version of the truth.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

School Vouchers; Good idea or Accountability Escape

The debate has obviously not ended... Roland Martin, of who I am a huge fan, is wrong on this one. In his recent commentary posted to his CNN blog, he chides the president for not giving some the opportunity to send their kids to a private school the way the president does. He references the new spending bill which effectively kills the voucher program for Washington schools.

Now before I go on, of course I believe that every child is entitled to the best education they can receive, and that if it is a public school education, that it should be just as valuable as private schools. That said, to say that the only way to get a good education is in private school is wrong. To say that private school education, simply by virtue of being privately funded is always superior to public school education is equally wrong. Lastly to say that it is impossible to receive a quality public school education is equally wrong. Mr. Martin does NOT say these things, he implies them, and through ignorance most believe them. The truth is none are true and all are true.

There are so many factors that make up the education of a child, that can go so far as to make the learning institution irrelevant. A child that wants to learn, can learn under adverse conditions, and sometimes due to those conditions be better prepared than a more 'coddled' child. My personal issue with private school is that it is, before anything else, a business. Businesses have a single driver-make money. The education business does not do well if students fail, so in my opinion, that becomes a hidden factor in the assessment of each student.

I believe that having a private school voucher program opens the door to many issues. Even if by the fairest lottery, the system of distribution is inherently unfair. There will be some student or family, truly deserving, that will be disappointed. By effectively stating to our public school system that no matter how well they perform, they will still never be better than private school is a travesty. It not only calls the system a failure, but it gives no encouragement nor incentive to better itself. The problems with public schools has been the same since I was in school - bureaucracy. The red tape, the layers upon layers of administration. The rules, the unions, and all the other things that simply get in the way of opening the mind of a child to the world.

Take the money intended for vouchers, I know its not much,and put into the public school system. And as you do that, hold our teachers and administrators to a higher standard, call them to the importance of the task at hand. Everyone, regardless of whatever school they attended remembers the one teacher that made learning interesting or fun. That teacher had no special gift, the talent he/she used is called caring. That where it starts. President Obama is right on track...get rid of vouchers, give merit pay to top performers. Hold the schools accountable for doing the job we hired them to do. You would not be happy with your roofer if he got the job 50% done....and gave up on the rest.

link to Roland Martin Commentary -

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Q: When is a bias attack, NOT a bias attack?

A: When the racial component is NOT the original reason for the attack.

But that doesn't make it ok! On Sunday morning in Roosevelt, a 52 year old black man was attacked , allegedly for loiteing in front of a grocery store. During the attack, the n-word was used and the victim was told to go back to Africa. What makes this attack more significant is that one of the assailants is an off duty NYPD officer. Now, I'm aware of how the law works with regard to classifying bias attacks, but for me the larger question is with regard to the presence of an officer of the law. Someone with a sworn duty to uphold the law, not only NOT stopping the assualt, but being an active participant as well.

Oddly the assailants stated they attacked him because they believed he was loitering and panhandling in front of the store...I guess he wont have to beg anymore pretty soon...maybe next time they'll just call a cop....oh wait...yeah.

see -

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

'Hanging' email joke leaves Community Education Council member hung out to dry.

Sal Ballarino stepped down today at the insistence of the Borough President amid controversy surrounding an insensitive email he distributed to friends and colleagues. The facts are clear, this man was clueless as to legal requirements for public systems as well as lacking in judgement. His callous atitude toward the affair underscores the racial insensitivity of many Staten Island residents. Racial issues persist on Staten Island, some highlighted by the election of Barack Obama. On election night, a group of teens set out to pay back black people for electing Obama, they assaulted two people and ran over a third. While all will see justice to some degree, it does nothing to address the issue. There is no push for dialogue. There is no push for sensitivity training in our schools. There is no push for taking the steps necessary to prevent issues like the titled one from occurring again and again.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


This video was posted by a facebook friend. It deserves the time it takes to view it. Please share the video and your resources with oyhers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What does Stimulus mean to us?

Washington DC has been abuzz with activity since the inauguration. The parties are over and the 'work' has begun. After a few high profile ball drops, taxes and confirmations, the President has focused the entire country on his stimulus package. But what does a stimulus package mean to the average African-American Staten Islander?

The truth is, not much of that money will ever hit Island streets. Our infrastructure, though not 100%, is not at the emergency needs level, since some of the school construction spending was cut, you can practically guarantee that Staten Island will be last on the list. Additionally, since the current bill does not address foreclosures, we won't see any relief there either.

Now, I know that there is a financial crisis across the country, I have heard the numbers just as you have, but I have yet to meet a single person that I know, that has lost their job, their home, or their life savings/pension. Maybe my circle is too small, or maybe my friends are too careful, but either way, I would like some feedback. If you know a Staten Island, African-American, that has been affected by the recent economic downturn in a severe way, let me know...don't use names, just their story.

Friday, February 6, 2009

If you don't like it here...LEAVE!

Staten Island Election Night beating victim arrested for allegedly stealing car
by Staten Island Advance Thursday February 05, 2009, 10:56 AM

Staten Island Advance/Michael Oates
Ali Kamara is led out of the 120th Precinct stationhouse this morning.

While Mr. Kamara's attack was the catalyst that launched the investigation into the Rosebank Krew, there are still other victims. Victims that would not have seen justice if not for Mr. Kamara.

We owe our thanks to him for that, and there will be no releasing of anyone...even if you vacate the assault charges against Kamara, there are still other victims.

Mr. kamara is deserving of the full weight of justice as well. If (when) he is found guilty, he should be given a sentence that is commensurate with the crime he committed and any previous criminal record he might have. He has seriously damaged any civil case he was considering ONLY because the jury will have less sympathy for him when considering any award. He does however still have a case, and with the guilty pleas, its a lock.

The racial insensitivity being displayed here is the same problem that started this entire ball rolling. It is the latest reason that Staten Island's NATIONAL name is forever linked with racial violence specifically associated with the election. Think people, think about what you say in front of your children, think about how your narrow views are no longer in line with the way the rest of the country is going. I live here, I love it here, and some people are turning what I love into a cesspool of hatred and intolerance. If you don't like other types of people from different walks of life- LEAVE! Staten Island will be better for your absence.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama is President, is racism over?

When the first African-American was allowed to vote, racism didn't end. When the first African-American became a doctor or a lwayer, racism didn't end. When the first Black baseball player joind the American league, racism didn't end. When the first black congressperson was elected, racism didn't end. When the first Black governor was elected, racism didn't end. When the first Black astronaut went into space, racism didn't end.

Do you see a recurring theme here?
...ONE MORE When the first African-American president was elected, racism didn't end. Racism is in the hearts of individuals, and hardened hearts are unlikely to be changed by exterior events. It is up to all of us, AS INDIVIDUALS to decide collectively that TODAY is the day that racism ends....until NEVER will.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The struggle continues...

One would think that the formation of these United States under the Constitution would signal didn't.

One might believe that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclomation would usher in a new era of equality for didn't.

Some may believe that Civil Rights Era victories would pave the way for all of us to treat each other with respect and dignity....they didn't.

No law, no edict from God, no threat of imprisonment nor loss of financial security has been sufficient to force Americans to be colorblind when it comes to dealing with our many differences.

On Tuesday, January 20th, We reach yet another milestone. We join our nation's inauguration of the first African-American President...and still we struggle.

Barack Obama's acension to the presidency has done little to ease racial tension on Staten Island this is particularly evident. Evident in bars and on blogs, on street corners and in our current houses of government, what is evident is that there are still those that see us as less than equals, not by a little but by much. I have tried to consider the sources, I have tried to turn the other cheek, I have tried to ignore it with the hope that it would eventually fade, I have even blamed my brothers and sisters. The fault is NOT with us, it is with them. They are what needs fixing, they are the ones who are dificient in character, they are shorting themselves, not us. That still leaves the issue intact. How to effect change in the character and the way of thinking of someone you need. Thats right, you read correctly, no matter how disparate we are we still need each other. I need my Anglo brothers just like I need my Asian brothers just like I need my Hispanic brothers...we all need each other. So where do we go from here? My hand is outstretched to begin the dialogue, who among us is bold enough to meet my hand.