Sunday, October 5, 2008


Troy Anthony Davis, convicted in 1991 for the fatal shooting of a Savannah, Georgia police officer is still embroiled in what has become a 19 year odyssey to save his life. Seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted their stories -- many alleging police coercion. Yet he has twice come within hours of a scheduled execution - the first time within 24 hours of death and the second time within two. As per eyewitness testimony, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. offered the following on in his article today entitled, “Grief, Rage Pave Path to Deadly Injustice”:

   Last year, Brandon Garrett, a professor of law at the University of Virginia studied 200 cases in which people were freed from prison after DNA evidence proved them innocent. He found that erroneous eyewitness identifications were the leading cause of wrongful convictions, occurring in 79 percent of the cases he studied.

In the meantime, famed author and attorney Vincent Bugliosi is calling for the prosecution of President George W. Bush for murder to very little media fanfare. He correctly asserts in an excerpt from his New York Times bestseller, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”, that if President Bush lied to get our country to invade Iraq (as most Americans believe), he should be tried for the murder of our soldiers. Bugliosi also highlights Bush’s own attitude as Texas governor that mass murderers deserve the death penalty versus life imprisonment. All of this begs the questions: Why is Troy Anthony Davis still fighting for his life while George W. Bush hasn’t even been indicted? Is American justice truly blind?

Thursday, September 4, 2008



The race-deprecation and misogyny saturating the hip-hop lyrics that American distributors unfortunately deem to make hip-hop most profitable, is obviously disturbing to most of us -- as recent outcries would attest. But calling for hip-hop artists to be fired will not work. Their music is considered to be protected artistic expression. Some of us may not like it, but neither the artists nor their distributors are likely to incur Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fines. They make “clean” versions available for radio and, although there are some videos that skirt the line of decency, they are still probably within the realm of FCC regulations. Thus, rather than dwelling on unfruitful strategies for purging hip-hop music, we need to concentrate on strategies that are likely to work.

The most effective stratagem for the eradication of race-deprecation and misogyny in hip-hop is education. The first concession we must make is that the expressions emanating from hip-hop -- just like country and western, rock and roll, comedy, and cinema -- are reflections of the society we live in. Granted, they don’t reflect the entire picture of society, but no artistic endeavor strives to or is capable of doing that.

Knowing why American society in general and black society in particular exhibits such race-deprecation and misogyny allows us to attack these ills within the black community and, residually, within the reflections of our community -- in music, comedy, and cinema. Thus, black folks in general -- and hip-hop artists, comedians, and the performing arts industry in particular -- must be educated on the underpinnings that drive this phenomenon. First I will address race-deprecation and then misogyny in the black community. In both instances I will -- as Isaiah Washington’s character in the movie “Love Jones” intimated -- “break it down so that it will forever be broke[n] down”.

Friday, August 29, 2008


When Tim Russert passed earlier this year, many of his colleagues characterized him as a journalist who was tough, but fair. I have never have I had a problem being tough, but journalistic fairness is still a work in progress for me. On the other hand, I’m more of an activist than journalist. My writings are more about persuading than reporting -- more about calls to action than mere dissemination of information. But for now, I’ll try this “fairness thing”.

The titles of my blog and internet radio program -- A More Perfect Union --reflect the goal of America, not its reality. From time to time, I have reminded “my fellow Americans” that the “original intent” of our Founding Fathers’ call for “a more perfect union” was the promotion of the American Dream for white male landowners only. I have reminded them that there was no intent to include white male non-landowners, white women, blacks and other ethnic groups, laborers, gays and trans-gendered, unions, nor poor people of any ethnicity. Thus, throughout the history of this great nation all other demographic groups outside of the preferred group -- white male landowners -- have had to protest and struggle for inclusion, mostly by regurgitating the eloquent words of our Founding Fathers. Usually, this has been done with full knowledge of their original intent -- our exclusion. Thus, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged America to “live out the full meaning of its creed. That we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. And more than three centuries later, his daughter -- Rev. Bernice King -- admonished in her trial sermon that American politicians “say what [they] mean and mean what [they] say”.

While switching from C-Span’s full coverage of the Democratic National Convention to CNN’s and MSNBC’s selective coverage, initially I was inwardly tough on the latter two. How dare these political pundits on CNN and MSNBC decide whose speech was and whose wasn’t important enough for the American people to hear, I thought. On C-Span I heard numerous everyday citizens -- as well as lesser known politicians -- speak of the difficulty of survival in today’s economy and the need for a new governmental focus that includes all Americans, and not the mere upper echelon. One could feel the ambiance in the convention hall. Delegates and others danced and swayed to an eclectic array of music, clearly exhibiting the convention theme of that “common thread” uniting Americans -- belief in the possibility of the American Dream. Michelle Obama poignantly addressed that common thread and all those before and after her echoed the same.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tim Wise: On White Privilege

I am REALLY starting to like this guy. Here he speaks not only of the origins of the elite fabricating non-existent barriers between the races, he implores us to rise above the facade. "The people united, will never be defeated"!! "The people united, will never be defeated"!!

From the DVD:The Pathology of Privilege Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality

For years, acclaimed author and speaker Tim Wise has been electrifying audiences on the college lecture circuit with his deeply personal take on whiteness and white privilege. In this spellbinding lecture, the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son offers a unique, inside-out view of race and racism in America. Expertly overcoming the defensiveness that often surrounds these issues, Wise provides a non-confrontational explanation of white privilege and the damage it does not only to people of color, but to white people as well. This is an invaluable classroom resource: an ideal introduction to the social construction of racial identities, and a critical new tool for exploring the often invoked - but seldom explained - concept of white privilege.

You may view this and related videos at this YouTube link: WHITE PRIVILEGE

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

West Virginia's Greatest Athletes

Mainly this post is a memorial for a fallen friend, Michael Wayne Tyson whose body was found at home March 19, 2008. Here his athletic exploits are chronicled in a 1999 article appearing in the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail - juxtaposed with those of Randy Moss and others from Kanawha County, WV. Within the next week or so, a special edition of the internet radio program I host, will allow his friends to remember him in our own way!

Randy Moss is known today across the country for his football feats, but he was a pretty good basketball player, too. He won the state Player of the Year award in hoops twice.

Moss, Walker spur sports debate
Tyson, Alexander also mentioned as all-time greats
July 7, 1999
Daily Mail sportswriter

RANDY Moss' status as the greatest prep athlete ever produced in these parts is seldom challenged. But when it is, Dunbar High School's Melvin Walker is usually the guy thrown into the ring for debate.

"Melvin was as good as there's ever been in the county,'' said Delmar Good, who coached Walker in football at Dunbar from 1963-65. "Melvin could do it all.'' "That guy could do everything,'' said former Winfield football coach Leon McCoy. "He was just a natural.''

So, just who is Kanawha County's best high school athlete of the century? Could it be anyone other than DuPont's Moss? And what about South Charleston's Robert Alexander and Charleston High's Mike Tyson? Those guys could chew gum and walk at the same time with the best of them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Of National Lies and Racial America: Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and the Audacity of Truth

This article was sent to me by a friend (and co-author of Red, White, Black and Blue) to buttress our mutual assertions that our White compatriots also understand that Rev. Jeremiah Wright's warning "principalities" of impending doom is both theological and patriotic!!

Of National Lies and Racial America:
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and the Audacity of Truth

For most white folks, indignation just doesn't wear well. Once affected or conjured up, it reminds one of a pudgy man, wearing a tie that may well have fit him when he was fifty pounds lighter, but which now cuts off somewhere above his navel and makes him look like an idiot.

Indignation doesn't work for most whites, because having remained sanguine about, silent during, indeed often supportive of so much injustice over the years in this country--the theft of native land and genocide of indigenous persons, and the enslavement of Africans being only two of the best examples--we are just a bit late to get into the game of moral rectitude. And once we enter it, our efforts at righteousness tend to fail the test of sincerity.

But here we are, in 2008, fuming at the words of Pastor Jeremiah Wright, of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago--occasionally Barack Obama's pastor, and the man whom Obama credits with having brought him to Christianity--for merely reminding us of those evils about which we have remained so quiet, so dismissive, so unconcerned. It is not the crime that bothers us, but the remembrance of it, the unwillingness to let it go--these last words being the first ones uttered by most whites it seems whenever anyone, least of all an "angry black man" like Jeremiah Wright, foists upon us the bill of particulars for several centuries of white supremacy.

But our collective indignation, no matter how loudly we announce it, cannot drown out the truth. And as much as white America may not be able to hear it (and as much as politics may require Obama to condemn it) let us be clear, Jeremiah Wright fundamentally told the truth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"DAY 1" President

Hillary Clinton has campaigned on the notion that she is better prepared and it hasn't resonated. Hillary is no more "better prepared" to be president from having slept under a president than Bill is "blacker than Barack" — as Andy "Sell-Out" Young claims — from having slept with more Black women. Sex is a powerful tool, but it isn't a political panacea!

Additionally, despite the other so-called Black leaders support of Hillary, their constituency has voted overwhelmingly for Barack. This is a clear indication that they don't represent their citizenry. Their allegiance is to the ones they owe "political favors" to INSTEAD of what their constituency — the ones they purport to represent — want them to do. THAT is why Maxine Waters' support of Clinton is so troubling. She is also a super delegate who SHOULD vote therefore as HER VOTERS VOTE!!!!

And relative to "preparedness", all Americans are acutely aware that all remaining candidates on all sides are excellent leaders and exceptionally prepared for the office they seek. What Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow leadership in America are unaware of in terms the TRUE desires of their constituency; what the American public is hungry for; what Barack Obama has made us believe in -- this is the true magic. He is the only candidate that makes us ALL feel like he will fight FOR us and AGAINST big business. Will tilt the balance of power from the few to the many. Will be a true representative of the people instead of a mere "lesser of two evils"!

Will he actually be like the rest? Who knows? Maybe we just trust grassroots organizers as being more in tune with the needs of the people. Maybe they really are. But the magic here is that Barack Obama has convinced America that he is for the interests of the common man. And not even our so-called leaders, political favors in hand, seem able to change that perception!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Micromanaging The Iraqi War

This is an article that I wrote between March & May of last year -- 2007 ("created" in March and last editing of the file done in May). I believe it still has vast relevance today!

Many Republicans of late have bandied about the term “micromanagement” in reference Congress’ involvement in the Iraqi war. They obviously feel that only the “macro managing” of said war ought to matter since government is best done -- once officials are elected -- from the top level down and not from the bottom, grassroots level up. Therefore, they feel that Democrats would do well to ignore polls citing disenchantment of the public with the Iraqi war and just let the President “do his job”. This is a strong argument. It is a well-known business axiom that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. That the “small picture” is ofttimes necessarily engulfed by the “big picture”. Macro therefore takes precedence over micro. So let’s take a closer look at the “big picture”.

The big picture is that our Founding Fathers chose a trifurcated government with built-in checks and balances to ensure that neither branch ever became powerful enough to overshadow either or both of the other two. Thus, for Congress to acquiesce to our continued presence in Iraq is tantamount to dereliction of constitutional duty. This Congress was elected with the mandate to remove our troops. Anything short of that would make them career politicians and not public servants.

I, for one, still believe in government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Anything else in clearly un-American. I, therefore, believe that Americans are seeking public servants, proxies -- and not career politicians -- to represent them, and our elected officials need to be mindful of that. We expect them to be savvy enough to figure out the “how” of “what” it is that we want -- not give eloquent soliloquies as to why we “really want” something else.

The big picture is that our troops were sent to Iraq to protect American interests. Granted, they are economic and not security interests -- but American interests just the same. Don’t be disillusioned, when President Bush says that this war is about “protecting our way of life”, he’s referring to our ECONOMIC way of life. And it is this very economic interest that many feel provides justification for “staying the course”. Even presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton -- though against the war -- has said that America needs some presence in Iraq to protect our national interests. When asked what interests we have there, she candidly replied that the oil in the region is vital to our economic security.