The Essence of Politics

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Florida's Crist dismisses criticism from Republicans--By Lesley Clark | The Miami Herald

Gov. Charlie Crist writes off Republican criticism--BY LESLEY CLARK

Governor Charlie Crist, shrugging off criticism for supporting President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, gathered in the capital with other governors to discuss the economic crisis.

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Charlie Crist dismissed Republican discontent with his embrace of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan Saturday, saying he was acting on "what's good for the people.''

Gathering in the capital for the winter meeting of the National Governors' Association, governors who back the plan -- most of them Democrats -- pointed to Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's support for the plan as evidence that it has bipartisan support in some bigger states hit by the economic downturn.

''Just to note for the record . . . Florida and California have Republican governors who strongly support the stimulus package,'' Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, a Democrat who chairs the National Governors' Association, told reporters.

Crist has proposed spending a big part of the stimulus money in the state's next budget and brushed off suggestions that his support for the stimulus package has sparked the ire of fellow Republicans.

''I don't sense that so much,'' he said. ``People disagree, that's healthy, that's democracy. But I have to do in my heart what's good for the people and I think this bill is great for the people. People have different points of view, I respect that.''

Every Republican member of Congress, but for three senators, voted against the stimulus package. Some GOP members last week, however, advocated for the state's fair share of stimulus dollars. Miami Republican Reps. Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen were among nine Florida Republicans who joined Democratic colleagues in a letter to the Obama administration asking for a waiver to let Florida get its full share of education dollars. The money, they said in the letter, ``is vital to protecting our schools...''

Crist, who even helped Obama pitch the package at an event in Fort Myers earlier this month, said he has agreed to talk with fellow Republicans to rally support.

''I'm happy to help,'' Crist said.

``We're all in this together.''

Crist in an interview and Rendell in a press conference expressed optimism that the money will help states avoid deeper budget cuts and stem the rising rate of unemployment.

''The money is a real shot in the arm,'' Crist said of the state's expected $12.2 billion share of the stimulus bill. ``It could not come at a better time for states that need the help.''

He said he has talked with fellow GOP governors who have qualms about the bill's cost. Several governors, including Mississippi's Haley Barbour, have suggested they'll reject some of the funding in the bill, saying it comes with too many strings.

''They need to do what's best for their states, just as I'm doing what I think is right for our state,'' Crist said.

Obama warned the nation's mayors Friday that he would ''call out'' anyone who wastes the stimulus dollars on political projects and Rendell pledged Saturday that the governors would be ''good stewards'' of how the money is spent.

''We understand our obligation and all of us, whether we supported the bill wholeheartedly or whether we had questions about the bill, all of us intend to be good stewards of the money that we spend with this bill,'' Rendell said ``All of us intend to do it in an effective and efficient way.''

Rendell dismissed criticism that the bill is a ''bailout'' for the states, arguing that the states' budget deficits dwarf the amount of aid in the bill.

''There's not a state in this union that is going to be able to use the stimulus money to wipe away all the problems, all the challenges we face,'' he said, noting though Pennsylvania stands to gain $5 billion, the state recently cut its budget by $1 billion.

Rendell and other governors suggested that most governors will accept some of the funding.

''I really believe, in the end, most governors across the political spectrum are going to look at individual components of the [bill] and decide what makes sense for their individual states and do everything they can to put their residents back to work,'' said Vermont's Republican Gov. James Douglas, who like Crist and Schwarzenegger has supported the stimulus package.

Crist was to meet later Saturday with Obama's energy and environmental team.

The governors will also meet with Obama and vice president Joe Biden at the White House Monday.

Obama promises to strengthen US-Japan relations--By FOSTER KLUG, Associated Press

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso came to the White House looking for reassurance from President Barack Obama about the importance of the U.S.-Japanese alliance in Asia.

He got that, but not much more, during a 24-hour Washington visit that included an 80-minute private talk Tuesday with Obama.

Aso, who is struggling to stay in power, came on the same day that Obama was making his first major address to a joint session of Congress to press a series of politically sensitive economic initiatives. The two leaders talked about North Korean nuclear and missile ambitions, Afghanistan, climate change and the global economic crisis.

For Japan, the most crucial part of the visit may have come in a brief exchange in front of reporters before the leaders started their meeting.

Obama described U.S.-Japan ties as the cornerstone of U.S. security policy in East Asia and said Aso's invitation as the first foreign leader to visit his White House was "a testimony to the strong partnership between the United States and Japan."

Aso, of late, has faced single-digit approval ratings at home, appeals from his own party to resign and the worst Japanese recession in 50 years. His government reached a low point last week when his finance minister stepped down after appearing to be drunk during a world finance ministers' meeting.

But the new U.S. administration is interested less in giving Aso a boost than in sending a message, to Tokyo and to the world, that Japan, a sometimes-neglected ally, remains a vital partner in addressing global economic and security crises.

Japan trails only China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury bonds, holdings that help finance the ever-growing U.S. budget deficit. Japan also is the linchpin of U.S. security efforts in Asia, hosting about 50,000 U.S. military personnel and working with the United States and three other countries to press an increasingly hostile North Korea to give up its nuclear bombs.

Washington's invitation to Aso was a broad signal "to the Japanese political establishment that the Obama administration is going to work with whoever is there," said Michael Auslin, a Japan specialist with the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

"If we continue to wait for the next Koizumi, the next strong leader, we're going to be waiting forever," Auslin said.

Since popular former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi left office in 2006, he has been followed by a series of ineffectual leaders.

Aso, in his meeting with Obama, proposed the creation of a new framework for a U.S.-Japan dialogue to address global economic issues, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. Details must still be worked out by lower-level officials.

The Foreign Ministry also said that Aso intends to name Motohide Yoshikawa, the Japanese ambassador to Spain, as a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that Yoshikawa would visit his U.S. counterpart, Richard Holbrooke, in March to talk about ways to coordinate policy on the region.

The White House said the leaders pledged to work closely through the six-nation negotiations to eliminate North Korea's nuclear program, to deal with a possible North Korean missile launch and to address the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North Koreans in the 1970s and '80s.

Japan has been looking for U.S. reassurance about its place as the top U.S. ally in Asia. Some in Tokyo worry about increasing U.S. cooperation with, and dependence on, China on a host of diplomatic, economic and military matters.

GOP's Jindal calls Obama's plan irresponsible--By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says those who have lived through Hurricane Katrina doubt that government can rescue Americans from the economic storms.

The Republican National Committee released Jindal's prepared remarks that he will deliver in response to President Barack Obama's speech.

Jindal, who may challenge Obama in 2012, said Republicans are ready to work with the president on turning around the economy, but his recovery plan will increase the size of government, raise taxes and saddle future generations with debt.

He said in recent years Republicans went along with earmarks and big government and lost the trust of Americans. Jindal said the party is determined to regain that trust.

Obama leaning toward 19 months for Iraq withdrawal--By Andrew Gray and David Morgan

President Barack Obama looks likely to order U.S. combat troops to withdraw from Iraq over a period of about 19 months -- a compromise between his campaign pledge and some commanders' wishes, officials said on Tuesday.

A formal announcement is expected by the end of the week, marking a milestone in an unpopular conflict that overshadowed the presidency of Republican George W. Bush and helped Democrats retake Congress and the White House.

Obama's decision fits with his intention to shift the United States' military focus to Afghanistan from Iraq and to cut the U.S. budget deficit, partly by reducing war costs.

Obama was likely to come down somewhere between the 16-month timetable he advocated as a presidential candidate and fierce war critic, and a 23-month plan favored by some military commanders, an administration official said.

A second official said a 19-month compromise plan now seemed the most likely option.

"That's the way the wind's blowing," the official said.

Pentagon officials said some U.S. troops, including about 40,000 devoted to training and mentoring the Iraqi security forces, were expected to remain through the end of 2011, when all U.S. forces are due to have left the country.

U.S. forces could stay even longer if Washington and Baghdad choose to renegotiate the pact that obliges all U.S. forces to be gone by the end of 2011, officials have said.

There are now about 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Several officials cautioned that discussions were continuing.

"The president has not made any final decision on Iraq policy," an administration official said.

The officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the subject.

If Obama says U.S. combat forces should be out of Iraq within 19 months of his inauguration on January 20, 2009, that would give them a deadline of late August 2010.

Several officials said Obama could make a formal announcement on troop withdrawals this week.

According to the White House, he is due to travel on Friday to North Carolina, a state that is home to several large military bases. A defense official said Obama was expected to visit Camp Lejeune, a major base for U.S. Marines.

General Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander in Iraq, and General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command that oversees military operations in the Middle East, had favored a 23-month withdrawal timeline, according to one official.

Both commanders have cautioned that Iraq remains fragile and dramatic security gains achieved over the past year and a half could be reversed if U.S. forces withdraw too quickly.

As a presidential candidate, Obama pledged to withdraw responsibly from Iraq. But he has made clear his military priority is Afghanistan and he issued orders last week for 17,000 extra U.S. troops to deploy there.

The United States currently has some 38,000 troops in Afghanistan, where insurgent violence is at its highest level since U.S-led forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

Obama is expected to use the decline in spending that should result from winding down the Iraq war as a way to slash the ballooning federal budget deficit in half by 2013, administration officials said.

Word of the possible decision surfaced as Obama met at the White House with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Officials said Iraq was also discussed on Tuesday in the White House National Security Council.

(Additional reporting by Ross Colvin; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Obama mulls chopping costs on helicopter fleet

President Barack Obama said Monday he had ordered a review into huge cost overruns on a new fleet of presidential helicopters, after his old foe John McCain complained at the skyrocketing cost.

In a good natured throwback to their bitter election duel, McCain mentioned the massively over-budget project when he was called on for a contribution by Obama after a White House "Fiscal Responsibility" summit.

"Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One," McCain said, raising concerns about how many military projects tend to come in well over budget.

"I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money."

Obama said he had asked his Defense Secretary Robert Gates to look into the problem of the new generation of aircraft to take over from the current, rapidly aging fleet of choppers dubbed "Marine One" when the president is aboard.

"I've already talked to Gates about a thorough review of the helicopter situation," Obama said, and then joked "the helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me.

"Of course, I've never had a helicopter before, so you know -- maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it.

"But I think it is an example of the procurement process gone amok, and we're going to have to fix it."

The US Navy charged Lockheed Martin to build a new fleet of 28 helicopters to serve as Marine One in 2005. The project was originally meant to cost around six billion dollars but has skyrocketed up to 11.2 billion dollars.

Each aircraft, would now cost about 400 million dollars, more than the cost of the two adapted 747 aircraft now serving as Air Force One.

The new helicopter was to be based on Lockheed's EH-101 aircraft, currently produced by a British-Italian partner.

The new generation of iconic green-and-white helicopters are said to offer the president greater protection and a higher range than current Sikorsky models -- some of which are up to 40 years old.

The decision in 2005 to award the contract culminated an intense competition between Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp's all-American entry, the S-92.

One month in, Barack Obama's approval slips, disapproval doubles--By Andrew Malcolm

One month down, 47 to go.

And Barack Obama's poll numbers have slid almost 10% already. According to the latest Gallup Poll, the new president's approval rating of 68% in January has slipped now to 63%, about average for recent new presidents one month in.

What isn't average, however, is Obama's new disapproval rating -- 24%, or 50% higher than the 16% average for a month-old new presidency.

And it's twice the 12% disapproval rate that Obama had last month.

While liberal and independent support has held fairly steady, the rookie chief executive's approval among Republicans has plunged from 41% to 30%, presumably tied at least somewhat to growing awareness of the spending program. The drop has been especially steep among conservatives, from 36% at inauguration to 22% now.

Additionally, Obama's support has weakened among middle-class Americans, those touted during the campaign as benefiting from his promised tax cuts. Among that working crowd, Obama's approval fell from 69% to 58%.

Tonight's speech before a joint session of Congress and a nationwide television audience will give the new 47-year-old president an opportunity to make his case, not just for his already-signed but still controversial economic stimulus package but for his own evolving style of executive leadership.

And to possibly put the crumpled Cabinet nominations of recent weeks behind him.

Historically, 63-62% approval after a month is about average; Ronald Reagan had the worst at 55%, and Jimmy Carter had the best at 71%. Look how they turned out.

In fact, after 30 days, the Gallup Poll shows Obama has about the same approval rating as did George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, the man whose eight years in office the Illinois senator so often denounced as destructive during the recent campaign.

What's surprising, as the astute Don Surber points out this morning, is that the gap between approval and disapproval is worse now for Obama than it was for the newly departed Texan after his first month. Bush's differential gap was 41 points between approval and disapproval. Obama's is 39 points, still above Bill Clinton, who had the worst differential of 30 points. Carter again had the best after one month of 62. Richard Nixon had 54.

The new Gallup survey involved 1,614 adult Americans between Feb. 19-21 with a margin of error of +/-3%.

Obama to say US has reached a 'day of reckoning'--By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent

Standing before a nation on an economic precipice, President Barack Obama told worried Americans Tuesday night the U.S. has reached a dire "day of reckoning" that will require boldness and long-term vision to create lasting revival and prosperity. "The time to take charge of our future is here," Obama said, delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress just five weeks into his presidency. Along with his warnings, he had reassuring words.

"Tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."

Blending the details of governing in with his rhetoric, he said each of the political parties must sacrifice on favored programs while uniting behind agreed goals including better schools, expanded health care coverage and "greener" fuel use.

Seeking to balance candor and can-do, Obama acknowledged the battered economy, shaken confidence and the "difficult and uncertain times" that are all too real in homes and businesses across the country.

But, he said: "The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation."

Obama's Leaders: 5 Black Women to Watch--By Zayda Rivera

February 17, 2009

From scheduler to international ambassador, the Black women of President Barack Obama's Cabinet bring with them an array of talent and experience. These five women have drawn on talents gained from the past and enter the White House ready to get the job done. Standing behind Obama, they don't live in his shadow but rather help to lay the blueprint to the path he is taking.

Here's a look at these exceptional Black women and their efforts in diversity:

Dr. Susan E. Rice, ambassador to the United Nations
--Special expertise in problems caused by weak and failed states, global poverty and transnational security threats
--Top diplomat for African issues during the 1998 terrorist bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya
--Under former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Rice was youngest assistant secretary of state ever
--Senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama-Biden campaign
--In 2007, was in favor of authorizing U.S. military action against Sudan if the genocide in Darfur continued
--Director for international organizations and peacekeeping followed by special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs under then President Bill Clinton

Cassandra Quinn Butts, deputy White House counsel with a focus on domestic policy and ethics
--Expertise in civil-rights issues, domestic policy, healthcare and education
--Met Obama while they were both students standing in line filling out financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School
--Litigation and policy work for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
--Was an election observer in the 2000 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections

Lisa Perez Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
--The first Black person to hold this post
--Served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
--Under her former commissioner title, led a staff of almost 3,000 professionals who served the purpose of protecting, sustaining and enhancing water, air and land in New Jersey as well as preserving the state's natural resources
--With a special focus on traditionally underrepresented communities such as Camden, N.J., led compliance sweeps, as the effects of pollution on public health had been neglected in these areas
--Launched environmental initiative following multicultural outreach efforts to inform and involve community residents and businesses in New Jersey
--Was the third woman and first Black woman to serve as chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine, the second most powerful position in state government

Desirée Glapion Rogers, White House social secretary
--First Black person to serve in this function
--Rogers, along with three other women from traditionally underrepresented groups, quit the board of the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in protest of the museum's slow pace on diversity issues
--Rogers became the first Black woman to be president of both Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in Chicago in 2004
--In July 2008, was hired by Allstate Financial to run a new social-networking initiative

Alyssa Mastromonaco, director of scheduling and advance
--The youngest of the five to watch, at 32 years old, is rarely seen in person by the public but her efforts in making sure Obama is where he has to be is recognized worldwide
--At 4 years old, threw an elaborate party for one of her teachers, which included calling a meeting with her fellow classmates and assigning duties such as cupcakes, streamers and balloons--a preview of her future aspirations
--Later persuaded Sen. John Kerry's Boston office to hire her as a staff assistant for $19,000 a year
--Obama hired her to be Senate scheduler after Kerry's presidential campaign
--Current credits include scheduling all of Obama's high-profile appearances, from the Denver conventional speech to the Election Night celebration in Chicago's Grant Park
--Was instrumental in Obama's 2006 book tour, debate camps and the confidential negotiations that led to Sen. Joe Biden's selection as his running mate
--Obama said she was a "talented and dynamic individual" with "diverse skills" who is "ready to work hard in service to the American people"

My Perspective: Speak UP Now or BE Silent Forever

Speak UP Now or BE Silent Forever


Look around you and ask yourself what you can do to help make this country and this world better. As you sit here and wonder what you can do, I want to tell you that the best thing you can do is not be silent.

Speak up people and stop being silent to injustices and discriminations that take place right in front of you. Speak up people and stop being silent to violent acts that harm and kill so many people.

If our country is to be great and if we are to leave this world in a better place than we found it than it starts with taking a stand against injustices. It starts with each of us realizing that silence only leads to greater destruction.

Our time to speak up has never been greater. Our time to stop being silent is now. We can’t afford to sit back any longer and allow so many discriminatory acts and injustices go by without light being shined on it.

Around you people, what are you going to do to leave a positive mark on this world? Ask yourself what are you going to do to make the lives of the underprivileged, less fortunate and handicapped better?

People for far too long we have cared so much about ourselves that we have ignored our duty of service to others. People we can’t go silent into the night any longer.

This is the time for us as not just Americans but as human beings to make this world better. People this is the moment where we speak up for one another. This is the moment where are silence is minuscule compared to our actions.

People our actions have to speak louder than our words and our words must speak louder than our silence. We can’t afford to be silent any longer. We can’t afford to go back to the dark ages where so many of our ancestors stood quiet as an occasional few risked not only bodily harm, harm to their family and their jobs but their lives.

We have to speak up people and make our voice as well as our actions speak louder than our silence. We cannot tolerate silence any longer in our society people. There is so much to be done silence is the equivalent to inactive. Both of which our world does not need.

Our nation and our world need us to speak up people. Future generations are depending us the current generation to fight louder, to fight more and to fight smarter in order to rewrite the wrongs of the past. People so many are looking for help, are looking for assistance and are crying out for voice so now is the time for many of us to be their voice.

Wake up people and realize that we can no longer ignore poverty, global warming, education and health care. We can no longer go silent about absentee fathers, child abuse, elderly abuse, HIV/AIDS, and other issues plaguing our communities. We must speak up now or be silent forever.

Time is of the essence people so that is why we cannot be silent. We cannot afford to allow the silence of the past to be the silence of the present. We have to speak up people and take hold of our destiny as not just a people and a nation but as human beings to perfect an imperfect world.

It is up to each and every one of us to not only speak out against injustices but to work to prevent them from ever happening again. This is our moment people to stop being silent and to start being active by speaking out against injustices and discriminatory acts.

People we have to do better and our time to be better starts now. We have to speak up, we have to act and we have to stop being silent when faced with things that stand to hurt many human beings.

There are so many issues, so many causes and so many people who need a voice and that is why silence in a time of urgency is not warranted. We can’t afford to be silent with so many things needing a voice to shed light on it. We can be not only that voice but the voices that become the beckon of hope for so many causes and people who need it.

Speak up now and be heard people. Be heard by making your actions speak louder than your words. Be heard by making an impact on this world in a positive way and by helping others get one step closer to achieving their dreams and goals.

Don’t allow silence to reign supreme no more. Don’t allow silence to destroy what can be a great world for all of us. All we need to do is find it in our hearts, in our minds and in our souls to speak up and act on the things that need to be done.

Speak up now or be silent forever. These are the options that we are faced with. We need fighters, we need leaders and must of all we need people who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good by speaking up and taking a stand on behalf of not only themselves but for others as well.

Speak up people and allow your voice to be the voice that sheds light on a cause that is greater than just you. Speak up and allow your voice and your actions to be the leadership that many issues and causes need in order to bring others to the movement. Stop being silent and start being vocal.

Now is the time for all of us to finally be vocal and active in making a positive difference in not only our homes but our communities, our hometowns, our states, our nation and most of all in this world.


My Perspective: Still, Digging Deeper

Last week, the New York Post did a cartoon that displayed two police officers shooting a chimpanzee or monkey with a caption in the cartoon that said, “I guess they will have to find someone else to write the next stimulus package.” This cartoon prompted many particularly the Rev. Al Sharpton to say the New York Post was racist and that the cartoon was not tasteful. Also people such as Rev. Sharpton said that the New York Post needs to explain themselves because it looks as if they are saying President Barack Obama needs to be shoot which is not acceptable. In fact people such as Roland Martin said that the New York Post is bringing up old racial feelings with images such as this cartoon and the fact that they are alluding to President Obama needing to be shot needs to make many outraged.

However if people would take the time to read the caption and dig deeper they would understand that this is not a race matter. In fact the New York Post was not advocating that President Obama should be shot because the reality is that the President Obama didn’t write the stimulus package, Congress wrote it. In fact Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party of the House wrote the original stimulus package that some members of the Senate changed once they got a whole of it in the Senate. Nonetheless while President Obama and his administration might have put their ideas into the stimulus package but the reality is that they did not write the stimulus package. Congress writes all pieces of legislation that they vote on, not the President of the United States of America.

So let’s dig a little more deeper and address the issue that Rev. Sharpton and Mr. Martin feel that it is racist because African Americans for centuries have been compared to monkeys and other primates. However Rev. Sharpton and Mr. Martin, you seem to not find a problem with the whole idea that a black Greek Fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha quote unquote mascot is an ape and young men dress as an ape at various events for this organization. In fact many of the organizations flyers reference the ape as a promotion for the organization. Therefore it is funny how we as African Americans accuse whites of being racist when they equate primates to us but don’t say anything to organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha who use an Ape to promote their organizations activities.

Also let me take us back to when the NAACP tried to bury the N-word at its annual conference in 2007. However the N-word can’t be buried until we as African Americans stop using it no matter what form it is. How can we as African Americans expect others to stop using the N-word when we don’t? Therefore how can we as African Americans expect for others to stop comparing us to primates when we have organizations created by us that use primates such as Apes as their mascots. I’m not saying that we as African Americans are primates but science has tried to associate mankind to primates for centuries. In fact while many always associate primates with African Americans, the truth is that we as human beings have been associated with primates for more than two centuries almost. While we as African Americans might be associated with primates more, it is unfair to say that the piece in the New York Post is suppose to be President Barack Obama.

I understand why so many might say it is a racist cartoon but the reality is that it is not racist when in Connecticut, police officers shot and killed a chimpanzee who took a women’s face off. While the cartoon was not tasteful and it was not appropriate, it was not racist when the caption says it is best that I guess they will have to find someone else to write the next stimulus package. Now if the New York Post caption read that I guess they will have to find someone else to sign the next stimulus package than it would have been clear that it was a racist ad and the Post should have been under investigation for promoting killing President Obama. Therefore we as a people need to understand why words matter. Remember when candidate Barack Obama was campaigning and many of you fought tooth and nail about words mattering. Well words do matter and the words the New York Post used in the cartoon caption show it. The word “write” was used instead of “sign” so it is a clear identification of what the paper meant by what they said.

As we continue to look deeper into the whole notion that the New York Post was being racist with the cartoon, we need to understand who was leading the charge to begin with. Rev. Al Sharpton and his network were leading the call that called Rupert Murdock and the New York Post race baiting. In fact Rev. Sharpton said that the New York Post had some explaining to do in regards to the cartoon because it looks as if they are saying President Barack Obama needs to be shoot. However even when the New York Post and the cartoon drawer explained the cartoon to the public, Rev. Sharpton and his network still marched on the post. In fact Rev. Sharpton said that I guess Mr. Murdock and the New York Post thought we were chimpanzees so now we are out here calling for the FEC to look into Mr. Murdock’s businesses in New York.

I call Rev. Al Sharpton an opportunist and a shark. Rev. Sharpton only looks to take on things that will get him media attention and for those who follow him don’t seem to ask Rev. Sharpton how many of his activities are funded. Let’s be real people, whenever there is a race issue or major injustice that gets media attention, Rev. Sharpton is there leading the initiative and while in front of the public, he is speaking a good game but behind closed doors Rev. Sharpton is getting pay checks and other lump sums of money under the table. Rev. Sharpton and many of our the quote unquote African American civil rights leaderships are not only informants for the FBI but they have also benefitted from the marchers and protests that they participate in by having money given to them to stop fighting against companies, people and other organizations who do quote unquote unjust things. Therefore if you think about the history of Rev. Alp Sharpton and his activities, how can we take his words today seriously when he is only into things for the media attention and monetary perks he can get out of it?

Thus if we get beyond the Rev. Sharpton and others race baiting theory and really think about the photo more seriously, we can say that the photo is a clear example of injustice in America. The New York Post cartoon is not appropriate and it is not tasteful but it really gets to a huge problem in America which is the police and law enforcement abuse of power when it comes to shooting people, particularly low income individuals. While the law enforcement abuse of power when it comes to shooting takes place in underprivileged neighborhoods where majority of African Americans reside, the cartoon brings up images of what took place in New York City when an African American man was shoot by police officers and it brings up the current image of the Oakland police killing a man who they had a tough time restraining. Nonetheless, I don’t call these issues simply race issues because this abuse of power takes place to all Americans who are underprivileged.

I refer to these incidents as injustices in America that we as people all need to fight against. Therefore the New York Post cartoon only reinforces these injustices and that is what Rev. Al Sharpton and Roland Martin should have been talking about. The truth of the matter is that the New York Post cartoon is not a race matter but it is more an injustice that takes place in this country practically every day. The cartoon simply brings up the issue of how unjust American is when it comes to law enforcement in urban underprivileged America. There are more cases of police brutality and cases of police shooting innocent people taking place in urban underprivileged America than any other place in this country of ours. That’s why when I saw the cartoon it reminded me of just how unjust our nation’s justice system is when police officers walk free when the evidence shows that they have abused their power and they think they are above the law because they have a shield and a badge.

Regardless if you agree with me on this matter or not, I encourage all of us to dig deeper when looking at issues regarding race because not everything is about race. In fact I am willing to bait that most things that we look at as race issues are really more of injustices than race. Nonetheless, continue to look dig deeper people because our nation needs all of us to look at issues as more than black and white but to look at it deeper than the average person so that we are able to look at it from all angles. Let’s continue to dig deeper people.


My Perspective: CORE VALUES

For years I have heard people discuss America’s core values. In fact whenever I cut on the national news, I hear newscasters and commentators talk about America’s core values. However as much as I hear about America’s core values, it seems that everyone has a different perspective on what our core values as a nation is. America’s core values vary just as much as we vary on religion, politics, and even sports teams. Therefore after doing some research, I decided to put a list of what America’s core essential values are as a nation. While some of you may agree with the values I list and others may disagree but many of you will at least find a couple of values that you believe are America’s core values.

This list is not in any particular order. They are just values that speak to what being an American is about and what achieving the American Dream must encompass. Many of us have our own values but the values that are talked about below are the core values which have made the United States of America, the United States of America. These core values are the principles by which we as Americans should adhere to if we are going to make this country better than how we found it. These core values are the backbone to which the American Dream is possible for so many. I’m not saying in any way that the following core values are the only values our country have but these are the essential values along with others that make America what it is.

12 Core Values
1. Common Sense—
This is a value that many of us take for granted but all Americans who are pursing the American Dream need to have common sense. Having common sense allows for us as a people to understand the basic principles of this nation and it allows us to understand the rest of the values our nation’s enjoys. Common Sense means being able to make basic decisions in an intelligent way and that is why this is a core value of America because as Americans we have always used common sense to understand the issues we are facing as a nation. In fact common sense have always allowed us as a nation to act more sensibly than other nations when facing tough issues that our nation and the world has been faced with.

2. Responsibility—Being responsible is a huge core value because this is what America is about. We don’t past our blame onto others but we accept the consequences of our actions rather good or bad. While we as nation have not lived up to our action of responsibility, it is a core value that is engraved in our history and it is a core value that helps each of us come a step closer to achieving the American Dream. It is when we as Americans accept responsibility for our own individual actions and the actions of our nation that we all get one step closer to being the perfect people or nation that we all want to become one day. While the pursuit of perfection is a pursuit that we as people and as a nation will never actually achieve but we can strive toward it by taking responsibility for our actions.

3. Discipline—This core value is perhaps overlooked in our nation but it is a value we need in this nation. Discipline is training that corrects, molds, or perfects something. That’s why it is when we as Americans practice discipline and become disciplined in our actions that we become closer to be perfect people. We must be disciplined in how we act and disciplined in how we conduct ourselves toward one another meaning we need to be respectful and more caring for one another. Discipline is being under control and it is when we as Americans are under control that we must wise and common sense decisions. It is when we are discipline as a nation that we take responsibility for our actions and we are able to see what lies before us as well what lies ahead of us. Discipline is a core value that is centered in the American Dream and keeps the American Dream alive and well.

4. Life—It is this core value that we all need to understand. Life is the reason why we are on this Earth to begin with and this is the reason why we all must cherish this core value more than any other. Without life all the other core values would not matter and this is a why we should cherish not only our own lives but the lives of others. Life is the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body, which is why we need life in order to achieve the American Dream and it is a value that our founder’s cherished more than all the others. It is engraved in our constitution when we say “Life, Liberty & Justice for all.” That is why life is a core value of our nation and it is value that we all must live up to in order make this nation better by cherishing and making sure future lives see America in a better light.

5. Liberty—An going beyond normal limits is what liberty is defined as. However this core value is engraved in our nation’s history just like life. Therefore it is with liberty that we understand that we have a duty as Americans to go beyond our normal limits to make this country better for all that lives in it. It is Lady Liberty that helps all of us understand that we have a duty of service to help not only ourselves achieve the American Dream but to help others to achieve it as well. Liberty is a core value that is overlooked by some of us but it is just as precious as any other because it is a duty of service and a duty for us to go beyond our normal limits to be better Americans.

6. Pursuit of Happiness—The pursuit of happiness is a core value that we ignore because who really cares if people are happy. However it isn’t just about happiness because happiness is a state of being and mind for us as people. What makes one person happy might make another person sad. However it is the ability to have the choice to pursue happiness that make the pursuit of happiness a core value of our nation. Since the beginning of time, many countries have denied their residents the pursuit of happiness and have forced their residents to be happy. In America though, our Founding Fathers wanted us to as a people to always have the choice to pursue our happiness rather than the government and our nation’s leaders telling us what we the citizens should be happy about. That’s why the pursuit of happiness is a core value that many of us don’t really understand but it is essential to the American Dream. Without being able to pursue happiness on our own than how can we say that we are achieving the American Dream we want and not the American Dream of others. That’s why the pursuit of happiness is essential to what being an American is, however it is up to us to determine if we achieve that happiness which goes with responsibility for our own actions.

7. Honesty & Truthfulness—Many of us don’t understand why honesty and truthfulness are core values but when you think about, it is when we as Americans are honest and truthful with not only each other but ourselves that the American Dream can be achieved. Ask anyone who has achieved in this nation and they will tell you that they were honest and truthful with themselves when trying to obtain the quote unquote American Dream that we all pursue. Also they will you that they were honest and truthful with others in their dealings to get ahead. It is when we are honest and truthful that we reap the awards that God has in store for us. Honesty and Truthfulness allows us as a people to gain trust from others because by being honest with people, people begin to believe in you and what you are doing. Therefore it is easy to help someone who is honest and truthful than to help someone who is deceitful and dishonest. This core value is one that we all must have if we want to truly achieve the American Dream which our Lord and Savior wants us to have. That is the American Dream we should trying to obtain in the end any way.

8. Patience—There are so many reasons why patience is a core value we must to achieve the American Dream but I think this definition gives the best description why. Webster’s Dictionary says that patience is bearing pain or trails without complaint. Therefore it is patience that helps us as a people understand that things are not going to happen overnight. It is patience that has helped us as a nation come closer to that perfect union our Founding Fathers want us to be. Patience is having self control which goes hand and hand with another core value which is discipline. It is patience which allows one to be disciplined but it is discipline which allows one to stay in touch with common sense and to take responsibility for their own actions. However patience is the core value in which our nation was built on because many of our nation’s leaders had to have patience in order to get many of the great things that helped keep our nation together. Patience is essential to obtaining the American Dream because no good thing can happen overnight and although we may suffer through trails and pains, we must face it without complaining. That is what patience is about and that is what the American Dream is about.

9. Ethics—Having ethics is having moral principles or practices. Ethics is a discipline in dealing with good and evil and with moral duty. This is why ethics is an essential core value to obtaining the American Dream because our nation although imperfect has seen great ethics in the time of immoral duties. In fact when one has ethics they to do the right thing although the right thing might be scrutinized by others. Ethics is having the moral duty to do good things for others without expecting anything in return. That is what the American Dream is about because doing good things for others and understanding that is a moral duty for all of us, we help others achieve the American Dream that we all want to obtain. Ethics might not be considered by many as core value but in the wake of all that our nation is facing, it is clear to see that a lost in ethics is a part of the reason for majority of our nation’s woes today. Ethics is a core value and principle that our nation has neglected at times which is why we find ourselves in messes but when we practice it, we have all benefited from its practice.

10. Patriotism—A patriot is considered a person who loves his or her country. However the American Dream is about patriotism because why would any of us want to achieve something that we do not love. Patriotism is not just about saluting the flag, putting our hand across our chest when the Star Spangled Banner is sung and it is not about wearing a flag pin on our clothes. Patriotism is loving your country and being honest about your country. Be patriotic is about being able to stand up for your country when others try to destroy it and it is about being honest with others as well as yourself about your country when it is not doing right. Patriotism is a core value that helps us as a nation understand what being an American is. In fact patriotism helps all of us come a step closer to achieving the American Dream. How can any of us achieve the American Dream if we don’t love our country? In fact why would any of us want to achieve the American Dream if we didn’t have love for America? That’s why the American Dream can’t be achieved without having patriotism and that is why patriotism is a core value.

11. Justice For All—This is engraved in our founding principles and it is a part of our constitution. In fact justice is defined as fairness and righteousness. Therefore it is important to understand that the American Dream could not be possible if justice for all was not possible. Justice for all means that everyone is entitled to a right to achieving justice when wrongs might have been enacted against them. While justice for all does not guarantee equality it is a step in the right direction for one to obtain equality. Without the core value of justice for all than the American Dream could be lost when faced when bias and other unfair dealings. Justice for all allows people the opportunity to at least go after wrong doers when fairness is not practiced. Justice for all makes the core value of honesty and truthfulness important because those who practice honesty and truthfulness are living up to the value of justice for all. Therefore it makes those who practice honesty and truthfulness are practicing justice for all by simply being fair and truthful for others as well as themselves. So justice for all is a core value that our Constitution was built on and it is why the pursuit of justice for all is essential to us as Americans obtaining the American Dream.

12. Freedom—The last core value but especially not least, freedom is having independence and it is the ability to be free. Freedom makes all the other core values possible and it makes the American Dream obtainable for all of us. Freedom allows us to think for ourselves which gives us the right to have common sense. Freedom is what makes us as Americans accept responsibility for our own actions regardless if they are good or bad. Without freedom than how could we know for ourselves to take responsibility for anything we do? In fact without freedom we would probably only know right from wrong because that’s what our government and others tells us is right or wrong. Freedom gives us the ability to have discipline and patience to deal with the things in life that we face each and every day. Life would be meaningless if we didn’t have the freedom to do things on our own to degree. Having the freedom to make some of the decisions we make in our lives is what the American Dream is about. It is because of freedom that we understand what liberty is because with freedom we go beyond the norm to make life better for not only ourselves but others as well. In fact freedom makes the pursuit of happiness possible because we as a people are free to decide what happiness to us is and no one else is deciding that for us unlike in other countries. Freedom makes honesty and truthfulness possible because people have a choice to be honest and truthful. It is nothing in this country that says a person has to be honest and truthful when dealing with others. That’s why freedom gives us the ethics that we should practice in this nation. Having the understanding of what is good and evil is a freedom that we as individuals decide for ourselves and it is a freedom that gives us the right to choose what is our own moral duty in terms of what is good for us as people. Freedom is the core value which allows us to practice patriotism in our own way and not just the way that our government and others want us to display it and portray it. Freedom is the core value that makes all the other values possible believe it or not. So without freedom, there would not be any of the other core values that we need in our pursuit of the American Dream.

Now these are the 12 core values that I feel are important to our nation and us as a people as we go forward in trying to achieve the American Dream. However I asked well over two dozen people for their opinions on what they felt three (3) of America’s core values were and the ones that responded back to my question I am thankful for. While some people said some values I have listed, others listed values that I didn’t think about. Nonetheless I appreciate all those who assisted me in compromising this list of core values that I hope all of us Americans live by and uphold as we aim to perfect this imperfect union.

Brandon King

Jamaal Oldham
Economic Stability
National Security
Constant Diplomacy with allies

Thaddeus Flowers

Demetrius Braddock
Justice For All

Khalilah Omar
Independence (Freedom)
Money (Power)

Donald Mitchell
Hard work

Fareeda Brown (My Sister)
Pursuit of Happiness

Keith Mensah
Faith in God
Strong Community

David Forteson—The Air Force Core Values
Integrity First
Service before self
Excellence in all we do

Virginia Brown (My Mother)

Muhammad H. Shabazz (My Father)

Solon Phillips
Equal Opportunity
Individual Liberties
Freedom of Expression

Eva Boyd
Freedom of Speech

Lakeisha Lee

Tonya Richardson

My Prespective: Putting Clinton & Bush Presidencies in Perspective

America, when are we going to wake up and realize that President Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party can’t get all of the credit for the success of the 1990s. In fact President Clinton can get the credit for balancing a budget but we can’t get confused and think that he did that alone. In fact President Clinton should get some credit for attaining our nation’s first budget surplus since 1969 but this was done in September of 1998 while Congress was controlled by Republicans not Democrats. In fact, it was in 1994 that Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in four decades. So let’s not be confused in our history people when we start giving all the credit to Democrats for the economic prosperity we saw in the 1990s.

Regardless if you are a Republican or Democrat, you have to admit that it was both Democrats and Republicans working together in the 1990s that benefitted the Clinton Presidency in terms of achieving a balanced budget for the first time in America’s history and achieving a surplus for the nation for the first time since 1969. Nonetheless it is unfair for us to blame President George W. Bush for all of the problems that our economy has faced in the in the 21st century. In fact it is unfair to blame Republicans because if you look at President Bush’s first two years in office, the Republicans didn’t even control the Senate. The 108th Congress was Democratically led with 50 Democrats to 49 Republicans with 1 independent who was a former Republican but didn’t like Bush so he broke ranks with the GOP. Than if you look at the House of Representatives, the Republicans had a slim margin there with 221 Republicans to 212 Democrats and 2 others.

In Bush’s first two years in office, he didn’t see the large majority of Republican control that President Clinton faced during his last 6 years in office. That is why it is unfair to blame the GOP for the last 8 years despite their being a Republican President because the Democratic Party contributed to some of these economic woes that we see today. In fact President Bush didn’t get a larger majority of Republicans until the mid-term elections of 2002 where both Houses of Congress became Republican controlled again with Republicans taking over the Senate 51 to 48 and expanding their lead in the House by 24 seats. Nonetheless, it still wasn’t enough for President Bush to get everything he wanted when the Democrats could have filibustered a lot of legislation that the Republicans proposed in the Senate.

Therefore it is unfair to blame the Republican Party for the last 8 years when the Democrats didn’t really lose complete control of Congress until 2004 when the Republicans expanded their lead in the House by 31 seats and in the senate by 11 seats. However it still wasn’t enough to give President Bush everything he wanted because even after Bush was re-elected in 2004, he fought with his own party over social security reform and immigration. Nonetheless, Democrats controlled Congress after the 2006 mid-term elections and that is when the economy really began to falter as the 111th Congress started up in the winter of 2007. So it is unfair to blame the last 8 years of America’s problems on just Republicans and President Bush.

In fact President Bush didn’t do all that bad people because under President Bush, he implemented tax cuts that all Americans benefited from. Now I understand that some Americans got more but we were not paying more taxes under President Bush. Also many Americans received more prescription coverage through Medicare under the Bush administration. All of this was done in less than 20 days of Bush taking office. However the Bush administration and the Republicans can’t take all the credit for it because Democrats chipped in to help. Just like Clinton can’t take all the credit for taking millions of Americans off of welfare programs, Medicare, and Medicaid because Republicans helped him do it. President Clinton can’t take all of the credit for allowing Social Security recipients to earn unlimited income without losing benefits because Republicans controlled the House and Senate in March of 2000 when this legislation passed.

Come on people, we can’t be naïve and think that President Clinton’s success was due to Democrats because that is just not entirely true. In President Clinton’s first two years in office, the only four accomplishments he can say Democrats helped him almost entirely was the creation of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the National Service Program, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention act, and the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act. Now the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act reduced the federal budget deficit by $496 billion through 5 years and the National Service Program provided $1.5 billion over three years to enable students to repay federal educational aid through community service. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which required a five-day waiting period when purchasing a handgun and also established a national criminal background check system to be used by firearm dealers. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act extended the death penalty to cover over fifty federal crimes and it provided funds to communities for the purpose of hiring 100,000 new policemen and establishing various drug-treatment and educational programs. Those are the only significant accomplishments that the Democratic Party and President Clinton can share in together without saying that Republicans played a major role in it. I’m not saying that perhaps Republicans didn’t support those pieces of legislation but the Democrats could have got those things through the House without Republican help and they only needed three Republicans to side with them in the Senate.

However after 1994, that is when Republicans took over both houses of Congress and that is why with the help of Republicans as well as Democrats, President Clinton was able to get legislation through that created a prosperous economy that so many Americans loved. That budget surplus and balanced budget credit can not only go to President Clinton and the Democrats when it wasn’t until the Republican Party took over both Houses of Congress that those feats became possible. Just as President Clinton and the Democratic Party can’t take all the credit for the 1990s, President Bush and the Republican Party can’t get all the blame for the 2000s. Democrats contributed to the problems we have faced the last 8 years. It is unfair to say that President Clinton’s administration was so great and it is unfair to say that President Bush’s administration was so bad.

The reality is that both Presidencies had successes and failures. Clinton had all the scandals and lawsuits against him as well as all the controversial pardons. While Bush created several pieces of key legislation that has changed our nation for ever such as No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act, the Finance Reform Bill, and the establishment of the Homeland Security Department. I’m not saying that all of these pieces of legislation and acts under the Bush administration were perfect but to a degree they have changed us as Americans forever. Both President Bush and President Clinton did some good things and both of them deserve their credit for what they accomplished in their Presidencies. However it is unfair to say that one political party should get the credit or blame for the successes and failures of the last 16 years.

It wasn’t only the Bush administration that draw up the TARP legislation that wasted $350 billion of our taxpayer dollars on the banks and until this day we don’t know what happened to that money. Democrats revised the Bush legislation and supposedly added more taxpayer protection to the TARP bill in order to protect our tax dollars from being wasted. Remember candidate Barack Obama spoke about the 6 things that him and the Democrats put into the TARP legislation in order to protect our tax dollars because the Bush administration only wanted a blank check. Nonetheless virtually all Democrats and a couple of Republicans voted yes for the TARP bill in the House. In the Senate on the other hand more Republicans voted yes for the Bank Bailout bill but not as many that voted No and all Democrats in the Senate virtually voted yes. Now fast forward to the present it is clear that our tax payers were not protected and the Banks wasted our money on God knows what because they didn’t start loaning money again as it was promised to us the American people. In fact, TARP didn’t help our economy either as President Bush and Democrats told us.

In fact, ever since the TARP legislation was passed in September our economy has gotten worse. Therefore it is amazing how we as Americans want to blame one political party for our nation’s failures but give to credit to another political party when our nation succeeds. That is unfair and is not the truth. Democrats and Republicans have shared in our nation’s successes and failures over the last 16 years. That is the truth no matter if you are a Republican or Democrat. It doesn’t matter if you are a conservative or liberal, you share in the blame as well as the credit for our nation’s successes and the blame for our nation’s failures over the last 16 years.

President Clinton and Bush both did the best they could while they were President. While their best to some of us probably wasn’t good enough but if we really study both of their presidencies more in depth no matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, I guarantee you will find faults in both but an honest person will find success in both as well. In fact an honest person will also point out that Democrats and Republicans contributed to the successes and failures of both President Clinton and President Bush. This is the truth regardless if you like it or not.

My Perspective: What’s a Stimulus?

Webster’s Dictionary defines a stimulus as something that moves to activity. United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defines a stimulus as something that is timely, targeted and temporary. A friend of mine defines a stimulus as anything that will help get the economy back started again. While a great friend of mine believes a stimulus is synonymous with a catalyst which is something that sparks or starts a movement or action that builds to more actions as a result of the first. Then another great friend of mine defines a stimulus as giving a temporary boost like jumping a car.

Therefore with all these different variations in what a stimulus is, it is understandable when many of the people in Washington, D.C. don’t understand what a stimulus is. A stimulus is something that moves to activity regardless if it is good or bad. However a stimulus when it comes to the economy should be good. Simply having the economy moving again is not good enough if the movement or action doesn’t build more actions that are positive as of a result of the first movement as on my good friend said. Therefore no matter what you think a stimulus is, I hope many of us understand that a stimulus when it comes to our economy should yield positive results not just moving our economy.

Our economy can start moving again but the results could put us in even worst conditions than we are in currently a few months or years from now if we are not careful. That’s why we as Americans must understand that a stimulus isn’t just about making our economy move again. But it is more about making our economy move in a positive way that it stabilizes itself to be self-sufficient again for not just years but decades from now. Our economy can start moving again in a year or two but for how long will it remain. That’s why a stimulus when it comes to the economy isn’t just about making it move again temporary but it is more about making it move again more permanently and long lasting. A stimulus when it comes to the economy is about making the economy move on its own so that the government doesn’t have to bail it out again for at least decades or quadruple centuries at least.

No matter what you believe a stimulus is, it needs to be understood that a stimulus when it comes to an economy must do more than just get the economy moving again. An economy can start moving again but if it doesn’t make the economy self-sufficient again than making the economy move means nothing. Yes, America’s economy needs a spark so that our economy moves again but our economy needs to not just move but it needs to become more self sufficient. No matter what’s your definition of a stimulus, it is ultimately your opinion so it doesn’t mean it is right or wrong.

A stimulus is whatever you feel it is. However when applying a stimulus to an economy it must be understand that it must do more than just get the economy running again. In fact an economy doesn’t just need to move again but it needs to move in the right direction and it needs become self sufficient again. It doesn’t matter how you define a stimulus but we all need to agree that when referring to a stimulus when it comes to our economy it needs to do more than just spark our economy but it needs to make it self sufficient again and it needs to spark our economy in the right direction for years to come.

What’s a stimulus? Well that depends on you but regardless of what you think a stimulus is, it must be understand that there’s no concrete answer to what a stimulus is except for the fact a stimulus sparks action or moves to activity. Therefore a stimulus is whatever you want it to be but I look at a stimulus as what Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it which is timely, targeted, and temporary so that our economy can be self sufficient again for decades ahead and not just for the next couple of years.

My Perspective: BLACK HISTORY in Focus

Let me begin this article by saying that Black History or African American History no matter which one you want to call it is American History. While so many don’t want to recognize it as such, we as African Americans must recognize it and must know it not just a month or the 27 days for the month of February but 365 days sometimes 366 days (leap year) every year. With that said, we as African Americans cannot forget our history. We cannot forget where we have come from and how far we can continue to go. Our history is rich and legendary so let’s be real with ourselves my fellow African Americans. We have to embrace our history and teach not only ourselves and each other about our historical feats but we must teach the rest of America and the world about our incredible history.

Let’s really put Black History in perspective as we go forward. Black History is more than just a celebration for a month but it is a celebration year round. When Carter G. Woodson first started out advocating for America to celebrate and recognize Black History, he didn’t mean for it to be confined to a month. In fact Woodson begin by celebrating Black History for a week and it eventually got to be being recognized for a month in America. However Woodson never really intended for us as African Americans to only celebrate Black History for month but Woodson wanted us to remember our history since others didn’t recognize it. Carter G. Woodson wanted us as African Americans to remember our history and to add to our own history because others would not.

Black History was never meant to be confined to a month and if Woodson was alive today, he would tell us that having our history celebrated in a month is great. However Black History is year round and should be celebrated, recognized and taught year round. In fact Woodson would probably tell all of us, Black, Brown and White that Black History is America’s history. That is why Woodson advocated for us to celebrate Black History so that we could finally begin to recognize that Black History is America’s history and to acknowledge that many African Americans have done some outstanding feats that belong in America’s history.

It is when we put Black History in focus that we begin to realize that Black History has been underrated because even when we recognize it for the month of February, it is only two or three hours celebrations. Wake up people and realize that Black History is every day. When the New Year comes in, it is a new year to celebrate Black History. When the sun rises each day, it is a new day for us to teach Black History to everyone we come across and it is a new day for us to learn more about Black History. Each day is a time to recognize and celebrate Black History because that is the history of not just African Americans but that is the history of America.

Black History is more than just a celebration for a month and it needs to be understood that without Black History there is no American history. However we as African Americans need to begin to live up to Black History Month’s founder Carter G. Woodson vision. Woodson envisioned Black History Month to be the beginning of us as African Americans to embrace, learn and teach our own history to not only each other but to the rest of America and the world. Woodson envisioned us as African Americans celebrating Black History year round and he envisioned America embracing Black History into America’s history more than he did during the era when Woodson lived. Now as we look forward, Black History has come a long way in being recognized within the history books of American History. However it has not come far enough when the first African Americans mentioned in the history books are simply slaves. American history books need to realize to recognize African American history as well as other ethnic groups history within the history of America.

That’s what Carter G. Woodson was advocating for and that is what us as African Americans need to continue to advocate for. While Black History Month should not be taken for granted and it is still significant because Black History hasn’t been embraced in the way it should be embraced and taught within America’s history. That’s why we as African Americans need to further the strides of recognizing our own history and teaching it to others. However at the same time, all Americans should take the time to understand Black History because it is America’s history just as Hispanic History and Women’s History is. We must live up to what Black History Month visionary Carter G. Woodson wanted from us as people.

Therefore this year, we need to put Black History back in focus by taking each day for the rest of our lives to learn something new about our history that goes beyond the common names of Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and now Barack Obama. Let’s go beyond the familiar names and start to teach the other side of Black History that many African Americans and Americans don’t know. So let’s take the time to tell the history of many African Americans who have accomplished incredible feats but their names are less known than the icons that so many Americans praise year end and year out. This is the year that Black History is finally put in focus so that we all take it a step further than how we have done in the past.

It is time for Black History to acknowledge many of the soldiers who helped to create the Civil Rights movement back during the 1920s and 1930s. It is time for Black History to be discussed in classrooms year round not just for a month. It is time for Black History and American History programs to take place every month not just during the month of February. It is time for Black History to be cooler talk and dinner table talk. Black History is America’s history and that is why it needs to be discussed in the same breath we discuss our country’s history.

Until Black History is recognized more within America’s history than we as African Americans and as Americans need to teach it and learn it more than just a month. In fact we need to embrace all ethnic groups more than just the months or chapters we see in our history books. That’s why Black History needs to be put into focus so that we all begin to live up to the history of our nation which encompasses the historical feats of hundreds of thousands of African Americans. For far too long, Black History has gone quiet into the night but now is the time for it to be heard just as much as American history is spoken about.

My Perspective: A Nation of COWARDS

At a Black History Celebration at the Department of Justice, America’s first African American Attorney General Eric Holder calls America “A Nation of Cowards” when it comes to the issue of race. Attorney General Holder said that we as a country have come a long way when it comes to race as a nation however when it comes to embracing the issue of race in our personal lives with people of other races, we run from the discussion. Thus Holder said, we are a nation of cowards who refuses to discuss race out of fear of offending someone or fear of trying to be different than what our norm is. Holder said that the Department of Justice will no longer run from the race issue but it will embrace it under his watch.

Holder’s comments are backed up by statistics that say 56% of African Americans choose to live in cities while 54% of Caucasians live in rural towns. In fact, statistics show that many Caucasians move only in neighborhoods where there is little to no African American presence. Therefore while, we have embraced racism in terms of the workplace, we are still not socially integrated as many of us would like to think. Therefore as President Barack Obama said in his quote unquote race speech last spring, we can’t move forward in regards to race in this nation until we have a real discussion.

Well people, Attorney General Eric Holder has given us our second warning by calling us “A Nation of Cowards” when it comes to talking about race. When I first heard the words of Attorney General Holder, I said that was bold of him and to be honest, it was more than just bold, it is real. I have friends who are not black but many of them until this day, don’t like to talk about racial issues as much as many Americans would think. Then I have other friends who want to talk about race but only when it comes to reasons why African Americans are being hurt. However some of my friends embrace racism as a chance to understand other cultures and other people.

Until we as a nation embrace racism as a chance to understand other cultures and other people than we are a nation of cowards. America we can’t continue to ignore the race issue that has stained our nation for so long. Just because racism isn’t as openly seen as it used to be doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In fact, we as people must begin to have real heart to heart conversations about our upbringings and where we come from a people in order to understand that we as people have more in common than what our skin color makes us to believe. In fact, we are a nation of cowards until we openly have conversations and dialogues help us a people understand why some cultures do this and others do that.

This is a marching order people not a cheap shot toward many of us. I know many of us would like to think that Attorney General Eric Holder is calling us cowards but in reality he is only calling those of us who don’t openly try to understand other cultures and other people who are different than us. Attorney General Holder isn’t talking to people like myself who befriends those who are different than me in terms of race and tries to understand their upbringing in order to understand them as a person and how we can help each other.

A nation of cowards is offensive to many but I don’t view it as offensive language but as language that should wake all of us up as Americans to be better neighbors and to be better Americans. Our nation is imperfect and the only way it can be perfect is by us embracing each other in a way to understand each other. Race in this country can never be fully understand until each of us take the time to understand other cultures, other ethnic groups, and other people who don’t act like us. Even those of us of the same race, can embrace each other more because we all have a different story and have a different upbringing. Not all African Americans have the same upbringing just like not all Caucasians and Hispanics don’t. That’s why we as a nation shouldn’t be offended by Attorney General’s Eric Holder’s comments but we should take it as a challenge to be more open. A challenge to be more frank with our neighbors, our friends, and our family’s about race.

The old notion that there are three things at a dinner table you don’t discuss which is politics, religion and race is a notion that was tested just this year as many Americans discussed politics at the table like never before. Not only was politics discussed but religion and race and that is the same type of discussions we need to continue to have at the water coolers at work and at our dinner tables. America we need to have more conversations centered on race talk that doesn’t say one once is better than the other but to understand each other’s race like we have never understood it.

America we are a nation of cowards if we can’t embrace the notion that there is so much we don’t know about different races and there is so much we share in common with different races. America we are a nation of cowards if we can’t openly talk to different races about life and if we can’t socialize with other races outside of work in order to understand each other. America we are a nation of cowards if we don’t embrace other races in a way that helps us to strengthen our imperfect union in a way that we have never done before. Our nation needs for us as Americans to step up and realize that it is nothing wrong with talking about race as long as we are doing it to understand each other and get information rather than to demonize or talk bad about other races.

America we are a nation of cowards if we don’t make this union more perfect. Each of us must play our role in improving our nation and in helping to tackle the race issue that has left a bad stain on our nation for centuries. Therefore Attorney General Eric Holder’s comments were not meant to be offensive and they were not meant to be taken as harsh words but they were meant to be taken as a challenge. In fact it was a challenge to all of us to be better going forward in how we socialize with other races and how we embrace other cultures and people so that we can understand each other better. America that is what our new Attorney General wants from us and the timing of Eric Holder’s words are just right since it is Black History Month.

America, we all need to understand that Black History is American History and until American history embraces more of African American History, Hispanic History and Women’s History than our nation’s race issue will always cast a shadow over our nation. A nation of cowards is what we are by not acknowledging that there is more to America’s history than Caucasian male history. Our history is rich and it is filled with many great accomplishments from other races and from women. That’s why Attorney General Eric Holder is right when he calls us a nation of cowards. So let’s accept the challenge and make this nation BETTER and GREATER than how we found it. Let’s stop being “A Nation of COWARDS” and let’s start being “A Nation of HEROES,” “A Nation of BRAVERY”, and “A Nation of COURAGE.” That’s our mission so let’s live up to it not just now but forever.


My Perspective: Celebrating 100 Years of the NAACP but what’s NEXT

Since 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been an advocate for civil rights and fought for equal opportunities in the public and private sectors. The NAACP prides itself as being the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, advocating for the empowerment of all people of color, especially Blacks. It has a legendary history of being at the forefront of critical issues shaping the lives of ordinary people. In fact, it was founded by the venerable thinker W.E.B. DuBois, who later retired to Ghana, West Africa where he died.

So it is only fitting that this year, the organization that played a leading role in social change in America celebrates its 100th birthday as the country witnessed the historic election of President Barack Obama. “The inauguration of the first African American president represents a magnificent culmination of a century of activism by the NAACP and our allies that have fought for civil and human rights,” said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. “We have much more work to do. The audacious dream of America, a land where opportunity exists for all and where every person is given a chance to reach their full potential, still remains elusive,” according to Jealous.

On February 12, 1909, the NAACP was founded and 100 years later as the organization celebrated its birthday on February 12, 2009, many still believe that organization is becoming obsolete, a vestigial of its grand post of speaking truth to power. Therefore as the NAACP celebrates 100 years, the question for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization is what’s next. The NAACP image and activism in recent years and over the last two decades has been in a decline compared to where it was in its first 80 years of existence. To date, according to President Jealous, the NAACP has an active presence in 1,200 communities and on 300 college campuses. He said, “It is up to the NAACP and all people of good conscience to keep the fires of justice and equality burning and maintain the mandate for great change.”

Therefore with so much involvement, you would think that the NAACP would be more revered in its efforts to help people of color. However that is the not case and if you look at the NAACP’s involvement in major cities, it is not the organization that many people of colored flocked to because of its involvement in helping so many people. Then if you look at the NAACP’s involvement on college campus, it is poor in many cases and it is even poorer on HBCU’s campuses where you would think the NAACP should be one of the most powerful organizations on HBCU college campuses. This is not the case and if the NAACP is to be stronger going forward, its youngest President Benjamin Jealous must refocus and change the status quo of the NAACP.

In fact President Jealous needs to get the NAACP younger particularly in its national board positions and in positions in its national office if the organization is to move forward and become more active in its civil rights and equal rights fights. If the mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination than it needs to go back to its basics of selling its services to the American people. Since the NAACP is in 1,200 communities than those communities need to be made more aware of what types of services the organization offers and what the vision the organization has for the communities they are currently in. The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination. With that being the vision than it needs to be spoken throughout all the college campuses where the NAACP exists and throughout all the communities where the NAACP stands to date.

Those who advocate on behalf of the people must at all times be serious and fully committed in this undertaking. That’s why the commitment of the NAACP has been in question in recent years because so many feel that the organization has lost its focus on grassroots action and has become more like a corporate company rather than an organization committed to getting its hands dirty to fight for civil rights and equal opportunities. The NAACP in recent decades has been an organization of press releases and exists only in signposts rather than in action that is pro-active like it used to be during in its founding years.

As the NAACP celebrated its 100th anniversary, it needs to turn the lights back on for millions because it is losing ground in terms of its relevance. The NAACP needs a major shake-up in terms of ideas and its vision to recruit millions more to the organization. When the NAACP chose Benjamin Jealous as its youngest President a little bit over 2 years ago, it signaled the beginning of a new era for an organization that was struggling. That’s why the time for President Jealous to really put his imprints on the organization needs to start now so that the NAACP can be around for another 100 years.

With a new political dispensation being ushered in by the history making administration of President Barack Obama, and the appointment of Eric Holder as the nation’s first Black attorney general, I am taking the challenge of change to the national NAACP. Many of you may ask why but I say why not? Just as sweeping, unprecedented change has come to Washington with the election of President Obama and Holder set to command the powerful Department of Justice, there is equally a need for change in leadership at NAACP headquarters in Baltimore. It is time for us to see some of its board members relinquish their positions to persons with new ideas and vision who more effectively work with the new, progressive administration.

The first person who needs to step down is the group’s powerful board chairman, Julian Bond, who recently announced he is going to step down as board leader but not as board member. Then a few days later, Bond resurfaced saying he will serve another year because of voluminous e-mails that came in pleading with him to stay on a while longer. That is quite interesting because I for one can’t see why anyone wants Bond to stay on when the organization has not made any strides that have helped the mission and vision come truer in recent years and decades.

It is quite interesting that Bond wants to stay on for at least another year or so but leaders like Bond and some of his colleagues on the board have been integral in the struggle for civil rights. We should salute them and applaud them for the service they have rendered to defend and uplift people of color. Forty years ago the NAACP was at the forefront, leading some of the greatest marches for justice in history. Now the NAACP is 100 years, which means it has been crusading for equality and justice before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Joseph Lowery, Julian Bond and others emerged in the pivotal 1960s. We have all reaped the benefits from the work of King, Lowery, Bond and so many others.

But today we are in the midst of a very different dispensation, of that includes Facebook, YouTube, Myspace and iPods, where the civil rights group can no longer continue to use old tools to protest to solve age-old and entrenched civil rights and racial problems. Indeed, it is a dispensation represented by a new mindset. Displaying elegant placards with empty pockets on the streets will not solve the problems of the Black community and the economic tsunami afflicting our communities. It will require a new approach, bold vision and a renewed commitment to calling attention to issues of justice and racial entanglements. But I do not see a heartfelt desire at the top brass of the NAACP to purse causes of economic justice and educational opportunities for its constituents.

I’m calling for the NAACP to become a social service agency, which is antithetical of its founding vision. I am simply asking the NAACP to change leadership and step up to the plate and do what it was created for and show people that it is meeting the new challenges facing our communities of color. Before his demise, King was putting together the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign to address economic disparities and bring the plight of sanitation and garbage workers to the attention of those in government. When was the last time the NAACP embarked on a real campaign to call attention to economic disparities and issues remedies before Congress?

Wake up people and realize that every statistic that has been released in the last decade shows that Blacks are at the bottom of every national area, including economics, education and health care. Yes, we know that these disparities are not in accidental. Some, if not the majority, of these disparities in health, education, economics and the judicial system occur because of inherent institutional biases against people of color. To correct such problems will require an NAACP that is not asleep at the wheel, but, rather, one that show courage and determination to tackle the multiplying problems in 21st Century America.

President Obama handed down a challenge to the NAACP in Cincinnati while he was campaigning for the presidency. “When we are taking care of our own stuff, then a lot of other folks are going to be interested in joining up and working with us to take of America’s stuff,” he said. The NAACP cannot sit down and wait for a handout. It must go to work. Waiting for media blitz opportunities to make a national splash on issues not the way to solve the problems of the Black Community and communities of colored people.

While the annual NAACP IMAGE Awards ceremony in Hollywood is an excellent idea for recognizing our best talents in the performing arts. But, the truth be told, the image of our communities leaves a lot to be desired. Moreover, it is a shameful indictment for those of us who are not willing to use our resources and institutions to correct the matters. The Black community is on fire. Groups and organizations tasked with the job of transforming and advocating on behalf of the masses of our people can no longer be a social club or another version of the Bohemian Grove. You cannot expect the local branches to avoid the country to function at maximum effect when the national office does not know where to start. You cannot expect the college campus branches to lead movements on college campuses and throughout the college communities when the Youth & College Division at the national level is not doing its part to properly train the youth to be the future of the NAACP.

The NAACP should not wait for the media to determine what cases it ought to pursue. Too often that has been the case, where groups like the NAACP are only involved in cases that have attracted national media attention. What about cases where the victims do not have the clout to bring national media attention? Are they doing to suffer in silence because the NAACP chooses an ivory tower approach to confronting systematic racial problems? We cannot afford leaders who use media-driven issues to reinvent themselves on the national stage, instead of tirelessly working for the rights of the millions who feel abandoned and disenfranchised. While Benjamin Jealous election as President of the NAACP welcomed a break from the past but how can Jealous promise and execute change if he has board members who have been there for 25 years and are fiercely holding on to old tools to fight new battles.

The nation’s oldest civil rights organization and its members must demand more from itself. We expect the NAACP to not just criticize through press releases with little or no subsequent action. Talk is cheap. The NAACP must propose and implement solutions for the betterment of our communities. The national office needs to adopt a “Meet the Neighborhood” tour of urban cities that have been so economically disparaged and educationally ripped off. That will give them a sense of the “urgency of now.” The NAACP can lay claim to many challenges and victories in the past. In the area of voting rights, for example, it has done an excellent job. But the problems of Black America are beyond voting rights, the sacredness of voting notwithstanding. Too many Black people cannot afford to put food on the table, are losing their homes due to foreclosure, cannot afford needed medicines, etc. Yet, we have not heard any concrete solutions from the NAACP on these and many issues.

The NAACP must now lay out an outline for the future of the organization that goes beyond just voting rights. President Benjamin Jealous must lay out a plan that deals with how the NAACP will improve the economic, educational and health care issues people of colored are facing. At a time of economic peril with our communities on the edge, and as families continue to struggle, the NAACP must become more pro-active in promoting its social services and in doing social services for its people. The NAACP must now more than ever give solutions. The NAACP must address the life and death issues the people they say they represent are facing. The NAACP must show that they are creative enough to come up with solution-orientated programs instead of waiting on protest at media events with plenty of photo ops. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People must change in its totality and it must strengthen its social services by going by to its grassroots efforts of door to door walking as well as utilize what technological advancements they have at its finger tips today.

Celebrating 100 years of the NAACP is great but what’s next for the NAACP will define the nation’s longest civil rights organization for the next 100 years. The NAACP must change if it is going to help the very people its mission and vision says it was created to help. America needs the NAACP to live up to its mission and the communities where the NAACP has branches need them in order to make America as well as the communities of America better. There are so many things that the NAACP can do to help the very people it was created to help but it all begins at the national level and until the national level accepts change than the future of the NAACP will be in limbo.

History’s verdict depends on the action you take—now. That’s why the NAACP celebration of 100 years is incredible but it is what’s next for the organization that will determine the future of the organization going forward. President Jealous and others will have to play a larger role in determining what the NAACP will focus on and how it will address those issues. Change is definitely needed for the survival of the NAACP in terms of the organization leaving up to its mission and vision the way its founder W.E.B. DuBois wanted for the National Advancement of Colored People.

Jay-Z - History

(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours

[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook

It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.

Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.

Lift Every Voice and Sing

This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC ( at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean

If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige

Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"

If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.


Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!


Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions

Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.

The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.

Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President

Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!


We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.

We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.

We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!



“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.

“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.

“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!

(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A