Monday, April 25, 2011

Graham’s prediction came too late for me; I saw Jesus and his mother at a Texas mall shopping for a new pair of scandals (no YouTube video to post)

On Sunday, Franklin Graham,  son of  celebrated evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, said in an interview with Christiana Amanpour on This Week, “. . . every eye is going to see (the second coming). How is the whole world going to see (Jesus Christ) all at one time? I don't know, unless all of a sudden everybody's taking pictures and it's on the media worldwide. I don't know. Social media could have a big part in that. Everybody's got their phone up and everybody's taking recordings and posting it on YouTube and whatever and sending it to you, and it gets shown around the world."

This is so true! But Graham’s prediction came too late for me. You see, I saw Jesus at a Texas mall last Saturday. He was shopping at a reasonably priced shoe and garments store that specialized in Christian wear. I instantly recognized him. 

When I was a kid, on the way home from school one day, I saw Jesus’ face in the clouds. I waved at him and went straight home. I told my mother what I saw. She said I was losing my mind.  I could not get her to believe me! I knew my religious grandmother believed me. She talked to Jesus all the time. Sometimes she shouted and talked funny in the middle of the conversations.

 I didn’t go outside to play with my buddies that afternoon. Jesus was watching us. I didn’t want him to see us harassing our favorite neighbor,  “Mr. Devil.” My grandmother said,  "God don't like ugly and he ain't crazy about beauty."

Billy Graham, son of famed Evangelist Billy Graham
For some unexplainable reason we (neighborhood kids) thought this particular neighbor was the devil. We dared him to send us to hell “in a hand basket." We heard older religious folk say that’s how sinful people were going to hell if they didn’t find God or Jesus. We later leaned that our neighbor was red-faced and angry because we irritated him with our incessant teasing and silliness. We eventually apologized to him. He didn't accept the apology. A few days later we found a new victim. We called her “The Witch.”

Anyway, back to the mall and Jesus. I was nervous and humbled by his presence. I spoke to him, my voice wavering. And then the community news reporter kicked in like humidity on a Texas summer day. I had the good sense to know this would be my one and only opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with Jesus. Nervous and still humbled, I asked Jesus what he was doing on earth. “Your second coming is supposed to occur . . .” He nodded his head and smiled. He knew about all of the prophesied predictions. God didn't say when it would happen.

Jesus said he didn’t want to publicize his re-appearance. He said he has a lot of work to do while he's here, and he needs a new pair of scandals for all the walking he plans to do. He said his mother,  Mary, was with him. She was walking around the store, looking at a variety of scandals. Jesus said his mother wants to make sure he picks a good looking pair of scandals. She wants him to look nice on YouTube and TV when the word spreads around the world.

“Jesus-- as you probably know-- people are pulling you into their politics. Republicans, Democrats, Independents. How do you feel, being used as a political pawn?”

Jesus said, “ I don’t participate in politics. I can’t stop those who use me as a pawn. I am also called a socialist, which I am. I believe in helping the poor. My name is used for many things. I don’t approve but I understand.”

Shoppers in the mall were beginning to stop and stare. They were not sure who Jesus was. It was hard to believe he was on earth, shopping in a Texas mall. One woman asked doubtfully: “Didn’t you used to be Jesus? I mean I saw pictures of you! I mean you’re supposed to be coming back in a big way! Everybody will knows it!” Jesus smiled and nodded yes, he is Jesus.

 The shopper couldn’t believe her eyes. “Get outta here!” she said. “You’re gonna be a movie, right?” Hollywood is always making Jesus movies.” Jesus continued smiling. Another shopper answered the woman’s question. “This guy is not real. He’s straight out of a Hollywood casting.”

“If you’re Jesus, can I get your autograph?” He obliged. The woman walked off, mumbling something about eBay.

Jesus’ mother had selected about ten pairs of scandals. The salesman followed her, packing boxes of scandals. When he stooped to slip the scandals on Jesus’ feet, he looked up, staring at Jesus, his eyes on his face. He grasped and said, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” The salesman was trembling so profusely he could barely slip the scandals on Jesus’ feet. To ease his nervousness, Mary said with a straight face, “That’s what I said when I was giving birth to him.” The Bible never revealed that  Mary has a sense of humor.

Franklin should have called me. I would have told him that Jesus and his mother, The Virgin Mary, have already returned, shopping for new scandals in Texas. 

Later I called Gov. Rick Perry’s office for a comment about Jesus being in Texas. Of course, my call wasn’t taken seriously. The person on the other end of the line said bluntly: “The governor is not interested in your joke. Jesus has no reason to visit Texas.”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Freakout At The Big Concert

Freakout At the Big Concert
last night at the Gladys Knight
   and Pips concert
an Old Woman got high
sitting next to Wallace and me
she took my hand and
I grabbed Wallace
in a second we were tripping
on the Old Woman's high

she gave birth to a
Revolutionary Midget
  that ran center stage

I am The Greatest!
why don't somebody tell him about
Muhammad Ali? 

I asked Wallace
  a Black Widow Spider
gave a full fisted power sign 
I'm with you brother
 I know you the greatest

the Militant Midget started
reciting Rap Brown's rap and
Bobby Seals out of date rhetoric
he don't know the revolution
ain't coming cause ain't nobody
militant these days

the Four Poets said when
the Revolution come
 it won't be televised
it ain't gonna be heard
on the radio either
AM or FM

  We're not free

 We're not free
 the Militant Midget proclaimed
stomping his baby feet

the Man lied to you
tell them Ms. Gladys
tell them Mr. Pips

Damn! he's a proper
talking little freak
the Militant Midget's
 mama pulled him off  the stage
struggling to cut the
umbilical cord

 liberating herself
and us from her too late son

the Black Widow Spider whispered in
the Militant Midget's ear
your Old Lady ain't down
with real freedom like you
somebody told her 

she's already free
she don't know no better

I heard it through the grapevine
the crowd sang

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
the Old Woman agreed

who is that on that
talking bout Freedom

he can't even spell it!
throw rotten tomatoes at
the hotheaded punk
he ain't no son of mine

right on, Old Lady 
throw rotten tomatoes at
that Midget
he's the one ain't free

tell him about Georgia, Gladys
 tell him about the midnight train
that's heading down south 
tell him when you leaving 
so he can get on board

(C) by dorothy charles banks

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From one plantation owner to another; Willie Lynch outlines a 300-year plan for slavery

Willie Lynch guarantees 300 years of division and control
The mysterious Willie Lynch manifesto has been around for decades. No one knows if the author was Black or White, man or woman. No one knows if Lynch was a real person, or a mythical character created by someone who wanted to emphasize the propagation of light skin vs dark skin slaves, pitting them against each other on plantations. Whatever the case, Lynch predicted that his formula for controlling and categorizing slaves would work for 300 years if slave masters followed his suggestion.

The Willie Lynch manifesto has ignited some interesting debates and conversations. None of the back and forth was more boisterous and comedic than between customers in community barber shops. In these shops you see and hear Willie Lynch personified. The debaters and conversationalists were both serious and side splitting hilarious when they explained slavery, dark and light skinned slaves, house and field slaves, and White masters who fathered hundreds of illegitimate "mixed" children, the result of raping young slave girls and women.

The mysterious Lynch was spot on in his evaluation of slave life. He was standing on a bankable check when he predicted that his blueprint to divide slaves by skin color would work 300 years if slave masters followed his strategy. As of 2013, in African American communities, there is still a [color] caste system in which light skin is more desirous than dark skin. If a light complexioned Black woman has long "good hair" that is a bonus for her. She will have Black men vying for her attention. She does not have to be movie star attractive on the scale of a Halle Berry. Light skin ordinary will suffice for those who ten to shy away from dark skin. Black males tend to fall in love with a woman's hair before they falls in love with her. It's not unusual to hear a Black man brag about his woman's long hair and light complexion. She is his long haired trophy on display. His friends envy him. Some African American men say long hair is the reason they like White women.

A large number of successful Black males prefer light complexioned Black women, Latino, White women. Light skin is a trophy of envy in their minds. It is fairly common to hear African American men make excuses for rejecting dark skinned women. This is puzzling, given the fact that many of their mothers, sisters, cousins and aunts are dark skinned. These Black males, many of whom are dark skinned themselves, find dark skinned women less attractive because they are too bossy, have too much attitude, too controlling.  They say White women do not have these character flaws. Of course, this not true, but it gives Black males the excuse they need to explain their attraction to White women, and rejection of dark skinned Black women.

Thousands of African American parents favor their light skinned children over their darker children. I have read personal stories of parents pouring bleach in their children's bathwater, rubbing bleaching creams on the bodies of their children, getting their young daughters' hair permed. I have heard Black women say they prefer having children with a White man, a Latino, a light skinned Black man; any man but a dark skinned African American. Why? Because they want children with "good hair" and light complexions. They say that biracial children are prettier and smarter. This myth lives on in Black communities today. Realistically, not all biracial children have  "good hair" and light complexions. Not all of them are pretty, cute to beautiful. Some if them have short kinky hair. Not all of them are highly intelligent.

Light skin, dark skin, videos and favored children

More proof of complexion preference is seen in music videos, TV commercials, the modeling industry, employment, magazine covers, the movies. A White music producer said light skinned entertainers are "less threatening than dark skinned entertainers". His reasoning is that White people find light skin more acceptable and pleasing to the eye. Beyonce, Queen Latifah and other African American women in beauty and hair commercials are so light skinned, even the Black community wonders if they have bleached their skins. Producers of the commercials "lightened" their skin using bright lighting, and select camera angles to make them look thinner. Oprah Winfrey said the lighting her studio was changed because dark skinned guests came across too dark on the TV screen.

It is not unusual to see dark skinned Black males in commercials. If they are at a party in the commercials, they are often paired with a White woman, or a light skinned African American woman. If children are in the commercial, they, too, are light skinned or interracial. The same rule of thumb applies to characters on the big screen. Male characters may be dark skinned, but their mates are light skinned, sporting long weaves. Producer, director, playwright and filmmaker Tyler Perry is the only filmmaker I have seen who consistently casts actors according to talent, not skin tones and body types. Characters in his plays and his TV shows are reflective of the characters in his movies. They are reflective of a true America.

When looking at musical videos in which the singer or rapper is African American, no matter the gender of the entertainer, you will see light skinned dancers with long weaves. Very seldom are dark skinned dancers seen in their videos. If one or two are in the videos they are usually relegated to the rear of the video. They are never lead dancers interacting with male entertainers, like their White counterparts. Being pretty and body perfect does not get on them on the front line. A noted reality show personality said she would never put female dancers in her videos if their skin is lighter than hers. Neither can a female dancer be prettier or skinnier than her.

Highly paid Black athletes lean towards White women as opposed to Black women. If they are married to or dating a Black woman, she is light skinned or fair skinned enough to be classified as "light." I have heard some figures in sports say that they seldom come across Black women in their travel and social life. In other words, African American women do not go to games or socialize in trendy night clubs like White women.

African Americans in deep denial 

Years ago on a popular TV talk show I saw a Black male make clear his preference for White women because they are not loud like Black women. He said they are easier to get along with. He said he would never date a Black woman. He said if he did date a Black woman she would have to look like Halle Berry or prettier. He then said he was not sure if he would date Berry, even if she asked him for a date. He was fixated on White women and nothing was going to change his mind. The man was not slim, was not a snappy dresser, handsome or attractive. He was unemployed, and lacked a college education.

On another talk show--where the theme was race and heritage--the guests were African Americans, all of whom claimed to be of mixed heritage. They were adamant that they were not pure African American! However, not one of them could pass for White. One female guest in particular caught my attention, and that of the audience. She was attractive, well groomed, articulate, educated, gainfully employed. As she told of her heritage and bloodline, she named about four nationalities, none of which were African American, despite her mother and father being Black! She said she felt like a White woman trapped in Black skin.

This dark skinned woman, whose hair was perfectly permed, identified only with White people. When the host asked about her African American side of her family she became mildly incensed, insisting that she is not Black. This confused the host, the audience and me. Clearly she was an African American woman. She could not pass for White.  But there was no confusion in her mind that she was not an African American. She had a teenage son, who she encouraged to date only White girls. He was not allowed to bring a Black girl to his parents home. The woman's son, who was dark skinned like herself, admitted that he was attracted to White girls. He did not find Black girls attractive. None of the other guests on stage were as extreme as this woman.

The Clark's Doll Experiment

In the 1950s psychologists Kenneth Brancroft Clark and his wife Mamie Phillips Clark, both African Americans, conducted an interesting experiment with Black children. The Clarks used a White doll and a Black doll in the experiment. Black children picked the White dolls because of their skin tone. African American children viewed the dark skinned dolls as unattractive and less intelligent.

The question of intelligence reminded me of an incident that occurred when I worked as a waitress in an upscale restaurant and bar that was frequented by educated, middle and upper middle class professionals, politicians, teachers and business owners, all African Americans. One night a customer approached me, asking if I was the one who wrote a weekly column for one the community newspapers. I told him I was, and he said with0ut thinking, "I didn't know you were that intelligent. . . . I mean . . . " I laughed at him, and asked him, "How do you tell who is intelligent?" He couldn't answer the question. I did not expect him to. I assumed he made the assumption because I am dark skinned and a waitress. 

"The Clark's doll experiment grew out of Mamie Clark's master degree thesis. They published three major papers between 1939 and 1940 on children's self perception related to race. Their studies found contrasts among African American children attending segregated schools in Washington, DC verses those in integrated schools in New York.

"The doll experiment involved children presented with two dolls. Both of the dolls were completely identical except for the skin and hair color. One doll was White with yellow hair, while the other was Brown with black hair. The children were asked questions inquiring as to which one of the dolls they would play with, which one is the nicest doll, which one looks bad, which one the nicer color, etc. The experiment showed a clear preference for the White doll among children in the study. These findings exposed internalized racism in African American children, self hatred that was more acute among children attending segregated schools." (Wikipedia)

"You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves . . ." Willie Lynch
 The Willie Lynch 300-year plan for skin color division

I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented.

As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit. You suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed.

Gentlemen, you know what your problems are. I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I have a full proof method for controlling your black slaves.  I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it.

I have outlined a number of difference among the slave and I take these difference and make the bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them.

On top of my list is "age" but it's there only because it starts with an "A." The second is "color" or shade, there is intelligence, sizes of plantations, status on plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short.

Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you a outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that distrust that is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.  The black slaves, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

Don't forget you must pitch the old black male vs. the young black male, and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male. And the male vs. the female. You must also have your white servants and over-seers distrust all blacks. But it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us. 

Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful. Thank you gentlemen.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Emailer's plea: 'Everybody knows me knows that I am not a racist . . . it was a joke'

Young Barack Obama and his parents.
Orange County Republican Party Central Committee member, and active tea partier Marilyn Davenport has a sense of humor. Davenport and some of her friends seem to have tasteless humor when it comes to President Obama and his family.

The  picture on the right was sent to a select group of people, presumably answering the Obama birth certificate question. Davenport's caption stated: "Now you know why. . . No birth certificate."

The savorless photo depicts a young Obama, his mother and father as a family of chimpanzees. This tasteless display of rubber stamped ignorance by Davenport is nothing new. Republicans, all wannabe comedians, must stay up late at night thinking of these stereotypical gems.

Davenport claimed the usual: "I have Black friends" the reason she saw nothing wrong the emailed picture. She said everybody who knows her knows that she is not a racist. I am always leery of a White person who tells me he or she is not racist. Poor Daveport, having Black friends, does not understand what all the brouhaha is about.

She suggested this kind of humor is all over the Internet and YouTube. She said the media did not make a big fuss about similar pictures of prior presidents; therefore, it is unreasonable for the "liberal media" to complain about this depiction of the President. I think she is saying the media are hot under the collar because Obama is African American, and are protective of his image. Orly Taitz, the Soviet Union born Obama birth certificate obsessed stalker, also lives in Orange County. I'm sure she was on the email list.
Davenport said she will not voluntarily step down from her position, which she has been asked to do. She defended another "joker" who sent a  email depicting a field of watermelons on the front lawn of the White House.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lena Baker: Collateral damage victim without fighting an undeclared war

Lena Baker's arrest photo
Lena Baker. An African American woman whose name was hidden in the annals of Georgia’s history. You won’t see her name in history books or archived newspapers. On the day she was executed, World War ll was in progress. Major newspapers elected not to cover her trial and execution.

Lena Baker. She had the misfortune of being a Negro, an unnumbered victim of collateral damage, even though she never fought in an official war. Her war was private. Her war, like all African Americans living in the early South, was a civil rights war. Baker's conflict was a human war of trying to survive in an extreme state of segregation, racism and discrimination in the United States of America, her natural place of birth, June 8, 1901.

As a child Baker and her family worked as cotton pickers for a farmer named J. A. Cox. By age 20 Baker and a friend discovered they could earn some easy money by entertaining me. She and her friend turned to prostitution.

"This came to the attention of Randolph County Sheriff as their clientele were White and interracial relations were illegal in Georgia. The two were arrested and spend several months in a workhouse. On release she was ostracized by the Black community, leading her to become and alcoholic". (

Roosevelt Curry, grand-nephew to Lena Baker, was quoted in a story, June 2011: "The townspeople didn't talk about her and some members of the Black community and her family were scared to even mention her name. Relatives and members of the church, however, later care for it and placed a small marker there", Curry sad of Baker's unmarked grave. 

"What happened to her is historical and we don't people to forget. A lot of people have never heard of Lena Baker".
Baker was officially killed by the State of Georgia in 1945. Death by electrocution. She was a 43 years old mother of three. She was the first and last woman to die in the electric chair in Georgia. Her state sanctioned death was historical but was not treated as such.

It was author Lela Bond Phillips who came along and plucked Lena Baker out of obscurity. It took three years of intense research before she wrote Baker’s life story in a 120-page nonfiction book, titled The Lena Baker Story: Execution in A Small Town. Baker’s family moved from Cuthbert after the execution, which probably made it difficult for the author to write a larger, more detailed book.

“In 1996 while doing some research about 1940s Cuthbert, Georgia, I ran across some information about Lena Baker. At that time the ordeal and execution of Lena Baker was one of the best kept secrets in town. After reading the Superior Court Minutes of her trial, I knew that Lena needed a voice. Almost sixty years after her tragic death, I knew her story cried out to be told and I was going to tell it.

“Lena Baker had a least four strikes against her when she was born at the turn of the century in Randolph County, Georgia. She was from a small rural southern town; she was a woman; she was poor; and she was black. Lena was born in a former slave cabin, about five miles southwest of Cuthbert. At the age of forty-four in 1944, Lena had never known anything except hard work and the pangs of poverty and despair. She chopped cotton, cleaned houses, and took in laundry to help support her mother and her three children", Phillips wrote in Black Commentator, 2003.

In 1944 Baker was put on trial for killing a White man named Ernest B. Knight, owner of a local gristmill.  A gristmill is a mill for grinding grain. After breaking his leg Knight hired Baker to nurse him until his leg healed. Somewhere along the way a sexual liaison entered the picture. Consensual, interracial hanky-panky in the South was a serious no-no. However, it was accepted so as long it was done behind closed doors, where Black women and young girls were raped by White men, who did not fear prosecution even if they were caught in the act. Knight was at least 23 years older than 42-year-old Baker. Besides being older, Phillips says Knight was a heavy drinker. He was known to pack a gun strapped on his shoulder.

“When she attempted to extricate herself from this relationship, Knight locked her in his gristmill several days at a time, and as a nearby newspaper reported after her execution, kept her there as his ‘slave woman,’” writes Phillips.

 In the movie The Lena Baker Story: Execution in A Small Town, Baker managed to slip away, going home to see her mother and three children. Her escape did not last long. Knight went to her mother’s house and demanded that Baker go home with him. She resisted to no avail. That was on a Saturday, April 29, 1944. Phillips writes that the sheriff had warned Baker to stay away from Knight or she was going to jail. She was scared of Knight. He was very abusive. The sheriff did not consider that fact that old man Knight refused stay away from Baker.

In the Lena Baker story Tichina Arnold plays the role of Lena
In the movie Knight’s son severely beats Baker after discovering Baker and his father were sleeping with each other.  He warned her to stay away from his father. In the meanwhile, Knight was deemed blameless; his hands clean of this southern sin. After the beating at the hands of Knight’s son, Baker escaped again. This time she did not go home. She slept in the woods near a convict camp.  Again, her escape to freedom did not last long. Knight caught up with her the next morning when she tried to slip back into Cuthbert.

Phillips writes that Knight took her back the mill and went to a “singing” with his son. Phillips writes that a “singing” is a religious celebration in the South. Baker was locked in a hot room, spending the day on an old bed. Upon his return to the mill Baker informed Knight that she was leaving. In the movie Knight drew his pistol, pointing it at Baker. In a panic to save her own life she struggled with Knight to take the gun. It fired, hitting Knight,  fatally wounding him. Baker panicked and ran home. She was later captured and charged with murder.

At her trial 12 White men sat on the jury. Getting true justice was stacked against her. Baker did not have a chance in hell of getting a verdict of innocent. For Blacks in the South a trail was the roll of the one-sided dice. Judge William “Two Guns” Worrill, presided over the trial. It's said the judge came to court with two pistols that he sat on the bench, putting them on full display in the courtroom.

Baker’s trial lasted less than a full day. Four hours to be exact. In a half hour or less the verdict of guilty was delivered by the all-White male jury. Worrill sentenced Baker to death in the electric chair, better known as “Old Sparky."

Phillips writes that Baker’s lawyer asked that a new trial be scheduled. He said the verdict “was contrary to the evidence and without evidence to support it . . . and the verdict was contrary to law and the principles of justice and equity". Baker’s lawyer resigned. Governor Ellis Arnail granted Baker a 60-day reprieve. However, the Board of Pardons and Paroles denied her clemency when they heard the case. This left no hope for saving her life. March 5, 1945 was the scheduled day of her execution.

“On February 23 she was signed into one of the worst prisons in the United States, Reidsville State Prison, where she was housed in the men’s section until just a few days before her execution, when she was moved to a solitary cell just a few feet from the execution chamber itself", writes Phillips. 

Baker’s last words were, “What I done, I did in self-defense, or I would have been killed myself . . . I am already to meet my God".

It took six minutes and several shocks of electricity to kill Lena Baker. According to Phillips, the Cuthbert Times had a simple headline: “Baker Burns". For many years Baker's grave was unmarked, forgotten behind Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Randolph County. The church eventually raised $250 in donations to buy a small marker for her  grave. On the 58th anniversary of her death a wreath was placed on her grave by family members, who had come together for the anniversary. They are planning a reunion May 11 on Mother’s Day.

Roosevelt Curry, great-nephew to Lena Baker hold the posthumous pardon. Standing behind him is 10-year-old Treonna McElveen.
On August 2005, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles posthumously pardoned Lena Baker, acknowledging that the 1945 decision to deny her clemency was a “grievous error." The Board said she should have been charged with the lesser crime of voluntary manslaughter, which would have eliminated her death sentence.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The deficit has nothing to do with a woman's body or her abortion rights

President Barack Obama
Republicans are handcuffing abortion to a pregnant deficit bill to kill Roe v Wade. They attempted to sneak it through the side door this week but they got caught. Next week they will walk bravely through the front door without fear of burning the midnight oil, or locking horns with Harry Reid and President Obama. Next week there will be bigger fish to fry.

  The media are telling Boehner and his  Tea Party Republicans that they are to be commended for sticking to their agenda, throwing the President off stride. I read a column a few hours ago and gasped for air during the reading. The writer said the President deserves no credit for derailing the economic shutdown left behind! The writer said President Obama stepped into the fray at the last minute! Therefore, he was not a part of the negotiations and final decision making.

Is this the reason Republicans lied to get elected in November? Supporters voted for them with open eyes and closed minds. The empowered regular Republicans and newly elected Tea Party candidates, have not stopped running in the opposite direction yet. They vow to shrink government. They say they are doing what the "American people" expect them to do. They have a “mandate.” They declared with over-the-top certainty.

The “mandate” was self created as were the conditions Republicans follow. They rewrote the script. So far, Republicans and Tea Party elects, have not approached the subject of Jobs ! Jobs!  Jobs! Putting the unemployed back to work is no longer a top priority. They have erased it off their to-do-list. Oddly, I do not hear the Tea Party complaining. The media refuse to attack Republicans with the same vim and vigor they mustered to rip apart President Obama for not creating jobs.

Before the elections the media and pundits incessantly reminded America that the President did not keep his promise to resolve the unemployment dilemma. I looked for headlines in the media about Republican's failure to tackle unemployment. I did not find them. These days unemployment is seldom discussed by pundits and the media. Sideline cheering and blaming President Obama for everything that goes wrong is stronger than ever.

Speaker of the House John Boehner
It's as if President Obama is running Washington all by himself. He writes legislation; signs it into law and then hold  press conferences to announce  the legislation has been signed into law.  That is the image the media are painting of this presidency. The media wants the President to treat America like it's an island unto itself, having no connection to the rest of the world. And then, of course, the media and pundits will blame President Obama was trying to isolate America.

Just as I expected and suspected would happen, Friday night pundits, bloggers, columnists and the media sharpened their tongues and pens to say the President “caved” on the shutdown deal. “Nervous Democrats fear that Obama gave away too much in the last-minute agreement to avert a  shutdown”. (Washington Post)

“Boehner may have been outnumbered by Democrats at the table 2-to-1, but by the way the final deal shaped up, you wouldn't know it. The Speaker got $38.5 billion dollars in cuts ...”  (Politico)

I think Politico is saying Boehner was the only astute wheeler dealer at the table. He was so awesome he was a  negotiating wonder! He forced President Obama to give Republicans every thing they wanted! That made the President look weak and too terrified to engage Republicans in a showdown. So said the media and pundits. Predictions and bets are being made by those who say next week President Obama will give up the ship again. 

I thoroughly believe it takes a stronger person to step outside of his personal needs when other people are involved.  President Obama had no choice but to step outside of  himself when making difficult decisions that none of us will never have to make.  Republicans are short term thinkers and victory grabbers. President Obama thinks long term. Too much was at stake for him not to compromise; a plan of action is a dirty word among Tea Party elects and Republicans.

Compromise is not a suitable negotiating tool for the new thinking Republicans. They are all about catering to the wishes of the rich and retaining political power for themselves, not the people. If seniors, women, children and the poor have to suffer the consequences of their dire decisions, oh, well.  

Speaker Boehner slurred, "So be it."He did not bite his tongue as the trio of words rolled out out of his mouth.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Naive Barack Obama does not understand the complexity of being a president

President Barack Obama
Pundits, bloggers, pollsters, Independents, Republicans, Democrats and media cannot control their personal opinions about President Obama. If he does not immediately resume the knee-jerk posture when making a decision, these “wiser than Obama” critics make a Superman flight to catch a ride on the Obama Delegitimization wagon.

I cannot write the number of times I’ve heard and read opinionated divas of the Internet and print media imply that determinations made by President Obama–no matter the scale of relevance-- are the results of his failure to lead; that he is not knowledgeable about how the government operates. They insist with self-conviction that President Obama is incapable of grasping the presidency. The job is too complex for someone so “inexperienced,” they say. This morning on  the Chris Matthew Show, MSNBC, Matthews led a panel discussion titled Is President Obama failing to lead?

Pundits, who should known better, have gone on TV saying the president does not understand the Constitution. In their analysis they fail to note that Professor Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law for 12 years at a Chicago university. With malice as a single thought, these know-it-all pootbutts pushed falsehoods that Obama has not made any significant achievements since he has been in office. Unfortunately, this is repeated by low information haters, and those who consider themselves highbrows.

So when misinformation and claims of “no leadership” in the White House was accepted as fact, that made it easy to say the President is a malingerer who is afraid to draw a “line in the sand”, a favorite line screamed at viewers by Ed Schultz on MSNBC. My personal opinion is that drawing an imaginary line in imaginary sand is an imaginary show of imaginary strength. Surely, Schultz knows that sand is fickle, free flowing and weak.  Schultz , who could not curry favor enough to run for public office, loves to demand that President Obama "draw a line in the sand."

During the lame-duck session President Obama propositioned Republicans with a red line of compromise. Republicans wanted to continue tax breaks for the rich but he did not. When the President agreed to extend the tax cuts, all of the above, except Republicans-- hit the ceiling. President Obama “caved” under Republicans pressure. The media and pundits said Republicans won over a compromising President. Compromise has become a dirty words since Obama was elected president.

I was waiting for the media and  pundits to tell the straight story. I was waiting for them to broadcast what Republicans relinquished to get the Bush tax cuts extended. For starters, Republicans signed onto a second stimulus bill. They agreed to continue unemployment benefits for the unemployed, which would have been a disaster in waiting had a deal not  worked out. A payroll tax decrease for employees were agreed to for one year. The idea was to bolster the economy. Several other issues-- START, First Responders bill, food safety bill were resolved. All in the president’s favor. 

Attacks have been renewed with Libya. The President has been thrown back into the  nonleader box. He is "leading from behind,"  they are saying. I guess that’s the way the media and pundits roll when an African American is in the White House. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't believe I am.