The Logical thinkers and Friends
This Weeks Topics
"Can the Reverend Rock a Party?"By Cedric Welch-Muhammad
"I've Been to the Mountaintop"" submitted by Jazminda X
"The Politics of Discontent and the Discontent with Politics" By Dr. Lenora Fulani
"M.L.K Stamp" submitted by blackfox
"A NEW MANDATE FOR BLACK LEADERSHIP" By L. Yvonne Bynoe
"Activists Must See the Bigger Picture in NAACP-TV Agreement"by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
"Thirty Years Later" By Armstrong Williams
" MLK Monuments" submitted by Jazminda X
"The Last Black Man Standing" by Dr. Kamau Kambon submitted by Jazminda X
"Ahh to Be a Kid again" submitted by BCFreeman
"Here is something That will help us all"
Resolving Conflicts: We Don't Have To Argue About It By; Dr. Keiron Brown
"I'M AN UNCUT BLACK WOMAN" author unknown submitted by Jazminda X
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Can the Reverend Rock a Party?
How Jesse Jackson’s Wall St. Project has the potential to lead Blacks out of the Democratic Party.
By Cedric Welch-Muhammad
Under the cover and in the name of the Rev. Martin Luther King, a paradigm shift is occurring in the Black political establishment. When Rev. Jesse Jackson opens the third annual conference of the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Wall St. Project in lower Manhattan, one-half of that emerging paradigm will be in full evidence. Though Jackson may not have intended it or even fully imagined it at present, his latest endeavor is pushing an agenda that may result in Blacks leaving the political party that they have called home for almost the last 70 years. In Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., the 2000 Edition, one finds a worldly Black spiritual leader who has engaged the American political establishment via the Democratic party and who now has transformed himself beyond a politically –constructed role. The man who once ran for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1984 and 1988 is now a financial planner and Wall St. power broker. What does this mean? In short, it may mean the dawning of a new day in Black politics.
Ever since the 1960s, the Democratic Party has absorbed both the Civil Rights movement and the Black Church (which spearheaded it). Spiritual leaders who communicated grassroots interests were co-opted by the American political establishment and engaged in a covenant that has, in many respects, benefited only a few, namely: The American political establishment and an elite group of Black leaders. In exchange for delivering votes and bringing their struggle under the auspices of the Democratic Party, Black Civil Rights leaders were granted access to power in white America and financial support. The result has been a 35-year relationship between Black America and the American political process with the Democratic Party as the intermediary.
However, it seems that the covenant may be in its last days. An internal decision made within the Democratic Party after the 1988 presidential election coupled with the Republican Revolution headed by Newt Gingrich in 1995, the arrangement between Black Civil Rights leaders and the Democratic Party machine began to unravel. These two events caused the Democratic Party to move away from Blacks and Rev. Jackson. The seeds for such a shift away from the Reverend and Black Democrats was planted in the 1988 election when George Bush, the Republican presidential nominee defeated Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee. After Dukakis’ drubbing, Democrats privately resigned themselves to the possibility that if the Democratic Party did not change its direction it may have lost the presidency for the rest of the century. A group of Democrats within the leadership structure decided that the party was losing because of its close identification with the interests of America’s political minority population and most visibly, through the party’s identification with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. What had been bubbling under the surface after 1988 when many Democrats believed Rev. Jackson almost hijacked the Democratic Party from Dukakis, would soon surface. In 1991, Peter Brown penned a seemingly forgotten book entitled Minority Party. The book’s subtitle was, Why Democrats Face Defeat In 1992 and Beyond. The book clearly and painstakingly showed that the Democratic Party’s identification with Blacks had caused a backlash in White America that was hurting the Party’s chances nationwide. The book even included a chapter, " Jesse Jackson scares the Middle Class" which elucidated the book’s underlying theme that many Whites felt the Democratic party was pandering to Rev. Jackson and that his very visible association with the Party was more of a negative than a positive. The book was digested by whose’s who of the Democratic Party, but no one as important as Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was. In fact Gov. Clinton wrote a very telling endorsement of the book which read, " In Minority Party, Peter Brown argues that most middle class Americans who believe we Democrats care more about minorities and the poor than about them, are not racists, but are acting out of perceived self-interest. He offers a challenge to Americans that is worth listening to, and Democrats should listen." Clinton listened, very carefully, and the result was a now famous and carefully orchestrated disrespectful handling of Sister Souljah at a Rainbow Push event hosted by Rev. Jackson in the campaign season of 1992.
A NEW MANDATE FOR BLACK LEADERSHIP
By L. Yvonne Bynoe
The main barrier to Black
empowerment is Black leadership who rather than inspire proactive, self-reliant
behavior have instead continued to brainwash Blacks into thinking that the
"man" controls everything. We then believe that we can affect nothing
in our own lives and only the benevolence of the great white fathers can alter
our fates. Many Black politicians and so-called Black leaders argue that
while the "man" may not be directly responsible for the plight of
Blacks, government policies, its actions and inaction create ghettos, therefore
society should not "blame the victim." Others contend that the
circumstances of the ghettos are created by the legacy of slavery that still
haunts the psyche of Blacks. Admittedly there is some truth in both
viewpoints, yet the wholesale use of these as a rationale for laziness,
irresponsibility and plain stupidity is ridiculous. Poverty is not synonymous
with ignorance, criminality or sloth; furthermore I am not convinced that Blacks
are not capable of doing more to advance themselves even with the backdrop of
white supremacy. There are millions of anecdotal examples of poor people
overcoming obstacles, including the scorn of narrow-minded Blacks, in order to
better themselves and their families.
Many in the post-civil rights generation are skeptical and even dismissive of those who represent the old-line civil rights organizations because these leaders seem to be resting on their laurels rather than retiring or fighting the new fights. Frankly it seems that these organizations and their spokespeople are woefully out of touch with the real concerns of Black America namely economic security, since they continue to champion symbolic integration-styled goals over more tangible power sharing and wealth-building initiatives. My generation, having sat in the corporate boardrooms, armed with our numerous degrees and stellar credentials, know first-hand that sitting at the table does not guarantee that you are going to eat. Many of us having departed the white bastions are not necessarily bitter, or even anti-white, but we realize that it is time to forget about white acceptance and start paying more attention to our own neighborhoods and businesses so that we are never again dependent on white goodwill.
the Discontent with Politics
By Dr. Lenora Fulani
Third parties have been in the
news more than ever these days. "Do the American people really want a third
party?" the pundits ask. "Will the Black community break its
decades-long allegiance to the Democratic Party?" columnists inquire.
"With today's strong economy, people are less likely to rock the political
boat," the experts declare.
Guest contributor Lenora B. Fulani twice ran for
President of the U.S. as an independent, making history in 1988 when she became
the first woman and
M ARCH ON WASHINGTON Stamp
Okay people, let's flood the post office! Make sure you
ask for this stamp every time you buy stamps
Activists Must See the Bigger
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Poor Kweisi Mfume. In July the NAACP president at the group's annual conference threatened the network TV executives with boycotts and protests for their blatant ethnic cleansing of minorities from TV shows and their pathetic hiring record relating to minorities. The reaction was swift and brutal.
First the TV executives accused Mfume of meddling in their business. Next black activists hammered him for wasting time on an industry they see as a hopeless wasteland of hype and hustle totally irrelevant to African Americans. They demanded that the NAACP spend its time and energy fighting against job discrimination, rotten public schools, police brutality, hate crime violence, criminal justice system abuses, and the crime and drug plague in black communities. Then some black actors claimed that the NAACP protests made TV executives gun shy about hiring them for fear that if they cast them in any roles at all they'd be accused of promoting racial stereotypes.
At the same time Mfume was being slammed by blacks and TV executives he got solid support from Asian, Latino, and Native-American activists who were waging their own battle for inclusion in Hollywood. They trusted him to carry the torch for them and to cut a deal with TV executives that would get them more jobs in the TV industry. It appears that Mfume did just that. NBC has agreed to add a minority writer to each of its second season shows, double its purchases from minority vendors, and hire more minorities at all levels of its operations up to and including more executives. ABC, CBS, and the Fox network have promised to come up with a similar plan for minority hiring. Yet at the moment of triumph Mfume is now under blistering assault from Latino, Native-American and Asian activists who say that he double-crossed them by signing the deal with the TV executives without them. Despite Mfume's protest that the deal will result in more jobs for all minorities, they fear that blacks will still be the prime recipients of whatever goodies Hollywood chooses to bestow.
While their complaints seem like a bad case of identity politics gone awry, Mfume's critics have good reason to be concerned. According to figures compiled by the NAACP and industry sources, African-American, Latinos, Native-Americans and Asians comprise less than five percent of the writers and directors currently working on network TV shows. And the four groups taken together make up less than 15 percent of the members of the Screen Actors Guild. However, as sorry as these figures are for minorities in the TV industry, blacks are still far more represented in the industry than Latinos, Asians, and Native-Americans.
And this is why they are so mad at Mfume. They fear that the TV executives will interpret minority hiring to mean only hiring more blacks. This would leave them even further out in the cold. The action by Mfume and TV executives also feeds their deep suspicion and resentment that TV executives who are mostly rich, white males in the East are mired deep in a time warp and still define the racial struggle in America exclusively in black and white terms. If indeed, as the activists claim, Mfume was negotiating on their behalf he can and should be criticized for not consulting with them and inviting them to the signing table. But they badly shoot themselves in the foot if their ethnic lens are so horribly blurred that they don't see the bigger picture.
The reason the issue of minority exclusion in Hollywood became the explosive national issue it did is not because of NAACP racial favoritism but because of TV executives shameful history of minority exclusion. Not one of the twenty-six new comedies and dramas that debuted on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox last Fall had an African-American, Latino or Asian-American character in a feature role. And only a paltry number of the new shows feature minorities in support roles. Even after a season of boycott threats and protests by the NAACP and Latino activists the industry remains virtually lily-white.
The deal also forced TV executives who are used to talking and listening to no one but themselves and their gargantuan corporate advertisers to a near open confession that they deliberately crafted a special brand of media apartheid. But the danger of carrying identity politics to the extreme is that the TV executives could use the bad public odor from the ethnic infighting as an excuse to weasel out of their pledge to hire more minorities.
Even if they don't backslide, given their slippery track record when it comes to minorities, Mfume, Latino, Asian, and Native-American activists must still put aside their ethnic identity politics long enough to work together to make sure the TV executives quickly fulfill their pledge. This is the bigger picture that the NAACP and its minority critics must see.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a syndicated columnist and the
author of The Crisis in Black and Black. Feedback
Thirty Years Later
By Armstrong Williams
In the midst of a civil upheaval that threatened to erode the very structure that keeps us huddled together as a society, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of love. He spoke of the need to overcome oppression without resorting to oppression. He spoke of something very essential about society: that, in the words of Albert Camus, "we are condemned to live together." For this understanding, he emerged a cultural prophet and his words spread out across a nation, then hardened into a rather astonishing vision: a "dream that one day this nation will rise up ... [and] hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
For much of this country's history, the relationship between white Americans and their former slaves has been less than equal. Exhibit A: the not unfamiliar sight of tensely muscular black bodies, strung up and left dangling from trees. Exhibit B: hangover from a shared history of slavery in the form of not-so-subtle social hierarchies that passively reinforced racial prejudices. In short, not every white American was thrilled about sharing those basic freedoms that Martin Luther King espoused.
So how stands this country now, 30 years after Dr. King gave his life for his dream? Certainly, there has been a progression from the days when those blacks that demanded freedom from oppression were made to fear for their lives. After several hard fought battles, lynching blacks is presently considered intolerably bourgeois. Indeed, the racism of today isn't so blunt as to be about skin color, as it is about cultural patterns that slavery wrought. It is about cultural division that was sewn so deeply into our social fabric, for so long, that even today white Americans have trouble imagining themselves as the "other" skin color. In short, modern racism is much ado about elitism.
So here we are again attempting to understand the mysteries of skin color in this country. The current state of affairs is illuminating. These social hierarchies -- the lack of black representation at the highest echelons of political, social and economic endeavors -- continues to be regarded as social norms. These "norms" subtly condition us to view blacks as "others," inferior economically or otherwise.
It is not surprising that the hot topic at middle-aged suburban house parties continues to be "the bell curve," a scientific study which revealed that blacks scored lower on intelligence tests than their white counterparts. Oh, it has been all the buzz! I can't tell you how often I've heard someone casually remark that blacks have not achieved the same manner of success as whites in the arts and sciences. It does not occur to the suburban elitists that blacks have traditionally been denied equal opportunity, adequate role models, or even the equal expectation of success. If, during this country's brief history, blacks have failed to match whites in the sheer breadth of their social endeavors, then this is plainly a matter of social conditioning, rather than something innately black or white about human beings.
Nonetheless, the social hierarchies persist, endlessly and senselessly. All the while, this great factory known as America falters. After all, can you image how great America would be today if every citizen had been allowed to be a full contributing individual? Can you imagine where we would be today if our black brothers and sisters had been allowed an equal opportunity to grow and achieve and contribute to all manners of human disciplines? People regard America as a great empire, a highly centralized industrial machine. But we have squandered valuable resources and we continue to do so through ignorance and petty judgements.
Thirty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s voice ascended and then transcended. With calm dignity he spoke of a dream that his "four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." In the 30 years since a bullet left Dr. King's body crumpled upon the cold Memphis ground, we like to believe that things have changed. And indeed, they have. Once overt racism has been twisted inward.
Still, racism exists in the form of social hierarchies and elitism. In regard to racism, it occurs that we have not so much transformed our society as substituted rules of etiquette. Many black Americans are still viewed as the "other." In any social structure, the "other" is doomed to be marginalized as economic-and by extension, social and intellectual-inferiors.
Thirty years after Dr. King proclaimed to a nation, "let freedom ring," such remains the fate of many minorities in America.
Last Black Man Standing
List of links that you will find More info
Wonders of the African world with
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. If you missed the special on P.B.S.
And for our Caribbean Friends
And for our Caribbean Friends
to Be a Kid again
Conflicts: We Don't Have To Argue About It
One thing that I've learned from many years of working with all types of couples is this: Couples are going to argue! It's bound to happen. If individuals can have conflict within themselves, how can two people with different histories, views of the world and different temperaments, hope to avoid arguing with their partner? I'm typically skeptical of people who say that they've been in long-term relationships and have never argued with their partner. Either they're not being honest with me, or they're not being honest with themselves or the person they're with. How a couple handles anger and conflict is at least as important as how they show love and caring. It is usually during an argument that feelings are most often hurt. It's important to understand what people do when they're mad at each other. When the couple argues, do the partners seek to obliterate each other with words and actions? Do they show any hint of respect or courtesy? Do they implicate their children, family, or friends when embroiled in a heated debate? Does either partner seek to end the relationship when things get tough? Most of these issues are harder to detect when a couple is getting along versus when they are not. It's important to understand what partners do when angry or hurt feelings are present. There are numerous ways of helping people improve things; too many to list here. However, I would like to present some of the ways in which people can make a bad situation even worse. The following are examples of what couples can do to make their relationship much harder than it needs to be. The idea here is: If you recognize that you do these things, try to be aware of them when they happen, stop doing them, and replace those behaviors with the more adaptive alternatives provided in each example.
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