Monday, February 23, 2009

Ending Bigotry in Housing

This article, written by Ronald B.Saunders, appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb 18, 1986 in the Black on Black column.

Rational and intelligent Americans were saddened last year by the illegal harassment of the Fox family, an interracial couple in the municipality commonly known as the City of Brotherly Love , and by the firebombing of a Black couple’s newly purchased home in the eastern Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills. Recently, similar incidents of racial intimidation have occurred to Black families who have purchased homes in White, ethnic, blue-collar neighborhoods in Cleveland and Chicago.
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have historically been hotbeds of racial discrimination. Over 25 years ago, I personally witnessed the same type of overt racial hatred in the Philadelphia suburb of Levittown, when a Black family moved into a previously all White community.
The typical community bigot will engage in rock or brick throwing, cross-burning and other forms of property damage or intimidation and very frequently he or she will resort to vociferous objections to the newly arrived Black neighbors. The psychopathic bigot will maim, kill or terrorize any Black or other identifiable racial minority. Usually the psychopathic bigot will attack at night or in the early morning hours.
There have been numerous incidents of Whites intimidating Blacks.
In the fall of 1974, a young Black couple, Calvin and Ruth Toler, rented an apartment townhouse in the Pittsburgh suburb of Brentwood. One hour after they moved into their apartment, their car was firebombed. The Brentwood police dismissed the incident.
Two hours after the firebombing of the vehicle, two shotgun blasts went through the front door, barely missing Calvin Toler, who was sitting in a living room chair.
As a representative of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, I investigated these incidents along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The culprit was eventually apprehended, prosecuted and convicted.
On November 30, 1985, in the Greenfield section of the nation’s most livable city, Gresha Robinson, a Black woman and her four year old son, barely escaped being hit by a brick that was thrown through their second floor window after they moved into a previously all White neighborhood. Three other bricks had also been hurled through her window before the November 30th incident. The landlady had been questioned by a neighbor as to why she would rent to a Black family. There have been other incidents of racial harassment perpetrated against the family.
Housing discrimination, like employment discrimination, is pervasive in our society, and federal and state enforcement efforts are virtually non-existent. When realtors and home sellers break the law by discriminating against Blacks, they have little to fear from the government and the courts.
In 1980, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, under President Jimmy Carter, filed 12 cases under the Fair Housing Act. Seven consent orders were obtained from discriminators. In 1985, the U.S. Justice Department under President Reagan filed 16 cases and obtained 16 consent orders. From 1983 to November 1985, 245 claims of housing discrimination were filed in Pennsylvania, of which 156 were racial discrimination complaints; 25 percent of these cases were filed in Allegheny County. Unfortunately, the national government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has repeatedly substituted voluntary compliance for enforcement.
Law abiding Americans must recognize that equal housing opportunity is not a philosophy or ideology. It is the law.
In light of our history in the past 40 years, it is evident that unresolved racial conflict has the potential for large scale social dislocation. Thus there will be no racial peace without racial justice.
When the law functions at its best, it fulfills its historic role of preserving public order while at the same time redressing collective grievances. It allows the institutions of our society to change without fatal trauma. The law accomplishes this purpose by providing a non-violent, culturally sanctioned mechanism whereby those victimized by injustice can seek relief. Albeit such relief is usually inadequate and is slow in arriving.
When the courts grant broad relief, the great potential of change through the judicial process is apparent to the oppressed. It also informs the White community that racism has lost its official sanction. Thus we must ask whether the law can bring justice fast enough to allow for that change, or will the politics of deception, the recalcitrance of the Reagan administration and racism destroy this last hope of national decency? Racism is still America’s number one mental health problem. However, the medical and mental health professionals and institutions in these United States still refuse to recognize and identify racism as a mental disease.
Finally, if the families that have been victimized by racial incidents decide to leave their respective neighborhoods, that will be victory for the outlaws of racism and their victory will rest solely on those individuals, agencies, commissions and law enforcement authorities who are mandated by their various city, state and federal statutes to enforce the law.
Ronald B. Saunders is chairman of the National Black Political Caucus.

On 2/23/09, Blogger Black Buzz says according to Melissa Harris, Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University, the National Alliance of Fair Housing documents hundreds of thousands of acts of housing discrimination each year and has repeatedly criticized the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to adequately pursue and prosecute the vast majority of these cases. Professor Harris further says we can’t talk our way out of residential segregation. Black Buzz states that most of these documented cases by the Alliance do not result in bona fide complaints against any respondents because most victims of discrimination are either too afraid or they have no confidence in the State Human Rights Commissions/agencies, HUD, or the U.S. Department of Justice in their ability and thoroughness to enforce the law. There appears to be more subtle housing discrimination on the basis of race in 2009 than in 1989 even though many more racial minorities have moved into the middle class. Under the Bush administration, rental agents, landlords, realtors, lenders, mortgage brokers and investment banks have had an open field day on racial minorities and the poor in conducting their reign of terror because of their greed, corruption, misinformation in the so-called free and open market.
Furthermore, aggressive law enforcement in the area of civil rights plus strict enforcement of the laws and regulations governing our institutions in banking, mortgage/home loans, financial and investment industry were virtually non-existent for the last eight years. The Madoff and Stanford massive fraud schemes are only the tip of the iceberg in a country that continues to fall into a type of malignant, Machiavellian form of governance coupled with excessive avarice and greed.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Commentary: Why Holder's Speech Was a Failure

By Melissa Harris-LacewellSpecial to CNN

Melissa Harris-Lacewell is associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, "Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought" and writes a daily blog titled The Kitchen Table.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell says Eric Holder's speech fell short of calling for real action against racism.

PRINCETON, New Jersey (CNN) -- On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder marked Black History Month with an address at the Department of Justice. Holder clearly and courageously acknowledged the history of American racism.
He forthrightly argued that, "to get to the heart of this country, one must examine its racial soul." Because public officials so rarely discuss race, Holder's was an unusually bold statement.
But ultimately, Eric Holder's discussion of race in America was a failure. It failed because Holder spoke more like a grade school principal than like the attorney general of the United States. He framed our nation's continuing racial work as a struggle to feel comfortable, be tolerant, and have "frank conversations about racial matters."
I appreciate the sentiment, but I would prefer Holder use the Department of Justice to sue those who illegally discriminate against racial minorities rather than holding encounter sessions in the lunchroom.
February's celebration of black history is important because it reminds us that America's bitter racial legacy is not about name calling and hurt feelings; it is about structures of inequality codified in law and supported by government action.
Black men and women risked their lives to gain the right to vote, to live where they chose, to educate their children in the best public schools, and to end segregation in transportation and public places.
Black political history is the story of a battle against structures. Unfortunately, too many of those structures still exist. As attorney general, Eric Holder is charged, in part, with eliminating those violations of law that still create systematic racial inequality.
In Holder's optimistic portrayal of modern America, we are a nation fundamentally altered by Brown v. Board of Education; a country that has "done a pretty good job melding the races in the workplace;" and a nation whose biggest racial obstacle is making our weekend socializing as congenial as our workweek happy hours.
Maybe Holder doesn't realize that in many cities and towns the public schools are more segregated today than they were 40 years ago. A recent report from the Chicago Urban League found that African-American children in the city are almost exclusively educated in schools that are more than 85 percent black.

These vastly predominantly black schools have fewer resources, fewer extracurricular activities and fewer experienced teachers than their white counterparts.
Children from these schools are more likely to drop out or end up incarcerated than to enroll in college.
Segregation is no longer the law of the land, but America's children continue to be educated in separate and unequal schools. We can't talk our way out of unequal schools.
Holder's perspective that black and white workers get along easily in the workplace reflects a shocking disregard for contemporary employment realities. African-Americans continue to suffer from extraordinary employment discrimination at every stage of hiring and promotion and in every sector of the job market.
For example, my Princeton University colleague, sociologist Devah Pager, has demonstrated that white men with criminal records are more likely to be considered for a job than black men with no criminal past.
I am deeply concerned that the leader of the Department of Justice seems to believe that our workplaces need dialogue, discourse, and understanding rather than fair hiring practices, equal pay, and transparent promotion procedures. We can't talk our way out of employers who refuse to interview a job candidate if the name on the résumé "sounds black."
Holder discussed weekend segregation as if it is just a matter of personal recreational choice: White folks go off to NASCAR and black people prefer to watch basketball. But the reason Americans do not share racial vocabulary or opportunities for interracial dialogue is because of deeply entrenched racial residential segregation.
We don't spend our weekends together because we don't live in the same neighborhoods. Housing segregation is not just a matter of personal choice. Some real estate agents steer black families away from predominantly white neighborhoods. Some property owners refuse to rent to black families. Both of these acts are illegal.
In fact, the National Fair Housing Alliance documents hundred of thousands of acts of housing discrimination each year and has repeatedly criticized the Department of Justice for failing to adequately pursue and prosecute the vast majority of these cases. We can't talk our way out of residential segregation.
As a teacher, I am deeply committed to interracial dialogue. I try to use my classroom as a site of conversation, deliberation, and debate about race. I do this because, as a teacher, dialogue is the most powerful weapon I have in the fight to build a better America.
Eric Holder has something more. He has the law. I don't want my attorney general to scold me about having conversations; I want him to tell me the lawsuits he plans to file against those who continue to practice educational, employment, and housing discrimination.
I appreciate Attorney General Holder for taking up a conversation on race, but it is not enough. The time for talking may come, but today is a day for action.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

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New York Post Chimp Cartoon Is Disguised Bigotry Masking As Free Expression

The New York Post Newspaper has found a convenient cover and mask for their unadulterated historical racial insensitivity—the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Post knowingly markets and camouflages their racial bias by calling it parody.
Historically in the United States, Whites in the dominant culture have associated chimpanzees with African Americans (Blacks). President Obama was called every kind of ‘porch monkey’ during the last presidential election and some in attendance at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis were carrying pictures portraying Mr. Obama as a monkey. So were they being humorous or were they racist? I say they were racists. Any intelligent sane individual can draw an obvious conclusion that the cartoonist, Mr. Delonas was making a direct reference to President Obama in his cartoon. Not only was the cartoon in poor taste, but I feel it should necessitate an immediate response from the U.S. Secret Service to ascertain the true motive of this cartoonist and the editors of the New York Post. Yes, it’s true that the New York Post has in the past depicted George W. Bush in various cartoons as a chimpanzee, but Mr. Murdoch’s New York Post has never shown George W. Bush with anyone pointing a gun at him or lying in the street as a dead chimpanzee. I say ‘if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck’. The person who drew the cartoon and the people who approved the cartoon are bigots and racists.
The New York Post or the New Yorker Magazine would never draw a cartoon of Nazi Gestapo troopers aiming their rifles or guns at a dead Jewish person lying on the ground next to a picture of Christ being crucified on the cross.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obama Signs Poorly Crafted Stimulus Bill

The $787 billion stimulus bill was signed into law today by President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado with the hope of stimulating the economy with immediate jobs, the saving of jobs, short term and long term economic growth and development. I don’t think the package is large enough because too much was slashed from the education portion of the bill and not enough funds are going for infrastructure building because our problems are so extensive and mass.. Furthermore, the Democrats compromised on too many important items in the stimulus package just to get the support of three Republican senators, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, and Susan Collins. This plan lacks immediate job creation and new job training in areas that have been heavily impacted by layoffs, unemployment and underemployment. Hopefully the housing plan Mr. Obama is to unveil tomorrow will be more comprehensive with specificity than the second part of the bank bailout plan presented by the Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner to Congress on February 10th and the 11th. Another weakness of the stimulus package signed today by President Obama is that it lacks a provision that would prohibit employers from hiring illegal aliens. Illegal aliens should not receive any benefit from any portion of the stimulus bill. This country is spending billions of dollars a year to subsidize illegal aliens because of the lack of willingness on the part of the Congress to address and tackle this issue because of political expediency.
Is Mr. Obama mortgaging his presidency on this stimulus bill, on the housing bill he is to unveil tomorrow and perhaps on subsequent stimulus bills in order to remedy the blatant, egregious, mismanagement and dereliction of duty of the Bush administration for the last eight years?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama Selects Right-Winger Gregg for Commerce Secretary and Nomination Backfires

Mr. President Obama, why would you select a mediocre, right-wing ideologue in Judd Gregg who voted twice as a member of the Senate in 1995 to abolish the U.S. Department of Commerce? Mr. Obama, what made you think that this arch neo-con would have a miraculous, political, philosophical metamorphosis in one month or less when Mr. Gregg has been of the right-wing conservative mind-set all of his life? Or did you think that Mr. Gregg would change his political philosophy based upon osmosis, diffusion or some other unknown divine forces? Why not nominate David Stockman (Ronald Reagan’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 1981-85) or Dan Quayle (vice-president under George H.W. Bush, 1989-93) or David Duke (former Republican Louisiana State Representative)? I knew the moment Gregg would not vote for the Stimulus Bill in the Senate, that he would be a problem for the Obama administration.
Who is doing the vetting of the Obama vetting team? Mr. Obama, you need to quit trying to emulate the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, in selecting individuals for your cabinet posts and develop your own unique political style and philosophy that is germane to the 21st century not the 19th century. I have often pondered, Mr. President, do you really know who you are? Furthermore, Mr. President, Rohm Emanuel, the ex-Clinton hatchet man, is not of the same political philosophy as you, so don’t fool yourself. Mr. Emanuel did a disservice to you, Mr. President, in his bungling the handling of Mr. Gregg’s nomination for Secretary of Commerce in reference to not being on the same page relative to your philosophy on the 2010 Census and the Stimulus Bill. Also note that on Friday, February 13, 2009, Mr. Obama’s former nominee for Secretary of Commerce, Judd Gregg, voted on the floor of the U.S. Senate against the 800 billion dollar Stimulus Package.
President Obama, you promised the American people that you were going to hit the ground running. Well Mr. President, you got out of your starting block but you keep stumbling over the various hurdles running down the track with these preposterous and absurd key cabinet level nominations. Mr. President, you will be faced with many other hurdles running down the track but I have confidence in your ability, intelligence and political savvy to overcome these many obstacles.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

African American History Is American History

The below inventions by African Americans we all can take pride in for contributing to the development of the United States for without these inventions and many more, America would be a second rate power today.

On February 12, 1867, H. Lee received a patent (61, 941) for his invention of the animal trap.

W. B. Purvis, on February 12, 1884, received a patent (293,353) for his invention of the paper bag machine.

The NAACP was founded on February 12, 1909 by a group of Black and White citizens fighting for social justice.

TARP Banks and Financial Institutions Dupe Public While Congress Grandstands

Mr. Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, along with cohort George Bush and the duplicitous Congress did a major con job on the American people in reference to the first TARP bailout. The Democrats and Republicans were and still are asleep at the wheel and the American electorate appears naive and perplexed over the matter of the first TARP bailout usage of funds. The public does not need an obscure narrative description of what each financial institution is doing with the TARP bailout funds but what is needed are detailed accounting procedures with thorough congressional oversight that explain and track every dollar that is being spent on a monthly basis. The conniving greedy bank CEO’s presently can’t verify or validate how the TARP funds have or are being spent and they can’t explain why the funds are not going to the consumers for whom they were intended. Now these cast of addle brain characters running the banks and other financial institutions are standing in line waiting for more of the taxpayers’ money. The Madoff 50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme is minor compared to the largest fraud in American history, the 2.1 trillion dollar Ponzi scheme on the part of the banks and other financial institutions receiving TARP funds on Wall Street. When will Congress start doing its job of protecting the interests of the American people on Main Street rather than the financial hustlers on Wall Street?
Timothy Geithner, the new Treasury Secretary, is a Wall Street insider and is in the hip pocket of those gluttonous bankers that have contributed to the deepening financial meltdown which is the worst financial crisis in the modern day era. Timothy Geithner is all about the status quo and protecting the banks, the financial institutions and their lobbyists on Wall Street. Mr. Geithner believes in aiding banks and other financial institutions that should be shut down and buried rather than the smaller banks who are more favorable to the American consumers on Main Street. Timothy Geithner is acutely aware that this is not a crisis of liquidity but is a crisis of insolvency and there is no mechanism presently in place that will make the banks pay any of their TARP funds debt back to the American people. On February 12, 2009, TIME magazine listed the top 25 people based upon their analysis with whom I concur who caused this present financial crisis in the United States. They are as follows: W. Bush, Alan Greenspan, Hank Paulson, David Lereah, Lew Ranieri, DaviPhil Gramm, Christopher Cox, Angelo Mozilo, Joe Cassano, Franklin Raines, Ian McCarthy, Kathleen Corbet, Dick Fuld, Bernard Madoff, Herb & Marion Sandler, Stan O'Neal, John Devany, Sandy Weill, Jimmy Cayne, The American Consumer, George d Oddsson, Fred Goodwin, Bill Clinton, Wen Jiabao, Burton Jablin and Ronald Reagan, the godfather of deregulation. This permissive environment has existed on Wall Street since the 1980's with very little enforcement of any regulation or laws. Therefore what is needed is a special financial criminal prosecution commission to prosecute the previously named individuals and others for their criminal fraudulent behavior because it is apparent the SEC and other regulatory agencies have not done their job.
So how will Mr. Geithner be any different than Hank Paulson? We have substituted Hank Paulson who is a corporate Republican for Timothy Geithner who is a corporate Democrat. If we follow Geithner's policies and plans for resurrecting the economy, we will be in a full scale depression, for Mr. Geithner's policies and plans are the same as Hank Paulson's. So how is this the change we can believe in? Timothy Geithner is simply old wine with a different party label in a new bottle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Congratulations America, President Obama Signs Equal Pay for Equal Work Bill

How fitting that President Barack Obama signed his first bill on January 29, 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. Mr. Obama's signing of the new Equal Pay legislation ends a legally flawed 2007 decision of the United States Supreme Court which said employees had only 180 days to file pay-discrimination lawsuits. The new legislation will make it easier for women and other protected classes to sue for the present effects of past discrimination. Mrs. Ledbetter filed a 1998 suit against a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plant, located in Gadsen, Alabama after discovering that males working in the same position as she, were receiving a higher salary for doing the same work. In 2007, the ultra conservative led Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote that Mrs. Ledbetter had waited too long to sue since she brought the lawsuit near the end of her 19 year career with the respondent. So in the instant case, we had the highest court in the land engaging in the judicial nullification of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and deviously hiding behind their black robes, misinterpreting the original intent of Congress in enacting the Civil Rights Act. More importantly, the new legislation is not limited to gender based discrimination. The legislation amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to also apply to discrimination based upon race, religion, national origin, disability and age. This is a major victory for all Americans, particularly women who have been treated as second class citizens for too long in the United States of America. Women working for major companies, small or large businesses, factories, in the agricultural industry (farms), and foremost in the halls of academia, can take pride in this historic victory for Mrs. Ledbetter even though Mrs. Ledbetter will not be the recipient of any financial award from this bill named in her honor.
How can one justify in 2009, paying women 78 cents on a dollar to a male and for women of color, it’s 65 cents on a dollar to a male? President Obama has placed federal civil rights law enforcement as a top priority in his administration. Therefore it will be incumbent upon the White House to work in conjunction with strict congressional oversight to significantly increase funding, resources, staff training, hiring additional employees with high accountability and performance standards and goals for the EEOC and other agencies that have statutory authority over the issue of equal pay to effectively and aggressively enforce the law. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is the law of the land, can be an effective instrument in combatting all types of discrimination in employment. Smart small employers should assign an employee in their personnel department, who is highly trained and skilled, the responsibility of making sure there are no pay discrepancies on the basis of sex for employees doing or performing the same or similar work and position responsibilities.
Large corporations, colleges and universities must insure that they have well trained human resource professionals such as a pay equity officer/staff or a compliance officer/staff who will quarterly evaluate, monitor each employee’s job or position responsibilities relative to the actual work being performed. And if any pay inequities exist, that immediate corrective action occur to remedy the problem internally to the mutual satisfaction of subject employee in consultation with the supervisor, manager or director who may be responsible for the pay disparity on the basis of sex for people performing the same or similar job. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Employers should be on top of their game and should implement good personnel practices and procedures that are consistent, objective and fair without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability or sexual orientation or risk spending an enormous amount of money on attorney fees trying to defend themselves in court.
In 1974, while employed by the Governor’s Office of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, I investigated three equal pay complaints filed by females alleging pay discrimination on the basis of sex (female) against Allegheny County, Allegheny Minor Judiciary and the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas in which discrimination was found. The three lead complainants, along with the class of females, received substantial monetary awards for these discriminatory acts. These three women, like Ledbetter, should be commended and given kudos for standing up for their civil rights. I encourage all women who are performing the same or similar work to your male counterpart to request a meeting with your pay equity officer, compliance officer, affirmative action manager/administrator to assure that you are being compensated equally to males performing the same jobs or similar position responsibilities. If the employer fails to satisfy your concerns, you should file a charge with EEOC or a 706 State or local Deferral Agency which has a responsibility for enforcing the civil rights laws in the respective states or in local municipalities.
Remember, when skill, effort and responsibility are the same, the pay should be the same when performing the same or similar job or position responsibilities. Women should not be fearful of taking the ‘Bull by the Horn’ because the recent Supreme Court ruling in Crawford v Metropolitan Government of Nashville upheld the retaliation provisions of Title VII anti-retaliation section, 42 U.S.C.

246 Million for the Hollywood Studios in the Stimulus Bill

Why? Because the Hollywood studio owners and Hollywood big-shots gave heavily to Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic crew in the last presidential election and now the Hollywood gang wants to be paid.
This money was only taken out of the stimulus bill upon the discovery by the minority party after a close scrutiny of the bill. This is the same old type of tired 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back' politics which revealed this is business as usual in and around the Beltway.
Is this the change we can believe in or is this more of the same?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congratulations Rod Woodson, But What about Dermontti Dawson?

Indeed Rod Woodson was one of the greatest defensive backs in the history of the National Football League. Mr. Woodson could play any position in the defensive backfield at a very high level of excellence. Therefore, I say congratulations Rod for your pending induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Apparently, the voters on the selection committee for the Hall of Fame nominees did not review the film tapes of Dermontti Dawson. Dermontti Dawson made All-Pro seven times, went to the Pro Bowl six times and played his center position like a guard and center at the same time.
Is Dermontti being penalized because Iron Mike Webster set the bar so high with nine trips to the Pro Bowl and being named All-Pro ten times? Some football experts say Dawson was even better than Iron Mike. But Dawson didn’t have the luxury of having Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw at quarterback or a Hall of Fame running back in Franco Harris nor teammates who won four Super Bowls.
So what is wrong with having more than one team member in the same class inducted into the Hall of Fame? Was Dermontti Dawson snubbed by the voters of the Hall of Fame selection committee?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jail-In-Movement Began on February 6, 1961

The Civil Rights Jail-In Movement began when 10 Black students in Rock Hill, South Carolina, were arrested for requesting service at a segregated lunch counter. The students refused to post bail and demanded jail time rather than pay fines, thereby refusing to acknowledge any legitimacy of the laws under which they were arrested.
These were brave courageous students who risked their lives so that others may enjoy the benefits of freedom, justice, and equality.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Did You Know?

Baby Illegal?

BALTIMORE, Md., Aug. 2, 1956
A White woman, Miss Shirley Howard, whose baby was fathered by a Black man, John Moses Billy, will be tried here under a 1715 Maryland law condemning “any White woman who shall suffer or permit herself to be got with child by a colored man or mulatto.”

United States Supreme Court Rules

On June 12, 1967, the nation’s highest court voted unanimously to
overturn the conviction of Richard Loving, a White man and Mildred Loving, a Black woman, a young couple from rural Caroline County, Virginia who were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s Racial Integrity Act. The court’s decision struck down the anti-miscegenation laws which were written to prevent the mixing of the races. These laws were on the books in more than a dozen states including Virginia.

Interracial Couples Today

Since that ruling almost 42 years ago, interracial marriage has become more common, but remains relatively rare. Sociologists estimate that 7 percent of the nation’s 59 million marriages are
mixed-race couplings. And even now, interracial marriage remains a source of quiet debate over questions of identity, assimilation and acceptance.

Obama Signs Children’s Health Bill

I would like to commend and give kudos to President Obama for signing the Children’s Health Bill which was long overdue. The insensitive former President George Bush had twice vetoed this important piece of legislation which will permit about seven million poor and low income children to continue health insurance coverage through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. This legislation will also allow an additional four million children to obtain health insurance coverage.
This is the type of change that all Americans can believe in regardless of their party affiliation, ethnicity or religious beliefs.

Happy Birthday to Hammerin' Hank and the Great Bambino, Babe Ruth

Henry-Hank Aaron, the real all-time Home Run King, was born on February 5th, 1934. And the authentic all-time runner-up home run champion to Hank Aaron is Babe Ruth, who was born on February 6, 1895. They hit all of their home runs the old fashioned way, without the use of HGH, steroids, or any other performance enhancing drugs and pine tar bats, short fences, and juiced-up baseballs. Mr. Aaron is also my first choice as my right fielder on my all-time team. My second and third choices on my all-time team for right fielders are respectively Babe Ruth, and the great Roberto Clemente.
Enjoy your day Hank !

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Who Is Doing the Vetting of the Obama Vetting Team? Rush Limbaugh?

President Obama and his transition team along with his so-called vetting team has had since November 5th, 2008 to do a comprehensive, thorough, examination, investigation and cross examination of all his nominations for all major posts in his new administration. The first sign of a crack in the armor of the Obama vetting team was their gross inability to recognize the serious questions about Bill Richardson that had been widely reported in the media for well over a year. But what we have in the cases of Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer is a blatant failure of the Obama vetting team to investigate fully and vet these respective candidates who have appeared to have attempted to avoid paying taxes in a like and similar fashion as the general public. The Obama gang from Chicago then put a self-serving, duplicitous spin on the Geithner, Daschle and Killefer nominations by saying these three individuals only made minor errors on their taxes. Someone tell me how are Mr. Geithner, Mr. Daschle and Mrs. Killefer any different than Alphonse Capone who was indicted and convicted on tax evasion? All three nominees only paid their taxes after the problems surfaced during the vetting process thereby giving the appearance of trying to fraud the government. It appears the Obama vetting team may have been attempting to cover up the miscues of the three candidates.
It’s okay for people like Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer who wear Brooks Brothers’ suits in and around the Beltway and on Wall Street to deliberately avoid paying their taxes in a timely manner. But what happens to the average wise guy or Joe or Susie Sixpack on Main Street who attempt to evade paying taxes? Why is there a gross double standard on the part of the IRS relative to selective prosecuting of tax evaders regardless of their socio-economic class status and income?
How are Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle and Nancy Kellefer eminently qualified to run our Treasury Department, Health and Human Services and be the Chief Performance Officer when they disregarded their tax responsibilities which are ingrained in our DNA. And what does this say about the ability, skill and talent of the Obama vetting team to do a thorough, in-depth examination and investigation of all key cabinet level positions. Mr. Obama, is this the kind of example you want to set for our young people and children that it’s okay to cheat as long as you don’t get caught? And when you get caught, just simply say: ‘you overlooked the matter or it was an oversight’. All of these individuals have bona-fide accountants, so how did these egregious errors occur?
Is this the change, Mr. Obama, you were speaking of on the campaign trail? Or is this just more of the same---Washingtonian politics with business as usual? I guess all politicians think the American electorate is dumb and pig ignorant. At a time when most Americans have become skeptical about the motives, intentions, honesty and integrity of government and corporate CEO’s, President Obama gives an appearance that he is trying to bamboozle the American people with a group of political hustlers in Geithner, Daschle and Killefer. The only Obama key cabinet posts with which I feel comfortable are the distinguished Steven Chu, Energy Secretary, General Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs and James L. Jones, National Security Adviser.
Do these bumpy, clumsy, false starts on the part of Team Obama to thoroughly vet personnel for key cabinet positions signal the type of governance we are going to have for the next four years?