Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turning Racism Upside Down To See It Right Side Up: The Remix

Turning Racism Upside Down To See It Right Side Up: The Remix
by Dr. Edward Rhymes
“Whites almost never put themselves under the same microscope that Blacks and Latinos are routinely subjected to.
”Republican Party darling Mike Huckabee, during a recent speech, decided to dispense some tough love to a predominantly white audience when he voiced his concerns about the state of affairs in American white communities. "The epidemic of whites involved in drunk-driving fatality accidents is deplorable," Huckabee said. He cited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2000 statistics that showed that white male drivers between the ages of 21-34 constituted the largest percentage of drunk (or impaired) drivers in fatal crashes, and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Prevention Research Center's 1999 findings that of the 91,248 alcohol-related driving fatalities, 65,309 were committed by whites.

Huckabee also took aim at the violence perpetrated by whites in school: "White school children killing other school children must stop. The senseless and barbaric school shootings in Pearl, Miss., Paducah, Ky., Jonesboro, Ark., Edinboro, Pa., Springfield, Ore., and Littleton, Colo. serve as chilling reminders of what happens when there is a failure of leadership in the white family."
“White school children killing other school children must stop.”
Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, referred to his speech as a wake-up call:
"We can't hide behind the stereotypical image of the Black and Hispanic violent criminal anymore. Before there was 'gangsta' rap you had Martin Scorsese, Brian DePalma and Francis Ford Coppola winning award after award and Oscar after Oscar for their films filled with whites committing brutal acts of violence. What type of message does that send if we reward movies that depict such brutality? The Godfather, Casino, Goodfellas, Scarface, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction. These movies have all contributed to a culture of white violence."
FBI statistics also state that from 2007, of the 57 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, 35 of the assailants were white." These statistics signal an alarming trend," said Huckabee. "White politicians don't want to discuss these issues, but somebody has to speak up."
Huckabee continued his assault on what he called the "white crime epidemic."

"The average serial killer is usually male, between the ages of 25-35, and he is usually white. The majority of the time, he will kill victims of his own race. The ages of his victims will vary greatly, depending on his particular 'interests.' His intellect ranges from below average to above average. He doesn't usually know his victims or have any particular hatred for them personally (though they might be symbolic to him in some way) most of the time... His victims never did anything to hurt him in any way...they are normally strangers to him. He doesn't come from one social class or another; he can come from skid row or Park Avenue. The typical child abductor-murderer is, likewise, usually a white male. They are single and about 27 years old. They are either unemployed or work in unskilled jobs, live alone or with parents, while their victims are typically 11-year-old white females from middle class neighborhoods.”
“These movies have all contributed to a culture of white violence."
The explosion of white criminality has been breathtaking. Child sex offenses are among the fastest growing offenses of the federal criminal caseload from 1994 to 2006 and during 2006, 3,661 suspects were referred to U.S. Attorneys for child sex exploitation offenses. Child pornography constituted 69% of referrals, followed by sex abuse (16%) and sex transportation (14%). Most suspects charged with sex exploitation were white, male, U.S. citizens, and had attended some college. "Where do we point the finger for this?" asked Huckabee, citing statistics from a December 2007 report of the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice.

Huckabee lashed out at those he called "social and moral vampires." "Child pornography or kiddie porn is a crime whose perpetrators are overwhelmingly white and whose victims are disproportionately white,” he said. “This too must stop. Even in our sacred institutions such as our churches, specifically in far too many Roman Catholic churches, our innocent white children are being preyed upon."
“Most suspects charged with sex exploitation were white, male, U.S. Citizens.”
"Do you realize that nearly 70 percent of those serving time for violent crimes against children are white?" Huckabee said, this time citing figures from the Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. "And white inmates were nearly three times more likely to have victimized a child than black inmates. What are we doing to ourselves?” he wondered. "Susan Smith, Andrea Yates and Deanna Laney represent a frightening pattern of murder and neglect of white children by white mothers.... And do they take responsibility? No. They either blame it on some phantom black man or say God made them do it." Huckabee also referenced reports over recent years of white female teachers sexually exploiting their minor students.
Huckabee, who was a Republican Party presidential candidate in 2008, also raised the issue of fiscal irresponsibility. "Our current economic crisis can also be traced to a pandemic of greed perpetrated by the predominantly white male old-boys-network. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimate the annual cost of white collar crime as being between $300 and $660 billion as of 2005." The preacher-politician paused for effect. "While you’re looking for the Black or Hispanic with the ski-mask and gun, the Bernie Madoff’s are 'making-off' with our economic fortunes. How many more Enron’s, Worldcom’s, Tyco’s, HealthSouth’s, and ImClone’s do we have to endure before we get the message?"
“Our current economic crisis can also be traced to a pandemic of greed perpetrated by the predominantly white male old-boys-network.”
Huckabee then turned his focus on white youth and drugs:
"It's the same story for young adults. Whites are 66 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds and 70 percent of drug users that age. Blacks are 13.5 percent of persons in that age group and only 13 percent of young adult users, while Hispanics are nearly 15 percent of that age group, but yet comprise only 12 percent of drug users 18-25. According to the Justice Department, drug users tend to buy from same-race dealers. So the nearly three-quarters of users who are white, mainly rely on white drug dealers, not the Blacks or Hispanics of accepted imagery. When it comes to drugs like Ecstasy and crystal meth - a hot product in suburban America - the dealers and users have long been known to be mostly white, middle-class males between 14 and 32. American society doesn't want to face the fact that white kids deal and use drugs. They simply can't look in their faces and see that a nice-looking white kid is selling drugs to their kids, because that would mean that their kids could do this too."
"When will it end?" lamented Huckabee.
Author’s confession:
Dear reader, this article is only an invention. Mike Huckabee never delivered a speech such as this. However, the statistics cited are very real. As a matter of fact, this piece was first published back in 2005 and has been tweaked to add some more up-to-date stats and a new main character (instead of George W. Bush, Mike Huckabee).
No leading white political or religious leader has ever, to my knowledge, come close to expressing the thoughts and views outlined in this composition. Whites almost never put themselves under the same microscope that Blacks and Latinos are routinely subjected to.
Let's think about it, when the tragedy at Columbine occurred there were literally hundreds of news stories asking the question: "Why are our kids becoming so violent?" Not, “Why are white kids becoming so violent, but "our" kids. Now let's contrast that with what happens when a black child is killed in a predominantly black community. The newspaper accounts more often than not refer to "the problem of black-on-black crime" or "violence amongst black youth."
“The face of white crime is at least as ugly as its Black and Latino counterparts.”
There are two scenarios unfolding here: 1) De-emphasizing or minimizing ethnicity. When the crime is perpetrated by whites, color is not the issue; the issue is "our" children and violence. 2) Emphatic emphasizing and alienation when blacks are deemed the culprits. It is no longer "our" kids; it is "black" kids or youth. There's a big difference.
The raw numbers speak eloquently and the narrative regarding the “deracialization” of offenses committed predominantly by whites, couldn't be more clear. The face of white crime is at least as ugly as its Black and Latino counterparts. The case can be made that the broad scope of white multi-collar anti-social behavior penetrates even more deeply than that of non-whites into the very fabric of American society (given their historical and current control of the U.S. power structure). Yet, in the USA, one must concoct a fictitious speech, such as mine, to convey, in part, the extent of white criminal behavior. For too many whites, the facts of actual white misdeeds are unbearable truths.

Edward Rhymes PhD is the author of When Racism Is Law & Prejudice Is Policy and the Senior Consultant of Rhymes Consulting Services and can be reached via e-mail at

Friday, August 28, 2009

President Obama's July Offensive On Health Care Reform Was Designed To Take The Public's Attention Away From The Fiasco In Afghanistan

More United States troops died during the month of July,2009 than in the entire eight year period relative to America's misguided adventure in Afghanistan with no end game in-sight,and at the same time President Obama was babbling about Health Care Reform which was a clever duplicitous ploy to divert the public's attention away from the fiasco in Afghanistan as the United States sinks deeper into the cauldron.
President Obama hasn't accurately defined the United States military or political mission in Afghanistan,nor how he will achieve those objectives.
Last week the blatantly corrupt Hamid Karzai won reelection as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan even though there was strong widespread evidence of voter abuse,fraud, and voter intimidation,rigged ballots, throughout the Afghan countryside. Hamid Karzai's brother,Ahmed Wali Karzai is one of the biggest(NARCO)Heroin traffickers in Afghanistan and the Karzai brothers are dependent and rely totally on the support of the U.S. and NATO military force for cover to camouflage their lucrative drug trade business and other widespread corruption and graft.The C.I.A. front companies also pay Ahmed Karzai for intelligence knowingly that this NARCO creep is the biggest drug dealer in the Country.
The Karzai family is very wealthy and they are also good friends with the former Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush Co. team.
For the last eight years the former and present U.S. administration has failed to provide the average Afghan poppy grower any viable incentives or alternatives to growing poppy,which gives an appearance that previous regime under Bush and the Obama Administration is in bed with the Karzai's. The growing of corn,cotton and wheat has not provided the Afghan farmer with the kind of necessary income that they need to survive on,and the soil in the Afghan highlands doesn't appear to be conducive or favorable for the successful growing of the previously mentioned crops.
One must also be cognizant of the fact that it was the U.S. government under Bill Clinton that aided,abetted,and helped prop up the so-called Taliban in Afghanistan.
President Obama's war strategy in Afghanistan appears to be no different than his predecessor George W. Bush. The U.S. and NATO troops can win a few minor skirmishes in Southern Afghanistan but the Taliban smartly move and outfoxed the NATO forces and move into the Central and a few Northern provinces to carry on their incessant guerrilla war that has the U.S. and NATO forces befuddled and on the defensive. How much longer will the American people tolerate this madness in Afghanistan ?
Furthermore Obama has bought into the George Bush II line of making the Taliban into an AL-QA'DA proxy solely for the U.S's own niggardly greed and warped Geo-Political ambition to control the flow of natural gas,and other vital resources coupled with the Opium trade in Afghanistan. President Obama's war policy and lack of a consistent strategy in the on-going conflict in Afghanistan will dog his Presidency which could have far deeper repercussions for his reelection bid in 2012,as American and NATO forces continue to die in a conflict with no end game in sight.
The Taliban have been living in Afghanistan for the last 4500 years,and they along with their kinfolk helped to defeat"Alexander The Great," "The Persians", "The treacherous Brits" and the "Bear got beat so bad in Afghanistan they had to go back home to the Soviet Union
with their tails waggling from behind.
Someone or anyone show me the evidentiary proof that shows that the Taliban was involved in the 9/11 attack or any other attack on the U.S. Homeland,or any United States interest abroad.

While Vacationing In Marth's Vineyard,President Obama Should Be Reading,Black Skin,White Masks By Frantz Fanon

Perhaps if President Obama read Fanon's great book titled Black Skin,White Masks he could better understand his passive vacillating personality better. Mr. Obama should also be reading Dr. Larry Sabato's book titled" A More Perfect Constitution,and Dr. Cornel West's book,"Democracy Matters".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

President Obama To Nominate Bernanke To 2nd. Term At Fed.

The American people must realize that all politicians make campaign promises in the heat of battle that they never plan on keeping when elected to said office.

What we have in the instant case of President Barack Obama was a masterful duping of his core constituency during his campaign for the Presidency,and now true Obama ism has emerged with all the duplicitous by-products." Ha! Ha! " A Sucker is born every minute and every hour of the day".

Here are some of the other comments by other Americans on the Blogosphere.

Caroline Silver,Glendive,MT. "Where is this change you spoke about during the campaign" ?

"The campaign that I dedicated myself to in Virginia,New York,and Ohio". "How can you say you are changing Washington when you re-affirm,reappoint and reinforce all of Bush's policies and politicians" ? "I have never been so disappointed".

Pdxtran- "ugh. Another Wall Street insider". "I always knew that Obama was no leftist,but I'm coming around to the idea that he's not been centrist"."He's just another corpora list".

MC-Seattle, "Yes we can,Yes we can be in the pockets of Wall Street".

Monica,Lewiston MI. "Nothing breeds grass like failure in the Obama Administration". "Kind of like Bush Administration,but with a different face behind the same policy"." Obama seems to have drank his own kool-aid"."I'm sorry I bothered voting for another kool-aid drinker".

Jane M.CT."Wonderful". Just wondeful. calling Obama Bush-lite is a greater compliment than Obama deserves". " I will be voting third party in the future".

Mike,Colorado Springs. "Is the President crazy"? Reappoint Ben Bernanke ? "I used to be a big supporter of Obama".. "It's obvious that that hope for change we can believe in was empty rhetoric". Wall Street and Geithner,and Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bush.The U.S.economy almost died from federal credit poisoning between 2001-2008."So the antidote is more of the same poison"? "Why not appoint Greenspan Fed. Chairman again,and just get it over with"? "Whether the President may value heart,like the Tin Woodsman,he is apparently missing both a brain and a spine,like two daughters from the same story".

David G.Ward- The reappointment of Mr. Bernanke simply indicates that Mr. Obama has become the ultimate appeaser to the very same financial culprits which he ran against during his campaign. Further,what is truly tragic about Mr. Bernanke(a Greenspan clone) is that he is oblivious to the concepts of the" real"function of capital,the rationing of " real" interest rates and the fiduciary responsibility of the Fed. Chairman to the American people ! Financial reform and financial sanity will now have to wait until the"Bernanke Boondoggle" implodes as it surely will.

Mark Klein,M.D.- Making a killing on Fanny Mae and Citigroup shares with my partner Uncle Sugar means don't change horses in midstream by not reappointing Bernanake !

Blogger Black buzz says it was Nikolai Lenin who said, "People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in Politics,until they learn behind every kind of moral,religious,political,social phrase,declaration and promise is to seek out the interests of this or that class or classes." (Change We Can Believe In )
I think history is on Mr.Lenin's side.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District Is The Neo-Nazi Capital Of The Gopher State Of Minnesota

The flamboyant Michele Bachman is a fascist, racist,and Nazi. Mrs. Bachman would be right at home in Hitler's Third Reich. The fact that the people in Minnesota's Sixth District elected Mrs. Bachman indicates that their are many bigoted people in her District,and with honor the Sixth District of Minnesota is given the title of the Neo-Nazi Capital of the state of Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Breaking News: Portsmouth,New Hampshire.A Man Is Caught On Camera Standing In A Town Hall Meeting,Where The President Of U.S.Is To Speak With A Gun

A degenerate looking man has been caught on camera standing in a town hall meeting where the President Of the United States will speak shortly with a gun strapped to his waist.
Why hasn't this "Gun Nut " been arrested and hauled off to jail ? Anyone attempting to intimidate the President Of the United States by wearing a gun to a public gathering needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Where is the United States Secret Service ?
To many of these crazies are hiding behind the Second Amendment relative to bearing arms,and we really need that Constitutional Convention to get rid of the Second Amendment.

Senators Collins&Snowe,Ask The People Of The Great State Of Maine( First) Whether You Should Leave The Republican Party.Please, "Don't Pull A Specter"

All the people in the Keystone State are aware of the fact that Arlen Specter is turncoat politician,who never once discussed with the voters of Pennsylvania whether he should change Party's. Senator Specter only change Party's because he was behind in the polls and he thought his best advantage in winning another term in the U.S.Senate lies with running as a Democrat. Specter's decision was all about Arlen,and he could care less about the people of Pennsylvania. But I predict the voter's in "Penn's Wood's" will send Mr. Specter home packing in the next Senatorial election. The people in Pennsylvania need to wake up and see the need for "Term Limits" for U.S. Senators.

I am asking that Senators Collins and Snowe first consult with the citizens of Maine for their input before making a final decision in leaving the Grand Olde Party Of Lincoln.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

“Black in America”: What the Corporate Media Won’t Tell You

By: Solomon Comissiong

The American mainstream (corporate) media is a paragon selective omission, and inaccuracy. The US corporate media is also one of the most anti-democratic forces rarely discussed. And when it comes to the depiction of black people, and their issues, the overwhelmingly white American corporate media ostensibly prides itself in stories with no context, inaccuracy, and stereotypical imagery.

It is necessary to expose ridiculous non-contextual corporate media creations such as the recent CNN special “Black in America II” (which I will a bit later). Corporate media in America is so bad that it is virtually impossible for most people to find a point of reference when it comes to comparing and contrasting “good” media from “bad” media. It has become an “art” to know exactly where to look in order to find solid, thought provoking, and independent media. However, once you find an actually solid and progressive media source it becomes rather easy to see how you have been duped for so many years.

It is utterly amazing how bad the US corporate media is despite the billions of dollars that are pumped into it each year. Beyond blatant inaccuracy and omission of key facts, the US media will often provide its audience with a wide array of fictitious stories, as well as racist & xenophobic imagery! However, at its core it is vastly anti-democratic. Plain and simple, one must have big money and big political clout (the two are inextricably connected in America) in order to control the airwaves you pay for. American taxpayer dollars go towards allowing the likes of the overtly white supremacist, and factually challenged, Fox News to operate. The fact that tax paying citizens of America own the radio and television airwaves makes this a fairly large swindle in “American” history. It’s not as big as when lazy criminal minded Europeans stole this country from its indigenous, but big nonetheless. Fact of the matter is; corporations have been co-opting the media since the advent of the Federal Communications Commission in 1934 even though its very inception was supposed to prevent the media from becoming entirely commercially based. And since big business is in bed with Capital Hill they are easily able to turn criminal acts into law and policy. This is, in essence, what commonly happens in Washington and is what happened, with regards to the media in 1996 with the Telecommunications Act. The Republican led congress and the Democratic white house (Bubba Clinton) ushered in the 1996 Telecommunications Act. This paved the way for a significant decrease in radio ownership by so-called minorities and allowed large corporations to have unlimited access to various forms of media (e.g., radio stations). Local independent radio and television stations were killed off by the thousands. The telecommunications based capability for people of color to contextually report on stories that mattered to them, by way of radio & TV, significantly mitigated from community to community. The ability to use mediums, such as the radio, to accurately report and discuss significant issues that affect black people was drastically limited. As it stands now African-Americans own less than one percent of all full power TV stations and less than four percent of all radio stations. When you throw all people of color together they own less that five percent of TV stations and less than eight percent of radio stations. Those are pathetic and paltry numbers to say the least. Those are numbers that I am quite sure CNN’s “Black in America” will never report on in any kind of context. The reason why should be obvious. When people of color have little to no input on news and images that are relevant to their communities it is a perfect recipe for “disaster”. It, however, quite frankly, is a recipe that the white supremacist institutions in America love so very much. Reporting on black issues in a slanted, non-contextual and inaccurate light is one of the countless nefarious things American corporate media does best. This is precisely how there can be a CNN special entitled “Black in America”.

There are so many glaring issues with what now seems to be CNN’s annual series “Black in America” that I would like to discuss; I just don’t know where to begin. I guess I will begin with the fact that I actually watched it. I clearly was caught up in a masochistic moment. However, in my self-deprecating defense had it not been for this specific article I would not have wasted a few hours of my life watching that garbage. I sort of know how a movie critic must feel to sit through an awful B rate movie. Unfortunately for me I didn’t get paid to watch it. However, I guess I was drawn in by the same curiosity that sometimes kills the cat. Would CNN focus on the institutionally racist systems that have plagued African-Americans since being stolen and brought to this country by shiftless, murdering, thuggish Europeans? Would CNN focus on any blanketed solutions for the wretched conditions that most African-Americans subsist in? Do I really need to respond by saying no?

CNN’s “Black in America” was primarily sponsored by McDonalds, which happens to be indirectly responsible for the poor health and eventual death of scores of Americans, let alone African-Americans. Every other commercial break viewers were force fed a steady diet of Mickey D’s commercials showcasing adorable little black boys articulating to a cashier the numerous opportunities McDonalds will provide them. Not among those opportunities were high blood pressure, diabetes, and the consumption of fecal matter riddled ground “beef”. These commercials were laced with the slogan, “McDonalds is deeply rooted in the community”. If they meant deeply rooted with high cholesterol; then they were right. It was amazingly ironic that McDonalds was “Black in America’s” primary corporate sponsor given the fact that one segment focused on Jeffery Canada’s Harlem based School Zone and the steps they take to keep the youth that attend his school healthy. I guess when you are the American corporate media you can pretty much do whatever you want…the sheep will follow.

A couple of the features did contain some elements of raw emotion and pride. It’s hard to not route for sincere and dedicated brothers and sisters busting their butts to improve structurally racist conditions within their communities. If you love black people as the writer does it is difficult to watch a program like that and not be engrossed with a range of emotions. However, CNN’s blatant disregard for black people in America and the very root causes of the systematic oppression that they live under was infuriating. Even when it came to black South Africans they showed no regard for the racially unequal conditions they still live under, more than a decade after the end of Apartheid. When CNN’s cameras and their black person “expert” reporter, Soledad O’Brien followed a group of kids from Brooklyn to South Africa to do humanitarian work, they stayed as far away from the topic of the structurally white supremacist conditions they still live under. Soledad O’Brien stayed as far away from approaching any kind of dialogue, with the kids from Brooklyn, as to why their South African brothers and sisters were still living like that. She surely didn’t focus her camera crews on the very different neighborhoods of white South Africans or even discuss the fact that over 80 percent of South Africa’s arable land is still controlled by whites. Interestingly white South Africans make up about 10 percent of the overall population. You see, Soledad O’Brien and her CNN cronies would prefer to empress upon the black kids from Brooklyn that compared to black South Africans their living conditions weren’t half bad. The brilliance of this slick move is that it clearly moves deep contextual discussions of racial inequality and white supremacy as far away from their lens, and the viewers, as possible. Throughout their piece, the critical eye, could not help but notice how CNN was parading these kids around like pawns on a chessboard to display some white liberal illusion of a post racial society where one’s lack of ‘success’ is more predicated on individual effort than it is on any socially based institution of inequality. For instance, during her piece on Jeffery Canada’s Children’s Zone, she actually said that it was proof that poverty should be no barrier to success. We clearly know that black people in America have overcome some tremendous odds in the face of chattel slavery and continued white supremacy, however that does not mean that we should ever accept institutional racism. Black people do not need CNN to validate that we can overcome various barriers caused by racism or white supremacy. Black people need real justice and equality! African-Americans have produced tremendous scholars, among so many other things, in spite of institutional racism. However, knowing that we can overcome various institutionally based instances of racism does not ever mean that we should stop our fight against it until it is eviscerated. If African-Americans are to collectively overcome institutional inequality then racism and white supremacy, as institutions, need to be destroyed!

Accepting these institutions (racism & white supremacy) is exactly the inference that O’Brien’s statement, and the entire CNN special reeked of. Once again, there was no focus at all on the fact that those kids in Brooklyn and Harlem have incredibly disparate public school opportunities in contrast to their white counterparts at public schools. Even when CNN focused its camera’s on all of the fried food venues throughout black communities in NYC they never posed the question, why? Asking why those communities do not have more organic and healthy food venues/alternatives was purposely as far away from their limited radar as possible. However, we should all know that CNN would not dare place a serious focus on institutional racism because that would inadvertently shine a very bright light on their media outlet, as well as much of America. They are in fact, a part of the institution, whether some would like to admit it or not. I could go on and on about how repugnant CNN’s “Black in America” was (at least to me), but I wont. I would rather close on a much different note. However, it is very important for us to have a deep contextual understanding as to how America’s media system works. It is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous, duplicitous, and manipulative instruments the “empire” has at its disposal. Having a strong understanding of this system puts us at a much better advantage of further developing and sustaining our own media outlets.

Black people, and all people of color, must continue to place a serious, well organized effort toward creating more cooperative media institutions that we independently control ourselves. We can never rely on the corporate media to tell our stories and our issues within their proper context. Whether it is Fox News, CNN, MSNBC or any other corporate media outlets, they will always look out for their own interests as well as their corporate sponsors’ interests, before ours. This is something fundamental that we must understand. As Malcolm X said, “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Praising CNN and their piece “Black in America” is doing just that. CNN’s “Black in America” series was superficial, at best. It was, and is, a piece that white neo-liberals (and conservatives) loved and accepted because it fits within their mainstream ideals of what is acceptable when it comes to addressing their oppressive system.

American born Africans must try to build off of the examples and legacy of progressive black mediums such as David Walker’s Appeal, John Russwurm and Sam Cornish’s Freedom’s Journal, just to name a couple. There are so many powerful examples of strong progressive black media of the past and of the present. Black Agenda Report is an example of a contemporary one. Vox Union Media, The Final Call Newspaper, and the are a few others. Support media outlets that support your community. Support media that is holistically invested in your community and not just trying to get you to buy their corporate sponsor’s products. If one critically watches CNN’s “Black in America” it is easy to truly see who they are beholden to. There is much truth in the commercials that were riddled throughout the airing of that program. They clearly contradicted the very essence of some of the themes featured within that series. CNN very well understands that Black America’s tenuous ‘buying power’ is a more than 700 billion dollar a year “carrot” (much on credit) that they, and their corporate partners, would love to devour. Black America must continue to build, support and sustain strong and progressive media outlets that support the interests of our communities.

Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News radio program ( He may be reached at:

Op-Ed: Getting Real About Teaching

By Robert C. Pianta Published July 13, 2009, in The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Arne Duncan, the tough, former chief executive of Chicago's schools who is now secretary of education, is on a mission to put teeth into teacher performance assessments. Recent research from the New Teacher Project, which surveyed 16,000 educators in four states, notes the preponderance of those who said they know teachers who should be fired.

The report emphasizes the need for measures that can discriminate between poor performers and high performers so that the former can be fired and the latter rewarded. But that gets at only half the problem.

What the NTP missed is the need for an assessment system that does much more than inform decisions about hiring and firing, rewards and remediation. Our schools are desperate for a system of teacher performance assessment that is transparent, produces good teaching in all teachers and requires rigorous, objective discrimination of good and bad practice.

What would a performance assessment look like? Imagine teachers opening their doors to neutral, trained observers who score their interactions with children on a set of dimensions that all can see and describe and that can be the focus of targeted – and effective ¬– professional development. I and my colleagues called such a system CLASS, Classroom Assessment Scoring System, when we published a paper in 2007 in the journal Science. The oft-maligned Head Start program, which for years has used standardized observations of classroom quality as one of several indicators that are monitored regularly in program reviews, will roll out CLASS in its triennial monitoring system in 2010. K-12 educators could learn a lot from this.

We have observed more than 5,000 K-12 classrooms, all with certified teachers, and we see a lot of unproductive time. Using empirical criteria for the levels and types of teacher behavior that are more likely to lead to student achievement, our evidence suggests that about 25 percent of teachers should be on some form of probation or intensive professional development; another 40 percent to 50 percent make modest contributions to student learning; and about 25 percent demonstrate the focus on cognition and learning that will lead to improved student performance.

It is clear in this work that observation produces targets for performance that teachers can work toward and in some sense control – teacher preparation and professional development can be aligned with these targets and designed to produce these behaviors. Our and others’ work demonstrates that focused coaching and exposure to videos of effective teaching behavior leads (in highly controlled experiments) to improvements in the quality and level of the very teaching behaviors that predict achievement.

This can happen in every classroom, from preschool to high school.

This is not rocket science, but it is science – hard work that must be done systematically and on the basis of evidence. Sending a principal into a classroom to observe teachers when that principal and teacher don’t know the target of the observation is a complete waste of time and money, even moreso when there is no evidence that what the principal is looking for is tied to student learning. And providing coaches or mentor teachers is useless unless the targets of coaching or mentoring are those teacher behaviors that have been shown to produce achievement.

Teachers aren’t widgets, but good teaching can be produced if we approach the job more like engineers than philosophers – find good teaching, identify the key behaviors that cause student achievement, experiment with ways to produce these behaviors through professional development, and then incentivize the daylights out of teachers’ participation.

There is a science of human behavior and learning and we can start using it now to produce effective teaching in our classrooms. Just firing “bad” teachers and paying good ones won’t be enough.

***Robert C. Pianta is dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and director of the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, housed at U.Va.

Now That We Have Justice Sotomayor On The High Court, We Can Go After A Ban On All Firearm Sales & Manufacturing!

When will we as a nation evolve into a true and honest civilized society that bans the manufacture, sale and ownership of all guns and other lethal weapons ?
The United States of America has more firearms than all of the rest of the nations in the world combined. The ownership of so many weapons signals something is very sick within the inner soul and fabric of America society and in its warped psychic which is truly based on insecurity, feelings of inadequacies and fears.
America also has more bigoted and mentally ill people than the rest of the world and many are walking around masquerading as normal with more misplaced emotional baggage than at any UPS Depot or Federal Express station. The U.S. Congress needs to authorize through legislation a highly skilled Mental Health Patrol that would have sole responsibility to police the INTERNET for individuals who are in dire need of medical & mental treatment and follow-up care in order to prevent all of these senseless killings. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
People with guns kill, and why can't we develop more humane civilized approaches to resolving conflict or conflicts in the 21st century ?
We have destroyed most of the wild life in this country because of incessant greed and a thirst for killing and animals are effected by human behavior. My Native Americans ancestors killed for survival and lived in harmony with the various creatures. So what is it about some European Americans that makes them want to kill everything in sight from the animals to other human beings ? When will this wanton and ruthless destruction of the American society cease ?
Take away all guns ASAP. When the proper legislation is passed to ban the sale, manufacture, distribution and ownership of all firearms, a comprehensive program should be enacted to confiscate all firearms from citizens. The use of firearms should rest solely with the police and other law enforcement agencies and officials in conjunction with a well regulated highly trained military.
When the so-called framers wrote the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution the country was largely an Agrarian society,and the intent of the framers was that citizens have a right to bear arms in a well regulated militia for defense of the homeland. For the framers knew that in order to conquer the indigenous lands they might have to call on the people in a well regulated(Armed) militia to carry out their grand designs of total confiscation of the Native lands coupled with systematic genocide for the expansion of the United States. The Native people were in the way of the European foreigner and they resided on the land that the Europeans wanted,and thus they were defeated because of the overwhelming fire-power ,trickery,deceit,land manipulation,fraudulent treaty's,lying, European diseases and various diseases from their cattle and other livestock,and the killing of the Buffalo on the "Great Plains". It was never the intent of the framers that every citizen have a right to bear arms.but that they only bear arms in a well regulated militia,and that right shall not be infringed. Our framers would be turning over in their graves if they knew the country that they found had more lethal fire-arms than the rest of the world combined.
What is vitally needed is a Constitutional Convention under Article V that would give states the opportunity to vote on abolishing said Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,and to tweak this antiquated 18TH.Century document that has to be fine tuned and made more relevant and palatable as we move forward in the 21IST. Century.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Respectfully Ask Senators Collins And Snowe To Leave The Republican Party As Soon As Possible !

I appreciate the votes of Senators Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of the Vacation land State of Maine in support of Sonia Sotomayor for the position of Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court,and I respectfully ask that both Senators seriously consider leaving the present day Republican Party.

It should be clear to all who wish to see it,that the Republican Party,the once venerated party of Lincoln has unceremoniously yet convincingly become the bed for arch right-wingers,reactionaries,low information voters and poorly educated,neo-conservatives, Gun Enthusiast's,Pro-Lifers,Southerners,misfits,ne'er-do-wells,extremists and supremacists, and holdover Nazis. There is absolutely no place in the present day Republican Party for decent non-bigoted people like Senators Collins and Snowe who have so much to offer to the American people,and citizens of the great state of Maine.
How can the two great Senators from Maine be in the same pathetic political party with Russ Limbaugh and Sarah Palin ?

The cantankerous demagogue Russ Limbaugh may be interested in being informed that the piece of advice that he heard many years ago is the Serenity Prayer,by theologian and Philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr in 1943,and reads as thus:"God give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,courage to change the things which should be changed,and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." To this I might add and he might be reminded of a quote from Robert Frost: "Half of the world has something to say and can't say it; the other half has nothing to say and keeps on saying it."
The roles with greatest potency in world politics are those heads of states and corporations and foreign policymakers who make peace and war and economic decisions that affect the lives of millions of people. Wheter or not potential power is turned into actual power depends upon the combination of perceived situational opportunity,personal decision making and self determination. These are the crucial components of the political man and woman. Power is a social relationship between people in which some have more of their needs satisfied than others.
After all is said,I would submit that our best gain and our best advantage lies in working together in a cooperative spirit rather than in a climate of acrimony and personal enmity. Senators Collins and Snowe must understand that we have common friends and common enemies. We must be considerate to the one and proselytise the other and if possible convert the "The other misguided Republicans".

Senate Confirms Sonia Sotomayor To Supreme Court By A Vote Of 68-31,9 Repubilcans Joined All Democrats

Congratulations Sonia Sotomayor.

All Americans can take pride in this historic appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as an associate Justice on United States Supreme Court.
The Puerto Rican Community,and other Hispanics should remember all the senators who voted yes or no on the elevation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to said court.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

U.Va. Engineering Students Win NASA Aircraft Design Contest

July 24, 2009 — A team of University of Virginia undergraduate engineering students tied for first place – alongside a team of graduate students from the Georgia Institute of Technology – in a NASA-sponsored contest to design a supersonic airliner.
NASA challenged participants from colleges in the United States, Japan and India to design a small supersonic commercial airliner that would be efficient and environmentally sound, while producing a low sonic boom. Another requirement: The airliner could be ready for initial service by 2020.
The 13-member U.Va. team from the School of Engineering and Applied Science tied for first place in the U.S. division. A University of Tokyo undergraduate team won top honors in the non-U.S. category.
"This design was completed during a two-semester aerospace capstone design class in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering," said Jim McDaniel, professor of aerospace engineering and faculty adviser for the project. "These aerospace undergraduate students devoted a lot of time and energy to this design project, as is evident in their success in this international competition.
"NASA engineers judged the entries on how well students addressed all aspects of their problems. The judges looked for innovation and creativity, feasibility, a review of pertinent literature, and a baseline comparison with current technology, system or design.
"I can't imagine a better form of closure for two semesters of the most grueling work and longest hours," said Jesse Quinlan, the U.Va. design team leader who graduated this spring with a degree in aerospace engineering and a minor in applied mathematics. "Being awarded first-place honors for our design concept not only signifies the depth of technical work to which we committed ourselves, but it also represents the level to which aerospace engineers aspire at the University."
Quinlan is now preparing to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, where he will focus on the systems and architectures necessary to establish human presence on the moon and Mars. This summer he is on an internship at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton and at NASA headquarters, where he is devising an implementation plan for participatory exploration for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.
"With a perfect mix of University-fostered inspiration and innate determination, the graduating class of aerospace engineers is prepared to become the field's next generation of thinkers and leaders," he said.
Winning participants received prizes, including up to $5,000 per team, and will be invited to a student forum at the Fundamental Aeronautics Conference sponsored by NASA.
"We use these competitions to generate excitement for aeronautics and the engineering behind aviation," said Peter Coen, principal investigator of the Supersonics Project at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton. "I was impressed by the quality and innovative thinking demonstrated in the designs."
U.Va. team members were Christie Alston, Emily Baldwin, Gaetano Esposito, Arthur Fournie, Roy Hayes, Calvin Johnson, Seth McLellan, Long Nguyen, Patrick O'Malley, David Petkofsky, Jesse Quinlan, Brian Rice and Johannes Weppler.For more information, visit here.
— By Fariss Samarrai

U.Va. Heralded in Princeton Review Guidebook, "The Best 371 Colleges"

July 28, 2009 — The University of Virginia is one of the country's best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review's new 2010 edition of its popular guidebook, "The Best 371 Colleges," published today.
Only about 15 percent of America's 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are profiled in the book, which is The Princeton Review's flagship annual college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with school rating scores in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 schools in 62 categories based on student surveys. The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges in the book academically, or from 1 to 371 in any category.
"We commend the University of Virginia for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our choice of schools for the book," said Robert Franek, author of "The Best 371 Colleges." "We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character. We make our choices based on institutional data we gather about schools, feedback from students attending them, and input from our staff who visit hundreds of colleges a year."
In its profile on the University of Virginia, "The Best 371 Colleges" quotes extensively from U.Va. students surveyed for the book. Highlights include: *

The school "ranks among the world’s best and offers every imaginable subject," combining "the academic advantages of the Ivy League" with the social life – and price – of a large state school.*
The student body is a happy group: "Everyone here loves it – you can’t find a school with more enthusiastic and dedicated students." U.Va. students "are really serious about succeeding, but they want to get all they can out of every part of college, too." *
The expectation of student involvement extends across university life; student bodies administer the honor code, "which says that you will not lie, cheat or steal while at the university."*
U.Va. students embody the "work hard, play hard" ethos. Life here "is all about balance between studying and partying."
Schools in "The Best 371 Colleges" are scored on a scale of 60 to 99 in eight categories, based largely on institutional data collected by The Princeton Review during the 2008-09 academic year. U.Va. received the following ratings:
Academic Rating: 98
Admissions Rating: 99
Financial Aid Rating: 91
Fire Safety Rating: 64
Green Rating: 92
Profs Interesting Rating: 79
Profs Accessible Rating: 77
Quality of Life Rating: 82

Introduced in 2008, the "Green Rating" of a school's commitment to environmental policies, practices and education was developed in partnership with ecoAmerica, a non-profit environmental organization.
The rankings in the 62 categories in "The Best 371 Colleges" are based entirely on surveys of 122,000 students (325 per campus on average) during the 2008-09 and/or previous two school years. The 80-question survey asks students to rate and comment on their schools' academics, administration, campus life, student body and themselves. A college's appearance on a ranking list is entirely the result of a high consensus among its surveyed students about a topic compared with that of students at other schools answering the same survey on the ranking list topic.
U.Va. was ranked ninth among the top 20 schools with "Great Financial Aid." The University's AccessUVa financial aid program meets 100 percent of students' demonstrated financial need. Students whose family incomes are 200 percent of the federal poverty line or below receive loan-free, all-grant aid packages; all other students, regardless of their state residency, have the maximum amount of their need-based loans capped at approximately 25 percent of U.Va.'s in-state cost of attendance over four years, with all need above that amount covered by grants.
In a related ranking, released in January 2009 and cited in "The Best 371 Colleges," The Princeton Review and USA Today gave U.Va. the top ranking among all public schools in their "Best Value Colleges" list for 2009.
In a "Survey Says. . ." sidebar in the book's profile on U.Va., The Princeton Review lists topics that U.Va. students surveyed for the book were in most agreement about in their answers to survey questions. The list includes: "Athletic facilities are great," "Low cost of living" and "(Almost) no one smokes."
About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is known for its tutoring and classroom test preparation courses, books and college and graduate school admission services. Its corporate headquarters is in Framingham, Mass., and editorial offices are in New York City. It is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.
"The Best 371 Colleges" (Random House / Princeton Review, July 28, 2009, $22.99) is the 18th edition of The Princeton Review's annual "best colleges" book. The Princeton Review posts the school profiles and ranking lists in "The Best 371 Colleges" on its site at which users can read FAQs about the book, the survey, and the criteria for each of the ratings and rankings.
— By Brevy Cannon

Public Education in America: A Pillar of Institutional Racism

by Solomon Comissiong

Last week, Barack Obama once again “felt the need to lecture black people about what they can and cannot complain about.” No excuses, no excuses, the president lectured – as if to delegitimize Black struggles for redress of real grievances. “On the one hand he knows not to upset white folks by pointing to America’s legacy as a bastion of racism and white supremacy. And on the other hand he knows there are virtually no restrictions on how often he can castigate, vilify, and reprimand the black community.”

“In President Obama’s book of fairy tales, institutional racism is merely an 'excuse.'”
When discussing public education in America it is quite difficult to find a starting point from which to address the deepening gully of racially based inequities. The US has painstakingly woven racism and white supremacy into the very fabric of the educational experience – the purported “keys” to our children's future. The legacies of American institutional racism and white supremacy are embedded within the public educational system. Racism in the public school system is, at times, conspicuously inconspicuous. As a matter of fact, racism in present day America is conspicuously inconspicuous. It is much like the silent killer that carbon monoxide is; before you know it you're “dead” not knowing what the hell hit you. Institutional racism kills physically as in the case of police brutality, and also kills cognitively through the public educational system: “Cognitive Decapitation,” as author and educational activist, Jonathan Kozol, calls it.
Even with the “victory” of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, there are still two sets of educational standards. After all, has desegregation cleansed the black community of the infestation of American racism and white supremacy? Integration only truly works when the integratee is allowed the same rights, respect, and overall privileges as the integrator. More than 50 years after Brown desegregation simply means that black and brown youth have to adopt the Eurocentric mores and values of white America. And half a century later we see virtually the same racially segregated schools as we did in the 1960s.

“Integration only truly works when the integratee is allowed the same rights, respect, and overall privileges as the integrator.”
Disparate educational standards are the rule in present day America, broken down by way of race and income. These inequities are more race-based than they are class-based. For example, even so-called “well to do American-born Africans” that reside within predominately white suburban communities, are strongly persuaded to worship white supremacists, slaveholders, and murderers like George Washington (owned over 300 African slaves), Andrew Jackson (murdered countless of Seminoles) and Christopher Columbus (murdered tens of thousands of indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere). These students must learn to accept and admire repugnant white historical figures, regardless of the pain and damage they inflicted upon enslaved Africans and indigenous people. This is nothing short of white supremacy in the raw.
Even these “well to do” American born African youth are taught that in order to succeed in America they must embrace the very system that continues to oppress millions of fellow blacks from stolen coast to stolen coast. The public “educational” system’s history books are riddled with unsavory and oppressive historical figures. It is a direct affront to force any student of color - or any decent human being! - to endure studying these characters in a positive light, as if they should be exalted.
The racial double standard requires black students to work two and three times as hard as their white counterparts simply to get the same opportunities. But just because it is true does not mean it is something that we should accept.

“Obama felt the need to lecture black people about what they can and cannot complain about.”
Can you imagine the white community allowing themselves to be lectured to, as we are, that it is impermissible to take into consideration real facts of the past and present, when evaluating the performance of various white demographic groups? Of course not. Yet it seems that America’s racially challenged but phenotypically black president does not understand the complexity of the nation's problem. Last week he, once again, felt the need to lecture black people about what they can and cannot complain about. In President Obama’s book of fairy tales, institutional racism is merely an “excuse.” At the 100th anniversary celebration of the NAACP Obama declared:
“We've got to say to our children, yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades -- that's not a reason to cut class -- that's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands -- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses. No excuses. You get that education; all those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes we can.”

“It is a system so nefarious that several states base the building of juvenile detention centers and prisons on deficiencies in first grade reading scores."
I guess “complaining” and refusing to accept institutional racism in America’s public school system is just an indicator of black people making excuses. I guess black people from inner cities should simply accept lack of educational funding for their schools get predicated on the inadequacy of property taxes. I guess black parents should accept the streamlining of their children into sewing classes instead of AP (advanced placement) courses. I presume that black parents should accept the very real “school to prison pipeline” that has been created for black youth. It is a system so nefarious that several states base the building of juvenile detention centers and prisons on deficiencies in first grade reading scores. This means that instead of using state and federal money to invest in programs that bring grade school kids up to par in reading they use the money to build prisons for them knowing that illiteracy is a major indicator of someone’s future in “crime.”
I also guess that black parents should not complain, worry about, or fight against the fact that school administrators throughout this country are allowing their schools to be privatized or controlled by the military. President Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, has a history of turning predominately black and brown schools into military schools. I presume that this works out well, in the long run, for President Obama given that he just as much a war monger as his speech impaired predecessor, George Bush. He is also requesting and spending more money, militarily, than Curious George (Bush) ever did. Such facts may be a shock to members of the “change you can believe in” cult, but they are facts nonetheless.
I wonder what President Obama meant when he said, “No one has written your destiny for you… No excuses. No excuses.”He would never try to feed that kind of crap to the white community. Obama knows his limits on both sides of the racial spectrum. On the one hand he knows not to upset white folks by pointing to America’s legacy as a bastion of racism and white supremacy. And on the other hand he knows there are virtually no restrictions on how often he can castigate, vilify, and reprimand the black community - as if African Americans are a group of children that need to know and accept their proper place in society. When he said, “You get that education; all those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes we can,” he was pretty much telling the black community that we need to sit down, shut the hell up, and accept the institutionally racist and white supremacist country we live in. When he proclaims that our hardships make us stronger he is demanding that we acclimate ourselves to occupying an unnatural position at the bottom of society. American-born Africans have always overcome tremendous odds in Amerikkka, but that does not mean that we should stop fighting, organizing, and protesting until we are given the same human rights that whites have in this country.

“He would never try to feed that kind of crap to the white community".
Obama is placating white America each time he scolds black America for being the victims of the American nightmare. He is quite comfortable with blaming the victims and not the institution. He speaks in masterful code much like the Joint Chiefs of Staffs to whom he is beholden. So when he said, ”No one has written your destiny for you”, he ignores the fact that masses of black and brown skinned youth are presently having their destinies shaped for them from one institutionally racist classroom to the next. For each black child that works three times as hard as some privileged white kid in the suburb in order to “succeed,” there are scores of black youth who are devoured by an institutionally white supremacist system.
If there is one thing we know it is that institutional racism cannot be fought with passivity. We cannot go the way Obama and his white handlers want us to go. We must organize. We must protest. We must never be silent. And we must never capitulate until every institutionally racist fiber of this system is shredded. Mr. Obama, save your damn patronizing speeches for the Wall Street bankers you bailed out, the Israel lobby that you genuflect to and the institutionally racist segments of America you accommodate! You will hear from Black America until we have equality!

Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News radio program ( He may be reached at: