Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson Gets “Black Attacked”

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Jacksonville Jaguars v Seattle Seahawks

Apparently, there’s a manual on “how to act black” floating around among black Americans and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is guilty of not reading it. In the spirit of full disclosure, neither have I. This hate is leveled by blacks towards other blacks, who speak standard, not broken, English and are or either aspire to be educated and successful.

Wilson’s “blackish” backlash was reported by Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, who said he spoke with some of the Seahawks’ black players who whined Wilson didn’t act black enough and was too chummy with the team’s management. Sounds like jealousy to me. Charles Barkley responded to this nonsense in a radio interview.

“Unfortunately, as I tell my white friends, we as black people, we’re never going to be successful not because of white people but because of other black people. When you’re black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people.”

Barkley added, “And for some reason, we are brainwashed to think if you’re not a thug or idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person.”

What’s truly pathetic is the same blacks, who feel threatened by successful blacks like Wilson, would almost certainly think Wilson was “black enough” if he knocked his girlfriend or wife unconscious like Baltimore Ravens Player Ray Rice. Or if Wilson acted like Vikings Adrian Peterson who “spanked” his 4-year old son with a switch, “cutting his arms, legs and genitals.” Better yet, if Wilson behaved like Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy:  throwing his girlfriend on a bed full of 10 semi-automatic weapons and beat her up, for which he earned street cred by getting convicted, I’m sure Wilson’s blackness wouldn’t be questioned.

These negative images of black men, glorified in Hip Hop music, Hollywood and professional sports, have become synonymous with what it means to be black for too many black Americans. Let’s not forget the NFL is going to reinstate Ray Rice in November after only a few months of suspension.

Wilson wasn’t the first and sadly won’t be the last black person taunted and mocked by other blacks because he doesn’t fit into their definition of “blackness.” President Barack Obama’s blackness was questioned during his first presidential campaign. Black conservatives like me are routinely ridiculed as “Uncle Toms” because we aren’t Democrats.

Recently, in response to an article I wrote about Stacey Dash’s comments about black Americans, I received a very hostile email from a man named Chris Charles. He said I couldn’t possibly know what it means to be black because I’ve never lived in public housing or “the hood.”

“Have you ever even been to the hood, the ghetto or any such neighborhood? Are you from such a place? Do you have any clue as to what it is like? By looking at your photo, you look mixed . . .You see unlike you, I did not grow up in the environment you did. I grew up in public housing. And guess what? I have no problem with that,” wrote Mr. Charles.

First, both my parents are black. And black Americans come in all shades, largely due to the mixing of races during slavery when white Democrat plantation owners had both consensual and forced sex with slaves they owned.

No, I didn’t grow up in the hood; and I know what it means to be black just like millions of other blacks who didn’t grow up in public housing and know what it means to be black: First Lady Michelle Obama being one. Blacks like, you, Mr. Charles, need to realize being black means something different to every black person. We’re not a monolithic group who thinks and acts the same anymore than whites or any other race.

What’s tragic like Barkley said is blacks are their own worst enemy, more concerned with destroying each other with this preconceived notion of blackness. The reason whites as a race are creating more wealth than the black race is because they’re worried about more important things than who’s white enough. I don’t know any white person who extols criminal behavior as an example of “being white.”

Today, over 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock compared to 30% of white babies, which is a great prescription for poverty –not success! As Brookings noted in a report, blacks are part of “the very groups of Americans who traditionally experience poverty, impaired child development, and poor school achievement have the highest rates of non marital parenthood.”

The destruction of the black family is what black Americans should be obsessing over NOT the successful black man or woman defying these statistics.

 

 

 

Black Republican actress’ racist remarks hurt GOP

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Actress Stacey Dash arrives at Fox channel's 2014 Emmy award nominee celebration on August 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.

First published October 21, 2014 on CNN.com

Fox News contributor and Republican as of 2012, black actress Stacey Dash proves she really wasn’t acting in the movie “Clueless.” Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” show, Dash called all black people in Louisiana government freeloaders who don’t work.

Sean Hannity asked Dash: “Has voting with Obama 95% of the time and Obamacare, has that helped the minority community in Louisiana?”

“No, not at all. It still keeps them stuck. They’re getting money for free. They feel worthless. They’re uneducated. I mean, as long as you are that way, they can keep you under their control …”

“They have a plantation mentality,” Dash said. “As long as they give you this much money, you’ll stay right there. You don’t need to know too much because if you do, you might start thinking for yourself.”

I think Stacey Dash needs to get out more, perhaps visit Louisiana and the rest of America and see that all blacks, myself included, certainly don’t feel “worthless” under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Whether Democratic or Republican, scores of black people — Oprah Winfrey, Allen West, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, Shelby Steele, Bill Cosby, Robin Roberts, and many many others — are highly educated, gainfully employed, paying their bills and frankly doing quite well. Dash is one of them.

Many black people may want Obama to provide more productive policies, but to suggest, as Dash does, that blacks are largely “uneducated” and “getting money for free” is a racist narrative that conservatives need to stop perpetuating. That kind of talk is an offensive nonstarter in getting blacks to consider voting Republican. So is the often repeated meme by some black conservatives that blacks “have a plantation mentality.”

Whether you’re white or black, it’s never cool to invoke metaphors of slavery, which was a gruesome, painful institution protected by Democrats in America that went on way too long. Conservatives should remind Americans of the history of slavery and how the Democratic Party perpetuates policies of paternalism that don’t benefit blacks.

The “Hannity” segment was about the Louisiana Senate race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republicans Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness. Dash and other guests discussed how blacks in Louisiana have voted for Landrieu since electing her in 1997 but have not benefited from it.

Black Republican Deroy Murdock gave a much more reasoned commentary on why black people need to reconsider their blind allegiance to Democrats. Referring to an ad produced by black Republican Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory focusing on Landrieu’s record with blacks, Murdock said:

“I think state Sen. Guillory has done a tremendous job and service, by asking in this ad a very basic question: What have the Democrats done for us lately? Black folks show up and vote 95% for Obama, 95% for Landrieu and …what do you get? Eighteen years of poverty under Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.”

Murdock said that under Obama’s presidency, black poverty and dependence on food stamps has increased and home ownership has declined. Fact-based comments such as Murdock’s raise eyebrows and invite blacks voting for the Democratic Party to consider voting for Republicans.

Dash’s comments are insulting and give blacks another reason to tune out the GOP and not take our party seriously.

Where’s Obama on Ebola?

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Where is President Barack Obama when you need him in a crisis? Pretty absent from the stage, unless he’s pointing fingers (at Republicans), disavowing knowledge of “situations” such as Obamacare’s website woes, the IRS scandal, and the horror show at Veterans Affairs — or simply refusing to take responsibility by retreating from the world.

And amid the current Ebola crisis, the incumbent-in-chief is off fundraising, deftly avoiding the people he’s supposed to be serving and protecting.

Last week, Liberian Thomas Duncan died from Ebola in Dallas at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. A nurse, who treated Duncan, now has Ebola. The Dallas hospital has shown Americans and the world how woefully unprepared the United States is to fight Ebola. What does President Barack Obama do? Demonstrate his audacity of incompetence and dereliction of duty to protect the American people by flying to Hollywood for his 53rd fundraiser of the year.

Thursday, the day after Duncan died, Obama attended a celebrity-studded, money-grab hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow. For the “paltry” price of $15,000 a person, any old average Joe could attend. (With income inequality top-of-mind, he wanted those of us peasants who don’t have Ebola to be able to cough up a few bucks.)

As Ebola raged on in Dallas with more than 48 people being quarantined who came in contact with Duncan and 18 health workers monitored, who treated him, Obama hobnobbed with the rich and famous in Los Angeles.

This week, a 26-year old nurse who treated Duncan contracted Ebola. Now we have two cases of Ebola in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thomas Frieden telling us more cases are possible.

Despite assurances from Frieden and Obama over a week ago, that the US had the situation under control and there was nothing to worry about.

In fact Obama reiterated October 6, 2014:

“ . . .It is important for Americans to know the facts, and that is that because of the measures that we’ve put in place, as well as our world-class health system and the nature of the Ebola virus itself — which is difficult to transmit — the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low.”

Uhm, let’s dissect these lies, shall we?

First, it’s clear the way Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital treated Duncan that America produces the most modern medicine in the world but has the most inept system of delivering it. When Duncan first arrived at the ER, he told the nurse he had been to Liberia. She entered notes in the hospital’s computer system, which the doctor who treated Duncan didn’t read. Instead he sent Duncan home with antibiotics.

Second, we know the hospital was NOT following CDC guidelines–whatever they are–for handling infectious diseases, because a nurse who treated Duncan has Ebola. The CDC concluded a safety breach occurred. No sh*t!

The story the federal government and our Commander in Chief is telling us isn’t adding up. Bonnie Castillo, Director of the Registered Nurse Response Network, a nurses union, told several media outlets America’s hospitals are not prepared and not educating nurses on CDC guidelines for putting on and removing protective gear.

Third, I wouldn’t call another person contracting Ebola within days of Duncan dying “difficult to transmit” or “a low risk to Americans.” If the risk is low, why did Frieden change his narrative from two weeks ago and now says we can expect more cases?

In fact Frieden announced the US needs to “rethink its approach to Ebola” and beef up training of health workers.

It’s time for our president to face the nation with a press conference where he and his leaders from “across agencies” address Americans and EXPLAIN “the aggressive steps” his administration “is taking to fight Ebola epidemic  and . . .to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to prevent an outbreak here in the United States.”

For starters, Obama needs to tell us what is his plan for containing and preventing the spread of Ebola HERE at home, in America. The CDC needs to explain how it’s communicating with hospitals, spell out the prevention protocol procedures for health workers and tell Americans what we can do to prevent catching Ebola.

To win bonus points, Obama might consider taking questions from the media — and supplying candid answers.

After listening to an October 4th show I hosted for WMAL radio, during which I discussed the US response to Ebola, a doctor who was head of an infectious disease prevention program at NIH for 19 years, emailed me.  He indicated he helped develop containment procedures and laboratory equipment for retroviruses such as HIV, as well as developing the bio-hazard symbol, currently used throughout the world.

He added that he was “amazed experts” like Freiden emphatically keep insisting America can’t ban flights to and from West Africa. As Ann Randall wrote in the California Political Review, “Recall how swiftly the president grounded US flights to Ben Gurion during the Hamas terror attacks on Israel this past summer.”

His response: “The President has it in his power to curtail, by executive order, all air travel from West Africa to the US, including those individuals having U.S. visas. He should do so immediately. He should next use his persuasive powers to have World Health Organization impose a worldwide ban. The idea that this would do no good is ludicrous. Even if this prevents one additional infected individual from entering non-epidemic countries, it is worthwhile.”

While the current situation is manageable in the US, the doctor noted “if we have ten or twenty more cases we just don’t have sufficient CDC staff to send to manage sites. Most hospitals do not have the ability to decontaminate bedding and other contaminating material being generated by infected patients at their facility,” he cautioned.

It’s quite evident from what happened at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that hospitals in the US are woefully ill equipped to handle a virus like Ebola.

If as Obama declared, “I’ve said from the start of this outbreak, I consider this a top national security priority,” then maybe he needs to start acting like it. Banning flights from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to and from the US is treating Ebola like a national security priority. Fundraising with Gwyneth in Los Angeles is not.

 

Hillary vs. the GOP Field of Dreams

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

chelsea-clinton-birth-charlotte-mezinsky-hospital-1-spl

The way Hillary Clinton is acting it seems to be a foregone conclusion she’s going to run for president in 2016. First her book tour, then her visit to Iowa for Senator Harkin’s annual Democrat steak fry, where she exclaimed, “I’m back!” And of course the recent birth of her granddaughter Charlotte, which seemed all too contrived by Chelsea to help turn her mother into the perfect mom, grandmother, wife and candidate.

Oh, and let us not forget prior to Charlotte’s birth, Hillary teases us more, saying she wouldn’t make a decision about running for president until after her Chelsea gave birth. Aw, the stuff dreams are made of. And of course the liberal, fawning media are helping Hillary along every step of the way, gushing over her holding her grandbaby, as if she and former President Bill Clinton were royalty, the King and Queen of America.

Hillary has been a career politician her entire life, held ever office under the sun from First Lady of Arkansas to First Lady of the United States, US Senator of New York and Secretary of State but what has she accomplished? As Obama’s first Secretary of State, she did nothing but fly around the world, implementing Obama’s lead from behind, virtually non-existent foreign policy. What Hillary has going for her is huge brand appeal.

People love the perception of Hillary Clinton because her record is as thin as the bench of Republicans who have hinted at taking a run for president in 2016. Megyn Kelly tweeted September 29, 2014 with photos of Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, former Governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator Rick Santorum, Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Rand Paul.

Two of the “contenders” have run unsuccessfully before and don’t inspire much enthusiasm. Senator Ted Cruz, like Santorum and Huckabee, wants to run a religious campaign, which doesn’t win elections. Government is about policies and allowing people to express their religious freedom not dictating yours upon them.

While I like Dr. Carson, he hasn’t put forth many policy ideas and is more of an academic than a president. Yes, charisma is part of being presidential, convincing Americans you not only have a vision but you also passionately want to lead the country toward achieving it.

Governor Jindal is good governor but he lacks the charisma to be convincing on the national stage. Among the group, Senator Paul certainly seems to have inspired the most intrigue among conservatives, especially young adults. Paul has strong positions on education, federal sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug possession, privacy and foreign policy. But many older conservatives tell me they aren’t convinced Paul is the one.

Looking at this field of GOP hopefuls, it’s hard for me to imagine any of them standing on the stand next to Hillary Clinton, looking and sounding formidable. Also, remember the GOP 2016 nominee will have to win over independents, women and minorities, the groups it lost the last two presidential elections. I have this gnawing feeling the GOP hasn’t learned much from its back-to-back defeats.

I’m not convinced among the current slate of GOP contenders there is a field of dreams candidate, who possesses a compelling message or strategy to win enough woman and minority votes absolutely critical to being elect president in 2016. I don’t think Hillary is a champion for women because she stood by her cheating husband for political gain and power. And she certainly isn’t a champion for average Americans, as she carped to ABC News Diane Sawyer about her and Bill leaving the White House dead broke, struggling to pay two mortgages, etc. etc. But many Americans, ignorant of the issues, are so seduced by the image of Hillary they are salivating at the prospect of giving her what she wants and making history.

Republicans need to give the American people a real alternative to salivate over, a candidate with substance, a record, a vision and charisma. While I hate to admit this, I’m beginning to think if Hillary is the Democrats forgone conclusion for 2016, the GOP needs to nominate former Governor Jeb Bush. I don’t agree with his immigration policy, but Jeb has a record of success as governor of Florida and he’s likable. Jeb could also go head to head with Hillary in debates. If the Clintons are going to keep running for president, why can’t the Bushes? Just saying.

 

NFL Bad Boys and the Company They Keep

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Boys behaving badly. I mean very badly. That’s the image of the National Football League today and its Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking more like a joke, and a staunch defender of the locker room culture rather than the disciplinarian he pledged to be in 2007.

There’s been a parade of NFL players who have been suspended and or arrested for everything from brutalizing their women to abusing their children under the guise of “spanking.” All in a days work for these guys I guess. Hitting each other on the field for sport and hitting women and children for extracurricular fun. It’s sickening.

Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice was caught on video knocking out cold his then fiancé Janay Palmer. Vikings Adrian Peterson “spanked” his 4-year old son with a switch, “cutting his arms, legs and genitals.” San Franciso 49ers Ray McDonald was arrested for hitting his pregnant fiancée. Carolina Panthers Greg Hardy thought it was fun to throw his girlfriend on a bed full of 10 semi-automatic weapons and beat her up, for which he was convicted.

But Cardinals player Jonathan Dwyer head butting his wife, breaking her nose because she refused to have sex with him takes the cake for the most despicable NFL player. Dwyer didn’t stop there. Still angry the next morning, Dwyer punched his wife in the face for emphasis.

These guys look like a line up for America’s Most Wanted. Not only has these players’ behavior stained the NFL’s reputation; it also has given black men a bad name because the players mentioned are all black. Men remind me that 70% of the NFL players are black. So, that’s supposed to be an excuse for them to act like barbaric animals?

Evidently, the National Football League (NFL) didn’t get the memo that women and children aren’t property of men to be abused. Perhaps the players also missed Beyoncé’s song “Girls Run the World” not that girls should be run over or trampled upon like football opponents.

Goodell’s response to this avalanche of domestic brutality exhibited by NFL players has been an unconvincing press conference and hiring three women to advise him how to deal with this fiasco. Hey Roger, here’s a litmus test. Would you beat your wife and kids? Do you think that’s manly or acceptable behavior?

Goodell shouldn’t have to hire women to tell him football players acting like thugs is NOT acceptable and these players need to go. Period. But the billions of dollars the NFL is worth matters more to Goodell and companies who advertise or have sponsorship deals with the organization than doing the right thing.

Proctor & Gamble cancelled a breast cancer awareness promotion with the NFL but other companies haven’t followed suit. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and PepsiCo issued statements denouncing the horrific behavior displayed by these players. While the beer giant noted “We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code,” it’s not morally repugnant enough for AB InBev to pull its $1.2 billion deal for Bud Light to be the official beer of the NFL. But AB InBev isn’t alone.

A longtime sponsor of NFL, PepsiCo quenches the thirst of players during games with Gatorade and has “NFL marketing rights for several other brands.” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement that as “a mother, a wife, and a passionate football fan” she was “deeply disturbed” by “the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues.”

But Nooyi wasn’t disturbed enough to end PepsiCo’s ties with the NFL until they clean up their act. Nooyi added she stood by her man Goodell and thought he was “a man of integrity” and urged him and the NFL “to seize the moment” and do the right thing. Mrs. Nooyi should heed her own words, show zero tolerance for domestic violence and pull Pepsi’s lucrative deal with the NFL. But that requires taking a real stand not just talking about one.

Many companies pulled ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show for his “opinions” about Sandra Fluke’s campaign for free birth control pills. The NFL situation is exponentially worse and companies are sitting on the sidelines telling women and children who are victims of players’ domestic violence they don’t care. It’s just how the game is played.

 

Women and NFL Stand by Wife Beater Ray Rice

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

I don’t know what’s worse, Ravens football player Ray Rice knocking his then fiancée, now wife, unconscious in an elevator, the NFL protecting him, or women defending Rice for punching “an unarmed woman.” All of the above are equally repugnant. But a woman, saying Rice’s wife Janay Palmer deserved it, is disturbing.

“She hit him first and any woman who hits a man deserves to be hit,” described a woman interviewed by NBC News. The woman was describing the video of Rice knocking out Janay in response to her slapping his body in an elevator of the Revel Hotel in Atlantic City. So, it was okay for Rice to respond by whacking Janay in the head unconscious and then drag her by her feet like a slaughtered animal out of the elevator?

“Why is it that the victimizer becomes the victim? Why is it that we want to protect these men? What is it about our society? What is it about us, as women, that we feel a need to protect them?” Robin Givens explained on the Today Show about her abusive marriage with professional boxer Mike Tyson.

An unarmed woman never, ever “deserves” to be punched or beaten by a man. Absolutely never! As a young woman, my parents taught me it’s not normal for a man to hit a woman and if a man ever as much as threatened me, he wasn’t a real man and I needed to run as fast as I could.

Yet society at large, as Givens elaborated, usually blames women who are victimized by men. In fact, it is very difficult for women in abusive relationships to get restraining orders to keep abusive boyfriends or husbands away from them. And even when women are successful, abusers often violate their restraining orders because law enforcement isn’t effective in enforcing them. In many cases, the result is women, who are victims of domestic violence, end up being seriously harmed or killed by their abusers.

With that said, why would any woman defend an abusive tyrant like Ray Rice? Because society tells women every second of each day that we’re nothing in life without being someone’s wife or girlfriend.

In fact, I would posit society holds married women with children at a higher regard than married women without children. A few weeks ago, when I was guest hosting WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall radio program with co-host Larry O’Connor, one of the topics was the media’s obsession with whether or not Jennifer Aniston is going to have a child. Many males phoned in and said they view married women with children as better than single women or even married women without children.

Through movies, fairy tales, the prom, and some parents, girls are socialized at a very young age that they must find prince charming and that even settling for an abusive man is better than no man at all. There’s no place for the single woman at dinner parties or galas. This is part of the reason why abused women stay in relationships with their abusers. Because society frown’s on single women.

By not pursuing an aggressive investigation against Rice, the NFL was telling women like Janay to “get over it, you’ll lucky to married to a rich, albeit a wife beater, football player.” But if an investigation confirms news reports the NFL saw the video of Rice punching his wife and Rice admitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in June that he did hit Janay, the message of professional football is clear. The NFL promotes and protects players knocking each other around on the field and battering their women off the field.