Mother Emanuel, Tree of Life and False Equivalents

In the wake of the hate speech these days which I believe leads to the kind of attacks we see from “Mother Emanuel” to “Tree of Life,” it is typical for those on the Right to make false equivalence. Specifically since the bombs were mailed and subsequently intercepted by authorities to the so called enemies of 45, Minister Farrakhan’s name has been linked as adding to the rhetoric that causes such heinous actions as seen over the last week.

Here’s the truth of the matter. I’ve watched Minister Farrakhan since I was a child. I’ve seen him speak in person during a panel discussion in Atlanta. At times, he’s been a brilliant orator. He’s spoken some harsh truths regarding America and it’s history of racism, murder, lawlessness and hypocrisy. This is an undisputed truth. Equally, I’ve also thought of him as a carnival barker. In public circles he’s mild, mannerable, measured and you’d be hard pressed to find someone with more of a majestic presence. In his wheelhouse as leader of the Nation of Islam, he can be arrogant, spiteful, and totally full of himself. This is in part because of the way the organization is top downed. Go to a service where he speaks, and it’s as if he’s a messiah. You can hardly hear the message because of all the hype men shouting him down egging him on, laughing at every joke as if Richard Pryor came back to life. Like most independent preachers, he doesn’t have checks and balances in his life. He has sycophants and loyalist- many who are willing to kill or die for the man… regardless of what he says or does.


If you ask me, most intelligent black folk get this. Farrakhan is a complicated figure that way. He is an anti-Semite. If you listen closely, he ain’t crazy about Christians either. Still, if you black, you can’t honestly dismiss the good The Nation has done over the decades for black men and families. You also cannot dismiss the connection Farrakhan has had with other leaders in the Middle East. One can’t hate on his relationship with Muammar Gaddafi for instance, but name me a Middle East terrorist/dictator and I’ll show you an American ally at one time or another. But neither can you ignore the fact that Elijah Muhammad was a child molester. Of all my spiritual journeys there is a reason I never once thought about joining The Nation.

All of that brings me to this point. When it comes to hate crimes in and around the nation, ain’t nobody checking for Louis Farrakhan! Nobody is out here doing his bidding by shooting up schools, synagogues or other public places where innocent people are killed. If you ask Jim Jones, he may tell you that the Minister will scoop you up off the street for a little conversation about something you said about him. Hell he may do the same to me. But the last murder I’m aware of that he endorsed if not assisted in was that of Malcolm X on February 21, 1965. Perhaps there has been more, but none I am aware of.

So while the Right tries to Jedi mind trick the public by throwing his name out there with black elected officials who may have met with him, spoke to him or whatever, know that in terms of cause and effect in the real world, it’s all bullshit! Now when a member of the Nation of Islam shoots up a church, synagogue, school, movie theater, concert, or mail pipe bombs to Republicans then get back at me. Otherwise, GTFOH with that bullsh#! and get your fukn’ houses in order – and stay out of others!

Sermon on The Mount, or Cee-Lo’s Revenge!

I do not plan on speaking much on this election.  I hope to say what I have to now and not much after this.  Truth is, regardless of who won we have great challenges in our nation and we have a lot of work to do.  No need to recite all the details regarding the economy, jobs, education, the military and so forth.

Still, I don’t mind acknowledging that this election was different than any other I have been involved in. The first time Barack Obama was elected it was special.  It was unbelievable to me. I never thought I would see a person of color in the White House.  And for those thinking that’s all I’m about, you would be wrong.  In other words, I could have voted for a Colin Powell presidency, while Clarence Thomas’ supreme court appointment and Herman Cain’s candidacy can go kick rocks!  Most people who look like me can joyfully celebrate accomplishments by people of color from a historical perspective of where we’ve come from, but we are not hung up on color for the sake of color sake.  As the old folks used to say, “Everyone who’s my skin folk, ain’t necessarily my kin folk.”  I voted for The President the first time because I believed in his vision and what he stood for.  His skin color was a caveat, not even close to a deciding factor.

That being said it wasn’t hard at all to recognize and understand all of the racist vitriol surrounding the White House since Obama was elected four years ago.  From the beginning as surprised as I was that he was elected, for racist Caucasians, they were equally enraged.  Rush Limbaugh exclaimed, “I hope he fails!”  Joe Wilson went ballistic with his “You lie!” blast in a display of disrespect to the office never seen before.  Mitch McConnell let it be known that his #1 priority was making The President a one termer.


John Boehner stood opposite whatever President Obama stood for, even if Obama changed to Boehner’s position.

The First Lady couldn’t even promote fighting childhood obesity without being attacked.

Jan Brewer put her finger in the face of The President as if she was ready to scrap!

I could go on.  But let me get to my points.  I’m exhausted.  The President, myself and a whole lot of black folks, progressives etc. have taken a lot of shit over the last four years.  We have heard it all.  Now it’s our turn.  Others can say what they need to, but I will speak for myself!  In my Cee Lo Green voice, I present “F#@! YOU” notices to the following:

Mitch McConnell: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Try working for the American people and not against the black guy for a change!

John Boehner: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Focus more on helping our nation and less on your tan!

Rush Limbaugh: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Looks like YOU failed! Send your Mexican nanny to the pharmacist for more drugs you fat assed blubbering dope fiend!

Todd Akin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! Guess the women of Missouri “did that thing” to shut your ass down!


Tavis Smiley and Cornel West: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Yep I said it.  You have toured the nation perpetrating the fraud about a “Black Agenda” while you never asked Bush, Clinton or any other president to do the same. My president cares for all people… including black people.  It was insulting and ignorant that you tried to lay ever problem within the African-American community as his feet and expect him to focus on those and those alone.  You both are frauds!

Fox News: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  Hey look at it this way, your ratings will remain steady with the racist who will tune in and hear you whine, lie and avoid the real issue which is that White male domination is blowing away with the wind.  Another generation and a half, and you may only have 7 viewers listeners using a CB radio!

Sara Palin: F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!  How’s that for “shuckin’ and jiving?”

Business Owners who threatened their employees: That what foul what you did trying to intimidate your workers.  Quite desperate too!  None of Obama’s policies hurt your businesses especially.  You get every tax break in the world!  If you fail, its more likely because of your shotty business decisions. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

People who said Colin Powell voted for Obama because he was black:  Yea, how many of you voted for McCain and Romney because they were white?  Yea that’s what I thought…. F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Republicans, those who tried to disenfranchise minority votersThem days are over!  We aren’t allowing you to get away with that any longer!  Get a clue!  You lost in every court, including the Supreme Court!  And the only people who were caught attempting to commit voter fraud were REPUBLICANS!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years! 

Franklin and Billy Graham: (And all the other radical white and black evangelicals) You actually sold out your Christianity for racism.  I guess you can put Mormonism back on the cult list now!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!

Mitt Romney: Oh yea I ain’t forgot about you geechie!  F#@! YOU, 4 More Years!… sincerely the 47%!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 4:20 flight to catch to Denver.



The Day the News Died…

The date was June 17, 1994 – An event that changed news and the way it was reported forever.  The scene… a Southern California freeway, the 405 to be exact! 

Every television station in the country honed in on the signal from the local news chopper following the infamous white Ford Bronco as  Los Angles police vehicles pursued slowly behind.  Inside the SUV were Al Cowlings and some guy named Orenthal James Simpson.  Simpson had failed to show up at one of the police department precincts as agreed upon between his attorneys and investigators to inquire about the double murder of his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.  While there were over a thousand reporters who showed up for what they though would be Simpson turning himself in, now there were an estimated 95 million watching on television.  This was “Cops” before there were cops.  This was a live pursuit of a famous football player, movie star, sports announcer and rental car pitchman who a large portion of America recognized on sight and adored.  He was suspected of killing his wife and her companion, a white woman no less.  And word on the street was that he made what seemed like threats to kill himself during this slow chase.

And this my friends is in my opinion the event that changed the way the news is reported forever.  The subsequent rumors, innuendos and gossip that followed leading up to the trial became headline news from LA to Boston, from Minnesota to Texas… the OJ trial was the talk of the nation.  Names like Kato, Darden, Fuhrman, Garcetti, Ito, Clark, Cochran, and Dershowitz became household.  And there was a demand to get the inside scoop on it so they added legal experts like Greta Van Susteren to the mix.  She ended up with her own TV show and after the trial a show called Court TV was born.  All because of this OJ event.

What I remember most was the verdict.  It was broadcast all over radio and television.  At the time I worked at a company where our whole operation depended on telephone lines being manned at all times.  Each of us operators left our desk and gathered around a radio at the reception area and the boss didn’t utter a word.  She was right there with us.  When they read the not guilty verdicts the reaction of the White secretary said it all.  She burst into tears on the spot sobbing as if Nicole were her sister.  Most black folk including myself were not as convinced of Simpson’s guilt, especially in light of the way the police handled the evidence as well as the lying testimony of bigot Mark Furhman.  Nevertheless the country was split straight down the middle.  White folks were going Hebrew biblical tearing their clothes in sat-cloth and ashes.  Black folks who honestly didn’t give a damn about OJ post his Buffalo Bills playing days, felt it was about time a black man wasn’t convicted just because he was accused even as white folks wanted his head passionately regardless of evidence.  Opinions ran strong and feeling deeply expressed across offices nationwide.  This took the sensationalism of the news media to a whole new level.

Initially we had investigative journalistic shows like Geraldo Rivera.  He made the genre famous and paved the way for Hard Copy and from there we got a mild but now notorious blowhard Bill O’Reilly on Inside Edition.  By then that Pandora’s Box had been slammed wide open as television producers figured that they could combine the news with the gossip.  Stations like CNN and Fox News were popular, but the OJ trial put them over the top as viewers flocked their cable stations to see the latest speculation and opinions of so called experts.  Local news cast figured they’d better get in on the mix less they be left out.  I mean who wants to hear about local politics and the school board when Cochran was rhyming, “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit?” And if that wasn’t enough, once Princess Diana was killed in that car accident, it was a wrap!  News and popular culture would be forever intertwined with mainstream media. 

I believe this is the origin of and main reason we suffer from a news media that is so entertainment centered while the important issues get’s dilluted.  Bleeding no longer leads as much as scandal sales.  

So there you have it! 

That’s my take.  What’s yours?

Blackberry Gate!


Being the mainstream American cat that our new President Elect is, of course he rolls with a crackberryblackberry where he can IM, check his email and what’s hot on the news and sports web pages.  The Secret Service wants him to give it up as it could be compromised by hackers.

President Elect Obama wants to keep it because he feels as president one of the toughest things for him to do will be to maintain a connection to the live events and vibe on the streets of America.  He was quoted as saying, “I’m still clinging to my Blackberry. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

I side with the President on this one.  For one I like the idea of my president not being isolated in a glass bubble at the White House where he doesn’t know whats up.  Remember the indifference of Bush when Hurricane Katrina happened?  As horribly as he acted, or rather didn’t act, I wonder if he actually took the time to look at the news to actually see what was going on. 

Also if the President is not worried that his text and emails could be hacked, that means that he has nothing to hide.  No secret lovers or clandestine deals that could bite him in the behind.  I am sure he will get the low down on how to use secured phones and web functions in order to conduct presidential business.

I find it refreshing that my president may click on ESPN, or CNN once or twice a day to get the scoop on the happenings.  I say keep it!

Ideals vs Ridiculous Ideologies


I have had some pretty heated debates with blogger buddies as well as personal friends regarding the extreme reaction of the liberal and gay communities regarding President Elect Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to participate in his inauguration.  I am on record as saying that any wise group will learn to pick their battles and that there are differences between ideals and ideologies.  To me ideas should be fought for.  The ideal of equal rights or equal pay for women for instance.  Ideologies are often a set of extreme beliefs that people try to push off on others.  I’ll give you an example:

So did you hear the story about the woman in Florida who says she got fired because she refused to answer the company phone with the greeting, “Happy Holidays,” because it was a against her religious views not to say Merry Christmas?  Well apparently she felt it was selling out to the mainstream to say anything generic regarding the day commemorating the birth of Christ.  Nevermind that we live in a diverse nation and some people don’t celebrate Christmas.  Nevermind that some people celebrate Hanukkah, some Kwanzaa and others none of the above.  Oh no, she couldn’t stomach the thought of considering that for one minute.  Instead she decided to buck her boss’s wishes and go “rebellion” by doing her own thing.

I have been in church circles long enough to know where this comes from.  Its the evangelical victimization thinking that Christmas and Christ are under attack by a liberal god hating society.  I remember having a discussion with a former co-worker who refused to go to the company “holiday party” as long as it was called a holiday party and not a “Christmas” party.  He wanted me to sign on to a petition to change the name.  I wasn’t buying it.  I know that some people are turned off by Christians bombarding them with their beliefs.  I know that some anal ACLU types like to drive the city looking for nativity scenes in public places so they can try to legally have them removed.  There is a battle for control of the culture.  Both sides of these and other arguments are often trivial to the big picture in terms of what we lack most in this country – RESPECT FOR OTHERS and their beliefs.  Both the woman in the above story and the anti-Christians are ridiculous in my view.  But I will deal with the Christians on this rant.

I have a few questions for Ms. Tonia Thomas and people who believe as she does – that to say “Happy Holidays” is some sort of sin.

1) Is there a Christmas Holiday in the bible?

2) Is there any record in the bible (which you believe is the authentic Word of God) of Christians yearly celebrating the birth of Christ – similar to the Jewish faith in celebrating the Passover?

3) Was Jesus born on December 25th?

The answer to all of these is a resounding NO!

Memo to Tonia Thomas and others who pontificate on such ridiculous treaties:  You can choose to celebrate Christmas anyway you desire.  That is what freedom is all about.  But to lose your job over whether you say Merry Christmas or not is ludicrous!  For one that is your JOB!  You work for a company.  That company has an owner or ownership group.  The powers that be get to decide how they want to greet their customers!  When YOU own your own business, you can say Merry Christmas, Praise the Lord, hell you can speak in tongues if you want to cause its YOUR business!  It’s no strike against your religion, nor is is a diss to Christ to say Happy Holidays.  I am sure Jesus is not turning cartwheels because you thought you were making a stand but merely lost your job because of your insubordination.  (Look that up in the bible about obeying those whom you work for)  I know you really thought you were doing something.  But sorry; this isn’t like someone asking you to deny your faith or worship Baal.  You allowed someone at church to soup you up into believing this rhetoric.  And it’s a shame.  But this is why folks can’t get along today.  You are NOT going to win over any of your secular friends by being a blow hard at a job that you don’t own over how to answer the phone that you don’t pay the bill on.  You are no martyr like Paul or John.  And Barack Obama won the election too – so get over yourself!  Folks are losing their jobs at an alarming rate all over the country, and you refuse to answer the damn phone the way they ask you to.  How stupid is that?  If I was your boss I would have fired your ass too.  “What you can’t do what I ask and I am paying you?  BYE!”

 menorahKwanzaa Clip Art


Glad I got that off my chest.  I’ve officiated more than a few basketball games in December.  A lot of them at Christian and Catholic schools.  When I congratulate a coach or shake his/her hand, it’s come quite naturally for me to say, “Merry Christmas” as I understand this is a special time for them.  I’ve celebrated Christmas as a child.  And at the same time never taught my kids to believe in Santa Clause nor expect me to break the bank for toys and gifts.  As well I will never question, judge, or disrespect my friends who teach Santa to their kids, no revere the Advent season.  It’s all about respect!  We need to learn to do more of that.

There are times to protect religious beliefs.  And there are times when folks are just plain silly and trivial. 

With that said, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays. 

Peace and God Bless~


BB&G Special Column Feature – Sylvester Brown

I pulled this column from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  Sylvester Brown owned and operated a newspaper called “Take Five.”  It was the best source of local news this city has ever seen.  Unfortunately the paper went under.  Now Sylvester writes three times per week for the only mainstream newspaper in the city.  I have always enjoyed his pieces – and in this case he saved me the brain energy to express some of these thought.  The media is clearly NOT doing their job on the Palin thing.