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bear1

Don’t you hate it when people think they know everything and don’t ask  for anyone’s opinion?  After years of blogging, I am again asking for help in crafting an effective approach to changing how we make  public policy.  I can decide if “Can’t Bear It” or “Properly Channeled Anger” would be better or maybe both.

I am just ticked off and can’t bear being angry about what seems obvious.  Rather than acting like I know everything, I have decided to blog post this rough outline—run it up the flag pole and see who salutes.  The best outcome would be well design initiative that spurs some really improvements.  In the past, we would come up with ideas and dream about sharing them at public gatherings.  Today, the better idea is to create a platform to share thoughts and vent frustrations first.  And to think, it started with a hooded bear.

 

Can’t Bear It/Properly Channeled Anger

Background: We all get angry and upset with injustice and wrongdoing.   Much of that energy is spent purely venting.  What if that energy was directed toward improvement, change and growth?  From voting to self-analysis, growing and improving is the sweetest response to wrong.

Objective: To use unconventional methods to encourage voting by everyone, to encourage constructive analysis of ourselves and our situations and to get heading in a better direction.

Hooded Bear: I am cute bear in a hoodie—a cub at that.  I’m stuffed and therefore not even a real bear.  Does the hoodie change my cuteness?  Fundamentally, I am the same bear with secondary regard for my choice of gear…Burberry if you notice.

So I am a bear on a computer…literally—which is similar to the proverbial fish with a bicycle.  I can’t use this laptop to facilitate change—particularly changing laws and changing lawmakers that would declare open season on those who simply “look” dangerous.  Did I mention that my hoodie is plaid and expensive?

If I were a real cub, I be might related to that cub that President “Teddy” Roosevelt didn’t shoot back in the day.  So being a cute bear in a hoodie (real or stuffed) is safer than being a young person in a hoodie in certain places.  If that makes you angry, join this cub in the club.  But what shall we do with that anger?

Hey,this club could be called Properly Channeled Anger because reasonable people should figure out a way to fix what is broken in our communities, our government and ourselves.  I know the pun is cheesy but “Can’t Bear It” would have worked as well because reasonable people shouldn’t be able to bear seeing inexplicable actions or inactions.   Finally, this bear won’t bare himself; he won’t remove his hoodie to conform to the requires of small-minded people.  He would however rock a tasteful pinned-striped suit during his corporate 9 to 5.

Can’t Bear:

  1. Not Voting: Can you believe the fact that the people most affected by public policy are often the same people who don’t vote. From Candy Crush to Farmville to Madden to reality television, we spend countless hours on questionable activities but can’t take a little time to vote.

 

  1. Invisible People: Make no mistake about it: to many elected officials and policymakers, people who aren’t voting get little consideration—they are essentially invisible or irrelevant.

 

  1. Stand Your Ground: Clearly the nation had a contentious debate about these gun usage laws. It seems that state legislators passed these laws after hearing from one side of the argument and with little thought to how the laws would function.  “If you felt you were in danger…”  Is that declaring open season on people who aren’t like me?

 

  1. Referendum on President Obama: While he isn’t on the ballot in 2012, U.S. Senate races across the country are about the President’s party controlling one of the two houses of Congress and stopping the other major party from attempting to humiliate him for his last two years. So, all of these people put Obama in office twice but ignore the follow-up work.. i.e. giving him a congress and state governments that are about the people’s business.  Remember, the House and Senate impeach and hold impeachment trials.

 

  1. Referendum on Hillary Clinton: Don’t sleep, the elections of 2014 are test for which areas Clinton can target in 2016…what are the new battlegrounds. 2014 candidates are testing messages to see what resonates with voters.

 

  1. Can’t bear the mirror: Surprisingly, Americans need to self-analyze to determine how much of what is right or wrong with our lives is the result of our actions….our choice, decisions and consequences. Hey, elected officials can only do so much; they need to tell the truth about the role of government and convince the people to act accordingly.  To be honest, much of government spending goes to help people out of ditches that they dug.

 

  1. Education: Wow, so many parents think that sending their children to school in nice gear is their part of the learning process. These parents often fail to speak proper grammar at home, allow countless hours of video games rather than reading/homework and don’t establish the discipline/focus foundation that kid’s need to be good students.

 

  1. Communication: It is vitally important that every American listens to the thoughts and concerns of others. Yes, the points of view of the loyal opposition should be respectfully heard if only to be picked apart.

 

  1. Policy War: If public policy is a war, we could prepare ourselves for warfare but also hope that the other side realize how wrong they are and come to the negotiations table. In other words, we should wish for constructive dialog and understanding.

Rep. Jack Kingston could have won the primary runoff easily in the Black community but the wrong cats must have been in his ear.  We are talking about the same Jack who has frequently visited and represented Savannah State University for years.

Military bases and the agriculture industry are the economic backbones of non-Atlanta parts of Georgia but no one had the idea to get 6,000 or so votes from Democrats who Jack has helped time and time again.  Look, I live in little Worth County and Kingston got 605 votes here but in huge Albany with a Marine base, Jack only received 655 votes.  Say what?

It’s the proverbial two-edged sword.  The consultants around the Kingston campaign knew that he needed  Tea Party support to win the primary and the Tea Party will not vote for anyone who gets any votes from moderates.

Was anyone in the Kingston camp watching the Thad Cochran Senate primary in Mississippi?  Cochran turned to the Black community for enough support to get over the top; he sought his old friends.  Jack Kingston has more old friends on the Democrat side than any House Republican from Georgia.

I just talked with Georgia Secretary of State’s office and they confirmed that people who didn’t vote in the primary election could have voted for either side in the runoff.  The right Black community leaders in Savannah alone could have gotten out 6,000 Black votes on the strength of Jack’s closeness to our community and long history of hiring Black staffers in key position. But, they decided to leave that on the table.

To be honest, Democrats wanted to see Kingston vs. Michelle Nunn because Jack has a long history of statement about President Obama.  Nunn will not say it nor think it but Black folks coming out to vote in November will be as much about helping the Obama administration have a Democrat-controlled Senate as much as it is about her….and that is okay.

When David Perdue’s cousin took the governor’s office from Roy Barnes, some people vote for Sonny Perdue but many people voted against Barnes over the confederate flag and a teachers issue.  You win how you can.  David Perdue shouldn’t say the word “Obama” until Christmas but he will…the far Right will require that he does.  The attacks on Obama will drive Obama supporters to the polls and if Nunn can secure a few percentage points from suburban GOP women, she wins and helps the Dems hold the U.S. Senate.

Mrs. Nunn must know that Get Out the Vote and street operations will be as important as T.V. ads.  Remember, if Jack had half the street operations that Thad Cochran had, he would have won.

Immigration reform or what have you should start with a frank and honest discussion about Blacks in America.  While President Obama is still one of my favorite presidents, his push for a path to citizenship for those who came here illegal is perplexing.  We would have a huge influx of new citizens from just south of the border rather than a balance blend of people from all around the world.  Before we bring anyone into the American family we should consider those who toiled to make this great nation; those who were stolen from the land and those whose land was stolen.

I understand that many Mexicans feel free to ignore the southern border because they think that Texas, Arizona, parts of California and of course New Mexico was stolen from them.  Native Americans can say that two continents were inexplicably taken from them.  Historians will tell you that America jumped passed older nations from the Old World economically in part because of the cheap and free labor provided by African slaves.  And folks have the nerve to say “go back to Africa” like we wanted to come here in the first place.  Heaven knows that resources-rich Africa would have done well if respected and if her nations were considered normal members of the global community.

I love the fact that President U.S. Grant wanted to buy the island of Hispaniola (current Haiti and the Dominican Republic) to create a nation in this region for former slaves.  The web is buzzing with a rare video of Dr. Martin Luther King going off about the land that was given to Europeans who arrived after the Civil War but no land for those former slaves who worked by force for over 150 years before 1776.

To be honest, the use of Mexican labor over the last few decades was based on replacing the recently freed African Americans—yes, we were freed around 1970.  Dr. Hollis at my Black college had the vision to tell her pol sci majors that America’s relationship with African Americans wasn’t based on our being minorities because in time we wouldn’t be the top minority group.  It was based on our labor and oppression in the making of this great nation.

The Japanese Americans were placed  in internment camps during World II and that was wrong (where were the Italian and Germany internment camps.)  In the 1990s, the U.S. Congress compensated them for this wrong but if they were owed an inch, Black America would be owed a freaking mile.  It will never happen but keep that in the back of your mind, Mr. Go Back To Africa.  And we shouldn’t act as if current people and companies are still benefiting from the cheap labor that continue with Jim Crow and sharecropping until the 1970s.

Moderates shouldn’t be lumped together with liberals on immigration reform because we often feel that the country should slow it’s roll on this matter.  The decisions about what to do with African and Native Americans usually didn’t include those two groups.  So, we should address some lingering issues before opening the doors any wider.

The Democrat Party can’t be mostly Black nor should the GOP be all White.  This blog has been saying that for years.  First, I really don’t care too much for political parties because they are about power and control over good governing.  If we must have parties, the best ones look like America—they are comprised of a cross-section of peoples and groups or the leaders communicate with everyone.

The “All In With Chris Hayes” show on MSNBC is starting a new segment on race.  The promo for the segment features Georgian Julian Bond telling Hayes that Black elected officials need to give up some Black areas to neighboring districts to get White Democrats elected.  I love it because you don’t necessarily need Black politicians to serve Black folks (and a few Black Republicans might not be bad for understanding and informative purposes.)

If you take race off the table, congressional districts should be draw in a way where candidates from either major party can win—that keeps them on their toes.  The scary fact is that the GOP turned in the early 1990s into a party that often demands that its elected officials not listen to those with other points of view.  Look here, officials are paid by all taxpayers—not just the people that voted for them.  If you listen to a constant diet of vitriol from left or right zealots, you too would swear that the other side is the devil.

Let’s look that two congressional districts that makeup southwest Georgia.  For most of his time in the Georgia state house and the U.S. Congress, Sanford Bishop didn’t have a majority Black district.  He won by serving a cross section of people well.  Former Rep. Jim Marshall was one of the last southern White Democrats and his seat was important until he started slamming Obama and Speaker Pelosi to keep rural voters.  He had to go and he was replaced with a reasonable GOP candidate, Austin Scott.  Who knew that Scott would be one of the most conservative members of the House?

In theory during redistricting, members of congress don’t own districts but the General Assembly had no problem lumping more and more Blacks into Bishop’s district because that action made the three contiguous districts more and more GOP.  Bishop is a fighter and a true representative; he could represent anyone.  But, the Tea Party, Fox News and the far right talk radio has rural Georgia White twisted and negatively brainwashed so can you blame him for accepting more safety.  In southeast Georgia, Rep. Jack Kingston took all of Black Savannah to increase the GOP chances of taking Rep. John Barrow’s seat—Barrow is the last White Democrat in the U.S. House from the deep South.

Hey, Democrats would be fine if the people they helped legislatively would simply vote.  A surprisingly large number of GOP members of the state legislature have 25% or more Blacks in their districts but folks don’t vote.  The deciding factor for the elections in November might be the effectiveness of the Get Out the Voter efforts and that requires money—more cash should be put on the streets than on the airwaves.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/all-in-america-behind-the-color-line-285576771633

keep-calm-and-love-boondocks

The Boondocks T.V. show theme song starts with a righteous Bible quote.  Who knew?  People who paid better attention in church knew. Psalm 118:22 says “The stone that the builder refused (rejected) has become the corner stone.”   In Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Of course, Jesus was referring to the world’s coming rejection of him.  The Boondocks rapper is referring to  Blacks treatment in America.  I love these verses because we all have people in our families who favor some and reject others.  I would be sitting in a glass corner office of an Atlanta law firm today if college money was divided fairly among kids in my family but why cry over spilled milk.

We still have family members who turn their noses up at blood…at kids mind you.  In Matthew 20:16, Christ said “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen.”  Of course, you need to cut family and old friends off when they are bringing everyone around them down and they refuse to hear and act on wise counsel.  I want to live long enough to see which kids will be wildly successful.  It might be the ones whose characters was tempered by adversity like the “niggers’  of old and not like the modern day “niggas.”

I am 50 years old and the America of my youth isn’t the America of today.  The N-word is used constantly on Boondocks but liberals on MSNBC can’t tell me what to say and hear.  The lovely actress Regina King voices both kids on the show and if she is cool with the context I am too because she has a gold-plated hood pass from being on 227 and Boyz In the Hood.

Boondocks Theme Song – Asheru

I am the stone that builder refused

I am the visual

The inspiration

That made lady sing the blues

 

I’m the spark that makes your idea bright

The same spark

that lights the dark

So that you can know your left from your right

 

I am the ballot in your box

The bullet in your gun

The inner glow that lets you know

To call your brother son

The story that just begun

 

The promise of what’s to come

And I’m ‘a remain a soldier till the war is won

 

Wow, this educated lyricist hit hard with “I am the ballot in your box…the bullet in your gun.”  On some level, Black youth seem like the rejected stone that could be the cornerstone.  In politics and policy, leaders make decision with little consideration of large segments of the population.  We can’t grow as a nation if the troubled 20% continue to be a drain of resources and counterproductive.  In reality, everyone can’t be on top—someone has to lose.  But, the playing field must be fair so every kid has an equal shot.

The geniuses behind Boondocks design the show to provoke thoughts about the Black man in America.  The grandfather is a veteran of the civil rights movement who moved his grandsons to the Boondocks for a better quality of life.  Of course, suburbia has problems also.  It’s the same old story about Blacks struggling to get our slice of the American pie.

So, I am watching a documentary on corn on the History Channel and I couldn’t stop thinking about the development of this crop compared to the development of people.  Corn is genetically engineered to improve; it’s a hybrid.  Heterosis, hybrid vigor or outbreeding enhancement is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring.  An offspring exhibits heterosis if its traits are enhanced as a result of mixing the genetic contributions of its parents.

On Boondocks, Riley and Huey are brothers but they are heading in different life directions—one intellectual progressive and one thug.   Inside Black America, am I the only person concerned that we are breeding the worst elements with each other and therefore creating a hybrid screw-up?  How many Black professionals have only one child or none and how many troublemakers have a house full of future troublemakers.  In a free society, we can’t stop people from breeding with whomever they chose but still…dam.

Republicans can say this and Democrats can say that but improving Black America starts with listening to people like Colin Powell as he softy pushes the West Indian sensibility of his upbringing.  Yea, many of the Blacks from the Caribbean are more success than other Black Americans because they don’t play with education, family association and generational development. You just don’t come into their families and get teens pregnant with careless disregard.

On the documentary about corn, they state that heterosis creates hybrids that are better than they parents.  With people, I call that moving forward.  Are we looking at a generation of Black Americans who are inferior to their parents?    As the last line in the Boondocks theme says, I am going to remain a soldier until the war is won.  The question is where the battlefield is and who the real enemy is.

 

David Perdue, Jack Kingston

Georgia primary voters should think long and hard before next month’s runoff election.  I give myself credit for being a moderate Democrat who voted in the Republican primary because that’s where the action was in this generally red state.  So, I get to vote in the runoff and important questions must be addressed.  For the record, my interests focus on improving our state more that supporting either major political party because parties are mostly interested in power and control.

  1. Will Jack Kingston explain his comments about school kids working for free lunch?  Readers of this blog know I like Jack but that was some dirty dirty design to secure the nut vote.  Shall we humiliates children who were born into families of modest means?   Does the same apply to summer lunch programs?  Is that for high school and middle school only are will 7 year olds be mopping also?  I will say that Democrat leaders on the national level want Kingston in November because that one comment could tip the election by driving young voters to the polls.  “He wants my little sister to clean food trays!?”

 

  1. Are Michelle Nunn and David Perdue Obama-like in their newness?  I am about to hit you with a new angle on the Senate race: because Nunn and Perdue are new to the political arena they don’t have a record of statements and actions like Jack Kingston now and the Clintons in 2008.  Hillary Clinton might have made a better president (to some) in 2008 but we would have never known because the conservatives would have rallied behind Romney to keep the Clintons out of the White House.  Smart Republicans know that Perdue would be safer.

 

  1. How do we want the world to see our state?  I have a problem with President Obama.  While he is still my guy, he speaks of the USA that should be rather than the USA that is.  He see a fair, positive colorfree nation and that simply isn’t reality.  Ole Jack Kingston is similar to the average Georgian and me but doesn’t attract new industry.  David Perdue is a corporate baller who can represent an international city like Atlanta.  Chambliss and Isakson are balanced gentleman and Perdue seems senatorial like them.  Kingston has done a fine job representing southeast Georgia but we should remember that Port of Savannah funding might have been delayed because Jack couldn’t or wouldn’t get the crazies on the far Right to dial down the anti-Obama vitriol.  Perdue’s handlers are messing up because they should be spinning his time at Dollar General as a job creator in my community.  Oh, we love those baby Wal-marts on every corner in forgotten neigborhoods.

 

  1. Is Hillary Clinton reading Nunn’s putt?  In golf, players watch their playing partner’s putts to judge the greens and the line.  I think Team Hillary is watching the 2014 performance of moderate Democrat women candidates to craft their 2016 approach to the South and to gauge which states are winnable.  A Michelle Nunn win puts Georgia on the table for Hillary because some GOP women put gender over party—that’s why they should have selected Karen Handel.

 

  1.  Would the Democrats prefer Kingston or Perdue in November?  I think Dems want Kingston for the school lunch thing and the southern drawl.  Yes, I am country my dam self but Jack pours that southern twang on like Karo syrup to the delight of rural voters.  But, when Dem voters in Georgia six biggest cities pay attention in the fall,  it will be on and popping because he sounds like an overseer on Roots.

Memorial Day: Devotion

dam

My worst day of work on Capitol Hill occurred when at intern said the Pentagon was on the phone.  The military told me that I need to tell Congressman Charles Hatcher that Spec. James Worthy of Albany, Georgia, was killed in the Gulf War.  Words can’t describe the look on Hatcher’s face that day.

But, I had that same look this morning when the front of my newspaper included a picture of a defaced monument of Worthy.  I had to write this before church and before Memorial Day because what I am about to say isn’t cool.  Hell has a special hot pit for those who would do such a despicable thing—ask for forgiveness.

At Gettysburg, Lincoln said “..that from these honored dead we talk increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.

So that brother Worthy didn’t die in vain, I hope young people in Albany will pause on Memorial Day to remember that freedom isn’t free and that people gave the last full measure of devotion so they could live in the best country ever.  If President Obama wants a special appointee to clear up the mess at the V.A. hospitals, he should go get former Rep. Hatcher.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2014/may/24/vandals-spray-black-paint-over-veterans-park/

 

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