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Posts Tagged ‘Blacks’

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.

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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

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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.

 

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You can’t think about public policy for the needy in the South without coming across several related Bible verses.  2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “For even when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

But, we should also consider Psalm 82:2-4 “How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?  Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Look, no one thinks of themselves as wicked and I am not calling anyone wicked.  However, some good people in politics and policy will do some somewhat devious things to win the battle and hopefully the war.

Everyone hates seeing hungry people and particularly hungry children.  Reasonable folks fairly state that those people got themselves into their circumstances with questionable life choices and personal responsibility.  It burns a taxpayer up to get into an old truck to leave a shift at a plant after standing 12 hours in steel-toed shoes then past grown fathers standing on the corner—guys who are too proud or crazy to do manual labor, pick crops or flip burgers.

The radio in that old pickup is blasting far Right talk radio in that worker’s ear.  “Your tax dollars provided those assistance checks, food stamps and free school lunches…you are sweating over a drill press while that bum plays video games all day in government assisted housing and sips malt liquor that was purchased with money intended for hungry kids.”  Dam, I am writing this stuff too easily…have I been watching Fox News.

We live in a free society; this isn’t North Korea or China.  Dictating better living isn’t legal.  So, children are born into struggling situations but Jesus wouldn’t want us to let them starve because their parents made bad choices.

The Farm Bill is the law that directs USDA programs and therefore seriously impacts the South.  Back when members of congress talked across the aisle, the farm bill supported commodity programs (which helped farm families) and provide food assistance programs (which helped farm families by creating  additional markets.)  Today, the far Right wanted to end most food assistance to force needy people to work and stop having kids they can’t afford.  Social media was a buzzed this week with the story of a seedy woman with 15 kids who upset that the government wasn’t doing more to help her.  Say what? I watch the news video about this family but paused it to say a little pray for those kids.

http://nation.foxnews.com/homelessness/2011/12/01/homeless-lady-15-kids-somebody-needs-pay-all-my-children

 

The school lunch/breakfast program ensures that needy kids have two meals a day five days a week during the school year.  Without those meals, the hospitals would be packed with malnourished kids and that cost would be astronomical.  Of course, hungry kids can’t focus on classwork so the labor force would be untrained and looking for ways to make fast money.  Fast money leads to prison at a cost of $35,000 a year.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston is the best House Republican from the Georgia but as a Senate candidate even Jack started tripping.  Kingston has represented chocolate city Savannah for 20 years, he was worked in chocolate city D.C. for the same 20 years and he has served during that time on the House Ag Committee and/or the Appropriations Sub-Committee on Agriculture.  Jack is UDSA food programs like the back of his hand.

If Kingston really said that needy kids should work at the school to pay off their free lunch, he was saying that to get Senate primary votes.  He knows that would never happen nor would he want that to happen.  So, poor people, people who grew up poor (Black, White and Brown) and those of us with compassion for the poor make up a bloc of voters who some in the GOP are simple writing off.

I watched the GOP Senate primary like a hawk and waited to see how much campaign would be done in the Black community.  Karen Handel had a wealth of supporters in the ATL and Jack has always shown the flag in every community in his district.  I never heard these two candidates making overtures to the Black community because there are few primary voters there.   For the record, I am a moderate Dem who voted in the GOP primary because that was where the action was.

Surprisingly, former Dollar General executive David Perdue was the only GOP senate candidate that my Black GOP friends said reached out to the non GOP Black community; he supposedly met with 32 Black pastors in the Albany area.  I like that right there.

I told those same GOP friends that they can mark my word:  the school lunch comment by Kingston would drive out thousands of occasional voters—it’s a hornet’s nest.  Voters sometimes vote for candidates and sometimes vote against candidates.  Remember, the confederate flag drama drove some people to vote against then Governor Roy Barnes….hell, some of them didn’t know David Perdue’s cousin Sonny at the time.

People who live off checks provide to assist kids are seedy.  Blue Dog Democrats supported Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich’s welfare reform that included work or training requirements.  As Justice Clarence grandfather taught him, public assistance makes people weak and dependent.

However, Democrat blood will boil when the T.V. ads run next fall featuring kids mopping schools as their friends laugh.  I think control of the U.S. Senate for the last two years of Obama presidency hang on that school lunch comment.  Oh, it’s going to be on and popping when child nutrition supporter Michelle Obama and Orpah see that YouTube video.   School lunch programs also teach kids about healthy food choice and that education leads to better eating as adults.

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demotivation.us_Scientists-Discovered-the-Formula-to-understand-women

As President Nixon would say, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: Nunns and Carters can’t win in Georgia in 2014 without Obamas and Clintons.  Jason Carter is running for governor and Michelle Nunn seeks an open U.S. Senate seat.

The exodus of the Georgia Whites from the Democrats to the Republicans was completed when Congressman Jim Marshall was defeated by Austin Scott.  Marshall tried to paint himself as a non-Democrat Democrat by running from Barrack Obama and then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  He basically tried to become Sam Nunn.  Sir, I staffed in the Georgia congressional delegation that was led by Sam Nunn…I met Sam Nunn during my high school years…we went to countless Hill receptions with Senator Nunn.. you, Jim Marshall, was no Sam Nunn.  You don’t run from Obama and expect my communities support.

Like it or hate it, the formula for November 2014 Dem success in Georgia is:

(n + ca)/(o x cl)=w         or (Nunns + Carters) / (Obamas x Clintons) = wins

 

First, Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn are good and decent candidates on their own.  However, Georgia is a Red State because the Democrat base is so very shaky.  The four pillars of strength that support the Dem foundation nationally are two Obamas and two Clintons.  To be honest, Michelle needs to be a flying Nunn crisscrossing the peach state with Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama or both.  As Bernie Mack would say, “you don’t understand”…. Michelle Obama still has rock star status with Dem voters; she could pack a college football stadium with only three days notice.

The reality is this: rural Whites are a lock for the GOP but suburban voters of all colors are on the table if the Dems come out with a moderate agenda focused on job creation.  Who can deny that Bill Clinton’s economy plan left the nation in great shape.  On Meet The Press this past weekend, the question was “would Hillary run as a continuation of the Obama years or restart of the Clinton years?”  I say it would be the beginning of the Hillary years.

The far Right should stop tripping on Hillary Clinton’s age because she would take office at the same age as President Reagan and a few years younger than John McCain would have been if he won.

Michelle Nunn is on that chill style like her father and that won’t get out the bloc of voters that almost won Georgia for Obama.  That’s okay because unlikely voters have a lot to think about this year….the motivation is there.  They just need a little knowledge and wisdom from the blogosphere; we call it “that fire.”  Don’t sleep: Nunn’s senate race will be studied by Team Hillary as they plan to take parts of suburbia back from the GOP.

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On Mother’s Day, I acknowledge that being a mom to successful children is the best aspect of Vivian Childs’ campaign.  Rep. Sanford Bishop is as polished and urbane as President Barrack Obama but not being a parent left him with a third person view a parenting (can you believe all the idiots who breed like rabbits but quality DNA like Bishop, Oprah and me doesn’t continue.)

Since I last worked for Bishop, he has become a grandparent by marriage and a radiance comes over him when he speaks of his granddaughter—he sincerely wants a better nation for her.

Al Gore ran for president in 1988 to focus national attention on climate change.  In 2008, Rep. Tom Tancredo sought the Republican nomination for president primarily to put illegal immigration on the national stage.  I think that Vivian Childs should use her campaign to emphasis issue regarding America’s children and it should start with school choice.

For most of my life, I personally felt that private schools in the South were created so White kids could avoid attending school with Black kids.  You know, I might have preferred a properly funded all Black school in the 1970s during a transition phase but that didn’t happen.  In the last few years, I have been following a young man from our summer program as he play private school sports all around south Georgia.  Surprisingly, many of the current private schools are based on faith and class size rather than race.

Parents should have the option of using a school voucher to select the best learning environment for their kids.  However, I do draw the line with vouchers for home schooling because I still think that attending school is a chance to monitor the home treatment of young people.

Actually, most public schools are nice places with well-prepared teachers and staff.  I will say what elected officials won’t: the problem is poor parenting.  Some people are having kids before they are prepared for that awesome responsibility.  I see babies pushing baby carriages—children who should be somewhere playing with an Easy-bake oven.  Why do people put Air Jordans on babies who can’t walk yet?  Really?  And you need public assistance?  Child please.  (I bet you want hear Vivian Childs or Sanford Bishop pumping up a crowd with that type real talk and getting the crowd to respond “child please.”)  Today, teachers are also parental figures.  Secondly, education starts at home: speak proper English 24/7, turnoff the video games, engage in intelligent discussions nightly at the dinner table and push reading.

There is too much testosterone in the Georgia congressional delegation.  In the last 50 years, only two women have represented Georgia in congress—Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette.  Vivian Childs’ candidacy will encourage more women to seek high office and future public policy will have more motherly sensibility.

You can’t seek to replace Rep. Sanford Bishop if you aren’t prepared to fight with your party when they are wrong.  Bishop doesn’t get enough credit for those battles.  Case in point: the GOP needs to provide a real alternative to Obamacare and that plan should address pregnancy prevention (which is different from abortion.)  Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama emphasis that a way to reduce abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the first place.  Conservatives feel that providing birth control encouraging premarital sex.  While I don’t have all the answers, I do know that half-raised kids are messing up the community, messing up the schools and filling the jails.  Do you know that it cost more to put a person in federal prison for a year than it cost to pay a teacher?

Democrats say that Republicans aren’t pro-life; they are pro-birth.  Once a child is born into poverty, GOP cuts in the nutrition programs in the Farm Bill would have kids go hungry.  Correction, they can eat at school if they clean the cafeteria later.  Child Please.  You know Bishop isn’t sweating this election because he welcomes the opportunity to debate anybody on his legislative decisions.   The debate this summer and fall is going to be good and if the GOP voters in the second congressional district fail to select Childs as the nominee, it would just another reason for Hillary Clinton to court moderate women voters in Georgia.

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The construction of us in the past and our youth in the future is a combination process.  It involves nature (DNA material) and nurture (environment) with considerable influence from family, church, school and the community.  We pray that everyone has a functioning value system and/or moral compass.  There…we have it….how modern southerners should be built.

I was built back in the day during the end of Jim Crow.  Not being killed by a mob, the police or a mob that included the police was the simple goal.  Oh, our parents were built as tough as nails; I swear my father was made from iron and leather.  We are noticeably softer than they were unapologetically.  They didn’t want their kids to be “fetching water, tin tub bathing, step off the sidewalk for White folks” tough.  We were air conditioned, water in the door Negroes.

The heart-break of my life was not being a member of a Black fraternity.  But, it turns out that I was never built to take the abuse of hell week….hell naw.  Don’t get it twisted, military training like Ranger School in Columbus, SEAL School in San Diego or basic training of Marines on Parris Island is a good character building.  While that training is tough, it is doable.  Some of the pledge process for Black frats is worst is than CIA alleged “enhanced interrogation.”  Oh, I would have been on Fox News in I attemped to join certain groups back when.  My father loved his membership but he was going from a sharecroppers’ life into the middle class.  That fraternity was a big part of his polishing and development.  While I would have enjoyed the brotherly bond and community service, they would have “made” me.

This discussion is needed on a public policy/politics blog because how kids are built directly relates to what they take on in life.  In my community, kids often have a struggle mentality—struggling, it’s what we do.  Parents actually built their kids to be strong for the struggle rather than smart to avoid the struggle.  A sista in college told me that her mother raised her ready to fight well with a man about cheating.  I asked why she wasn’t raised to detect and avoid the cheating type.

Yea, I am unapologetically soft and conduct myself accordingly.  I have a “hood” theory about jail.  Lawd knows I can’t do real time behind bars.  My unfounded theory is that some kids must have grown up in small space and therefore can live in an iron closet without problems.  I love the sun, the light, the night time sky and freedom.  What are you doing that is worth jeopardizing your outside freedom?  Would you give up freedom for a few dollars?  These fools have turned the word jail into an accomplishment word.  “Man, I know how to jail.”

Another hood theory involves people being outside.  It’s funny what some people can’t see.  In some communities, people always seem to be on the porch or outside because there is limited room and privacy inside.  Again, I wasn’t built to be in small spaces and my future house might only be 1100 square feet but you can best believe that it is one big room with only the bathroom separate—windows everywhere.

So, if you aren’t built for the struggle, it’s fine.  But, you need to be very careful what situations and drama enter into your life.  My friends who grew up rough are surprisingly the ones with smooth lives today.  They wanted the rest of their lives and their kids’ lives to be worry free.

Some of those who didn’t grow up in the struggle are struggling now because they are too soft or weak.  The conservative movement doesn’t know that this point is the key to their inroads in my community.  Government assistance might have inadvertently created a segment of the population whose main interest is seeking the infamous “check.”

I don’t like struggling and wasn’t built to have the government or anyone else tell me to care for my family.  One last point: what is up with grown folks who are too cool to work an entry level job but aren’t too cool to ask someone to feed their kids.  That’s some bull.

While I am ranting, let’s talk about DNA from the first paragraph.  Young people should be careful regarding the people with whom they have children.  All of the love and nurturing in the world can’t counterbalance a bad seed.  Some of these girls can’t pick husband material men because they have never been around healthy marriages.  They are built to fail from the beginning like their brothers who don’t know how to be law-abiding, job-holding men.  Uncle Teddy wants to give some loving advice: go to the family reunion on both side of a person’s family and study how they carry themselves long before you consider MARRYING this person and later having children.

Old Uncle Teddy was raised to move the Black family forward and we simply can’t afford to have you holding us back or turning us around.  A friend says “we are one generation from poverty.”  Get it—that’s a cute way of saying we recently came from poverty and we can easily return if we are careful.

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GOP Rep. Paul Ryan shouldn’t back down from his honest opinions on inner city young men living in a “don’t even think about working” culture.  The House Budget Committee Chairman and Romney running mate should double-down by acknowledging the culture in rural areas also.

http://news.yahoo.com/paul-ryan-meet-black-u-lawmakers-offensive-remarks-220153718–business.html

I like Ryan because he was a congressional staffer during my Hill days but if we ever bumped into each other, it would have been at his part-time job waiting tables at Tortilla Coast next to Bullfeathers.  He was a high level staffer yet he served nachos and pitchers to interns and receptionists.  That’s the mentality that built America.  Of course, some of the people who built this great nation did so in bondage and the Congressional Black Caucus considers themselves to be guardians of that heritage.

So, Ryan is meeting with the CBC next week and that’s non-sense to me.  The CBC should be making that important observation about the jobless culture before Ryan.  Oh, but a change is coming.  There is a new segment of CBC members and these new folks have budgets and fairness on their minds more than the old “we are suffering” crowd.

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This blog is pleased to rollout a year-long theme/effort called “Changing Mindsets.”  An overview can be found on the tab on the top of this page.  Ryan’s comments are consistent with our contention that many of the problems facing struggling people start outside the range of governmental responsibility and the elected officials should say that.

An old, well-used Chinese proverb states “it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”  Well, it’s better to start this important conversation involving all sides than to continue on the wrong path.

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grass

While working in the yard, I drew a connection between weeding the lawn and outreach efforts.  We spend so much money and time lawn mowing but to me we cut the grass every three weeks but cut the weeds every ten days—get it.

The weeds and the grass are mixed in together.  Grass is the largest growing thing on earth and it will fight for itself if given the opportunity to put down deep roots.  If you have a bald spot, good grass will eventually crawl in to help.  If you cut the grass to low, rain will wash away the top soil and ugly sand will remain.

I enjoy a health friendship with many southern conservatives and wonder why they don’t expand into the moderate range by getting the craziness 5% to dial down their viciousness.  If they got rid of that 5%, they could gain 25% of the moderates in the center.

After pulling weeds for hours, I noticed that my lawn cart says “Scotts” on the front.  It’s a sign…I tell you!  The two most important congressional outreach GOPers from the South are South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Georgia Rep. Austin Scott.  Tim Scott is a traditional conservative who happens to be Black.  He could do this and that to bridge the racial and partisan divide…if he wants.

Austin Scott was a freaking rock star in the state house and he even caught heat from the Klan for pushing to change the state flag.  Of course, a young guy like that who defeated a Blue Dog Dem has the formula for outreach.  But, do they turn to him for the game plan?  Some southern bloggers fell that Austin has fallen in line to avoid a Tea Party primary challenger from the far Right.  I say he is the logical choice for U.S. Senate in the future if he returns to his statehouse brand of conservative leadership.  Those Scott fellows, no relations, could be Scotts Turf Builders if the GOP wants to weed out the uglys and get back on the important lawn…the one at the White House.

On a related note, growing stronger young men is also like a lawn.  We spend so much money reacting to the weeds (thugs) that we forget the actual grass (good kids.)  When you remove the weeds, it’s vital that you go down to the roots.  If grass has deep roots, it can withstand drought and flooding.  These kids today have short roots and they are therefore easily washed away.  We oldheads are the rich topsoil and topsoil hates supporting weeds.  In public policy, we should spend less time and energy on weeds and redirect those efforts to healthy stronger grass because without a strong lawn the foundation of the house/community is at risk.

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220px-Allen_West%2C_Official_Portrait%2C_112th_Congress

former U.S. Rep. Allen West

NBC’s The Blacklist was sneaky to have doctored photos of former GOP Rep. Allen West and current Senator Ted Cruz on this week’s episode.  They were implying that an international spy/criminal was involved with them.  That was dirty.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/02/25/nbcs-blacklist-photoshops-fictional-criminal-socializing-tea-party-rep

If you never heard of  West, you need to google the brother with a quickness because he will be in the Albany, Georgia area tonight and in Columbus on February, 28.  Yes, the guy who seems to dislike President Obama more than anyone has, is and will always be my from Georgia Black brother and nobody tells me not to talk with other Blacks in the political/policy arena.  (Cue Willie Hutch’s “Brothers Gonna Work It Work” from the 1972 film The Mack.)

West’s current job seems to be slamming everything Obama to the delight of the far Right.  Goldie in the Mack told his brother (Walter Mosley/T.C. from Magnum P.I.) that no one was closing him out of his business and the far Right seem to feel the same way about their grind.

http://allenbwest.com/

Some Blacks will listen to the far left Dems say that West, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Michael Steele, Colin Powell, JC Watts and all Black Republicans should be avoided—putting them on a blacklist.  That’s not going to happen and I think that brother Clarence Thomas is the most misunderstood Georgia brother of all time—read my blog post on Thomas’s book about his grandfather before you open your Black mouth.  (That’s how we talk down here…no harm.)

http://projectlogicga.com/2012/01/23/clarence-thomas-good-brother/

I bet West gets a packed house in south Georgia this week.   When I went to hear then RNC chair Michael Steele at congressional candidate Austin Scott’s headquarters, the GOP crowd was thin.  Oh, they didn’t want to hear that smooth, less rage style.  And I will always remember that the GOP bus didn’t come to Albany until someone other than Steele was on it.  Rep. Sanford Bishop barely defeated his GOP opponent that year and heaven knows that Steele might have tipped the balance.  The opponent was smart but he didn’t dare risk upsetting the Tea Party because obviously most Blacks are naturally liberal—including the RNC chair.  Geez

There shouldn’t been a blacklist when anyone is trying to solve the problems facing this state and this nation.  Allen West needs to be at the table and sitting between Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Al Sharpton.   I have always believed that Team Obama sent a “stay away for now” message to Sharpton, Minster Farrakhan and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Well it’s time for everyone to come together because it seems like open season on our youth. A smart sista tried to tell me last week (in her West Indian accent) that we shouldn’t teach our youth to adjust to those with a Stand Your Ground mentality.  Well, I have been a Black male for fifty years and being right on the side of a 7-11 store sometimes means that wrong people will end you.

President Obama launches an effort today called “My Brother’s Keeper” aimed at helping young men get the skills to attend college and get good jobs.  Who can be against that?

I hope GOP primary voters in Georgia’s second congressional district will select Vivian Childs as their nominee because she and Rep. Sanford Bishop would have a healthy and helpful six months dialog about building bridges.  I am sure we would learned that most southern Blacks really want the same things.  It’s going to be the summer and fall of Changing Mindsets and everyone should be there.  Helen Blocker Adams, mayoral candidate in Augusta, always promotes having everyone together; get to know every street, corner, country club, church and teen center.  Helen is wants right about our lovely state.

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To me, video games and hip hop music are eroding the foundation of my community.  What are we going to do about it?  First, I love art and hip hop, like blues and jazz, is an original American art form.  When the kids on the corners and in basements in Brooklyn and the Bronx created rap, it was a creative way to express themselves.  Later, rap music was medium to communicate concerns about inter-city life and issues with the police in places like Los Angeles.

But, I draw the line with NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Tupac.  Those guys were urban poets who use lyrics to reflect hardship and pain.  The hardest segment of current hip hop is glamorizes and promote thuggish ways.  The little fellows want to be thugs and prisoners more than scholars and businessmen and the teen girls are setting the women’s liberation movement back twenty years.  Hey, I guess liberation includes the right to be a garden tool who emphasizes body over heart and mind.

Dig it; the inmates are running the asylum literally and smart kids are acting dumb just to fit in.  Students study English in school but use this street dialect at all other times.  While the hippies of the 1960s were a counterculture, the hip hop culture is at the rotten roots of much of the main culture today—Black, White, Red and Brown.

What about Yellow?  Our friends in the Asian community have a long history of requiring obedience and achievement from their youth.  Yes, the hip hop culture is in their community as well but let us lighten the discussion by humorously looking about the effect of video games on American youth.

In school, we learned that parts of Asia were once forced to import opium from the British and Americans after the drug was illegal at home.  Well, the big payback might be video games.  While these games are enjoyable, American kids and young adults are playing them too much; playing games while youth in other parts of the world are preparing for the next wave in the international commerce and technology.  When a kid grows up on the flashy visual stimulant of video games, holding their attention in school or church becomes difficult if not impossible.  And no, the solution shouldn’t be making education more video game-like.

From church to karate to fishing to boot camp on Parris Island, young people need to learn to calm down and focus.  Church kids, eagle scouts and kids with chores do better in life.  Look, sophisticated people have different modes because they vibe differently at different times—church mode, school mode, vacation mode, chilling with my crew mode, family mode.  The worst kids have little flexibility because they are primarily in me mode.  They must learn selflessness and a sense of community.

Most importantly, they must learn to be deliberate in their actions.  Life plans must include short-term objectives and long-term goals.

 

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So, the political comic strip Doonesbury spent this week messing the GOP regarding sensitivity training.  They should have hired me because I would have made it simple: love thy neighbor as thyself.  Secondly, the Left and Right should try to know as much as possible about others (the opposition.)  Finally, you learn about the other side from members of the other side.

As kids, we loved Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett because those White guys were smart enough to learn the ways of the Indians.  Of course as teens, we discovered that that knowledge was useful in robbing the natives.  I tell young guys to keep several women in their circle of close friends because no one knows about women as much as women (but you still can never understand women.)

At times, people don’t know what they don’t know and the righteous way to handle those situations is to enlighten them.  The guy from Duck Dynasty isn’t a bad guy; he isn’t knowledgeable of people and groups outside his comfort zone.  The same can be said for those liberals who don’t live in rural areas.

However, we do have people in politics that know better and are acting to maneuver in the political arena.  Readers of this blog know that Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah is one of my favor members of Congress from my Hill days; I spent some time hanging with his staff.  Kingston is currently running for the U.S. Senate and I wouldn’t mind seeing him as the GOP nominee because he has a deep knowledge of regional issues and a long relationship with the Black community in Savannah.

So, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that Jack was saying that kids who eat free lunches at school should maybe work off the free meals by cleaning at the schools.  (Crickets)

Okay, I could have heard that parents worked at school for that reason but kids.  Clearly, Jack made that statement to make himself appear to be the most conservative badass in the GOP primary.  Hell, I like my idea that only healthful foods are purchased with food stamps but Jack’s lunch plan is too much.

I have a close friend who worked for Jack and she should be in the middle of his campaign at night and on the weekends because a Spelmanite would have put the kibosh on that cleaning kids stuff.  She knows that statements like that would energize the Dems voters who might normally blow off a non-presidential election.  Why upset the hornets’ nest?

My area is represented by cool young Congressman “hey, man, how are doing” Austin Scott.  Who would have “tunk” that Scott has the second most conservative voting record in the House?  Austin could learn a valuable lesson Jack’s schoolhouse drama because Atlanta and Georgia’s other urban centers will be motivated to learn that conservative candidates said some interesting things.  Politics is like chess and you must think three moves ahead and if my conservative friends need some risk management eyes, they should call me.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/doonesbury-slideshow/

 

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There is more than one way to skin a cat and the Republicans have recently taken the worst ways to address outreach.  First, their outreach reeks because policy, techniques and branding is being driven by their most vocal and most angry.

For years, I have been telling conservative friends that 20% of the Black vote was prime for the taking and that those 20% were actually the head of the snake (the political, economic, faith and social leadership of my community.)  Without the deep thinking 20% of the body, the rest would be aimless. But, talk radio and the Fox News types get paid not for creating good policy and solving problems but for keeping up drama and mess.  I am starting to believe that MSNBC does the same thing on the left.

If the GOP conservatives listened to me years ago, they would have allowed a moderate, centrist segment of their team– a segment that would outnumber the far right and would counterbalance the centrists on the Dem Team.  I wanted to call them Red Dogs like the Dems’ Blue Dogs.  Basically, the Red Dogs would be the traditional conservatives who deliberate and compromise with others.

When I staffed on the Hill, Rep. Paul Ryan staffed and was a waiter a Tortilla Coast.  The guy is old school like me and we remember the days when lawmakers knew each other; when state delegations had a weekly meal together and the dean of the delegation was respected by both sides of the aisle.

During this holiday season, there are minorities and women sitting down with family and discussing the possibility of running for office as a member of the GOP.  Of course, many conservatives don’t realize that people other than those who look like them are also moderate to conservative.

You don’t need to skin a black cat because old superstitions are silly.  Cats are cats and if the GOP spent a little more time getting to know Blakc cats and less time being ticked off, they would have a new segment of their team.  That segment would be just right to approach my community about the sensibleness of personal responsibility and life choices.

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We need open primaries in Georgia because the elected officials are entrenched while Atlanta and D.C. could use some new blood.  Evidently, protecting jobs (their jobs) is their main concern and both major political parties support the current funky system.

So, a candidate who has support from various sections of the community must first win his or her primary before advancing to the general election in November.  Well, they draw this district lines in a way that favors their team—Democrats and Republicans both do it.  The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires preclearance of congressional and state legislature district lines in some states to improve the representation of minority voters.  A strange twist is that packing Black voters into a few districts makes adjacent districts so Republican that Black voters (often Democrats) are ignored.  Yes, we could have a sizeable number of Black Republicans if the crazy part of the GOP didn’t run them off.

Ask yourself: Is race, political party or regional interests most important to you when voting.  Do you necessarily need a Black politician to serve your needs?  Is green (money) the most important color while voting?  Hey, the homeboy Bill Clinton gets a lifetime hood pass but he dam near got it revoked for taking trash about Obama during the Obama/Hillary primary battle.  While I love the Obamas, Bill will always be my dude.. without regard for race, creed or national origin.

When Herman Cain was running for the U.S. Senate, everyone knew that he could have gotten a sizeable part of the Black vote in an open primary process.  In an open primary, candidates run together and the top two vote-getters face off in the general election.  That is similar to local elections when everyone runs for office together and a candidate wins with over 50% of the vote.  If no 50%, the two top candidates meet in a runoff.

Many believe that Karen Handel would have face Nathan Deal in November if Georgia had an open primary during the last govenor’s race.  She would have likely won because she would have received support from some Democrat woman.  Look, the South is GOP and I get that but if given a chance, I would and have voted for the GOP candidate whose views are most similar to my moderate positions.

Bottomline: we should push for open primaries so we can vote for the best person for the job rather than the person who survives a partisan primary.

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From ABC’s Scandal to OWN’s The Haves and the Have Nots, I see two lovely and brilliant characters who look like me chasing weak men who don’t look like me.  So, it’s time for a blog post full of wild theories.  A post designed to stimulate healthy and interesting discussions more so than to offer solid facts.

We have a plantation mentality (PM) and by we, I mean all of the sons and daughters on the South.  Scandal takes place in D.C. and that is a southern city.  I could see General Robert E. Lee’s beloved Lee/Custis Mansion from my southwest D.C. balcony; a house that became Arlington National Cemetery.

A plantation mentality occurs when people, longer after the Civil War ended in 1865 and after Jim Crow ended in 1975, still think and function with the mindset that one group is better by nature than the other.  Under that mindset, some older Blacks did vote for Barack Obama for president because deep in their minds we can’t do what others can do.  The oppression continues but it’s not others doing it.  No, we are on oppression/self-hate autopilot.

Joe Morton plays Olivia’s father on Scandal and I still remember this gentleman from playing the candidate with whom Whitley was involved on A Different World.  While Sonya Rhimes generally avoids racial references in her shows, she started this season of Scandal with Olivia’s father reminding her that we must always be twice as good at everything we do.  It isn’t fair but it is true and if he had a son, he would have told him the life sessions that would have saved Trayvon on that rainy Florida night.  Oh, you might be right and you might have rights but know how to be a Black man in America—from sea to shining sea because the South doesn’t have a monopoly on racial drama. National PM

All high school kids should pay attention in psychology class because that Electra complex stuff about girls with daddy issues is too true.  They trying to find a guy like dad or striking at men because their pops wasn’t around.  Olivia and Candace could fill a season of Iyanla Fix My Life.  So a girl grows up loving her father as a rock but then watches the world treat him as less than a man…a boy.  That must be rough.  PM 

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-electra-complex.htm

 

The same girls are excited in college, on a cruise or in Vegas when a guy from another side (a guy from the plantation big house) finds her attractive.  It has always been my theory that southern White men of means had a thing for sistas because many of them were raised by loving maternal sistas and held them in the highest regard until they got to the frat house in Athens or Auburn and began racial reprogramming. PM

 

PM is not only a Black thing.  Oh, no.  The plantation mentality tells a below average White dude that he can holla at the sweetest sista in the world because everyone in one group is automatically better than everyone in another group.  It is in the Bible…bla bla cursed people…bla bla obey your masters… waterbearers.  Lawd have mercy.  Jesus died for all previous everything so let’s move forward.

 

And Black people need to stop lumping all White folks together.  Some of the sweet people I have ever known are White southerners and some of the meanest look just like me—I can be pretty rough my dam self.  The coolest Americans might be those in the Midwest of Scandinavian descent—think the people on the movie Fargo and Rose from the Golden Girls.  While southerners evidentially coming from places where they wanted someone to do their work for them, the Scan mentality is salt of the Earth. 

 

At the U.S. Congress, many Midwestern members did like USDA farm support programs because these people functioned with the simple notion that you put the crop in the ground then take it to market with no help from anyone.  If you couldn’t do that, you should find other work.  Barrack Obama was raised by sweet folks like that and I know that he is actually a conservative in his heart.  If you think about it, Obama did it the hard way, the old fashion way, and that is why it hurts me to see people attack his character and that of his lovely wife. 

 

That old plantation mentality had people thinking that this shady negro has conned his way into the White House with a desire to ruin this country in his Black head.  PM has some Blacks thinking that Obama isn’t one of us because he never really interacted with us until he got to Chicago. 

 

Can we give it a rest?  If the sista on T.V. or in actuality wants to love someone who doesn’t look like us, I am happy for them because there needs to be more love in this world.  The kids (and by kids I mean anyone who can remember life before T.V. remote controls) have the right idea.  Oh, they will hang, kick it or chill with their buddies with no consideration of race.  But, parents on both sides still have their heritage deep in their minds. 

 

So, Candace “be” kissing on Bo Duke.  Boss Hogg must be rolling over in his grave. On the Dukes of Hazzard, Roscoe P. Coltrane and Boss Hogg ran that southern town into the ground.  The plantation mentality subjugates poor Whites also.  But, old Bo married a sista with tens of millions, has a strikingly beautiful sista as his side thing, has a bro doing his dirt work and is about to be governor.  Modern PM..some things never change. 

Here is a fun social exercise.  When the Haves and the Have Nots is on the box and Candace is on with her roommate, ask an old Black person which woman looks better.  Nine times out of ten they will say the lighter sista when Candace is clearly one of the most beautiful women on earth.  But, old heads don’t like that brown skin…even brown old heads.  When Mrs. Cryer is on with her lady lawyer friend, an old head would say the same thing again when the lawyer is much better looking.  PM  

 

That old plantation mentality is also the reason we hold our candidates to crazy high standards during election season.  We simply don’t believe in us as much as we believe in others.  Sad PM

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National and state Democrats should be watching and helping in the local elections in Sylvester, Georgia, because their hope for the future starts here.  Elections on three levels are won by securing the political center and the local mayor’s contest should be the proving grounds for the 2014 U.S. Senate race and the 2016 presidential race.

The Democratic Party of Georgia and of most southern states is struggling with the lost of rural conservative voters.  The current mayor of Sylvester has had support from a cross-section of the community in a manner that is similar to Congressman Austin Scott.  If the mayor is a Dem and if he does not win reelection, he should get a visit from the new head of the DPG, Dubose Porter.  That would be a meeting of two of the last rural White Democrats and they could plan and plot how to bring people like them back to the party.

If the mayor is GOP, he should help his fellow Republicans learn to respect the office of the president as much as Democrats respected the Bushes and President Reagan.  How many folks still can’t bring themselves to say “President Obama” or “President Clinton?”  Those “Charlton Heston Is My President” bumper stickers in the 90s were downright un-American and no, it wasn’t a NRA reference.

nra

They better get use to saying President Clinton because Hillary has a date with destiny that begins with our local elections.  One of the mayoral candidates is more conservative than me and seems more conservative than the other candidate.  But here is the kicker: it’s the Black Democrat pastor.

Oh my goodness, I went to one of his political events and it was textbook what rural southern voters have been craving for decades without the hate speak.   We are talking faith-based common sense solutions for problems with every community.  See, reasonable people know that improving the South starts with addressing issues with the worst segment of the community—let’s be honest.  We can’t ignore them because eventually they will bring down the whole community like cancer in the body.  Georgia’s governor knows we spend too much money on these jokers in failing schools then more money locking them up.

The current mayor and city council provide basic public services; they do their official jobs well.  But, this new candidate in the political arena is a pastor who isn’t just preaching to the choir.  Like me, he is familiar with the streets and regular folks trust his tough love style in the pulpit.  Does that translate to the political arena?  If it does, we should watch out because like Oprah and T.D. Jakes, the whole rural community has been waiting for some political leaders who can tell the people what they must do to improve their lives with secondary consideration for governmental involvement.

But, Pastor Terrell Carter has friends in the faith community from all over rural south Georgia.  In other words, the approach he is using to reach the politically sleeping should serve as a model for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  In areas with no Dem state and congressional leadership, the local leaders are the foundations of party structure.

So, someone with the state Dem party should be helping Carter now since he has a message that might actually appeal to more southerners.  I guess the GOP should be doing the same with the current mayor because he enjoys considerable support in my community.  You know what, these two fellows are running clean races and the one who does not win has a bright future in politics on the next level.  Come to think of it, I really couldn’t tell you which party either is in and that is a wonderful thing.

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5:10 a.m. is before the dawn of a new southern day or as we use to say “ ‘fore day in the morning.”  It’s also the dawn of a new day politically and the beginning of a new season.   Change is obligatory.

The local elections this year and the wider elections next year are good times to lay the foundation of what we need in your southern communities.  We need leaders who speak openly and honestly about bringing us together and improving our conditions.  Co-founder of this blog Helen Blocker Adams is such a leader and Augusta, Georgia, should make her their next mayor.

Helen and I have spent countless hours discussing the importance of bridging community divides and that is the reason I chose a southern bridge for the cover art of this blog.  The rock band the Police had a reggae song called “One World Is Enough For All Of Us” that includes the line “we can’t sink while others float because we are all in the same big boat.”  In Augusta, the medical college recently continued it’s land acquisition but fairly created new housing for displace citizens.

We need similar changes in my town and the changes could apply to a thousand American communities.  We are a proud agricultural community; we grown produce.  Only a few percentage of Americans work directly in ag but those hard working people feed everyone else.  While I generally have no stomach for Donald Trump, he is correct in stating that America doesn’t make things anymore and making things will be the return of jobs.

The new mission for my community should surprisingly be based on towns like Mayberry from television.  See, some people like to raise families and grow old in peaceful, friendly places where everyone knows and cares for everyone else.  My town is sandwiched between two larger cities and to me, we are a bedroom community for those who don’t mind a short drive for some peace.

We need leaders who are concerned with every little corner of the community because problems and trouble know no boundaries.  In our local elections, every candidate is personally cool with me and I would be lying if I said that basic municipal services weren’t fine.  They are.

However, there comes a time when talented leadership should step up to the next challenge…when your services and skills are better required on a different level of government.  For example, New Jersey has two bright rising stars and I personally like their new style of leadership.  Newark Major Cory Booker is running for the U.S. Senate and this guy earned his stripes.  He is a Sanford/Yale guy whose parents were two of the first Blacks at IBM but he lived in the projects as mayor to better understand the lives of his citizens.  The guy doesn’t talk in generalizations; he gets down to details of what is wrong—straight no chaser.  He speaks directly to the people about what they should do to improve their communities.

President_Barack_Obama_Tours_Storm_Damage_in_New_Jersey_7

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is clearly running for president and if Hillary isn’t the next POTUS, it should be him.  The big guy tells it like it is and doesn’t might stepping on a few toes if needed.

In southwest Georgia, the Chamber of Commerce types have done an admirable job of marketing our communities with emphasis being on the good qualities.  However, it’s time to address (deal with) the rest of the community.  Where are the leaders who can comfortably and firmly bring out the best from the rest?  Countless sons and daughters of the rural South dream about retiring to these piney forests but two main concerns are the racial climate and the growing actions of the thug element.

We need to grow our youth with the care we have traditionally used to produce our crops.  We must prepare the soil, plant the seed organically and monitor until ripeness.  But, we must also root out weeds and remove pests.

Issues that local candidates should be addressing included:

1. Police: It’s wonderful when the local police achieve that delicate balance between firmness and compassion.  During the Clinton Presidency, the Congress passed a Crime Bill that promoted Community Policing.  The best officers (we have some good ones) know their patrol areas and greet people.  They use knowledge of and relationships with citizens to serve and protect.  Unfortunately, some officers develop a hard spirit from constantly dealing with thugs; they should remember that the vast majority of the people appreciate and support them.  Cops should smile and walk more.

2. Economic Development: We know that real E.D. begins in the homes, the schools and the churches.  Hey, the Chamber can’t attract industry to a town if those industrial leaders read rough stats about the educational abilities of the workforce.  An unofficial duty of elected officials is encouraging citizens to be fully focused on achievement—get in their faces like Booker and Big Chris up Jersey way.

3. Downtown Revitalization: Madison, Tifton, Moultrie, Americus, Thomasville. Even Hahira.  These Georgia towns have cool downtown areas.  The granola-eating, bicycle-riding, wine-sipping types love to live in and visit towns with preserved character.  I still don’t get antiquing because it reminds me of rough days for us but hey, if it brings dollars to town, roadshow your blank off.  I do love old buildings with character and retrofitting them with lofts brings life back to downtown.  Paris, Napa Valley and Barcelona have a café culture and so can south Georgia but rather than sitting outside on the sidewalk sipping Riesling we might preferred sweet tea or a cool one from a Mason jar–Duck Dynasty style.  This would be a nice way to watch the Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets or Falcons give a game away…again.

4. Crime: We need leaders who will work with state and federal officials to address the growing cost of criminal activity.  Of course, it starts with education, faith and better parenting.  The next crop of leaders needs to be familiar with regular folks—dare I say that they should have street cred.  You must know the streets to fix the streets.

5. Housing: Homeowership anchors a taxpaying family to a community.  Whatever happened to starter homes?  Let’s be honest, item number four (crime) has people moving out of town.  The thug element frightens people…me included.  But, hell no.  The houses in my community were built my farmworkers who moved to town.  These people work so hard (making money for someone else) to purchase their slice of the American dream.  Today, most of those men have gone to glory and their widows live in fear from half-raised boys…raised more by hip hop videos than family and church.   You can’t be a new community leader if approaching those young men isn’t in your nature. At some point, we need to secure federal funding to relocate some ag operations from the town’s center to the outskirts and replace that area with mixed-use housing.  I want to hear “let’s walk to church” again.

6. Resourcefulness: we have a fine crop of local candidates.  If they play their cards right, those who don’t win can’t run for the Georgia General Assembly next year with the support of the person who beat them.  Our statehouses need new blood because the political parties seem out of touch.  They put party over people.  I take my hat off to Governor Christie for working with President Obama when New Jersey got hit my a super storm.  That’s what leaders do to be resourceful.

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We are in the middle of local elections and my thoughts turn to the days when preachers, barbers and funeral directors were the community leaders because “the man” couldn’t quiet them since their money came for us.   Today, retirees should be added to that list because those on pensions are free to speak their minds and have plenty of free time to do it.

A friend from high school who is a vocal leader of the Tea Party Movement gave me the Beatles greatest hits cd a few years ago.  While listening to the lads sing “get back to where you once belonged” the other day, I thought about getting back to what my community was the 60s and before the mean-spirited approach of the ultra conservatives.

My community before the 1970s was a place of proud, deliberate people.  While we need the federal government to enforce basic human rights and to end Jim Crow, the well-intended assistance of the government when from temporary help to something debilitating.  The next crop of leaders, whose who come after the “I marched with MLK” ones, should be more life coaches than cheerleading politicians.  After elected leaders ensure that essential governmental services are functioning, they should get about the business of explaining to the people what the people should do to help themselves.  It starts with personal responsibility because “the man” and the Klan aren’t damaging my block as much as the people in the mirror.

Stats in the Albany Georgia newspaper blew me away the other day.  The president of the local technical college says that only 62% of people in my region are functionally literate.  Huh?  We spend millions on schools and teachers’ salaries but the folks can’t read.  Wait a dam minute!  We aren’t talking about advance subjects from high school like trig, chemistry and Lit.  We are talking about reading, writing and arithmetic; stuff that was supposed to be taught in the first few grades.  Of course, educators will say that home isn’t supporting the learning process and I agree on some level.  Once and for all: you can’t be the parents of K-12 kids speaking poor English around them all day. Double negatives, ending sentences with prepositions and leaving the “g” off of “ing” are simply the tip of the iceberg.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/sep/17/parker-says-adult-literacy-is-key-to-area8217s/

The governor should fund a program I designed while working with a welfare to work project.  The program refreshed grammar skills for adults in a few days because education is a lifelong endeavor.  Oh, there is no money for such programs but get ready for the second alarming statistic.  The new head of the Georgia department of juvenile justice says that a youth offender cost the state $91,000 a year.  What the blank!  We are spending money on the wrong people at the wrong times.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2013/sep/17/new-law-to-alter-juvenile-justice/

I took my nieces to a Black college football game last week.  One of the girls is a high school cheerleader who doesn’t understand football.  Let me get this right: you are cheering for an activity you don’t understand.  By the end of the game, she understood first downs, passing, rushing and the fundamentals of the sport.  We have all attended games when the cheer was “defense” while we had the ball.

Some of these elected officials are like those confused cheerleaders; they are cheering without fully understanding the situation and goals.  To me, President Obama never had a stomach for the older members of the Congressional Black Caucus for this reason.  If conservatives spent time getting to know Obama rather than tripping about Kenya, they would have learned that his conservative roots are in the Midwest.  Obama is a moderate with equal distain for the far left and the far right but most importantly, he feels that leaders should tell the people that change begins with them.

So, local elections should be the selection of those who would help Barrack Obama, Jon Huntsman, Colin Powell and Cory Booker turn the nation around with positive energy.  You hear the saying “speak truth to power” use frequently these days.  Well, the people are the power and someone need to tell them the truth about why their situation isn’t what it should be and what can be done to address it—again, the mirror.

Since football and cheering are themes in this blog post, I want to end with them.  If you can sit in a stadium for hours watching football, you can take ten minutes to go vote—vote for whomever but vote.

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Local elections have statewide and national consequences because they echo the word on the street to the statehouse and the White House.  To me, we are experiencing a disconnect in Georgia because the conservatives who run state government do so with little input from rural Blacks.  Yea, Atlanta and the other cities have urban legislators run down the urban agenda but who speaks for the relatively moderate to conservative rural Blacks who conservative lawmakers are forced to ignore by that far Right (Tea Party) segment of the Republican Party.

 

It’s good seeing young Black conservative Democrat (not an oxymoron) blogger Keith McCants running for local office in middle Georgia.  Folks like Keith because he is down to earth and to me improving our community will start when leaders like him explain the limit role of government in a compassionate way to the people.  His blog Peanut Politics is a must read and Keith has the right ideas for bringing some of the rural South back to the Democrat Party.  Hell, southern moderates should come back since they have been ceremoniously kicked out of the GOP by the Tea Party/”purity test” crowd.  For those who don’t know the GOP has a recent history of creating a list of 10 or so questions for their faithful and if you aren’t with them on a few, don’t let the door knob hit you….

 

http://www.peanutpolitics-keith.blogspot.com/

 

Don’t sleep, Saxby is “retiring” from the U.S. Senate because he doesn’t like the constant threats for dialoging with Obama and the Democrats.  The next target is on Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  I am convinced that former Senator Bob Dole was right when he said that President Ronald Reagan and he wouldn’t pass the current GOP purity test.

 

What do good people do when crazy people in their organization start going off?  They get up and leave because sitting quietly is condoning the ugliness.  Keith has bunch of old political pictures and posters on his blog and I give him a hard time because we know that every pre-Jimmy Carter elected official in our state was basically a segregationist.

 

Today, we have the new segregationists who divide the South based on political parties.  But, I am puzzled by Democrats in general and Black Dems in particular who don’t question local officials about the outlandish spitefulness coming from their supporters on the other side of town.  See, a servant can’t have two masters.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

While looking for that quote, I came across someone’s Bible references to it.   http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html

 

Voters should ask candidates for local offices the following questions during the campaign season.

  1. When they said Barrack Obama was born in Kenya, what did you think and what did you say?
  2. When they falsely label Rep. Sanford Bishop as a crook, what did you say or think since you have dealt with him for years and know him to be good people?
  3. Do you think Georgia’s version of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws should be repealed?  Was George Zimmerman profiling Trayvon Martin?
  4. Is “Stop and Frisk” a good police procedure?
  5. Is Michelle Obama a great role model?
  6. Were you against your area receiving stimulus money from the federal government?
  7. Are you bold enough to tell citizens that the government isn’t their daddy?
  8. Do you support the Tea Party movement?  Do you support the Occupy movement?

Wow, writing those questions was fun in a naughty way because some issues involve one level of government primarily.  But, I get a little squeamish when hanging with people from the far left or far right.  I love being cool with people from the entire political spectrum because dialog and communication are vital.

 

You know what, we are talking about a double standard because moderate Democrats support conservative lawmakers regarding important regional issues but conservative voters rarely give love to Blue Dog Democrats.  Be like that and maybe your Dems friends will be ghost when you need them on the legislative floor.

 

In my local elections, we have some quality candidates but I need to know what they did or didn’t when those around them privately were saying horrible things.  That s— isn’t cool because people had gotten so pumped up that they were talking about hurting the president’s family.  You never never go there…I don’t care who the president is or was.  Yea, ugliness echoes and good people can’t sit idly by.

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train

Elected officials and public employees have official responsibilities and also have unofficial duties.  These duties aren’t on paper but are sometimes as important as the items on the official job descriptions.  For example, Hillary Clinton would have been and still will be a fine president; she knows presidential stuff as well as Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama and the second George Bush did on the day they were sworn into office.

 

But, there was something special about Obama becoming president; something related to healing.  Also, my community needed to have someone who looks like them in office so he could once and for all tell them that a person who is like you isn’t going to give you everything.  Obama said that from the first day of his campaign and people get it now.

 

Those unofficial duties therefore explaining the limited role of government to hardhead people who only listen to people from their circle.  In my hometown, we recently had an issue with flooding.  A city councilman was on the local T.V. news broadcast saying that the city government wasn’t the problem with certain flooding.  Water wasn’t flowing properly because locals were tossing bottles and trash into ditches and that debris clogged the pipes.  I love it; dude basically said, “The problem is you.”  We need more of that.

 

While it might sound racial, I want more Black clean cut guys in lower grades teaching positions because some kids don’t see positive brothers during their development.  Non-Black students need to see that also because they’re formulating their opinions of us on rap videos and the fools on the Maury Povich Show.  If I had Oprah/Bill Gates type money, I would give a grant or supplement to Black male teachers in lower grades.  Hey, two students at my black college told me that Senator Saxby Chambliss’ wife was one of the sweetest and most loving people in their lives.  Seeing her at school was the high point of their day and a positive light in an otherwise tough childhood.

 

Hillary Clinton is going to be president and little girls can be proud of the fact that women make the world go around.  If I had my choice, I would still like to see Republican Jon Huntsman in the White House one day because part of his unofficial duties would be being a conservative who isn’t angry and dismissive. He drives the far right crazies more crazy with his cool approach.  I am uniquely qualified to say vote for the right person in the right situation because I am a moderate Democrat who has voted for both of Georgia’s current U.S. Senators a few times.  I voted for them because they support the economic engines of this region: agriculture and the military.

 

Of course, it’s not cool for reasonable members of a group to remain quiet as other members of that group say ugly things about others.  I wouldn’t be quiet if someone was talking about all White people being this or that when I know that isn’t true.  That would be ugly by association.  What about those rich kids who had “the help” as second mothers but who grow up to say the ugliness things about all of “those people.”

 

I tell you what, I am not voting for anyone who doesn’t have a comfort level and functioning relationship with people in every community.  Coni Rice, Jon Huntsman, Colin Powell, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep, Jack Kingston come to mind as public servants who can dialog with anyone—disagree without being disagreeable.  The most important unofficial duty might be the ability to reasonably explain public policy to those who disagree with you.

 

America is at it’s worst when supporters of a public official dare him or her to talk with the other side.  People who don’t make much money and people who have had it rough (by their own creation) are still Americans.  Any person, political parties or group that wants to suppress their voting are un-American to me.  This whole blog post isn’t race-based because the last time I checked most of the people in my community have as much affection for the presidential service of Bill Clinton as for Barrack Obama.  As quiet as it is kept, that southerner White dude knows more about these piney woods in Georgia than any president other than James Earl Carter.

 

With unofficial duties in mind, Michelle Nunn and Karen Handel get a certain amount of consideration for U.S. Senate because they have that lady logic working.  Yes, the Georgia congressional delegation needs a woman’s touch and I would look seriously at a sista from the GOP running for the U.S. House.  Sisters in my community are now and have always been relatively conservative and they know that our community has become too reliant on the government.  It’s a shame that the Tea Party will force Handel to act hardcore to win their primary.  Rep. Jack Kingston is in that senate primary and that cat will talk with anyone anywhere because that is part of his official duties.

 

Unofficial duties include telling it like it “tiz.” If you don’t know that that adage, you might not be ready to represent both sides of the tracks down here.

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