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Posts Tagged ‘Blacks’

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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In the local elections this fall, I know and respect all of the candidates.  But, competition is actually healthy; competition like Obama vs. Hillary that elevated both of their games.  I can’t help but think that better competition might  have compel Rep. Sanford Bishop to have been hungrier legislatively and could have lead him into the U.S. Senate or a presidential cabinet postition.

 

 

Barrack Obama was defeated in a U.S. House race by Bobby Rush, who is from Albany, Georgia.  Heaven only knows who would be president today if Obama got bogged down in the morass of the House.

 

 

Local and state elected positions are building blocks for federal positions.  Actually, there are members of the state legislature who never wanted to be in the Congress.  Being a part-time lawmaker is cool but being a full-time congressman would be a pay cut for a person balling in the private sector. i.e. state Rep. Calin Smyre of Columbus.  By building blocks I mean that congressional candidates look to members of the state house and state senate for support.  Candidates for the state houses in turn look to local officials.  Of course, presidential candidates look to elected officials on all levels.

 

 

To make it plain, Hillary Clinton 2016 starts with local elections this year.

 

 

I am ticked off by the ultra conservatives who ran moderates out of the Republican Party and who are designing laws and procedures in the state capitol to limited Americans from voting.  They seem to be functioning under the Jean-Paul Sartre/Malcolm X phrase “By any means necessary.”

 

 

Gerrymandering of state legislature and U.S. Congress lines have left large sections of the South with one party leadership. In other words, candidates can win elections with little input and support from anyone who doesn’t look like them or thinking totally like them.  My friends in the conservative movement will dare elected officials to listening to and explaining matters to the other side.  I thought that was their jobs.  To give credit where credit is due, Rep. Sanford Bishop and Rep. Jack Kingston love to talk issues with anyone in their service areas—hats off to them for that.

 

 

I want paraphrase Jesus to those whom might come up short in the coming election: Let not your heart be troubled…in my father’s house are many mansions.”  The houses I have in mind are the state house and state senate.  These are the legislative bodies where laws like “stand your ground” were passed. The place where state officials and lawmakers think it is cute to make it hard for regular people of any color to vote.

 

 

Look, I didn’t like former Democrat Congressman Jim Marshall and I gladly voted for reasonable Republican candidate Austin Scott because Marshall slamming Dems was too much.  With the same strategy in mind, I hope that some of the candidates who fall short in the local elections will consider running for the state houses next year—from either major political party.   I am sure that there are enough southern moderates to sway some primaries next year.

 

 

The most important matter is massive voter turnout.  You can vote for Dora the Explorer for all I care but vote because someone is trying to reverse your rights.  “Oh, after Obama is off the ballot…those people will go back to not voting again….right?”   Wrong.

 

 

In the future, we will have some Republican sistas in the Georgia congressional delegation.  These conservative ladies will keep legislative debate civic and tell my community what wise people already know—that the government isn’t your bank.

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I read the July 2013 issue of Georgia Trend magazine yesterday and the times they are a changing.  One story told of a speech given by Governor Nathan Deal at the GOP state convention.

http://www.georgiatrend.com/July-2013/Neely-Young-Shame-On-Us/

He spoke of the future demographics for our state and how Whites would one day have minority status here.  That trend made me think about a bumper sticker that read “If I knew it was going to be like this I would have picked my own damn cotton.”  Actually, if not for stolen land from Native Americans and stolen people from Africa, this nation wouldn’t be what it is today and the European powers from the colonial period would still have swag on this continent.

What about the bumper sticker or T-shirt that says Indians should have had better immigration policies and homeland security?  The past is the past and the southern state that truly aims positively toward the future first will win.  Germany’s atrocities from the last century are some of the worst in history but the people in Savannah will show you a beautiful building, currently used by the technical college, which was constructed as part of an effort to attract a Germany automaker.

I can’t remember if it was BMW which went to South Carolina or Mercedes which ended up in Alabama but the Germans were concerned with the confederate flag drama and imagined racial arguments on the plant floor.  If the fools who committed genocide came turn the corner, southerners can also.

To me, there are two parts to the post civil rights phase.  First, lovers of the Confederacy can admire the military keenness without romanticizing the cause.  The cause simply wasn’t just.  It was based on oppression and money.  Second, the way some young Blacks are carrying themselves justifies (in some minds) a new reason for racism.  We use to say we knew who we were and we knew whose we were.  But, the youth today don’t give a rat’s –ss about legacy, history or standing on our shoulders.

They have a bigger commitment to glamorizing thug, pimps and strippers than moving Black forward.  Yea, they are moving us backward.  On an old Public Enemy rap album, someone with a fake southern accent said he was the grand wizard of the Klan and he wanted to thank the pimps, pushers and hustlers in the Black community for doing their job for them.  P.E. was right and that why they were the prophets of rage.

Georgia’s future could be sunny.  An article in that Georgia Trend issue told of the solar power efforts in Germany and the new efforts in the peach state.  Huh?  I have been to Germany three times and the place is about a third as sunny as Georgia.  We must harness the energy of the sun and make Georgia green.

The last great article was about a tour of downtown redevelopment in Georgia and I loved it.  As quiet as it is kept, this area was my field in grad school.  I love downtown lofts and dig the café culture of Paris, Barcelona and Prague.  Yea, my blue passport has many stamps but there is something special about rural Georgia.  As the rust belt continues to rust and as Northerners brace for another cold winter, the sunny Georgia from that solar power story is the same sunny Georgia that could attract people and industry.

My master’s thesis was about using cultural amenities to attract industry. Wow, that was 1990 but I was a bit of a prophet myself—or should a say a profit because I wanted to make a career of prepping Georgia for a cool future.

Governor Deal knows the deal.  Georgia could have a bright future we embrace the coming changes in people, power and places.

For years, I have been friends with a group of Georgians who could have easily join the moderate section of the GOP but (oh yeah) the Tea Party killed that division of the conservative movement.  After reading of Deal’s speech, I can tell you of three or four Black women who could win congressional seats here while laying the foundation of the counter-argument to Juggernaut Hillary Clinton.  But, the good old boys won’t hear that.

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It’s time for my annual “consider yourselves told” blog post for southern conservatives. For years now, I have been patiently waiting for someone or some group on the right to ask how to do better in my community. My simply solutions would start with an overview of “The Art of War” because the first rule should be to study and learn the ways of the other side. Anyway, I have been writing the same points for years and should have gotten paid from my insight but that’s life. For the record, this discourse is the 2013 version of the same old same old.

 
Acknowledgement: America would be a better place if people would live the way conservatives wanted. A Bible based clean life would be perfect: no kids until three years into a marriage, zero cocktails, no sagging pants, do any legal employment to provide for self and family.

 
Problem: In a free society, people have the right to do as they please. It would be grand if all Americans follow their doctor’s recommendations on diet and exercise but that isn’t happening nor are people listening to sound life advice in other aspects of life.
Resulting Problem: So, a person is free to live anyway he or she chooses but if problems result from life choices, they gently fall in the governmental safety net. While that seems fair, we are finding more people who dive in the net from jump street and working people get the bill.

 
When Liberals are so wrong: Yea, a nation that ensures that all of her citizens have decent homes and decent meals sounds great. But, that would be socialism. In a democracy, the state creates a climate or situation where everyone has an opportunity to work hard, focus, plan and thrive. If your plan doesn’t work, you must keep trying while admitting that you made your lumpy bed.

 
Conservative Force vs. Moderate Compel: My conservative friends often see everyone else as child who must be told what to do. Say what? They make public policy decisions without general input and their source of knowledge comes from those in their inner circles. Some people have termed this the “donor class” because it’s the conservatives who donate to candidates and causes—in a bubble. They wanted to force their Solomon type decisions on the nation as a whole and regular folks simply laugh. (Remember, some of their approaches make perfect sense but their delivery techniques are appalling.)

 
On the other hand, moderates take the views of all sides into consideration before crafting logical policy. For example, the “lockem up” crime policies of the past produced macho campaign ads but the astronomical cost of the criminal justice system made even conservatives go back to the drawing board. Some of that money should have been used for education and training to put young people on the right path. Hell, I still think Newt Gingrich’s 1990s idea of giving clean living 21 year olds a $5,000 check was interesting because thug activities cost seven times that amount at least.

 
Bible Based: There must be a special hot pit in hell for those who twist the Bible to justify whatever provides them increase. I could list a zillion parts of the Bible that the Right uses and another zillion that the Left uses. But, I personally think Jesus of the Beatitudes speech wouldn’t want to see hungry people.

 
However, First Timothy 5: 8 says “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Translation: A good dad would take that job flipping burgers.

 
Proverbs 12:11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. Translation: Thank a farmer and a rancher in your dinner prayer tonight.

 
Second Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Translation: The work requirement provisions of the Food Stamp selection of the Farm Bill weren’t written by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky but by Paul who use to be Saul of Tarsus.

 
Fat On Food Stamps: First, food stamps or temporary food assistance helps needy families and helps American farmers by providing additional markets. The “let them starve” mentality doesn’t seem as compassionate as President Reagan or the second President Bush. While starving, the health care cost would be billions and where were these folks when people were trying to fund programs that taught family planning and control. One conservative guy in Florida said that birth control was a grapefruit between the knees—keep those legs closed.

 
Conservatives don’t know that working Americans are also ticked off by the idea that their tax dollars are paying for someone to get fat on a futon while playing Madden all day or watching Maury Povich. Then, folks use the emergency room as a doctors’ office. My farm bill would provide temporary healthy food aid—no greasy foods . Healthcare reform should have provided a doctor for everyone and the doctor should state clear goals, objectives and consequences. “Sir, you are 100 pounds overweight and you have one year to get under 200 pounds. After that year, there will be no more free health assistance for chubby you. You will thank me in a few years or your family will be picking out hymns for your service.”

 
Nasty, Just Plain Old Nasty: In the above mention “donor class” of conservatives, you have people who love the vitriol of Fox News and talk radio. I should mention the young staffers and politicos who were sheltered as kids—home schooled, far Right Church, detest everyone and anyone not like them. Again, they are not very Jesus-like and they should stop demonizing folks who have fallen on hard times….there but for the grace of God…..

 
When the ugliest parts of the conservative movement say things design to fire up their ranks, reasonable conservatives shouldn’t remain quiet. Moderates aren’t quiet when that junk comes from the far Left or far Right.

 
Voter Suppression: The new nasty is a rehashing of the old nasty: let’s make voting hard. That’s not funny and shame on every conservative who supporters efforts to limit Americans from voting. The voter fraud junk is hogwash and they grin about it behind closed doors. If you can’t win an election fair and square, you shouldn’t resort to shady options. In June, I jumped though so many hoops to renew my driver’s license before I realized that the ultimate goal of conservatives in the state capitol was discouraging me to vote.
Joseph from the Bible: That guy Joseph was done dirty by his brothers but in Genesis 50, 20-21 it says “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”

 
We are all southern brothers at the end of the day. I can’t understand voter suppression from the far Right nor can I understand the glamorization of thug living in my community. If anyone thinks the answer is governing the South without input from every section of the community, they have another thought coming. Some people voted for Obama while others voted against ugliness.

 
The struggle will continue after President Obama exits for Hawaii and candidate Clinton is my kind of tough lady. Yea, the voter turnout won’t be what it was in the past. I actually think it could be higher because people are getting hip to the dirty game.

 
Zimmerman: When Travon Martin was shot in Florida, George Zimmerman seemed surprised by all the heat coming down on him. He was right in being dumbfounded because he was functioning in a manner sanctioned by Florida state law. People across the country should be mad at themselves for not keeping at better eye on local, state and federal governments. Under the Stand Your Ground Laws, I could fire on a bald White kid running toward me in the parking lot at the store because I have a little concern about skinheads that I occasionally saw in D.C. But, that kid could just be someone with a cheap haircut (like mine) or an actual skinhead jogging to his car. I still don’t want to kill him.

 
The bottomline is that every American adult should try to vote so that the state legislature will be populated with officials who listen to everyone and who make well-thought out laws. Election results indicate that many Americans voted for President Obama then walked out of the polling booth. We must vote in every contest-from President to dog catcher in Ty, Ty, Georgia.

 
And we should vote smart. If the GOP is running your region, vote in the Republican primary for the candidate most like you. That action would be the cool move and it would make the far Right crazy mad.

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Derrick_E__Grayson

I came across Derrick Grayson, a U.S. Senate GOP candidate from Georgia, on Peach Pundit blog last week and this guy’s logic was refreshing. As a moderate, I can be easily put off by angry talk from conservatives but Grayson sounds familiar.

 
After a few days, it came to me; I remember the two places where I heard Grayson’s approach.   First, he sounds like Clarence Thomas’ grandfather.   Justice Thomas wrote a book about his grandfather’s distain for governmental involvement in people’s lives.   The book showed me that Thomas and his grandfather were simply old school—they came from the pre-LBJ period when our community was more about achievement and hard work than searching for government money.   That money actually made us softer.

 
The second place where I have heard discussions like Grayson was in the barber shops of my youth.   Those shops were much more than grooming centers—no, wait- they were grooming centers.   They groomed young men on how to be upright walking men.   The classes weren’t formal but we heard real talk about life, family, church and work.   You also were charged with moving the community forward.   As Colin Powell said, “We need to reinstitute the concept of shame.”

 
In those barber shops, men didn’t walk with the heads up if they weren’t doing everything they legally could to care for their current families and honor their birth families.   A wild theory might contend that home haircuts and growing out hair for braids has reduced those trips to the barber and therefore our young men are getting the information that supplements home training elsewhere.   I thinking that “elsewhere” is from the hip hop culture that glamorizes thug life and laughs at hard work.   When I worked in the barber shop on South Main Street in my hometown, I knew I was going to hear about my good and/or bad “street committee” regarding how I was carrying myself.   “What is this I hear about you…”

 
That Derrick Grayson seems like Neil from those Matrix movies.   Could he be the “one” who starts the conservation that bridges old school Blacks with the next generation—the one who is more interested in improving our condition by simply telling the truth about the limited role of government in our lives than personal fame?

 

 
The U.S. Senate is the most exclusive fraternity in America and it is rare for someone to enter before serving on a lower level or in the U.S. House.   But, boy on boy, he is one Black Republican who has a message than we need to hear.   He could get load of votes not in his capacity as a GOPer but in his capacity as a common sense fellow.    We should keep an eye on his guy.

 

 

http://www.grayson2014.com/issues_home

 

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The horrific, cowardly acts in Boston last year were carried out by young men who were brainwashed and/or radicalized. An argument can be made that all or most of us could be or have been radicalized on some level when inundated with too much of a particular point of view.

Blacks in America would be a good place to start this discussion. We knew upon arriving on these shores that wrongful actions brought us here. But, we had to patiently wait until the mid-1970s to experience the freedoms of this free nation. Americans who believe in the Christian Bible know our book is filled with references to waiting on the Lord and to me, being humbled by suffering prepares us for heaven as a proposed to those who think they have heaven on earth. Those cats might have a dated with a fire on the other side.

My friends from the Taxed Enough Already Party (TEA) are correct in many ways on taxes but they don’t have the patience of Black folks. If these guys don’t get what they want now, they are ready for an actual revolution…now.

People on both ends of the political spectrum often constantly listen to and read information from pumped-up sources. Too much of these opinions at one time can lead to an overdose. For example, viewers should know how to watch T.V. shows in their proper entertainment context.

Seinfeld doesn’t reflect all of my Jewish friends; Homeland doesn’t reflect all of my Muslim friends and the Real Housewives of Atlanta only reflects the lifestyles of about a dozen families in the ATL.

Oh, we should talk about Married To Medicine, the latest effort of the gay agenda at Bravo to make everyone else look foolish. (Kidding)

When I was a child, people said that politics was show business for ugly people. But, reality television has blown that out of the water…like blowing stumps on Swamp People. Today, the music T.V. channels have no music videos and the history channel has little history on it’s main channel. It’s all about reality shows and the affect of American culture could be cancerous.

The fight between lovely sistas in ball gowns last week on Married To Medicine should in no way reflect the behavior of Black professionals in Georgia. Bravo searched high and low (really low) for people who would trade dignity for instant fame. Oh, I knew as a child that lawyers, bankers, professors and physicians were regular people away from work and subject to the same drama as anyone else. Actually, my college sweetheart contends that her colleagues in the medical profession are socially awkward because they spent so many years in the books while others were learning social skills.

An old adage states “just because you paid for college, doesn’t mean you have class.” We have a problem in the Black community that centers on the desire for wealth. We like people to see us with shiny stuff in shiny cars heading to fancy meals at fancy places. If your natural abilities didn’t provide you the means to get this stuff, you can always marry well if you are smoking hot.

The Mariah lady to M to M is simply hood and will always be hood. The show is produced in some way in association with her production company. So, she sat in a board room at Bravo and pitched this product with promises of cattiness, ugliness and fights. The two lady doctors are classy as is the attractive woman Toya, who was basically jumped by Mariah. Of course, the hood has people without money who have class and they lack of money could be based on their refusal to compromise their integrity wealth.

So, people across America watch messy T.V. about groups of Americans they don’t know and formulate faulted opinions. “He is not this child’s father…either.” Then during the news hour, Fox News tells you that you are paying for these people to hang out all day while you are at work making money that a Kenyan born president will take from your check. On the other side of the extreme, MSNBC is doing the same thing from the stay point of “the government can fix all the problems in the nation with enough tax money….no one in America should be outside the middle class.” Huh? Can everyone be middle class? Isn’t the government ensuring a minimum quality of life basically socialism?

Fox, MSMBC and Bravo don’t brainwashing as well as the hip hop culture. Did I love hip hop as a college student? Yes sir, I was proud that urban youth created an art medium to reflect the realities of their situations. But today, life is imitating art because youth are glamorizing thugs and strippers while some students are actually downplaying their academic success. On his quality reality show last week, rapper T.I. told his kids that he never met a thug who wanted to be a thug. My man told them to rap about having a nice life. T.I. is the king of the South.

In summary, we need to be careful what we watch and hear because forces can radicalize you before you know it. In a diverse nation, there is no substitute for getting to know (humanizing) others. When we know each other, we can start the process of explaining now personal choices and decisions have consequences. If not, the next generation of Black southerners might include people that some people (including positive Blacks) will want to rightfully avoid.

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My thoughts on the future of Black political centrists in the South have been two weeks and/or two decades in the making.   So, brace yourself for an unusual brainstorm.  The open U.S. Senate race in Georgia next year forces us to plot our best plan for representation.

 
Senator Saxby Chambliss is an establishment Republican and I have appreciated his service regarding the regional issues of agriculture, military and veterans.   Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Jack Kingston, now Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and those who went to congress in the early 1990s worked together on issues of vital importance to the peach state.   In this Progressives vs. the Tea Party era, I miss that old school dialog.

 
For two weeks, I have been hearing that the Democrats won’t likely field a viable Senate candidate and the practical part of me says that moderate to conservative Georgia Dems could and should vote in the GOP primary next year to ensure that we don’t have a divider  representing our diverse state.

 
I was thinking about who is a “natural” Democrat or “natural” Republican last week and it made my head hurt.   While watching to the T.V. show TMZ, a story came on about Raspberry favoring of food.  It turns out that a food can be labeled as naturally Raspberry because it is natural and taste like Raspberry but it comes from the backside of a beaver. http://www.befoodsmart.com/blog/tag/raspberry-flavor/

 
That isn’t natural to me and it’s not natural to force everyone in a big state like Georgia into two political parties and expected them to naturally and neatly stay there.   A few years ago, the Georgia Dems lost two rising young stars to the GOP.   Ashley Bell of Gainesville and blogger Andre Walker of Atlanta were on CNN explaining their rationale and it seemed natural to me.   Before, they were my brothers and today they are still my brothers.   Walker once wished happy birthday on facebook to the naturalized American actress Charlize Theron, whom he considered an African-American because she is an American born in South Africa. Huh?

 
I personally like the No Labels political movement because we shouldn’t run away trying to put people neatly into boxes and categories. Like they say at church, we should look at a person’s “thoughts, words, and deeds.”

 
A Black conservative from the ATL told me yesterday that Rep. Tom Price looks good to him in the race for U.S. Senate.  I asked about his track record for explaining conservatism to non-conservatives and dude could say anything.   Remember, the wave created by the Tea Party doesn’t cotton well to conservatives talking with others without yelling.  Moderates and liberals are often viewed as the enemy.

 
Look, on Capitol Hill, I worked for Rep. Charles Hatcher, Rep. Don Johnson and Rep. Sanford Bishop and all three strongly insisted that we listened to and served everyone in the congressional district—not just the people who voted for them.   I was personal friends with a staffer in Rep. Kingston’s office and would hang after work with her at conservative functions because she was a natural hair wearing, smart Spelman College woman.   Yeah, Jack had a Spelman grad in a major position on his legislative team.   I talked with Kingston alone at a reception one night for 15 minutes and came away with an appreciation for his commitment to southern Georgia.   He mentioned that he promoted south Georgia colleges and universities during his time in the Georgia statehouse because students should get quality educations in our part of the state also.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/59464/october-18-2005/better-know-a-district—georgia-s-1st—jack-kingston

 
We would trip about Kingston going to political forums at Savannah State University without staff.   The guy loves the lively debate. Actually, he was the first member of congress to brave Stephan Colbert’s “Better Know a District” segment.   Because Kingston briefly lived in Ethiopia as a child, Colbert decided that he is an African American—like Charlize Theron.   There you have it; Jack Kingston is an African American who might run for U.S. Senate next year.   Some wiseacre is going to Kingston knows as much about the southern African American experience as my man President Obama.   I will leave that alone but he like knows more than most GOP candidates for Senate.

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Surprisingly, I agree with the rapper Two Chainz’s preoccupation with “I’m different.” We need some different mindsets in many aspects of our public and private lives because what has happen in the past simply isn’t fair, isn’t working and has us on a path to destruction.

Politicians: I have been waiting for two decades for a new type southerner officeholder/policymaker.  We need leaders who will tell the people the cold, hard facts—straight, no chaser; the good, the bad and the ugly.  A congressman or woman who goes to every community, builds trust, then sits on the tailgate of a pickup truck and tells the God’s honest truth about pulling everything on the fiscal table.

I have never been a fan of conservative columnist Cal Thomas but last month he wrote a classic about conservatives needing to “show up.”  The late Rep. Jack Kemp would show up in every neighborhood and people could sense his sincerity. Former RNC chairman Michael Steele tried to create a new subsection of conservatives who regularly dialoged with the other side and with regular non Republican folks but the Tea Party Movement wasn’t having that kind of different.

Tea Party People: America would be better off if those people weren’t so ticked off.  Their fiscal and governmental concerns are valid but being angry isn’t healthy or helpful.  Look, Black people have every right to be pissed with our bondage history in this nation but we (like the Native Americans) can’t carry that bitterness in our hearts.  The issues that have the Tea Partiers upset is still a pebble when compared to the boulder of slavery but we all need to make peace and move forward with positive energy.

Southern Youth: While this blog post started with Two Chainz I must take issue with the mindset of our kids.  The glamorization of thugs and strippers found in today’s hip hop is (in my opinion) is moving Black folks backwards.  In my neighborhood, the clean-cut kids with belts on their pants who speak English properly are different and I am so cheering for them.  The “yes, sir..no,sir” young ladies in my town are the remnants of our southern Black elegance.  That elegance is what we saw in the movie “The Help.”  I wrote a blog post once about Justice Clarence Thomas’s book about his grandfather.  Thomas’s grandfather didn’t like the government having the right to ask questions about what happens in his house.  I love that.

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

Hell, I will tell you about two chains.  The first chain was wrought iron and put by masters around the necks of slaves.  The second chains, which are golden, are in current times and put around the necks of slaves by slaves themselves.  I am different because I haven’t worn chains or any precious metal jewelry since 1979.  We need music like “De La Soul is on a roll…Black medallions…no gold.”  Two Chainz says “I wish a N-word would…like a kitchen cabinet.”  I wish the youth would watch our hip hop on VH1 Soul then view a Cosby Show marathon.

 

In summary, I hope that we create a movement of different in my community because what we are doing and where we are heading isn’t working.  We spend too much energy and time on the wrong things then struggle and suffer as a result.  All I want for my birthday is some guys who don’t reference to women as big booty garden tools. While Two Chainz says “me and you are cut from a different fabric,” I say that we are all woven into the same tapestry.

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