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I voted for the whole Democrat Team today because our diversity of thoughts “looks like Georgia today” and the Trump- led Republicans feel like Georgia of 1971.  Someone should be handing out “Looks like Georgia today” Democrat t-shirts and let me break down why.

Every candidate with a “D” next to his or her name voted for Obama and Hillary in the last few presidential contests.  They share a vision of public policy that brings everyone together; a policy that gives each child a chance to be their best if they work hard and focus.  The Republicans have been taken over by the TEA Party Movement and “Make America Great Again” is code for I want my 1951 America back; the America that had a defined ruling class and a servant class.  Every candidate with an “R” next to their names is a Baby Trump—local, state, federal.

I am a Black man who doesn’t vote automatically.  When it was clear Hillary would win the Democratic nomination, I took the Republican primary ballot to vote for Moderate John Kasich because stopping Trump from becoming president was as important as anything.  If the Democrats do well next month, the Republicans will hopefully dump Trump.  As Trump says in his rallies, he is on the ballot in November.

It’s so cool that the Dem Team in Georgia has Stacey Abrams at the top.  She is a policy expert who would get healthcare for everyone.  Lt. Governor Candidate Sarah Riggs Amico ; a Harvard MBA grad, is a transportation executive.  In Georgia, we grow food and fiber then ship it all over the world with our highway system, the Port of Savannah and the Atlanta Airport.  Sarah will be an industry attracting beast and selling Georgia as a place to bring jobs will be her priority number one.  So, Yale Law grad Abrams and Harvard B-School Amico can watch the Yale-Harvard football game next year from the governor’s mansion.

Former congressman John Barrow is a candidate for Secretary of State and brings my moderate views to the discussion table.  Barrow and Rep. Sanford Bishop are long- time Blue Dog Democrats and they provide a smooth counter-balance to the emerging Progressives.  The Progressives want to help everyone and that’s nice but the Blue Dogs ask if those positions can and should be funded.

State School Superintendent Otha Thornton is a former high level military officer who is on a mission to improve the schools for every kid while the Republicans are using the code “local control and school choice” to resegregate the schools in my opinion.  Yes, teachers should do better….heck, parents and children should do better.  But, funding private and charter schools with public money is simply an effort to get certain kids away from certain other kids.

Agriculture is Georgia’s biggest industry and today I voted for Fred Swann for Ag. Commissioner because he has farm families in mind more than big corporate farms.  Swann and State House candidate Marcus Batten have introduced me to some Progressive points of view.  I am old school but the Progressive ideas about legal marijuana are solid.  We need to explore the medical benefits and grow that crop in Georgia.  Batten is a real farmer and his understanding of the negative impact of Trump tariffs on our crops is deep. In Albany, voters should watch the raise of CaMia Hopson in State House 153.  She will be a U.S. Senator one day.

Today, I voted for a group of candidates who reflect the vast range of Georgians—young and old; rural and urban; Black and White; male and female; rich and modest; Moderate and Progressive.  Every Republican candidate on the ballot was cookie cutter Trump and that will not cut it in modern Georgia.

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Imagine: you are a 40 year old but the culture treats you like a “boy” or “girl.”  That was the life of Blacks in the rural South the first half of my life.  Looking back, I can now understand those who sought self-medication with liquor during Jim Crow.

“They treat me like a boy in front of my children…any work is really about keeping them rich…they don’t care about educating our children because strong back work is their lot in life and then they can show you in the Bible something about the descendants of Ham being cursed, African and us…that’s why slavery and Jim Crow is justified.”

But at the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Mrs. Nether and Mrs. Lumpkin taught us that being Black was noble and actually better.  Elections are won and societies are shaped in church parking lots, in Barber/Beauty shops and on sports/band practice fields.  The residual benefit of discussions and teaching explains that we can be better/should be better.  A community is a tree that must have strong roots to grow and be fruitful but toxins can easily invade and ruin everything.  Liquor, crack, illegal weed, heroin and now opioids often start poisoning people as a numbing agent for those who could understand the cards life dealt them.

Understand: Most people are their own worst enemies but the American dream is a nightmare for people of color.  The best theoretical America is one in which every kid has a fair chance to learn and grow into being a productive, home owning member of society.  Yes, Jesus knows that there will always be poor people and we should be compassionate with them.  But, being poor should be based on your personal productivity; not the skin or gender of your birth.

In a recent blog post, I wrote about improving our community with P.E.C.S. (Politically, Economically, Culturally, Socially.)  Yes, elections are part of the process every few years but we must grind smart daily.  We must create a positive culture around our families.  I think about the line in Gil Scott Heron’s “B-Movie” that said “the ultimate realization of the inmates taking over of the asylum.”

Heron wrote that after Reagan beat Carter for the White House but today I could easily apply that observation to the Black community’s embracing of Thug Culture in hip hop. Don’t get me wrong: artists should be free to express themselves. However, kids should experience art in a healthful context—N.W.A. introduced the nation to rogue elements inside the Los Angeles Police Department but maybe I am too old to understand the benefit of mumbling rap that glorifies crime on my street.

Gil Scott Heron and Muhammad Ali were the fathers of rap to me.  My friends Darryl, Cassie, Rhonda and I saw him in the Blues Alley Club in Georgetown in the early 90s.  Shaking his hand was painful for me because he was a skeleton.  Heroin was eating Heron.  We paid $35 each and he left the stage while the band played for 30 minutes—he wanted his poison in the dressing room.  But, we understood that his genius was self-medicating the pain of being a man in country that saw him as a boy. It’s like Billie Holiday writing “Southern trees bear strange fruit” about lynching while likely high as a Georgia pine.

If you are rich and White in the South, you predictably are conservative because life is grand and design to subjugate others to keep you in tall cotton.  But if you are the subjugated, you are liberal or radical because life isn’t fair…some change, any change would be welcomed.  In the Hall of Fame of American poets, I put Gil Scott Heron and Tupac next to Poe, Dickinson and Hughes.

Heron’s B Movie’s lyrics are really an epic poem.  President Reagan, an actor, was elected to play the role of hero on a white horse that saves the day by preserving a culture that keeps certain folks unfairly on top.  To many Whites, conservatism seeks to go back to a time when life was wonderful without acknowledging that the economic system was based on the robbing of the red man and oppression of Blacks who were never supposed to be here in the first place.  Africa without European colonization would be one of the best continents.

“Quick, we should find the Bible section about dark people working for the descendants of Noah’s other sons—Africans love working in blistering heat.”  For the record, the death of Jesus cleaned the slate for all people before him but evidently the question for some Whites becomes “are Blacks actually people.”

I was hearing knowledge and wisdom in a barbershop yesterday and it made me realize that I learned from Mr. Nether in the chair, from Mrs. Nether in the classroom and both of them in the A.M.E. parking lot as a kid.  Mrs. Lumpkin would encourage your growth every time she saw you.  When Desert Storm broke out, Mrs. Lumpkin’s former students knew exactly where Iraq was.  Unlike the Europeans who when there for oil, we knew that great civilizations of color existing in that region before Christ.  Mrs. Lumpkin taught geography with a timeline and the Great Pyramid at Giza was erected 2400 years before Christ lived.  And Napoleon wondered which Europeans came down to construct them—no, sir.

On a sly note, the Black church taught about the struggles of the Hebrew people AND the fact that some of those battles were with ancient Africans—us.  Watch out now.  Gil Scott Heron said “…Egypt and Libya have been moved to the Middle East…I will swear every time, this version ain’t mine…that’s why it is called “His” story.”

So, I have lived long enough that “conservative” too me is the Black culture of the 60s and 70s.  Kids, we actually had Black business districts called Harlem in every town and city in America.  A Black dollar touched five Black hands before it left the community.  To break it down, the conservatism of my White classmates is different from the moderation/conservatism of Blue Dog Democrats and rural Black church folks.  We are conserving two different periods of time or the culture they want to return is based on the oppression of us.  You know what “make America great again” and “I want my country back” are really saying.

It’s woven into every issue and policy they support local, state and federal.  Reasonable Blacks should all vote on the first day of advance voting if they remember the past those people want to be our future.  On the other hand, the well-intended Progressive Movement might inadvertently hurt our community with wishes of giving too much from the government without acknowledging that someone must fund those programs with taxes and giving to much stymies personal responsibility, planning and growth.  Yes, on some level, I am a conservative but I am trying to conserve the Black mindset from the 60s not the White oppressive mindset from the same time.

Gil Scott Heron’s B – Movie is poetry.

Well, the first thing I want to say is…”Mandate my ass!”
Because it seems as though we’ve been convinced that 26% of the registered voters, not even 26% of the American people, but 26% of the registered voters form a mandate ? or a landslide. 21% voted for Skippy and 3, 4% voted for somebody else who might have been running.But, oh yeah, I remember. In this year that we have now declared the year from Shogun to Reagan, I remember what I said about Reagan…meant it. Acted like an actor…Hollyweird. Acted like a liberal. Acted like General Franco when he acted like governor of California, then he acted like a republican. Then he acted like somebody was going to vote for him for president. And now we act like 26% of the registered voters is actually a mandate. We’re all actors in this I suppose.

What has happened is that in the last 20 years, America has changed from a producer to a consumer. And all consumers know that when the producer names the tune…the consumer has got to dance. That’s the way it is. We used to be a producer ? very inflexible at that, and now we are consumers and, finding it difficult to understand. Natural resources and minerals will change your world. The Arabs used to be in the 3rd World. They have bought the 2nd World and put a firm down payment on the 1st one. Controlling your resources will control your world. This country has been surprised by the way the world looks now. They don’t know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan. They don’t know if they want to be diplomats or continue the same policy – of nuclear nightmare diplomacy. John Foster Dulles ain’t nothing but the name of an airport now.

The idea concerns the fact that this country wants nostalgia. They want to go back as far as they can ? even if it’s only as far as last week. Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards. And yesterday was the day of our cinema heroes riding to the rescue at the last possible moment. The day of the man in the white hat or the man on the white horse – or the man who always came to save America at the last moment ? someone always came to save America at the last moment ? especially in “B” movies. And when America found itself having a hard time facing the future, they looked for people like John Wayne. But since John Wayne was no longer available, they settled for Ronald Reagan ? and it has placed us in a situation that we can only look at ? like a “B” movie.

Come with us back to those inglorious days when heroes weren’t zeros. Before fair was square. When the cavalry came straight away and all-American men were like Hemingway to the days of the wondrous “B” movie. The producer underwritten by all the millionaires necessary will be Casper “The Defensive” Weinberger ? no more animated choice is available. The director will be Attila the Haig, running around frantically declaring himself in control and in charge. The ultimate realization of the inmates taking over at the asylum. The screenplay will be adapted from the book called “Voodoo Economics” by George “Papa Doc” Bush. Music by the “Village People” the very military “Macho Man.”

“Company!!!”
“Macho, macho man!”
“Two-three-four.”
“He likes to be ? well, you get the point.”
“Huuut! Your left! Your left! Your left…right, left, right, left, right…!”

A theme song for saber-rallying and selling wars door-to-door. Remember, we’re looking for the closest thing we can find to John Wayne. Cliches abound like kangaroos ? courtesy of some spaced out Marlin Perkins, a Reagan contemporary. Cliches like, “itchy trigger finger” and “tall in the saddle” and “riding off or on into the sunset.” Cliches like, “Get off of my planet by sundown!” More so than cliches like, “he died with his boots on.” Marine tough the man is. Bogart tough the man is. Cagney tough the man is. Hollywood tough the man is. Cheap steak tough. And Bonzo’s substantial. The ultimate in synthetic selling: A Madison Avenue masterpiece ? a miracle ? a cotton-candy politician…Presto! Macho!

“Macho, macho man!”

Put your orders in America. And quick as Kodak your leaders duplicate with the accent being on the dupe – cause all of a sudden we have fallen prey to selective amnesia – remembering what we want to remember and forgetting what we choose to forget. All of a sudden, the man who called for a blood bath on our college campuses is supposed to be Dudley “God-damn” Do-Right?

“You go give them liberals hell Ronnie.” That was the mandate. To the new “Captain Bly” on the new ship of fools. It was doubtlessly based on his chameleon performance of the past – as a liberal democrat ? as the head of the Studio Actor’s Guild. When other celluloid saviors were cringing in terror from McCarthy ? Ron stood tall. It goes all the way back from Hollywood to hillbilly. From liberal to libelous, from “Bonzo” to Birch idol…born again. Civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights…it’s all wrong. Call in the cavalry to disrupt this perception of freedom gone wild. God damn it…first one wants freedom, then the whole damn world wants freedom.

Nostalgia, that’s what we want…the good ol’ days…when we gave’em hell. When the buck stopped somewhere and you could still buy something with it. To a time when movies were in black and white ? and so was everything else. Even if we go back to the campaign trail, before six-gun Ron shot off his face and developed hoof-in-mouth. Before the free press went down before full-court press. And were reluctant to review the menu because they knew the only thing available was ? Crow.

Lon Chaney, our man of a thousand faces – no match for Ron. Doug Henning does the make-up – special effects from Grecian Formula 16 and Crazy Glue. Transportation furnished by the David Rockefeller of Remote Control Company. Their slogan is, “Why wait for 1984? You can panic now…and avoid the rush.”

So much for the good news…

As Wall Street goes, so goes the nation. And here’s a look at the closing numbers ? racism’s up, human rights are down, peace is shaky, war items are hot – the House claims all ties. Jobs are down, money is scarce ? and common sense is at an all-time low with heavy trading. Movies were looking better than ever and now no one is looking because, we’re starring in a “B” movie. And we would rather have John Wayne…we would rather have John Wayne.

“You don’t need to be in no hurry.
You ain’t never really got to worry.
And you don’t need to check on how you feel.
Just keep repeating that none of this is real.
And if you’re sensing, that something’s wrong,
Well just remember, that it won’t be too long
Before the director cuts the scene…yea.”

“This ain’t really your life,
Ain’t really your life,
Ain’t really ain’t nothing but a movie.”

[Refrain repeated about 25 times or more in an apocalyptic crescendo with a military cadence.]

“This ain’t really your life,

Ain’t really your life,
Ain’t really ain’t nothing but a movie.”

If Weed Users Voted Often

Schumer-introduces-Marijuana-Freedom-and-Opportunity-Act

Marijuana laws would be reformed by the Democrat candidates for governor in Georgia and Florida.  Senate Minority Leader Democrat Charles Schumer introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level.  No, I am not smoking while writing this—I don’t use illegal substances but the times “they are a changing.”

Talk about tipping the scales of elections.  Smokers should be registering to vote in large numbers—come out of the shadows.  Senior citizens who are afraid of opioids for pain relief could grow their own organic medicine for the price of seeds.  In Colorado and California, cannabis researchers have developed varieties and strains that provide pain relief, according to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Guta, without the hallucinogenic effects.

I personally hate the illegal commerce involving the trafficking of weed; it turns communities into war zones. If you are a fan of P.B.S. documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, you watched his week-long series on Prohibition.  So, there was little national organized crime (the Mob) before the do-gooders passed the laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol. The road to hell is paved with good attentions.  Al Capone in Chicago and the Mob in New York grew behind illegal bootlegging and the first action of newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the repeal of Prohibition.

But, lobbyists with fat pockets will fight even the medical weed law reform.  Of course, the liquor and beer industries are watching but surprisingly, Big Pharma is the key opponent.  The drug companies make billions selling products that weed would compete against.  You know about the Fortune 500 top companies in America but the top 5 in order are: Walmart, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Exxon Mobil and McKesson.

McKesson?  What’s that?  Where did they make their $192 billion in revenue?  I kept seeing that name on trucks during my mother’s doctors’ visits.  McKesson is the leading healthcare company for wholesale medical supplies & equipment and pharmaceutical distribution.  They move opioids in massive amounts.  But, don’t worry.  If weed becomes legal, they will corner the market on that too—cute, they will corner the “weed corner” market.

What’s Georgia’s biggest industry?  It’s agriculture and the researchers at the UGA and Fort Valley Ag Schools could give us weed as another cash cow. On the other hand, the criminal justice system has made billions fining and locking up people for a little bit of weed.  Come on, we all know that weed is less harmful that liquor but a law is a law.  Romans 13:1 says respect the laws that the government made because God made the government….and he made weed.  (I better leave that alone.)

We should have a comprehensive review of marijuana based on new science.  Of course, America can’t walk around constantly stoned…our enemies would love that.  It’s about personal responsibility… beer, gin, weed, McDonalds, pasta, nachos, Mountain Dew in moderation.  In some neighborhoods, 19 year Olds use weed rather than liquor because it is available.  Huh?  You don’t know who grew that nor what’s in it.  Talk about dumb laws: a U.S. Marine can’t go into combat but he or she can go into Walmart and purchase a six pack of Miller Lite.

Bottomline: A million voters who smoke in Georgia and Florida should recognize weed reform as a key election issue.

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Progressives and Moderate Democrats, while waiting for Ms. Aretha Franklin’s funeral to come on the Word Channel, I heard Bishop T.D. Jakes tell a story about us.  Actually, the same story could apply to the few remaining reasonable Republicans vs. the Far Right.

In 1 Samuel 3, we find Eli and Samuel.  Ok, to be honest, I don’t spend much time in more than a handful of Old Testament books (the poetry ones) because it’s too much history.  However, Bishop Jakes said Samuel in his youth could hear but it took Eli to understand what was heard and to design action based on experience.

Jakes said, “Young people, you will not get there without us.  You can hear what we can not hear, but we know what to do about what you heard.” Jakes also talked about Black boys rebelling with understanding because we should rebel against such an unfair system and society.

So, success and progress requires a concerted effort where all sections bring something to the table. The Progressives are the energy and blood of the Democrat Party; they want to change things that never should have been wrong in the first place.  However, the over 40 Crew in rural areas often think with experience; we can see what time has put in our eyes.  Yes, a 15 dollars an hour minimum wage would be nice to correct the wage stagnation of the last 50 years based on corporate greed.  But, it would also be nice if you planned economically and lived within your means.  Legal weed is one thing but a nation of zombies is another said California Governor and former smoker Jerry Brown.

It takes a village to run a village; input from everyone.  That’s the opposite of the “winner take all” mentality of Trump. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.  My southwest Georgia political friends discuss matters but I always end up seeking the counsel of Nadine Chatman, Bob Fuse and young Keith MacCants.  Wait a second, I just realized conservative Dem. MacCants talks with me because I am the oldhead to him… look a hear, look a hear.

Bottomline: Progressives and the Blue Dogs both need to interact productively if we can get this nation back from risky Trumpism.  You know what, my counsel calls also included Republicans Nick Buford, Mrs. Vivian Childs, old friend Karen Bogans and the sage Michael Murphy.  While the details of those last discussions are private, let’s just both sides say “really” a lot.

Progressives can’t get there without Moderates and vice versa.

The Call of Samuel
(3:1-14)

1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. 2 And it happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well), 3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, 4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. 8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Thy servant is listening.’“ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Thy servant is listening.” 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 “In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 “For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 “And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

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Georgia and America are too big and diverse for only two major political parties.  You are going to have people who seriously disagree with others under the same tent, umbrella or whatever.  Usually, the winning party is the one that best held it’s nose regarding all involved divisions.

The classic example of this situation would be otherwise reasonable Republicans tolerating hillbilly separatists and then Trumpism.  You-all need to be shame—not “ashamed” but good ole country “shame.”  Trump called Omarosa a dog.  No real southern gentleman would tolerate a high public official acting like this but you-all so badly wanted the Supreme Court seats that you sold America down the river.

It’s time for my “broken record for the record” statements as the Democrats are again poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

You can’t win Georgia in Atlanta alone; the White rural Dems are mostly gone; Progressives and Moderates will perish as fools if they can’t live together; and we still need 40% Dem turnout in so-called Red areas.

The election scales will be tipped by Moderates/Centrists.  While both extremes are vocal, the bulk of America is near the center.  In Georgia, Dems need better numbers in suburban areas and the third tier cities.  You have Atlanta, the next six cities and then my beloved third tier.  If Jason Carter got 100K more votes in Atlanta, 50K in the next six cities and 50K in the third tier, he would be governor today.  But check this: creating voter buzz and energy is easier in the third tier because events and happenings are rarer there.

I haven’t visited Atlanta in over five years and the traffic on I-75 north of Macon gets on my nerves. Family matters forced me to drive to Lake Oconee last week from South Georgia. Oh my lamb, we have been sleeping on the other spine of Georgia, U.S. Hwy 441.  Douglas, McRae, Dublin, Milledgeville, Madison and Athens could tip statewide elections if properly cultivated.  The GOP will have you think these areas are as conservative as the Georgia Mountains but it’s not true.  The heart of Georgia is still 30 to 40 percent Black and not all Whites are Trump folks.  The formula to win in Georgia is to go big in the cities BUT still keep it close everywhere else.

The dadgum Democrats need to do a spinal tap on the Hwy 441 communities to diagnose the kitchen table issues unique to them—southwest Georgia isn’t southeast Georgia and Bainbridge isn’t Brunswick.

We must learn from the Alabama Senate victory: find and fund successful indigenous operations.  But, you don’t send college kids with blue hair down here to teach country folks the importance of being Progressives.  Many of us are a different type Democrats: Black, gun owning, church attending, military supporting, hip hop culture questioning and pull yourself up believing.  However, we want zero parts of the mess the GOP has become.

Last broken record for the record: beat Trump, avoid civil war, God don’t like ugly, light a fire under the Blue Team (figuratively).

chest_muscles_422

Improving Black America starts with a comprehensive approach; winning elections is just one piece of the overall pie.  We must make peace with the ghost of our oppressed past but if you are waiting for proper acknowledgement and fairness, you will be waiting awhile.

Some parts of America will never understand that the country’s general agenda is counterintuitive to some subgroups’ agendas (Latinos, Women, Native Americans, Blacks).  This nation’s greatest wealth before oil was free and systematically discounted Black labor. Since that wealth jumpstarted our economy, my Black investment in this Republic is without question.  Still, many White southerners can’t understand that Gone With the Wind appeared differently in my Black eyes as Malcolm X did in theirs.

The Art of War is based on understanding the other side.  Blacks involvement in the Democrat Party is so-so but the Conservative Movement/GOP to southern Whites is a way of life second only to church.  Correction: church is woven into politics and the comprehensive, all-encompassing  lifestyle is powerful.  Conservatism in the White community is similar to fraternities and sororities among Black college grads.  Get it: a Kappa Alpha from U.G.A. will never understand the connections between all members of Omega Psi Phi.  Oh, a veteran can say he or she proudly served in the Air Force years ago but in most case, the U.S. Marines are a life-long frat whose commitment goes to the bone. Because the stakes are so high, Black southerners need that level of involvement in change actions.

I loved when Chuck D in Public Enemy rapped, “Whatcha do getcha head ready…Instead of getting physically sweaty.” Rather than working the Pecs in your chest, you should consider these PECS.  We must move forward Politically, Economically, Culturally and Socially.

But first, who are “we”?  When President Trump says we, he is speaking about his base; not the whole nation.  “We” to me in this writing is Blacks about striving.  While we are reluctant to separate our agenda from Black America as a whole, some of us have grown weary with a certain element of our community.

P.E.C.S.

Politically: We must vote in every election and watch the political arena like a hawk constantly.  When wise people see the issues on the table, voting and action come naturally.  Unfortunately, the part of our community most impacted by public policy doesn’t actually vote in real numbers.  This moderate argues daily with Liberal/Progressive friends about the existence of Black Moderates, Centrists and yes Conservatives.  We aren’t talking about Blacks who are deeply into the GOP and yes, the Conservative Movement seeks to preserve a time in which Blacks were second-class citizens.

No, Black moderates to conservatives are people who harken back to the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.  In those days, the preoccupation was Blacks living in America without restrictions.  Some of us are concerned that the Progressive Movement emphasizes what government can do for you only.  Government shouldn’t fix a life that you causally broke with bad decisions and softness.

Economically: Money is some kind of funny.  In our community, we act like high school Economics class wasn’t mandatory.  Basically, we must learn when successful oldheads are teaching how to keep your bills low until your dollars are solid.  Conspicuous consumption refers to the consumers who buy expensive items to display wealth and income rather than to cover their real needs.  In the Barbershop as a kid, I learned “they buy things with money they don’t have to impress people who don’t care about them.”  And, we will be here all day if we dive into homeownership vs. renting and spending vs. maxing out the employer provided retirement fund.  Growing money over 30 years is the prettiest thing in the world.

Culturally: I was around when hip hop was born and it’s a cool art form.  But, is art imitating life or life imitating art.  To make it plain, our youth have an unhealthful relationship with the thug element of rap culture. While we were dig early rap, we wanted the Cosby Show lifestyle.  T.V. and the internet pumps massive amounts of influence into developing brains—much of that information is opposite to the directions and principles of our parents.

For this writer, the Cosby Show was the gold standard but James and Florida Evans raised a solid family on Good Times.  On the other hand, the Jeffersons was almost buffoonery- a Black man gets rich but is still a clown. I wonder if White America realized that Norman Mailer was culturally mocking them with All in the Family.  As a kid, I knew it from the theme song.

Boy the way Glen Miller played

Songs that made the Hit Parade.

Guys like us we had it made,

Those were the days.

Didn’t need no welfare state,

Everybody pulled his weight.

Gee our old LaSalle ran great.

Those were the days.

Absolutely, it was a great time to be a White man in America.  If you worked hard and kept your nose clean, you could have a nice life. During that same post World War II period, Blacks were lucky not to be killed for trying to stand up as men and women.  The song was right “Guys like US we had it made” because Whites enjoyed most of the American pie and minorities ate the crumbs.  You do realize that soul food was the meats and vegetables left over after master ate high on the hog.

They didn’t need no welfare state or need to know how to avoid double negatives.  When Trump is firing up his base at rallies, this is the American culture they are planning to make great again; a culture in which people of color are returned to their proper place.

That “old LaSalle” was a great American automobile from Detroit but as President Trump says we don’t make anything in America anymore.  We need a culture based on family, faith, honor and achievement rather than weed and weave and look at me.

Socially:  Honestly, I don’t know where culturally ends and socially begins.  The second dictionary definition of socially says “in the company of others, especially for pleasure.”  Birds of a feather flock together and the “We” part of Black America must seek out achievement-oriented, fully-focused others.  In this new era of correctness, we are hesitant about calling out Blacks who have “relaxed” what is proper and acceptable.  Well, I stand with Secretary Colin Powell in thinking that all of America should reinstitute the concept of shame.

Theories and ideas on a blog are nothing without action.  If we don’t adopt and implement a new comprehensive plan, our southern Black goose is cooked.

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Don’t Sleep

Because Trump is right, I want to apologize to my fellow moderate Blue Dog Democrats.  While I can’t stand most of Trumpism, the whole GOP got behind him after he won the nomination.  The two largest sections of the Democrat Party in the South are the traditional moderates and the emerging Progressives.  If Dems don’t learn to come together, we will make Trump a two term president then experience eight years of President Pence after that.   By that point, America could be on the verge of a real life “Handmaid’s Tale” and no one saw it coming.

Over the last year, I thought the Establishment Democrats in Georgia were pouting because they can’t control the Progressives.  Of course, some Dems want a loyalty oath from the Bernie Sanders’ crew because their lack of support for Hillary is one of the factors that put Trump in the Oval.  The Progressive Movement might need to form a party of their own but if you are rocking with us, rock with us until the wheels fall off.

Last night, a local elected official asked me why he can’t donate directly to the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign and I thought he was mistaken.  Actually, he was right because it appears the campaign is using the ActBlue fundraising mechanism.  ActBlue is fire hot with progressive causes but primarily using them causes pause for traditional Dems on some level.

Of course, the traditional Dem methods in Georgia over the last 15 years haven’t met with much success.  Generally, they raise money, spend said money on T.V. ads with their friend’s firms and then ask Black folks to do GOTV as volunteers.  Say what?  Credit Ms. Abrams for changing that madness and maybe that’s why the Establishment is ruffled.

Look, fighting the mess of Trumpism will require all hands on deck like the invasion of Normandy—there is plenty of combat to go around.  We know the traditional Dem methods can get to a certain point but in Georgia and nationally, getting over the top calls for firing up young people who are drawn to progressive issues.

Again, I want to apologize to Blue Dogs whom I thought were ignoring the Progressives.  It could be that both sections were territorially boxing out each other.  They must stop that silliness, join hands and sing “The More We Get Together,” the Beatles’ “Come Together,” or Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad at Cha.”

In 2016, some Republicans held their noses and voted for Trump. It seems they were listening to Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With.”  When the Dems get together, we need to see diversity at the table.  The GOP is running America into the ground with little input from anyone not like them.  Oh, the Democrats in the South during most of my life were a coalition made up of recently warring factions.

While it was difficult being in a party with former (let’s hope) segregationists, it worked in transition.  Now, many of those Dixiecrats have found a comfortable home in the GOP….good riddance.  What we aren’t going to do is spend time begging them to come back.  Their numbers can be replaced with suburban families and a “woke” young electorate.  It’s awkward when Progressives attempt to energize old Blue Dogs like me and it’s equally awkward when moderates approach them.

Democrats need a concerted effort in which subgroups with proper funding do what they do best.  If we aren’t successful, the future could be a version of the Handmaid’s Tale featuring Jim Crow’s great grandson…. Jamie Crow. “Praise Be.”