Cool Hand Luke

On Thanksgiving 2016, the Civil War is heavy on my mind.  You might ask “which civil war” and that would be a good question.  The purpose of this writing is to propose a new Great Triumvirate similar to the original one formed by statesman Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.


Do we even have any statesmen around the current messy political/policy system?  Possible new triumvirate members include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor John Kaisch, Senator Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Secretary Colin Powell, Michelle Obama, Secretary Condi Rice and Governor Jon Huntsman.   Personally, I feel these people love righteousness and compromise more than political parties and one-upsmanship.

When you live in a place with extremely opposing opinions, you need a Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, who would seek reasonable solutions and avoid taking the nation over the cliff.  Yes, some folks have a “my way or the highway” mentality and actually love bickering, conflict and war.  Remember, Clay brokered compromises that settled disputes between free states and slave states…putting off the coming civil war.

With all of this current talk about people leaving the country, we should remember that Clay was president of the movement that created Liberia, an African colony for free American Blacks, because he was a slaveholder who knew the institution would be a problem for a young nation.  Dr. Condi Rice says today that racism is America’s birth defect.  I say we will learn to work together as brothers or perish as fools.

We can’t just say “Civil War” anymore because there are several in my mind.  The Civil War of 1864 still simmers in the blood of many southerners.  Those confederates wish the South won the war and wish Blacks were still slaves, all dead or sent back to Africa.  Arguing with them is a fool’s errand but make no mistakes about it…that war goes on today in hearts and minds.

In the Black community, we have an ongoing civil war over the role of government.  On one side, we have people who think the government will protect and promote them…government is my daddy.  If you think government cares about you, you should grow up and that liberal mentality stops us from becoming who we really should be.  On the other side, you have my friends who think Black improvement in this nation always started with a well-designed and well executed personal life which leads to economic power similar to the visions of Marcus Garvey and Malcom X.

Another serious civil war in my life is the cultural battle between traditionalists and the hip hop culture.  As I often write, hip hop is doing more inadvertently to destroy the Black community than the Klan.  While I support artistic freedom of expression, the glamorization of thugs, crime and street life is a cancer on the minds of our youth….it’s the inmates running the asylum.

Inside the Democrat Party, we see a battle between the real liberals who supported Bernie Sanders and the southern old school Blacks.  Remember, the South’s support of Hillary Clinton is the only reason she didn’t fall to Sanders in the primary.  I wonder who is left in the Dem Party since Dixiecrats are long gone, Rust Belt blue collar Whites just left and church-attending Black southerners are uncomfortable with some social issues.

The Republican Party is also in a civil war because the country club establishment has been overtaken by the fiery “my way or the highway” people.  Some of these people think the recent election results were the start of a second actual civil war.

I wish I knew what Henry Clay would say about our nation today.  For the record, some of those free Blacks who when to Liberia ended up oppressing the Africans they found there…the hell you say.

In 1991, the rock band Guns N’ Roses had a song called “Civil War” that started with a sound snippet from the movie Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”

We don’t have statesmen anymore.  The people who I think should be in a new Triumvirate should function outside of government because as President Reagan said “government is the problem.”  Failure to communicate has some Americans thinking they are more American than others, has some people thinking government has a blank check to support their weak behinds and has working people thinking that voting isn’t important.

Hell, America almost feels like Luke rolling down the hill in that movie.  But, America always gets back up.  Adversity made this great nation and we are still a work in progress.

On the bright side, I hope southern Blacks living outside big cities realize once and for all that neither major political party cares what we think. There was zero political activity in my community because Democrat leadership in D.C. and Atlanta have always wanted to “run up the numbers” in the city to counterbalance the rural areas.  Well, the Empire struck back.

On “End of the Innocence,” Don Henley sang about “when happily ever after fails…we have been poisoned by these fairy tales”  and “O’ beautiful, for spacious skies..but now those skies are threatening.  They’re beating plowshares into swords..For this tired old man that we elected king.”  “Armchair warriors often fail.”

You know what, I didn’t want to hear her being blame for everything in the world for four  years…go listen to Henley’s Dirty Laundry…”Kick ‘em when they are up…kick ‘em when they are down.”  He did that one at the MTV Bill Clinton Inaugural Ball.

So, can we agree that who the mayor, governor or president is isn’t as important as how you carry yourself.  Oh, moderate Blacks have always thought that but the liberal elites running the Blue Team didn’t want to hear that.  It’s about C.D.C.: Choices, Decisions and Consequences. Newsflash: that’s how the Obamas got to be so sharp and together.  You keep your nose clean, do your school work, avoid fools, pay attention in church and honor your family.

If we can accept Bush over Gore, we can live with this election.  The Blue Team helps people who don’t in turn vote.  Bottomline.  Those non-voters can feel the wrath. ..let me stop with the drama.  Candidate Obama always said that one person can’t fix what is wrong in your life.  That is up to you.  Presidents aren’t Jesus.

Actually, this election could be a heaven-sent blessing.  You know now that the government doesn’t care about you so you need to get yourself together.  We need to step away from constantly considering politics because it’s a dirty game.  Politics is the art of controlling elections while governing is the science of better functioning government.  Those people spent billions saying bad things about each other; billions that could have been better spent.

For me personally, I am done with the current Blue Team and Red Team.  Mr. Trump is really a one man gang…he took it by his dam self.  The Blue Team is about gay folks, progressive folks, Latino folks and urban folks.  They never listen to my country Black -ss so peace.

We should spend the next year in a southern Black family conversation about getting our Southern Black country back from elements on the far right, far left and hip hop thugs.   As quiet as it is kept, upright Black folks never really depended on the government.  As a kid, we knew who we were and we knew whose we were.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Liberals have created a climate of entitlement with people and surprisingly those people don’t vote.

So, the end of that Henley song is about heaven.  I didn’t know that Bruce Hornsby wrote those lyrics—you remember his “that’s just the way it is…somethings will never change.”

“Who knows how long this will last

Now we’ve come so far, so fast

But, somewhere back there in the dust

That same small town in each of us.

And let me take a long last look

Before we say good bye

Just lay your head back on ground

And let your hair fall all around me

Offer up your best defense

But this is the end

This is the end of the innocence.


I want to summarize this crazy election year.  Hillary Clinton is a great person who should be president.  Donald Trump is one of the best marketing experts in global history; the guy is a genius.

There is a difference between being a bride and a wife.  A bride is a woman who does an outstanding job of putting on a wedding or getting someone/everyone to marry her.  A bride looks good in a fancy dress and is stunningly graceful on her wedding day.  A wife is a lady built to be part of a healthy union until death does them part.  Wife material is built for the long haul rather than one day.

Some of the best brides don’t stay married long; the relationship was based on the big day only.  She just wanted to be princess for the weekend.  Some of the best marriages involved good husbands and wives who went to the courthouse.

It’s not about Clinton and Trump; it’s about us.  Bride Trump sold himself to the Republican base better than all of those people on the primary stage.  Jeb Bush, John Kasich and maybe Marco Rubio would have been good presidents/”wives” but they couldn’t get to the chapel pass Trump.

Democrat rock stars (the Obamas, Bill Clinton, Al Gore) shouldn’t have to beg and cajole Black people to the polls.  Oh, if Blacks alone would vote in the South and Midwest, this election would be over.  Hell, Al Gore never should have had a hard time with George Bush after the wonderful state of the union created by Bill Clinton.

If Black America doesn’t think it’s important to protect Obama’s legacy by electing a brilliant proven leader like Hillary Clinton, we deserve to go back to the future with Mr. Trump and those who want their country stolen from the Indians back.

Yesterday, I learned the saying “you can’t teach what you don’t know…you can’t lead where you won’t go.” Hearing the childhood story of Hillary Clinton’s mom broke my heart; they left her alone in an apartment for weeks.  Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney use to say soldiers don’t get medals..they get scars.

Hillary can teach what she knows because she has scars…she knows the plight of working people much better than Mr. Trump.  We shouldn’t hate on Trump for never being poor but he is ill-suited to govern.  House Speaker Tom Foley use to say “any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

After this election is over, both parties will consider their futures.  The two billion dollars spent being ugly could have done some much good.  The GOP knows they must court minorities while pulling back from the far right.  The Democrats know the Bernie Sanders socialist segment is growing. At the end of the day, Black should conduct our lives in a manner that doesn’t directly involve who the local, state and federal leaders are because they are busy being brides rather than wives.


I Voted: Uppity Peach Point


At this pivotal point in our political history, we should all vote and get everyone else to do the same.  For the time we spend on brain candy (App games, social media, waterskiing squirrel videos), how can we as Georgians not take 15 minutes to vote.

People fought hard to keep some of us from voting and I can’t honor my ancestors by blowing off voting but I can sit in a high school football game for hours.  Really?

We spent the last year talking about social justice—no justice no peace. Well, voting selects the local, state and federal leaders who make policies regarding those matters.  This blog calls it “the Squeaky Wheel gets the grease.”

After voting in Georgia, we should take a picture pointing at our peach sticker…put that on facebook and the gram.  Georgia is like a peach—it can be sweet and nourishing if ripe…it can be rotten at times.  If you get at the peach wrong, you could break a tooth on it’s core.  The seed at the core could provide the start of a tree which feeds many.

In the Fort Valley area, they use to plan the school year around the peach harvest.  Of course, kids who looked like me didn’t need much education because the fields or the kitchen was to be their only work options for life.  Voting, blood, sweat and tears changed that for the better.  Vote early and take Ray Ray with you.

I voted within the first hour I could..like that adds emphasis or something.  I still think state law requiring i.d. feels like being in a Soweto township in South Africa.  So, I produce my “papers” in the form of my passport just to be uppity.


When this messy election is over and Brother Obama prepares to exit the White House, Black Southerners should ponder what is in our best interest moving forward.  To me, both major parties have been hijacked by their far extremes.  Reasonable moderates and centrists are being ignored.

Someone emailed me a deep article from the Atlantic about Black Trump supporters.  It’s a must read. Mr. Trump seems to think all Black folks live in an intercity ghetto while Democratic liberals ignore rural Blacks.  The DNC wants to win elections in cities and seem surprised to learn that rural Blacks are rather conservative.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said that the percentage of the U.S. population living in rural areas is roughly equal to the percentage of African Americans.  While I am part of both demographics, America can never disrespect the heartland because farming feeds the world and everyone wants to eat.


I am concern how close Trump came to being president.  Black America needs representation at every policy table.  I appreciate my Black conservative friends’ efforts to make the GOP less hostile and I think they appreciate our struggle in the Dem Party to focus more on personal achievement and less on what the government can give you.

The sewer nature of this election season has me weary; let’s get this over quickly.


We will work together as brothers or perish as fools.  Lawd, I evidently have a wide array of friends and this election season has created a civil war on my facebook page.  As Rodney King famously said, “Can’t we all just get along.”  Hell nawl  .

This country was built on a shaky foundation—stolen from the Natives, stolen labor from Africa, women were second class citizens.  At some point, there would be a correction or reconciliation.  Of course, those who benefited would be reluctant to change.

Donald P. Trump didn’t create the current climate.  Hell, Trump is a professional personality—more P.T. Barnum than anything.  The guy is an opportunist who recognized the anger of a certain part of the population…a part of the population that really has nothing to do with him.

I appreciate Donald Trump for saying out loud what others are thinking.  Basically, they want their country back—the country they stole fair and square.  The country that affords certain privileges based on skin color.  (Oh, don’t act like African Americans didn’t do the same thing inside our race…running behind redbones, so-called good hair etc….cast the first stone, my brother.)

Malcolm X often taught that progress starts with putting your true feelings on the table—even if you are considered wrong by others.  If he was with us today, he would hate Trump’s views of Islam but appreciate him saying what was really in his twisted head.

To me, the biggest supporter of Hillary Clinton for president is Donald Trump with a properly functioning microphone.  Mr. Trump, please continue to speak your mind.  If Trump becomes president, those who Democrats seek to help deserve whatever the blank happens to them because they didn’t vote.  I don’t like being separated from my brothers but my brothers vote.

I also appreciate the debate surrounding the Georgia amendment that would give the governor’s office the right to privatize or closed under performing schools.  First, many of these schools are in our communities and kids should have good educations.  However, this horrible amendment is a Trojan Horse; a hidden effort to open up school choice.  Again, Malcolm X acknowledged men and women who spoke their minds rather than those who had undisclosed agendas.

Actually, school choice is a debate we can have because parents should have the options of moving their kids to private schools with a little of their money or teaching them at home.  Personally, I think homeschool kids are too sheltered but that is just me.

Our community must vote because leaders make decisions involving everyone based on what they hear from the few who vote and speak up.  The same people seeking to get their nation back with Trump are also trying to figure out a way to keep their kids away from certain kids and certain teachers.  It’s the resegregation of the school systems.

Let me say something rough: many schools are jacked up for real.  However, I am the only one who will honestly say that poor schools start with poorly prepared kids and parents.  Oh, the school is a lovely building and the teachers well-trained but rotten, half-raised kids will deflate the spirit of teachers and poison the educational process for the majority of youth.

Some kids are raised by the streets and crime-oriented sexy music videos.  They don’t know how to focus in school because video games have spoiled their minds.  Of course, we could focus at school because we learned how to pay attention at church.

We should consider the path Blacks have taken into the middle class. If you think about it, the surest way into the middle class for many Blacks was government work: the military, civil service, nursing and most of all teaching.  This election is an attack on that path because a Trump White House would make the military risky for everyone, the state governments want to privatize civil jobs and the Opportunity School Board Amendment would lead to private companies running schools.  Those companies would replace experienced teachers with new educators who cost less.


Bottomline: Good communities, schools and nations don’t happen without honest debate, focused people and hard work.


We can disagree without being disagreeable.  I swear my friends are all over the place politically and culturally; life would be boring otherwise.  It is wise to listen to everyone (even if you know they are dead wrong, lying or trying the wreak havoc.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta was proud to be the city to busy doing business to hate.  It’s my understanding that BMW didn’t want to locate a plant in the Savannah area because they were concerned with racial drama among the workforce.  While some are acting silly, others are addressing issues as part of a reasonable community and moving forward financially.

Atlanta is the best Black city in the world and Georgia is the best Black state in the union.  We should manufacture everything here and ship it all to the world on the interstate system and the Port of Savannah.  Of course, industrial attraction starts with a quality schools and livable communities.  Those who like to “wreak havoc” recreationally are killing the golden goose.

If I had a little funding, my blog would host ten or so Town Hall meetups around south Georgia—like a good old fashion political stump.  We should create events so all sides can make their points to someone other than those like them, the proverbial preaching to the choir.  In modern times, the political stump presentation is beamed around the world instantly with social media.

The key effort here is to get people voting and speaking up.  If you don’t vote, decisions don’t reflect a cross-section of the community.  Personally, I am a moderate Democrat who doesn’t care for the Opportunity School Board Amendment or the Republican candidate for president.  However, I would have a coke and slice of pizza with my friends who feel differently just to fairly hear them out.  Actually, you formulate better responses to them when you hear them and at the end of the day, that respectful dialog is what grown folks do.

Now, to get 50 or so trendsetter members of a community into a venue, the “party with a purpose” approach is cool with me.  We could pick a café and pack the place with people leaving a high school football game.  It would take much to identify a local host or two that everyone follows to the hippest functions…and it’s free too.  Finally, we would be creating a network of people linked by social media.

Will this find funding in a few weeks?  It would take the right supporters but it’s better than pouring money into those same old, same old T.V. ads.