Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, President Obama, Martin Luther King, Bible

Dr. Cornel West, Still Trying to be Relevant

By:  Mildred Robertson
So as many of us are still on a euphoric high over the second inauguration of the first African American President of the United States, Cornel West is making noise, trying to be relevant.
West, who joined commentator Tavis Smiley in castigating the President because he did not “kiss their ring” as he ascended to the position of most influential Black man in America (the world), now wants to say that the President is unworthy to lay his hand on Martin Luther King’s bible. Ironically, West would have probably called Dr. King an “Uncle Tom” if he was leading his nonviolent revolution today. West speaks out of both sides of his mouth as he says he is glad right wing politicians did not overtake the White House, but then calls its current occupant a “Republican in blackface.” He disrespects both the office and the man, neither of which deserve it.
The troubles this nation faces have been long in the making. No one, not even Barack Obama, who brought about an unprecedented shift in American politics, could easily dispatch them. West, just like the right wing politicians, has plenty to say about what is wrong, but offers no solutions. While President Obama did not achieve all that I had hoped for in his first term, I am hopeful and optimistic that he will make meaningful strides toward greater equality for all American citizens. And, no president has ever realized all my hopes and dreams, and it is doubtful that any would or could. But it is a fact that, under President Obama’s leadership, this country has moved forward.
What gets West’s goat, and that of his sidekick Tavis Smiley, is that the search for the “one voice” to replace that of Dr. King as the “leader” of this nation’s African American community has now become a moot one.  It was always a fool’s quest, but one upon which the media enthusiastically embarked upon numerous occasions. It was a journey that many times ended at the doorstep of Tavis or Cornel or Jessie or Al.
But it was Tavis and Cornel who could not adapt.  The fact is they never spoke for me. I sometimes agreed with them, and many times did not. The African American community is not of one monolithic mind. Our beliefs and convictions are represented across the full spectrum of ideologies and opinions.
The bottom line is; what is good for America is good for me, because I am an American. If President Obama’s policies serve America well, then he serves me well, because I am an American. If President Obama honors Doctor King by placing his hand on the bible that gave strength to this iconic American, then I am honored, because I am American.
Cornel West would better serve his country by putting his massive education to work trying to find  solutions to the many problems our country faces, rather than trying to be the number one go-to-Negro on all things Black!
If he wants to be relevant he needs to stop trying to be the chief African American spokesperson. We have one of those. He is the President of the United States.

Friday, January 4, 2013

North Carolina Governor Exonerates Wilmington Ten

By Mildred Robertson
 It is done. Ben Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin “Chili” Patrick, Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James “Bun” McKoy, Willie Earl Vereen, William “Joe” Wright, Jr. and Ann Shepard will no longer stand convicted of arson and conspiracy. The Wilmington Ten have been exonerated.
After 40 years of struggle the 10 men and women whose names were sullied and whose lives were snatched from them by a racist legal system have received a full pardon from outgoing Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue. It has been one of her last acts as governor, and perhaps one of her most notable.  “In evaluating these petitions for clemency, it is important to separate fact from rumor and innuendo. I have decided to grant these pardons because the more facts I have learned about the Wilmington Ten, the more appalled I have become about the manner in which their convictions were obtained,” Perdue stated.
This action not only clears the names of the men and women wrongly convicted of the 1971 firebombing of a white grocery store in Wilmington, North Carolina. It also begins to repair the harsh image North Carolina suffers as a state notorious for its racism.
It is the birthplace of Sen. Jesse Helms, and the epitome of Southern racism. It is home to the Woolworth lunch counter where A&T University students launched a non-violent sit-in movement that swept the South in the sixties. It is among the infamous states that sponsored the notorious eugenics program that illegally sterilized countless Blacks and others deemed unfit to procreate. Not until April 2003, under Governor Mike Easley, did North Carolina apologize to the victims of this hateful crime, and today still wrestles with the decision to compensate them.
So it is no small victory that the state of North Carolina finally stands up and acknowledges the wrong done to the Wilmington Ten.  The decision comes too late for four of those convicted, who died without ever having the truth be known. The decision took to long for those who struggled to correct the record.
There were many who would not let North Carolina rest. Among them are the NAACP, The Wilmington Journal and other Black Publishers, The Wilmington 10 Committee, the Wilmington Star, the New York Times, MSNBC, celebrities such as Russell Simmons, attorneys James Ferguson and Irv Joyner and many more.
While it will not wipe away the legacy of racism and injustice in the state, this dark chapter in North Carolina’s history will read better now that the truth is told.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Agreement, Tax Hike, Obama


By: Jim Messina, Campaign Manager
Obama for America

The President reached an agreement with Republicans and Democrats in Congress on the "fiscal cliff" that prevents a tax hike on 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses, while fulfilling the President's promise to ask the wealthiest Americans to begin to pay their fair share to reduce the deficit.

President Obama recorded a video to update supporters like you on what's in the agreement and what it means for you