Where is the Black Community?

I grew up in an all-black suburban community defined by segregation. Our community was essentially an Island in an otherwise all white sea defined by housing restrictions and covenants.

Living in the suburbs in those days meant having ties to other black communities which existed in sometimes disparate areas defined by post Civil War realities. Your barber or hairdresser might be in another community. The segregated black schools drew from communities which could be 20 or 30 miles from each other leading to long bus rides, and by High School – the students coming from a geographic region, instead of a “community”. Social activities such as house parties could be 30 or more miles away.

Tying this together were the remnants of the 40’s era segregation. Many of the communities, if large enough – had a baseball team. Sunday evenings were filled with crack of a bat as communities met on local fields to root for their respective local teams.

So the “black community”, at least in the suburban sense that I grew up with was always a “virtual” entity.

The stock in trade of black conservatives is to discuss shortcomings of the “black community”. The problem with that line of “thinking” is that the black community in the pre-60’s sense – has ceased to exist. The remnants of those communities, where they exist at all –  largely exist today as urban pockets. The black diaspora has not only changed the nature and makeup of the pre-desegregation black community – it has changed the racial dynamic of previously white communities. The urban pocket community is no more a representation of the black community than $5 million houses in an upscale Jersey community are representative of the “white community” as a whole in the US. Quite simply America has changed – and like any major social change the impact is complex.

John McWhorter discusses the impact of desegregation in this article. I find it amusing when people who never experienced segregation talk about how wonderful it was…Segregation Is Down. Great News, Right?

Segregation Is Down. Great News, Right?

When Newt Gingrich says that housing project people don’t work, our job is to show that they do. When he says that Obama is the “food stamp” president, our job is to show that most food stamp recipients are white. When Ron Paul writes that we’re about to start rioting again, we are to make sure that everybody knows we’re not.

In other words, although this isn’t the lesson usually taken from these recent episodes, it would appear that we are getting more comfortable admitting that progress happens for us. Real progress, even if racism still exists, as it always will. And not just symbolic progress, such as having a black president. When we get angry at whites depicting us as poster children, we are saying that being black is less of a problem in 2012, even if it occasionally still is one.

Well, now there’s more good news. We need to trumpet it to the skies as eagerly as we do the news that not so many of us use food stamps. It’s about segregation: This new report by Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor shows that black Americans are living under less of it than at any time since William Howard Taft was president.

As Glaeser and Vigdor, writing for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, show, “As of 2010, the separation of African-Americans from individuals of other races has stood at its lowest level in nearly a century. Fifty years ago, nearly half the black population lived in what might be termed a ‘ghetto’ neighborhood, with an African-American share above 80 percent. Today, that proportion has fallen to 20 percent.”

Indeed, I used to work for the Manhattan Institute and am proud of it. But I am hardly the only one who will be writing about this report this week, and I would be shouting it to the heavens even if I used to work for Burger King. This is important news.

So often we are told that despite the civil rights revolution, black America’s big problem is segregation. Black people live together too much, we are told. And when everybody is black and poor, then we have to understand that the neighborhood must fall to pieces. Not enough middle-class role models, we are told. About twice a year the New York Times runs a story on segregation that pings around the country madly for weeks, in which assorted people are quoted spinning variations on “We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.”

Here, then, is a story about the way we’ve come. From 1970 to 2010, segregation declined for black people in all 85 of the nation’s largest metro areas. From just 2000 to 2010, segregation declined in 522 out of 658 housing markets. By 2010, out of 72,531 census tracts, only 424 had no black people in them. And as recently as 2000, that number had been 902. In 1960, there were 4,700 all-white neighborhoods in America. Today there are 170. We’re everywhere! (More)

Roberta Flack – New Album

Been a long time since Roberta essentially walked away from the music industry.

Roberta Flack’s Creative New Album

Roberta Flack's Creative New Album

1970s hit maker Roberta Flack is back with a new album after spending more than a decade off the radar. But don’t expect new R&B-pop tracks from the classic soul artist on Let It Be Roberta. Flack takes a creative approach to her latest album, covering 12 signature classic by the Beatles, including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be,” each with a unique and soulful twist.

The four-time Grammy-winning singer is no stranger to blending different musical genres together, and Let It Be Roberta demonstrates Flack’s talent for musical ingenuity.

Let It Be Roberta releases Feb. 7.

Christina Aguilera – “At Last”

This is Christina Aguiilera’s interpretation of Etta James’ classic “At Last” performed at Etta’s funeral.

Alan West Buckdances …Again

Alan West is a traitor and disgrace to the US Army. They essentially threw his ass out for his criminal behavior.

So wrapping himself in the flag and uniform is like Benedict Arnold wearing the uniform of the Continental Army.

This Lawn Jockey is a real piece of work.

 

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletter – New Evidence Points to Paul’s Direct Involvement

Ron Paul’s newsletter in the 90’s had a number of very racist things to say. Until now, Paul has claimed that he was not involved in the publication of the Newsletter. That is now being contradicted by folks who worked on the newsletter with him…

Ron Paul and Dan Black, a KKK Grand Wizard

Ron Paul signed off on racist newsletters in the 1990s, associates say

Ron Paul, well known as a physician, congressman and libertarian , has also been a businessman who pursued a marketing strategy that included publishing provocative, racially charged newsletters to make money and spread his ideas, according to three people with direct knowledge of Paul’s businesses.

The Republican presidential candidate has denied writing inflammatory passages in the pamphlets from the 1990s and said recently that he did not read them at the time or for years afterward. Numerous colleagues said he does not hold racist views.

Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, who wrote much of the racist material for Paul's Newsletter

But people close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman

“The real big money came from some of that racially tinged stuff, but he also had to keep his libertarian supporters, and they weren’t at all comfortable with that,’’ he said.

Dondero Rittberg is no longer a Paul supporter, and officials with Paul’s presidential campaign have said he was fired. Dondero Rittberg disputed that, saying he resigned in 2003 because he opposed Paul’s views on Iraq.

The July 15, 1994, issue of Survival Report exemplified how the newsletters merged material about race with a pitch for business. It contained a passage criticizing the rate of black-on-white crime when “blacks are only 12 percent of the population.’’ That was accompanied by two pages of ads from Ron Paul Precious Metals & Rare Coins, a business Paul used to sell gold and silver coins…

(more)

 

Gingrich the Modern George Wallace

Neut and racism…

Elle Magazine…The Obamas are “black-geosie”?

I’m not sure this one falls into the “incredibly racist” category… I think it just falls into “incredibly ignorant”. Is this fashion editor truly stupid enough to belive the back heads of Fortune 500 Companies, and Senior Executives go to work in baggy jeans and baseball caps turned sideways? And at a time when at any moment at least some of the top designers and supermodels in the Fashion industry are black folks? Get real!

Barack and Michelle Looking Great (and Presidential)

French Elle Writer Says Incredibly Racist Things About Black People

French Elle writer Nathalie Dolivo is so happy about black people! She’s thrilled that they’ve finally learned to dress well! Yes, after generations mired in baggy pants and rap music and such, they finally have Barackand Michelle Obama to look to. Thanks, Obamas! You’re stylish black people and now other black people can be stylish, too.

See how racist that was? We’re paraphrasing, but it’s not far off from what Dolivo actually said:

In this America led for the first time a black president, the chic has become a plausible option for a community so far pegged to its codes [of] streetwear … But if in 2012 the “black-geoisie” has integrated all the white codes, it does not [do so] literally. [There] is always a classic twist, with a bourgeois ethnic reference (a batik-printed turban/robe, a shell necklace, a ‘créole de rappeur’) that recalls the roots.

So, thanks to the Obamas, black people can dress like white people, with an “ethnic” spin. Like a turban!

That excerpt is from a post written by Dolivo for French Elle called (wait for it) “Black Fashion Power,” which manages to cram an insulting misappropriation into even just the title! There are some amazingly stupidthoughts on display in Dolivo’s post (why did we need to coin the term black-geosie?) but perhaps the most insulting is the suggestion that black people need to be taught by example. That before the Obamas, they were just toiling in their streetwear, waiting to be led.

One French Elle commenter (via NYMag) distilled the insult of Dolivo’s nonsense beautifully:

“How, in 2012, in a France where there are at least three million blacks and mixed people, can you write such nonsense? You are too kind when you write that in 2012 we have incorporated the white codes … what do you think, in 2011, we dressed in hay and burlap bags?”

We’re hoping sometimes things get lost in translation, but–as was the case with that Rihanna “nigga bitch” debacle a month ago–we’re betting this has more to do with racism, which isn’t uncommon in the fashion industry. Anyway, we’ll let you know when Dolivo issues her apology (/announces her resignation?). Expect phrases like “deeply regret” or “never intended to hurt.”

Fidel Castro Says What Many Think

The old Cuban Dictator still has an eye for the absurd, and certainly still possesses the faculties to analyze world events. Of course figuring out the Republican Party has become a bunch of circus clowns leading a group of morons – really doesn’t take a lot of critical analysis skills.

Fidel Castro Calls Republican Race ‘Competition Of Idiocy And Ignorance’

Fidel Castro Republican

Fidel Castro lambasted the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of “idiocy and ignorance” the world has ever seen in a column published Wednesday, and also took shots at the news media and foreign governments for seizing on the death of a Cuban prisoner to demand greater respect for human rights.

Castro’s comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after Republican presidential hopefuls at a debate in Florida presented mostly hard-line stances on what to do about the Communist-run island, and even speculated as to what would happen to the 85-year-old revolutionary leader’s soul when he dies.

Cuba has become an important issue as the candidates court Florida’s influential Cuban-American community in an effort to win the biggest electoral prize so far in the primary season.

Castro said he always assumed the candidates would try to outdo each other on the issue of Cuba, but that he was nonetheless appalled by the level of debate.

“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is – and I mean this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been,” said the retired Cuban leader, who has dueled with 11 U.S. administrations since his 1959 revolution…

Republican candidate Mitt Romney said during Monday’s debate that Villar died “fighting for democracy” and that his death highlighted the need to remain firm on Cuba. Washington has maintained a near-50-year trade and travel embargo on Cuba.

Another Republican candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said he would authorize increased covert operations to bring down the Cuban government. And at another moment of Monday’s debate, Romney and Gingrich sparred over whether Castro’s soul would go to heaven or hell.

When asked what he would do as president if he found out Castro had died, Romney said he would first “thank Heavens” that the bearded revolutionary had finally “returned to his maker,” to which Gingrich replied “I don’t think Fidel’s going to meet his maker. I think he’s going to go to the other place.”…

Soyalent Green…is Republicans!

For those who don’t catch the reference - Soyalent Green is People.

Seems that some of our Tea Party American brethren live in an alternate universe. Which would be fine except they insist on applying the rules and regulations of that mythical world to the rest of us. The lunatics have truly gained control of the asylum…

Ralph Shortley, Oklahoma State Senator, Introduces Bill Banning Aborted Fetuses In Food

A Republican state senator from Oklahoma City introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite conceding that he’s unaware of any company using such a practice.

Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey said his own Internet research led him to believe such a ban is necessary and prompted him to offer the bill aimed at raising “public awareness” and giving an “ultimatum to companies” that might consider such a policy.

Shortey said he discovered suggestions online that some companies use embryonic stem cells to develop artificial flavors, but added that he is unaware of any Oklahoma companies doing such research.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy said: “FDA is not aware of this particular concern.”

The executive director of the anti-abortion group Oklahomans for Life, which has successfully pushed some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country through the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature, also said he had never heard of human fetuses being used in food research.

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Tony Lauinger.

Shortey’s bill would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any food in which aborted fetuses were used to develop any of the ingredients.

Meanwhile, the bill has caused a stir among Oklahoma lawmakers, many decrying the proposed legislation.

Self-described “pro-life” Sen. Brian Crain, the chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee to which Shortey’s bill likely would be assigned, said Tuesday other issues are more deserving of the Legislature’s attention.

“We’ve got too many challenges facing Oklahomans today. We don’t need to go looking for possible challenges that may come about sometime in the future,” said Crain, R-Tulsa. “If it can be demonstrated that this is a challenge facing our food supply, then I think we need to act quickly, but there’s been no demonstration that this is going on.

“I’d hate to think we’re going to spend our time coming up with possibilities of things we need to stop.”

First elected in 2010 to a heavily Hispanic district on the city’s south side, Shortey has grabbed headlines with other bills he’s introduced that have not become law. He sponsored a measure last year to crack down on illegal immigrants by authorizing law enforcement to seize their homes and vehicles, and to deny Oklahoma citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants. He also offered an amendment to a bill that would have allowed legislators to carry firearms anywhere in the state, including the floor of the House and Senate.

This year, Shortey has introduced a bill seeking a public vote on amending the Oklahoma Constitution to abolish the Court of Criminal Appeals.

 

 

 

 

I Hope Your Dog Dies…

There are some sick freaks out there in the world – and this one is one of the sickest…

Dem Politico’s Cat Killed, ‘Liberal’ Scrawled on It

Jacob Burris, the campaign manager for Ken Aden (D), found his family cat with its head bashed in and the word

An Arkansas political campaign manager was shocked to discover his family pet with one side of its head bashed in — and the word “liberal” scribbled across the corpse in paint.

Jacob Burris has served as Ken Aden’s campaign manager since October 2011. Aden, a Democrat, is currently running for Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District.

“To kill a child’s pet is just unconscionable,” Aden said in an official statement. “As a former combat soldier, I’ve seen the best of humanity and the worst of humanity. Whoever did this is definitely part of the worst of humanity.”

Burris told the Blue Arkansas Blog that one of his younger children found the pet, an adult, mixed-breed Siamese cat, on their front porch. He said the children are doing fine, but he is not taking the threat lightly.

“I’ve got a gun and I know how to use it,” Burris told Blue Arkansas. “If I have to protect my kids, I’ll do it without hesitation.”

The Associate Press confirmed with the Russellville Police Department that the campaign manager had filed a report, but they did not have any suspects at this time.

Although the campaign between Aden and incumbent Steve Womack has been tense, Aden’s group stated they do not think anyone in the opposing campaign to be responsible.

“We suspect this is the action of a rogue individual or group of individuals who are the type of folks that stoop to the lowest common denominator instead of engaging in civil political discourse,” Aden said in a statement. “It is unfortunate this has occurred, and we will await the results of the police and federal investigations.”

FAMU Marching 100 – Something Rotten in Florida

WTF is the deal with this violent hazing crap? These kids are going way overboard and seriously injuring their fellow band mates, sorority sisters and brothers and initiates. This isn’t fun – it isn’t a “rite of passage” and it damn sure doesn’t reflect on any o the values of the organizations involved.

FAMU band.jpg

FAMU Marching 100 Rocked by Hazing Scandals

4 Florida A&M band members arrested for hazing beatings

Four members of the Florida A&M marching band were arrested Friday and charged with hazing.

Pictures: Florida A&M University hazing scandal

Florida A&M University hazing scandal

FAMU Drum Major Robert Champion Died After Hazing Beating

According to police records, pledges of the band club for clarinet players known as the Clones were punched or paddled while they played music during a hazing initiation.

The four students arrested are: Denise Bailey, 22; Brandon Benson, 23; Hakeem Birch, 21 and Anthony Mingo, 22. They were booked on a misdemeanor hazing charge and released on bail.

The arrests are the latest fallout from a scandal that has rocked the university. In November, FAMU drum major Robert Champion died hours after the Florida Classic football game in Orlando in what authorities said was a hazing ritual. His death has been ruled a homicide, but no charges have been brought.

The 26-year-old drum major suffered blunt trauma blows to his body while he was aboard a bus and died from shock caused by severe bleeding.

Friday’s charges are not related to Champion’s death, but to “three or four initiation meetings” that began around Sept. 1 in a house about a mile from campus. Five pledges to the Clones were lined up and “forced to exercise, play music, and were either punched, prepped (slapped with both hands on back) and/or paddled,” police said.

One of the pledges took photos of her bruises and quit after the first meeting.

During the initiations, pledges were forced to give money and were pressured to keep exercising “even after exhaustion.”

FAMU president James Ammons originally fired band director Julian White after Ammons said he failed to report hazing he knew about. White, who is now on administrative leave, denies that he didn’t do enough.

White previously provided copies to The Associated Press of letters that he sent to the newly arrested students Hakeem Birch and Anthony Mingo in November, saying he was suspending them until a hazing investigation by university police was finished.

In December, three band members were charged with hazing after allegedly beating pledge Bria Shante Hunter’s legs with fists and a metal ruler to initiate her into the “Red Dawg Order,” a band clique for students who hail from Georgia. According to CBS Miami, the beating was so severe Hunter suffered a broken thigh bone and blood clots in her legs.

The Board of Governors – which oversees the state’s 11 public universities – launched an investigation in November into whether FAMU officials ignored warnings about hazing. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also is investigating the Marching 100’s finances.

Complete coverage of the Florida A&M hazing scandal on Crimesider

Luke Weathers, Jr… Tuskegee Airman

A sad note on the very week a long awaited movie about the exploits of th Tuskegee Airmen is released – Ace Pilot Luke Weathers was interned at Arlington Cemetery. During the War, at least 47 Pilots were awarded Purple Hearts for injuries received on combat missions. While most folks equate he Red Tails with the P-51 Mustang Aircraft, the Tuskegee Airmen also flew the Curtis P-40 in North Africa, the Bell P-39 Air Cobra, and the deadly P-47 Thunderbolt – which actually sank a German Destroyer, and was the first plane to get the distinctive “Red Tail” livery.

Luke Weathers Jr., Tuskegee airman, buried at Arlington as ‘Red Tails’ movie released

On the same day that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. took his resting place among other war and military heroes, his real-life story as a World War II aviator played out on movie screens across the country.

Weathers was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery in a service that began with a flyover of four F-16 jets in the Missing Man formation, a special honor reserved for pilots, by the 113th Wing of the D.C. Capital Guardians, the same unit that guards the airspace over the nation’s capital.

Weathers died Oct. 15 in Tucson, Ariz., of pneumonia at age 90. His burial coincided with the official opening in theaters of “Red Tails,” a George Lucas-produced movie retelling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen who debunked widely held beliefs that black pilots were incapable of fighting in combat.

Shortly after the flyover, in which one of the three jets departed from formation, a caisson pulled by six horses carried Weathers’ body to his burial spot amid hundreds of the stark marble tombstones that cover the grounds of the national cemetery. An Air Force band accompanied the wagon, its drummer thumping a solemn beat as family followed on the chilly, overcast Friday morning. Family members wore red ties and scarves, as they had at Weathers’ Memphis funeral, as a nod to the aviators who painted their aircrafts’ tails red to set themselves apart.

Luke Weathers III, 61, said his father and other black Americans who fought in World War II did so to prove they were men, “and then they wanted their country to love them, but that didn’t happen, either.” Friday’s ceremony, however, finally delivered recognition of his father as a national hero, Weathers said.

This kind of attention to the Tuskegee Airmen is what the elder Weathers wanted throughout his life, said his daughter, Trina Weathers Boyce. Weathers was not vain, but he wanted to share the lessons of the airmen’s courage in war, their struggles for equality and their victory over a wartime enemy and over racism, she said.

“He would talk about his hard trials and tribulations to others, to children, because he never wanted us to feel like this (racism) is a reason we couldn’t make it,” Weathers Boyce said in a telephone interview Thursday. “He would tell us nothing good comes easy. He’d say there are going to be barriers … and you can overcome them.”

Before the Tuskegee Airmen were formed in 1941, black men were forbidden to fly for the U.S. military, even though they could be drafted. After years of struggle, the Army Air Corps began to allow African Americans to train for flight, albeit in still-segregated units.

Many of the Tuskegee airmen, which included navigators, mechanics, medical personnel and others in support roles, trained from 1941 to 1949 at the Tuskegee Institute, which was founded by Booker T. Washington and was already home to an aeronautical engineering program.

More than 900 Tuskegee Airmen were U.S. pilots, said Trent Dudley, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who is president of the East Coast Tuskegee Airmen Inc. chapter. An estimated 250 to 300 Tuskegee airmen are still alive. The exact number is not known because some have not registered with chapters.

If There Were a 1% Debate… MLK vs. Romney

What would MLK do? What would MLK say?

There is very little evidence that MLK would have anything good to say about today’s Republican Party. Indeed – for many folks today’s Republican have gone about as low as you can go.

Here is a mash up of points by MLK and “Willard” Romney…

And He Sings, Too!

President Obama at the Apollo Theater!

Nice Cover of Al Green!

 

RIP Etta James

Etta James Dead at 73

 Etta James has died at age 73, with her husband and sons by her bedside at a California hospital, her manager says. The legendary R&B chanteuse was reported to be “in pretty bad shape”in recent months; she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, andcourt documents revealed she was also suffering from dementia. The six-time Grammy winner will forever be best remembered for “At Last,” writes the AP, which reflects on the magnetic and saucy singer—whom it dubs “one of music’s original bad girls.”

“The bad girls … had the look that I liked,” James wrote in her 1995 autobiography. “I wanted to be rare, I wanted to be noticed, I wanted to be exotic as a Cotton Club chorus girl, and I wanted to be obvious as the most flamboyant hooker on the street. I just wanted to be.” And so a 15-year-old James forged her mother’s signature on a note claiming to be 18 and traveled from San Francisco to LA where she recorded “Roll With Me, Henry.” She spent the late ’50s and ’60s touring with big names like Little Richard and Fats Domino, before falling into a heroin addiction that took her two decades to kick. She eventually returned to the stage, but later struggled with her weight and a painkiller addiction. “At Last” was famously played at Barack Obama’s January 2009 inauguration—though James wasn’t altogether pleased.

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