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Oprah for President?

The country is suffering under serial disasters from our first celebrity president.

One of the characteristics of Third World countries is the election of popular entertainers over solid politicians. Leading to even more misery as the woefully underprepared singer/actor/media type struggles not only with how the country’s government works – but the far more complex world of international relations and finance. Saw that in Haiti, and it is one of the big reasons the rebuilding effort and flow of international money into the country stopped.

There isn’t any need to go into the long term and possibly catastrophic damage of the Chumph.

To  fix that is going to take an experienced and steady hand. And it will take years if not a decade.

Yeah the Stock Market is at 25,000. What are you going to do when the inevitable “reset” comes and it drops to 12,000? A number of folks I have talked to in finance and investment think that is on the short term horizon.

So… What is Oprah bringing to the party? She is undoubtedly a very intelligent person with communications skill non pareil. But she knows absolutely nothing (just like the current POS in office) about the more complex international and strategic issues.

So, in my view – Oprah, please don’t run!

‘The Boondocks’ predicted an ‘Oprah 2020’ presidency more than a decade ago

Oprah Winfrey’s speech on Sunday night at the Golden Globes pitched the worlds of politics, entertainment and media into fits of hysterical speculation. The television host and media titan delivered fist-pumping remarks after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award — the first African American woman honored with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s top laurel.

The comments, while straying away from outright political terrain, focused on changing the world order controlled by “brutally powerful men,” a reference to the sexual harassment scandals that have upset so many industries. “A new day is on the horizon,” she concluded to applause.

Almost immediately rallying cries spread online for a “Oprah 2020” presidential campaign. Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told a Los Angeles Times reporter that “it’s up to the people,” adding “she would absolutely do it.”

But in a fictional way, an Oprah Winfrey White House has already happened. In 2006, the edgy cartoon “The Boondocks” predicted a Winfrey 2020 presidency.

“The Boondocks,” the brainchild of artist and University of Maryland graduate Aaron McGruder, began as a syndicated comic strip in 1996 before jumping onto Cartoon Network as an animated show on the network’s lineup in 2005. Following the life of a young black family in a white neighborhood, McGruder’s work constantly bucked norms and pushed sensitive buttons.

The season one episode “Return of the King” was especially controversial. The program imagined an alternative history in which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was not assassinated in 1968. Instead, he had fallen into a coma. In the episode he wakes up in 2000. King’s nonviolent views become so unpopular following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that he leaves to live in Canada.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and political commentator, was incensed by the program. “Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures,” he said, USA Today reported at the time.

The episode later won a 2006 Peabody Award.

In the show’s final frames, a newspaper headline from November 8, 2020, shows Oprah Winfrey has just been elected president.

McGruder’s premise was likely not intended as a complete farce. In the past, the artist has talked about Winfrey’s real power. “Oprah has the power to lay waste to entire industries with a mere utterance,” he told the New York Times in 2005. “That’s a power that you have to respect. And ultimately I respect it.”

Oddly, there is a precedent of edgy cable cartoons successfully forecasting future political events. In 2000, “The Simpsons” broadcast an episode entitled “Bart to the Future.” The plot involved a President Trump.

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Mikkie Gets It! Former RNC Chair Denounces The Chumph

Don’t know if it is something in the coffee at MSNBC, vs something in the psychedelic moonshine at Faux – but Michael Steele, former chair of the RNC has had it with the Chumph’s racism.

 

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Yrsa Daley-Ward – Poet

A new poet, and someone to keep on the radar with her new release
“bone”.

It isn’t that dad doesn’t love you or your brother
said Mum, greasing up our ashy legs with Vaseline
Or that your auntie Amy’s a man stealing back-stabbing, cheating bitch
who can’t keep a man so she has to steal somebody else’s.
We just don’t see eye to eye on much, that’s all
and he wouldn’t stop eating cashew nuts in bed

It’s not that you mother and I hate each other
said Dad, pushing a crumpled ten pound note into my chinos pocket
…or that I forgot about your birthday
but I need time to think now. I’m moving in with Amy
and anyway, your mum cooks with too much salt.

It wasn’t so much an affair, you understand
said Auntie Amy, lacing up my brothers small Nike trainers
and picking out my knots with the wooden comb shaped like a fist
but a meeting of minds outside of our respective vows
And bodies, muttered mum, when I told her later.
Two faced tramp. What a joke.
Don’t tell anyone I said that.
Don’t tell anyone I said that.

It’s not as though your mums exactly an angel, either
said dad with blood red eyes
and a pulsing vein in his forehead
finishing the last of his whisky
and auntie Amy hissed, Easy Winston, you’ve had enough
and dad said, Don’t tell me what to do
not even my wife yet, and you think you know it all.

It not that your family are going to hell, necessarily
said grandma, boiling up the green banana, yam and dumpling
and grating the coconut onto the rice and peas
They must just accept Jesus Christ into their lives
and put away the drink and sin and all the lies.
Now go and wash your hands and set the table.
Don’t worry, child.
We’ll pray for them tonight.

 
 

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Those Pesky Disappearing Black Confederates

Every few years the invisible black confederate story recirculates among the neo-confederate types.

Every time they wind up empty.

Hope the bill passes to memorialize Robert Smalls! Small would later serve in the US Congress until 1886.

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GOP lawmakers surprised to learn no black soldiers served under Confederacy in South Carolina

The justification for building a monument to black Confederate soldiers is crumbling as historians point out there’s no evidence such combatants ever existed.

State Rep. Bill Chumley (R-Woodruff) and state Rep. Mike Burns (R-Taylors) pre-filed a bill last month that would establish a commission to design an African-American Confederate veterans monument, reported The State.

The bill would also require public schools to teach the contributions of black people toward the Confederate cause, and Chumley said his proposal had already accomplished his goal even as historians undermine its intent.

“We are all learning a lot,” Chumley said. “The purpose of the bill is education.”

The State reviewed pension records from 1923 that show three blacks claimed armed service in South Carolina units under the Confederacy, with two of them confirmed as cooks or servants and none for armed service.

“In all my years of research, I can say I have seen no documentation of black South Carolina soldiers fighting for the Confederacy,” said historian Walter Edgar, the longtime director of the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies. “In fact, when secession came, the state turned down free (blacks) who wanted to volunteer because they didn’t want armed persons of color.

Edgar, who wrote a history of the state, said any black person who served in a Confederate unit in South Carolina was either a slave or an unpaid laborer working against his will.

South Carolina forbid blacks from carrying weapons during most of the Civil War out of fear of a slave revolt, but the Confederacy did allow black soldiers in the final months of the doomed rebellion.

State Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Columbia), a black Democrat, and state Sen. Greg Gregory (R-Columbia), a white Republican, filed a separate proposal to memorialize Robert Smalls, who hijacked a Confederate supply ship in 1862 and turned it over to the Union.

He went on to become a state legislator and five-term congressman.

If the monument is built, it would be the first on Statehouse grounds to honor an individual African-American.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Black History

 

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Memphis Plays “Whack a Reb” Around Republican State Racists

Nice move, Memphis!

In a rapidly emerging war between municipalities, the Trump administration and white-wing, neo fascist Republican dominated legislators opposed to local rule…

Another mile marker.

 Memphis takes bold legal action to circumvent Tennessee state rule and remove Confederate statues

The city of Memphis engaged in a “massive operation” on Wednesday to take down two controversial Confederate statues before the morning light, the Commercial Appealreports.

The Memphis City Council first unanimously voted to sell two public parks to a private entity. Within minutes, Memphis Police Department officers had deployed to the sites of statues honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Within one hour of the vote, Mayor Jim Strickland had signed the ordinance.

The sale of the parks was a legal mechanism to circumvent a decision by the Tennessee Historical Commission intended to prevent local governments from taking down the statues.

“Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park have been sold. Operations on those sites tonight are being conducted by a private entity and are compliant with state law,” Mayor Strickland explained. “We will have further updates later tonight.”

 

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Will Meghan Markle be the first black British Royal? Not so Fast…

Seems the Royal History is a bit “darker” than we thought…

I have a niece who is a dead ringer for Charlotte.

Britain’s black queen: Will Meghan Markle really be the first mixed-race royal?

A portrait of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, and American actress Meghan Markle, who is engaged to Prince Harry.

When Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement Monday, Twitter erupted with the news that the newest princess in the royal family would be bi-racial.

“We got us a Black princess ya’ll,” GirlTyler exulted. “Shout out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their wedding will be my Super Bowl.”

But Markle, whose mother is black and whose father is white, may not be the first mixed-race royal.

Some historians suspect that Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III who bore the king 15 children, was of African descent.

Historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom argues that Queen Charlotte was directly descended from a black branch of the Portuguese royal family: Alfonso III and his concubine, Ouruana, a black Moor.

In the 13th century, “Alfonso III of Portugal conquered a little town named Faro from the Moors,” said Valdes, a researcher for Frontline PBS. “He demanded [the governor’s] daughter as a paramour. He had three children with her.”

According to Valdes, one of their sons, Martin Alfonso, married into the noble de Sousa family, who also had black ancestry. Queen Charlotte had African blood from both families.

Valdes, who grew up in Belize, began researching Queen Charlotte’s African ancestry in 1967, after he moved to Boston.

“I had heard these stories from my Jamaican nanny, Etheralda “TeeTee” Cole,” Valdes recalled.

He discovered that a royal physician, Baron Christian Friedrich Stockmar, described Queen Charlotte as “small and crooked, with a true mulatto face.”

Sir Walter Scott  wrote that she was “ill-colored” and called her family “a bunch of ill-colored orangutans.”

One prime minister once wrote of Queen Charlotte: “Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick.”

In several British colonies, Queen Charlotte was often honored by blacks who were convinced from her portraits and likeness on coins that she had African ancestry.

Valdes became fascinated by official portraits of Queen Charlotte in which her features, he said, were visibly “negroid.”

“I started a systematic geneological search,” said Valdes, which is how he traced her ancestry back to the mixed-race branch of the Portuguese royal family.

Charlotte, who was born May 19, 1744, was the youngest daughter of Duke Carl Ludwig Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. She was a 17-year-old German princess when she traveled to England to wed King George III, who later went to war with his American colonies and lost rather badly. His mother most likely chose Charlotte to be his bride.

“Back in London, the king’s enthusiasm mounted daily,” wrote Janice Hadlow in the book, “A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III.” “He had acquired a portrait of Charlotte and was said to be mighty fond of it, but won’t let any mortal look at it.”

King George III ordered that gowns be made and waiting for his new bride when she arrived in London.

He met Charlotte for the first time on their wedding day, Sept. 8, 1761.

“Introduced to the king, Charlotte ‘threw herself at his feet, he raised her up, embraced her and led her through the garden up the steps into the palace,’ ” Hadlow wrote. “Some later reminiscences asserted that at the moment of their meeting, the king had been shocked by Charlotte’s appearance.”

In a portrait painted by Sir Allan Ramsay, Queen Charlotte’s hair is piled high in curly ringlets. Her neck is long and her skin appears to be café-au-lait.

Ramsay, Valdes said, was an abolitionist married to the niece of Lord Mansfield, the judge who ruled in 1772 that slavery should be abolished in the British Empire. And Ramsay was uncle by marriage to Dido Elizabeth Lindsay, the black grand-niece of Lord Mans field. Dido’s life story was recently recounted in the movie, “Belle.”

In 1999, the London Sunday Times published an article with the headline: “REVEALED: THE QUEEN’S BLACK ANCESTORS.”

“The connection had been rumored but never proved,” the Times wrote. “The royal family has hidden credentials that make its members appropriate leaders of Britain’s multicultural society. It has black and mixed-raced royal ancestors who have never been publicly acknowledged. An American genealogist has established that Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, was directly descended from the illegitimate son of an African mistress in the Portuguese royal house.”

After the Times story, The Boston Globe hailed Valdes’ research as ground breaking. Charlotte, who died in 1818, passed on her mixed-race heritage to her granddaughter, Queen Victoria, and to Britain’s present day monarch, Queen Elizabeth.

Some scholars in England dismissed the evidence as weak —  and beside the point.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in Black History, General, The Post-Racial Life

 

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The Chumph Criminal Cartel – “The fish rots from the head”

The number of Chumph appointees and staffers now either indicted, going to be indicted, accused, and under investigation has reached historic proportions.

The Chumph and his acolytes are criminals.

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“The fish rots from the head”: a historian on the unique corruption of Trump’s White House

“Politicians lie, but this is different.” 

“Politicians lie, but this is different,” says a historian who studies presidential history and estimates the Trump administration easily ranks among the most corrupt in American history.

Robert Dallek is a presidential historian and the author of several books, including his latest about FDR titled Franklin Roosevelt: A Political Life. Writing recently for the Guardian, Dallek lamented the “disaster” that is the Trump presidency but also reminded readers that American democracy is surprisingly resilient and has survived far worse.

Despite Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” the first year of his administration has been plagued by resignationsinvestigations, and scandals. Dallek estimates that historical examples of corruption, like that of the Warren G. Harding administration, don’t hold a candle to how Trump and his people have conducted themselves in the White House.

History will judge Trump, and it will not be kind.

I spoke with Dallek about the history of corruption in American presidential politics and why he sees the Trump administration as “a low point in our history.” What makes Trump exceptionally dangerous, Dallek argues, is how effortlessly he lies and what kind of tone he has set in this White House.

“The fish rots from the head,” he told me, “and the stench of this administration starts at the very top.”

Our conversation, lightly edited for clarity, appears below.

Sean Illing

You’ve studied a lot of presidents and White Houses. Is the corruption and the lying in this administration unique in your mind?

Robert Dallek

This administration is a low point in our history. We’ve been through scandals before, going as far back as the Grant administration in the 19th century and the Harding administration in the early 20th century. Presidents have been accused of bribery and shady gift-giving. So it’s not entirely unique to see scandals subsume a White House.

But the shamelessness of this administration, the dishonesty, the total indifference to facts, is something I haven’t seen before — at least not this blatant. I think it’s demoralized people and made them even more cynical about politics.

Sean Illing

Is this the most dishonest administration you’ve ever seen or studied?

Robert Dallek

The short answer is yes. Politicians lie, but this is different. I suppose if you wanted to be generous, you might say this is the least effective and trustworthy administration since Warren G. Harding, whose administration was overwhelmed by the Teapot Dome scandal in 1921, in which Harding’s secretary of the interior leased Navy petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California to private oil companies at incredibly low rates without a competitive bidding process. That was a massive scandal, one of the biggest we’ve seen at the level of politics.

There are other examples, of course. Most obviously, there’s Nixon and Watergate, which was a watershed moment in American political history. Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation as a Civil War general was shattered by the Whiskey Ring scandal in 1875, in which Treasury officials basically stole tax dollars from alcohol distillers. Other presidents, like Bill Clinton, have lied shamelessly as well.

Still, I think what we’re seeing right now will, eventually, rise above these examples, with the possible exception of Watergate. But a lot of this depends on the outcome of the Russia investigation. If it goes the way it appears to be going, it will exceed even Watergate.

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Sean Illing

Do administrations tend to pay a political price when they deceive and overstep in this way?

Robert Dallek

Typically they do. Look at Trump’s numbers right now. For a president in the first year of his term to have never achieved 50 percent approval rating is something of a political disaster. I mean, Franklin Roosevelt never saw his approval rating dip below 50 percent during his 12-year presidency. Truman’s popularity slipped to 32 percent near the end of this administration due to the stalemate in Korea. Nixon’s support collapsed and went down to 25 percent during Watergate.

But Trump has been historically unpopular since the day he took office, in part because of how dishonestly he conducted himself during the campaign. What we’re seeing now is very ugly and, I think, very corrupting to our political system.

Sean Illing

How so?

Robert Dallek

Well, our system depends upon something like a consensus, something like majority rule. But now we have a president who outright lies about … everything. He lies about the number of votes he received, about the size of his inauguration crowd, about his own achievements, about Muslims cheering in the streets after 9/11, and so on. He lies about basic observable facts.

I think the cumulative effect of all this lying is to make people deeply cynical about our entire system, and that’s very corrupting.

Sean Illing

What, exactly, is so unique about this administration in terms of the corruption and the graft?

Robert Dallek

Obviously the examples of corruption are numerous: Trump refused to divest from his business interests; there are questions about whether he’s violating the emoluments clause by running Trump International Hotel in DC; there’s the indictment of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort; there’s the looming indictment of his former national security adviser Michael FlynnJared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, failed to disclose $1 billion in loans connected to his real estate company; and of course several of his Cabinet heads are being investigated for profligate travel expenses.

But here’s what I think is unique: Often you see a lot of corruption result from a lack of oversight, but I think this administration is quite different in that Trump really sets the tone for all this. He encourages it, really. The fish rots from the head, and the stench of this administration starts at the very top.

Sean Illing

In what ways does he set the tone?

Robert Dallek

Trump is the head of government, and people know they can get away with things. Look at all the incidents of corruption I just laid out, and that’s not even close to a complete list. Like Nixon, Trump has created a culture in his administration in which people feel comfortable with corruption. Trump himself has shown a complete indifference to democratic norms, to rule of law, and that sends a pretty clear signal to the people beneath him.

Again, Trump’s lying is a big facilitator of all this corruption. This is a guy who will look right into the camera and lie without any hesitation at all. It’s hard to overstate what kind of tone that sets in an administration; it makes everyone more comfortable when they lie, when they deceive, when they cover things up…

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