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Michael Eric Dyson Goes off on President Obama

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Here is a 60 second trailer from a much longer video I shot of Michael Eric Dyson critiquing President Obama, during the National Black Writers Conference a few days ago. 

It has been interesting to observe Michael move to essentially the same position Cornel West took several years ago, a position that Dyson himself beat Dr. West up over publically. 

 

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Tavis also caught a little hell for his insisting that Obama be held to a standard rather than give him unconditional support.

I like Brother Dyson, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for his not rushing as quickly as the others to criticize Obama.
Perhaps he thought it would have been wisest to wait and give President Obama enough time to settle into the Whitehouse and into his role before expecting too much out of him.
Now after his term is almost up, he feels more comfortable in criticizing him.


But I have to also defend Obama by saying he has repeatedly told Black people to FORCE him into action by organizing and presenting him with an actual agenda that he can impliment.
No Black organization or coalition of organizations to my knowledge has done what he's asked since he's been in office.

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"...caught a little hell...," @Pioneer1, Tavis was crucified!  His career, and platform, is a shadow of what it was before Obama.

Besides it was Obama's job to come up with an agenda and execute on it.  But sure, Obama was given plenty of agendas and things to do--he just did not do them.  If he need an agenda, he could have pick up Tavis Smiley's The Covenant But he obviously was not interested.

Again, as Dyson said, Black people worshipped Obama, so much so that they simply refuse to critique him--and attack anyone who does.  Sad. 

9780883782774.jpg

 

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All these black male Obama critics are proving, is that the office of the President of the United States is a position that amounts to nothing more than being the captive of The Establishment, something they, themselves,  say  all  the time. then seem surprised and indignant when they are proven right.  Do they think Obama would have been elected and re-elected without the vote of white liberals?  Do they think as much opposition as he met being a moderate, that ranting about racism and making demands would've reaped any results?  Can these green-with- envy-black men  acknowledge that when he did speak about racial injustice, and he did do this, he spoke not as a black man who was president but as a president who was a back man and that millions of black people agreed with his approach because not all blacks are radical? Or did his black critics give him the courtesy of being the loyal opposition because they immediately turned into "Haters". BTW, one of the powers behind the throne in Obama's case, is his mentor from Chicago, a black woman named Valerie Jarrett, a "Svengali" who insiders say wields a lot of influence and shapes many of his policies. Obama did run on an "audacity of hope" agenda and it's not his fault that it did not survive a reality check. But his presidency is not without accomplishments and historians will undoubtedly give him a passing grade. 

I don't defend Obama because I am a big fan, because I have issues with him also, petty and personal though they may be. For one thing, I have never considered him an authentic black man because his ancestors did not pay their dues as slaves and slave descendents.   What pleases me is that in his final months in office, Obama is pardoning many black small-time drug dealers who were given harsh sentences.  

The Cornel West crowd are the same people who are backing Bernie Sanders and if he wins, they, may be placated by what Sanders speaks out about but, in my opinion, will be disappointed when it comes to his promises being kept. 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you get a chance to watch the longer video, Dyson's more sensational comments are put into context.

My goal with the trailer was to make it sensational enough to prompt people to seek the detail behind the statements.  But it looks like I underestimated the desire of people to seek a deeper understanding--particularly of positions they disagree with.  Early indications are that Dyson's statements are not actually promoting people to watch the longer video, but helping to reinforce their current positions pro or con Obama.

This effect could be indicative of the way social media works.  People will not leave it.  I uploaded the 60 sec trailer directly to Facebook, people will watch that, but is seems people are less likely to watch the longer video.  But it is really way too early to tell--I just posted the videos.  I would not immediately watch a 90 minute video on my PC.  I would watch it on my regular TV later, so I have to give it more time for word of the video to spread. to see how effective the trailer is at getting people to watch the longer video

While Dyson did not come out and say that he is backing Hillary, he did say that Hillary is more likely to do more for Black people than Obama, simply because she does not have to navigate race they way Obama had to. I believe Bernice will be willing and able to more for Black folks for the same reason.

Dyson also says Obama was a good president, as far as white people was concerned--an A+ but as far as Black people he'd give Obama a C-.

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People attacking the President make me laugh. Most of the time the people attacking have given nothing of themselves to this country, or they benefit MASSIVELY from attacking the President. They garner better positions at academic institutions. They also get really nice paychecks on the lecture circuit. They are basically talking heads attacking a talking head. The office of the President has a lot of esteem, but the basic numbers for the country under President Obama have improved. The numbers for Blacks have not, but let's be serious this is a slide that started 30 years ago and is just continuing. Was it faster and bigger under this president? Yes, but his presidency also coincides with the crack baby generation becoming parents. What in the hell did people expect to happen over the last 10 years when the crack babies are now becoming parents? Now that's a generalization and only addresses one part of the issue in Black America, but it definitely speaks to a serious point.

The President had several plans of action when he came into office: Kill Bin Laden, Get Healthcare, exit Iraq. His platform was not save Black America and it didn't need to be. His responsibility is to the country and to the government not one particular facet of the country. President Obama doesn't have jackshit to do with the way these kids behave in schools, or the increase in gangbanging and teenage parents. We want him to speak towards because he is Black and I understand that. It makes great conversation and creates an Amen corner situation for dudes like Dyson who I have long been bothered by with his jumping on the coattails of Hip-hop and rhyming and trying to be down, but that's my personal bias against dude. I can go into greater detail, but it doesn't matter because he doesn't know me and I don't know him so my opinion of him is meaningless. But this idea that the President has to act on the behalf of the people is the same silly ass idea that has existed since Dr. King died. 

Black people waiting on a savior when Black people could save themselves by looking in the mirror. There isn't any need for an executive order from a President to fix us. All there is needed to fix us is self accountability and responsibility. 

You want Black books to sell, support AALBC, don't ask Obama.

You want Black small biz to work, take your ass to a Black business more than once a year.

You want Black schools to get better, support the teachers, discipline your kids and then sit and discover what your kids are working on everyday.

You want political influence? Get together and form groups that go out and pool the money to buy land and watch what the hell happens. If 100 McDonald's workers put 10 dollars in an account for one year they could potentially buy a franchise and share the proceeds from that franchise, but will that happen? Probably not. If 20 families on the same street organized and walked the streets each day with phones in hand they could cut down on crime, or die trying, but that's not going to happen either.

The power is in the grassroots. I've never looked at my Commander in Chief to solve problems. I don't expect that to change because he's Black. Only a fool would expect that to happen and it seems to me there are a lot of fools looking for the answers to come from on high instead of being proactive.

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Chris you wrote; 

"What in the hell did people expect to happen over the last 10 years when the crack babies are now becoming parents?"

What percentage of Black parents today were former crack addicts? Was it 75%, 50%, 10%, if you know I'd like to know how you obtained those figures.

Also to your points

"You want Black books to sell, support AALBC, don't ask Obama."

If the government creates conditions that are adverse to small businesses there won't be any AALBC.com's to buy those books.  There are FAR few bookstores (online and physical) today than there were before Obama took office.  I'm not saying it is Obama's fault, but corporation exert seemingly more control over the government and have way more power than they should and get bailed out when their ponzi schemes fail. The Obama administration has dome nothing to change this, indeed it could be argued the opposite is true.

"You want Black small biz to work, take your ass to a Black business more than once a year."

See the above

"You want Black schools to get better, support the teachers, discipline your kids and then sit and discover what your kids are working on everyday."

Chris corporations are taking over schools as well speak, schools unions are being busted across the country.  Our children, based upon our global standings are poorly educated.  BUT if you are wealthy you get the best education on Earth.  Working class Parents however are overworked, have not seen a real increase in wages the whole time Obama was in office, and tired themselves.  What good would it do for them to look at school they themselves may not understand or are too exhausted to deal with.

I'm not trying to come at you, you are my man, but the situation is much more complicated than simply blaming Obama or pull yourself up by your own bookstraps.

To your point about Dyson:  I have to admit I was very surprised by his critique of Obama.  Because he was one of the guys giving folks like Cornel West a lot of grief for this very same position.

Sure, people can change their minds, but now when Obama is out the door and access to the white house is no longer in jeopardy--now you come at Obama?! Man it is too late now to make any difference, but I guess it is not too late to make money on the lecture circuit or from book sales.

 

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I don't have the stats on crackbabies at all. I just know that the neighborhoods have an abundance of kids who are now in their 20s and the crime rate and graduation rates reflect some type of change that can only be associated with the crack generation coming of age now and having their own kids. I won't try to support it with hardcore stats, but it would really be interesting for people to take a look at the numbers.

In regard to big business and books, I get that Amazon basically wiped out Borders and small mom and pops, but you know what else kills small Black bookstores? Black folks not shopping and buying as many books. There isn't anything the government has to do with this. People buy books, stores stay open. When I look at simple supply and demand from a business standpoint the government doesn't have anything to do with this. For instance Carl Weber had two book stores here in Memphis at the Raleigh Springs Mall and the Southland Mall. Rent in both malls probably totaled 2000 bucks per month for two locations. He had about 4 employees running those stores. At a salary of maybe 15/hour we are looking at about 6000 for salary at both locations. So to keep these stores open on a monthly basis the stores had to make at a minimum 7K. Average book cost is 10 bucks. The store would have to sell 700 books per month just to get back to money paid out. So to buy those books you divide by 2 and you get 3500 for the books. Both locations needed to make a minimum of 10,000 per month. To be profitable they would have to make 15,000 which is 1500 books sold per month or 50 books per day.  Where does the government come into play in this equation? Startup Capital? Maybe, but I can't see how the government affects the bookstore moving 50 books a day. The only thing that affects this is the customer walking in and buying. I'm not naive so I know that startup capital is hard to get. I know that better than most, and I know that lending practices aren't fair, but we are talking about a guy who didn't need any of that to start up. He could have only carried books from his imprint and cut out the book cost and hired people at 10 bucks an hour. Either way the store would have to sell something to stay open. The government doesn't affect that.

In regard to Black owned businesses staying open I can do a breakdown for any type of business like I did above. You get your business license, you come up with a business plan, you get capital, you open a business. Taxes are collected and paid. You sell stuff. I do it for a living. When I make stupid decisions, I lose money. When I make good decisions I make money. Does the government affect me? Maybe because I can't get a traditional loan, but the fact that I need a loan is my own fault because I didn't need one before. Once again, if I have what the people want, I sell stuff. How does the President affect this at all?

I was in education from 95 until 2012. I know what's happening in schools. From California to Mississippi to Tennessee and from middle school to college, I've seen the inner workings of charter and pubic schools. I've seen HBCUs, public 4 year schools and 2 year colleges and while tuition is very high and resources are few, I've seen the poorest schools perform well when teachers did the work. So it's very hard for me to blame the government and testing and all of that because even with testing you can teach the test and still teach the material needed to make good students if the teachers are knowledgeable in their subject area and the kids want to learn.  

I know you're not coming at me and this is just commentary, but I really do think that people who blame Obama and they have a platform, are doing so to get paid and bring attention to themselves. I stand by my statement that the government has never been for Blacks, but Blacks have overcome much more difficult circumstances than today to do great things. What is the problem now?

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The mythology about the rise of the "super predator" emerging from the crack epidemic has been dispelled.  There is no evidence to support a rise in crime or impoverishment despite the fact people often mention this.  

Have you read the wildly popular article that Coates wrote, "The Case for Reparations?"  I have to assume you have.  If you did there are several reasons that point directly to why Blacks are doing poorly in this country--despite prodigious efforts.  Do you @CD Burns, not agree with anything Coates wrote?

If not, I can point you to many books that make a much more substantial case than Coates' work did.  The role of the government was substantial in all of these cases.  It still is.  So we can certainly agree on the government's role in keeping us (the working class in general and Black folks in particular) down.

But what us the problem now? You ask. In a nutshell, I think the problem is that all of our institutions have all been gutted.  As you suggested, don't support each--certainly not the way we once did...   Assuming you agree with me the next question would be why is this now the case?

 

The following comments are an exchange between two people that was sent to me via email.  First person picked up the message from Twitter. 



Sent from my iPhone
On Apr 6, 2016, at 5:22 PM, XXXXXXX@gmail.com> wrote:
Michael Eric Dyson, on a rampage about President Obama. It's about an hour long. He's doing the same thing most African Americans are saying: the gods have him under their wings. No, we did.They had to know where this Presidency was going. White politicians in Washington probably said among themselves, OK, we'll let him in but... Yes, as Dyson is saying--preaching about here--his leaving  office is leaving a vacuum that Trump is trying to step into. Can you see It?
http://aalbc.com/authors/author.php?author_name=Michael+Eric+Dyson

From: XXXXXXXX
Date: Apr 6, 2016 6:49 PM
Subject: Re: Michael Eric Dyson, Author
To: "XXXXXXXX@gmail.com>
Cc: 
Dyson and West are public intellectuals. Personally, I think both of them are assholes. For some reason they thought having a black president could end the the problems plaguing the black community. The President was doing good to walk outside everyday. I guess he thought the President could act like a dictator. It's real easy to criticize from the outside and say what should have been done. 

Sent from my iPhone
 

 

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As far as the myth of the super predator, I haven't done any research, but when people talk about poorly performing schools they are often located in areas where poverty and crime are highest, which is why I brought it up. Without research though I can't stand on that and I won't. I will stand by the fact that regardless of what Coates' proclaimed to be the problem in Black America in "reparations" no one ever explains to me why or how Blacks who are from the Civil Rights era and before were capable of coming through the absolute worst time in this country to be Black and gain ground, and why today in an era with more access to technology and tools for learning Blacks aren't doing so. No one has explained this in a way that clarifies why the last 40 years have been so "hard" for Blacks. When the previous 400 were the absolute worst conditions ever.

I understand the systemic issues of welfare, the fracturing of the Black family by government programs, but are these programs and institutions any less harmful than the Great Migration was to the Black family when the men left families behind on sharecropping plantations to find work in the city often producing southern and northern families, both lacking fathers? I mean let's be real is any government institution implemented greater than Jim Crow? Was the lending debacle that crushed the middle class specifically the Black middle class any more destructive than the laws preventing Blacks from buying homes in the 50s? For that matter, did the subprime effect folks in the hood? I don't think it did. Those people were struggling and continued to struggle. First generation homeowners lost everything. I understand that, and the government should have stepped in, but this was not going to happen just because we had a Black President.

I will say this if people want to fix or make things better in the Black community, I said it up there, look in the mirror and fix that which you can fix. Fix those things around you first.

1. Don't kill each other.

2. Support those Black businesses that are doing great jobs.

3. Support your spouse and children with what you have. If that's love, then give them love.

4. Take jobs that may not give you the life you are looking for but will at least show your children a work ethic.

5. Reestablish the nuclear and extended family. If more Blacks lived in homes together, a lot of small incomes could accomplish things.

6. Instead of buying more things, give the children more of what you can.

7. Make sure that the arts become more important in the community again. When our art uplifts we do better. When our art is destructive, it shapes us.

There are a lot of other things that can be done to improve our lot in life. Writing articles about how banks wiped out the wealth of families, or discussing how laws prevented Blacks from amassing wealth is needed, but ultimately it doesn't do anything. What works is action.

Understand I do not discount what slavery and racism and the continued lack of fiscal equality has done to Blacks. I know what it has done, but when has it ever NOT been this way? When was it ever right or equal? Name me a time when "institutions" weren't gutted for Black people? It has always been this way. Should it change? YES a resounding YES. Coates' article tells us what we already know. It also gives solutions which will never arrive or will arrive too late.

I believe in self sufficiency. It's why I make an effort to visit AALBC everyday. It's why I stay on Facebook so if my students ever need me they can find me and call on me. It's why I make an effort to write reviews on my website about local Black owned businesses. I do this because it's my responsibility. If people basically took care of what THEY can control things will get better. I really do think it is this simple because it has worked for me. 

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Troy

Tavis was crucified! His career, and platform, is a shadow of what it was before Obama.

Like a true Mississippian, Tavis likes to remind Black folks that they called him "everything but a child of God" for daring to hold Obama accountable.


While I must with slight embarassment admit I haven't read the entire book, I can with more assurance say that simply a book of "great ideas" doesn't necessarily qualify as a sound political agenda.
Besides, the man probably already has 15 or 20 default agendas already laid out for him upon being President that he's obligated to enact.  Like Don Corleone..he's a busy man....he doesn't have time to hang out at the local Starbucks sipping on lattes while reading Tavis Smiley's books for advice.

A sound political agenda for a community of 40 million (a mini-nation) involves dozens of Black leaders from across the political and social spectrum sitting down and coming up with blue prints, goals, and sound economic, social, and political projections to be presented to the interm President even before he takes his oath.

To my knowledge, this wasn't done with our brother....Obama.





Cynique

Now come on, do you really think that most of the Black men who criticize him are jealous of his position or some other aspect of his life?

Most of his most prominent Black male critics like Smiley and West and now Dyson wouldn't accept an official position in politics if you paid them double and begged them to.
Unless you're suggesting established Black figures are jealous that this relatively "new negro" whom most of us hadn't even heard of 12 years ago is now getting more attention and respect from the White world than those who've been before the cameras much much longer.



I have never considered him an authentic black man because his ancestors did not pay their dues as slaves and slave descendents.

This was also my concern with him.
The fact that his father was an African from Kenya was actually more concerning than the fact that he had a White mother.
Especially knowing the mentality of so many Africans who seem to ignore the major role racism plays in American life and often outright dismiss it as unappreciative Black Americans complaining too much about "nothing".

I honestly think that Michelle keeps him grounded in Black affairs.



 

CD

Although it would have been a major mistake to expect Obama to solve all of the problems of the Black community, as President.....if he would have just focused 1/4 the energy on his DOMESTIC POLICIES (if he ever HAD any besides that right-wing healthcare crap) as he focused on his foreign policies of chasing Bin Laden and ISIS around in the desert...mainland America would be in better shape today.

As they say, a rising tide lifts ALL boats.

If he had spent more time addressing the needs to repair American's crumbling urban infrastructure (does Flint ring a bell??), introduce a federally funded employment program especially for ex-convicts and unskilled workers, and instituting programs to identity and fortify all failing school districts in America....this alone would have advanced not only Black America but all Americans light years ahead of where we are today.


How can I give him credit for letting a few small time dope pushers out of jail early, knowing many of them are just going to go right back in....because he hasn't used his executive position to address the socio-economic CONDITIONS that pushed them into the dope game in the first place?

 

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12 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

Now come on, do you really think that most of the Black men who criticize him are jealous of his position or some other aspect of his life?

Most of his most prominent Black male critics like Smiley and West and now Dyson wouldn't accept an official position in politics if you paid them double and begged them to.
Unless you're suggesting established Black figures are jealous that this relatively "new negro" whom most of us hadn't even heard of 12 years ago is now getting more attention and respect from the White world than those who've been before the cameras much much longer.

Well, Pioneer, I am of the opinion that West and Smiley were suffering from serious cases of bruised egos. I  think that because he supported Obama's presidential run, Cornel thought he was going to become one of the resident black academics in Obama's white house inner circle and Obama snubbed. him.  And Tavis was quite miffed and obviously hurt that Obama declined to appear at the big black think tank convention he sponsored and which ran on C-Span.  I really believe Ben Carson was jealous of Obama because Barak stole a lot of his "Super Negro" thunder and Ben always had a lot of snide things to say about him. 

I think, too,  that there was a certain element among black leaders who may not have wanted to be president, but who thought they could do a better job than Barack was doing and, again, this includes Carson.   

 

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Pioneer when has any president really focused on domestic policies that shape Black America?

At the end of the day we can all complain about what he didn't do, but as a nation mentally we may not be in a better place, but I don't think anybody will say that we are where we were under Bush. 

With that said, I repeat, all of the programs you've mentioned that he could have focused on, i get it and he could have, but if we learn to focus on that which we can control we would be in a better position. It's hard to convince me that failing school districts need government support because I was a teacher for almost 20 years. Programs to reduce recidivism... I agree those are needed and that is a state and federal issue so Holder could have dedicated a lot of time to it. I agree with you on that one. The infrastructure is also a good point because that is a federal and state issue. Schools however, while funded by the government are easily repaired with parental involvement and student engagement with teacher's who know their stuff. The only thing that the government can do is make sure students have adequate food so they can focus and concentrate better.

Overall everyone is saying that this President should have been different because he is Black. Which implies that the other Presidents enhanced the lives of Whites while they were in office. The other Presidents enhanced the lives of rich people and they are white, but poor White people are just screwed up as poor Black people so to think that a President would enhance the people he identifies with by race is a little crazy. 1 half Black president wasn't going to do anything to enhance the lives of Blacks directly. However, he indirectly gave a new generation the idea that they can be more and be greater simply by his mere presence of being a Black man in the White house. A powerful Black man with a beautiful and incredibly educated and talented Black wife with beautiful Black kids. For me that was enough. 

I will make my own way with or without racism and I will bring up and help as many people as I can. I honestly don't expect that out of the political machine.

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"Each one, teach one" is a philosophy that, in its own small way, can make waves and have positive effects. 

 

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Cynique

Well, Pioneer, I am of the opinion that West and Smiley were suffering from serious cases of bruised egos. I think that because he supported Obama's presidential run, Cornel thought he was going to become one of the resident black academics in Obama's white house inner circle and Obama snubbed. him. And Tavis was quite miffed and obviously hurt that Obama declined to appear at the big black think tank convention he sponsored and which ran on C-Span. I really believe Ben Carson was jealous of Obama because Barak stole a lot of his "Super Negro" thunder and Ben always had a lot of snide things to say about him.  

I think, too, that there was a certain element among black leaders who may not have wanted to be president, but who thought they could do a better job than Barack was doing and, again, this includes Carson.


To be honest I wasn't COUNTING the silly negroes who aspouse right wing self-depricating beliefs like Herman  "999" Cain, Alan "get your hands off me" Keyes, and Ben Carson whom I DO have a little more respect for than the other 2.
It goes without saying they were "hating" on Obama.

But what you said about the others makes more sense to me now that you've detailed it.

But could Cornel seriously see himself as being a part of Obama's Cabinet or one of his top Advisors?

I mean, could YOU see him sitting up at one of Obama's diplomatic meetings in Moscow or Beijing rocking back and forth with that big Afro, talking loud and getting all up in people's personal space....lol.




CD

Pioneer when has any president really focused on domestic policies that shape Black America?


1. Franklin D. Rooselvelt....by proxy giving Blacks tremendous economic benefit through the New Deal and WPA programs.  Through housing projects, he also solved the housing crisis so many Black people in the cities found themselves in.

2. Lyndon B. Johnson....giving us political/legal assistance with the Civil Rights Act and numerous inner city jobs programs

But all this was well over 40 years ago, no other president has really focused on helping the Black community in an effective manner since.....because we haven't demanded it.

 

 

While I believe we as a people need to be more self reliant, I recognize that the concept of "rugged individualism" is just a myth usually used by conservative White men...who certainly don't practice it themselves.

ALL groups who have achieved anything of value in the United States have benefited off of the government helping them in one way or another whether it's Blacks who depending on the Federal Government to rescue them from the oppression of State monarchies (Civil War, Jim Crow) or Whites who took advantage of the Homestead Act to get FREE land to build a a future for themselves or took advantage of the GI Bills to acquire homes in the suburbs....ruining the property value of America's inner cities.  Or Asian/Arab immigrants who benefit off of Federal government tax breaks and immigration policies that invite them in for an education and economic opportunities.

Not only do other groups IN AMERICA benefit off of the government, nearly the entire REST OF THE WORLD benefits off of our Federal government in the form of foreign aid.
Think about the billions of dollars sent to help the economies of Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, and other nations we are supposedly in "competition" with.

But when it comes to helping fellow Americans, especially the Black man and woman in the city....they say stop asking for a hand out and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.


It would be one thing if Blacks were LEFT ALONE to scrap up enough money and resources to build their own businesses like the old days, but today not only is there an economic challenge to come up with the money but too often a LEGAL challenge when it comes to trying to start up your own business with zealous lawyers and other legalists who sit around making up unnecessary laws and policies and hoops to jump through just to open up a hotdog stand.


I'm not sure about Memphis but back in the 1970s when Black folks made up less than a third of Detroits population we managed to elect a bold Black mayor, and owned hundreds if not thousands of Black businesses in the city.
10 years later afer Ronald flip-Wilson Reagan came into office most of those businesses were destroyed and many of the Black politicians were indicted and persecuted and the Black neighborhoods began to deteriorate.

Reagan and his conservative allies at the state and local levels did this through LAWS, CODES, and POLICIES that went around nit-picking and finding faulth with the paper work and legality of many Black businesses causing them to constantly be in and out of court, renewing liscences, and filling out tons of paper work....all in an effort to crush their morale.

 

This is why we need a FRIEND in the White house.
We not only need someone who looks out for us economically but POLITICALLY too, to change and challenge adverse laws that seem to target small and Black businesses in an effort to limit Black success.


Everyone who sends a man to office EXPECTS something from him.
Everyone has their hand out....that's politics.
No man is an island that he can do everything FOR himself BY himself.
You need allies and friends.

What good is a guy in office who ain't doing anything for you?

 

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Sara

Well thank you for amplifying my point with more examples of how just about everyone has benefited off of the United States federal government.....even more so than Black America itself.
Reminds me of ole mammy's titty that used to feed a dozen little white babies before it got to feed her own.



BTW, I didn't forget about the Marshall Plan, I was actually saving it for later along with the rebuilding of Japan and making it a technological center.

Ronald Reagan was the first to start shutting down mental health facilities in California to save the state money and once he started doing it and other governors saw him get away with it, it started a ripple effect all over the entire nations.  Like you said causing the homeless crisis we see today. Most of the vicims of police shootings are mentally disturbed and developmentally disabled individuals who a couple generations ago would have been safely confined to mental institutions for their and the public's safety.  Today they're out on the street either victimizing people or are victims themselves until they run across trigger happy cops.

The recent situation in Texas involving that 17 year old Black boy accused of foul play in the disappearance and death of that 18 year old college student is an example of a failed system. Whether he's guilty or not, the question I have is why was a 17 year old minor with developmental disabilities homeless and out roaming the streets?

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You have a very broad scope of knowledge, Pioneer, and are rarely a candidate for being blitzed with a lot "information"  that's  old news to you. You're mellowed out, and  I like exchanging gibes with you because you got that wry humor going for ya, something which helps to keep things in perspective.  

To me, its obvious that even if Obama did try to launch wide spread programs to benefit his race, the Republicans would've blocked them.  And you gotta give the  guy an "E" for effort for his performances during news conferences. He was pretty good at shedding tears and looking sad every time a black kid was shot down by the cops.  His pensive line that "Trayvon Martin could've been his son" was classic. 

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Pioneer, everything you've written is a great history lesson and it's informative, but at the end of the day it is more rhetoric that ultimately like Tavis and West is directed at people who know what has been done. Your information is possibly more valuable for those lurking than it is for me because no matter what you write, you can never explain to me how the last 40 years is any way worse than the first 400 for Blacks. You can't do it and there aren't any comparisons that can be made. If there is one, it's that this life and the things that happen are status quo and more of the same. As far as FDR and LBJ, you are only right in that there has to be a movement to force people to take action. Nothing that was done for Blacks was done for the improvement of the Black status, it was done to save face as the world watched the treatment of Blacks by their own country. In other words the laws and every thing enacted was to show that White America and the government could be civil and trusted to enter other countries and control those people.

In regard to Memphis... before and after Dr. King died here we had White government. In the late 80s that changed and Memphis truly was a Black city/Chocolate city with Blacks in power positions throughout the city. At the same time you had White flight... but overall Memphis is unique and unlike Detroit because this is one of the few cities I've lived in where you can be a felon and still find work if you want it. I digress. I wrote these two posts to clarify my thoughts. 

http://www.cbpublish.com/social-black-lives-dont-matter-but-black-dollars-do-aalbc-coms-discussion-boards/

http://www.cbpublish.com/business-the-black-dollar-is-powerful-lie/  This article gives you a racial breakdown of Memphis and the economy/idea of building Black wealth as it relates to Memphis. It could be better and longer, but it was a response to another discussion.

I present these two posts because they give the foundation of what I think can fix things. Once again, I'm not naive about how homelessness increased under Reagan and how crack was introduced and recidivism rates are all screwed up due to Clinton, but as tragic as both of those things are Blacks today and for the last 40 years don't have half of the battle that we've had in this country. We are doing far less with much more access. 

The regression in the Black community is amazing especially when you consider what we overcame to create the opportunities we have today. 

I guess I shouldn't speak in broad terms. I will only address myself and my circle. I was born in poverty, extreme poverty. Raised by a single mom. Went to Jail/juvi at 17 based on a mistake in my age and was then transferred to juvi. I had a gun put to my head twice, was almost killed in Los Angeles, but I'm still here. My life was probably shaped by White policies, but I can't tell you what they were. I can tell you when I got busted I was in a stolen car. I did that. I had a gun. I did that. When I was almost killed, it was by a Black dude. When I was almost killed in LA it was by Black dudes. When I saved lives on an Aircraft carrier, I did that. When I earned degrees I did that. My support system was my friends and the government because I earned my College fund. When I decided to teach and coach, I did that. I say all of this to state that nowhere in my life was I affected or shaped by White or government policies in a negative way. I watched my mother overcome being a temporary employee and she worked her ass off for 30 years to own a home. She was the first in our family to own a home. My sister and I both have degrees and are living solid lives. Was everything we did shaped by racism? OF COURSE! I'm sure my mom was a temp far too long. I'm sure I was impoverished because of the policies and laws on the books, but still we kept working.

Now I say all of that because I can only speak on myself. The easy thing to say is maybe I was the exception. But I'm not. Most of the guys I know were raised in single parent households in poverty. We made conscious decisions to not follow the path that we were supposed to be on. The one that would have killed us, or at least should have killed me twice and probably a few times I don't know about. 

When I look at the kids I taught who grew up in the poorest areas in San Diego and Ashland and Memphis, the kids who made it to school and did the work are doing okay. Some are doing better than I am, some are not. 

Someone has to do the marching and fighting for the government to take notice. Everyone can make good decisions and improve their immediate circles and touch as many people as possible in a positive manner. I choose not to be the marcher, but the person who takes on the grassroots because I can see that change and it drives me. Maybe you are the marcher and fighter for getting government assistance. Both have qualities that are needed in making this country better. I guess I'm not disagreeing with you, I just have a hard time seeing the benefit in pursuing change through the government. I know it works, but I know that being a teacher and a coach works just as well.

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Your life story is very compelling, Chris and carries weight because you not only talk your personal philosophy but you walk it.   The black race is full of individuals who don't march in lock step with the crowd. Black folks coined the phrases "keepin it real" and "doin your own thing".  Those with ingenuity and determination are doing this and getting results.  It would be great if the white power structure gave anything but token recognition to black agendas and impotent demands and mawkish admonishments about the persistence of institutionalized racism. But it doesn't.    For those who think crusading is the solution, march on. This had been a black strategy over the centuries.

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So what does that have to do with the subject being discussed? Did this abolish racism? 

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 Blah, Blah, Blah. "Strategy" is the operative word here.  And in keeping with the subject of politics and race, marching has always been a form of protest by blacks with grievances.

As usual you go off on tangents, all off point, grasping at straws, desperately  looking for any excuse to make yourself look informed,  losing your balance because someone disagrees with you.   You're pathetic and irrational.

I repeat: What relevance does what you wrote have to do with abolishing racism?  If anything it proves that even acts of heroism  don't bring about change.  It wasn't until the Korean war in 1950, that President Truman gave the order to discontinue racial discrimination in the armed forces and it still exists in subtle forms. 

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Cynique

 

You have a very broad scope of knowledge, Pioneer, and are rarely a candidate for being blitzed with a lot "information" that's old news to you. You're mellowed out, and I like exchanging gibes with you because you got that wry humor going for ya, something which helps to keep things in perspective.

Ahhhh shucks....
:rolleyes:....stop.
Actually...don't stop...I LIKE hearing that shit.


I have a somewhat different perspective of the world since I first started posting here a few years ago. Back then I was speaking more from a structured and somewhat religious point of view.

If you'll recall although I didn't BASH gays, I was against homosexuality. I was also quite patriarchal.
But I decided to re-examine my thinking and beliefs and I started focusing on accepting things I KNOW through experience and observation to be true rather than outdated ideaologies, theories, and religious dogma.



 

To me, its obvious that even if Obama did try to launch wide spread programs to benefit his race, the Republicans would've blocked them. And you gotta give the guy an "E" for effort for his performances during news conferences. He was pretty good at shedding tears and looking sad every time a black kid was shot down by the cops. His pensive line that "Trayvon Martin could've been his son" was classic


You know, one of the biggest problems I've had with Obama is he "thinks" too much.
And as usual with overly cautious people... his cereberalism too often leads to inaction.

He's so busy anticipating and worrying about what the Republican opposition thinks and how they may counter his moves...that despite his crocodile tears and lip service he either refuses to move on liberal social issues or actually takes a REPUBLICAN position on an issue beating them at their own game...to the dismay of his supporters.

A good example is Obama Care.

Most of those who voted for him (including myself his first term) voted for him expecting for him to push Universal Healthcare. He didn't even bring it up....out of fear of what the Republicans MIGHT do.
Instead he promotes and passes a mandated program that is more right wing than most Republicans could have dreamed of....and claims it as a victory.

His position on gun control (or lack there of) is another example of him being frozen in fear of what the Republicans may think.  There has probably been more mass shootings under his Administration and he's done LESS on gun control than any other President in the last 80 years.

That's pretty much how he's ran his Presidency, walking on egg-shells and trying to "out Republican" the Republicans as some sort of twisted strategy to avoid inevitable confrontation.
Meanwhile Conservatives are sitting back and enjoying an Administration that has been more helpful in pusing THEIR foreign and domestic policies than any other Democratic Administration since Woodrow Wilson.

 

 

 

Sara

I have to add that I am impressed with Pioneer who not only shares, but receives information he was not privy to before and incorporates it into his repertoire of knowledge, and especially with Troy who not only shares and incorporates new knowledge, but expresses his appreciation for same. It's the mark of a thoughtful person, a big person. It's the mark of one not wholly ruled by ego who truly cares about the black condition


Thaaaank ya, baaaaaaby....

Lol, who needs a Pioneer1Fan when I got you!

But f
or some reason, I get the feeling that the real focus is on who you left out.....lol

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CD


I must admit that's a hard act to follow bro, especially given MY humble academnic background.

I didn't make it past Admissions.....lol.

They started talking to me about Pell Grants and student loans, I asked them could they guarantee me a job after I get my Bachelors.....they told me nothing is guaranteed and I told them to kiss my ass and walked out. (true story)
I also had a great paying job in sales at the time and at that age didn't have the wisdom to realize how unstable entry-level jobs like that tend to be.

Not only would I call you EXCEPTIONAL, I would call it a BLESSING.

I know quite a few cats who were denied entry into both major universities and the military for offences less serious than Grand Theft Auto....obviously you had somebody pulling for you to get you in the door.

However do we want to live in a society where only exceptional people of remarkable talent and drive like yourself can make it?
If so....that means we want a society where MOST people are doomed for failure.
That type of society is called THIRD WORLD..where only a wealthy or exceptionally talented few are able to earn a living and the rest of the population is trapped in a cycle of poverty, ignorance, and social decadence.

I would like to see an America where the average Black woman and man is able to achieve what you have WITHOUT going through the hell and stress to get there.

 

 


 

Your information is possibly more valuable for those lurking than it is for me because no matter what you write, you can never explain to me how the last 40 years is any way worse than the first 400 for Blacks. You can't do it


Why would I even TRY to.......especially when it proves my point !

There's a REASON why the past 40 years have been better....lol.

The demands, protests, and pressure on the Federal government that forced it to change it's domestic policies IMPROVED the lives of AfroAmericans.
Despite negatives like high incarcerations rates and dysfuntional families, Black Americans for the most part are enjoying more prosperity overall than our foreparents had in the past 400 years.
Again, all of this wasn't by accident.
It wasn't because a handful of Black men decided to button BOTH straps on their overalls and put in some EXTRA work.
Most of our economic and political success can be directly tied to changes in social and political policies that this government was FORCED to impliment.


By the way I read your article and agree with you about the problem with nepotism in Black businesses. Nepotism is a major handicap in too many Black businesses as so many "good" Black folks feel they are obligated to hire every cousin who gets out of jail or every nephew who got fired at their old job for stealing.
And once you hire them....it's hell trying to fire them.
If THEY aren't threatening you, the family is looking at you akward It's one of the major obstacles to the efficient functioning of most Black businesses

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I don't know if this video will show up, but this is a perfect example of why I don't place a lot of time into pushing for government reform.

<div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-video" data-allowfullscreen="1" data-href="/Vets4Sanders/videos/vb.471628832987820/603921163091919/?type=3"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/videos/603921163091919/"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/videos/603921163091919/">MSNBC Goes Off On Dem Party for Rigged System.</a><p>I&#039;m genuinely shocked that this clip actually happened. Maybe the MSNBC employees got some courage. They I mean, what are they going to do, fire all of their front line commentators? Well, maybe. But I think that would backfire spectacularly. Regardless, enjoy watching The Morning Joe cast take the DNC to task for their rigged system and disenfranchisement of the voters, specifically U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders&#039; s supporters. — Bernfantryman#Sanders2016 #TheSystemIsRigged #TimeToDoubleDown #NYPrimary #PAPrimary #VetsForBernie VetsForBernie.org</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Vets4Sanders/">Veterans for Bernie Sanders</a> on Monday, April 11, 2016</blockquote></div></div>

Troy I hate using a Facebook embedded video, but it was on Facebook in my timeline so I pulled it as an example of how rigged the system is. If it doesn't show up then I will explain it. This video discusses Bernie Sanders recent win in Wyoming. He won by 12% yet Hillary carried the state with the delegates 11 to 7. This is why I take such a position that self sufficiency is the way forward. The government has structures in place that hinder progression. There is only progress when it can't be ignored anymore.

Pioneer, my sister in law had a condition and couldn't get health insurance at all. Because of Obama Care she was finally able to get health insurance although she had a pre-existing condition. What you see as a horrible plan is at least a plan that repaired things for many. This is why blanket dismissal of what this President has done is a complex discussion. For you, Obama Care is not Universal Health Care, for my sister it was a life saver.

All discussions and points are what they are just talk. It doesn't make you right or me right. We have our positions and our reasons for those positions. I will always speak about myself because in a message board where we present ideas, my values and the way I was raised and how I grew into the person I am is the biggest reason for my positions. To leave out who I am leaves out what I really feel and think which leaves the discussion in the realm of history and research which does the same thing it has always done, leaves us informed without and more knowledgeable about the past, but without any position on the here and now. 

I dig what you say because you are speaking from a historical position but in your signature is a website with a plan of action. I can respect that because you are doing the work and really that is all that matters. Keep pushing!

Thanks Cynique for the kind words. Like I said in my previous post, if it's marching that you do, do that. If it's self sufficiency, that's cool too. It all has it's place and is all needed.

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Sara

Take the compliment and stop trying to start mess


I'm gonna take more than the compliment, I'm gonna take an OPPORTUNITY.

Since I have both you and Cynique's attention right now.......lol.

 

 

 

 

CD

Pioneer, my sister in law had a condition and couldn't get health insurance at all. Because of Obama Care she was finally able to get health insurance although she had a pre-existing condition. What you see as a horrible plan is at least a plan that repaired things for many. This is why blanket dismissal of what this President has done is a complex discussion. For you, Obama Care is not Universal Health Care, for my sister it was a life saver.


I don't know what your sister's in laws financial situation was like , but millions of very poor people already had medicaid that covered EVERYTHING before ObamaCare.
Obama Care doesn't even cover dental or vison care.

I've seen first hand the chaos the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care) has cost not only subscribers who have to straddle their income just to qualify, but also a lot of people I know have either lost their jobs or have been busted down to only 20 hours a week since the law forces employeers to cover all full time employees.

Plus the cost of treatments and prescription drugs have SKYROCKETED since Obama Care has taken effect because of all the new participants that have been dumped into the public pool.

Universal Healthcare was and still is the best and only solution to the health care crisis in America.

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Pioneer, I'm not exceptional. I'm the same as these other dudes. My arrest ended up under my juvi file which was sealed. I ended up with a ton of community service that extended until I turned 18. Once I hit 18 I was given the option of entering the military. I did so and it changed my life. It didn't stop me from doing more stupid stuff after I got out though that I was lucky to get away from. 

I definitely agree with you that the marching and protests helped, but not because of the marching and protests, it was because for the first time in history the world could see on video the mistreatment of Blacks in the US.I think the images had just as much to do with the change in this country. I've made sure to say that both self sufficiency and protest/political action are needed. I just believe more in self sufficiency.

My opinions are swayed considerably because I live in a majority Black city where racism doesn't really come into play. Interestingly enough, even when I lived in Cali, it wasn't racism that created most of the issues. It was the actions of the people that created the situation.

The government moves in stages as you know. Obama Care will be changed to become a better solution (at least I hope it will), but it had to start somewhere and it is a start. It will never be the solution that everyone wants, but my sister in law is in that middle class no man's land. So for her it was a good thing.

Once again, I'm sure you've seen what you've seen, but I'm here in Memphis and the loss of jobs doesn't happen here. There are an abundance of jobs here, skilled and unskilled. Skilled or white collar jobs actually have to be outsourced, or people have to come in. Hell, we just brought in Detroit's Small Biz leader (A white lady I can't remember her name and I don't feel like looking, lol). We have a vibrant startup community and a host of programs implemented by the city. We have one of the biggest Black small biz resources in the country, but even with all of these things in place, we have the highest murder rate in the country (percentage wise higher than Chicago) and we have a serious crime problem. Which is why I ask, what exactly do you want the government to do in a city like this where everything is set up for Blacks to succeed and they aren't?

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CD
 

The government moves in stages as you know. Obama Care will be changed to become a better solution (at least I hope it will), but it had to start somewhere and it is a start. It will never be the solution that everyone wants, but my sister in law is in that middle class no man's land. So for her it was a good thing.

Yes, but this time I think the government has moved in the WRONG direction.
It's basically FORCING citizens to buy a product even if it may cost them financial hardship.
Atleast under the old way people could elect not to have healthcare.  Now they are  FORCED to get it under the threat of being fined, plus you have to disclose your assets and give all type of other personal information for often inferior service.  Businessmen should hate this plan because private buinesses are FORCED to give their employees benefits or regulate them to part-time status.

Too much policy and regulation produces dishonesty and forces a lot of people to lie just to avoid the hassle and confusion.

As far as your accomplishments.....
Brother when most Black men have criminal records, unskilled jobs or unemployed, and can barely take care of themselves....you ARE exceptional.

Our people are in a vulnerable position economically and it's not going to improve until we DEMAND more decent paying jobs that require little to no skill such as we were enjoying in the factories.

I've never lived in Memphis, but I've been through there as well as many other southern cities.
Yes, the jobs are plentiful....but unless you have a Master's degree they don't pay shit.
If you aren't making enough to support yourself I don't consider that a job...it's just an "occupation" to keep you occupied until the next thing comes along.
I have friend who left Detroit and went down to Murphysboro Tennessee to become a private contractor specifically because of the cheaper labor he found down there.


And I do recognize that many of the Civil Rights laws that were passed were done for the purposes of "window dressing" during the Cold War.
You can't go around fighting wars in Korea and Veitnam in the name of democracy and lecturing Russia on human rights while denying them to millions of your own citizens.
But regardless as to the REASON those in government caved and gave in to our demands.....the fact is they DID...and it HELPED.

It's like telling an old man his sexy young girlfriend is only with him for his money....he KNOWS that....lol.
He don't give a damn.

I don't care if MARTIANS came down and forced my government to help me under threat of total destruction....as long as I can get some benefit from it.


But to answer your question of what more the government can do to help Blacks succeed...
They can start buy producing more good paying jobs that require little to no skill.
They can also start putting skilled trade programs BACK in the public school system so that young Black men and women who may not be as intellectually gifted will atleast have an alternative to college....besides prison.

And REAL universal healthcare would be a tremendous boost to the economy because employers could spend more of the profits on wage increases instead of providing benefits for their employees that governments in OTHER industrialized nations provide for their own citizens.

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Chris, I have not followed the entire conversation, but I read your last post and am familiar with your thoughts on the subject.

If institutional racism is not the cause; what is?  The only plausible answer must be that Black folks, at least the ones in Memphis, are more violent, and lazy. What else is there?  

Seems to me you are exceptional, considering you escaped the mentality.

Check out the Heist film when you get a chance.

b.t.w Chicago is a more violent city than any other in the country, but Memphis does beat "Chiraq" (learned that name from Spike Lee) in them in the murder category--by a substantial margin.  Detroit holds the crown for most murderous city.

 

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Troy

If institutional racism is not the cause; what is? The only plausible answer must be that Black folks, at least the ones in Memphis, are more violent, and lazy. What else is there?


During this converastion I've purposely tried to stay away from *conspiracies as Mr Burns doesn't seem like the type of fellow who puts much stock in them....lol.

However I've mentioned numerous times on this site the link between lead contaminated water found in the inner cities all around this nation and provided scientific evidence of being a major cause of the psychological problems, learning disabilities,  as well as the high levels of violence found in corresponding regions.

But hey......


* Notice I didn't say conspiracy "theories"...because most of these conspiracies have been proven to be absolutely FACTUAL beyond any doubt.

 

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Troy and Pioneer, I can only speak from what I see firsthand in my city. I can only talk about what I know from the places I lived and it was not institutional racism that has created the problems in any of the places I've lived or worked, except Benton, County Mississippi which is obviously deeply affected by racism and institutional practices.

Pioneer in regard to jobs and your friend who moved to Murfreesboro, the jobs here pay very well for non-skilled warehouse jobs. But paying well is relative to cost of living. A very nice home in Memphis is 130,000 bucks. A decent apartment can be as little as 750/month to 1500/month it depends on where you want to live. Does Memphis have food deserts? Yes. In this sense institutional racism is an issue Troy, but less than 15 minutes away by car is access to everything a person needs in Memphis, it's not that big. Fed Ex is one of the largest employers in the world and the base is here in Memphis. Nike is based here in Memphis, UPS, Kellogs, Old Dominion Trucking, International Paper, I can go on and on about how many job opportunities are here in Memphis. It's why so many people here can actually live and retire and build lives without any education at all. The cost of living is allows this to happen. All people need to do is stick with a job. 

Unfortunately that is not the case. The unemployment rate is a choice. I have felons in my extended family who work for the city. There are programs in place to make sure the opportunities are there for felons to actually attain jobs. I know felons here who have started landscaping jobs. I say this to tell both Troy and Pioneer, when I look at this city it's very hard to find the racism. Is there gentrification? Yes. When they shut down the projects the drugs and crime shifted to the better parts of the city. Those better parts of the city are now, the bad parts of the city. Some parts of the city have remained the same as they've always been, but still even in those areas the job opportunities are attainable.

The crime here is a choice. It's not lead in the water as Memphis has some of the best water in the country. Opportunities are in abundance and many Blacks are doing very well. I was only talking negatively of the criminal element because I am talking about it to say that you can't blame institutional racism in a city like Memphis. In every branch of power in the city there is Black wealth. It is in the churches and in politics. Memphis even has its own Black political family in the Fords (one of whom ran for office in New York, Harold Ford Jr.) So when you lose the ability to blame racism for the problems of crime in this city, what do you blame?

This is why I only look at where I am because I can't analyze the entire country. I can only analyze what's around me. I don't put a lot of stock into conspiracy theories because I've seen firsthand the decisions people make. I see it everyday. I see it in business, and I see it in education. I saw it in the classrooms in San Diego, Ashland and Memphis. In every setting I saw kids overcome their "perceived" obstacles to do very well when they did the work. Some do well, some don't. I've said over and over that I'm not naive, but the more I become a business person the more I'm beginning to see that those thoughts I once had in the book 100 Black and White questions, thoughts that sounded a lot like what both you and Pioneer state, those thoughts don't just aren't carrying the weight and truth they once did. I'm becoming less convinced about the instutionalized structures blocking the path and I'm becoming more certain that poor decisions are the culprits and that those poor decisions are handed down from generation to generation. Does this sound like I'm saying there isn't racism, it does and that bothers me, but after today and what happened to me personally, (I know I'm only one person) I'm just not so sure anymore.

Finally, why is it that I'm exceptional when you two have done the same thing in the face of all of these structures? Why is that you have drank the same water and you aren't killing or making horrible life choices? You two are on this board and in life doing important work. Are we just the exceptions? I don't think so because in every place there are guys like us who make decisions and we deal with the consequences. 

I will say this right here so you both can see it and understand where I come from: I don't give a damn about the government and their help or racism. I care that we should support each other and that if we do, we can't be denied. I know this is a fact and it is true. Like Pioneer said up there the laws and policies changed because of the actions we took 50 years ago. if we do that now without worrying about the outside, things will change. 

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CD

There is absolutely NO city in this nation that Black people control completely or even by half.
The mayor and city council have just about as much control over the REAL economy of  a city as the President and Congress has over the country.....lol.
They are mere figureheads that hide the political and social elite who control the REAL flow of wealth.

Flint had both a Black mayor and a Black city council and still the Governor was able to override the power of them all and impose his authority.   Racist  rightwing governors control most of the power in this nation, especially when you have a weak Democrat like Obama in office who is convinced a non-confrontational all-compromising approach is the base strategy to get things done.

In nearly every city in America, the police unions are ran by Whites.
The teacher's unions are ran by Whites.
In nearly every city there is a cartel of White economic and political policy makers who work behind the scenes usually in banking and realestate to determine housing stock, property values, interest rates, zoning laws, ect....
The media in just about every city is owned and operated primarily by Whites and racist editors use their authority to shape and influence public opinion in a way no Black Mayor or city Councilman has done.

The gas, water, and other power companies in just about every city including Memphis is owned by private White firms who can shut off the gas, water, and lights of anyone they choose.

Black people in America today whether in Memphis Tennessee or Los Angeles California with the few businesses and houses they THINK they own (because as long as you have to pay taxes you never really "own" property.....you basically rent it from the government) are in little better position than the Jews were in Nazi Germany back in the 30s.  They thought because they had a little economic success that they were safe, but they didn't control the media nor hold any real political power in Germany which allowed them to falll victim to a facist dictator.  And Trump fits that bill today as the conditions are similar.


Now don't get me wrong bro, I'm not saying people shouldn't be held accountable for the bad decisions they make in life. But in order to be RESPONS-IBLE....one must be ABLE TO RESPOND.

When people are deprived of knowledge and limited in their options, as so many in our communities are....limited opportunity leads to limited thinking ability which leads to desprate behavior.  People do what they have to do to survive as survival is an instinct.  You can't preach to someone about not selling drugs or hitting licks to get money if you offer them no other alternative based on their abilities. They are in no position to be responsible for what they do out of desperation or ignorance.  
When people KNOW better they DO better.

 

Again, I offer no conspiracy THEORIES.....these are conspiracy facts.
The fact is Black children are purposely being miseducated, targeted for incarceration, and denied basic opportunities and it's being brought by an organized group of individuals called Conservative Republicans.

It's recently come out that Richard Nixon purposely targeted the Black community to and used the war on drugs as an excuse to lock up Black men and stifle Black success. 

The poisons in the water as well as OTHER environmental toxins (like vaccines) have been well documented to contributing to the violence and learning disabilities in Black youth. Also the poor public educational system found in cities all over the nation have contributed to a degenerate way of life in most urban centers around the nation. Our children today don't recieve as good as an education as our parents got 50 years ago in the public schools.
50 years ago boys used to learn auto-mechanical skills, construction and carpentry, electrical....girls learned home economics. Black students had more skills coming out of highschool 50 years ago than they do graduating from college today.
And tended to be more articulate.  Look at some of the old Black and White footage of Black youth back in the 60s and 50s and how they were able to intelligently articulate their ideas and concerns about the civil rights movement.....and contrast that to the mumble-mouth clowns of today who seem to talk much slower.
Even the rap music today is much slower than it was 20 years ago...some of these cats sound retarded, lol.

My mother is from Mississippi and used to take me down South from time to time to visit relatives. Back in the 70s the Black youth down their basically sounded the same as the Black youth in Detroit...only with a slight southern twang.
Today I can barely understand WHAT the hell most of those younger cats from Mississippi and Georgia are saying they are mumbling and dragging and half pronouncing so much of thier vocabulary. White kids born and raised in the same district don't even sound like them. Some of these young negroes sound like slaves who just stepped off a plantation.

No wonder kids form both Asia and Africa can come over and kick thier ass academically.
This is no accident.  American children (especially Black children) are being PURPOSELY dumbed down and miseducated. 


My basic point is, you have people in government who are actively involved in trying to DESTROY Black America and this is an absolute fact. 
You can't fight this by yourself, or by giving pep rallies and motivational speeches to young people.
You need political ALLIES. 
People in high places of government who will keep these enemies in check ad protect you and your interests.

 

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OK Chris given you statement, obviously all those Black people gunning to make Memphis the nation's murder capital are inherently more violent.  What do we do with those people?  What do we do with the people who refuse to work?  

If racism (laws and behaviors) is not the problem, then attacking racism, or the legacy of racism, is not going to fix a thing.  What is the solution?

Pioneer while I agree with most of your position, particularly historically, today the problem is mostly greed.  People (Black and white) who have an insatiable appetite for more and don't really care very much about who they hurt or how they get it.  A few individuals were willing to see millions of people lose their homes to earn more money. The are willing to poison millions more for generations with cigarette.  Of course enslaving people is not above them either...

@CDBurns, racists materially, and adversely, impact my ability to run my business--today.  This is not speculation; this is my objective and daily reality; and there is a real financial cost.  

I don't know how many white owned websites have to deal with Black racists trying to take them down.  Rather, I suspect, there are more Black people are doing everything they can to get on these websites, and uplift them, rather than hurting them.

This is just the blatant, overt racism, I have to deal with that I'm sure my white peers don't deal with.

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I think you both are continuing to overlook that I've said, I know that there is racism, but I don't place a lot of stock into it's power because to do so limits my own ability to move. There is racism, but it's not going anywhere. To continuously bring it up does one thing that's needed, it keeps us informed and it allows the marchers, protesters and activists to do what is needed on their end. I just think a more proactive approach has to be taken. Troy with your site it is a proactive approach. All of the racism and frustration is real and time consuming to keep it running, but this is the type of action I look at as the way to go no matter how futile it seems. 

Pioneer, here is an article that further cements what you are saying: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/04/11/473414348/talking-housing-segregation-and-chicago-with-wbez-s-natalie-moore?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160412 Once again, I agree. I think you two assume I'm arguing. I'm not. I'm telling you that racism is here and politics won't change until the visual representation of it increases and people see how ugly it is then the goverment has to fix "something" but it will always be a temporary patch until we get our shit together.

I live here in Memphis. Pioneer you don't live here. But you can do the research if you like. There are black owned media outlets in Memphis, not the major media that's Clear Channel of course. The property is owned by White folks here, but unlike you've said which is why you can't look at this city the same

The Police Union is black dominated. http://www.memphispoliceassociation.org/executive-board-members/

The Teachers Unions are Black dominated. http://www.scsk12.org/uf/board/members.php?mylink=15

Home Ownership in Memphis isn't really that hard to breakdown, but when we first moved here, my wife is from Vallejo, and she said it was the first time she had seen such huge sub divisions filled with Blacks. Which is more of a comment on how diverse California is and of course the cost of living there. BUT her point is based on the obvious North Memphis is Black, South Memphis is Black, East Memphis is a mix of Black and White, and West Memphis is in Arkansas :-) My point is when you look at Memphis you have the model for a city that has Blacks in places of considerable influence and this wasn't more noticable than when Mayor Willie Herenton was the Mayor of Memphis for over 20 years. Where there Whites pulling strings? I'm sure there were because like Troy said MONEY pulls strings and Whites have more money than Blacks so be default this is the way it is.

As far as your statement, " My basic point is, you have people in government who are actively involved in trying to DESTROY Black America and this is an absolute fact. 
You can't fight this by yourself, or by giving pep rallies and motivational speeches to young people.
You need political ALLIES. 
People in high places of government who will keep these enemies in check ad protect you and your interests. "

My question is, When hasn't America or government not been actively destroying Black America?

I definitely disagree with your statement that I can't fix this because it completely discounts what you are doing with the New Flint project. It discounts Troy's work with this website. It discounts my 20 years in education and basically says I didn't change anything when I know damn well I changed and many teachers everyday produce young adults who become very productive members of society. I say without any hesitation that the teachers have done more than any politician could ever do.

You need political allies. You do. That's your end and I agree you do because that is path you have taken. It's an important path and is just as important as what I've chosen to do with my voice, time, speeches, teaching, sponsorship and love. So I need you? Yes. I need you to advocate for me because I am not leaving the trenches. I will be here for my old students and for people who have to enter small business and need help navigating it so they can avoid my pitfalls. You go and get those allies and work on it on your end because maybe you're right "people in high places of government" will keep these enemies in check... but those people you are looking for haven't been doing a very good job in the last 40 years have they? Crime is high across the board. Murders are going up and the housing bubble and the subprime kicked our ass. I'm sure you'll say it's because we didn't have political representation, but it wasn't just Black folks that caught it, although we caught it the worse.

Troy, you asked what will fix it? We all know there is no one answer, but for me I say it's the small and continuous push by people like you (with AALBC), and Pioneer(With New Flint) and Cynique (with her long form letters that critique society, but create questions to be discussed) are all that we can do. It's the teacher that wakes up in the morning and says one thing that may stop a kid from gunning down another kid today. It's the parent who goes to work at McDonald's and hates it, but keeps doing it because it shows her kids a work ethic. It's the dope boy who tells another athlete, "you can't do this," even though he may be killing his own people he prevents someone from doing what he does. I think when the people pull together and show their power this helps Pioneer take his complaints higher up and it gets more accomplished because you can't deny a together people. You just can't deny them when the imagery is there to support the rhetoric.

My final thought on this is you can't kill Black kids when the Black kids learn to respect and stop killing themselves. Unfortunately you would say it's the societal constructs that create kids killing kids and crime which leaves us right where we are, a loop.

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Chris I hear you but let's take the crux of your last statement

“I say it's the small and continuous push by people like you (with AALBC), and Pioneer(With New Flint) and Cynique (with her long form letters that critique society, but create questions to be discussed) are all that we can do.”

I agree this is all important but unless any of it gets a white cosign it means nothing, or very little, to our people--outside of the most conscious of our group.  These efforts eventually "...dry up like a raisin in the sun..."

“It's the teacher that wakes up in the morning and says one thing that may stop a kid from gunning down another kid today.”

The reality is teachers like this are rare.  Most teachers are not like this.  They (like many cops) are afraid of, and despises, the gun wielding kid.  The teachers mostly like to treat a kid with love are increasingly pushed out the system by corporations that have no interest in our children other than the revenue they can generate.  Experienced teacher are pushed out; replaced by a revolving door of inexperienced teachers.. 

“It's the parent who goes to work at McDonald's and hates it, but keeps doing it because it shows her kids a work ethic.”

Man, you know, as well as I, any kid seeing their parent slaving away at McDonald in exchange for the obviously sorry lifestyle that income provides, would see their parent as a sucker, and would do virtually anything else to avoid that fate including engage in criminal activity.

In my mind people can do all of the things you've outlined and still not succeed.  Indeed, the outcomes of millions of people (of all colors) speaks for itself.  The majority of people in the country are struggling.

I used to quote a stat that the majority of American's don't have passports--In my mind it was an indictment on our provincialism, but then I learned that people can't afford pay for a passport--let alone go out the country. 

The census bureau reports that the media income for U.S. households is less than $54K down from the the year before (2013).  That means that half of American household made less than $54K that is alarming!  The average household size is more than 2.5 people. Your are not flying your family to Paris for a two week vacation on 54K a year--even the French pavilion at Disney would be a stretch...

Black folks have a lot of challenges, racism is one and corporate greed is another. 

Of the two I think corporate dominance of our media, political process, government, schools, health care, is more pressing.  The race issue will fix itself if we get rid of corporate dominance of our culture.  Racism is profitable.

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We definitely agree to disagree. I learned my work ethic from watching my mom take any job she could get. From 5-12 years old I went to 10 different schools. I can only look at my immediate arena when I discuss things because it my immediate arena I see accomplishments. If I looked at what you wrote (The need for a white cosign) and I shake my head. You're still here! Where is the white cosign? Are you saying you are not affecting anything?

Teachers like me, although I don't teach anymore, are not rare, that is the biggest lie I've seen and I don't care what statistics you find I don't buy that at all. Teachers care and everyday they shape and change the outcomes of the lives of kids. In my mind you are dead wrong and looking at the statistics ignores the real and genuine work being done by this group. It's almost insulting. Even new teachers care about what they are doing. As far as teachers being pushed out, it happens, but there are still teachers there. The majority of teachers love what they do, the majority of students love being there, the smallest number of teachers who are poor get all of the coverage and the smallest number of bad kids get the coverage. It shows in your opinion of the educational system. I guess you have seen something in education that I was "lucky" enough not to experience in 20 years (not likely).

As far as the job thing, I didn't say jackshit about the kid wanting to emulate becoming a McDonald's worker. I said they can learn from the parent working that job how to push through and work when there isn't any other option. If you look at a lot of the high profile athletes they all share a story of watching their mom struggle and this drove them to success. In your eyes they will resort to drugs and do, but that discounts all of the kids who don't. Maybe you are right though Black people don't have any pride in working at these places which is why they would rather be unemployed than have some type of job, maybe you're right.

Everything I wrote is not about succeeding. It's about laying the groundwork to support the endeavors of those like Pioneer who will be fighting on the political front. If the people aren't helping themselves it becomes much harder to sell anyone on a program to improve things.

Passports. I don't have a passport. My wife and I have talked about it, but we don't see the point. There are so many amazing places in our own country that we haven't seen that we are doing that first. We go somewhere great every year, and plan to conquer abroad as well, but I think the reason people don't have passports is because they aren't shown that they can travel. When was the last time you took the time to go to a local school and show kids your trips out of the country? How can they think about doing it as parents if as kids they never saw it? People have to see it first and then they can emulate and try it. I don't just talk about this kind of stuff. If you go to CBP right now and type in City Visits, or Highlights, you will see pictures and long blog posts showing where my family went. I share this because my students are becoming parents and it gives them something to fight for or think about.

We do agree that corporate dominance of the media is a problem... but what are you going to do about it? That is my point in going back and forth. I can only do what I can do to make things better. I don't have access to a congressman or the time to march and fight the political fight, but I can go to a school as a sponsor. I can teach a class on a weekend. I can write and share what I'm doing and then see how it effects my old students. I shared a picture on Facebook a few weeks back of a group of young Black women who are attending a cooking school here in Memphis. One of those girls was a student of mine. I like to think that my own pursuit of a dream led her to pursue becoming a chef. I don't know if it did but just this morning I was tagged by an old student who is getting ready to graduate from college in a post that said, "Best Teacher I Ever Had _______" All of the teachers mentioned responded to that post. These posts come up often.

Remember I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm only saying that the small things work. Your whole message is of doom and gloom, but overlooks the good.

My last story. I had a student when I taught at a charter school. He was disruptive and had a lot of issues. One day I looked him in the face and told him, "One day I'm going to see your stupid face on the news saying you're in jail." had social media been prevalent I would have gotten in trouble if I had been taped. Two days later he was in jail. He was 18. He pulled a gun on someone's mom. I was told by another student he got the gun to come back to the school and shoot me. I went down to that kids hearing and I went to visit him every week while they held him in jail. I put money on his books and the kid every week looked forward to me visiting. I'm not the only teacher who did this type of thing. The evidence for this is in the abundance of feel good stories that are in books and film about teaching. That kid today actually has a job and has a family. He added me on Facebook. He hasn't been in trouble since. We had a first year White teacher, a young white woman and I promise you she was more engaged than you could ever imagine and did a wonderful job. Once again this is my circle. It's what I can see and affect. Did I see crappy teachers? Of course, but they were in the minority.

You can't tell me that the little things need a cosign or that the majority aren't succeeding without telling me what can be done. 

Tell me what can be done because waiting on these grand solutions is what has us in the position we are in.

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CD

Lol.....well daaaang-ee, now I wanna move to Memphis!

You know what bro, I have to step back and say you're right I don't live down there so I'm in no position to tell you what's going on in your own city. I can only speak from MY experience just like you've been speaking from yours. I will say that I've live in almost every region of this nation (North, Midwest, WestCoast, South, ect....) so I feel I have a pretty good grasp of what's going on around the nation, but still....you know your city better than I do.


As it has been pointed out by yourself and Cynique, we don't necessarity disagree...we just see two different paths to get to the same destination of Black economic and social success.
..and BOTH paths are needed. 
Everyone is different and they must find their own success by methods that work for THEM, not the next man.

By the way, I'm not the political rabble-rouser you may think I am. I'm definatly more grassroots and only dabble in politics when necessary to accomplish goals that CAN'T (or shouldn't) be handled on a grassroots level.
I cuss too much and ain't considered "cute" enough to be a professional politician...lol.

It's just that some things CAN'T be handled on an individual or grassroots collective level no matter how sincere the effort, and MUST be addressed by a government entity.
For example a couple years back my community had a problem with a surge in homeless people resulting from the '08 realestate crash that hit Detroit especially hard. I don't live in Detroit, I live in one of it's major satelite cities. But back then there were no homeless shelters here, and to complicate things there were a lot of churches and feeding programs that attracted hundreds of homeless people.  Also, Detroit was so dangerous that living on the actual streets here was more appealing to many homeless men and women and their families than staying at one of Detroit's shelters.  So as hundreds of homeless started fleeing the city, many came with drug and mental health problems and started harassing the residents, committing petty crimes and that escalated to cats overdosing on the street, wandering around and some were hit by cars, others froze to death...and some even got killed by police.
Me and other Black residents saw this and didn't like how the city was handling this situation so but there is only so much we as private citizens could do so we had to organize, come up with an AGENDA (as I said before concerning Obama) and take it to the city and county governments and after months of squabbling we eventually FORCED them to take action and renovate a vacant building for shelter and provide enough drug and mental health counselors to meet the demands of the people.
We NEEDED government for that...we didn't have the resources to do it by ourselves.

The purpose of a GOVERNMENT isn't just to take your money in taxes and give it away.
It's to protect and help you.....especially when you can't help yourself.
You can take the, "Fuck you I don't need your help I can help myself just fine thank you"...attitude.

But do you think you will be young and healthy forever?

Again, no man is an island. Most of our successes aren't due to our own efforts alone, there is always someone else involved in assisting you whether you're aware of it or not even if they laid the grounwork for YOUR efforts.

The success all Black men and women....hell most of the success LATINOS AND ASIANS AND ARABS. enjoy today isn't because of how hard they worked.  
Hell, Arabs and Chinese were working HARD in Iraq and China and other nations....but all that hard work was useless because they were toiling under a repressive government that stifled their success.
It wasn't until they came to AMERICA where Blacks had earlier paved the way for ALL RACES to enjoy a piece of the pie, did all of these foreigners start seeing the full fruits of their labors.

You can focus on owning a business and sending your children to the best schools to get an education instead of complaining about racism holding you back.
But you can only do that because others fought to make racism less of an issue for you to focus on.

Every man who decides to pull himself up by his bootstraps should thank those who struggled to pay for his boots.

BTW, get yourself a passport bro....
I keep mine updated, you never know when you might have to book up out of this mug.

P.S....you BETTER get it before Trump is sworn into office...lol.

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I agree with pretty much everything you've written there. The passport I'm in no rush since I'm a disabled vet and getting a passport for me and my family isn't that hard at all. 

My philosophy on pulling yourself up is really based on my sense of community and is exactly what you are explaining that was done. Your organization and action led to a change in the system, but the system won't respond if the people don't pull together. When we talk about what can be done, this is why I stress the self sufficiency route. It is the natural precursor to gaining access to that position where you can no longer be ignored. 

I agree that all accomplishments stem from the past actions and the groundwork that is laid by the previous generation which is why I came off so frustrated with Troy's suggestion that the small movements burn out without a cosign and dry up. The small movements are the only route to change because we all can contribute. My only problem with expecting the president or federal government to do anything is that it just doesn't happen that often, but on the local level you see change happen all of the time. 

Oh I didn't even share a link of the Memphis city council: http://www.memphistn.gov/Government/CityCouncil/CouncilMembers.aspx

 

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Well, few things work without a solid plan to implement them, big or small.

If you recall.....
One of my first posts in this thread offered a defense for Obama in that with all of the complaining so many of our people have about his performance....most haven't put forth the slightest effort to raise up off their ass and ORGANIZE an agenda for him.

One of the problems with our people whether it comes to national politics or local grassroots activism is that many of them don't like THINKING.   
Too busy posting x-rated pictures on Facebook and Instagram to waste time on an agenda to offer the first Black President that may have gotten them more jobs and better education for their children.



Like you said,  I've found that the biggest difference I can make is at the local and county levels and thats where most of my focus was until the situation arose up in Flint which is another region.

I've come to the conclusion that whether it comes to installing politicals allies, grass roots social activism, or hard work as a means of achieving Black success;
It's not a matter of either or....it's all of thee above.
Simultaneously!

It's a constant dance of organizing to set an agenda, finding the right people to impliment it on the city, state, and federal levels, and once they push the agenda and get it through it's up to US to take advantage of the newfound opportunities and make them work (whether it's entrance into a university, access to government contracts to build, or business venture), and turn around and use the wealth and capital we've acquired to push for MORE political influence to do the same thing over and over again increasing our success and influence.

It shouldn't stop....once we get the momentum going it should increase.
One of the biggest problems with our people is they are too easily "satisfied".
After all the yelling, and marching and stomping and fighting to get in the damn place...as soon as they get their foot in the door they stop moving, get complacent, get happy just to sit down on the couch and watch television in the lobby.....who cares what's going on in the boardroom.

We have to learn how to take advantage of the momentum that we work so hard to generate.

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Chris listen to Pioneer and get a passport.  Last month I was invited to speak in Jamaica, with just three weeks notice without a passport I would have missed that opportunity and the great experiences that came from it.  

Traveling abroad really changes one's perspective about this country, the people our policies and our culture.  Sure there are many great things about this country (I've been to every major city in the country, every state in the union, and many of the world's major cities), but the American experience means more when you have something to compare it to.  

I still assert that you are indeed remarkable Chris.  Most people do not behave the way you do.

The biggest difference between your way of looking at things and mine is that you rely more heavily on personal experience.  While personal experiences provide a framework for viewing the world it is a biased reflection of the world.  You cite examples from your own experience as if others are as remarkable as you and have both the ability and desire to do the same things you have. 

Naturaly, personal experiences color my world view too, but I seem to weight data more heavily.  Sure, one can spin or cherry pick data to tell stories.  I use data to support or disprove my beliefs.

For example, while you say, based upon your personal experience, that there are great, caring teachers.  Keep in mind I'm an educator too.  I teach both at one of the better schools in the City University of New York, Baruch College.  I also teach adults trying to get their High School Equivalency.  I've also taught young people as well. Besides that i have two Masters degrees and have been married to a teacher for 25 years.  So I know there are great teachers out there.  I also know, based upon my experience, that great teachers are often constrained by inept administrators.  I also know there are piss poor teachers too.  You were apparently fortunate enough not to encounter these poor teachers.  But I assure you, despite your, experience they exist.

Again I also look at the data.  What are the outcomes?  How does America perform against other countries?   We know, against other industrialized nations, the US performs poorly.  For the most economically disadvantaged youth (ofen us) the situation is even worse.  Why?  

While you have convinced Pioneer to move to Memphis I'm not so sure; the education outcomes as reported by the state show that in most subjects, more than half the students are not proficient.  As mentioned Memphis ranks near the top of violent crime and murder, and leads the nation in poverty.  

Memphis also has one of the nation's highest Black populations.

Interestingly, if you look at the cities with the highest Black populations you will find a high correlation between; low educational achievement, high poverty rates poverty, and high levels of crime. But racism has nothing to do with this right?  (that is a question for you)

If you are smart enough and have the time you can homeschool your children and if you have the money you can send them to private school.  Of course if you are rich and smart the U.S. provides the best education in the world--even if you are Black.  But if you are of average intelligence, poor, and Black your options are pretty bleak.  So while you are and I may be exceptions Chris we are by no stretch of the imagination the rule.

But I'll take it a step further.  If you are poor and Black you can do all of the right things and still end up in jail, poor, or both. I assert this is a direct result of racism. 

Have you read about how Nixon targeted Black people in his war on drugs.  Do you know how many generations of Black people nixon destroyed?

 

 

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