Friday, May 30, 2008

Lakers Versus Celtics!

Well now it's official, David Stern has gotten his wish and now the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics will once again enter the arena and like the gladiators of old duel to the death! Well...not death but well you get it!

By the way David, I hope you didn't make a deal with the Devil to get this, trust me, the payoffs too steep!

Let's face it! Kobe, Derrick, Pau, Lamar and Jordan versus KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen is awesome!

But the Celtics must be stopped! Stopped! For the good of all Humankind they must be defeated!



No, Just kidding! Oh come on, that's funnie and ya know it! No need to worry about the four horsemen when we're dealing with $4.19 a gallon gas, The Patriot act and another season of Flavor of Love! Ya know you agree with me. Ya do, admit it!

OK, get the paper bag and put it over your face, breathe! Are you alright? Breathe! OK now? Breathe!

Remember what we read in The Book of Parliament/Funkadelic's Glory Hella Stupid or Pin the Tail on The Funky, how Sir Nose Devoidoffunk, attacked ultilizing a Rear March Maneuver to attack from the back and pinned the tail on the funky turning Starchile into a mule?

No it isn't! Just kidding but still the Lakers must play defense all four quarters. The great social scientist Moses Malone has shown us if you don't got the ball, you can't shoot the ball! Never have truer words been spoken.

Defense creates Offense! Defense creates Offense! Defense creates Offense! Defense creates Offense!

Kobe can not create all the offense, every body's gotta get involved and every game! Hustle! Heck I'll play I come up to KG's knee I think, well not knee exactly maybe just the high shin area but I'll play Damn it!
I'll Play!

Now the Celtics will flaunt their 16 banners and their traditions and all the legends, Mr. Bill Russell, Mr. Sam Jones, Mr. John Havalicek. Bird, Kevin Mchale, and The Big Chief Robert Parrish but these Celtics aint them. So all that noise can stop now!
We can counter them with Elgin, Wilt, Magic, Jerry, Mr. Logo himself West, Worthy, Coop, Shaq and The Greatest one of all El Hajj Kareem Abdul Jabarr, The Captain, Mr. Skyhook you throw in Jack, Stu, Chick's Microphone and the Laker Girls and we got them beat to the next century on that alone.

Seriously though, Congrats to the Celtics on becoming the Eastern Conference Champion, I don't want to diminish that. Congrats! Good game!

But when the Lakers whoop y'all green leprechaun, shamrock behinds and deny you a seventeenth banner I will dance not just for myself but for all humanity.

Play hard! and Good Game!

Be Prayerful, Be Mindful, Be Careful!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Be the Change!

I went and saw Iron Man yesterday and I liked it alot. I think about Tony Stark, he was a happy weapons maker, believed in his country, his company, he more importantly believed in his beliefs. He believed that he was essentially doing some good, he was intrinsically doing no harm, he believed that for every gun or bomb he made, the money spent on growing crops for starving masses, feeding the hungry or cleaning a diseased river balanced it all out. And even better if you can do it and make a buck right?

Well, dig, Tony Stark found out that everyone didn't share his ideals or ethics, he felt betrayed, and used and he decided to do something about it. He changed but they didn't. How many times has this occurred in your life? You hang out with someone you know from church or school or the corner and they say you've changed. They judge you and it doesn't feel good does it? You may even judge them and even though you exchange each others phone number and say we'll keep in touch, ya don't, you ain't, and you both knew it.

Weird huh, you were such good friends once, so what happened? Time and Change! They weren't there for the change that has occurred in you. We humans, are liner beings and they remember you where you left off. Take a little more time and even if they still drinking or smoking a blunt on the same corner as you left them, they not the same either. They go home, kiss their babies and get up and go to work the next morning to work a double shift. This is not the person you knew, the one you remember wouldn't be trying to hold a job, much less work a double shift and didn't I just see them hit the blunt and take that quart to the head? Yes, You did! Then they picked up their bags with the gallon of milk, pampers, eggs and bread and went home to they wife and kids. They changed too. Y'all both did.

You judged them and it was just as inaccurate and unfair as when they judged you! The Bible, in the new testament, relates an admonishment by Paul, now an apostle but formerly a murdering religious nut, himself changed through the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ Jesus one night while he was out set trippin.

He admonishes the Ephesians. You judge the unconverted because they drink, smoke, have wanton sex, lie, steal and cheat but some of you were some of those and it is only through Christ Jesus, that you've changed, not your own power. (Paraphrased)

Who are we to judge each other? Understand? No one except God knows the inner workings of you. They don't see the changes occurring in you now, it's happening gradually. So don't be too hard on them if they don't understand it. Love them anyway, be patient and continue to grow.

Be Mindful! Be Careful! Be Prayerful!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Praize Poem # 1


Allah U Akbar!

Pondering thoughts of the First

Infinite One who shaped me in womb
Praise God!

Praise God!
Bore cross condemned for all to see

uncontainable love for me



Elohim, Yeshua!

Pondering thoughts of the first

sinner man that I be
I praise him in deed and verse.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Remembering Brotha Malcolm!

Happy Birthday! Brotha Malik,
I think the best gifts I can give to you would be this.
You were father to six baby girls, husband to Dr. Betty Shabazz, minister to Muhammad Mosque # 7 in Harlem, public orator, Human rights leader and an evolved, redeemed, Brotha!
You were a MAN!
I would suggest folks run out and buy "Remembering Malcolm" and place it alongside their copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It that tome, Minister Benjamin Karim, Malcolm's assistant minister of Mosque # 7) tells us about you as a Minister, how you preached, how you taught your congregation, how you pastored your Mosque. It shows a practical, pragmatic, patient approach that enshewed extremism. This is vastly different than the public speeches we see on you tube.

It also dispelled some of the myths. You remember the scene in the film Malcolm X where after speaking at Harvard or Boston College, The young white female student, asks Brotha Malcolm what she could do to help? And he said " Nothing!" Minister Benjamin said that Malcolm always regretted that because if he had been alone he would have had a cup of coffee with her and gave her ideas on how to help but he was with his group of young ministers and he put on a show.
Malcolm didn't go to Mecca to learn about the Universal Religion of Al-Islam, he knew it quite well beforehand. He was able to embrace it fully and demonstrate it after his Hajj though. He also had a real relationship with Dr. King. They kids used to play together. Minister Malcolm would come up to Mrs. King and say tell Martin, that I'm going to preach out against this hard this week and he should preach the opposite so that we can get something done. They'll think Martin's being sensible. They were not at odds they way people think.

Again, The Orthodox Islamic Community had approached Malcolm on several occasions, he had spoken with them, shared views, he knew them and they wanted him. They gave him a check for five million dollars to leave the Nation of Islam and start an Orthodox Mosque years before his public falling out with his mentor The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He showed that check to his ministers and to John Henrik Clarke and mailed it back to them. He was loyal but he knew when someone was trying to co-opt him. He was friends with Wallace Muhammed, eventual leader of the Nation of Islam, who was repeatedly sanctioned by the NOI for failing to teach the NOI doctrines and teaching Orthodox Islam in his mosque. He taught Malcolm alot of Al-Islam however one must remember Malcolm met people from all over the world and Malcolm read voraciously. He wasn't in the dark about Al-Islam. He had been at one time but he grew and he would later criticize the Orthodox Community in his later speeches for not making a better effort to share the truth in the Black community and leaving us prey to any charlatan that came along. He also criticized Elijah Muhammed who he said could have brought us into the true light of Al-Islam but instead continued to teach what are seen as heresies in Al-Islam. Malcolm said it! Check it out!

Remember Malcolm had been through Philly many times, this is home to the first and oldest Mosque in America and started by alot of Afrikan Amercans in 1899. It was an Orthodox community mosque.

So when Noble Drew Ali, both Wally Fards, and Elijah Muhammad came on the scene teaching doctrines Malcolm later rejected there had been a real orthodox community available that failed to reach out. The Moorish Science, Allah Temple and Nation of Islam filled the vacuum, with race pride and uplift, drug rehabiliation and prison in and outreach and an economic plan that's rivaled only by Marcus M. Garvey economic plan.

Happy Birthday Brother Malcolm Little X Shabazz, African, Afrikan American, Minister, Father, Husband, Activist, Brotha! We love you and Miss you!

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Knucka, Where you from? Continued

Recently, Former Congressmen, JC Watts, Oaklahoma, proposed an All Black News Channel and is seeking funding and presenting his business plan in order to make it happen. Cool idea in theory but what kind of coverage would this proposed channel have? A Black Fox News channel perhaps? Fox News has little if not any journalistic integrity. They are basically a right wing propaganda machine. Would this be the right wing's attempt at so called fair and balanced reporting in the Afrikan American community? I mean an All Black News channel is a great idea but why is JC Watts doing it? He has little connection to the Black Community, has a history of showing contempt for the Black Community in this writers opinion. And during his time in congress, he was not a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and in fact was the first ever to not join. He became chairman of the Republican party GOPAC, is an ordained Pastor in the Southern Baptist church. He played quarterback at Oklahoma University and several years in the Canadian Football League.

Watts was selected in 1997 to deliver the Republican response to President Bill Clinton's State of the Union Address.[3] During the speech, Watts chastised some black Democrats and civil rights leaders as "race-hustling poverty pimps", whose careers he said depend on keeping blacks dependent on the government.[4][1] Ibid Wiki

Again, I am not picking on dude just cause he's Republican. You can choose your membership but You should keep and maintain a connection with the Afrikan American Community, a visible one not just symbolic. In fact I would as a publicly elected official say this is even more important. If he was a member of the NAACP and he was the most conservative member, he's still a member. But that has been a vast mistake and his efforts are now suspect. But in fairness, he has appeared on Tavis Smiley and is a regular commentator for CNN. Believe it or not there are plenty of socially conservative people in the NAACP but the likes of JC Watts wouldn't know it, find common ground, JC Watts and several Black Republican so called conservatives just continue to parrot the lies that leadership is comfortable with. Hey JC! Guess what, some of the Republicans aint conservative, they racist! They just plain old died in the wool racist! and you hangin out with em. Dude, nobody would throw you out, we'd talk about your azz but we wouldn't throw you out! Nor would we throw out any reasonable person irregardless of color, creed, sexual orientation, religious ideology etc.

Dr. Alan Keyes, a seriously conservative Black Republican, has run for the presidential nomination several times past, he's made good showings in past RNC debates, he's been a very vocal and loyal member of the party however he called Hillary Clinton, a carpetbagger when she ran for the senate seat in New York then at the urging of the RNC, he ran against her in that same election even though he didn't actually live in New York State. He was just there long enough to gain residency. He's they boy!

But again, let's look at Dr. Keyes resume; Born in Long Island, New York, went to Cornell University, graduated from Harvard University with a BA degree, PHD also from Harvard, worked in the Reagan Administration, 3rd degree Knight of Columbus and a Roman Catholic. Again, no visible connection to the Black community.

Armstrong Williams, Black Conservative commentator, was the confidential assistant to Clarence Thomas, yes! Justice Thomas while he worked at the EEOC, He received a BA in English from HBCU South Carolina State University, he is a third generation Republican and an entrepreneur. He got paid to push Bush's No Child left behind non sense! Shame on him for that, and Rod Thorn, Eff you too but interesting enough he is the only one to have a visible Black connection. SCSU. That's to his credit.
Now, there are plenty of so called down brotha's selling us out every day that give to the NAACP, Pledge one of the divine nine, go to the Blackest church but openly make deals that hurt us. They go into business with companies that don't hire in the Black community, manufacturer products in the Black Community or even in some cases have any presence in the Black Community. Again you gotta check these dudes out! Just for example, Jay-Z owned Rocawear and Armadale Vodka but are there any distilleries in Brooklyn? Any Brothers working there or even learning how to manufacture vodka? Do they bottle it or drive the trucks from the factory in Brooklyn? Is there a record pressing plant in Brooklyn, Harlem, The Bronx? That's hiring Black folks?

I'll Wait!

Anyone, making the Roc's clothes in the Black community? Making them not designing them. I picked Jay-Z cause he's the biggest right now but it can be asked of alot of people. Unless, you making jobs in your community it doesn't really matter much that you sell alot of stuff in and to your community.

Check them out!
Black Folks, Come Home! Black Folks, Come Home!

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Knucka, Where are you from?

Every election, every major event or every major police beating or talk show there's always this Black Person represented as a Black leader, or a leading or respected Black spokesperson. If you ever turn on the so called right wing pundits, there's always one but problem is none of the rest of us has ever heard of them. The problem, the so called legitimate Black establishment can't win either way cause if they point out the obvious, that no one has ever heard of these people then they give this person shine and if they don't then they are deficient in their duty.

But when in battle one must choose to fight smart but you must always fight. For example, you see The Reverend Doctor Jess Watchmebetraythem of the United Fellowship of the Allied Black Conservatives espousing on the need for prayer in schools, how Jesse Jackson is the reason for racial hatred in America and how we don't need social programs such as headstart, job training, medicare and the like. Or we see Minister Kallme Mukammed ( Mukammed means fake, or shirk it's bad...Trust), red, black and green colors proudly displayed,
shouting the call for separation or some racist vile rant! And what's the name of his organization? The International Consolidated Brotherhood Black Panther Party. His programs sounds like the old Nation of Islam's Program but ask someone and he ain't a member, never was a member or was and was expelled. Ask him what Mosque he goes to now?

Has anyone ever checked these people and their parties out? See where they came from? Pulled they ghetto pass, pulled they whole card? Well tell me how do we do that? It doesn't matter if they are liberal or conservative, they have a resume and it is your duty to read it and to check it's references. Why is this important? Because then you have a good idea if these people are legitimate, what their stands on the issues stem from, and how to query them.

Go ask Past President of the Black Panther Party for Self Defence, Elaine Brown and she's never heard of this dude, ask Dr. Angela Davis, never heard of him, Founding members Bobby Seale and David Hillard, who???? Never heard of him, and plus they will all say there is no Black Panther Party anymore.

Legitimacy, Resume, people!

You say you from the South side of Chicago huh? Well, what denomination are you credentialed through pastor? Did you go to a University? Which one? What did you major in? Did You pledge a fraternal organization? Really, Which one? Did you go to the seminary? Pastor such and such went there too, did you know each other? Pastor such and so and Brotha Hustle man do community outreach in your neighborhood but they've never seen you?
Why is that?

See what I mean?

You know, Rev. Jesse Jackson, interned under Dr. King. He pledged Omega Psi Phi, He's an ordained pastor, ran Operation Breadbasket and PUSH/Rainbow. He's a Prince Hall Mason, 32nd degree. He went to seminary at the University of Chicago. He's a life long member of the NAACP. You can check it. Like him or loathe him you know where he came from.

General Colin Powell, Army man most of his life and career, Joint chiefs of Staff, voted Barry Goldwater in 1964, worked in the second Bush administration. Registered Republican although he didn't wear his politics on his sleeve due to a racist police stop in the south. Like him or loathe him you know where he came from. He has an MBA from George Washington University, there is nothing connecting General Powell socially or politically to Afrikan American community on his resume but he is pro-choice on abortion, favors reasonable gun control and is considered a moderate Republican. He also is the first Black Secretary of State, and had some very public disagreements with the Bush Administration. He stated that when the world conference on racism occured America should have had a representative there including one at the Kyoto conference. Maybe, America didn't agree but we should have been there. Like him or Loathe him you know where he's from.

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, born Birmingham, Alabama, University of Denver, Stanford University Provost, belongs to same sorority as guess who Barbara Bush, worked for Chevron Oil, speaks Russian and Spanish, used to be a Democrat but changed affiliations in the 1980's but still worked for Sen. Gary Hart campaign. Is a Presbyterian like her Minister Father. Check her Father's views of Rev. Fred Shuttle worth and the Civil rights advocates in Birmingham where he ministered. Resume, people! Y'all catching on to what I'm groovin on?
Like her or loathe her you know where she came from.

Rev. Dr. Jerimiah Wright, Virginia Union University, United States Marine Corps, Howard University, University of Chicago and Union Theological Seminary. United Church of Christ affiliation, community organizer and retired senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Resume People! Like him or loathe him you know where he came from.

Are you with me?

Everyone can be fooled. California State University Long Beach just bounced a teacher who lied on his resume. He embellished!

My resume, Alumnus of Oakwood College now University, Founding member of Long Beach East Arts Village Poets Society, host of Soulstice Poetry open mike, former co-host of Epiphany's Insight with Alice Nichols, Alice the Poet, Founding member of Long Beach Pan African Writers group, studying under Odie Hawkins. I studied vocal performance under Charlotte Regni. Born and Raised in Compton! I belong to Poets for Human Rights, am passionate about local arts causes, local community reflected media and arts programs in school.

So where am I from? You know it!

Any leader should be asked about their credentials, Any Black Leader should definitely be asked! What school? What Church? What Lodge? What Frat, What Sorority? What political offices or community Service?, What Education? What allies and political, religious associations? Then why do you belong? What you don't belong? Why did you leave? How long did you live in this neighborhood? State? Who else have you worked with from that neighborhood? Check how they voted, what they donated money to etc. Check them out! Demand the answers!

Or else any charlatan with a book or something to sell will jockey for space on every pundit circuit. Some of whom will sell us out!

The question must always be asked. Now maybe you don't have the illustrious credentials so what but you should honest and forthright. Maybe, you are just starting your community efforts but if that's the case then you should not be on the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Bill O' Reilly show criticizing and hawking a book!
There I said it!

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Visions of the Future!

It's legend now but Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura, on the original Star Trek series almost quit the show. Script wise there wasn't much to her part. She answered the phone! (Laughing), Oh come on, she did. (Laughing)

In fairness, there wasn't much to any one's part other than Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Scotty. God, help you if you were just a helmsmen in a red shirt! You know, that poor dude in the red shirt usually was on the one killed horribly on each mission. He was the poor Black security guard or Black dude killed sometimes within the first half of the movie or the one that gets killed in a movie before there were Black Dude's getting killed in the movie. But I digress!

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke with the young actress and convinced her that she must stay for our sakes. She was very important to our people and to America. We needed to be represented in space, in fantasy, in the future. And thinking about it now, nekked, eating cheetos, What? Oh, too much information huh? Just kidding...I'm not eating cheetos! ( Laughing)

Oh lighten up!

Lt. Uhura was important because she represented Afrika and Afrikan Americans in the future, Black folks across the multiverses. Milk Chocolate skin, wide nose and broad lips, hair styled with a hot comb and a Swahili name. Revolutionary! Subversive! And that mini dress.......Give me a minute......But I digress! ( Laughing) Oh grow up, ya pansies!

If that conversation really occurred then it is important when speaking of the future that a race be in it but what are we doing in the future? Are we playing three dimensional characters, good and bad? Is space truly colorblind, truly classless? Is it not just a new frontier but a wild frontier? Even if the future is more of the present in space we need to be there.

How many Black folks have appeared in all the Trek series including films since Lt. Uhuru? Come on Trekkies! Come on, most of us even if you ain't Trekkies love Star Trek! How many? Less than Three hundred? Think about it. Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. Five television series! It's a franchise! How many people of color are there not of some European extraction including Romanian Gypsy extraction, Greek or Armenian?

I'll Wait...

That's just the Trek! But that doesn't mean that we have not been developed into more three dimensional characters. We've grown and while quantity is still low quality is well stocked!

Has anyone seen Freema Aguaman, the actress who plays Dr. Martha Jones on the British series Dr. Who? She's plays such a kick azz character. Medical Student, Time traveler, adventurer and she's so fine! Give me a minute.........just kidding! (Laughter) The BBC has used her and other Afro Caribbeans/Afro Brits/Afro Arabs and Afrikans in all their productions but definitely in Dr. Who. We are not the dominant culture so you can still tell which one is us but some of the Stereotypes are resting at least for now. Y'all should check it on BBC America or The Sci Fi Channel.

It is important that the future be diverse because fiction believe it or not is a species true gut check on its worldview.

To the Stars!

Be Mindful, Be Careful! Be Prayerful!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Eminent Domain, My Azz!

Way back in the dark ages, 1987, my high school principal, Dr. William Wright, encouraged us to participate with our families in the STOPPS campaign. Stop Taking Our Private and Parochial Schools! The City of Lynwood, California and the State of California were utilizing the Eminent Domain provisions made possible under the Manifest Destiny clause of the law to take Lynwood Adventist Academy, Pius X Catholic High School and a few other properties that the city felt they needed for the benefit of the people.
We peacefully fought and used all legal means to prevent our school from being taken but Lynwood Academy was taken and the property is where the New Lynwood High School is presently located. The city had a legitimate need. The old Lynwood was grossly overcrowded and old and our school even counting the elementary and junior high only educated about five hundred kids total. The old Zody's/Ralphs Giant property along with the elementary, junior high and High School now comprise the New Lynwood. Eminent Domain was invoked because of the public need and at that time it was only invoked for that purpose but now it is used to benefit private developers. This is not what it was created for!

But in the City of Long Beach, California it is being invoked and utilized to confiscate properties in the East Arts Village section. This pisses me off to no end! I lived in that neighborhood when it was Downtown! The Long Beach Mall was on life support, the homeless and mentally ill were all over, crime was in the open but growing among that were numerous art galleries, nightclubs, bookstores and quaint thrift shops and boutiques. It became a little metropolitan center with Condos, artist loft apartments, great restaurants and theatres. In the midst of that were two great beacons.
Bertrand Smith's Acres of Books and The Shades of Afrika. Acres of Books, a huge bookstore, specializing in everything! They buy, sell, trade and you could find just about any type of book there.

Ray Bradbury sang its praises and up until recently so did the city granting it a historical landmark status conveniently rescinded in order to move them out of the way for the latest greatest project.
This store , a converted barn is sooooo huge, that there is an entire half store that doesn't have electricity, where during the winter hours you have to brave it with a flashlight and we did because it has a spectacular fiction and Science Fiction section. If you want to read all of L. Ron's Hubbard's novels before he wrote Dianetics and founded the Church of Scientology then you should go here. There's a super friendly, one eared hairball, guard cat who on more than one occasion rubbed against my leg and patrolled the store while I shopped and then there is the staff, knowledgeable, friendly eccentric! You can't replace that!
Now, the Shades of Afrika, is Mecca to the Acres, Medina. It started in the early nineties selling dashikis and incenses, that you could smell a half a block away, I ain't kidding, and it evolved into a cultural center. This place became my second home. I started writing and performing poetry while attending The poets corner on Sunday nights, learned to appreciate Afro Cuban Music at the Pan African Drum Circles, watched those reaching out for help come to AA/NA meetings on Wednesday nights, learned CPR every fourth on Sundays, became a founding member of The Long Beach Pan African Writers Workshop there. I co-hosted Epiphany Evenings under Alice the Poet and eventually grew to host my own set, Soulstice there as well.
I met a poet named Roni who introduced me to my wife. We had our first date at a poetry set called Ascension hosted by Mst Muze at the Old Rifts Coffee house. Mst (Misty) and I met cause she strolled into the Shades cause she heard two brothas trading verse.
I watched the neighborhood heal, change and be renamed, from Downtown to The East Arts Village! And now the four blocks that make up the village are being torn down to make way for yet more condo's and another shopping center. In fairness, The Redevelopment Agency states it will be a mixed use project with a Art center and will possibly include Cal State Long Beach. It does not however explain how you can justify nullifying an already existing Cultural and Art center, IE, a mixed use center, commerce and commercial, which already serves the community to replace it with supposedly the same thing. Does this make sense? I would ask why weren't the businesses that already existed on 3rd Street, Elm Ave, Broadway, and Long Beach Blvd allowed to remain open and be included in this new Utopian mixed use art center?
Terry's Camera's is gone, The 99 Cents store is gone, Book Baron and Jacks are gone, Richard Kyle Books is gone! Sick Body Piercing is gone! Uncle Al's Seafood, home of a great Salmon burger is gone, The Shades has moved on almost out of the Village and Acres will soon be gone as well to be replaced by what? Another shopping center?
What will the city replace it with that will provide poetry, art, CPR, Yoga, Drumming, Song, Debate, writing, healing and friendship? They won't be able to build anything that will produce that because these things are intangible, they grew organically!
Recently the Long Beach Press Telegram wrote an article documenting the closing of Acres of Books. The article praised the stores longevity, it's history and asserted that the store was closing because it can not compete with the internet and larger chain stores. I will post the article here. I called the Press Telegram and pointed out that the article is not truthful because it never mentions the cities Redevelopment Agency invoking Eminent Domain on the store, The city rescinding it's Historical Landmark status and that the store owners are actually being forced out! The reporter admitted this was true about her article. I asked why haven't there been any articles covering the RDA and eminent domain and the anger in the village? I haven't received an answer to that question yet to this day.
Here is the article.

Acres may close last chapter
By Karen Robes, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 04/08/2008 06:59:08 AM PDT

Phil and Jackie Smith, owners of Acres of Books on Long Beach Boulevard, have agreed to sell the store s large lot to the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency for about $2.8 million. Relocation plans for the iconic store are uncertain.

LONG BEACH - For locals like Stan Poe and S&e Reed, Acres of Books has been more than a bookstore to them.
The storefront on 240 Long Beach Blvd. has been a longtime source for researchers, writers and book enthusiasts who have combed its acres of dusty shelves for hours hoping to score rare specialized tomes and hard-to-find first editions.
Writer Ray Bradbury once said Acres "is the best walk-through multimedia experience, if not on Earth, if not in all America, at least in the western part of the United States."
"For book lovers, a lot of (coming to Acres) was the experience," Reed said. "You could get a book anywhere, but it's the smell of the bookstore, the smell of the old books, the store cat, the way you can get lost in it and escape the everyday. It's so much more than getting a book. It's the book-buying, book-browsing experience and Acres is one of the last places to do so."
But the iconic bookstore with a million books may have penned the ending to its storied life.
After more than four decades at the site, owners Phil and Jackie Smith have agreed to sell the 12,000-square-foot lot for about $2.8 million to the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency.
The property on which Acres sits is slated to be part of a proposed mixed-use project bordered by Broadway, Long Beach Boulevard, Third Street and Elm Avenue. It will include commercial space, housing and an art center where local works can be displayed and art-related events can be hosted. The project also could include involvement with Cal State Long Beach in terms of class offerings and student housing, said Craig Beck, executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

"We think it would be a very dynamic project and a real asset for the downtown," Beck said.
He added that the city will have to address the historic nature of the site.
The agreement - which city officials and store owners spent 12 to 18 months negotiating - includes the land purchase and relocation costs and is expected to go before the agency board for approval as early as April 21, Beck said.
The agreement allows the owners additional parking and the ability to stay at the location rent-free for 12 months after escrow closes - anticipated on or before May 1 - to give them time to relocate if they choose to do so, Beck said.
For co-owner Jackie Smith, who has worked at the bookstore since 1976, the lifelong dream of working at Acres has clashed with the reality of her industry.
"It's all I ever wanted to do and my heart is broken," she said Monday. "I didn't want the bookstore to go away but reality speaks. I'm sure the buggy-whip makers didn't want horses to go away."
Many bookstores like Acres of Books have been facing extinction in recent years. Gone are independents like the Book Baron in Anaheim, which closed its doors after 27 years, and Midnight Special, which amid rising rents on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade was forced to shutter in 2002 after more than 30 years. Closing this month is Dutton's Brentwood, which is shutting on April 30 after 24 years in business.
Smith, who has been looking for potential relocation spots, attributed waning interest to new media culture.
"In general, the book business is a (buggy) whip," she said. "Forty years ago, you had three TV channels and then books in your spare time. Now you've got 300 channels and the Internet and your computer games and on and on and on and there's much less time for reading."
She also spoke of the rising role the Internet has played in the industry.
"Amazon and the Internet bookstores have done a great deal of damage to the brick-and-mortar stores," she said. "You don't have to pay employees and employee taxes and business licenses."
It's not just a fading interest in books, said Reed, who co-owns Open, an independent used bookstore on Fourth Street.
"If you're looking for a specific book, you can now find it (online) in Kentucky versus having to travel around the South Bay asking or calling around," she said. "You don't have to do that anymore. It's changing everything because relatively low per book price and significantly high retail storage price - that's not a winning combination."
Some in the community grieved Acres' possible closure, including Stan Poe, president of Long Beach Heritage.
"It's a terrible loss to the community and to Southern California to lose such an iconic bookstore like that," he said.
He remembered when independent bookstores dotted the city 40 years ago. He has seen them fold over time as rent grew more expensive.
"This was a very well-read town," he said. "With Acres of Books, they owned the building. It's probably what saved them for so long. They weren't at the whim of a money-hungry landlord. Acres of Books is probably one of the last ones around."
Store manager Raun Yankovich said he cried when he was told about the decision.
"The employees are devastated, especially long-time employees," he said. "It means a lot to me because I've met so many wonderful people here. ... We talk about film, we talk about art, a little bit about politics but mainly literature. It's not just a bookstore."
The move has some disillusioned about redevelopment.
"It's sad that they don't get to be part of that development," Reed said. "They've been a part of Long Beach history for so long and they just don't get to be there and for what? To build something else that everybody thinks is really cool? But we really had something."
The Smiths said they are far from being out of books. They are still getting in new titles.
"We quit buying and started taking books in trade so we could run down the inventory in case we find a place to move," Jackie Smith said, adding that they should know by October what they plan to do with the business.
Meanwhile, Jackie Smith reflected on what doing business in Long Beach has meant to her.
"I think the community has provided so much more to me," Jackie Smith said. "I have been able to deal with the wonderful world of book people and readers and writers and I've just gotten so much from them.
"It's just been a joy every day to be there. It's always been something I wanted to do and I'm so grateful to have been able to do it for so long.", 562-499-1303

Article printed courtesy of Press Telegram Website.

When will Cities learn that some things in life are more important and beneficial than how much property tax money can be collected. Probably never! And that's the most shameful unfortunate part of it!

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!

The views and opinions shared in A Choice of Weapons belong solely to Mista Jaycee and are not necessarily the views or anyone mentioned in A Choice of Weapons.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Loyalty Oaths! Are you Kidding?

Hey Y'all,

Recently at California State University Fullerton Wendy Govanor was fired because she refused to sign the loyalty oath defending the US Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. Based on her Quaker beliefs she is an avowed pacifist so she altered the document to read I will defend the US Constitution Non Violently, and signed it. Human resources sent it back to her insisting that she sign an unaltered version. She refused! and was eventually fired. Miss Govanor stated on NPR/PRI radio last week on "Fresh Air" that she has altered the loyalty oath throughout her career and it has never been a problem or much of one because she refused based on religious principal.

In fairness to the State, they may be in the process of changing this policy but as of now, I don't know. So what I'm gonna do is print a leaflet from People for the United Way and post a link for a petition. These loyalty oaths seem to be relics of red scare/50's USA and need to be revised, rewritten or removed in total! Here is the leaflet and here is the link.

Wendy Gonaver (above) was fired by Cal State Fullerton because she wouldn't sign a "loyalty oath" without being able to add a note explaining that her religious views would prevent her from taking up arms.

Tell Cal State to stop violating freedom of religion and free speech!

Imagine losing your job because you took a principled stand. Wendy Gonaver was hired to teach two courses last fall at Cal State Fullerton but was fired because she refused to sign a "loyalty oath" without being able to add a note explaining that her religious views as a Quaker and pacifist would prevent her from taking up arms.
That's not the American Way.

Ms. Gonaver was perfectly willing to sign the oath to uphold the Constitution as long as she could clarify that she wasn't committing herself to military action and that she had free speech concerns with a compelled "loyalty oath."

People For the American Way Foundation has sent a letter to Cal State on Ms. Gonaver's behalf urging the school to change its policy and allow employees who have religious or other objections to signing the "loyalty oath" to append an explanation of their views that would then allow them to sign the oath. The University of California already has such a policy in place in order to protect its employees' religious freedom and free speech rights.

Please join us by signing a petition urging Cal State to adopt a policy that accommodates their employees' beliefs.

We've included our suggested new policy below.

Please help us make sure Cal State does the right thing now by standing up for Wendy Gonaver's constitutional rights.

-- People For the American Way Foundation
Text of state "loyalty oath:"
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."
Suggested new policy statement for Cal State University:

CSU recognizes that some of our employees may have religious or other objections to taking this oath. It is our policy to accommodate the religious and other beliefs of our employees by allowing an employee to append an explanatory statement to the employee's signed oath.
You can read the entire text of People For the American Way Foundation's letter here:
Petition link:

Our Religious freedom is one of the guarantees in the Constitution, get involved!

Mista Jaycee and A Choice of Weapons is not encouraging or endorsing membership in any organization featured here. Make your own choices!
The opinions and views expressed are Mista Jaycee's and they are not necessarily the views of those folks featured in A Choice of Weapons! So There!

Be Mindful, Be Prayerful! Be Careful!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Reminising on Milestone Comics!

The 1990's were revolutionary times. Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back! Boogie Down Productions, By Any Means Necessary! John Singleton's Boyz in the Hood! Charles Dutton's entire season of live performances of Roc, In Living Color and for me, Milestone Comics.
I'm a science-fiction, horror, comic book geek and in addition to poetry and music, I write stories in those genres. Milestone Comics in association with DC Comics premiered alongside The Dark Detective, Batman!

The core four comics, ICON, HARDWARE, BLOOD SYNDICATE and STATIC had me in my local comic shop every Friday. The printing and color techniques were new and visually arresting. Alot of folks didn't like the look of the books but they had to admit that the characters were drawn well, they looked like real folks not with those perpetual Afros that all Black charaters had in the Marvel and DC comics from 1970 up until recently; Me, I've always been a story guy and what great stories they were.
My Favorites were Static ( also known as STATIC SHOCK) and Blood Syndicate. I don't think that I had ever seen characters so wonderfully complex and flawed before or since in comics.

Fade, who was forced to walk this plane of reality as a virtual ghost who could only stay solid for a minimum amount of time,was a Black Puerto Rican, from a ultra macho family of men struggling with his closeted homosexuality and love for his teammate TECH Nine. Now the comic was still comic code friendly G rated but they didn't just make him THE GAY Superhero in fact they didn't focus on that hardly at all. There was WISE SON, a practicing Muslim and teammate blessed with invulnerability whose could be the most self righteous A hole in the Dakota universe. Top it off that he was loyal, truthful and generous. And Fade's sister Flashback who could go back in time three seconds and change reality. Her brother, Fade was able to stay solid longer when he was in her proximity. She saved the Blood Syndicate's behinds more than once but she coped by using crack cocaine. Well, you see my point; Wonderfully flawed. They weren't a group of superheroes, they were a gang and thier family structure was built on that. When the gang found out Flashback was using they put a stop to it! Wonderfully flawed!

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas once wrote in that he preferred ICON's do it yourself, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps philosophy but read all of them. WOW! ICON, who lived from Slavery through the 1990's helping his adopted people while awaiting a ship to rescue him and take him home. But people were still calling him a Black Superman clone. Ok, he was sorta but he had powers even the Man of Steel didn't plus cute teenaged sidekick that had Superboy Prime, turning his head during the Milestone/DC crossovers.

There was HARDWARE, the story of a brilliant scientist, adopted as a child by a rich white mogul who realizes that even though he's called son, he would never inherit the company Daddy created and takes revenge on his father by becoming Hardware, exposing his father's illegial businesses, and practices to the world, and taking his company apart piece by piece before ultimately becoming Hardware, his father's number one enemy. He eventually undergoes a spiritual tranformation after a friend, well aware of his inventions and mischief confronts him, showing him that he is nothing more than a parasite like his father. He turns over a new leaf redeeming himself and becoming a hero. Interesting enough, Hardware's chauvanism comes back to bite him when after he insults a beautiful colleague after she pointed out percieved flaws in the Hardware armour seen on the video playback. She is given the chance to build devices that can potientially capture and kill Hardware. Hardware is shocked when she emerges with a near identical armoured suit with none of the flaws and not only defeats him in battle but nearly kills him. He, of course, apologizes for insulting her, as he secretly heals and licks his wounds.

But my number one was Static because he was a kid, a young Peter Parker molded character except he was a 90's Black kid. He was nerdy, scared, cocky and a virgin. He witnessed the death of his friend, caught up in the fast life of the crack game, fell in love with his best friend, Frieda Goren, Smart, beautiful, Jewish and totally oblivious to Virgil's/Static's crush all set in the post seventies multicutural, multi ethnic educational world. Yeah, High school, remember how it was? How it really was?

The greatest triumph of these comics were that they were not as popularly believed to be copies of white heroes in black face, they were all original, well written, three dimensional characters that stood on their own. Static issue #25 made history as Virgil and his girlfriend Daisy, a Sistah, had their first time together. The issue was banned for months eventually coming out but banned for just suggesting that these teenagers had sex. Again, Comic code G rated. But the company just couldn't make it all they way through. Damn!
In the real world Public Enemy imploded then got back together; BDP broke up with KRS going solo and putting out a string of sometimes brilliant sometimes lame spotty works.
Todd Johnson's and Larry Stroman joined upstart renegade company Image Comics and gave us Tribe, the first African American Comic to sell a million copies of it's first issue and even more importantly gave the world " Rosalyn", the Worlds first Fat Bottomed Superhero. Larry Stroman said he was tired of seeing Black Women not drawn as they were shaped in reality. Thank You Larry! Thank You! (Laughing)

Melyssa Ford, Esther Baxter and Buffie the Body eat your hearts out! Then something happened at Image and Tribe died after just four issues! Damn!
But now that the X files is gone and Milestone is resting in peace. I take solace that even if it was just a little while we were out there and out there being real. They changed the world!

They Did! Denny Cohen, Dewayne Mcduffie are drawing and writing mainstream now including JLA. Stroman is still catching on here and there. And for goodness sakes at least since Milestone, Marvel and DC no longer draw every Black person with an Afro and have them talking as if they just came out of the Mack!
Last, but not least, I gotta give DC comics a pat on the back because they took Milestone on because they were honest and said they didn't know how to write or draw realistic Black characters but they wanted to.
Now....I gotta go catch Dr. Martha Jones in Dr. Who or is she on Torchwood this week? Oh well...

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Memba Me, The Working Poor?

I was talking with one of my friends yesterday about the current episode of the Obama/Clinton soap opera "Played and Dazed All our lives!" and I expressed that I felt this was just a con job and that at one time I believed Clinton and Obama ran just to neutralize John Edwards; who's candidacy, was one of the few candidacies not taking corporate money and speaking about and on behalf of the poor and working poor.

Remember them? The Poor!

And she replied, "Well Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are speaking about the poor!"

I replied, " No, They're not! They're speaking about the Middle class and who is the middle class?

I won't bore you with the whole conversation but think about it who or what is the middle class? If you had to describe your personal background what would you say? Most folks would probably say they grew up in a typical middle class home, or lower middle class or in some cases, upper middle class, but never rich, wealthy or poor!

We get fooled by the euphemism's. Not rich but well off right? So, Dig, let's get at what makes a person Middle class.

Is it our social values? Logically, it couldn't be cause dirt- poor Grandma's have been among the most socially conservative groups of people that have ever walked this planet. Just ask, any young lady whose skirt went slightly above her knee at school or church. Just ask any young dude who noticed that skirt was above said knee. Believe me I know! I....Know! But I digress!

So if not our social values alone then it must be our economic status.

I got this definition from Wikipeda....The middle class, in colloquial usage, consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social influence or power.

The term often encompasses merchants and professionals, bureaucrats, and some farmers and skilled workers. That used to mean white collar professionals who while they worked for wages did not work in the factories under the same conditions or subject to the dangers associated with factory work. But now it's a nebulous term defined many different ways depending only on the individual using it.

Here's an example. Non degreed, skilled worker, brings home $42,000.00 this year. He resides in Los Angeles County, his wife, some college, working in a white collar professional workspace brings home another $36,000.00. $78,000.00 dollars combined sounds like a nice piece of dough right? But it's not!

Three Children, Daycare, health insurance for everyone, two car payments, auto insurance, food, fuel, rent and minimal entertainment.

Single Man, no dependents, with exception of that one young lady who's not even showing yet, but I jest, brings home $29,000.00 gross and lives in Los Angeles County. A single apartment, one room, separate bathroom and kitchen, non furnished with stove and frig runs $850.00 a month. No lie! This does not include utilities, health insurance, car payment, auto insurance or minimal entertainment.

Minimal entertainment is defined as Cable/Direct TV, Pizza for a family, a movie or a night out on the town.

Which one is Poor and which one is Middle class? Can you say working poor? Who the H*ll are the working poor? What does working poor mean anyway?

Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses. The working poor are often distinguished from paupers, poor who are supported by government aid or charity. Ibid. Wikipedia

The "working poor" in the United States

The nature and extent of the working poor in the United States is a contested subject; while both sides of the political spectrum acknowledge that there are non-negligible numbers of working people living near or below the poverty line Excerpted Wikipedia Ibid.

To be fair, the US Department of Health and Human Services set the poverty line for a single person household at $10.800 give or take a buck or two but we haven't added taxes, auto insurance, car payment, health insurance, food and fuel, day care, or minimal entertainment such as a movie, video rental or Cable/Direct TV so again, which one of these examples is middle class? Now, whenever the President or Congress speaks, platitudes of helping the Middle Class fly like a protein shakes from a blender with no lid.

OK, now, you're getting mad, so I'll say it! When the President or other elected officials say middle class, they ain't talking about you! There I said it! Most elected officials are RICH! Some are WEALTHY! A few are MIDDLE CLASS but MIDDLE CLASS is defined by the group standing next to the MIDDLE CLASS. The RICH and the WEALTHY see MIDDLE CLASS as College Educated, White collared professionals, making at least two hundred thousand or higher combined a year. Now if I was making 200 K, I would consider myself RICH but alas I am not and even if I was I wouldn't be RICH. Now I know, all of my examples are fluid, subject to change where ever my audience happens to reside but I think I've made a good solid point.

Most of us are working poor with solid morals, values and hopes and now it's time for us as a group to GET REAL with the politicos and VOTE FOR OUR REAL INTERESTS! TAX BREAKS and PROGRAMS that will benefit us.

Just something to think about so again don't get caught in a political Euphemistic fog. Get real about what your interests are and vote for your interests!

Remember, the views expressed in A Choice of Weapons are those of Mista Jaycee and are not necessarily the views of anyone featured or associated with A Choice of Weapons or Mista Jaycee.

So Be Prayerful! Be Mindful! Be Careful!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


May 6, 2008

A few years ago when I was hosting Soulstice at the Shades of Afrika in Long Beach, California, a young singer walked into the gallery, signed up for open mike and politely waited for his chance in the back. Being that he was a newbie I reminded the audience to cheer him on even if he messed up and encouraged him to start again and play on even if he did. There was no need for us to even worry about that because he came up acoustic guitar in tow, trademark pork pie hat and proceeded to blow us away with three solid tunes and his tasty playing and soulful voice. Afterwards, he walked to the back of the gallery and watched the rest of the show. After all the open mike participants finished their sets, I geared up for round two; It was then, that we all found out just how special "Sandbloom" was when one of the sistahs in attendance yelled out " Can he sing again? pointing to Sandbloom who was behind her. He obliged and promptly showed us that his first set was just a warm up. Well, he supported Soulstice frequently and it seems every other open mike set on the Long Beach/East Arts Village scene. It appeared that where ever I went to gig and promote he was there also. I must say he is a nice, humble, and very talented cat and It's a pleasure and privilege to host this interview. Y'all enjoy!

Mista Jaycee:

How long have you been playing music and when were you first inspired to play? Do you remember?


I have been playing ever since high school....and that's a,hhmm, a while.
Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder and I'd say maybe The Specials and English Beat
were big inspirations. I was a big ska head when I first started playing.

Mista Jaycee:

Who have you played with that blows or just blew you away?


Melany Bell is one of the most naturally talented people I have ever played with...
I'd have to say also I love my current band members. James Alsanders is a M.F.
on drums and Daniel Seef is really inventive on bass and guitar...As far as who else
blows me away, there are probably too many to name.

Mista Jaycee:

How would you describe your sound and how has it evolved or devolved for the better or worse?


Interesting that you added devolved in there because fans of certain performers
usually like their early stuff or the stuff they first heard when they got into them...
as for how I feel about it, I think I'm always progressing, but that could be debatable.
I think my songwriting has become a lot more natural. It just kinda flows out and
I either like it or can it. I used to spend a lot of time hammering out this or that
particular for how I describe my sound now? I would say it's soul-blues
with Alot of influences.

Mista Jaycee:


I noticed on the your sound has changed a little from Earthbound to the Delta 6 EP
Are you using more compression or different mikes?


I have had 2 CDs out since the EP so my sound has changed since then too..
I used almost the same equipment on both those records. I think I just got
better at manipulating it.

Mista Jaycee:

Dig! I Am aware ( laughing) of the newer albums " From a bird" and "Madloveactivate" but since I'm still a semi- starving artist I haven't gotten those yet and I still play " Earthbound and Delta 6 on the trusty Ipod! Heck! I'm still hearing new stuff on them! (Laughing)
Don't worry folks I will be legally purchasing the two or three new ones soon.

Mista Jaycee:
How organic would you say your sound is becoming or has become?


I'm always a fan of just vocals and guitar, which is about as organic as it gets.
How much stuff I put around those two elements is generally dictated by the
song, my mind-state, how I feel like a record should sound once I'm a
couple tracks in. The process itself is pretty organic.

Mista Jaycee:

Are you using Pro-tools or Ableton Live?



Mista Jaycee:

Don't let me make it too nerdy but there's gotta be better questions than what's ya favorite color? LOL

Mista Jaycee:

In an age of downloading how does an independent artists survive and thrive?


Well, I play live alot and that's pretty much my bread and butter is the merchandise sales
from shows and whatever I'm getting on the gig. I would like to figure out what is going to equal that live response in the digital world, but haven't found the magic key yet. Still working on that...

Mista Jaycee:

What advice could you give an up and coming artist or even an old vet trying to remain relevant?


Stay true to your's a cliche, but it's the only way I know how to live.

Mista Jaycee:

What's next?


Working on a new record and possibly scoring a film....I'm also trying to find a way to start touring abroad, but logistically that's a little harder than just getting in my van and driving from gig to gig.

Mista Jaycee:

Well Thanks for sharing with us be sure to listen and purchase Sandbloom at or
Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!
The Views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Mista Jaycee and are not necessarily the views of anyone interviewed in the blog.

Friday, May 2, 2008

How would you answer?

May 2, 2008

Hey Y'all,

First of all welcome to a choice of weapons where the pen and word are the best weapons! For all the folks who remember "Outside the Lines" The poetry and music newsletter in Long Beach, California's East Art Village, welcome back.

I hope that you enjoy my blog and please write back and let's get a dialogue going. Remember, while colorful language is tolerated and strongly worded opinions are encouraged, please respect the audience. So, Be Blessed in advance and again welcome to "A Choice of Weapons!"

Dig! Why a Choice of Weapons? Funny name for a blog not advocating gun use or armed revolt huh? Books, Music, Art, Poetry, Debate, Writing, Photography, meditation and prayer are powerful weapons and the only ones "A Choice of Weapons and Jaycee Williams endorses. So There! (smile)

I took the title from the Late Renaissance man, film director, writer, composer. pianist, singer,and photographer Gordon Parks, first autobiography, and one of my personal heroes.

I know you are wondering why is Minister Louis's photo on this page? If you were running for political office and someone questioned you what was your relationship or feelings on Minister Louis Farrakhan ? What would you say? Would you speak highly of him or would you denounce him as a raving anti Semite, a demigod or a con man? Is it fair for them to ask you that just cause you're Black?

Senator Barack Obama was asked, so was Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Why were they asked this? And was Obama asked this question as he ran for each of the public offices he held? Obama and Rev. Wright are from Chicago right? Let me ask you. What Black person running for office in Chicago do you know can do anything long term and not deal with the Nation of Islam? The National Headquarters is there. And why is it a political career killer to point out the good things that the Nation of Islam has done all over the America especially in the cities?

The poor and disenfranchised who deal with poverty, poor education, lack of resources, job training, home ownership, lack of grocery stores, and financial institutions in the inner cities not to mention police brutality, high incarceration and drug addiction and the overabundance of cheap liquor stores, gun shops and checking cashing/payday loan operations; The list can go on but again the NOI and The Black Church has always had to deal with these ills. So why wouldn't Obama or any Black politician point out the NOI and Black Church's place on the front line in the struggle and then use this as a chance to have some talk on the issues?
Could it be cowardice perhaps?

So Jesse, denounced Minister Louis and now Barack has done the same except Barack Obama, great as he has been denounced not only his Minister, Rev. Wright, but allowed the Black Church tradition and Black Liberation Theology to be smeared. Where was his candor and his eloquence that has served him so well in the past? He let Rev. Wright appear to be a quack! He didn't speak out on the issues that the Black church feels are paramount to people's lives.

How many people still believe that America is being attacked cause they hate our freedom?

I'll wait....

Now, how many people believe that our past policies around the world have created enemies to us that now seek to harm us?

How many people believe HIV/AIDS came from Green Monkeys in Africa?

I'll wait....

How many people that know of the Tuskegee experiment believe AIDS is a biological agent created in a lab?

Both questions have been posed as theories for the Orgin of the Aids epidemic. Yet where's the science? Where are these green monkeys? What country in Africa? Are they still infected? Where is our lab that's testing this theory? I'll wait....

What about the oral polio vaccine from the 1950's and the lab in Congo? There is a documentary called the Orgin of AIDS that researches the subject. I suggest you see it. What about what the Royal Academy of Science's published papers concerning that Lab, it's studies, test methods, and the chimpanzees used in experimentation? And it's assertion that the AIDS virus began as a result of the oral polio vaccine's failure?

Still think Rev. Wright's a quack? Still think it's more conspiratorial rantings? It's funny how while we allow people's reputation to be destroyed in the press no one has investigated these beliefs and disproved them. No one accuses Rev. Wright or even Minister Louis of lying or being mistaken about these issues yet even among European Americans yet they are derided because they dared speak against the conventional group think.

Well, that's all for now. Please feel free to respond.

Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!