Young Black Males In Crisis ..Calling Mr. Swann

There was a recent story in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the poor performance of inner city schools that broke my heart. I knew the statistics were daunting, but reading this report from the Philadelphia Inquirer brought it home. Black males in Philadelphia make up 14% of the population, yet 50% of them between the ages of 15-29 were the victims of violence in Philadelphia this past year. Only 9% of black eight graders scored at grade level or better reading, compared to 33% of white boys.

Here in Philadelphia, the city has already recorded over 223 homicides; most of them young black males. This is an alarming rate even for a large urban area like Philadelphia. And as is always, the usual suspects are being blamed. The schools, the criminal justice apparatus, the "man", a lack of funding for social programs, blah,blah,blah.

Here is the deal; as black folks we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is a largely self created crises, that can only be solved when we start taking responsibility for our own actions. Brothers, start spending time with your children, go back home to your families, and start raising these children that are being raised by the streets. If you have multiple families, make more time to spend with your offspring, and take less time to hang on the corner and play basketball with your boys. I am sick of seeing these young men being raised by one generation of females after another with no positive role models in their homes.

Many of you-I am still talking to black folks-are will be in church this Sunday morning. You will be singing, clapping, and giving praise for all that you have been blessed with. Nothing wrong with wanting to be saved. A little insurance policy for when you check out from this life and go to another one can't hurt. But we also have to make sure that our present life right here and now on earth, is right too. It's nice to invest in your local church financially and emotionally. Lord knows that the Pastor could always use more members and a new church. But how about investing some of that emotional and financial capital into your communities and homes? Believe me, you will be just as good a Christian for it. I challenge some of these Pastors -who preach a good game, to be more proactive in their communities with their time and resources. Start walking the walk to go along with that nice talk that you give every Sunday morning when you want us to throw something in the offering plate. Or when you want us to support your political benefactor.

And speaking of poIitics, I see where Mr. Steeler, and Governor wanna  be, Lynn Swann, took a bus tour of barber shops in Philly. He was supposedly trying to talk to the people and learn what ails the communities in which they live. Well, nice try Lynn, but most black people see your little bus tour for what it was; just another campaign ploy to drum up some black support. It aint gonna happen, so you could have saved some gas for your busses, and some time for yourself. Now if you can promise to talk to the legislators in the Western part of the state to try to do something about the ridiculous gun laws in Pennsylvania, well, then, we might be on to something. But I doubt if you will, because you need that Western Pennsylvania vote, just as much as you need the black votes in Philly. And I don't think that you, or any other Governor of this state will lift a finger to work on the educational crisis, or, the out of control crime rate that's plaguing these mean streets. That would cause you too much political capitol, and cause you to lose...Gasp! The white vote.

So this is why I am talking directly to black folks. Mr. Swann might look like you, but trust me, he isn't here to help you. The only one that can help you is looking at you in the mirror every day. So let's stop all the talking, praying, and marching. And let's start acting, organizing, and working. Before it's too late for all of us. Even the smooth talking Mr. Swann.

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African Americans Divided on Lieberman

From the Hartford Courant . . . the full story is here.  

Black Leaders Divided
Lieberman Inspires Range Of Memories

By David Lightman and Mark Pazniokas
July 11, 2006

Two of the Congressional Black Caucus' most prominent members, U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Maxine Waters, have split over Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and his primary with Ned Lamont, a divide that highlights the question of how the black vote might sway the outcome.

Waters, the more media-savvy and aggressive of the two, is backing Lamont - potentially bad news for Lieberman, who in recent years has been criticized for his stand on issues such as affirmative action and school vouchers.

But Lewis, viewed as more of an old-guard civil rights leader, helps reinforce Lieberman's message that he was a part of the rights movement as early as the 1960s, when he was a student at Yale.

The rival endorsements are not likely to translate into large numbers on Aug. 8 - black voters are expected to make up only about 10 percent of the total - but even a relatively small number of votes could affect a mid-summer primary in which turnout is likely to be low.

. . . Even though Lieberman's NAACP legislative report card has been stellar, Waters and others have long been critical of the senator. . . .

The oldest beef that Waters and her followers have with Lieberman stems from 1995, when California was considering banning racial preferences at state-funded institutions.

"You can't defend policies that are based on group preferences as opposed to individual opportunities," Lieberman said at the time.

When Al Gore picked Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate five years later, Waters and other black caucus members were unhappy, and Lieberman had to make amends with skeptical caucus members at a downtown Los Angeles hotel.

Waters, in the front row, said she was "unclear" where Lieberman stood. Lieberman explained his civil rights history and pledged allegiance to affirmative action programs. Waters said she was satisfied. . . .

Members then grilled him intensely on a number of subjects, and were particularly upset that he had just been quoted saying he "wouldn't send American men and women to Liberia unless I was convinced the country was ready for peacekeeping."

At a time when troops were being sent to Iraq, the caucus was not pleased that Lieberman said, "I don't think it's appropriate for American soldiers to get into the middle of that." Lieberman said his statements were taken out of context.

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Field Negroe's Racism Quiz

The Field-Negroes Racism Quiz
Folks consider this post a self improvement exercise from the field-negro. Yes, it's the Oprahization[sic] of the field-negroe's blog. I am going to give you a little pop quiz to help you realize if you are a racist or to help you recognize racism when you see it.

This is necessary because black folks are always crying racism, and white folks are always saying that they are not. Now this is no ordinary quiz, it comes from years of experience as a field-negro, and extensive interviews conducted with my black and white friends. (Honest white folks by the way, who are not afraid to tell the field-negro how they really feel)

Ok, here goes. And no peeking at the answers.

1. You - a black person- are invited to a picnic being thrown by some white co-workers to celebrate your birthday. As you enter the picnic area, displayed prominently on the main picnic table, are rows and rows of fresh juicy watermelons. Your white co workers are racist. True or False.

2. You- a black female- are sitting behind your desk at your very corporate job, when a white co-worker comes behind you and starts rubbing the top of your head. They then declare; I just love how that feels. This co-worker is a racist. True or False.

3. You -a black person- are at a party with all white people when the DJ starts playing some old Prince tunes. The white party goers all turn to you and ask you to bust a move. They are racist. True or False.

4. You -a black person- are asked to show your ID by the cashier after making a purchase with your American Express gold card. The cashier is a racist. True or False.

5. You-a black person- approach an elderly couple sitting in their car waiting on the light to change. As you get closer you notice that they lock their car doors. They are racist. True or False.

6. You-a black person- are sitting on a plane and bored out of your mind. The white passenger sitting next to you--- in an attempt to be accommodating offers you the sports section of his "USA Today". He is a racist. True or False.

7. You- a black person- are sitting at the light in your brand new Chrysler 3000, when a young white boy pulls up next to you; his tape blasting a rap song with the word n***r in every sentence. This white boy is a racist. True or False.

8. A white person is watching the NBA finals, and he is secretly wishing that there could be just a few more white starters on each team. This white person is a Racist. True or False.

9. A white person notices that the for sale sign on his white neighbor's lawn is gone. He goes outside to check it out, and see an older black lady with about seven young black males unloading furniture from the back of a pick up truck. She explains to him that these are her seven grandsons, and that thanks to a section 8 grant, she will be moving in right next to him. He immediately heads inside to contact your real estate agent. This white person is a racist. True or false.

10. A white person subscribes to the 12% rule. If he attends any public venue and more than 12% of the people there are black; he immediately make plans to leave. This white person is a racist. True or False.


1. FALSE: White people love watermelons too. Don't be so sensitive. Now if someone at the picnic had said: Hey look it's field-negro, look at the nice watermelons we got you field-negro, help yourself. Well, that would have been racist.

2. TRUE: Not only is this co-worker racist, they are dumb too. Actions like that can lead to an ass kicking. NEVER EVER touch a black females hair without permission. Heck, her man or husband can't touch her hair without her permission.

3. FALSE: So they think you can dance because you are black, that's no big deal. Being able to dance is a good thing. (Now shuffling, that's a different story)

4. FALSE: If the cashier asked the white person in front of you for ID too. TRUE: If they did not
(That was a freebie question, you can have no wrong answer here)

5. FALSE: Those old white people aren't racist, they are just smart.

6. TRUE: Big time racist. He assumes that all black people want to read about is sports. Why didn't he give you the business page?

7. FALSE: If you have a problem with young white boys vibing to rap songs with the word n***r in it, get on the black rappers who write the lyrics.

8. FALSE: You best believe I wish like hell there were more brothers starting in the NHL. And unless it's a Philly team, I always cheer for the team with the most brothers. So I can't knock the white guy for doing the same thing. He cheered for Bird, I cheered for Magic. No harm no foul.

9. FALSE: Seven young males, and a grandmother! Heck; I don't care if they are black, white, yellow, or brown. I would have been calling my real estate agent too.

10. TRUE: That was a give away question just in case the quiz is too tough for you.

So how did you do? If you got between 8-10 right you are a race expert.
Jessie should call you first before he makes a move.

If you got between 5-8 right keep working on it you are getting there.

If you got 3-5 right you might have some issues. This blog should be required reading for you on a daily basis.

And if you got less than 3 right, well, there is always the republican party. (I kid I kid)

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The Covenant With Black America

Currently, the #3 New York Times' best selling, non-fiction paperback is The Covenant With Black America, a collection of essays aimed at improving the lives of Black Americans, edited by Tavis Smiley. The book starkly details the disturbing statistics of a faltering community in desperate need of courageous leadership. However, from the best minds this nation has to offer, we also gain the proper tenets to lead African-Americans through the most difficult phase of an uncompleted civil rights movement.

Back before the end of legal segregation and passing of the Voting Rights Act, Black people were wholly responsible for their own. Clergy and Elders of the community were accountable for ensuring future generations would replicate the pivotal family unit, while understanding only a good education would lift their Black youth out of poverty and discrimination. Under the supervision of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with financial backing from the Johnson administration, these were the cornerstones of Dr. King's `War On Poverty' initiative launched in the late 1960s'.

Presently, I can envision no better strategy to possible stem the dire spiral currently gripping the Black community in this country.

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