Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Checkmate Blagojevich

In an earlier blog I wrote that true criminals are often brilliant, charming and delusional in how they see themselves and the world around them. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a true criminal and naming Roland Burris, a former state attorney general, who has a fairly distinguished career as public servant is brilliant. Oh did I mention that Burris is African-American.

Now the ball is in the Democrats and Barack Obama's court. The Democrats have indicated they will not seat any appointment by Blagojevich. However, the Governor has the legal and constitutional authority to appoint the replacement for Obama.

The Senate has no legal or constitutional authority to deny the appointment. The United States Supreme court in Powell v. McCormack ruled that congress could not deny Harlem Democrat Adam Clayton Powell his seat in congress. Just two years earlier, the court in Bond v. Floyd enjoined the Georgia Legislator from denying Julian Bond a seat in that body.

Burris, on the other hand, has a legitimate claim to a United States Senate seat for the next two years. He is in no way implicated with Blagojevich's criminality. He rightly states that the citizens of Illinois have a constitutional right to two senators and he is answering the call for public service. And besides Burris is 70 years-old. What the hell does he care if Harry Reid is pissed off?

The problem that the Democrats have is that the reality of the white boy club called the United States Senate will now come into full view. The debate will move away from Blagojevich's sleaziness and possible criminality to 99 white men looking down their nose at an African-American from taking his senate seat.

You have to appreciate the move from that insane Governor in Illinois.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Give The Man The Oscar

I have watched Dark Knight three times since its release, twice in the theater and last night on DVD. I have yet to see Heath Ledger acting in that movie. There is no actor playing the Joker. There is an evil specter brought into the world of the living to terrify our souls by some Hollywood witchcraft.

As a movie, Dark Knight is closer to Sidney Lumet's classic Prince of The City, than an action movie. Dark Knight is about the dark side of urban living. It reminds me of why, on my nightly walk in Harlem, I stick to main avenues and not dare stroll down a side street. For down those side streets that are perfectly safe in day, may be lurking my worst fears. The movie is a masterpiece.

Heath Ledger turns Dark Knight into the best horror movie in a generation. It is as close to watching pure evil that I ever hope to come in contact with. It is Osama Bin Laden, Jack The Ripper, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam all combined in one. Ledger’s Joker is the nightmares of our dreams come alive.

Ledger forces us to contemplate - what if a serial killer did not hide out in caves in the mountains of Pakistan, or lurked in the shadows of urban neighborhoods stalking his victims? What if that serial killer was brazen enough to walk into the mid day light and declare "I am in charge"? What would we do? Would we, as the Joker told Batman, "turn on each other."?

In a memorable line when Batman asks "why do you want to kill me?" The Joker responds "I don’t want to kill you. You complete me." Maybe what is so frightening about Ledger’s performance is that deep down inside of each of us lives that evil. And that evil completes us.

Give the man the Oscar and cry that such a talent left us at the tender age of 28.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Clint Eastwood

As New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis writes “ Few Americans make movies about this country anymore, other than Mr. Eastwood.” Clint Eastwood latest masterpiece, Gran Torino is a comedic, tragic and ultimately redemptive tale of America’s inner cities and the "greatest generation" coping with a urban wasteland now populated by 21st century immigrants.

Gran Torino reminds us that in our decaying inner cites are people of different generations and cultures all trying to define what it means to be an American. And that among the socio-tragic urban America there remains a lot of people of dignity and honor. Eastwood continues to amaze.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There Is Whoring In The Whore House?

I had doubts from the very beginning of the veracity of some of the ranting by Illinois Governor Gov. Rod Blagojevich on the Federal wiretaps. Next I knew that the juvenile mentality of the corporate media would attempt to tie the scandal to Barack Obama.

I have practiced criminal defense law for the last ten years. Most of my clients are not necessarily bad, they just do stupid things, sometimes totally out of their character. In that sense everyone in America is capable of committing a crime.

But then there are the 25 percent true criminals. The one thing all true criminals have in common is that they are fucking insane. They suffer from narcisssitc personalities so deep that they are capable of committing almost any act. They are often brilliant, charming and delusional in how they see themselves and the world around them.

Blagojevich is a true criminal. When you are under federal investigation. When you have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to keep the federal government at bay. Why would you talk into an open mike and shake down politicians? Because you are fucking insane!

It is highly dubious that Jessie Jackson Jr. knowing that the governor is demented and under federal investigation would enter into a pay for play deal given his family’s experience with the Feds. After all his father probably has an FBI file longer than War and Peace.

It is troubling that the Feds released Jackson’s name in federal wiretaps and indictment on the basis of Blagojevich rants. This is a classic government tactic to run some bag man to ground to give up someone higher up on the food chain. Even if Jackson’s camp offered to raise governor Elvis money in return for the senate appointment, that is not illegal.

One of the amazing things is the feigned shock of the media at the fact that Blagojevich would be offering a pay to play deal on a United States Senate Seat. From the town aldermen to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, politicians have been engaged in the pay to play game since the beginning of the republic. How do you get the Ambassadorship to London or Paris? You raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the guy that wins the Presidency. Now the media is shocked to find out that there is whoring going on in the whore house.

But then the juvenile corporate media has spent the last week trying to muddy Barack Obama with the scandal. If Obama attempted to influence the governor's pick, that is within political norms. But now the media is implying that Obama must be dirty because he came out of Chicago politics.

We are on the verge of a global depression. Yet, the media is fascinated with a thug governor from a corrupt state. Bernard L. Madoff alone stole fifty billion ($50,000,000,000.00)dollars. How the hell do you steal 50 billion dollars and no one notices. There has to be other banks involved with Madoff. The SEC has said it had credible evidence ten years ago and did not act or did it just turn a blind eye? When Madoff is added with the other looting that took place on Wall Street on a generational scale, Blagojevich looks like a petty street criminal.

Why has Blagojevich and Obama been the lead story the last weeks rather than Madoff and Wall Street. The problem is that the same corporate looters that have created this mess pay the salaries of the talking heads that dominate the national media. Now that it is the ultimate pay to play.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bill Ayers Kicked Chris Matthews Ass

Bill Ayers made a brilliant statement on the importance of a strong leftist intellectual voice in America's politics. Matthew's weepy white catholic, Pennsylvania slice of America was challenged for its willingness to tolerate law breaking. Somebody has to be willing to challenge the hypocrisy the "center right" myth, that is 21st century American politics.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Devil Gets His Due

The state of Nevada has either locked up a sociopath or the last free Negro in America. Make no mistake that if OJ regular citizen had put a caper together to go get his own stuff back from some business associates, who were as slimy as he , the state would have plea bargained to a lesser felony or even a misdemeanor. But those 10 white and 2 Hispanic jurors brought the tragic life of OJ Simpson to its inevitable Shakespearean end.

I am ashamed to admit that there was something attractive about the OJ of the last 14 years. A black man who played the spook and then without warning spit in his masters eye and went rogue. OJ lived as a mythical outlaw Negro from another era. He fucked white women and even murdered one and her lover. Simpson's denied the Goldman’s their 30 million dollar judgment by hiding out in his mansion in Florida, protected by laws that were put in place to shield mobsters and robber barons.

When he needed money, OJ would just show up at a sports memorabilia signing unannounced and uninvited. He would sit in a hotel room across the street, make a quick hundred thousand dollars by signing footballs and number 32 jerseys, and then go pillage some more. As sick as it was, you had to smile watching OJ riding around in a golf cart with some sick-o-fan with that smile that said "yeah I killed the bitch what you going to do about it!"

The prosecution for armed robbery was payback for walking out of a murder trial 14 years ago. And that was a misuse of the criminal justice system. But on a cosmic level, the Gods must have their payment for a life of debauchery and amorality.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Spook Who Sat Next To The Door

Bobby Jindal is now being pushed as the answer to the Republican Party. When Bear Bryant faced a team with black players that ran circles around his all white "Tide", he supposedly said "I got to get me one of them." Now after the ass whipping the democrats just gave Republicans with "that one" at the top of the ticket, they now need them "one".

But before the democratic establishment rewrites history, lest we not forget, Barack Obama was not embraced by the democrats. He won the nomination because he went around them, over them, and through them. Obama won dragging the party of the old south kicking and screaming all of the way into the 21st century. This thing was suppose to be over by Super Tuesday remember?

Now the Republican Party needs a 21st century face to slap on their 20th century party of, being against gay marriage, immigration, affirmative action, a woman's right to choose, support of public education and sensible regulation of markets. They now looking for their spook to sit next to the door.

The genius of Obama, is that he let it be known up front that he is firmly attached to the African-American community. When faced with his first major crisis to his nomination over Jeremiah Wright, Obama looked at the world and said "I could no more disown this man than I could the black community. He is like family to me." Translation: I am a black American by choice and it is too late for me to change. Obama challenged the democrats to look in the mirror and decide what it means to be a 21st century political party.

Jindal has not used his life experience to lead Louisiana's Republican Party into the 21st century reality that the world looks like him. And if his state and party wants to compete, it must create a new paradigm that embraces diversity.

Jindal has risen to the top of Louisiana republican politics by doing what many African-Americans have done for generations to move up; put on white face, red lip stick, and get up on the table and do the gig. Jindal ran as a born again Christian and made it clear that he embraced with zeal the ideology of a 20th century party.

During his campaign for governor, there was serious discussion in Louisiana's African-American business community to support Jindal. Jindal campaign made it clear, that he was not interested in being seen as too friendly with African-Americans. Jindal never made a serious attempt to court black voters, he ran instead as a right-wing ideologue. Governor Jindal remains as isolated from the state’s African-American population as any previous Republican Governor. According to a number of African-American state legislators Jindal’s policy toward black legislators is “to ignore us”

What the Republican Party needs is not to slap a colored face on a party of bigotry, it needs to replace its “southern strategy” with an urban strategy. Republicans need not abandon its core values of little government, low taxes and pro-business.

Republicans needs to finally embrace George Bush call for compassionate conservatism. Just because the message had a bad messenger does not mean that the message was wrong. You cannot go into an urban community and tell its citizens that you are stuck here because you are morally deficient and lazy. You have to fix the schools, make sure children don’t go to bed hungry, make the streets safe and stop locking up young men for life because they sold a narcotic. Then and only then will urban voters listen to your philosophy of low taxes and limited government. Be the party of pro-life by making a moral argument not by forcing the government between a woman and her doctor.

Republicans must finally live up to the true Christian ideals that they say girds their moral core. I cannot imagine that Jesus of the New Testament would tell a loving gay couple that they are going to hell. Republicans must stop attempting to convert the world’s diversity that enlivens our cities into a white, patriarchal, Eurocentric philosophy.

But most importantly, accept the truth. Republicans did not lose the 2008 Presidential race, and congress because of George Bush, the Iraq War, or the market meltdown. They lost because they are now a white, southern, rural party. They won in large numbers only in places where low educated voters live. The Republicans won large in rural America not because of their economic principles and vision but because those voters brought into their bullshit of fear the gays, the blacks, the immigrants and the nerd with big ears and a Muslim name.

A nerdy brown governor from a small poor state, or a beauty queen from a small/big state ain’t going to change that.

America has suffered decades of dysfunction because of a limited two party system controlled by one corporate master. Imagine the damage that will be done with only one dominant political party. Democracy does not flourish without a loyal opposition. America needs the Republican Party to get it shit together real fast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Do We Reconcile Prop 8 With Obama's Election

Over 70 percent of Afrcian-Americans voted for Prop 8 in California. Our new progressive President, the First African-American to be so elected opposes gay marriage. We have a long way to go.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am too overwhelmed to write what i am feeling.Enjoy the moment

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Letter To The Unborn

Dear Grandchild

You are not yet born. But as I move joyously through my autumn years and I watch my babies grow into full adults, I know your time is near. Something wonderful will happen on November 4, 2008. A struggle will complete itself. The shackles of mental slavery that have persisted in each one of your ancestors including me will melt away. A journey will be complete.

This moment will not mean as much to you, as you will view it from the filter of a history book. It will be an historical event for you. An important event never the less that will be taught besides the Civil War, World War II and the Civil Rights Movement. But know this event is the reason why you will walk down any city street in the world with an air of confidence unburdened by the self-doubt that comes with being less than the whole.

This event will have been made possible by family that has been lost to us through the passage of time. There are no photographs, no streets names or any indication that they ever came this way. Other than being recorded in a ships manifest, or a court house record, we will never know who they were. Yet, their spirit hangs over me in this moment as if they had taken my hand and walked me through the hills of north Louisiana yesterday.

Your great grandfather is still alive. He is 87. He is small man, with a large soul. He only made it to the seventh grade. He went back to night school and got his GED. He drove a meat truck for 30 years. This was back breaking work. He would leave early in the morning and I would not see him until it was almost time to go to bed. The fact that he is still with us to witness this event is a blessing.

Your great grandmother has been dead for 10 years now. I carry her loss with the deep wound of a child that has buried his parent. I also carry anger about her life. A woman of fierce intellect, unnerving courage and unlimited character. She was the rock of our family. But she was born a generation too early. If born in this time, she would have been a lawyer or doctor, or politician, a leader. Everything that I am, I owe to her and your grandfather. The excitement of the coming event is limited only by my sorrow that she did not live to see it.

On November 4, 2008, this country America will elect Barack Obama President. To you he will be a legend. You will hear of his feats in your first years of life. Babies will be named after him, streets and schools will bear his name, and great statues will stand in our nation’s capital to honor him.

But know to us, that he is no legend. He was a man no different from any of us. Like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, he knew fear and doubt. But he had in him the ability to find the courage in us to make black people and the nation great. With his guidance, I hope we will change the world and in doing so your future.

I pray that you and your generation will have the courage to find the greatness in you to change yours for the better too.

Grand pa

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't Be Afraid

I have spent the last several days talking to my African-American friends. We simply cannot get our heads around the fact that the first African-American candidate is lining up to win a 1964 LBJ landslide. Our 400 year experience simply does not allow us to comprehend this moment.

My 87 year-old father told me Sunday, that he does not care what the polls say. He will not believe it until he sees it. The truth is most African-Americans feel that tinge in their spine that it will all collapse in the next several days. In the movie Blade Runner, at the end an artificial human decides to save rather than kill the Harrison Ford character. As he reaches to pull the terrified Harrison Ford from a ledge, he says “To be a slave is to always be afraid.” To be black in America is to be always afraid.

Don’t. Not this time. This is our moment. Show up on Election Day and vote in numbers that will become legend. But most important, enjoy the next several days. This will never happen again in history. From among the slaves a leader has risen to lead the world.

This is our moment in sun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Turn Out The Lights

Okay I am not going to beat up on John McCain. Besides the intellectual right are having their piece of him right now and its just not good to get in the middle of family disputes.

I watched the rerun of last nights debate with the sound turned down. It is the visuals that are hurting McCain. Obama leaps from the screen. He is focused and calmed. And he is a beautiful man. Never underestimate the value of being pleasing to the eye in politics

McCain on the other hand just looks angry. His left jaw is swollen, he is pale and he is just old. In the movie Knocked Up, there is a hilarious scene where the manager of the rope line tells a pretty, hot 30-something, that she cannot come into the club. She then curses him out. He quietly pulls her to the side and whispers " its not that u ain't hot, in fact I would love to tap that booty, but you just old.

In every man's life there is a season and McCain's season to be President has long passed. It is sad that McCain did not realize that before this election. Now we are forced to watch the "empty embarrassment" of a dying campaign in the last days of one of the most important Presidential races in history

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McNasty and McFilty

I had a lot of respect for John McCain. He always seemed to have a quiet dignity about him. Despite Biden’s “he’s no maverick”, McCain would often display political courage that was rare in the senate. I have watched with disappointment, as over the last 6 months, as McCain has transformed into McNasty. It was apparent that he had lost it when he picked McFilty as his running mate.

Last night’s debate performance was final devolution into angry bitter old man. You would have to believe that someone who has been through so many political wars would know that it is over and would not throw a 30 year reputation under the bus. McCain would not have, but McNasty did.

Then there’s McFilty. Her racist tinged rants of “palling around with terrorist” and he is not one of us is beneath any national figure in the closing days of a Presidential race. But McFilthy is no national figure, she is a small person, from small town. The words rolled off her lips easily as if they have been there before.

Do you know who has turned into a national embarrassment, who has sunk to levels of race baiting and divisive politics that has not been seen since the sixties in the south? Not Obama but “THAT ONE”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Spirit Walked Among Us

Sprits move among us that teach us how to be born, how to live and how to die. Paul Newman was such a spirit. I have often written that Art by its nature is subversive. No Artist in the history of film has been more subversive than Paul Newman. A man of indescribable beauty, intellect, wicked sense of humor, and maybe the sexiest man ever born. Newman belongs in the same category as Brando.

The world changes because one man stands up and says I am different and my right against that of the group is just as important. It was Newman’s portrayal of such characters that makes his career so rich. In the opening scene of Cool Hand Luke, when Luke stands on a Memphis street drunk breaking off the top of parking meters, it is a simple act of rebellion.

In Hombre, Newman's performance is understate and seething with anger at the impact of racism on the Apaches that has raised him. No other film from that era removed the lie of the noble white man taming the west. When Newman s character moves to kill the Reservation Manager for stealing , The bureaucrat with the air of certainty tells Newman character: “Something you don t understand about white people is that we stick together. “

He helped changed acting, he marched with civil rights, took on the Vietnam War, gave sick children a place to go and be children and and settled down with one of the most extraordinary women of her generation. Not a bad life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

V.P Debate

Sarah Palin is not a bimbo as Bill Mahr called her. She is bright, pretty and got that something called charisma. I have actually felt sorry for her over the last week. However, the problem with Palin is that she rose to the top of Alaska politics because it is a small state and she was able to move up on her natural ability. But what is apparent is that she lacks curiosity. She has never engaged in any sustained rigorous intellectual growth. She does not read. And most important for a President she has not given much thought to America and its place in the world.

She did not embarrass herself tonight. But in a time when the financial markets are in a meltdown, we are in a war in two countries, Iran and North Korea is seeking nuclear weapons, she is ill prepared to be President. Go to the senate and come back in eight years.

Joe Biden would have made a great President. I feel better tonight that he will be at Obama’s side.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate

Barack Obama is intelligent, in command of the facts and showed he understands the global dynamics of 21st century politics. McCain is a Trojan horse for Sarah Palin. McCain was dismissive of a younger leader that is just more prepared to be President. Obama is the one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress To End Affirmative Action For White Men

A bipartisan group of congress announced today they will be introducing legislation to end all affirmative action for white men by January 1, 2009. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said “After 250 years of both government and private sector affirmative action for white men, we believe the time has finally come to tell this group that they must stand on their own. “

This legislation is seen by some congress effort to quell the growing resentment from constituents who have become frustrated that white men cannot seem to get their shit together. For many in the country the proposed 700 billion dollar Wall Street bail out was the final straw. Ms Cora Lee Jones-Smith, President of the Malcolm X Public Housing Tenant Association in Dayton Ohio expressed the country’s frustration when she said: “We have given them the Presidency 44 straight times, we have given them access to the best schools for 200 years, when they ran the Savings and Loan Industry in the ground in the 80’s we bailed them out and once again they get in trouble and they run back to us for another 700 billion dollars. It is time to say to these people get real jobs and get off of the government tab and start taking care of themselves. “

The citizen group “BAIL OUT MY ASS” announced yesterday that over a million citizens signed their online petition asking congress to reject giving white men another 700 billion dollars. Said Joe Santiago the group’s spokesman “Enough is enough. They are even talking about giving foreign white men our money in this bail out. If blacks can endure slavery and within a generation of the ending of Jim Crow elect a president, and If Hispanics can literally walk to this country and immediately began prospering, white men after 200 hundred years of affirmative action ought to be able to clean up their own mess. “

However, Presidential Candidate John McCain said “It would be premature at this point to end affirmative action for white men. We still don’t have enough billionaires and you know by 2050 the country will be majority brown and we need affirmative action for white men to stay in place at least to then”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Appoint Elliot Spitzer As Attorney General

Remember how Spitzer was burned at the stake for paying for a prostitute? A high-paid, fine-ass prostitute I might add! Many of the folks throwing wood on his funeral fire were Wall Street executives, whom Spitzer as New York Attorney General had relentlessly prosecuted. As the cascading meltdown of major brokerage houses continues, it has become clear that Barack Obama should appoint Spitzer as the next U.S. Attorney General, with the mandate to brining the full weight of the federal government down on every thieving motherfucker on Wall Street, along with their enablers in Washington.

This debacle is not the result of bad business decisions. The banks and brokerages houses created exotic paper instruments that they continually sold and resold to each other collecting staggering fees and paying obscene bonuses on each new transaction. This is organized crime at the highest level.

This is the end game of 20 years of thievery with the blessing of Republican Regulators starting in the Reagan Administration. The Clinton Administration whored themselves out to Wall Street with the same vigor of the republicans. And like the republicans before them and after them, they left government for lucrative Wall Street jobs. Bill Clinton, Raul Emmanuel, and Al Gore all dipped their tip in the Wall Street “Casinos “ as Diane Francis so aptly named them in the Huffington Post.

Let’s call this what it is: The Ultimate White Boy Affirmative Action. This financial meltdown is the result of a relative small group of white men, from a relative small group of schools, who gamed the system for billions of dollars and when the chickens come home to roost, their classmates in Washington bails them out so they can start the plundering all over again. Remember the Savings and Loan bailouts? Financial Guru James Grant said “Capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich”

According to Francis, Spitzer for years attempted to control mortgage practices in courts across the country. His chief adversary was the Bush administration. Spitzer was the most despised person on the street because of his tough stand on corruption at the banks and brokerages houses. And he did this without any support from the SEC, whose job was to prevent the very thing that has happened. The Justice Department was too busy saving the country from street level crack dealers and too failed to take seriously its oversight of this gang rape of the financial markets.

President Obama, with great courage, you turned down Wall Street 20 years ago, for the greater good of your country. Do us one more favor. Appoint Elliot Spitzer as Attorney General and let him do what he does best, lock up these Harvard educated dope dealers, working the most expensive street corner in the world. And if he wants to dress up as a woman and get it on with $5000.00 an hour hookers, I say make it a part of his bonus package. It’s a hell a lot cheaper than giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack trillions of dollars of our hard earned money.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Brother Done Got Pissed Off /It’s About Time

First of all the Republicans are attempting to convince the American public that this pig -George Bush-that been pissing all over our country ain’t a pig. Apparently putting lipstick -a woman governor from Alaska- on the pig is supposed to make us forget about the stink. Barack Obama points this insult out and suddenly he is making a sexist remark. Today Barack Obama finally said what a majority of America is thinking “enough is enough.”

If America falls for this foolishness again then we deserve all of the misery that we are presently experiencing

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Girl, I Do Believe I See Your Teeth

They must have failed to feed Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin before she gave her speech tonight. She went after Barack Obama as if he was red meat. Be careful though, tomorrow is a new day and Obama is the master of the comeback. Palin crossed the line with some of her attacks. And folks living in a glass house should not throw stones. Judging from the steady stream of bad news about America’s new hockey mom, that ain’t plexi-glass, she staring through.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Play That Funky Music White Boys

The dichotomy between the Democrats and Republicans is striking. How can the Republican Party in the most diverse country in the world remain lily white? You almost expect during their convention they will break out an ancient Scottish Ritual and sacrifice a calf or heaven forbid a black man. That in belies their problem. They are not for American values, as much as they are for Anglo-American values.

This incessant need to remind us of “God and Country” gives them the psychological fortitude to keep in place a white supremacist legacy that to this day stifles America role in the world. The subliminal message is that God has blessed the white race and so if we want to say –invade a country without warrant- as long as that country is brown, God blesses us.

It is why the rest of the world seems so enthrall with Obama. After two hundred years, of the white boy club, we need change we can believe in.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bill Clinton

I haven’t watched much of the Democratic Convention. But I rushed home to watch Bill Clinton. I am not a fan. Never have been. But you are blessed to see Michael Jordan take the last shot to win the NBA Championship You do not miss Tiger Woods sink a birdie on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open. And you don’t miss the best politician of his generation redeem his reputation and hand off the baton of leadership to the first African-American President. His speech tonight was nothing less than brilliant. He is the best example why we force Presidents from office after eight years. He could be President for life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Imagine two young children in the ghetto of Chicago. Imagine them talking through a thin wall dividing a small bedroom into two. Imagine their father shouting from his bed, "didn’t I tell you to go to bed." Imagine two young minds born into working poverty but refusing to be limited by it. Now imagine the older brother introducing the younger sister as the next First Lady of America at the Democratic Convention.


Only In America.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tropic Thunder Is Racist, Insulting And Damn Funny

Now I certainly understand why the mentally disable are pissed off at Ben Stiller recently released movie Tropic Thunder and the "Simple Jack" character. It is offensive. Let me apologize to the mentally disabled and their advocates but I laughed my ass off. And I don't feel bad because the darts are really turned at egotistical actors who jump at the chance to play "Simple Jack" because the Academy has a history of rewarding those performances -Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn. This movie is aimed squarely at Hollywood and the fact that it will "peddle us any kind of shit and call it" entertainment -remember Howard Beal of Network.

I am a Robert Downey fan and if he was bold enough to play black-face in this politically correct culture, then I was bold enough plop down my eight dollars. Downey did not disappoint. At times I squirmed at watching him but he is so good, and the movie is so funny. Besides it is 2008 and a black guy is about to be President.Even black people should lighten up -no pun intended. Tom Cruise is in the movie and I don't want to ruin it for you, but he should be nominated for an Oscar.

I have said numerous times that Art by nature must be offensive. Ben Stiller certainly went in with that thought. But After eight years of Bush, Iraq War, high gas prices, and foreclosures, we deserve to go into a large room together, turn down the lights and laugh our asses off at each other and our own callousness at accepting any 'shit" that Hollywood gives as entertainment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trifling Ass Negroes Are Uptown Too

I cannot believe that Martin Luther King died on a balcony to liberate Kwame Kilpatrick from a sex scandal. Nor, can I believe Malcolm X left a widow and young children so Sharpe James could sell his mistress city property at a low ball figure and she in within months resell it for thousands of dollars in profit. Did Thurgood Marshall spend his life liberating us so two black judges in Shreveport could be indicted and found guilty of taking bribes for as little as one hundred fifty dollars to lower bonds? Did my mother and father carry me to civil rights rallies so Congressman Bill Jefferson of New Orleans could run for reelection under the cloud of an indictment?

It is not enough that our community is subjected to street hoodlums cruising our urban streets like characters in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clock Work Orange, imposing random violence on the poor. We are now being sold into economic bondage by a predatory political class that see black folks as no more than a commodity to be packaged to white politicians unable or unwilling deal with us as equals. . Paulo Friere in Pedagogy of The Oppressed wrote that the danger of the revolution is that the revolutionary soon comes to resemble the Oppressor.

Does Detroit, the most depressed city in America needs to see its mayor pleading to a judge that he had to violate his bond so he could save the city from impending financial doom, rising sea levels and aliens? Watching Kilpatrick performance in court as he explained his behavior was looking at a walking definition of a narcissistic sociopath. The Appellate court let him out of jail only to see the DA bring additional felony charges against him for committing a battery on a Sheriff Deputy attempting to serve him a legal document. The citizens of Detroit would be safer if the Appellate Court would have upheld the trial judge and let his ass sit in jail.

I know Bill Jefferson personally. He is an extremely intelligent man, who lifted himself from intense poverty and brought his brothers and sisters along with him. Jefferson sent t his daughters to Harvard Law School and built the largest black law firm in the south. Jefferson is a tall man, whose eyes are constantly darting over you, as if he were a predator sizing you up for his next meal. It is hard to feel at ease in his company. Dutch Morial the first black mayor of New Orleans in a viscous mayoral primary 30 years ago, put Jefferson picture on thousands of fake dollar bills and labeled him Dollar-Bill Jeff. Every day since, Jefferson has tried to live up to that moniker.

Jefferson was indicted for “running a criminal enterprise” out of his congressional office. His brother Mose has been indicted too, along with two of Jefferson sisters, one of which is cooperating with the Government. And other family members maybe facing the same fate.

With all of the chaos surrounding Jefferson, he has the audacity of hope that he will be re-elected in November. New Orleans is still teetering from the greatest natural disaster ever to hit an American city, needs Bill Jefferson as their representative in Congress? Truth is Louisiana and New Orleans politics are so bizarre that Jefferson just might make it. You see Dutch Morial son Mark Morial, who too was elected mayor sits in New York as President of the Urban League watching uneasily as a steady stream of his family members and close political associates too go off to jail.

What is despicable is that when these predatory, Armani wearing, Mercedes driving, second home in the Caribbean living, Hampton partying negroes get caught, they always wrap themselves in the blanket woven by Fannie Lou Hammers’ pain of being sterilized without her permission or Emmitt Till laying in a open casket in Chicago beaten beyond recognition, or Andrew young pointing on a Memphis Balcony to where the assassin bullet rang out -killing a dream, or a lone black farmer standing in front of a court house in searing heat -in some rural county down south, that might as well be on another planet in distance from any protection, disobeying the letter tacked to his tree the night before telling him “nigger don’t you show up tomorrow to vote”.

I could understand these trifling ass Negroes more, if they would just be the motherfucking thieves that they are and leave us out of it. The New York Times ran a story today, titled “Is Barack Obama The End Of Black Politics.” I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Even Jeffrey Wright Is Not Immune

When will the citizens of this community stand up and say "enough" and demand that a mayor and city council finally hire a police chief with the guts to bring true reform to the Shreveport Police Department by removing a rogue element that operates outside any norms of a civilized society? Maybe an Obama Justice Department will have the intestinal fortitude to do what District Attorney and Congressional Candidate Paul Carmouche and a string of U.S. Attorneys could not or would not do: prosecute police officers who brutalize and, yes sometimes murder their fellow citizens.

Jeffrey Wright is one of America’s most accomplished actors. Praised by the New York Times as the best actor on Broadway and considered by some as the best actor of his generation, Wright was subjected to the black man’s nightmare in our fair city. Like so many other black men in Shreveport and this country, Mr. Wright found himself lying on a street corner being repeatedly tasered, cursed, and called nigger by high-tech vigilantes paid with taxpayers dollars. I know this because I have talked to sources who have seen the police video and cell phone videos.

Mr. Wright you are lucky your encounter happened in front of a crowded nightclub and not an isolated street corner. Marquise Hudsmith was not so lucky. He was shot dead for waiving a cell phone on a dark street. I have posted the video below but I warn you it is so barbaric it sickens the soul.

Just two months ago, a Shreveport Police Officer staked out a burglary, watched a young man go into a furniture store and never called for backup. When the young man came out the store carrying stolen items, the officer shot the young man in the back killing him and then reported he used his car as a weapon. By the way this same officer has been involved in two other shootings one of them fatal and all involved a victim allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon. This officer has been on the force less than nine years. Most police officers go their whole career without pulling their weapon from their holster.

There have been numerous other police shootings in recent years including an invalid wheel-chair bound man, who was wheeling himself down a street and ended up being shot and killed after a "routine traffic stop” by Shreveport Police.

Now I know your friends on the Upper Westside will stereotype the city and police force as a bunch of racist rednecks but I am sure you will tell them that the city is majority African-American with a black mayor and police chief. And there are African-American officers who brutalize citizens with the same vigor as Bull Connors a generation ago. I sued the city when a black officer raped my client in the back seat of his police cruiser. He was a serial rapist who kept a rape kit of KY Jelly, gloves and condoms in the trunk and had been stalking women for years. A bad police force cuts across race and gender. They just bad.

Some of us in the African-American community thought the election of Cedric Glover and the hiring of Henry Whitehorn would bring a greater sensitivity to this problem. But we should have known better when one of Glover’s first official acts was to declare April Confederate History Month. His and Whitethorn’s failure to take on the Police Union and root out a small but dangerous criminal element operating within the Department is a betrayal of the thousands of citizens, some of them who had never voted before , who went to the polls to vote for something different.

What they got instead is a police chief and mayor who no matter what criminal activity police officers indulge in, they within 24 hours declare the ‘OFFICERS WERE JUSTIFIED.” What does a officer have to do to violate policy and be fired? Get caught on video, wearing a Klu, Klux Klan outfit, and sticking a cattle prod up a citizens' ass?

Mr. Mayor, whoever is advising you to hold the police cruiser and cell phone videos from the public should be fired immediately. They are incompetent and by you following their advice, it makes you look just as incompetent. By taking the position that you will not release the videos, further undermines the citizens' confidence in you, your police chief and the other 95 percent of outstanding police officers that go to work every day and risk their lives for little pay, so we can believe that we are safe.

Eventually, the truth will come out and you would have surrendered the moral authority of your office. And, for what? Do you not know that eventually those videos will have to be released and the world - through YouTube and the Internet- will judge you and the city in ways you cannot imagine?

Mr. Wright, I have no idea whether you broke the law that night and deserved to be arrested. But I do know you did not deserve to be brutalized, repeatedly tasered as you lay on the ground and be called a nigger. It may not mean much to you but a lot of citizens are truly sorry and extend to you an apology. They offer the same apology to Mr. Brolin and the dozens of other citizens who have suffered from the police this year.

Perhaps Oliver Stone's next movie could be about rogue officers in a police department down South that routinely brutalize and even murders its citizens and is protected by a District Attorney, Mayor, Police Chief and the silence of its citizens. It will not make as much money as Dark Knight or “W”, but it is a story worth telling.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

David Brooks And William Kristol Are Idiots

Conservative columnist unable to find substantive flaws in Obama’s campaign for the Presidency, have descended into hypocrisy. New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote that Obama speech in Berlin lacked the substance of Reagan and declared of Obama’s speech “optimism without reality isn’t eloquence. It’s just Disney. “

First of all Reagan did not have a intellectual bone in his body. Brooks could not name one great speech that Reagan gave that will go down in the pantheon of great Presidential speeches. “Mr. Gobachev bring down this wall” is not a speech it’s a slogan. Congress "make my day” was a line in a Dirty Harry movie. Reagan even as President was a B actor. But he had a clear vision of where he wanted to move the country and he used those B movie acting skills to promise America that if you followed him he would make it “morning in America again”. And for good or bad it worked.

Obama is Reagan on steroids. A man of seemingly unlimited intellect and political skills, he too is promising America a new day with a vision of optimism. It is the height of hypocrisy and disingenuous for Brooks to criticize Obama for doing exactly what his hero Reagan did, only better.

William Kristol of the same newspaper is so frustrated he has started to rift horror movies in a column titled “Be Afraid. Please”, a lift from David Cronenberg’s The Fly. The column is so convoluted I have no idea what point Kristol was trying to make other than if Obama is the President with a Democratic controlled congress, he may lie to us, and send us off to a irresponsible war. But I assume he too was trying to say that Obama is some smooth talking con-man that has hoodwinked the media, the American public and world opinion. And our only hope is that McCain will pull a Truman/Dewey victory.

Rather than being afraid of Obama’s success, Kristol should be concerned at McCain’s failures. Here is a man that has spent a great deal of his adult life in the Senate, yet he seems ill-prepared for the national stage. It has become painful to watch a man of great dignity and independence morph into the worst political candidate in modern history.

If Obama is lacking to be President, I expect the right to raise intellectual arguments that merit consideration. But complaining without reality isn’t criticism. Its just foolishness.

I Am Feeling Sorry For McCain


Now the world will watch and remember what we do here - what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?


An extrodinary speech. If being popular in western Europe is a political liability at home, then Obama is in trouble. Stop comparing Obama to JFK. The world has never seen this before. Someone raised in the world will become its leader. Extrodinary. I wish my mother was here to see it.

The Revolution Will Be Televised?

This morning NAS held a press conference in front of Fox News headquarters in New York. He delivered over 600,000 signatures on a Color Of Change/Move On petition to FOX President Roger Ailes. The petition requested that FOX News stop airing racist propaganda. Ailes immediately rejected it.

FOX will say that NAS is just promoting his new album which is number one in the country. Fox will probably be right, but if you can make some change and still challenge corporate racism at its worst, then God Bless America.

NAS was pressured by his record label to change the name of his new album from “Nigger” because it was deemed to be too offensive. Art often offends. One might argue that one of Art’s major roles in society is to offend and therefore shake us from our vegative state and think. An artist should never compromise

If you hand a lot of poor kids a microphone, you get a lot of self-hatred shot back at you. But as the kids mature and get a conscience and figure out the game, you occasionally get some light.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Honest Broker

Barack Obama went out of his way in Israel today to reassure them and the Jewish vote at home that he is committed to Israel Security. I have yet to read a public comment that he will be a “honest broker” between Israel and Palestine.

Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times today that the King of Jordan was assured that Obama understands that he has to be seen as eager to protect Palestinians human rights as he is in assuring Israel protection. Additionally, unlike McCain's visit to the region, Obama did travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian leaders. However, Obama should be as public about Palestinian concerns as he is about Israel’s security. They are not mutually exclusive

John McCain Is Jealous

Okay I admit I am so in love com-plete-LY
Maybe it’s the way you smile at me
It could be that you walk with a swagger
Those eyes just make me stagger
And when you speak
My heart takes a tweak
No Chris Matthews you can’t have him
White love is just a whim
Besides I saw him first
Just watching him glide makes me thirst
Now I ain t gay
but if I was I would pay
That other fellow is just so plain
Eat your heart out John McCain

Russell Simmons Safety Net

I attended Russell Simmons annual Art For Life Charity Auction at his estate in the East Hamptons. It was a reminder that African-Americans in this new century must become holders of wealth. In a capitalist society, it is the only safety net that can be counted on.

Simmons and his brother Danny started a foundation ten years ago that is dedicated to ensuring that children of color in New York are exposed to art and have access to viable programs that introduces them to and spurs their natural creativity. This is a program of tremendous importance.

Art is the chair from which a culture grows. A people are desolate without culture. Black culture in this country survived and ultimately moved to a dominant position through our creativity in the Arts. Our prodiginess to sing, dance, write and paint quietly undermined the racial stereotypes placed on us by the greater society. It is hard to hold a people in bondage on the basis of sub-intellect when through their art, they show a capacity to interpret the world with a deep understanding of its political and social dynamics and their role in it.

In my hometown of Shreveport, black people‘s development have been shackled by too little exposure to the wonderful art that Africans in the Diaspora all over the world have produced. Sitting in a small theater watching artists interpret or going to a show to see a painter inform is critical to a peoples view and understanding of who they are.

Because Russell Simmons was able to obtain significant wealth, he has chosen to use it to enrich people of color. He provides a safety net for the Arts in the city of New York that is not subject to the whims of who is in power in Albany and Washington.

We need more Russell Simmons.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Jessie Jackson talked into an open mike and used the word Nigger. I am not beating up on Jessie anymore. But let’s take this opportunity to broaden the discussion.

First of all it’s not the N word, the word is Nigger. I was born, raised and lived most of my adult life in the South and no white person ever called me the N word.
They called me Nigger. I have never understood why we have given this word so much power that we cannot say it.

Second I am a writer and lawyer and words are a powerful tool for either good or bad and I reserve the right to use every word in the human vocabulary to describe the human condition and to fight for a dream of a just society.

Thirdly, a white person is as free as anyone else to call me a Nigger, I don’t like it when they do it but I no longer feel compelled to want to kick their ass. After all it’s just a word. Now I warn them there are millions of African’s that WILL kick their asses if they call them a Nigger so as a general rule, if you white, you should not to go there.

Now part of the problem is that black people took this word that was meant to dehumanize us and turned it into something beautiful. It’s like what we did with the pig. White folks gave us the scraps and we turned them into chitlins, hog head cheese and pig feet.

White folks gave us the blues and we turned it into song and dance, jazz, reggae, hip hop, rap and now the whole world pops its finger to a music that began out of the pain that America gave us.

An example is Marvin Gaye singing the Star Spangle Banner at the NBA Allstar game in 1983 .Now when you think about our history in this country, getting excited about the Star Spangle should be difficult. But like everything else in America that we have touched Marvin, made it ours. Check him out:

When one of my dear friends looks me in the eye and says “you my Nigger”, it is a codification of a bond that is deep that the word friend does not equal. In that moment he is telling me that “we came up the hard way, we stuck together and because of you I never felt alone, you have been my rock “

When black people are alone and drinking or smoking weed or just hanging out and we discuss our condition, we say “Niggers are a motherfucker.” Now we could say “I am deeply disappointed in some African-Americans inability to handle our ethical, personal and social responsibilities.” But among ourselves we created a language that is uniquely us.

Black people as a whole have drawn a line and said because we use the word, it is not proper for white folks to use and white folks respond in their usually selfish ways “that if you say it, we have a right too and if we cannot use it then neither can you.” And of course as always because some of us love white folks so much we rightly oblige. We start talking about ignorant stuff like holding funerals for a word. You would think that if we have to give up using Nigger, they should have to give up being racist.

It’s okay to for black people to say to white America, the word Nigger means many things to us and it is a part of our history that represents our darkest moments, but also of our ability to take ugliness and make it beautiful. It is a deeply personal word for black people and if you respect us, you should refrain from using it and just because we have made it cool, it does not give you a right to culturally appropriate it.

James Baldwin said " When i decided i was going to think like a nigger, eat like a nigger, make love like a nigger, live like a nigger, i had to leave America for fear of my life.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Claiming Us

I watched Obama’s speech to the NAACP. He did not back down on his calls for personal responsibility. What I love about this man is that at height of global power, when he stands before a black audience he claims us. After the Jeremiah Wright blow up in his speech on race he claimed us and even refuse to cut Wright. In his Father’s Day speech he claimed us.

It says something about the sad state of black influence in this country when you get excited about a black man not running from his people. The truth of it is that not many black Americans at the upper echelons of power have been willing to so embrace their people and acknowledge to the world this is who I am.

The truth is Bill Clinton claimed us more than Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell ever did. Now ain’t that some sad shit.

The fact that the next President of The United States who happens to be black shows a love for his people gives me great comfort. Who knows, maybe it will encourage some more of us to come home. You listening Tiger.

Jessie Done Gone Nutty

First of all let me say that if anybody has earned to right to act a fool and ask for our forgiveness, it’s Jessie Jackson. Every person of color that owns a franchise in this country owes Jessie a great deal of gratitude. His historic run for President created the political infrastructure that allowed Obama to be successful. All of the high-tech wizardry that we are so enamored with from the Obama campaign is good, but it was the black vote turning out in overwhelming numbers in state after state that gave him the nomination. To win in politics you have to have a energized base, and the black vote was Obama’s base.

Obama has come under a lot of criticism lately. Obama should be rightly criticized for his shift on the FISA bill. His support of what many in the country rightly believe to be an unconstitutional law is troubling. But do you really want to live with some of theses white folks and not have a right to a gun? Now I am a committed non-violent person and have never owned a gun in my life, but our history in the land of the free has been too tenuous not have the right to own one.

Obama’s criticism of the Supreme Court striking the death penalty for rape of a juvenile is understandable. I started my legal career opposed to the death penalty. But I have come to believe that there are crimes so heinous that you abdicate your right to live among us. There is evil that walks among us. I have sat and stared into its eyes and have been charmed by its charisma. I have fought with all of my legal skills to set it free, knowing that if I was successful, it would molest or rape again. In America even evil has a right to a fair trial. It is what makes us great.

Morally, if you rape a five-year old in every orfice of her body – then society has a moral justification to put you to sleep. Where I depart from Obama is the mechanism by which we decide the ultimate sentence, is so flawed by racism and class that the death penalty simply cannot be justified. That gives anti-death penalty advocates a strong case to criticize the next President of the United States.

Furthermore, Black leaders have as much right to criticize Obama as anyone. However, Jackson comments that Obama was speaking down to blacks is just wrong. As I have written on this blog, young male children being born and raised without fathers is the greatest threat facing black people in America today. Black America has got to start dealing with that fact. The first step is honest and open dialogue. Obama the product of a single mother and absent father is as good a person as any to lead it.

If Jackson critique was that Obama’s moral rhetoric was insufficient in that he did not challenge the greater society, particularly white folks, to own up for its behavior and to acknowledge that racism and classism plays an equal role to personal responsibility then he would have been justified to do so. However, to threatened the brother's nuts on the bases of his logic was just plain nutty.

Even more, it was sad. Jackson’s behavior throughout the campaign has been disappointing. Whenever he appeared on a news program as an Obama supporter, his defense of Obama has been half-hearted. For instance, after Bill Clinton’s racial interjections in South Carolina, I watched Jackson on McNeil Lehr introduced as a Obama supporter and then actually accuse Obama of raising race too. I thought damn Jessie, don’t do the brother any more favors by defending him. I always got the feeling that he really was with the Clintons but political necessity placed him unhappily in the Obama camp.

Some civil rights leaders seem particularly threatened by the new politics. Rather than basking in the results of their labor, they act like old lions whose time over the pride is waning. Julian Bond comments that young black leaders should have to rip the power away from the old guard makes you wonder why some of our leaders risked their lives and went to jail. If they were not doing it to make way for a new generation that was unencumbered by the social and mental limitations of Jim Crow, then why the hell bother.

At this moment in time in our history, Jackson should be the most proudest. It was his vision and ‘nuts” that paved the way for this brother. To see him act out before the world as a bitter old-man, hurt because the spotlight has moved away and chastised by his own son, is truly tragic. We love you brother but go home before you do yourself and us anymore harm.

Drug Laws And Slavery

I have two close relatives that have battled crack addiction for a number of years and consequently have cost great pain within my family. My old neighborhood has partly been devastated by the drug trade. Many of my childhood friends are either jailed for or have been consumed by drugs. I understand first hand the devastation that drugs cost in our society and within the family.

However, everyday I go to work in a criminal justice system that is devastating the African-American community. The country’s drug laws, in the shear size of incarceration that is being imposed on the black community, is having a more devastating impact than drugs ever have.

According to the Sentencing Project 32.2 percent of young black men between the ages twenty and twenty nine are either in prison, in jail, or on probation and parole. This is in comparison with 6.7 percent of young white men. A total of 827,440 young African-American men are under the supervision of the criminal justice system at a cost of 6 billion dollars a year. The bulk of these convictions are drug related.

Those young men lucky enough to escape prison are more likely than not given felonies, the 666 of the twenty-first century. In human terms let me explain. To be found in possession of a 10 dollar rock of cocaine is an automatic felony. It means that you cannot vote, you cannot apply for student loans and if you apply for any meaningful job the felony appears on routine background check, which decreases if not blocks your chance for gainful employment.

So in effect each year 32.2 percent of young African-American men are rendered incapacitated in their ability to navigate in a sophisticated global economy. Many are simply removed altogether. Each year thousands go through the door of no return called prison. Like the door of no return of Goree Island in which millions of Africans went through during the slave trade, these young men never come back. A multiple offender sentence at a minimum means 15 years in jail without benefit of probation or parole.

You would never know from the media and going down to drug court and looking at the defendants that the typical crack user is a white suburban teenager. Do you really believe that white America would tolerate 32.2 percent of its young men going to jail primarily for using and selling drugs? Race does matter.

The drug laws in this country are hypocritical and immoral. They have taken a social issue and criminalized it. Other than creating a Prison Industrial Complex these laws are having no impact on crime and drug use.

The African-American community should demand that the drug laws be reformed by decriminalizing all but the most dangerous drugs. I think we can all agree that getting a felony record for possession for marijuana serves no societal purpose.

I personally think that even cocaine should be decriminalized but at the least the penalties for its possession should be greatly reduced. Shifting the money we spend on prisons to drug treatment and education should be our priority moving forward.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trifling Ass Negroes

We have travelled far in the Diaspora. On January 20, 2009, we will offer the world what I hope is a truly transformative leader. But lurking in the shadows is the fact that as far we have come as a people, we got so very far to go.

This past week I sat in a tiny jail cell with a client. He pressed me hard on why I could not get him a better jail sentence than twelve years. I pressed back ‘It’s your past that has put you in this position. The two joints that you unsuccessfully tried to swallow are insignificant.” Angrily he pushed back, “But I paid you, I could have got a court appointed lawyer to get me 12 years”. That is always the signal to end the conversation. “What is it going to be, 12 years or life, it is what it is” stating with my most serious face.

Then with the sincerity of a five year-old he said” Mr. English I cannot go to jail, I have nine children” I must admit that as jaded as I have become about our prospects in the 21st century, I was floored.

This motherfucker is only 30 years-old and has nine children. This I know: He has never offered any of his children any financial support. He has never taken one to a park, or read a little one to sleep. He has never looked down from washing dishes and saw almond shaped eyes staring up at him with a smile so warm that it could thaw a glacier and spoke to her in whispered tones ‘what’s up baby girl.” This predatory surf fucker has just dropped nine lives in an inner-city Serengeti and walked away.

Unencumbered by any moral or emotional ties, injecting his off-springs -you raise children- was just some narcissistic bullshit. These nihilistic street predators are always looking for an edge.

He is not unique. In our inner cities, trifling Negroes like him grow like bacteria on an elephants’ ass. The damage that they are doing to their off-springs and our society is devastating. I take no pity that his daddy was as sad a motherfucker as he. You may not choose to be born in a ditch but you stay there out of your own accord.

All of us will not cross the River Jordan.

Return To Egypt

On February 16, 1861, Commissioner of the State of Louisiana, George Williamson speaking at the Texas Secession Convention stated: “The people of Louisiana would consider it a most fatal blow to African Slavery, if Texas either did not secede or having seceded should not join her destinies to theirs in a Southern Confederacy….The people of slave holding States are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African-slavery….With the social balance wheel of slavery to regulate its machinery, we may fondly indulge the hope that our Southern government will be perpetual. “

One Hundred Forty-Six years later, every week several thousand African-Americans including Judges and lawyers walk under the Confederate Flag and Monument on the Caddo Parish Court House lawn, that honors people like Williamson. Shreveport’s first black mayor Cedric Glover became chief propagandist for the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, when he signed a proclamation declaring April to be Confederate History Month. Can you imagine Nelson Mandela after having defeated Apartheid declared April to be Apartheid month?

Glover states that he is attempting to promote understanding of the “root cause of the conflict” What kind of understanding can you promote by joining those who are attempting to positively promote a war whose “root cause” was to enslave human beings. Who do you need to educate? Certainly not Black people, we live with the legacy of the Confederacy everyday of our lives.

If Glover wanted to promote understanding he would have followed the moral courage of University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, a son of the south, who recently declared it was time to remove the Confederate flag from his schools’ athletic events, by challenging the Caddo Parish Commission to take down that offensive relic that flies over a building of supposed Justice.

If Glover is indeed a “history buff” then he would have to know that the Generals whose statutes now sit on the court house lawn issued a standing order that any black soldier found in a Union uniform was to be shot on the spot. After a battle, confederate soldiers would walk among the wounded shooting black soldiers. It was such a horrendous policy, that white Union doctors would order that black soldiers wounded in battle be removed from the battle field first. The reason was that a wounded white soldier was more likely to be given medical attention and imprisoned rather than shot.

After the civil war and reconstruction, the same traitors who had declared war upon their country were given back control of the south and they and their prodigy began a hundred year reign of terror and forced apartheid on black citizens. Well into the mid 19th century lynching, a barbaric public ritual, was a common tool used to terrorize blacks. Among other indignities, Blacks were forced to take part in medical experimentations that are to heinous to mention in a newspaper.

Roger Anderson spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans stated the Klu Klux Klan “high jacked” their symbols. His movement and symbols got hijacked long before the Klan took up the cause.

Why would Glover give government sanction celebrating this sordid history?
History is about more than “visiting Civil War sites”. It’s about placing events into context and understanding the impact upon a nation and most importantly a people. Glover actions and statement lacked any historical context, and by aiding the Sons of the Confederate Veterans embarrassed the very people who lined up by the thousands in November to vote for him. They and the city deserved so much better from Glover.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Save The Babies

I listened to and read the corporate media’s analysis of Barack Obama’s father day speech. The analysis was that Obama had went to the Southside of Chicago and chastised black men as being irresponsible and that he did so to gain political points with white working class men. I listened to and read the snippets of his speech and I became a bit perturbed that the brother in his first speech to a black audience since capturing the nomination would use it as an opportunity to throw some of us under the bus, even if some of us needed to be. I thought his first speech to a black audience should have been thank you for the overwhelming and enthusiastic support we gave him over the last several months, not using us to gain political points.

So given my disappointment I thought I had better go to You Tube and listen for myself. I was wrong and the corporate media was certainly wrong. There is arrogance among white folks that they believe that everything that is said is meant for them. After listening to this extraordinary speech I have no doubt that Obama was not speaking to white America. This was a black man at the pinnacle of political power going back into his neighborhood to talk with his people about a serious issue facing us.

I know as an educated black man and the product of a single family, he has a heavy heart about fatherless families. I know this because my friends and I speak constantly of this generation of black men who through their lack of caring have brought shame on their children and our people.

I know this because one day in court a young man walked up to me and said “I am your nephew and I just wanted to introduce myself to you.” Stunned I allowed him to walk away without getting any contact information.

Even though I had nothing to do with this young man’s life, I feel ashamed. My brother is a worthless soul that has brought dishonor on my father by siring children and casting them to the Darwinian fate of so many black children. He robbed his son of the connection to his grandfather who drove a truck for forty years to take care of his six children and never once complained about the back breaking work. Because of my brother's behavior, my nephew's tether to the social fabric is tenuous and a difficult life of a man of color has been made even more difficult.

No, this speech was not for white folks. This was a serious, witty, deeply personal speech from a black man to black people challenging us as Chris Rock did several years ago to quit being “low expectation Negroes.”

This brother continues to amaze me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some People Can't Help Themselves

Some white folks just can’t help themselves. Fox News one of the most powerful media outlets in the world called Michelle Oboma, the likely next First Lady, a baby mama. Do you believe that Fox News would have called Cindy McCain a Stepford Wife? Where did that come from? It comes from the same place that Don Imus felt like he could call Rutgers players nappy headed whores. It comes from the arrogance of being in power and dominating a people decade after decade, generation after generation and you began to see them as less than you. In the end white folks feel like they can say anything about us.

You call a Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer, the wife of the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States a baby mama (i.e. an unmarried promiscuous ghetto mol). You do it to put her, and us in our place. You do it to remind us that even though you might be months away from the Presidency, we are still in charge, and we can say anything we want.

Even though Fox News apologized they will do it again. They always do, old habits are hard to break.

However, it doesn’t affect us anymore. As has been shown over the last several months, we have as Bob Marley so eloquently sang” flowered in this generation.”

Sunday, June 8, 2008

White Folks Are Something Else

What I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn’t love and have faith in them, and that’s our legacy. Condoleezza Rice

The New York Times article “Where Whites Draw The Line” subtext is so blatantly racist that you would not expect it in America’s paper of record. The title and article suggest that white America has some built in right to determine how far blacks go in expressing their grievances. The Oppressor tells the Oppressed when and where it is appropriate to express himself. Even the pulpit on Sunday morning is now off limits.

But let’s not get it twisted. I reserve my right to continue to challenge the institutional racism that is ingrained in our system. White America does not dictate to black America when and where we state our grievances or when and how we petition for relief

What I found particularly troubling was Jessie Jackson Jr. comments that somehow our failure the last 40 years has been about language. Jackson insults his father by suggesting that between Martin Luther King and Barack Oboma, we have been deficient in how we communicate with white people. That only King and Oboma has figured it out.

First of all that is historically inaccurate. King died on a balcony despised by white America and abandoned by much of the black leadership. It was his language that had caused the rift. In condemning the Vietnam War King called America the “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. The New York Times that now seeks to recast King as a comforter of white folks, called his speech an “error.”

Only a slave would mute his right to demand equality in order to curve favor from the Slave master and we ain’t no slaves. Niki Giovanni said “we always need someone in society who will call a motherfucker a motherfucker.”

The nomination of Barack Oboma does not relieve America of its responsibility to resolve the continuing conflict between its founding principles and its behavior over the last 200 years. To his credit Oboma has consistently stated that his political career grants America no such pass.

I am proud of Barack Oboma. I am voting for him to be President of the United States, not to free black people, or codify our grievances. I understand that he is seeking to be President of all the people. He sees Martin Luther King’s American dream. Many black Americans see Malcolm’s American nightmare. As James Cone in Martin and Malcolm and American Dream or a Nightmare wrote, it is a vision of nuances not a chasm.

It is that duality in which our greatness has been defined but also our dysfunction.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


HISTORY WAS MADE. Three speeches and this is what I saw. Barack Oboma is the one, a generational leader for the 21st Century. John McCain is sweet old man and he is going to get the shit beat out of him. Hilary Clinton will more than likely be the VP. She has a strong case that she has earned it. But she ain't got no class.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You Watching Mama

I thought about my mother tonight. I lost her ten years ago. Along with the overwhelming grief of losing my mama. I was angry. I kept thinking what a waste. This incredibly bright and driven woman who was born 40 years too early, into a country that saw her no more than a serf. I thought about how our mama’s brought us to this day. I wish she would have been here to see this incredible man, sitting on the cusp of leading this incredible country. Tonight I knew that my mama’s life, our mama's life has not been in vain.

You watching mama.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Kobe Bryant is the best player to ever lace up sneakers, Yes better than Michael Jordan. First Kobe is playing against better competition. The Chicago Bulls championship run was during one of the weakest periods in NBA history. Remember that Jordan could never get past the Detroit Pistons when the Pistons were in their prime.

Bryant is a better outside shooter, better passer and this year has morphed into a better teammate. He trusts his teammates in way that Jordan never did.

But it is the brilliance of Kobe’s game that has never been seen. Bryant commands every facet of the game, a rare combination of speed, strength and intelligence. He moves on the court with the elegance of virtuoso jazz player, innovating in every move, like Coltrane playing notes in a melody. Jordan overwhelmed opponents with superior athleticism and power. Kobe possesses equal athleticism and power but he is so much more beautiful to watch. There is something sensual about his game.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I continue to find the media’s election night commentary both puzzling and disingenuous. Chris Matthews put the racial element on the table by reporting that 2 out of 10 primary voters in Kentucky told exit polls that race was a major determination in their selection. Matthews went further and stated that a higher percentage of voters shared that view but would never state it to exit pollsters.

Not one commentator on MSNBC would admit that Matthews was correct. Even the African-American commentators like Harold Ford and Eugene Robinson danced around the issue. They acted as if to acknowledge that race is an undeniable trend in the democratic nomination process would cause them a Jerimiah Wright moment.

CNN was much better because of David Gergan, whose honesty and integrity in his analysis of race has been the most refreshing of the political season. He has often brought a clarity on issues of race that you would expect from African-American commentators, the exception being Roland Martin who has been brave in calling out some of the hypocrisy in the media.

I have to believe that the Oboma campaign has factored in that race will be a element in the general election. That is why they have thrown the 2004 democratic electoral strategy out the door. The fact that Oboma is on the verge of winning the democratic nomination says that racial voting among some voters is not fatal.

The greatest service that the media can do for the country is show the courage that Matthews did and just put it out there. This is an extraordinary opportunity for the country to own up to its racial history and its impact on our 21st century democratic process. To do so makes us no less in the eyes of the world. Hilary Clinton and Barack Oboma historic race has given us the moral basis to finally acknowledge our short comings, and despite them we remain the unique democratic experiment in the history of the world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weeping Mothers

On Monday morning I talked with a client who was captured in Idaho after several days on the run. He allegedly killed his mother-in-law, father-in-law and stepson. After he hung up from me, he went back to his cell and tried to kill himself.

On Tuesday I argued a Motion For Post Conviction Relief that my client had a right to a new trial. Several years ago he went to a club with his friends. While he sat at a bar talking to a young lady, his friends got into a argument and almost came to blows with some other men in the bar. He and his friends then left the club. His friends returned within minutes of leaving and randomly opened fire. One of their bullets struck a innocent 19 year-old bystander killing him. My client was sitting in the car, while the shooting took place. His friends ran back to the car and what took place then is murky.

According to the State my client attempted to run over police officers who had arrived on the scene. According to my client the police randomly opened fire hitting him in the chest and almost killing him and it was only then when the car lounged forward. The State took my client to trial where he was represented by a Public Defender and was convicted of Second Degree Murder. The shooter hired a private attorney and was found guilty of manslaughter. My client was sentenced to life, the shooter got 15 years.

On Wednesday I argued for the life of two clients. One of them who was 35 years old was automatically given life as a third-time habitual offender. I had wept for him weeks earlier –I never weep after a trial- because I felt he was truly innocence of the charges, but my skills had fell short before the jury. There is no greater burden for a criminal defense lawyer than to have a client you believe to be innocent sitting in prison for life.

The other co-defendant was 25 years-old and facing a sentence of 20 to 60 years also as a habitual offender. I argued with passion to the judge not to “throw the young man away” – slang the young hoppers use for life in prison. I argued that 32 percent of young black men will come through the criminal justice system. That we lock up more of our citizens than any industrial nation in the world. I pleaded that I too was once headed for a life of crime, and only by luck did I escape the black man’s mark of carrying convicted felon for life. I argued with all my skills for the judge to give the young man 20 years and a chance at life after prison

The Judge listened patiently and when he began to speak, he acknowledged the power of my words and commended me on my good work at trial. He then recited that my client had been in the gangs since a pre-teen. He had been convicted of a sexual battery on a juvenile, and at trial he had been found guilty of standing on one of the busiest street corners in the city, at ten o’clock in the morning, and fired into a car to kill a useless soul named Donut. Donut wife was in the front passenger seat and his two year-old daughter was riding in the backseat. One of the bullets missed the two year-old head by two inches. The Judge then sentenced my client to 50 years.

A week earlier I had sit on the front porch of a mother and her family who had called me because several days before her son was caught coming out a furniture store at 3 am. The Police officer who had been staking out the store, reported that her son got into his car and tried to run him over. The officer allegedly fired six bullets into the vehicle killing her son. The police waited some 14 hours to notify her and when she arrived at the hospital her son was brain dead. Doctors told her that the fatal bullet was to the back of her son’s head, which would have meant that he was shot while fleeing the scene. The Officer who did the shooting had been involved in two other shootings one fatal and all three incidents allegedly involved a car being used as a weapon. Most police officers go their entire careers without firing their weapons. The Police Chief, who is black, within hours before the Department’s internal investigation had even begun declared the shooting was valid.

This is what I do. I work triage in a war. Only my emergency room is the court room and the wounded of this war are the young black men who are at war with themselves and each other. I rarely save the whole life. I try to turn life into 20 years, 20 years into five, five years into probation.

Over the years I have grown to fear these young men as my grandfather must have feared an encounter with the Klan on a dark highway fifty years ago.

Yet, much of my life the last ten years has been defending them. These young men are not born monsters. We- all of us- raise them to be. We allow their mothers to carry them without proper healthcare. We send them to school hungry and when they become distracted by the hunger in their bellies, or the chaos in their home life, we label them mentally deficient and warehouse them in Special Education. When they enter the Juvenile Justice System there is no real attempt at intervention to remedy the dysfunction that led them into the system in the first place. Instead we begin their rapid mental preparation to spend their lives as a convicted felon or at worst years in prison

While the corporate media is fixated over flags on lapels, or whether Jeremiah Wright loves America, or who loves Israel more, another black male child is being born to a teen-age mother fathered by a worthless soul, who like his father before him will never offer any emotional or financial support. The mother, who was born into dysfunction and will pass it on to the children, will do her best but the social and economic realities of being poor, black, a teenager, and with child will overwhelm her.

One day she will sit on a bench in the back of a court room and weep softly as a judge throws her child away. At the young age of 35 she will take the hand of her grandchild and walk onto the street, she will feel the warmth of the sun on her face and say a prayer in her heart that she will not lose this one.

That evening she will sit in front of her television and in another political race hear commentators ponder on why Candidate A cannot connect with “hard working white voters”. Tears will form in her eyes as she realizes the pains of her life, her children life, her grandchildren life have no place in America’s political dialogue.

What does it say about America that it will allow another generation to grow up in this madness? What does it say about our moral compass that a debate about who wears flag pins is more important than a debate about a genocide that is happening within our own cities?

Maybe history will prove Jeremiah Wright right that God Damns America. We have certainly dammed our inner-cities.

The Silencing Of Jerimiah Wright

I am contemplating the impact of Rev Jeremiah Wright on Barack Oboma's steady march toward the democratic nomination. The fact that Wright has become the latest racial boogey man of the “corporate owned media” as Wright righteously refers to them says more about America and the state of race relations than it does about Wrights’ controversial comments.

I was introduced to Rev Wright’s sermons over a decade ago. I immediately became a follower. His sermons represent the essence of the black theological tradition at its best. Wrights’ combination of intellect, showmanship and natural born talents to preach has no equal. His courage and willingness to speak truth to power, and most importantly put the teaching of Christ to practice in his south side neighborhood by helping ‘the least among us’ went against the trend of wealth theology, now so prominent in many of America’s black mega-churches.

Then a strange and wonderful thing happened. One of his members stood several hundred delegates from capturing the democratic nomination. But then that demented child called race that we keep locked up in our mental attics escaped, and all hell broke loose.

Wright became the Louis Farrakhan incarnate and most damaging he had polluted the mind of the wonder Negro Oboma, and his little brown children too.

What has been done to Wright by Fox News and right wing radio with the tacit complicity of the mainstream media is nothing less than criminal. A who man joined the marines when Dick Cheney and other neo-cons were hiding out at the academy, a man who put to sleep and woke up the President of the United States when he had surgery was painted as unpatriotic. A man who possesses two master degrees, a PHD from the most respected theological school in the world, speaks five languages, is a gifted musician and is one of America’s greatest living biblical scholars was redefined as a demagogue and crucified all because he dared to criticize Rome. The liberal paper of record New York Times called him a racist. Less we forget they called Martin King Vietnam speech a grave “error”

Barack Oboma is a politician. However, I believe him when he says he is outraged by some of Rev. Wright’s comments. I understand that after Wrights latest media tour he will be compelled to further distance himself from Wright. The truth is he should have distanced himself from Wright more forcefully when Wright first became a political issue.

However, Jeremiah Wright has every right to defend himself and his life work as forcefully as he sees fit no matter the cost to Oboma. Wright was in no way actively involved in the Oboma campaign. He was quietly moving toward retirement when the right-wing press drug him into a maelstrom.

Now the white media is telling Wright we can say any god damn thing we want about you and you are required to be silent. If Wright is allowed to be silenced it only reinforces the white supremacist notion that an indigenous black voice from the bottom of the well has no place in our civic discourse. African-American criticism of America’ foreign policy is now deemed to be both deficient and racist.

The call from the talking heads of the corporate media for Wright to stay invisible reeks of hypocrisy One need only to turn on talk radio and you will hear such racist and xenophobic spewing, that it makes one rethink the wisdom of the First Amendment. Never mind that some of America’s most prominent conservative politicians prize a 5 minute interview with the Hannitys and Limbaughs who communicate that filth. But silence reigns among a supposedly shocked corporate media as they participated in the skin game by failing to tell a complete picture of Wright, his good and bad.

No one wants Oboma to be elected President more than me, more than black people in this country. But if the price of electing a black President is the silencing of authentic indigenous voices like Wright then that price is to high.

Each one of us knew that at some point it was going to come to this. America was going to have to confront its racist tendencies. It always does. If not Wright, then it would be some other manufactured issue. But that is okay, to be free of our racist past we had to have our Jeremiah Wright moment.

Several months ago I wrote how hopeful I have become because of Oboma’s candidacy. That hope has only grown. Despite what the corporate media says, THIS RACE IS OVER. However, Oboma has been forced to do the unthinkable, campaign in every state and fight for every vote. Guam’s with just four delegates and its citizens unable to vote in the general election was coveted. This is truly remarkable in that a political party will finally produce a nominee that the whole country and its territories had a say in nominating. And with the whole world watching no less.

So my hope is not dampened by the race baiting of the Wright story. North Carolina and Indiana affirmed that hope. In the end I believe that fifty-one percent of us, of all races, religions, regions, genders, sexual orientation and political parties will choose a new way in the general election. I have hope.