In classic Obama style, he’s adorned the costume which we’ve come to associate with all rebellious agitators. Unlike some who’ve compared his speaking style to MLK, I see more of Malcolm than Martin in Obama’s mettle performance. Short, decisive, snappy comments, which linger with the listener by virtue of their verbosity and in your face intellectualism. This was Malcolm’s marker. In 21st century America, Obama is Malcolm’s emulator, but not his heir apparent.
While African-Americans were busily working for change during Obama’s 2008 campaign, we absentmindedly forget that history often foretells future events.
Born to a white mother and a Kenyan father, young Obama’s world view was fashioned in Indonesia and Hawaii through the prism of his mother. There is nothing unseemly about Obama’s upbringing, but it does belie the difficulty inherent in labeling President Obama as African-American.
My attempt to distinguish Obama, born of a white mother and Kenyan father, was met with enraged black voters who wrongly believed I was questioning Obama’s blackness. Now that some time has passed, Antonio Moore and I again explore the question of whether Obama is African-American. Watch the video below:
Last week I discussed the findings of Duke University Professor William Darity, one of the leading economists in the country, during my Breaking Brown Live broadcast. Darity’s work is significant in that he dispels the notion that African-Americans can close the wealth gap with whites through hard work and education alone. Darity provides context for his conclusions at the 6:00 minute mark:
This week Antonio Moore, who had previously explored Darity’s work in a study called The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles, interviewed Darity about the wealth gap. Here are the the most insightful takeaways from the interview (You can find the interview in its entirety at the bottom of the page):
ON HOW WEALTH WORKS
“It’s what you can receive from your parents and grandparents by way of resources ..”
ON THE LACK OF BLACK WEALTH
“We’ve never had the foundation for a significant amount of wealth transfer to the next generation…”
“We overstate the value of education for the purpose of economic gain..”
ON THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT HELP
“The capacity for closing these gaps is not something that’s within the hands of black folks to do without there being any kind of social policy changes, policy supports, or transformations in this society as a whole. We can’t do it by ourselves.”
“We need a reparations program. We need something that takes the form of a redistribution of wealth..to create a situation where black folk do have a similar set of opportunities to white folk.”
ON BLACK CELEBRITY
“We should not try to shape our expectations based on folks [like Jay-Z] who are far, far outliers who may have had to make some decisions that are really ethically compromised to get to where they are..”
“People should not judge what their capabilities are based on people who are gross, gross exceptions…”
Regarding celebs like Beyonce, who tell blacks “you just might be the next Bill Gates”, Professor Darity questions her own wealth position, suggesting that we “look at how much debt they’re carrying relative to the assets they’ve accumulated…”
ON THE NEED FOR CAPITAL
“Your capacity to be successful in the business world is contingent upon having a backup of wealth to support your efforts…”
“There’s nothing that insulates black folks from being treated viciously and unfairly.”
In a blistering rebuke, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile was forced to resign her position as CNN political analyst. Brazile’s departures came only days after Wikileaks revealed that she’d provided the Clinton campaign with debate questions, at least two of which addressed the needs of the African-American community specifically.
During a contentious exchange with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over the first Wikileaks revelation, Brazile struck a religious chord, intentionally deflecting away from Kelly’s pointed questions. “As a Christian woman I understand persecution but I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said.
Brazile continued: “I am not going to try to validate falsified information…I do my homework, I communicate, I talk. CNN has never provided me with questions.”
It now appears that Brazile provided the Clinton campaign with not one, not two, but multiple debate questions.
Although the veteran political “analyst” claimed to be “neutral” during the primary battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, she’d already admitted in a 2014 Washington Post interview that “neutrality is something that gets you in trouble because, you ever notice someone who stands on the white line in the middle of the road? They get run over. And I don’t want to get run over. So I’m not neutral. I have to tell people that I’m neutral, but I’m ready for Hillary.”
We knew Brazile was playing for Team Hillary all along. What may be surprising for some, however, is how Brazile, in her desperate attempt to be of some use to the Clinton campaign, put the needs of corporate Democrats ahead of ordinary African-Americans.
At least two debate questions that Brazile allegedly passed on to the Clinton campaign were addressing the needs of the African-American community.
The first debate question Brazile sent, written by TV One’s Roland Martin, was on the death penalty. In the email to the Clinton campaign, Brazile prefaced the debate question with her concerns, writing: “Here’s one that worries me about HRC.”
In the second leaked email, Brazile warns John Podesta that “one of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash. Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
In the first debate it was Ricky Jackson, an African-American exonerated death row inmate, who asked Clinton how she could support the death penalty in light of how many innocent people had been wrongfully convicted. Lee-Anne Walters, who is white, was the woman who asked Clinton about Flint’s water crisis.
This was the African-American community’s chance to have our issues in the national spotlight. In life outside of an election year, Hillary Clinton is only speaking directly to those who can afford her $225,000 speaking fee, but elections require that candidates mingle with voters.
It was the responsibility of African-Americans within the Democratic Party, such as Donna Brazile, and black media, represented by Roland Martin, to ensure that our issues got a fair hearing. Instead, Brazile acted against the interests of African-Americans in order to ensure Hillary Clinton was given an unfair advantage in the debate. Meanwhile, one can only assume Roland Martin shared the questions to gain favor with what he perceived as the incoming Democratic administration.
As I write this, Democrats are still coming to terms with the idea–made real on election day- of Donald Trump as president. Progressives have gone from protestations to planning sessions. African-American Democrats, however, have not come to terms with the absence of black mainstream media reporters who act in opposition to corporate Democrats and on behalf of the black community’s agenda.
For people like Brazile and Martin, the black community is only a backdrop for their own personal ambition. Here’s how it looks: Roland Martin leverages his role at TV One only to gain favor with Donna Brazile, who works for Democrats, and uses her position to further secure her own self interest.
For years I’ve been excoriating the black misleadership functionaries, both in print and on video. There is a sense that everyone agrees with me about the duplicity of this group in the abstract, but no one wants to name names. No one wants to punish. Well, if we want our politics to improve, we must speak plainly about these people, and dismiss them when they cease being effective messengers and negotiators for our interests.
In response to the allegations, Martin said he did not “share my questions with anybody. Literally. My executive producer wasn’t even aware of what I was going to ask.”
Our investigation turned up a number of questions that Roland sent to CNN – and these two are included, verbatim, with all the same punctuation and capitalization. As we have said all along, Donna was never given anything by CNN. It is clear that these, like the others, were also sent from Roland to Donna.
And Brazile is still lashing out at CNN over her firing. “I wish CNN had given me some other things, like the ability to defend myself rather than ripping me a new one,” she whined.
Considering the selfish fashion that both Brazile and Martin intervened in all of our lives, an apology is the minimum they owe us. We have regrettably created a class of black political hacks who view themselves as above rebuke. The only way we change this toxic relationship is with their undoing.
A St. Louis mother is demanding answers after a photo emerged showing an officer posing with her dead son.
Kim Staton’s son, 28-year-old Omar Rahman, died of an accidental drug overdose, according to the medical examiner’s office. Only weeks after her son’s August 8 death, a photo surfaced of a North County Police Cooperative officer posing with the deceased man, KMOV reports.
Staton says the police are “supposed to be there to help and protect, not doing what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face.”
Staton’s attorney is also repulsed by the photograph.
“I have seen thousands and thousands of forensic photographs, I have never seen a staged photograph of an officer next to a deceased body,” said attorney Antonio Romanucci.
Romanucci is calling for an investigation into the photograph.
The notoriously disgruntled Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made news last week by mixing up Wikipedia with Wikileaks. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, while Wikileaks is the organization, run by Julian Assange, which has been releasing hacked emails associated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“You know that I’m going to first of all denounce the utilization of this intrusion by Wikipedia through the Russian intrusion,” Jackson Lee said in an interview with MSNBC. “This is what it’s about. Espionage just like what was said over these last couple of days. We need to be concerned about the intrusion of Russia and Putin in these elections.”