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Lessons From the Village

February is the official Black History Month in America. However, every month is Black History Month, because every month is a month to study and learn something about being and living Black in America. Here, in Lessons from the Village, The Journal shares a few thoughts of wisdom for you to consider and to pass on to someone else, especially young people who know nothing but think they know as much as people who have lived for 30, 40, 50 years or more. It has been said, old people give good advice because they can no longer set bad examples. Well, hear advice from some of the "old people" and learn. Some people may not agree with the advice they hear, but we hope you will find in it, some reasons for discussion. You are also welcome to contribute to 'Lessons from the Village'.


We all still love him, but we should understand that being bi-racial is what makes him want to be bi-partisan. Some people are Black from a long distance. (This statement is good for a discussion.) The President is one of the smartest politicians that ever occupied the White House. We have to give credit to Presidents like him such as, Lincoln, Kennedy and Clinton.

Obama got re-elected by deciding that America is made up of people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, ethnic heritages, and political parties. If you can get some of all of them, you can win. If, on the other hand, you only want White liberals and Black liberals to play on your team and vote for you, you can't win. Obama didn't say he wanted all of them to love him, he just wanted their votes. This is a page out of former California State Assembly Speaker, Willie Brown's book. When Brown was running for speaker of the State Assembly he needed a certain number of votes. He was a Democrat and knew he couldn't win by getting just Democratic votes. So he went out and recruited some Republicans to vote for him. He coupled that with democratic votes and became the longest running Speaker in the history of the California State Assembly.

The Republicans recruited southern racist whites and other racist leaning rich white folks who hated Blacks, Latinos, women, the poor, gays and lesbians. Obama joined them together and won. He was not concerned with whether Blacks, gays, lesbians, and Protestants loved one another. He just wanted them to know that he would be their president, regardless of their standing, and to vote for him.

Think about it. If you were picking a team to play a ball game and there were ten guys and girls to pick from. Each of you have picked four team members and there are only two left to pick from. If one of the last two guys was gay and the other was Mexican, and you claim you don't like Mexicans and you don't like gays, what do you do? You could pick neither and let the other team have both. Guess who wins.


When former LAPD Christopher Dorner was chased, cornered and killed the national debate about fair treatment of African Americans once again opened up. First of all nothing could justify killing the two young people who had nothing to do with Mr. Dorner's being fired from the LAPD. If I do wrong punish me not my children. The problem is that the rules for hiring and/or for firing Black folks in this country keep changing.

I believe in fighting back when you've been wronged. I have made a career of doing just that, as a Lawyer that handles Police abuse and employment discrimination for the past thirty plus years. I have settled and tried many police abuse and employment cases.

Dorner chose the wrong path. He could have used his experience to help others instead of resorting to deadly measures. He could have written letters and articles and submitted it to The Black Press and other media. He could have written a book. He could have become an expert on proper police procedures and testify in police misconduct cases, helping others who faced similar circumstances as his. He was young enough to go to law school and become an attorney and sue police departments for misconduct and abuse. There was so much he could have done and been helpful to society. If anyone is in a situation where they feel there is no way out except to do harm to others or to themselves and/or others, and they don't feel they can get help from people they know, try talking to different people. Others can give you different perspectives. Don't hide and keep your problems a secret. Go to the library. Go online. Do research. Find and get help! Also don't forget about seeking counseling from church or a professional.


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