My Summer Vacation

Last week, my wife and I boarded a plane to travel to Atlanta, Georgia - a place many call "America's Black Mecca." It has five Black colleges and universities, mostly associated with the legendary Atlanta University. The schools associated with Atlanta University include Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Morris Brown, Spelman, and Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). Atlanta is home to the Civil Rights movement and where Dr. Martin Luther King was chosen to lead the attack on discrimination and segregation in America, beginning with the Birmingham bus boycott.

I remember when my wife and I drove to Atlanta last year to see our grandchildren and our son Jamal and his wife, Makini, how surprised I was to discover how close Atlanta was to Birmingham. It's only about one and one half hours away. Birmingham was such a violent place for Blacks and Civil Rights workers that it was nicknamed "Bombingham" in the sixties. I guess you could say it was one and one half hours away from hell, if you were Black.



Moving Ahead with Black Agenda

In April, The Journal published what we called, "The State of Black Pasadena 2009". In the article we addressed Education, Economics, Safety and Security. The response has been an outpouring of quiet discussions and proposals to resolve some of the problems in order for Black Pasadena to move forward. In recent days, the changing landscape has caused increasing request for a community forum on the issues and plans are being made to move ahead.

A few things can be discussed here about the changing landscape. In the area of education, the anticipated departure of the president of Pasadena City College, Paulette Profumo, may open up an opportunity to have a Black president at the college which has abandoned the Black community. Also, more and more people are questioning what is happening at the PUSD. There seems to be a purging of Black administrators in favor of White and Armenian administrators from Glendale and Diaz's hometown of Gilroy, CA. Like the fruit of Gilroy - garlic. This whole thing is starting to stink. Black students plus non Black administrators is a recipe for Black student failure. Sound familiar? Kind of like the Boys and Girls Club on North Fair Oaks nearly getting shut down because, even though they serve mostly Black and Brown, the administrators are all White. Hopefully, the ongoing discrimination lawsuit against them will cause some changes.



Bad Times May Create Opportunities for New Businesses

In the midst of bad economic times there is the shifting economic picture and opportunities for new businesses open up. In the Pasadena area businesses are closing as they are across the country. This means that there are new opportunities opening up. You don’t buy stock when it is at its highest value. The rule of buy low and sell high is in play. A business owner who is looking to close a business is willing to deal. He/she may sell low to cut their losses and selling low creates an opportunity for someone looking to get into business.

Bad times create a good News Bad news situation. The good news is that the present owner or owners of a business are looking to get out and a new owner is looking to get in. One opens the door to allow another in. A restaurant owner looking to close a business because they don’t make as much as before may provides the perfect opportunity for a person whose job has played out and they have longed to get into the restaurant business with a new and different menu.



Republicans, Racism, Hate and Greed

When slavery was financially beneficial for American businessmen they were willing to go to war and kill other Americans to protect their profits and keep Black Africans in slavery. When Martin Luther King was killed it was because the Black garbage workers wanted a more equitable pay for their labor. Today we see the Insurance Industry and Health Care industry corporate giants on the verge of losing their stranglehold on the dollars they earn by controlling the Health Care Industry. We see America's first Black President leading the charge and again we see that they are prepared to lie and create a climate where some will, yes, even kill to keep the profits coming in.
When Dr. King was killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968 it was because he was there trying to help settle a garbage workers strike for better pay. When Dr. Benjamin Mays spoke at Dr. King's funeral services he reminded us that we all bear some responsibility to make things right for other Americans. And when they go wrong we bear the responsibility because we didn't fight the forces of hate and greed to defeat the legacy of equality of Americans.
In his eulogy of Dr. King he said, "The Memphis officials must bear some of the guilt for Martin Luther's assassination. The strike should have been settled several weeks ago. The lowest paid men in our society should not have to strike for a more just wage. A century after Emancipation, and after the enactment of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, it should not have been necessary for Martin Luther King, Jr., to stage marches in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma, and to go to jail thirty times trying to achieve for his people those rights which people of lighter hue get by virtue of their being born white. We too are guilty of murder. It is time for the American people to repent and make democracy equally applicable top all Americans. What can we do? We, not the assassins, represent America at its best. We have the power - not the prejudiced, not the assassin, to make things right."

The forces of evil and greed are out fighting to keep the profits rolling in. They are working to keep their top executives earnings millions of dollars per year while the rest of us struggle to pay increasingly high premiums for health care coverage. They are our creating a climate that would equate a young Black President as a monster named Hitler. They are out talking about Obama Death Squads out to kill the sick, and the elderly, and now we see the latest entry from former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sara Palin talking about Obama Death Panels out to kill her Down Syndrome child.

The fever pitch to destroy the rights to equal Universal Health Care has taken a dangerous turn and death is in the air. These are the same forces that created the atmosphere that justified the killing of the abortion clinic doctor in his church. These are the same forces that caused the killing of John F. Kennedy as he was on the verge of passing the Civil Rights Bill, and then the killing of his brother, Bobby, and Dr. King and Medgar Evers. The same forces of hate that bombed the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, killing four little Black girls are at work today trying to kill change and progress through health care reform legislation.



Republicans Working to Defeat Universal Health Care for Americans

The Conservative Republicans never cease to amaze me in their ways to maintain the status quo, with them on top of the economic ladder, and the rest of us on the bottom.

The latest tricks being used to stop Democratic Party efforts to get a Universal Health Care Program are unbelievable. And some of the advertisements being paid for by the health care insurance and private hospital industries are unbelievable. But when you stop to think about these are the same industries that stand to gain, it is easier to understand.



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