Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:50
On February 8, 2013, a 60 year old white man, Joe Rickey Hundley, on an airplane slapped a two year old black child and drew blood just below the child's right eye, and told the mother to "shut that N----r baby up". Hundley was an aircraft parts executive and was allegedly arrested and charged with simple assault. I wonder what would have happened to a black man slapping a white child on a plane.
When nine year old Quvanzane Wallis was nominated for best actress for her recent film, a tweet from The Onion blog called her a cu_t (rhymes with runt). This is just as when young Gabby won a Gold medal as a gymnast at the Olympics. There, the talk was about her hair. Why? There is no post-racial era, yet.
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 22:24
In February 2011, I was honored to be asked to be one of the speakers at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles (CAAM) in their conversations program focusing on journeys, issues and insights of individuals. I shared my life story, in brief, as part of their Black History Month program. This year, I was asked to share my civil rights experiences with the black students at PCC on February 26, 2013.
It's always surprising to me when I get an invitation to speak, since it doesn't happen that often, but it usually ends up being a stimulating experience. I consider my life as a normal one for a black man who grew up with three siblings and both parents in California's Jim Crow Bakersfield. I call it Jim Crow because, though it is in California, the culture was Southern. Although Texas and Oklahoma are not considered to be in the South like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi, that distinction is only geographical. On the map they may not actually be in the South, but culturally the difference was insignificant, as it was truly a distinction without a difference. For those historical purists, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona could be said to be the Southwest. But if you were black they were all thought to be in the South.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 11:45
Black History Month has always been an inspiring time and should result in action. After we've been reminded of the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality, and the contributions of the ancestors and those whom have gone on before, the question for each of us is, "What is your contribution for the future?"
It has been said many ways that none of us are truly free as long as there is someone left behind, uneducated, in poverty, or just denied opportunities because they are Black. One writer, in a poem to his mother, lamented with regret that, "I must confess that I still breathe while you are not yet free." The writer is sad because he realizes that the work is not yet complete.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 09:32
Some weeks ago in my column for the year's end, I talked about change coming to our community and to our country. One of the things that I wrote was that rumors have it that the Tea Party is going to start telling lies about one of the candidates to replace Chris Holden in the District Three race. I spoke to each of the three candidates, John Kennedy, Ishmael Trone, and Nicholas Benson, and indicated that I would not endorse or get involved in writing about the race. I then wrote as a warning that we should watch out for the dirt being thrown around by white agents and politicians to influence elections involving Black candidates. I then asked, 'hadn't we seen enough of that with the election of President Obama?'
But then the dirt began to fly. In a sense, historically, it is the nature of the political beast to throw a little dirt and hide. It's the hiding that makes me angry. When the dirt gets to be mud, it needs to be addressed, and so based on what I have recently read in other media, and the debate that I watched on the candidates, here is my opinion.
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 21:16
When Harry Belafante appeared at the 2013 NAACP Awards ceremonies to accept the Spingarn Award he reminded us of where we came from and asked who is leading us today? Belafante, standing besides another entertainment giant, Sidney Poitier, also, reminded us that he and the stars of his generation, like Poitier, Paul Robeson, and others, had to struggle with their careers as Black pioneers. At the same time they walked with, and marched with, and supplied economic support for the Civil Rights Movement, helping giants like Dr. King.
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