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Joe's Editorial

Bridging the Gap Between the Church and Community

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - saving the youth and homeboy industriesI had the distinct pleasure of speaking to the Interdenominational Ministerial  Alliance of Greater Pasadena on Saturday May 28, 2011. The event, held at Altadena Baptist Church where Pastor George Van Alstine is the pastor, was to my surprise, a packed house.  A full agenda was accommodated by the Alliance and its president, Dr. Nicholas Benson. I took my few minutes to talk about and promote the idea of the group organizing to develop a program that serves the young people of Northwest Pasadena where all of the traditional programs seem to have disappeared, or simply don’t serve the young people, anymore. My personal target is young Black males, in particular. I am aware that that may be offensive to some, but in my opinion, young Black males seem to have been abandoned by their fathers, the schools, the churches, and the community, in general. They are the ones who need special attention, quick, fast and in a hurry. I guess the fact that I represent so many young men in court who have been abandoned, one way or another, and see so many mothers and  grandmothers struggling to save them, the epidemic is clear to me.



Liars and Other Rites of Passage

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Rites of passage and remembering lessons from the pastThis week I was again reminded of one of the lessons that my daddy taught me and which my years on earth have proved true. That lesson is that there are many White men who don’t sleep at night trying to think of new ways to keep Black folks down. My daddy was right again. I was defending a young man in a trial who was severely injured by police action but the District Attorney filed criminal charges against the man and blamed him for his own injuries, kinda like they did in the Rodney King beating.

We went through the trial of so-called peers in Alhambra where there are few jurors of a Black man’s peers. Don’t be fooled by that term of peers. It doesn’t mean you will have people that look like you or even think like you on your jury. You may very well have people on your jury whose whole culture is worlds apart from yours. As a note, that is why you need to find a lawyer you trust, pay him/her, and please, listen to your lawyer.



Surviving In An Upside Down World

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - surviving in an upside down worldWe’ve all heard the words, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Now in the post Bush economy, we are watching it with our own eyes in disbelief that the Republicans and Tea Party people are working to stop Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, so they can give more tax breaks to oil companies and insurance companies. I am still in shock that the Tea Party and Republicans are for breaking up public education and firing teachers while maintaining corporate welfare called, subsidies, for giant, rich corporations.

The Republicans say they wanted to get Osama Bin Ladin who masterminded the 9-11 bombing in New York and caused the death of nearly 3,000 Americans on American soil.  And yet when a Black American President named Barak Obama catches and kills Bin Ladin, these people are finding reasons to criticize him. Indeed, Rush Limbaugh is saying he still wants Obama to fail. Others are saying he should have asked permission to kill him. But these same people want the police to act and question crime suspects without reading them their Miranda rights to remain silent.



A Thanksgiving Message to President Obama

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Thanksgiving message to the presidentAn African American writer once wrote a parody of the Bible and in it he included proposed letters or epistles, as the apostle Paul wrote his letters to the Romans and to the Corinthians. One letter he wrote and called it, Get Thee Understanding. "Get thee understanding the scriptures will read without saying what understanding is. ... So I will tell you. Understanding is simply 'Individual Ability' to recognize the power, purpose, energy and results which lie behind everything that you see, hear smell and touch. If you seek to find exactly what lies behind all ideas, objects and inventions, past and present, expressed or unexpressed, then you will be seeking understanding. After all has been done and said taught, preached and written, the understanding which you have been seeking is nothing more than yourself..." The prayer around many tables this Thanksgiving Day will be for President Obama to gain understanding about what the Republicans and Tea Partiers are doing to him and this country.

Dear President Obama,

You may be the first Black man in America with the position and the power of the Presidency but you are not the first Black man with the power to change things. What you must understand is what white racists and racism will do to Black men with that kind of power.



Politics, Changing Policies and the Future for Black America

Black political news - commentary on politics, changing policies and the future for black AmericaJust in case you haven't heard, the Republicans are in control of the United States Congress. And while the President and the Senate are still Democratic, our world is about to change...again! The question for all of us is what the changes are and how will they affect each of us? The most important question is, are you ready?

The proposed changes showed up when a so-called bi-partisan committee put out a plan to cut U.S spending. The commission has proposed the following: on DOMESTIC SPENDING: freeze Federal salaries for three years; eliminate all earmarks (special projects); slow down giving foreign aid; and cut spending on commercial space flight (as if I was going on a trip to mars soon).

MILITARY SPENDING: reduce military procurement by 15% such as reducing jobs at places like Hughes Aircraft, Xerox, or anyplace that sells items to the government for space programs; freeze military pay for those who are not in combat for 3 years. (This does not seem to include military contractors or employees of places like Haliburton); reduce overseas military bases overseas by one third which would mean more government job losses.

On the subject of TAXES they propose to: limit or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction; tax employee health benefits; and raise gas tax by 15 cents a gallon. All of these are bad for poor and middle class folks. The rich will keep theirs because they don't get health benefits from their employer. They work for themselves.



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