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Joe's Editorial

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.



Obama, What Manner of Man?

Black news - Commentary on Obama - What Manner of ManNow that the midterm elections are over everybody is talking about what the Democrats did wrong or what the Republicans and the Tea Party did right. And more than anything people are talking about what President Obama did wrong. At tables around the country people are serving up big helpings of roasted Obama with a side of fried Pelosi. These same people just a few months ago were praising the genius of this President as the antidote for the poison George Bush dishes served by Republican chefs that almost killed us all.

The fact is that like any goal, whether it is a ball game with two halves, a long distance race, a long term marriage, or just a life lived, there will be moments of ups and downs. Black Christians have a song written by one Reverend Paul Jones entitled. "I Won't Complain." As Black folks in America especially those of us over the age of sixty we have watched and we have experienced a lot of pain heaped on us because of the color of our skin. Sometimes we handled it with marches, we handled it with prayer, or Voodoo, and sometimes we handled it with trying to get even. We even shouted as we watched the epic movie Roots and learned of the inhumane treatment of our ancestors in slavery. We shared a smile and a "you go girl" as we watched the slave character, played by Leslie Uggams, spit in the rude white woman's glass of water in a revengeful eye for an eye moment.

Some African Americans have even used the Muhammad Ali Rope a Dope tactic in order to survive. Far too many of us have internalized the frustration and taken it out on ourselves or our loved ones in abusive ways. But in the end we have survived and as angry as we may get at President Barack Obama for a particular moment we need to believe that his hand is in God's hand and we will get through moments of defeat. Remember in this election, this defeat was just at half-time but we ended up ahead in that those of us who elected the democrat for President still have the President and we hold the Senate. It's merely halftime. The score is one for them and two for us. It's not quitting time or giving up time. Stand with our President. Advise him. Give him constructive criticism, but don't make him the main course in a destructive meal that could lead us back to eating the poison from the Bushes.



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