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Joe's Editorial

Discrimination… It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

I saw an argument on CNN this past weekend. Although they called it a debate, the stated issue being debated was, "Is Affirmative Action Racist? The underlying, unstated question was since an African American, Barack Obama, is President and a Latina, Sonia Sotomayor, is being pushed to be on the Supreme Court, does America still need Affirmative Action? Put another way, is everything equal, and is there no more need for programs to even the economic playing field left from 400 years of slavery and discrimination?

I was reminded of a letter to an editor I read years ago that responded to the same question with a statement that simply said, "I saw a Black man driving a Mercedes, so there is equality now."

This whole notion that we live in a post-racial period and every thing is now Ok is being promoted by the conservatives since Obama is now the President. First of all the word, POST-RACIAL is a new, strange and dangerous word; kind of like the word COLORBLIND. If we said that Black is Beautiful and African Americans are the colors of the rainbow, Black, Brown, Beige, and varying shades of all of the above, why would we want them to be invisible as you would if you were colorblind? What we want is for all individuals to be appreciated for their achievements, their talents and their character.




Give Your Kid a New Friend This Summer

It is a proven fact that students who take music lessons and play a musical instrument do very well in school. This would be a good time to get your child a musical instrument as a new friend this summer. When I was a young person I spent hours and hours learning to play the piano and the saxophone. The experience of spending so many hours studying and practicing helped me develop study habits that eventually got me through high school, college and law school.

Music became a friend that alleviated the need to be always running with other guys that often lead young people to trouble. Yes, I still play the piano a bit. The saxophone is a skill I lost long ago. The friend of musical instruments with music lessons was provided to my three sons also and kept them at home, in school, and out of trouble. They all took piano, and/or saxophone lessons.



“God May Not Come When You Want Him But He’s Always On Time”

When James A. Young was a child growing up in Philadelphia, Mississippi, his father would sleep on the sofa in the family's living room with a shotgun on his chest because the Klan was always nearby. Today James A. Young, age 53, is the mayor of the small town. The town is best known as the place where the where the killings of Civil Rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were murdered for trying to register African Americans to vote. The events of that June 21, 1964 summer are long gone, but the memory is still there.



On Cop Watch ...

Highway Robbery Continues in Altadena,
Sheriffs Give Resident a Ticket for Having a
Cross Hanging on her Rear View Mirror

As the stories of what appears to be a war on the Black community continue to come in, this one is a reminder of when Blacks were victims of southern racist cops. A long-time Black resident of Altadenan was coming home when she saw a Sheriff appearing to be following her. There were no lights to pull over, so the single mother drove on home, carefully as she had done a thousand times. When she got to her driveway and turned in, Sheriff’s Deputy Rodriguez turned the lights on and got out approaching her car which was now in her driveway. She was given a ticket for having a tiny Christian Cross hanging on her rear view mirror.

When the lady, a nurse and former probation officer and who works in a tough neighborhood of Los Angeles, asked the offi cer what he was stopping her for, he told her that the sticker on her license plate was missing. She explained that it had been stolen at her job and she had the replacement in her purse and had just forgotten to put it on. She started to get out of the car saying she would put it on now.



The Basics of Life Still Rule

The cause of the American money mess is because the credit card companies have encouraged us to buy things we don't need with money we don't have. The result is the domino effect. The cardholder gets more than he/she can pay for, the banks don't get paid, then you have a traffic jam at the credit market and on jobs. Everybody is trying to unload debt so they can make more debt. No one can move. Bankruptcy courts fill up to catch the overflowing debt, and on the jobs the ones who got hired last get fired first, and we all know who that is. America caught an economic cold and Black America caught economic pneumonia.

Nothing has changed. The rich got richer with a bail out and the poor pay higher prices and taxes to cover the bail of the rich. In slavery days it was said simpler, "naught's a naught, figger's a figger, all for the white man and none for the n----r." Nothing's changed. Somewhere in my life I heard rules like, "If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true." When the phone is ringing off the hook with people trying to sell you something better than you have, like a mortgage or a telephone system for less, then you need to resist. The ones who resisted the too-good-to-be-true deals seem to be the survivors in the current economic mess.



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