Saturday, June 21, 2008

Obama States That Race Will Be An Issue in The Fall Campaign

Yesterday for the first time, Barack Obama stated that Republicans will use race as an issue. He spoke at a reception in Jacksonville, FL. The exact quote is listed below:

“The choice is clear. Most of all we can choose between hope and fear. It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy. We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?

The link is to CNN playing the audio on air and the subsequent discussion. It's interesting that Obama stayed away from the race issue in his battle with Hillary Clinton. I guess now he doesn't feel like he has to share any of the African American vote, so he's more comfortable in stating the obvious.

The Other Foreclosure Problem!

Abandoned homes continue to contribute to the urban blight in our inner city neighborhoods. Last year the City of Philadelphia enacted an aggressive plan to collect back property taxes from delinquent homeowners. The estimated amount of owed back taxes is $290 million, and the city has begun foreclosure proceedings on residents who aren't able to pay the taxes, although there is a nearly 12 month redemption period.
Barbara Pearsall is featured in this article about the process. She inherited the home and hasn't paid taxes since 1980, and now owes $27,000. She was allowed to go 27 years without paying taxes, and now the city wants the entire amount owed. Ms. Pearsall's home was foreclosed on last November and her redemptive period ends in December. What responsibility does the city have for allowing 27 years to go by without receiving any tax money from a resident? It appears that a compromise should be reached in this matter.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Is Obama More Style Over Substance?

I've been a staunch supporter of presumed Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama since he began his campaign. He's a great orator, he inspires people and appears to have the skills to lead our country. He also happens to be African American. The occurrences of the past week have not caused me to waver in my support of Senator Obama, but they have caused me to pause and reflect on whether he is more style over substance. Something that his opponents have been stating since he began his bid for the presidency.

Political commentator Tavis Smiley was taken to task for challenging Barack Obama on accountability. Tavis openly stated that African Americans should hold Senator Obama accountable for addressing issues important to us, and forcing him to earn our vote. At the time, I was not in agreement with Mr. Smiley, but I am now. Yesterday, Obama reneged on his pledge to accept public campaign financing. He had vowed to accept the financing on several occasions in the past, but I can give him a pass on this because this is simply a strategic move, which will allow him to raise as much money as he can for his election bid. Giving him a pass does not eliminate the fact that this is clearly a change in position.

Within the past week, Senator Obama has stated that he does not support drilling for oil in the states, although gas prices are $4 in most places in the country. He supports alternative fuel sources and a Windfall Profit Tax for oil companies. Both of these stances are clear Democratic initiatives which will not give any relief to the high gas prices. Senator John McCain and President Bush both support drilling in the states, and although the economic relief will not be shown for a few years, it seems to be a better alternative than what Senator Obama is proposing.

Barack Obama has run his campaign as an agent of change. Is there really any change to what he's proposing. He spoke at a Chicago church last Sunday, stressing the fact that we have to limit television watching for our children and stress education. There's nothing new there, except a different person saying it. Kevin Johnson, who is running for Mayor of Sacramento, went back to his old high school and converted it into a Charter School, immediately put in grade requirements, and the students have stepped to the plate improving grades and test scores. Kevin Johnson is an African America.

Is it time for us to review the record of Senator Obama while he was a community activist and politician in Chicago? In reality his wife Michelle is more reflective of the black experience than he is. Should we give him a pass because he looks like us and speaks well? Perhaps it is time for us to hold him accountable to the plight of our existence and just not hand over 90% of our vote to him. He has a ton of style, but Senator Barack Obama please show us the substance.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Violence Outside Philadelphia High School Graduation

Khiry Caldwell walked out of his graduation from Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia on Tuesday ready to take on the world. He was able to walk a block before he was hit by stray bullet. Luckily he only suffered a cracked rib and bruised lung, but this is another sad tale of the continued violence that continues to plague our cities and place all of our people in continued peril. Khiry's goal is to attend college, possibly Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.. Get well soon, Khiry.

IRS Looking Deeper Into Sharpton's Finances

Earlier this week, the New York Post reported on Rev. Al Sharpton's alleged "shake down" tactics with major corporations. Now apparently the IRS is requesting information from corporate donars for the charitable donations made to Sharpton's National Action Network. Sharpton is labeling the request as continued harassment. It will be interesting to see where this continued battle is headed. Hopefully Rev. Sharpton has been honest in his dealings with these corporations in representing African American interests. Could this be a case of a prominenet public figure making money off of our backs as I mentioned in my Introduction?

Patty Jackson's 411 Report

Since it is my goal to bring conscious and relevant news and commentary to my readers, I'll be limiting my links and information related to the entertainment industry, since there are plenty of sites available to keep us informed. Patty Jackson, who is a long time mid-day broadcaster at Philadelphia's famed WDAS -FM, has given me permission to link to her weekly 411 Report. Patty's report is one of the more concise and will give you the latest updates on what's been happening in the entertainment world. Patty, thanks for the approval.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Introduction for Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama will be appearing on "The View" today as a co-host. Article profiles the re-introduction of Mrs. Obama.

Celtics Win 17th Championship

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning their 17th NBA championship. The big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen lead the way on the court, while Doc Rivers provided leadership from the bench. Danny Ainge put all the pieces together and had the vision that they could win it all.

Quality Shopping in Inner City Philadelphia

Many inner city neighborhoods don't have quality shopping areas within walking distance. Philadelphia has been proactive in creating a 50 million dollar shopping plaza in West Philadelphia called the Park West Town Center Mall for it's residents. Hopefully more inner city areas will follow Philly's example.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

With Obama's Win Has Affirmative Action Run It's Course?

Wall Street Journal article debates whether affirmative action is still needed with the political success of Senator Barack Obama. This is just the beginning of this debate, especially if Obama becomes President of the United States.

Oprah to Stanford Graduates: Trust Your Heart and Stand for Something Great

Oakland Raider Found Unconscious in Las Vegas

Oakland Raider, Javon Walker was found unconscious yesterday, the apparent victim of a robbery. He suffered "significant" injuries.

Tiger Wins 14th Major

Earl Woods prepared his son to be the mentally toughest athlete that we've seen our time. He also prepared him to set goals, and to do whatever is humanly possible to achieve them. As a child Tiger Woods set his sights on Jack Nicklaus' 18 majors. Yesterday he won his 14th major and now is only 4 away from "The Golden Bear". Tiger won his 3rd U.S. Open beating Rocco Mediate in sudden death after playing to a draw in the first 18 holes of a playoff. He also won despite a balky left knee.

SCLC Shifts Boycott to Shell Oil

Gore Endorses Obama

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sharpton Receiving Pay from Major Companies Not to Boycott

New York Post reports that for years, the Rev. Al Sharpton has been receiving money from major companies to prevent him from leading race based boycotts and rallies.

New York Governor Labels New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as "Untrustworthy"

Yashica Robinson White: Teen Mother Grew Up in Poverty Now Becomes a Doctor

Uplifting read about a young woman who was a teen mother, but through hard work and perseverance she is living her dream of becoming a doctor.

Obama Tells Black Fathers to Meet Responsibilities

While delivering a Father's Day Sermon in Chicago, Presumed Democratic presidential Nominee Barack Obama tells black fathers to "step up to the plate" and take care of their children. He states correctly that the foundation of the black family has suffered due to the absence of many fathers.

New Orleans Streets Flood After Weekend of Heavy Rain

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all. African American Father's let's accept this day of celebration and reflect on our responsibilities as fathers.

We do have a responsibility to "raise" our children whether or not we're with them on a daily basis. The context of how we're ultimately judged as fathers will be based on the success or failure of our children. This is a daunting responsibility, and one that we can handle. Let's not allow the pressures of the world, and our imperfections to impact our real job in this world, which is assisting in the development of our children to become productive citizens in this world.

We made the choice to bring our son or daughter into this world, they did not have a choice in the matter. Let's step to the plate and earn our right to have a celebration day.