Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is David Banner The Real Agent of Change?

I'm listening to David Banner's song "So Long" from his latest Cd, "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Banner is a prophet and right now probably the most influential activist/rapper/hip hop artist living right now.

I must admit that I'm new to the David Banner bandwagon although he's been in the hip hop consciousness for a few years. I was formally introduced to Banner after he participated in the recent panel discussions on the BET sponsored "Hip Hop vs. America" Summit. Banner more than held his own in the discussions with such luminaries as Michael Eric Dyson, Kevin Powell and the Rev. Eugene Rivers. Banner's intense and unconventional delivery stood out for me as possibly the most, and only effective way to combat the ills in the "hoods' of our country. Banner doesn't try to cloud his dialogue with words that display his articulation skills. His dialect is haunting and honest stressing the fact that the core of the black community is in dire straits.

Banner's music is likewise haunting and honest. Admittedly it does require a Parental Advisory tag, because of the language and content, and he does use the n-word in a delivery that shows that he's very comfortable using the word, as well as lacing his songs with sexually explicit lyrics. Banner's music aside, he's clearly challenging the status quo of hip hop and society that forces all of America to take notice.

David Banner labels himself as a visionary, and he's truly figured out the formula for success in music, business and philanthropy. Mr. Banner, right now you're the sole property of the hip hop community, and your foray into acting will bring you to the attention of many more people. We need you to continue to do what you're doing and to focus on speaking honestly about the ills of your community, and your opinion on what's needed to truly make change.

Obama's Slim Lead May Not Be So Slim

According to the New York Observer, Barack Obama's slim lead in national polls, may not be so slim after all. The article points out that Obama is running very well in traditional Democratic states and polling competitively in some traditional Republican states. If Obama can get through his tour abroad without any major gaffes, he may be able to really pull this thing off.

If the polling continues to trend positively heading into the Democratic Convention, it will not bode well for Hillary becoming Obama's running mate.

Read From Source...

Friday, July 18, 2008

NAACP Encouraged By President Elect

The NAACP just concluded it's 99th annual convention this week, and beginning in September will finally have it's first president in 18 months.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, 35, will assume his new duties in September. Jealous, who is a Rhodes Scholar, has a diverse background having previously run the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation, an organization that supports social justice organizations. He will have a daunting task of making the NAACP relevant again in the black community.

50 Cent Clean

The New York Daily News is reporting and mocking the fact that rapper 50 Cent passed a court mandated drug test yesterday. The test was requested since 50 Cent, had requested to take his son on vacation. The paper mocked that 50 had now lost street credibility by passing the drug test.

50's past deeds are well chronicled, but we shouldn't assume that all hip hop artists are under the influence of drugs.

Read From Source...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Poor And Violent Neighborhoods Hazardous To Your Health According To John Hopkins Study

The Baltimore Sun is reporting on a story today that illustrates that living in poor and violent areas increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke. The study states that living in these areas increases risk characteristics equal to being an everyday smoker.

The study compiled by the Bloomberg School of Public Health clearly shows the stress of living in many urban areas, and the long term effects on overall health.

Read From Source...

High School African American Drop Out Rate 41.6% In California

The Sacramento Bee newspaper has posted an article highlighting the 4 year drop out rate in California High Schools. Unfortunately African American students lead the way with an astonishing high drop out rate of 41.6%.
The number that we continue to hear regarding the male drop out rate in the African American Community is 50%. It's very possible that the figure is higher.

Keeping Your Money Safe

By now everyone has heard about the IndyMac bank collapse and the long lines that formed at branches earlier this week as customers scrambled to get their money out of the bank. For the record, all deposits up to $100,000 are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Below is additional information regarding bank deposits and how their covered taken from the above link provided by the Chicago Sun-Tines:

• • Individual accounts: covered up to $100,000 per person, including all types of accounts, such as checking, CDs and money market accounts.
• • Retirement accounts: covered up to $250,000 per person -- in addition to any other insured accounts.
• • Joint accounts: Each person's interest is covered up to $100,000. This is in addition to coverage for a single account the person might also have in the same bank. But simply reversing the "order" of the names on a joint account does not increase coverage.
• • Sole proprietorships: These "business" accounts are considered individual accounts and added to the individual's accounts to determine coverage.
• • Business accounts: Accounts for one business are added together and insured up to $100,000 -- even if there are several "signers."
• • • Revocable living trust accounts. These include payable on death accounts and formal living trust accounts. Each beneficiary of each account holder is insured up to $100,000 -- but only if the beneficiaries share equally, and if the beneficiary is correctly named, and only certain beneficiaries qualify!

This is good information to know in these uncertain times.

Jackson Did Use The N-word During Comments About Obama

Earlier this week I posted a link regarding additional comments that the the Rev. Jesse Jackson allegedly made about Barack Obama during the "hot mic" incident. Fox News is now confirming that Jackson did indeed use the N-word, but would not release any additional information. is reporting that Jackson said the following:

"Barack - he's talking down to black people - telling n- - - - -s how to behave,"

Jackson did issue another heartfelt apology while on vacation in Spain, and had the good sense to get out of the country, knowing that eventually the full context of his remarks would eventually come to light.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kwame's Defense Fund Nearly Out of Reserves

According to the Detroit Free Press, the "hip hop" mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's legal fund has been nearly depleted. The fund raised a reported $185,000 between the beginning of April and the end of June, and has spent a reported $165,000 in that time period. The fund was organized to assist Kilpatrick with fighting his text message scandal charges.

Of course with Kwame nothing is simple , and there appears to be some shady dealings going on within the fund. At least we can count on Kwame to be consistent.

Natalie Cole Diagnosed With Hepatitis C

Superstar singer, Natalie Cole has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, according to her publicist. Cole, whose past battles with drug abuse are well chronicled likely contracted the disease as a result of her past dug use.

Get well, Natalie.

According To Dexter, Estrangement At The Heart of Sibling Lawsuit

In an effort to in his words, "clear his good name", Dexter King has provided the Atlanta Journal Constitution with specific accounting regarding his late mother Coretta's estate as well as disbursements that have be made to her 3 remaining heirs from the estate. Dexter states that the siblings have been estranged for years and that how disbursements have been handled is at the heart of the recent suit filed in Atlanta's Fulton County. He provided the following following info to the AJC:

"On June 20, the bank statements of King Inc. provided by Dexter King show that $477,772.15 was transferred to Bernice King in connection with their mother's estate and a regular disbursement from the proceeds of King Inc.
Another $377,772.15 went to the account of Martin III — a lesser amount because Martin III apparently borrowed $100,000 from King Inc. a month earlier, according to another document.

A third distribution of $477,722.15 went to Dexter King.

"Whenever there's a distribution it has to be equal — that's what really counts, and that's what happened," he said.

The bank statements also show how $535,000 was transferred on that same day — June 20 — from the estate of Coretta Scott King to King Inc.

That $535,000 is apparently at the crux of the argument between the siblings."
It appears that Dexter is being very forthcoming regarding the family dispute. Let's hope that the siblings will get beyond all of their disputes and become a united family once again. They really owe it to their family's legacy. This truly is a personal family matter that should have remained personal.

Obama Not Able To Close Racial Divide According To New York Times

According to a recent New York Times poll, Senator Barack Obama has been unable to change the vastly different perceptions about race in our country. The basic results of the poll are listed below:

"Nearly 60 percent of black respondents said race relations were generally bad, compared with 34 percent of whites. Four in 10 blacks say that there has been no progress in recent years in eliminating racial discrimination; fewer than 2 in 10 whites say the same thing. And about one-quarter of white respondents said they thought that too much had been made of racial barriers facing black people, while one-half of black respondents said not enough had been made of racial impediments faced by blacks."

The results of the poll could be a pretense to the fall election in determining whether Obama can continue to make gains in the crossover vote, which has been a challenge. Most pundits think that he can win the fall election without Hillary on the ticket, but if polling continues to remain close, he may just need her to to become our next president.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Else Did Jesse Really Say On The Fox Set

Last week I wrote about the sad end for the Rev. Jessie Jackson after he made disparaging remarks about Barack Obama in a "hot mic" moment on the set of Fox News. At the time that the clip was shown, Bill O'Reilly stated that there were additional comments made by Jackson that would cause even more embarrassment to him.

I really don't like to post about items that I can't verify, but I've posted the link from Sandra Rose's site that alleges the additional "name" that Jesse called Obama. It the statement is true, it's unforgivable.

Obama Continues To Stress Responsibility In NAACP Speech

Barack Obama continued his consistent message to the black community last night at the NAACP's 99th Convention being held in Cincinnati, OH. He said that if elected president he will continue to fight for civil rights. He also stated that while blacks need more cooperation from the government and Wall Street, ultimately we should be responsible for our future success.

Barack is clearly my man, but his continued rant about personal responsibility in the black community is getting old and stale. I think, that after all of these years black people are aware of the problems that exist, but since we started late in this race it's a very daunting challenge trying to catch up. Clearly education is the key to success in any community, but if you have kids coming from rough situations being taught by failing school systems combined with all of the family and cultural challenges, you usually have a recipe for failure.

Perhaps after all of these years, Barack has all of the answers to the ills in the black community.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Melo" Gives Back To Baltimore Community

NBA superstar, Carmelo Anthony gave back to his community over the weekend by being on hand to promote his annual 3 on 3 basketball tournament in his hometown of Baltimore. The event which is called H.O.O.D (Holding Our Own Destiny) headlined a 3 day array of activities that benefit Anthony's foundation. The above link from the Baltimore Sun profiles Carmelo's good deeds.

It's admirable when young athletes and entertainers give back to their old communities. Being in the public eye, all of their pitfalls are on display for the world to see, but very rarely do we profile the good things that they do to help the underprivileged.

New Yorker Cover Irks Obama Campaign

The New Yorker magazine has drawn the ire of the Obama campaign with the publishing of a magazine cover that displays the candidates as "fist pumping terrorists". The above link references the actual article published by the New York Daily News. The Obama campaign has labeled the cover "Tasteless and Offensive".

The magazine's attempt at satire is clearly in bad taste, as it plays to all of the negative stereotypes that have been associated with Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. The "Politics of Fear" is clearly in season.

NAACP Convention Commences In Cincinnati

NAACP Chairman, Julian Bond gave the keynote speech last night at the NAACP National Convention in Cincinnati, OH. Bond lamented the fact that despite Barack Obama's ascendancy to the Democratic Nominee for president, that racial disparity will remain and issue in our country. Obama is scheduled to speak at the convention tonight, and presumed Republican Nominee, John McCain is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.
Bond needs to lead the organization in a direction that seeks to solve the problems in the black community, and stop complaining about the disparities that exist. Racial disparity is not the cause of more black men being incarcerated than graduate from high school. The 50% drop out rate of black men is one platform the organization could make a priority and try to come up with a solution.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Last Chance

Lee A. Daniels, NAACP Legal Defense Fund Communications Director, has written a provocative new book about the state of Black America. He states correctly that we are in a state of crisis, and laments the fact that many of our national organizations have to find "new reasons for being".

Mr. Daniel's appeared on Tavis Smiley's PBS show in July 4th. The above link profiles his appearance on Tavis' show.