Sunday, November 30, 2008

Does BHO's Election Mean 'Change' For Race Relations In Corporate Media???

Perhaps It’s Time For The News Media To Do Something Truly Historic

Barbara Ciara

WASHINGTON – In the months and years to come, historians and pundits alike will no doubt dissect and analyze the political and cultural implications of (the) historic election of Sen. Barack Obama, the first African-American to win the White House.

What does it say about the collective mindset of the country that voters were able to put race on the backburner long enough to elect a biracial candidate?

Have we turned the corner in race relations in this country, or were the past eight years so terrible that drastic change was the only viable alternative for most Americans?

Will this new president appoint a cabinet that embodies the diversity of the country’s electorate, shattering barriers for women and minorities?

Whatever the answers, as analysis reigns in print, on the air and online now through Inauguration Day, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the nation’s largest organization of minority journalists, will ask these questions of news media executives.

By our accounts, in the midst of this monumental campaign for the Oval Office, black journalists had little to no opportunity to cover the candidates or the issues. Now in the midst of this defining moment, as the White House press corps is being formed to cover this country’s 44th President, NABJ urges the news media to gather their own transition team for change.

Yes, we know the facts. The economy has worsened, and ad and circulation dollars are drying up, resulting in an absence of hundreds of minority journalists at newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations across the country. A new generation of listeners, viewers and readers decided Nov. 4 that in the midst of crisis, the status quo needed a shake-up.

For the big media companies out there, diversity at all levels of the newsroom should be about gaining a competitive advantage and not satisfying a quota. For the readers and viewers, it should be about fairness and completeness in coverage - an implicit assurance of inclusiveness.

And like the advertisers they serve, media companies should do the necessary homework to make sure they are demographically inclusive in their news coverage.

If the country ever needed the unique perspective and expertise of journalists of color, it is now. Not just in the coverage of the presidency, but also on issues such as immigration, housing, predatory lending, the impact of the economic collapse in our communities, the Iraq War, the war on poverty and education.

Further, as this country moves deeper into the 21st Century, issues of race and culture are sure to abound, and who better to tell those stories than the people who’ve lived them all their lives?

But our business is in trouble when it comes to the numbers of minorities in the nation’s newsrooms.

To date, not one black journalist hosts a Sunday morning or daily news and commentary show on the major cable and television networks. There are no African- American executive producers at network newscasts and shows such as “Today,” “Good Morning America” and the “CBS Early Show,” and minorities account for 11.4 percent of all supervisors in newsrooms. These statistics are particularly important because it reflects who makes newsroom assignments and decides what news is worth covering.

If change is the result of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, then it’s time for readers and viewers to demand that media companies’ provide balanced coverage by a diverse group of journalists, from the White House press corps onward.

If (the presidential election) is the nation’s mandate for change, perhaps it’s time now for the news media to do something truly historic too.

(Barbara Ciara is president of the National Association of Black


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Is Arkansas Turning Obama Blue???

The Obama Effect

Visions Of An Increasingly Colorblind Arkansas.
Published 11/27/2008

History, of course, will record Nov. 4, 2008, as a watershed moment in the United States. But if you happened to be riding in a particular van to and from Nixa, Mo., on the next-to-the-last weekend in October, you would have gotten a sneak preview of what Barack Obama's election could mean for Arkansas race relations.

As the white and black Sheree´ Williamses of the state begin to step forward into positions of power, Arkansans may not have to endure much longer the spectacle of middle-aged whites and blacks at school board meetings armed with antennae as big as satellite dishes scouring the room for a racial meaning to whatever topic is at hand.

It is not necessarily the way people want to conduct the people's business, but for those of us over a certain age, this instinct to see life through a racial lens comes with the territory. Arguably, given our history, it could not be otherwise. White supremacy has defined the state's politics since slavery. Through every era many of us have lugged the baggage of race, but we seem loath to put it down.

As our 30-year-old “team leader,” Williams' volunteer job in the Arkansas Obama campaign that Saturday morning was to transport to Nixa volunteers who had agreed to canvass in Missouri, a “battleground” state, and then deliver us back to the North Little Rock headquarters Sunday night. Seated up front with Williams was a black female student at Philander Smith. In the back were four white males, three of us over 40, two of us in our 60s. Though the scenario was hardly “Driving Mr. Daisy,” the son of Temple and Jake Stockley, who were members of the 1948 openly white supremacist “Dixiecrat” Party, right away felt comfortable enough with his team leader to share this information about his parents. For her part, Williams would eventually tell me enough of her life history to help me understand the path she has taken to becoming a dedicated supporter of Barack Obama.

Not surprisingly, both her grandmothers had been domestics for whites in Little Rock. Her mother, Valerie Peterson, who graduated from Central in 1974, had endured harassment from whites but had succeeded in becoming the first black High Stepper at Central. In 1974, Williams' mother, who became an LPN, married Dowayne Peterson Sr., who had grown up in extreme poverty in east Little Rock.

Williams was in the fifth grade when the family moved from a mixed neighborhood off Barrow Road to a house on Pleasant Forest, in a virtually all-white neighborhood. Williams said that they were moving “to better schools and a better area.” She credits her parents for teaching her to not “act white” but neither to “act black.” She was simply to be herself. As a child, Williams attended Romine and Fulbright elementary and middle schools. For two years the family lived in Kentucky and then returned to Little Rock.

Whatever problems ail the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission at the moment — and there appear to be many — Williams gives it and state Sen. Tracy Steele, former director of the commission, high marks at a critical time in her life. The 1990s are remembered as a time of violence, gangs, and drugs in Pulaski County. On March 5, 1995, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette began a three-part series that documented, among other statistics, that “about one of every 11 teen-agers in Pulaski County belongs to a gang. … The ratio in public schools could be closer to one in eight.”

Williams was on a different path. As a 14-year-old, she was selected to become a “junior” MLK commissioner. With other black youngsters, she was taught the ABCs of political leadership. Much of it was about how to present herself in public. Junior commissioners were given lessons in etiquette and grooming, but they also were exposed to the politicians and issues of the day. She was introduced to leaders as different as Jim Guy Tucker and Mike Huckabee.

Being a junior commissioner also meant learning to give back to the community, especially the economically disadvantaged. Junior commissioners participated in service projects as elementary as picking up trash. The emphasis was on service.

Entering Hall High in 1993, Williams had ample opportunity to fall in with the wrong crowd. But Williams, always a good student who got along with her teachers, both black and white, graduated with honors.

Receiving a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was another important milestone. Her brother had gone to the UA at Fayetteville and did not have a good experience. Williams majored in social work and minored in psychology and felt the nurturing environment of a small black school. If you missed class, she said, your professor “wanted to know” the reason for your absence.

After graduation, she got a job with Federated Corporate Offices and was sent to Cincinnati. Her mother called her three times a day to make sure she was OK. Tragically, her mother developed cancer. Williams came home to take care of her. She died in 2002.

In 2002, Williams married Eric Williams, a man she'd known since junior high. They first lived in the Levy area in North Little Rock but moved in July 2005 to Shannon Hills in Saline County. Williams, who had two children and a stepdaughter to raise, said the move was prompted by the desire to live in a safe neighborhood with good schools. In her view, her neighborhood, which she estimates was then about 50 percent white, was deteriorating, and her home was decreasing in value. At the time she and her family moved to Shannon Hills, it was at least 90 percent white, she said, but since then it has become perhaps 70 percent white. With her job as a pharmaceutical rep and her husband working for a computer parts company, the family was middle- to upper-middle class.

Raised in a traditional black church, Williams as an adult wanted to find a more diverse venue in which to express her faith. For six years she attended the charismatic integrated mega-church Agape in West Little Rock, but became disenchanted with the minister, “Happy” Caldwell, who she believed was overtly supporting George W. Bush. She and her family now attend the Church at Rock Creek, a Baptist church that is also integrated.

Somewhat ironically, she thought she had lost her interest in Democratic politics, feeling that neither the Democratic nor Republican organizations in Arkansas had anything to offer her. “They were cliquish,” she said flatly. Williams withdrew her affiliation as a Democrat and registered as an independent. She directed her energies to her family, job and church.

And then like millions of other Americans, she watched Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Interested, she read his books “Dreams from my Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” and heard him speak in Little Rock at the State Capitol in the fall of 2006.

Still, she said she “was trending” to Hillary. But around June 2007 she received a call from the Obama campaign that impressed her enough to send in a donation that very day.

It was the beginning of a commitment that grew into a passion. The campaign was not just about sending money or getting something in the mail. In an interview with Williams after the election, she sat down at my computer and logged in to the campaign website and showed me her own “page.” It documents that she had hosted 19 “events” and attended 56 “functions.” She was named as the “administrator” of a group of more than 100 sales representatives who were supporting Obama.

What made Obama different for people like Williams was how her support was not only won but how it was valued. As a supporter, she participated in conference calls where she offered her own opinions about issues. By early September 2008 she was convinced it was her personal responsibility to make an even greater commitment; she used her saved-up vacation days to begin volunteering full-time at the North Little Rock headquarters. There, she registered voters, did radio interviews to create awareness about early voting, made phone calls to voters in swing states, handled the front desk when needed, and did all the other nuts-and-bolts chores of a campaign. None of this, she said, would have been possible without the support and help of her husband, grandmother, an aunt and her brother.

At the campaign headquarters Williams encountered a racially mixed group of volunteers and identified a group of eight (five whites and three African-Americans) she grew particularly close to.

Williams remembered, “When you work with a group of people with a common purpose for so long … we became an extended family. We laughed together; we cried together; we had each other's back. We became one. All of us came from different backgrounds and political affiliations but all of us wanted Senator Obama to become our next president because we believe in the future of America.”

Cherie Grotewold, a 56-year-old white woman from North Little Rock who had worked on Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980 and participated in the Republican Convention as an alternate, was one of this group at the North Little Rock headquarters. She had never voted for a Democrat until Obama, but, she, too, became a rabid supporter and traveled to Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Missouri.

Grotewold grew up close to Pike Avenue, where the railroad tracks separated the black and white communities. Her father could neither read nor write. The “N” word was in common use about the house. But Grotewold considered herself more of a political conservative than a social one. When her family needed a loan, they turned to other family members, believing people should take care of their own and not depend on the government. She believed welfare made people lazy. She never thought of herself in these times as being without compassion for others. Indeed, the label of “compassionate conservative” fit her.

A black co-worker at Sears had once tried to disabuse her of the notion that she was a Republican. When she ran into him after the election and told him she had voted for Obama, he took credit for her conversion.

When Obama announced he was going to run, it seemed as if “he was speaking directly to me,” Grotewold said a week after the election. Government, she now believes, does need to help people.

On election night Williams' group was inseparable. They started at the official Obama site at Sticky Fingerz restaurant in the River Market and ended with their own celebration at 2 a.m. at a suite in the Little Rock Hilton. Williams said that at the moment it was announced that Obama had won, “There really isn't a word to describe how happy I felt. It was a dream come true after all of the hard work. I cried with tears of joy and hugged my friends that I have grown to love as a family that I was with. I was so proud that America had chosen the right person, not based on the color of his skin but the content of his character.”

The day after the election, Williams was interested in conveying how the campaign had made her think in terms of her responsibility as a citizen and supporter. Williams focused on the responsibility of people like herself who had worked so tirelessly for Obama's election. “His campaign made us take personal responsibility. When people were crying last night, ‘we' won. It was ‘our campaign'.”

Of course, all campaign operatives talk about mobilizing supporters at the grassroots, but Obama and his campaign were somehow truly able to touch their supporters at their core. Grotewold remembers seeing in Sticky Fingerz a white man in his 60s crying uncontrollably when the announcement was made that Obama had won. She said, “We started screaming. People were jumping in the air and cheering and hugging each other.” It was “total euphoria.” But like her friend Williams, “then it hit what we had done … a calm came over me. We've done it. Everything is going to be OK.”

Had I not witnessed first-hand the complete absence of racial tension or any awkwardness in each transaction and encounter on our trip to and from to Missouri, it would be easier to remain my usual skeptical self when it comes to race relations in Arkansas. What I witnessed in Williams was competence, self-confidence, generosity and a concern for others' well-being. In the best sense of the word, Williams mothered us through those two days. She did all the driving, made and coordinated all the arrangements, sprang for hors d'oeuvres for the whole table out of her own pocket during two meals, even provided us with a bag of cookies for the return trip. She was always solicitous of aging bladders, at one point quizzing me as if I were one of her children when I didn't leave the van during a rest stop.

Tony Washington, a paid Obama staff member in the North Little Rock office, talked about Williams' commitment during the campaign. Among other duties in the office beginning the first of September, Washington supervised voter registration. He said, “From day one she was so enthused. She brought in 100 new voter registrations every week.”

Washington, whose regular job is public affairs liaison for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, was given an opportunity to take a leave of absence and leaped at the chance to work for the Obama campaign. He's from my hometown of Marianna, and his choices in life have been similar to Williams'. If you are in your 30s and from Lee County, the question is bound to come up: Did he know any members of the infamous Chambers family in Marianna, some of whom ended up in the 1980s in Detroit and created a vast cocaine empire? In school with three members of the Chambers family (none of whom followed their brothers to Detroit) and in a town with almost no employment opportunities for black teen-agers, Washington had ample opportunity to stray. Indeed, recruitment in Marianna for a job in Detroit was not unknown. Marianna soon had a cocaine problem as well.

Raised in the country outside of Marianna by a strict grandmother who was never satisfied with anything less than all As on his report card, Washington graduated in the top 10 percent of Lee High School in 1991 and eventually obtained a hard-earned degree in computer sciences from UAPB.

It is public service, however, that fascinates him, and for the time being he is more than content to work for McDaniel, who he said does not recognize “black” and “white” politics as separate categories. Covering 33 counties, Washington says, there are many days when he is the only black person in the room. He claims that he has always been treated as an equal. Obama he sees as a modern-day Martin Luther King Jr.

Age matters. Arkansas exit polls showed that 49 percent of the 18-to-29 age group voted for Obama, proving perhaps that this younger generation with its technological proficiency is much more sophisticated about the world they inhabit than their elders. In a speech at the Darragh Center after the election, political scientist Jay Barth said that “race was clearly a factor in how many Arkansans voted but not the only reason. Those Arkansans who had problems with his candidacy perceived Obama as the ‘other' in a number of ways. With a poll showing that only 44 per cent identified him as a Christian, Arkansans in this election expressed a cultural isolationism that is unique in the country.”
Whatever Barack Obama does as president of the United States, he has motivated people like Washington to consider running for and winning state-wide office some day. No matter how you voted, this is good news for Arkansas.

I asked Washington what the election of Barack Obama means to him. He replied, “Hope for America, hope for my son.” What could express the American Dream better?

Five from the North Little Rock Obama campaign office — Williams, Grotewold, Washington, Darrell Stevens and Betsy Woodyard — will be driving up together for the inaugural.

Grif Stockley is an historian for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. His next book, “Ruled by Race: Black/White Relations in Arkansas from Slavery to the Present,” will be published in January by the University of Arkansas Press.


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Is Dame Broke???

Legendary Hip Hop Impresario Dame Dash

Damon Dash: From Record & Fashion Big Shot To Has-Been Mogul

Friday, November 14th 2008

It's not easy being Damon Dash, has-been hip-hop mogul.

The co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and Rocawear - who in 2005 sold his share in the clothing empire to Jay-Z for $20 million - is under assault in Manhattan Supreme Court from lawyers, lenders and landlords fed up with not getting paid.

The fall has been a dizzying one for Dash, who has gone from owning Keds, a vodka company and 1,300 pairs of shoes to dodging bills and accusing a former accountant of ripping him off for millions of dollars.

"I've worked with musicians, artists and entertainers that in the eyes of the media are very wealthy," said lawyer Jason Gabbard, who represented a fashion firm that settled a suit against Dash and his wife over $148,505 in unpaid fees. "But to borrow a phrase from my Kentucky homeland, they haven't got a pot to p--- in - they're broke."

A Manhattan judge this week ordered the city to seize Dash's Chevrolet Tahoe, since he wasn't making the $714.99 monthly payment on the leased SUV.

That October suit came on the heels of one in August, when Eastern Savings Bank foreclosed on the $7.3 million mortgage for two trendy Tribeca condos where the monthly $78,504.26 bill went unpaid for months.

Dash faces an outstanding $2.1 million tab with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, a $4,500 bill from the state for not paying workers' comp and a suit that says he stiffed the law firm that handled his child-custody case.

Dash even got dumped by another firm representing him in a $3.5 million suit against accountant-to-the-stars Barry Klarberg, who is accused of bungling his tax returns, costing him millions.

"The suit is meritorious and we wish him well with it," said Harry Lipman of Rottenberg Lipman Rich.

Dash's descent into an MC Hammer-like financial abyss is a far cry from 2006, when he boasted about his butler and chef in New York magazine and said he was worth "about $50 million."

Dash, 37, did not respond to interview requests. Spokeswoman Amanda Silverman said in e-mails Dash "won all of his lawsuits."

The record proves otherwise.

Court records show Dash settled two suits accusing him of not paying rent on two Manhattan offices, as well as suits charging he owed big bucks to fashion designer Charlotte Ronson, the fashion firm Showroom Seven and a security company that guards celebs.

"Quite simply, he got behind on his payments and it was necessary to go after him legally," said Mike Zimet, whose Bronx security firm sued Dash in 2005 over an $86,547 tab. "If you do the work, you want to get paid for it."

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More Convictions Possible In Mississippi Burning Case...

Feds Take Another Look At '64 Case

Jerry Mitchell

phone: (601) 961-7064

The Justice Department again is examining the Ku Klux Klan's 1964 killings of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, known as the "Mississippi Burning" case.

A department official recently contacted The Clarion-Ledger, asking questions about the 2,802-page transcript of the 1967 U.S. District Court trial that ended in the conviction of Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, then-Deputy Cecil Price and others.

The Justice Department's interest is a change of stance for the department, which previously had omitted the June 21, 1964, killings of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney from its review of more than 100 killings from the civil rights era - despite the fact five suspects are still alive.

Hundreds of FBI agents investigated the trio's disappearances, leading to the grisly discovery of their bodies buried 15 feet beneath an earthen dam. In 1967, 18 men went on trial on federal conspiracy charges, and seven of them were convicted.

But the only murder prosecution took place in 2005 when a Neshoba County jury convicted reputed Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen on three counts of manslaughter. He is serving 60 years in prison.

The Clarion-Ledger revealed the Neshoba County grand jury that indicted Killen came within one vote of indicting another suspect, Billy Wayne Posey, with a deciding vote cast by a Posey relative. The newspaper also found three potential new witnesses against Posey.

In October, Richard Cohen, president of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, urged Justice Department officials to pursue a case against Posey, if possible.

"Justice in some of these cases is going to have to serve as a symbol for all the cases," Cohen said. "Perhaps the most notorious case is the Mississippi Burning case."

Called for comment, Posey's wife answered and remarked, "He wouldn't be interested in talking to you."

This past summer, civil rights activists gathered outside courthouses in Meridian and Philadelphia, holding signs, one of which read, "Killen did not act alone. He shouldn't be in jail alone."

Earlier this month, Chaney's brother, Ben, and others met in Washington with Justice Department officials, asking them to pursue the case against the living suspects: Posey and Pete Harris, both of Meridian; Olen Burrage of Philadelphia; former Philadelphia police officer Richard Willis of Noxapater; and Jimmie Snowden of Hickory.

Any evidence FBI agents develop likely would have to be presented to a Mississippi grand jury for a murder prosecution because the statute of limitations appears to have run out on possible federal crimes.

Alvin Sykes, architect of legislation aimed at prosecution of unpunished killings from the civil rights era, said he suggested at the meeting that Justice Department officials follow the example of what was done in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, where federal prosecutors were deputized and successfully prosecuted two reputed Klansmen on state murder charges.

In his initial statement to state investigators on April 5, 2000, Posey insisted he didn't take part in the killings of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney and had gone to federal prison for several years for something he didn't do.

Posey told investigators there were "a lot of persons involved in the murders that did not go to jail."

He would not name those people.

Two months later, his story changed. Admitting his involvement in the killings, he told Mississippi authorities he contacted Killen, who helped orchestrate the trio's killings.

Posey also said he was among those who pursued the trio that night, was there when they were killed and helped haul their bodies to the dam to bury them.

State prosecutors can't use Posey's statement because they agreed not to.

In a new documentary, Neshoba, which focuses on events leading to Killen's conviction, Killen's wife, Jo, is quoted as saying, "I feel like Billy Wayne Posey was there, and I feel like he was more responsible than Edgar Ray was."

Although Posey denied being a member of the Klan, his own brother, Richard, suggested otherwise in the documentary, expected to be shown in Mississippi next year.

"Ninety percent of the people in Neshoba County, Mississippi, were Klansmen," Posey's brother told filmmakers. "Hell, I was in there. A man keeps coming to your house, sticking (his) nose in your damn business, (he's) going to get it chopped off sooner or later.

"And that's what they did down here. They kept on agitatin' and agitatin'. They were warned to get the hell out. They didn't do it, so they wound up out there in the earthen dam. Damn good place for 'em."

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BHO Stirs Echoes Of Lincoln In Thanksgiving Address...

Remarks OPresident-elect Barack Obama
Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Good morning.

Nearly 150 years ago, in one of the darkest years of our nation's history, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. America was split by Civil War. But Lincoln said in his first Thanksgiving decree that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be -- and I quote -- "gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people."

This week, the American people came together with family and friends to carry on this distinctly American tradition. We gave thanks for loved ones and for our lasting pride in our communities and our country. We took comfort in good memories while looking forward to the promise of change.

But this Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people.

Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve.

At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions. More and more Americans are worried about losing a job or making their mortgage payment. Workers are wondering if next month's paycheck will pay next month's bills. Retirees are watching their savings disappear, and students are struggling with the cost of tuition.

It's going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis. That's why I'm committed to forging a new beginning from the moment I take office as President of the United States. Earlier this week, I announced my economic team. This talented and dedicated group is already hard at work crafting an Economic Recovery Plan that will create or save 2.5 million new jobs, while making the investments we need to fuel long-term economic growth and stability.

But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won't come from policies and plans alone -- it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people.

I have seen this strength firsthand over many months -- in workers who are ready to power new industries, and farmers and scientists who can tap new sources of energy; in teachers who stay late after school, and parents who put in that extra hour reading to their kids; in young Americans enlisting in a time of war, seniors who volunteer their time, and service programs that bring hope to the hopeless.

It is a testament to our national character that so many Americans took time out this Thanksgiving to help feed the hungry and care for the needy. On Wednesday, I visited a food bank at Saint Columbanus Parish in Chicago. There -- as in so many communities across America -- folks pitched in time and resources to give a lift to their neighbors in need. It is this spirit that binds us together as one American family -- the belief that we rise and fall as one people; that we want that American Dream not just for ourselves, but for each other.

That's the spirit we must summon as we make a new beginning for our nation. Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln's first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for -- and working for -- new horizons of opportunity for all Americans.

So this weekend -- with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.


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Get Your Barack
Obama "A Legacy Of Hope" T-Shirt Today!!!

Play Hard, Live Scared: Players Reflect On Sean Taylor & Their Safety One Year Later...

The "A year after Sean Taylor's murder, NFL players still live in fear. Some are packing heat, others roll with bodyguards. But whatever their defense, they still can't shake the feeling that there's a target on their back.

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NFL Star Player's Father Assaulted By Houston Police: In Critical Condition...

Video: Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt On Driver Incident
Police Chief Harold Hurtt talks about the father of a NFL player who was in critical condition Wednesday, two days after an incident in which his family says Houston police officers beat the man while arresting him. Video by Melissa Phillip. Nov. 20

The father of a noted NFL player was in critical condition Wednesday, two days after an incident in which his family says Houston police officers beat the man while arresting him on outstanding traffic warrants.

Police said Marvin Driver, the father of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, was taken into custody about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. He was unresponsive when he arrived at the Southeast Jail on Mykawa, police said.

Family members say 56-year-old Marvin Driver was beaten by officers after being arrested at his mother's house in southeast Houston.

Late Wednesday, Houston police spokesman Victor Senties declined to address specific questions regarding the allegations. But in a statement, HPD noted that the internal affairs division is investigating claims "that injuries he sustained following his arrest were the result of an assault on Mr. Driver by two HPD officers."

The two accused officers remain on duty pending further investigation, the department said.

The family, however, wants the officers they say are responsible for causing Marvin Driver to suffer a brain hemorrhage, taken off the streets until the investigation is complete. Driver was in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital-The Texas Medical Center on Wednesday.

"He left here in perfect condition, you know," said Winston Driver, Marvin Driver's brother, who witnessed the arrest early Monday. "I could tell by the way the police officers — the way they was grabbing him and pulling him and snatching him, you know — that he was in trouble."

Marvin Driver was in the driveway of his mother's residence in the 8300 block of Gibbons early Monday, when he was approached by a Houston police officer, said family spokesman Quanell X.

"He said, 'You're Donald Driver's father. I went to school with that (expletive),' " said the activist.

That's when Winston Driver said he heard the exchange and stepped outside the home.

"He was told to get his (expletive) behind back in the house," said Quanell X.

As his brother was cuffed, Winston Driver said he called 911 and asked for a sergeant to come to the scene. Quanell X said an officer never came.

"We are asking for Chief (Harold) Hurtt to suspend these officers until the IA (Internal Affairs) investigation is complete," said Quanell X.

The activist said he met with Marvin Driver on Wednesday and that he is improving, but cried while writing notes about his experience. "He just couldn't believe this had happened," Quanell X said. "He grew up in this neighborhood, knew the officer."

KHOU (Channel 11) contributed to this report.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

11-30-2008~Black Liberation Theology 102: Putting Rev. Wright In The Right Context...

One Full Year On The Air!!!

November 2008's Theme Is "Don't Give Up, Give Out Or Give In...We Insist, Freedom Now!!!"

Air Date: Sunday November 30, 2008
Time: 4pm Central/5pm Eastern/ 2pm Pacific

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Topic: Black Liberation Theology 102: Putting Rev. Wright In The Right Context

Trinity United Church of Christ/Religion News Service
In Chicago, Mr. Obama embraced Christianity under the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., known for sometimes inflammatory views.

The Ultimate Measure Of A Man Is Not Where He Stands In Moments Of Comfort And Conveniences, But Where He Stands At Times Of Challenge And Controversy.
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses."
~Malcolm X

Tha Artivist Writes:

With the passage of time it could be reasoned that Obama won the election in spite of the one dimensional demonization and character assassination of his former pastor/ mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright by the corporate media machine...In my humble opinion, it is truly unfair to be asked to form an accurate impression of any one person based on a 13 or 30 second audio clip... How can you sum up or rather sabotage a person's nearly 40 year distinguished and illustrious career in less than 30 seconds???

With that said we @ W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio strive to present the general public with a little more information so that we the people can actually have a choice in developing better judgement and critical thinking skills...We have a long way to go as an institution, as a people and as a society...So you can count on W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio on staying busy delivering the news you need and won't see on the evening, mid day or morning news shows...Underground we are not, but on the ground we are...W.E. A.L.L. B.E. trying to add voices to the dialogue and extend it, never end it!!!

Featured Guests/ Segments:

Selected Rev. Wright Speeches/Sermons:
'The God Damn America' Sermon In Its entirety
Rev. Wright National Press Club Lecture Presentation (Excluding Q & A)

Commentary By
Mumia Abdul Jamal
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King
Michael Eric Dyson
Barack Obama

Music By:
2Pac & The Outlawz
Donald Byrd
Rance Allen
Rev. Ronnie Williams
Brothas Keepa

*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Exclusive Interview With The Father Of Black Liberation Theology Dr. James Cone

*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Exclusive Interview With Leading Theologian And Biblical Scholar Dr. Obery Hendricks

More Related Coverage On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio:

Why Obama Did The Wright Thing And How Rev. Wright’s Selfless Sacrifice Saved The Obama Presidency…

The Hypocrisy Of The Media…Min. Farrakhan Was A Guest Of Honor For Key Pa. Hillary Supporter!!!

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Black Liberation Theology 101:

The Rev. Wright Controversy Told Through Video Media:

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:

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As Always Please Spread The Good News!!!


*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Specials*

Eye-Witness To The Crucifixion: The Last Days Of MLK...


W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Yes He Did...So Now What??? Defining The Obama Presidency...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special:O Yes We Did!!! The Barack Obama Tribute...

W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: Barack Obama & The Hip Hop Effect On American Politics:


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Memphis Civil Rights Legend & Kwanzaa Pioneer Joins The Ancestors Today...

By Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku | Nov. 29, 2008
Memphis Tri-State Defender

Adjua Abi Naantaanbuu-Ali, longtime president of Kwanzaa International, Inc., died Saturday, November 29.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced soon.

Adjua Abi Naantaanbuu-Ali celebrates Nia (purpose) during the Kwanzaa Celebration at Lester Elementary School last year. (Photo by Earl Stanback)

Last year was the 28th Anniversary of Kwanzaa in Memphis. In an interview before the celebration she shared this quote with the Tri-State Defender:

“During the days of slavery, our culture and our way of life were completely taken away from us. Kwanzaa helps us to re-discover who we are, and restores a sense of pride. It is just inspiring for Afrakan-Americans. And as always, we are encouraging everyone to come out in Afrakan attire!”

Adjua Abi Naantaanbuu-Ali and Adimu Ali -- Kwanzaa 2007. (Photo by Earl Stanback)

During the 40th commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she reflected with the Tri-State Defender’s Wiley Henry about the dinner she had at her home for Dr. King the night before he was killed.

‘He’s not coming’ to dinner’

It was a Kodak moment for Adjua Naantaanbuu and her famous guests who had dinner at her home in Binghamton, approximately 24 hours before one of them was fatally wounded by an assassin’s bullet.

But nobody thought to bring a camera to capture the once-in-a-lifetime experience for posterity.

Forty years later, Naantaanbuu still remembers the dinner scene with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Ralph Abernathy munching on steak, a baked potato, a salad, and sipping cold ice tea.

Earlier that day on April 3, she had picked up Dr. King, Dr. Abernathy, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Bernard Lee and a woman named Mrs. Cotton from the airport in her 1966 duce and a quarter, and drove them to the Lorraine Motel for lodging.

It took them so long to check in, said Naantaanbuu, who wondered why Dr. King was given a room upstairs at the motel when several were available on the lower level.

“When they finished, I took them to Centenary Methodist Church on McLemore, where Rev. Jim Lawson was the pastor. They had a meeting there. Then I took them back to the Lorraine.”

Since Dr. King was in Memphis for the sanitation workers strike, Naantaanbuu said Dr. King wanted to know what the daily newspaper had written about him.

“He asked me about The Commercial Appeal and talked about his involvement in the ‘movement.’ He said he tried to get out of it and couldn’t.”

Naantaanbuu also said Dr. King talked about the time a busload of people came to his house to talk to him, and he told his wife to tell them he wasn’t there.

“He said he was just tired. But the people said they’d wait. So he did talk to them,” she recalled him saying. “He said the group told him that people in Mississippi were dying from malnutrition. And he told them he would take the issue to Washington, D.C.”

Before Dr. King delivered his ‘Mountaintop’ speech that night at Mason Temple, Naantaanbuu said Dr. Abernathy had asked her to prepare dinner for the group.

Later that evening, torrential rains started pelting the church and wouldn’t let up. “It was so much rain. I’d never seen that much rain in my life,” said Naantaanbuu.

After Dr. King’s chilling speech, she said Solomon Jones, an employee at R.S. Lewis Funeral Home, drove Dr. King and Dr. Abernathy to her home for late night dinner.

She said they didn’t leave until the rain let up around 2 a.m. “After the April 3 dinner, Naantaanbuu said she was asked to prepare dinner again on April 4.

“They wanted chitterlings, spaghetti and slaw. I asked them what time they wanted to eat. They said 4 o’clock. So I started cooking around 2:30 that evening.

“At 4:30, they didn’t show up. So I called Bernard Lee. He said they were in a meeting and would be right over. I found out they were in a meeting with Jesse Epps and Bill Lucy, who had invited Dr. King to go to dinner.

“I was also told (Rev. Samuel) ‘Billy’ Kyles had invited them to dinner. Bernard Lee said he didn’t know Billy Kyles had fixed dinner for them. But he said they would drop the staff over to his house and then they would come to my house.”

The food was ready, Naantaanbuu said. “I was sitting there with the table set.”

Then a girlfriend called and asked Naantaanbuu if she had the TV on. “I told her I was sitting on the couch waiting for Dr. King to come to dinner. She said, ‘girl, he’s not coming. He’s been assassinated.’”

*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special*

Eye-Witness To The Crucifixion: The Last Days Of MLK...


The World's Oldest Person Is No More...

Edna Parker holds a rose that she was given during a birthday party for her in Shelbyville, Ind., in this Friday, April 18, 2008 file photo. Parker passed away Wednesday Nov. 26, 2008 at a nursing home in Shelbyville, Ind., UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles said. Parker was born April 20, 1893 and was 115 years, 120 days old.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Indiana Woman Dies At 115 As World's Oldest Person
Thu Nov 27, 2008

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – Edna Parker, who became the world's oldest person more than a year ago, has died at age 115.

UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles said Parker's great-nephew notified him that Parker died Wednesday at a nursing home in Shelbyville. She was 115 years, 220 days old, said Robert Young, a senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records.

Parker was born April 20, 1893, in central Indiana's Morgan County and had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest person since the 2007 death in Japan of Yone Minagawa, who was four months her senior.

Coles maintains a list of the world's oldest people and said Parker was the 14th oldest validated supercentenarian in history. Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who was born Sept. 10, 1893, is now the world's oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Parker had been a widow since her husband, Earl Parker, died in 1939 of a heart attack. She lived alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into a son's home and later to the Shelbyville nursing home.

Although she never drank alcohol or tried tobacco and led an active life, Parker didn't offer tips for living a long life. Her only advice to those who gathered to celebrate when she became the oldest person was "more education."

Parker outlived her two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr. She also had five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Don Parker, 60, said his grandmother had a small frame and a mild temperament. She walked a lot and kept busy even after moving into the nursing home, he said.

"She kept active," he said Thursday. "We used to go up there, and she would be pushing other patients in their wheelchairs."

Gov. Mitch Daniels celebrated with Parker on her 114th birthday.

"It was a delight to know Edna, who must have been a remarkable lady at any age," Daniels said.

Parker taught in a two-room school in Shelby County for several years after graduating from Franklin College in 1911. She wed her childhood sweetheart and neighbor in 1913.

But as was the tradition of that era, her teaching career ended with her marriage. Parker traded the schoolhouse for life as a farmer's wife, preparing meals for as many as a dozen men who worked on her husband's farm.

Parker noted with pride last year that she and her husband were one of the first owners of an automobile in their rural area.

Coincidentally, Parker lived in the same nursing home as 7-foot-7 Sandy Allen, whom Guinness recognized as the world's tallest woman until her death in August.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Madness: Worker Killed By Consumer Mob @ Walmart...

Wal-Mart Worker Dies After Shoppers Knock Him Down

NEW YORK – A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said.

At least three other people were injured.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports of a stampede but said a "medical emergency" had caused the company to close the store, which is in Valley Stream on Long Island.

Nassau County police said the 34-year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., an hour after the store opened. The cause of death was not immediately known.

A police statement said shortly after 5 a.m., a throng of shoppers "physically broke down the doors, knocking (the worker) to the ground." Police also said a 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation and three other shoppers suffered minor injuries and were also taken to hospitals.

The dead worker's name was not released.

"Local authorities are looking into the situation," said Wal-Mart representative Dan Fogleman. But he said it would be "inappropriate for me to share any additional information" until authorities investigate further.

Shoppers around the country lined up early outside stores in the annual bargain hunting ritual known as Black Friday. Many stores open early and stay open late. The Valley Stream Wal-Mart usually opens at 9 a.m.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.