Monday, August 9, 2010

What is Dangerous for Some is Deadly for Others in Contemporary America

(Speech from the We The People North Carolina (WTPNC) Event at Covenant Classical School in Concord, North Carolina)

Good evening, everyone. I hope that you are having a great week so far.

There is a high level of discord currently building throughout the nation, spurred on by everything from accusations of racism and elitism to actual facts and figures showing us that this economy is not rebounding as we need and economic resources for the people are not being as fruitful as we require. It is this discord – this dysfunction in government and this disharmony in our society – that led to the Tea Party Movement that started as a result of our disgust from the 2008 bailouts and the 2009 stimul-LESS bill…two initiatives that spent more American taxpayer money but gave American taxpayers less than we were explained. The disjointed political mindset that has overtaken America has led to our movement. It has led to protests throughout the nation for the past 2 years as frustrated Americans have come to realize that the nation that we have grown to know and love was built as the result of the values of our forefathers, the work of our ancestors, and the daily dedication to an existence of freedom known throughout the world as the American Way of Life. That way of life is currently under attack.

This has led us to this location tonight, just as it led others to assemble at Independence Hall in Robert’s native Philadelphia earlier today. We come together in the spirit of togetherness to decree to our soon-to-be vacationing leaders in Congress and in Raleigh that enough is enough: too much government has equated to too many limitations on the freedoms of everyday Americans. Their actions today and their plans for tomorrow have reached a point where they are taking opportunities, resources, and hope from Americans from all backgrounds. Therefore, we have come to say – as citizens from all backgrounds – that it is time to Take Back America.

When people hear that phrase “Take Back America” – particularly at a Tea Party – the temptation is there to immediately follow the line of thinking that the Rev. Al Sharpton or the NAACP promote: that this 3-word phrase is code to disillusioned White Americans to protest, disrespect, and perhaps even threaten the first Black president of these United States. They believe that the primary energy fueling the Tea Party movement and the increased volume from the protests from We the People comes from racism. They remain skeptical of our actions even as we continue to struggle as a nation. They remain divisive with their viewpoints even as we continue the straight-forward talk that we must have as a community of believers – believers in God and in our nation – as we work to straighten out this mess.

Sadly, their skepticism is natural and, in many regards, very well-deserved.

For decades now, we as conservatives have been too passive in our love for all Americans and too tolerant of the everyday injustices that we see all around us. We have not communicated effectively about why our beliefs in smaller government save all of us from the depression and disillusionment that many people – including today’s youth – battle against. We have said passionately that a high tide raises all boats, but we have not passionately fought to save the sinking ships in our inner city communities. We have not done enough as neighbors and friends to charter the dangerous political waters together so that those that can captain their ships can avoid pitfalls and those that enter the waterways of life without the proper resources can learn how to accumulate them in order to command their lives as fully-fledged citizens.

Therefore, skepticism of our activism and the motivating intent of our movement will be challenged vigorously until we as patriots reach out to our skeptics with a heart full of equality, a mind full of empathy, and a vocabulary full of common sense viewpoints and solutions. Rallies such as ours tonight may spark a nation of millions to act due to taxation and spending, but until we speak to the shootings and devastation in our cities and the lives of millions of African-Americans and others that are impacted, we will continue to be a nation divided. The blood spilled to preserve our nation in the past will be shed in vain due to the blood spilling in our streets today if we don’t speak out of love for a better tomorrow for us all.

What Mr. Jealous of the NAACP, Rev. Sharpton and others miss is that solutions for a better United States are full of liberty and devoid of color. The call to history today is not a call against a historic president; it is a call to be historic in a time where ordinary people can make a world of difference – and a better world for our children and grandchildren.

Last year, there was a call for a tea party movement based on the acronym TEA – Taxed Enough Already. And although there is a clear need for the messages of fiscal restraint and common sense solutions to rebound our challenged national economy, what we are finding is that there is a greater need to communicate a message through a We the People movement in order to heal our land, leverage our ideas into universal truths, and mold our conservative principles into social, economic, and national solutions that work for the citizenry we call family – from the disadvantaged that need hope to those that exhibit to us all that with hope and hard work, the American Dream is obtainable.

Despite the false press releases denoting the decline of America…and despite the notions from current leaders in Washington that detest the belief in American exceptionalism…I stand here tonight to tell you that our nation is still a nation full of visionaries. We remain a nation of dreamers and a nation of inventors. And because we continue to hold dear the truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…we know that we must confront the obstacles before us today and push our activism past the point of being a tea party – TEA…Taxed Enough Already…and make a difference in our nation’s development through a BEA Movement – B – E – A….Big Government….Eradication…Throughout America.

It is up to us starting this evening and throughout 2010 to BEA involved. It is up to us starting today to be patriotic with passion that loves, not with emotionalism that fights our brother and sister with malice. And it is up to us to BEA the ambassadors of the conservative message – and dare I say the classic American political and social message – to those that are skeptical of us today. This is because we as conservatives understand – but others that are not do not understand – that with big government today, What is Dangerous for Some is Deadly for Others in Contemporary America.

That is what I have titled these remarks tonight: What is Dangerous for Some is Deadly for Others in Contemporary America.

It rings so very true with the communities we are struggling to connect with conservatives – and it approaches why we are struggling as a nation with race, with unity, and perhaps even with economic vitality in these tough times.

When people ask me as a proud young conservative and as a Black Republican what I think we must do in order to incorporate more young people and more minorities into the conservative political fold, I explain that it takes two things: preaching the “smaller government, bigger people” mantra that I discuss in my book. It takes more neighbors being more visible leaders in the communities of our nation instead of leaving basic decision-making up to bureaucrats that deal with numbers and self-justifying action plans, not people and life-empowering solutions. I tell them that because of the crisis we face in our cities today, we must powerfully and lovingly explain to our friends and fellow citizens that when it comes to big government, What is Dangerous for Some is Deadly for Others in Contemporary America.

That is the message that our young people must embrace for a better nation where America is an economic, cultural, and military leader throughout the world in the 21st century. That is the message that we as ambassadors must take to Black America in order to bridge them back into feeling as though they are full-blooded Americans, living as though they are full-blooded, and embracing their identity as full-blooded Americans.

And I know that many of you may criticize my use of the term “Black America.” I know that many of you will tell me – correctly – that in terms of our nation, there is only one country involved: the United States of America. I agree with you on principle, for people of all creeds and citizens of both genders have shed blood and incur sacrifices for the sovereignty of this great land. However, as ambassadors, we must deal with truth just as we must enact our plans for liberty as visionaries. And, while speaking in truth and with love, we must – as ambassadors – acknowledge the destruction that big government has imposed on African-American communities for decades now.

We cannot unite America with a BEA movement if we will not admit that big government continues to divide America where very different realties, huge contrasts in life expectations, and rampant every day disparities exist in such a way that many live in a different world in this nation even as we live under the same flag as a country.

This is nothing new. Time and time again, expansive big government has been embraced by politicians to separate our nation from within and separate our citizens collectively from their freedom. From the expansion of slavery within an expanding new nation that just declared that “all men are created equal” to the expansion of Jim Crow in response to Constitutional amendments guaranteeing citizenship…and now to the addiction of urban residents and young Americans to the expectations of big government intrusion in our lives…America has allowed big government to write the rules of fairness, the definitions of equality, and the terms of engagement in these United States. But just as we are learning that the continuation of big government sets America on a dangerous course for the future, we as ambassadors must faithfully inform others that continuing the loyalty of urban voters to big government and its toxic results sets Black America on a deadly course of destruction – right here and right now.

It is time for BEA: Big Government Eradication Throughout America.

And to take back America with our BEA Movement, we must disallow the phrase “take back America” from being equated only with national debt, increased taxation, and federalized healthcare programs. As ambassadors for a better future, another 3-word phrase - “Too much government” – must not be code for our disapproval of President Obama’s domestic direction for the nation or the liberal agenda being directed by Speaker Pelosi. As ambassadors, our TEA Party Movement – T – E – A – must mean that we will be tenacious for conservative change, energized by our patriotism, and accountable to God, our forefathers, and our communities with our political activism. As ambassadors, our BEA Movement – B-E-A – must mean that we will break new ground with our conservations about the political direction of the nation, evangelize limited government with examples that show advancement for us all, and actualize a connection between the lost and the willing among us in order to regain the lost potential of our youth within our cities today.

For us, “too much government” means too much regulation that hinders the business growth needed to bring jobs back into our economy. To that, we say as Americans to our government: get your hands out of our pockets so that we can create more employment for the people of this nation.

However, “too much government” must also mean that too many bureaucrats are limiting those within the welfare system while ignoring avenues of independence…that too many liberals are playing God within the court systems and ignoring fairness and justice for families…and that too many government incentives are wreaking havoc within social systems and ignoring people’s God-given rights despite their economic status. To that, we say as ambassadors to big government: get your hands from around the necks of a disproportioned amount of African-Americans and urban young people, for you hinder their ability to live freely. Big government, you choke off any hope for a life of prosperity and freedom with your growing presence in their lives. That is a message we must take to Black America to reunite all of America under our republican form of government.

For us, “too much government” means the runaway control of career politicians that feed us sound bites and call it leadership – all while they devour chunks of campaign funding and bake up schemes of pork for “preferred constituents” – all while giving the rest of us morsels for our families to survive on. To that, we say as Americans to those that mirror this remark: you have ridden on the backs of the American people for your last term. You will serve us with humility in office or you will leave from office in humiliation in November.
However, “too much government” must also mean that too many career politicians represent Americans living in Gerry-mandered districts that prompt no accountability due to high-level brokering over political numbers, not people’s lives. “Too much government” – as ambassadors in this sense – must mean that we go humbly to African-Americans and young voters and discuss the arrogance that career politicians such as Representative Charlie Rangel and Representative Maxine Waters have while in office for decades. As ambassadors, we must show that while Rangel and Waters make money they should not have and hide revenue they are ashamed off, they face ethics violations in Congress while the ethical, moral, and societal fabric of the communities they represent erodes away. We say as ambassadors to those that mirror this remark: you mock the poor and distraught that you represent in office with your elitism and arrogance. You dishonor your ancestors and ours with the lifestyle, view and status you take for granted at the cost of those whose eyes are weary, whose status is meager, whose safety is compromised, yet whose backs you use to carry votes in your re-election bids and personal gains into your coffers. You advocate big government, knowing that it is the life-blood of your legacy, even as you know that it spills innocent blood in the streets in the process – a fact that makes my blood boil with contempt for you and pumps the heart of activism for a change for something better for those citizens that deserve better. That is a message we must take to Black America to reunite all of America under our representative form of government.

For us, “too much government” refers to the self-serving structures of government waste that are in place to increase government funding – even at the risk of increased government spending and taxation…and perhaps even decreased government efficiency. It means to create government jobs even at the risk of ruining small business opportunities. It means to put into place government agencies with no end-goal in sight at the risk of eliminating faith-based and people-centric solutions that foster more results and healthy citizens at a higher clip. To that, we say as Americans: big government, what you are doing is reallocating resources for the select few. What we believe in as a sovereign nation is creating wealth for the masses. You believe in job creation for you the few. We believe in the ability to be successful as We the People.

However, as ambassadors, we must make sure that the phrase “too much government” also informs our skeptics as to why government is our resource, not our ally…that government is to serve us, not to shape us…that big government is our burden, not our benefactor. We must take both history and contemporary times to uphold our points of views as self-evident truths about the big government direction we rally against. We must remind our fellow Americans that limited government defended our God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence. Larger government gave us dangerous fugitive slave laws that endangered freemen throughout the early United States. Limited government provided amendments to secure citizenship and suffrage. Big government created Jim Crow. Limited government gave us freedom of religion. Larger government has removed God from our public places and schools throughout America today. And academically, smaller government wants to ensure that poor children have the freedom of choice for education, allowing tax dollars to be used at schools that will work to ensure that our youth today are prepared for the job markets of tomorrow. Big government wants to expand the scope and cost of failing schools in urban communities – all while ignoring the drop-out rates from our schools and the violence within our schools.

But, of course, why not do that when we have other government programs to handle those issues? A government handling their lives from cradle to grave will eventually ensure that the cradle will fall into despair and that the grave will be swift-coming in their lives.

We must take to these communities this message: any government big enough to give you a piecemeal to get you through tough times is big enough to break up your families for generations, from slavery to today. Any government big enough to give your child a free lunch in school is big enough to create wasteful jobs within the school system that robs your child of the best shot to get a good job once he graduates from the school system….IF he graduates from the school system. Any government big enough to promise you equality with a program is big enough to keep you in oppression with another program.

As ambassadors, we must say to all of America – but particularly to those hurting the most in America and to those isolated through disparities in communities such as Black America – big government has not been the friend of Americans. It has been the ruse to buy more of your votes. It has been the ruse to take more of your money. It has been the ruse to accumulate more power for itself and it has been the ruse to keep true liberty from more of you.

From the unemployed in America to the rich in America…to White folks in America to Black folks in America…from Southerners in America to native Pennsylvanians in America…big government has no place for the citizen, for big government competes against the Will of the People for the sake of its own existence. It will not forsake the rich or the small business owner in its current conquest, just as it has not forsaken the opportunity to devour the disadvantaged and even much of Black America - in its previous conquests to date, particularly those over the past 50 years.

As we have seen with the destruction of the Black family through the Great Society Movement, the destruction of urban school systems through the imbalanced influence of teachers’ unions, and the discrepancies between Blacks and other Americans when concerning health, prison, marriage, jobs, education, and families – bureaucracy cannot exist without burdens, and big government cannot exist without big crises.

The direction of big government has been dangerous for our national debt, our national sovereignty, and our American Way of Life for all of us…but for the disadvantaged, disillusioned, and discriminated fellow citizens among us, big government – has been – and still is deadly.

To overcome big government today to bring back smaller government…more responsible government…and more responsive and representative government….to bring that back for tomorrow, it will take bigger people – and bigger people means all of us, ambassadors: Black, White, women, men, young, old – all of us, fulfilled with who we are ethnically, fighting to improve where we live passionately, and proud to be Americans daily.

Ambassadors: there are similarities within our diversity that call for more limited government and personal liberty. President Jefferson is attributed as saying in concerns to liberty: "A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...." Black leaders such as Malcolm X echoed the same message when he said, “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it.”

Malcolm X also said that, “Power in defense of freedom is greater than power on behalf of tyranny and oppression.” Is that not what we face from big government today – as Americans of all creeds? Are we not in a struggle for power over our lives, a struggle against big government that looks to keep small businesses hampered, everyday people overtaxed, government agencies in the lives of young people, and police forces in the lives of millions of Black people as children or adults? Yet, rest assured: our power to defend freedom will overcome the current power from big government.

It is time for us to act.

It is time to BEA – Big Government Eradication throughout America.

It is the only way to bridge all of America together.

It is the only way to save our cities, reclaim the potential of our youth, and rejuvenate our society as an economic engine and a pillar of moral strength for the nation and for all of world.

It is the only way to truly correct this mess created by our years of personal apathy and government expansion. Thankfully, our republican form of government – one of We the People – allows us to redeem our nation through the patriotism of political activists to defend America and the diligence of grassroots ambassadors to reconnect and heal America.

I believe in you. I believe in us. And I believe that the best days of the United States are still ahead of us – because of you.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you tonight. God Bless you all and God Bless the United States of America.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Meaning of July Fourth for the New School Negro

July 4, 2010

Dear fellow citizens - those of us that had been enjoying cookouts, a 3-day weekend, or perhaps an opportunity to take off a week from work due to the celebration of our nation’s birthday on the 4th of July.

Perhaps this week has been marked in your minds due to the aroma of ribs and other grilled items on the barbeque. Perhaps it has been marked by the arrival of summer weather, sunshine, and time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Perhaps, even, this week has been marked by “The Decision” by a 25-year-old on what city he will take his money-making, basketball-playing abilities to.

These are some of the reasons to enjoy this past week, one where Americans will attempt to forget the escalating tensions in our nation, stemming from continued high unemployment, continued economic stressors on middle-class and working-class Americans, and continue disappointments in leaders from both sides of the aisle to calm down the growing racial, social, and cultural tensions brewing since the 2000 presidential elections.

I come to you today, humbly and perhaps nervously, as I wonder what this 4th of July was supposed to mean to me – and perhaps to us all, not just African-Americans within the United States that are suffering higher rates of negative statistics more than any other racial or cultural makeup other than Native Americans, but also for the rest of the citizens of our great land, even as we continue to hear about why our diversity and colorful differences should be delineations to keep us distrustful of one another, not demarcations to be expanded upon with courage and excitement so that we can leverage our perspectives to bridge ourselves over these troubled times.

I cannot come to you today as a proud Negro freedman such as the great Frederick Douglass did so many years ago. As were the founding fathers of this nation, Mr. Douglass was a man that was an epic leader within the United States of America. Whereas the founding fathers were tantamount with the establishment of our great land starting with the holiday we just celebrated, Mr. Douglass was paramount in pushing the consciousness of a fractionalized culture, a tormented president, and a war-torn nation to a place where building up a stronger nation meant tearing down the immoral comforts of the status quo and challenging the contemporary constructs inhibiting Americans of both genders and all racial backgrounds.

In that regard, I wish that this 4th of July be not like the one that Mr. Douglass endured in 1852, where he asked to his audience in Rochester, NY why he was asked to speak to the beauty of American liberty at a time when humanity of African slaves was still overtly devalued, simultaneously done in the midst of Independence Day celebrations. However, I do expect and demand that we begin to view this new 4th of July cycle as did Mr. Douglass, taking the opportunity to reflect upon how we will be able to take our war-torn nation – a nation being pulled apart at the seams by overseas conflicts, urban terrorism, racial and social disconnect, and economic class warfare – to a place of healing and resolution so that we can overcome these troubled times. As did Mr. Douglass, I hope that this 4th of July cycle can allow us to direct our tormented and currently troubled president to a clearer vision of what must be done to correct our nation’s woes, even as the decisions may seemingly go against his personal beliefs but with a correctness that only the wisest of men around him will encourage and understand, much as Mr. Douglass did in his time. It is my hope that we will have the courage to acknowledge and embrace our fractionalized American culture in today’s nation so that we can fully engage, heal, and foster the fractionalized sub-cultures within the United States – the communities and categories of citizens where unemployment, under-education, and uneasiness from birth to early demise are the anticipated norm for generations of families. In a time where we must be willing to acknowledge our differences within America without discounting our common bond as Americans, it is my hope that we are as strong as Mr. Douglass to take pride in our nation’s diversity as we will need to be courageous in our common knowledge of it to bind the fractures and leverage the impending strength of healing to create a better, more United States of America.

Yet, I am discouraged about our current journey. Perhaps Mr. Douglass was as well, even if his words from 1852 do not exhibit this pain or anxiety. As for him, he rhetorically asked the question: “What is the meaning of the 4th of July to the Negro?” As for me today, I humbly plea to my fellow countrymen and lady citizens: “What is the meaning of the 4th of July to a New School Negro?”

My question today can and does expand into multiple layers of directives for answers.

Although we have moved our nation past the usage of the term “Negro”, I grant that I am, in many ways, a “New School Negro” of the 21st century. As such, I am called to take into account the social conditions around us, the political rumblings affecting us, and the historical obligations pushing us. And when I use the term “us”, that term is universal – used to stand for us, that is, “United States”, including African-Americans that stand on the brisk of the very best and the very worst on this 4th of July.

So, in that regard, I am not the only “New School Negro”, and therefore, I must ask: what does this 4th of July mean to us collectively as a new generation advancing from the legacy of former slaves and abolitionists? Mr. Douglass said to his 1852 audience, “…Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions…whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day (sic), rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them…” And today, is that not the case with the New School Negro, those that celebrate the achievement of riches and allure while the deafening calls for social change and young Black leadership rings in the inner city cadence of gunfire, violence, and anguish? Have we forgotten the lynchings of the past or the gunfire from yesterday’s news that we have replaced the meaning of the 4th of July’s symbolism for freedom and liberty that our ancestors died for with the shallow pursuit of time off and luxury, even as an increased amount of us are not free any longer – freed by educational liberty, liberated by economic opportunities, or made loose by efforts to leverage the painful triumphs of history with the historic gains some of us enjoy today? I am not talking about economic redistribution, but I am certainly referring to historic reflection and obligation.

Mr. Douglass said in 1852 that, “…whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting.” Yet, what must we say to the New School Negro of today? If we look at the horrible treatment of Black women in the days of lore – when Americans celebrated collective liberty while persecuting its women with horrors of sub-equality, most notably persecuting its Black female slaves – how much more hideous and revolting is our conduct today where we celebrate the objectification of our women and embrace terms such as “player”, “pimp”, “dog” and “nigga’” as our terms of endearment for men we revere and love? If we look at the status of our Black relationships today, were the times more hideous when our families when our families were broken up by government – either through slavery in the 19th century or through bureaucratic programs in the 20th century – or are they more hideous today because we foster the expectation that our bodies, our relationships, our ability to love, and our need for emotional continuality must be disrespected at each crossroads? Even for those that have secured the American Dream that affords many of us to vacation during this 4th of July cycle, I ask: is it more hideous that our ancestors lagged behind in education, economics, social status, and life expectancy because of slavery and Jim Crow or is it more hideous because the current generations post-Civil Rights has not done enough to prevent our slippage and current conditions? Whereas it was deplorable for racism to prevent us from rising up to our highest levels during those times before us, it is despicable that we as New School Negroes have not harnessed the true meanings and sacrifices of the 4th of July – for our people and from all American people – into ensuring that the progress from 1852 onward through the 20th century did not erode into the gunfire, fatherlessness, hopelessness, and death that more Negroes in these new generations face than necessary today. I cry: if what Mr. Douglass spoke to in 1852 were horrible, then what we must speak to today is the hideousness that we will either eradicate from our legacy with our conscious efforts or tolerate in our souls with our lethargic egoism.

And whereas Mr. Douglass spoke to the meaning of the 4th of July for the Negro to provide a deeper understanding for the majority of those listening in Rochester that day – most of whom surely were not Black – I say that the meaning of the 4th of July for the New School Negro has meaning for all Americans.

Many of my political persuasion believe that the time is now to put aside racial designations in order to heal the nation. However, without an understanding of the New School Negro, there is no chance for reconciliation for those that are disproportionately disadvantaged. And if there is no chance for reconciliation of our disadvantaged, there is no hope for the political pursuits of small government, more liberty, and less separation of the masses, for no people depending on the scraps of a nation will advocate for the elimination of those scraps unless there is a collective agreement that decrees and promotes true equality so that the scraps are undesirable.

The meaning of the 4th of July today – for today’s abolitionists and others – must mean fostering a reconciliation where we are no longer intimidated by race and unwilling to acknowledge today’s separating factors on race, particularly if we are going to reclaim the lost potential in our cities and youth from our misguided desire to impress our definitions of life on those that live death daily. It is that plain; it is that simple. Mr. Douglass submitted that “…where all is plain there is nothing to be argued….” I submit the same today. If we are so willing to take back America, reclaim America’s liberty for its citizens, and scale back government for the sake of our children and grandchildren, how can we not be willing to simultaneously reclaim our cities from the confused and tortured hands of children acting like adults? If we are so willing to take back America in elections this fall and moving forward, how can we not be willing to also reclaim our common sense of reality when looking at statistics concerning where we worship God on Sundays, where we education our children during the week, and where our health, work, and leisure opportunities are unequally available? For a culture that rightfully rebels against the notion of predetermined poverty and destitution, our notion of liberty today can not equate to a sense of personal accountability for those that we acknowledge have not been availed the ability to account collectively for 50 years now. Our love for the celebrated 4th of July…our love for our embattled nation at this time…must embrace the American Dream by enacting the principles that realize this dream embraces the lost and the found, the forgotten and the remembered, in a fight to improve our common lot.

This 4th of July – as with the others over recent history – have been opportunities to implore us to champion our individual causes instead of inviting us to acquiesce to the collective cause for American advancement. What is this 4th of July truly mean to me, a New School Negro, or to others of us new generation Americans? Whereas Douglass said that it was a “…a day that reveals to (the Negro), more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim…”, I say that it is a day that makes clear to us that we must turn apart from our cowardice to confront the issues before us before we all are revealed to be constant victims of our apathy, our complacency, and our governments indefinitely. Douglass called our national celebration a sham before the nation was prompted to abhor its hypocrisy; today, our celebration will be hollow and meaningless if we are not urged to upend the hypocrisy of our times – times where Black millionaires mimic Black gangsters and White activists call for urban peace from their suburbs. He called our national greatness mere swelling vanity, yet I call it fleeting glory if our vanity continues us storing up treasures where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal while allowing our brethren to decay and rot and our ability to prosper as a nation dwindles even as our insulation from the problems erode around us. Mr. Douglass said that “…there is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour…” This is not true of our times, but there is no other nation in the world – for the New School Negro or for the new generation American – that can claim to have as many pillars of hope and examples of liberty before them in their history and, therefore, there is no higher shock in the hearts or deeper stain of blood on the hands of those Americans today that refuse to look history into the eyes, search deep within their own hearts, and strengthen their words and hands to act and contravene the misery around us.

Douglass concluded that he did not despair for our nation in spite of his scathing rebuttal of the 4th of July celebration in 1852 Rochester. Despite the years of apathy, selfishness, detachment, blind trust, blind hatred, misunderstandings, and limited growth, I have hope as well, not only because we are still a nation full of worshippers of the Most High God, but we are also a nation that takes pride in the ability to be a beacon to the world around us. Yet, are we willing to accept what makes us different as ethical Americans in order to embrace what makes us great as Americans? Are we now willing to acknowledge the differing levels of American life that exist within American culture in order to uplift the American Dream? As a New School Negro, I ask myself if I am able – and if we are willing – to accept the mantle of history, even as we are called to put down the comforts of this world. As a new generation American, I ask myself if I am able – and if we are willing – to step forward on faith to make the efforts of the past mean something to our children than mere footnotes of history to learn for a scholarly test, a score to be achieved for a moment but a lesson lost for a lifetime? If this 4th of July is to mean anything for the next 51 weeks - and if it is to mean something for the next 51 months or 51 years – it must be time for it to mean something from day to day, as if the 4th of July is July 5th, July 6th, July 16th, and so forth. The waving of our flag and the resonance of our patriotism must be the moxie that holds our debating form of republican government together with honor, respect, representativeness, and resolute honesty for the ethical obligations we hold to the past to bring about the enriching foundation for our future. If we can find this during this 4th of July cycle, perhaps fewer mothers will cry in the streets, fewer children will go without families or resources, and fewer people will rue their government. If we can claim this today, perhaps understanding and unity will ring where mistrust and dissension now reside. If we can make this so right now, perhaps the pessimism of Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech will rightfully prompt us to forgo the American hypocrisy he loathed in Rochester and we loathe today to find the glory Douglass facilitated in his times, just as we labor to reclaim glory contemporarily.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is "The Truth"

June 17, 2010

Ok, well, no, she's not.

Jesus Christ is The Truth.

And in the NBA, Paul Pierce is "The Truth", according to Shaquille O'Neal, although I would have to put my bet on Jesus in a game of one-on-one between Pierce and Christ. Pierce would probably do the same as well, by the way.

With that said, though, Dr. Morse's analysis on the breakdown of families and its impact on the economic systems within America are not only theories to be studies, but are realities being enacted everyday in the lives of Black America, urban American, and in America's young adults.

For example, the willingness to marginalize Americans to the net worth of their personal "gross domestic output" (i.e., their quantifiable, employment-based value) is a misguided notion that has impacted the lives of many Americans over the course of the past several generations. Failing to bring proper credence to the intrinsic value of motherhood (including stay-home motherhood), fatherhood, and marriage has subsequently led to losses in our economic vitality due to a drain of resources headed to social programs, social justice, criminal justice institutions, and rehabilitative services from our national, state, and city budgets.

In essence, Dr. Morse - in projecting what the future may look like at this rate - described the last 40 years of life within urban America, complete with educational failures, relationship issues, broken homes, and economic depravity.

And, to deliver it with wit? Yeah, maybe she is the truth after all, or at least, she brings a lot of truth into the national social and political discussions of our day.

Meeting Immaculee and an Immaculate Moment

June 16, 2010

People that know me know that I can get through as a "proud young conservative" - considering all of the attacks that I undergo - because of the wife that I have. She is my rock. She is a gift in my life. Proverbs 31? That describes her fully in my life.

With that said, she is also someone that did not enter our marriage unscathed. Like me, she was scarred by the abuse and hatred of someone else's hands - literally. Because of this, her faith (notably her Catholicism and ability to pray regularly and faithfully) deepened even before we started dating. It has grown in the years that we have been married.

For her, knowing the stories of powerful folks such as Immaculee Ilibagiza comes as naturally as breathing.

She knew of Immaculee's incredible story because she watches (and reads) much of Dr. Wayne Dyer's work. She knew of the chance encounter that Immaculee and Wayne had that led to her book. She knew of Immaculee's dedication to praying the Rosary, something that my wife does often as well.

So, as much as it was an honor to listen to Immaculee's speech at dinner this much as it was an honor to shake her hand and have her sign her book for my was greater still to do one thing:

Speak to my wife via phone.

Yes, I'm that crazy husband that understands the value of small moments in one's life. To have a woman that overcame domestic violence talk to another woman that she read about and emulated due to her courage and dedication to God in the most deadly of situations meant the world to me. My wife was shocked. I think that Immaculee was honored. I know that it will make an impact on my wife's heart.

And the seal for me? Immaculee's first words after introducing herself to my wife on the phone (my cellphone as I was getting the book signed): "Your husband loves you very much."

Yes, I do, but it is God through me that makes it real.

And, in that regard, perhaps Immaculee made an impact on my heart as well that night with more than just her story. God is very real in everything from politics to the smallest of human interaction.

A Thought on Christian Anthropology and Saving America

June 16, 2010

As you know, I am here at the Acton Institute's "Acton University 2010" event, held by the organization named after Lord Acton. (

I came because I wanted to take some of the great information from the classes in order to apply it to the political discussions that we need to have, advance, and "flesh out" in order to create a better nation out of the crisis state that we find ourselves in today.

Truthfully, though, much of what I may need to illustrate my points came from the first lecture, particularly as it comes to the need for Black America to re-adopt Republicanism as a partisan home politically.

Secular determination - the basic social equation of thought that beliefs that heredity + environment = human actions (and, thus, the conditions humans find themselves in) - wraps up the treatment of Black people in America by the liberal left. In essence, the guiding principles of most Democrats - and now, tragically, mostly all Black elected officials (of which the vast majority are Democrats) - center around this notion of secular determination, using the mindset to continue a deadly cycle of limiting government dependency and prospects for the future. At the same time, this theory also proves - in many ways - why the disappearance of the Black church's influence over Black America has had a detriment effect on urban America over the past 50 years.

Why does this matter? Look at the destination of aid, urban solutions, and the like over the past 50 years. Much of those resources are headed into Black America's widening hole of hopelessness because the prevailing initiatives impacting these Americans are guided by the notion that the conditions that they found themselves in are, by nature, the best that they can do.

And they say that the Christian Right is racist?

Looking forward to hearing more throughout the week....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Missing the Point, Perhaps Missing the Boat

May 13, 2010

(This blog is the unedit version of The Loop 21 article, "Black America is on the wrong side of the immigration issue", found at )

At first, I was for the spirit of the law but completely against the legislation as written.

Arizona’s SB 1070 – in its first draft – seemed to be nothing more than an open invitation to profile anyone that looked Latino (including Black folks and biracial Americans) in the state’s attempt to scale back illegal immigration. Under the initial law, the efforts were not contained to any sense of decorum. Despite verbal direction from Governor Jan Brewer, racial profiling was a valid concern for all non-white people residing in or visiting Arizona. It promised to lead to unjust questioning and privacy (and civil rights) violations based on appearances alone.

Like many conservatives and Republicans around the country, I stood with President Obama and others (including including Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL)) to express opposition to the initial draft of SB 1070. Widespread bipartisan opposition SB 1070 in its initial form prompted changes from the Arizona state legislature.

Once the law was modified to ensure that random profiling and questioning could be deterred – basically codifying that such questioning of legal status in Arizona could only come after “…any lawful stop, detention, or arrest…”, many conservatives and moderates found more common ground on the intent and proposed enforcement of the new immigrant bill. However, many in Black America – led by the Reverend Al Sharpton – instead find common ground between the fight against SB 1070 in its current form and the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th Century.

They are wrong, and in the process, they are spending precious moral capital on an issue that African-Americans can ill-afford to be on the wrong side of history over, especially as we face plenty of mounting issues ourselves.

Vowing to bring “…people into Arizona in the spirit of the ‘freedom rides’…” – as Reverend Sharpton did over SB 1070 – tarnishes the blood spilled by law-abiding Americans that fought for the equality and safety of law-abiding American citizens during previous Freedom Rides. It is shameful to even make the comparison as the two political issues contrast even on the surface of the argument, even when the common threat of deplorable profiling based on race alone (an act I abhor in all situations) is taken into consideration. For example, in the case of SB 1070, race-based actions by authorities– though un-American and intolerable – could lead to the arrest of illegal residents within America, thus solving a criminal situation. As was the case with plenty of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement – including plenty of Freedom Riders – race-based interaction with the authorities in those instances often led to violent beatings, violations to their civil rights as Americans (including unwarranted jailing and fines), and perhaps lynching and other forms of death and “mysterious disappearances.”

Being asked to return home and re-enter the line for legalization in America properly (be it through naturalization or some work-authorized status) is not the same as being forced to bleed to death by way of castration or drown after enduring some inhumane beating. There is no civil rights similarity between the two historical issues in recent American memory, particularly since – unlike the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s - there is not a constitutionally-based civil rights issue present in the current illegal immigration issue. Anyone who lived through the Civil Rights Movement – especially any African-American leader – should know this clearly. We can and should defend the human rights of individuals everywhere, but we can only defend the civil rights for those protected by law through our Constitution, as we did with Black folks in America. Today – as was the case decades ago – the moral right of the argument gets its support from the inherent legal rights from overriding Law of the Land.

There is no political justification for Rev. Sharpton and others within Black America for taking an opposing stance on SB 1070 – which is now the immigration check equivalent to further investigating a speeding motorist that was caught with a 9MM on the passenger’s seat – especially if the opposition is based on some manufactured semblance to historical struggles of African-Americans; (of course, some may consider Rev. Sharpton’s recent alliance with the White House – pointing to situations such as the recent Sharpton-Smiley controversy, for example – as the only necessary “political justification” needed.) Dr. King and others would never have been able to take the moral high road today (as they did years ago) while marching with residents wearing “I’m an illegal” t-shirts in the process of protests. In 2010, we are not facing a matter of discriminating against those with civil rights forged by the United States Constitution. Because of that, any true proper political resolution to illegal immigration – ranging from completely amnesty to complete deportation and points between that may be considered– cannot rightfully leverage the moral, political, and spiritual energy that fueled justice during America’s moral crisis of the 20th Century.

Any attempt to improperly marry the two issues on political precedence suppresses the historical resonance of the Civil Rights Movement and, further distances African-Americans from sharing more of a national identity with other Americans in lieu of embracing the rights of outlaws based on skin color primarily – the very rudimentary toxin that drives the racial profiling we detest. If that is the prime criteria that Black America is going to use in siding on national issues such as illegal immigration or other current political matters, then we may have come to a point in time where the vision of uniting the nation despite racial and ethnic diversity (thus, embracing the “melting pot” of America as we were once taught in school to do) has faded, leaving African-Americans in a position of peril. If Black folks in America are no longer willing to follow the paths of their ancestors and demand full inclusion and respect within the American identity – straying from the path through distancing themselves from other Americans on issues through the prism of race or finding political and constitutional kindred with those that possess no civil rights – then what are we collectively pursuing? If proper embrace of the American Dream –a dream of prosperity, lawfulness, safety, respect, and advancement of values that people from around the world risk their lives for both legally and otherwise – is no longer the dream for current African-Americans as it was with our forefathers, then what does our dream entail?

Sadly, that might lead us to other questions as well. Have we collectively missed the point of what the Civil Rights Movement was all about – fighting for the empowerment of citizens’ freedom under the guarantee of the U.S. Constitution? Are we missing the significance of what our collective support of illegal residents’ rights means in today’s America? How that support could signal why, perhaps, a majority of Americans may see African-Americans as leaning towards philosophies that they oppose - including open borders and socialized democracy – and regularly oppose us politically in response? Or perhaps, maybe we have just missed the boat on what our forefathers were willing to die for to secure our equality and freedom as previously-tortured (and many would argue still-discriminated against) Americans as lawful citizens, particularly if we are so willing to equate the calls for justice under the law with the protests of those that willfully sidestep it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let's Get Ready to Rumble...or Reconcile

Monday, February 1, 2010

I like it.

I like the new President Obama.

Talk of utilizing nuclear power.

Talk of off-shore drilling.

Talk of tax cuts to encourage business growth and subsequent job growth.

And the president took on the GOP - on their turf and on their terms.

I like it. I like the feistiness. I like the talk of bipartisan ideas. I like the efforts to talk to Republicans directly.

Perhaps the Tea Party people were heard after all. Perhaps Scott Brown's victory made a difference. Maybe the president sees the need to wrangle in the fringes of the right and try to find common ground.

Now, if only I can get him to do the same with the Democrats that ran things off the rails in 2009.

Many conservatives criticized the president on his appearance at the GOP House retreat in Baltimore on Friday. They felt that President Obama was being rather condescending, professorial, and perhaps revisionist with some of his responses while going through the live televised question-and-answer he conducted with the participants of the retreat. Maybe they thought his answers were, at times, terse. At the same time, they were probably just as packaged as some of the questions coming from a body full of candidates looking to keep their jobs and accumulate more power as mid-term elections loom on the horizon.

Or many this was just the tough love talk that both sides needed to have after a failure of 2009, one where Republican ideas were never seriously considered by a president and supermajority (may it R.I.P.) that felt that it could take political and legislative risks with impunity while Republicans refused to budge much at all to compromise their positions while staring down the wrong end of the Capitol Hill numbers barrel.

If President Obama is serious about becoming the centrist he attempted to run as during 2008 and pull in his party's extremism, he has a good chance of being able to gain some considerable legislative wins during 2010 and, perhaps, lessen the losses for his party in November. Reigning in Pelosi and others may come with the ire of some Democrats and left-leaning media types, but it may also come with victories that translate into betters numbers with employment, energy needs, and support for his initiatives in handling the war effort overseas. A majority of America likes Barack Obama the person but, to date, have not been able to rally behind (or, in some cases, like) President Obama the chief legislator.

The type of tough-talk directness that we saw from President Obama and the House GOP is along the lines that we expected to see in 2009 in order to hammer out the ideas coming from all sides in a process that was supposed to yield the best solutions for a struggling America.

Again, if this is a start to a new way of doing things in Washington: I like it.

And, for the record, I won't hold the president attempting to make his 2009 legislative endeavors (led by Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Reid) appear to be centrist if he doesn't continue to hold President Bush accountable for the growing lack of confident Americans are having in Washington. At some point, we each are only what we believed in, and sometimes that is enough to prompt us to defend even our failures just as the president did in some regards this week. However, as we know, the nation doesn't get much of a puncher's chance of knocking out this recession and other crises without our leaders finally getting in the ring - on equal footing - to duke it out. if this process leads to real conversation, real reconciliation, and real change, then let the combatants in Washington go at it as the results will yield something that Americans can believe in, more Congressman can agree to, and people can benefit from.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh No, Justice Alito!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The picture shows confidence, calm, and a pleasant demeanor. A smile that indicates that he will not worry about criticism from the right or the left, keeping his focus on the constitutional obligation to uphold our founding document.

If we pull a George H. W. Bush, we can clear see a different story.

Read Justice Alito's lips: that's not true.

And if you read his body language after President Obama's judgement on the Supreme Court's recent ruling on campaign support, you can see that the stoicism from Alito may not be as true, either.

So much for the notion that the Supreme Court is a ruling body that operates outside of the influences of emotion or concern for anything other than a just interpretation of the Constitution.

Perhaps judicial activism - or emotional investment - isn't just a liberal stronghold anymore.

For as bold as the president's stance was to take on the Supreme Court as Commander-in-Chief (and former constitutional law professor) during his first State of the Union Address was, it was also bold for the justice to knowingly mouth "...not true..." during a round of applause in response to the president's statement, especially as he must have known that cameras were catching responses throughout the room (especially after Congressman Joe Wilson's (R-SC) remarks in September.)

Usually, it is the Supreme Court that fits into the role of populist defender, guarding the rights of America and her citizens as afforded in the Constitution against the special interests of politicians and significant policy makers. Everything from defending the premise of equality (Brown v Board of Education) to the very nature of its makeup (the infamous FDR attempt to stack the Supreme Court with his choice of justices with a 1930s quasi-pyramid scheme to expand the number of justices on the court) has been under the umbrella of the Supreme Court in its quest to defend the tenets of the nation as a populist gatekeeper. President Obama's televised rebuttal from the presidential bully pulpit changed that dynamic.

As, perhaps, rightfully so, a point that rubbed Justice Alito - and perhaps judges modeling his style of ruling from this decision - the wrong way in such a public place.

Washington as usual has been defined as the ability of big dollars and big business to influence the manner of everyday politicking moreso than the everyday Americans that congresspeople represent through the election process. This ruling, on face value, seems to jeopardize the ability of the everyday American (i.e., the guy or lady without the "deep pockets" that a select few have) to have a tangible voice in the political process, particularly regarding campaign advertisements and big-dollar donations to campaigns that shift the attention span of candidates from the populace to the lobbyists. Regardless of the legal arguments stating that the risk is minimal at best (it may be true that the law directly speaking to foreign-based corporations was not addressed or changed by the Supreme Court last week), the fact remains that a risk was taken - perhaps inappropriately - by the Supreme Court in reversing this previous statute in favor of big businesses, notably at at time when big business has been able to receive bailout money without much responsibility to the American taxpayer for
regarding ethics (i.e., keeping the big bonuses in place) or recovery (i.e., not using the money to annul this trend of unemployment).
Usually, it is the Supreme Court that has to remind a president of the jeopardy incurred when American endeavors are not in line with basic premises of the Constitution - namely, a republic where the everyday American is represented and listened to by its government without impediments of race, gender, previous servitude, or other labels that do not strip our citizenship (such as socioeconomic background.) In this instance, it worked the other way around.
President Obama got it right - we cannot allow corporations even more ability to buy-and-sell politicians, political agendas, and voting influence if we are going to continue the march towards rebuilding the best of America as we renew our nation. Call it politically convenience (many big businesses may come out against the president during Election 2010 because of his unpopularity at the polls right now) or populist fury (a renewed political personality that the president seems to have taken on since the turn of the year) if you will, but Obama's stance seems to be both anomalous - but correct - turn for the administration to change how Washington "is done" today.
It will be interesting to see how Washington plays out from here after suck a public calling-out by the president towards the Supreme Court. President Obama seems willing to take on perceived naysayers and opponents in a fight to earn back the confidence of the American people. Since day one, that has included Republicans, but perhaps it will now also include Republicans on the non-partisan bench of the highest court of the land. The Court may continue to find itself being criticized by a former law professor that has the rare eloquence, a new (or renewed, based on your view) populist backbone, and the ultimate bully pulpit (the presidency) to cast down judgement even after the final ruling has been sent down from the Court. The non-partisan Court - full of political appointments - may soon find itself reminiscing of the times when being political meant merely taking sides on Roe v Wade. The thoughts of that must make the members of the Court hold firm on the stoicism and disregard of outside detractions needed to clearly uphold the Constitution and the best of our nation's legal realities for freedom, even when Obama and the Court disagree on particular decisions.
Especially if this president continues to take a populist stance to wipe the smiles off of a justice's face.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of DisUnion

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Everyone is waiting to hear President Obama's first State of the Union Address.

What I am waiting for: for President Obama to reunify our states - our states of politics, our states of economics, and our states of cooperation.

To me, the most important thing with this evening's address is to restate the union that he campaigned to lead.

Pundits on both sides of the aisle are going to look to see how the president projects his overall message. They will pick apart his words and try to read his intent on the economy, on health care, and on the wars overseas.

However, those will not be the important points, for nothing else will matter if the president is unable to get a majority of Americans clearly on the same page, including those Americans serving on Capitol Hill and in Washington.

Perhaps it will be the losses in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Perhaps it will be the daunting realization that while the Congressional leadership led much of this disaster for the Obama Administration in 2009, most of them will be in full campaign mode in 2010, thus leaving him to hold the bag of responsibility for the current status. Perhaps it will be a reflection upon the magic of 2008 and the hope of January 2009. Regardless of what the primers end up being, President Obama will be successful with his address and with his impending presidency if he is capable of finding the true middle ground that will allow a majority of lawmakers and everyday Americans to get behind him as Commander-in-Chief with full force, something that has yet to transpire during his term.

Gathering Republican ideas (such as the spending freeze, an idea that he mocked John McCain with during the presidential debates as a "hatchet job" idea towards the economy) or championing through left-leaning pet projects will not do. At some point, it's not partisanship anymore, just as the Obama Presidency had the promise of being past after his historic election. This point on Wednesday night will be about unifying the nation behind a leader. Obama made it a point to look towards Lincoln as an example as he rode into Washington (literally) 12 months ago. With his State of the Union Address, he has a chance to channel the Great Emancipator again, this time to free America from the chains of disunity brought on by economic peril, proposed historic change, and fears for the future.