Archive for May, 2015

Media Duplicity as Usual — May 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman May 31st, 2015

Discussions in the news media (I’d rather call it the “Views Media”) regarding the use of the word, “Thug,” are intriguing to say the least. The Mayor of Baltimore, the President, and some in the media used the term during the unrest that followed the killing of Freddie Gray. Less pejorative words, or no description at all, were used for those who committed similar acts of violence in Lexington, Kentucky, after their basketball team lost, Kentuckythose who fought the cops during the May Day riots in Seattle, Seattleand now the motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, even after nine men were killed in what some “views” people called a “melee.”

Remember post-Katrina New Orleans? The media described Whites as “finding” food in stores; Blacks were said to have “looted” food. Katrina

It is interesting how media folks use different words to portray groups of people; but history is replete with examples of this duplicitous media response to criminal events by Black people versus White people.

A glaring example is the following observation by Frank W. Quillan in 1910: “When a Negro commits a crime the newspapers always emphasize his race connection by such headlines as ‘A Big Black Burly Brute of a Negro’ does such and such, and the whole race gets a share of the blame; while if the crime is committed by a white man, race is not mentioned, and the individual gets the blame.” Little has changed in over 100 years.

Another more contemporary juxtaposition appeared on CNN during the weekend of May 23, 2015. A judge in Cleveland, Ohio, Judge O'donnellruled that a police officer who jumped on the hood of the car, in which a Black couple had already been fired upon 122 times by 12 officers, was justified when he fired 15 additional bullets into the car. In the same news show, Poppy Harlow reported on a White female police officer in Omaha, Nebraska, who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

After hearing the relatives of the Black male victim say how great a person he was, how compassionate he was, how he was not carrying a gun and would never do that, and how he helped so many other people in his daily walk, Harlow never said a positive word about him in her response.

On the contrary, when she interviewed the friends of the female officer, after they described her in much the same manner as the Black man was described, one person even saying she was an “angel,” Harlow responded by saying, “She even looks angelic.” First of all, Harlow literally described how an “angel” looks (I don’t know how she knows that), and then she ascribed her characterization to the White female.

This is no surprise to anyone who watches any of the “views” shows, but it also speaks to the pervasive disregard and lack of even a modicum of compassion for Black victims—even when they were fired upon 137 times by 12 police officers. It didn’t matter to Harlow what the Black victim’s relatives said. He was certainly not referred to as looking “angelic.”

Now, allow me to segue into the Cleveland case more specifically. Having recently written about the Tamir Rice case and the Mayor of Cleveland saying Rice “caused his own death,” my outrage has been heightened by the judge’s conclusion in the killing of the two Black victims. He said the cop was justified in firing 15 more shots into the victims because it was “reasonable” to believe the threat had not been abated by the previous 122 shots. He also agreed that the cop was justified in believing his life was still in danger.

One officer involved in the car chase got on the radio and told the pursuing cops that the victims no gun. Yet the officer on trial said he was “scared to death,” in fear for his life. Does it make sense that his extreme level of fear would cause him to expose himself to persons he thought were trying to kill him? He should have taken cover rather than jump on the hood of the victims’ car. It’s that “Gorillas in the mist,” scenario, that “super human strength” contention, and that “running from the police” thing again. These two victims were doomed from the start of that car chase. Unlike the numerous “angelic-looking” Whites that police pursue for miles, only to arrest them when they finally pull over, this Black couple gets 122 bullets fired at them and then 15 more for good measure.

Duplicitous utterances by folks in the media and the courts suggest that they think we are the stupidest people on earth. One last thought: Why do we chant “No Justice, No Peace,” and then brag about how “peaceful” the march was, despite not having received justice?



A Right Cross and a Left Hook — May 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman May 23rd, 2015


For the past fifty years most of our conversation and efforts have been centered on politics. Reminiscent of Reconstruction, when Blacks occupied political offices for the first time, many of our politicians are just figureheads, toothless tigers, and lackeys for the establishment. Many of them are simply “employed” and are only concerned about keeping their “jobs.” Many Black politicians actually work harder on behalf of others than they do for their own brothers and sisters. We must change our conversation from politics to economics.

Before you political hacks get angry, let me say that we must continue to be involved in politics. We must run for office and we must leverage our votes, by all means. But we cannot afford to stop there. We saw what happened in 2008 and 2012; both times Black folks were told to “go out and vote.” We were told we must vote in even greater numbers in 2012 than we did in 2008. We did it, and we still cannot even get a hearing on reparations. A few years ago, P Diddy told the young people to, “Vote or die.” They voted and yet, when it comes to economic empowerment, they, and we, are nearly dead. Like I said in a previous article, where is the “Start a business or die” campaign, the “Pool our money or die” campaign?

Black people must realize that while our relatives fought and died for voting rights, those folks didn’t die so we could spend the majority of our time “playing” politics. They wanted us to take our participation to the next level. Similarly, Black folks, your relatives and mine, also lost their lives because they chose to go into business; where is the rallying cry for entrepreneurship?

Black politicians that do absolutely nothing for Black folks, come out every couple of years to tell us how good they have been and what they stand for on our behalf. What a load of fertilizer that is! Even stranger is the fact that Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives do the same things. We may duck the “right” cross, but we still get hit by the “left” hook. In other words, we have nothing coming from either political party, and they have proven that to us time and time again.

Since our vaunted voting “power” is so important to the two political parties, we should be using it in ways that support the most important political principle: Quid pro quo. We should be leveraging our votes; otherwise, why participate at all? It really doesn’t matter what color the politician is. What matters most is what Black folks are getting from the system, and Black folks are getting the shaft from most of our politicians. You know it, I know it, and they know it. It’s bad enough that the leadership in the two major parties really doesn’t care about us. One is throwing Mike Tyson right crosses and the other is throwing Joe Frazier left hooks at us, causing us to be off-balance, out of sync, and off-kilter, as we try to avoid their vicious haymakers.

The political “leaders” who continue to tell us that all we have to do is vote to change things should be voted out of office. This voting for all democrats or all republicans by Black folks is nothing short of political suicide. Carter G. Woodson said, “Any people who would vote the same way for three generations without thereby obtaining results ought to be ignored and disenfranchised.”

The old game of Black folks being all or nothing to either party has proven to be our political demise. We give our all and get nothing in return. Eighty years ago nearly all Blacks voted republican; now it’s just the opposite. Neither scenario has worked, so why do we continue that insanity? Black folks have been getting hit with right crosses and left hooks since we got into this political game, and now we need to start throwing some punches of our own.

The hardest punches we can throw are economic punches. We must be willing to take off the gloves and go with bare-knuckles into the marketplace and let our presence be known by withholding and redirecting our dollars. We must put our money where our mouth is and contribute to politicians who speak and act on our behalf. The only things that count with politicians are dollars and votes – in that order. We must leverage both to get what we need from either the “Demopublicans” or the “Republicrats.”

As the right crosses and left hooks continue to be thrown by crooked, immoral, and unethical politicians, both White and Black, let’s get busy economically and start punching back, before we get knocked out.



Graduation Time — May 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman May 19th, 2015

By the time you read this article millions of college students will have graduated and are now looking for jobs; many will be going on to grad school. Millions will suddenly be faced with paying off college loans or contemplating obtaining a loan for graduate studies. Where the money is concerned, neither option is attractive.Howard grad2

Even if students are fortunate enough to have a job when they graduate, if they are laden with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, it will be very difficult to save money for their future, pay living expenses and those associated with the job they accept, and make $300-$600 in monthly payments for college loans.

For those moving on to grad school, unless they have a fellowship or some other kind of grant, they will have a tough decision to make when the loan officer at their school or the bank says, “No problem, here’s a $30,000 check to pay for your degree.” I hate to think what it costs for an M.D. degree these days.

At more than $1 trillion, having surpassed credit card debt, college loan debt is an albatross around the necks of students, some of whom had no idea of what they were getting into and some who did know but refused to do anything about it until now, when it’s too late.
With the job market the way it is and has been for Black people for decades now, some graduates will have an overpriced college degree without a commensurate job prospect. They will be faced with the challenge of paying back their loans while looking for a job that does not exist. Or, they will have to accept the prospect of joining the ranks of the “underemployed.”

This is indeed a sad state of affairs for our best and brightest, the grandchildren of the baby boomers. It is said that “millennials,” as they are called, are the first generation that will be worse off than their parents. Most parents want their children to do better than they did, and most parents participate in that aspiration by putting a little money aside to help their children get off to a reasonable start in life. However, in today’s economic climate there is very little of that kind of help available from parents who are struggling just to pay the rent and keep the lights on.

What can we do? High on our agenda should be a demand made, to Congress and whoever is running for President, for student loan debt forgiveness. A strong independent bloc of voters must go to candidates in both parties and make this demand. Keep in mind, however, as I have said before, a demand with power backing it up is just rhetoric. I think we have heard enough and had enough of empty words by some of our leaders to know that it will take more than just asking for what we want. We must be willing to withhold our votes in order to get what we want—and that goes for both parties.
HBCU gards
The banks and other financial entities got their $780 billion bailout; where is ours? Why not bail the students out, and why not bail the homeowners out rather than merely “adjusting” their loans? The bankers were given billions that they used to make even more money from the taxpayers (That be us, y’all) who paid their bills. Contrary to what we were told, lending was curtailed rather than extended, and hundreds of thousands of folks are still homeless because there was no real bailout program for them.

The so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as of January 1, 2014, had paid out $816.3 billion, in three categories: tax benefits; grants, contracts, loans; and entitlements. Who got that money? In my neck of the woods the folks who got the most were those who worked on the roads and expressways; of those contractors and workers, few if any were Black.

Georgia recently embarked on a $1 billion+ road improvement project, and even with 3,150,435 Black folks in that state, the most of any other state, Black contractors and workers will benefit disproportionately. Department of Transportation inclusion rules are based on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Programs, in which White female businesses get a significant share of the contracts, and “front” companies rule the day.

So with all of the barriers facing our 2015 graduates, and the bleak outlook for improvement of their lot, the least we could do is bail them out of their student loans. Politicians said the banks were “too big to fail,” and I guess the bankers were “too big to jail.” They caught a huge break from Bush and Obama. It’s time for a break for Black and poor people now. Hey politicians, forgive student loans! HBCU grads



News from the dark side — May 2015

Articles | Posted by Jim Clingman May 11th, 2015

You won’t believe the latest tactics being used by the folks at the national and state levels of the NAACP; then again, those of you who are familiar with their evil doings in the past will believe it.

You may recall that the Cincinnati Branch won a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the national office for voter suppression in our local election process. Since that time the Cleveland and Columbus branches have had similar run-ins with the national and state office, headed by Sybil McNabb, a lackey of Gill Ford, the national representative who has left a “trail of tears” across this country in various branches, by interfering with local elections and trying to “select” the candidates of his choice.

The Cincinnati branch is still in court, after several delays caused by the national NAACP and their local attorney. The final hearing on the matter will now take place in August 2015, after depositions are taken from National President, Cornell Brooks, and Gill Ford, in Baltimore and St. Louis, respectively.

The latest attempt to circumvent the judge’s order in Cincinnati, and to get around similar issues in Columbus and Cleveland, comes from Sybil McNabb, who a couple of years ago during the State of Ohio NAACP election, in Chillicothe, Ohio, lost her bid to remain in that office. A young lady named Jocelyn Travis won, fair and square, but the election was overturned by Ford and McNabb, who refused to relinquish her office to Travis.

A new election was held, in which ineligible people and even children, I was told, were allowed to cast votes. Well, wouldn’t you know it? McNabb won. So now, I suppose in return for Gill Ford’s assistance to keep her on as State President, McNabb sends a letter out to Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, saying she will conduct an election in all three “Prospective” (Her word, not mine) cities on May 23, 2015, ignoring the judge’s order in Cincinnati.

If that doesn’t take the proverbial cake. Why do the State Officers, local branch officials, and local members allow this kind of nonsense to go on without saying or doing anything about the likes of McNabb, Ford, and other crooked NAACP leaders? What can they do to you? Fire you? How do you fire a volunteer? Members need to stand up and speak up against these wrongdoers. A cryptogram: “Never Accept Alibis from Corrupt People.”

If the three largest Ohio cities and I would add Dayton, Toledo, and Akron as well, cannot or will not stand up against corruption in the NAACP’s state and national offices, what’s the point of being a part of it all? If they can pull off what would be the biggest “back-down” and branch intimidation in their 106-year history, what will happen to the smaller less-funded branches around the nation? They don’t stand a chance.

As if that sham of an election in Chillicothe, Ohio was not enough, we now have a tainted State President, operating under the aegis of Gill Ford, attempting to usurp the authority of a sitting judge in the State of Ohio. What arrogance and disdain! I thought it was bad when Ford’s attorney suggested an election be held in Cincinnati anyway, despite the TRO, with only one candidate on the ballot—Ford’s. I was right, but shortsighted.

Now they have stooped to a new level with McNabb saying she will hold elections in the three largest branches in the State of Ohio. A corrupt official holding honest and fair elections? Let me think about that for a second. Naah, I don’t think so.

These people would do anything to maintain control of the money that comes into the local branches, which is a major reason for the attempted takeover in Cincinnati. So since money is the underlying issue in the whole matter, here is what should happen, at least in Cincinnati, where the National NAACP Convention is scheduled to be held in 2016.

If the corporations and other donors to the NAACP refuse to give these crooks their $200,000 – $300,000 as incentive money to hold the national convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, it just might make them straighten up and fly right. If the National NAACP and its President, Cornell Brooks, who is also a minister, do not stop the voter suppression and their representative’s attempt to steer the local election his way, the corporate donors should refuse to give their money to bring the convention to Cincinnati.

As embarrassing as this is, it would be even more so if hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to an organization that purports to fight against “voter suppression,” and has filed suit against the State of Ohio under that rubric, to hold its convention in our city. What’s that called again? Hypocrisy? Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for.