Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I lived in Metro Detroit for eight years, a time span that included Mayor Archer's second term and Kwame Kilpatrick's first. Detroit has been the nightmare scenario of white flight, ineffective black political rule, racial polarization and urban decay for better than 20 years. The city has a history and well known status as the most segregated city in America. Sadly, that racial legacy and present day context has been the excuse for a low standard of accountability when it comes to Detroit's black political leadership. The latest embarrassment is the now publicly outed sordid extramarital affair between Mayor Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.
It was an affair those in the know and among Kwame's security detail knew about and one of those open secrets the rest of the city suspected. It became public knowledge for sure when text messages were revealed which confirmed the affair. The seeds of Kwame's undoing began with a pair of police officers that sued him and the city for alleged violations of the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act. The suits were brought by Officer Harold Nelthrope, a former mayoral bodyguard, and Gary Brown, a former deputy chief who previously headed the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. Brown says he was fired for letting members of his unit investigate Nelthrope’s allegations and Nelthrope said that Kwame violated whistle blower laws by outing him and slandering him in retaliation.
Nelthrope approached Internal Affairs, known as the Professional Accountability Bureau, with allegations that some members of the mayor’s security team were getting paid for overtime hours they didn’t work, as well as other alleged transgressions. He also reported rumors of a wild party at the mayoral mansion involving strippers, one of whom was allegedly assaulted by the mayor’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick who supposedly walked in on a lap dance Kwame was enjoying. Deputy Chief Gary Brown pursued an investigation into Nelthrope's claims about the overtime as well as the party rumors, a path certain to bring him into direct conflict with the Mayor. In responding to the allegations, Kwame identified Nelthrope publicly, even though his identity by law should have been confidential. The mayor called his allegations false and publicly said he was a liar and that he hoped Nelthrope's family was listening.
Kwame's counterattack was hard core and revealing of his character. He told the then Police Chief, Jerry Oliver, ( a man universally hated by rank and file DPD) to fire Deputy Chief Brown and to say publicly that it was his decision and not the Mayor's. The hilarity of that lie was brought home to me one morning during my morning commute listening to AM760 as the scandal unfolded. On a morning show, the Mayor was interviewed and when asked who's decision was it to fire Deputy Chief Brown, he confidently stated it was Chief Oliver's call. Not more than an hour or so later, Chief Oliver, interviewed on a different show, same station, said the opposite, that the Mayor instructed him to fire Deputy Chief Brown. They clearly had not gotten their stories straight. Later that same day, Chief Oliver was interviewed again and it was clear that the Chief had been given a thorough review of the talking points memo by Kwame and now he was taking the hit and stating that it was his call to fire the Deputy Chief.
Kwame should lose his job for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, he's a married man doing his at the time also married chief of staff employee, opening the city to potential sexual harassment liabilities from her or other men and women in the administration. That is stupendous bad judgment. Everybody in town in the know knew it was going on, and the rest of the city pretty much assumed it.
Secondly, they fired people to cover the affair up and other foolishness he was doing. They made the police chief fire the deputy police chief that initiated an investigation into goings on with Kwame's security detail and those people sued. So they axed people to cover up their mess.
Lastly, the jacked up, stone broke City of Detroit forked over $9.4 million in a settlement plus legal fees to settle the case and keep the plaintiffs quiet about what they knew, mainly his affair with Beatty, perhaps others and likely the real story about the big stripper party that supposedly never happened.
Detroit is the poster child for urban decay. Michigan's economy has been in the toilet for several years now which is why I live in Indy and not Detroit. Here in Indy, they talk about not becoming "Detroit". Detroit, a city with so many things wrong that is so badly in need of leadership and good stewardship, and they pay out $9.4 million plus legal fees to hush the Mayor's sordid affair with his chief of staff, who was also married and was cool with his wife? The man should resign. If this brother worked for you or if you or I cost our company $9.4 million because of an affair with a subordinate, would we have a job? Hell no.
Don't feel sorry for him and don't cut him an inch of slack. Black people in Detroit and elsewhere are all too often willing to tolerate any mess to keep "black" leadership, even if that means no accountability. And with no accountability, the city will continue to be a dump because black people are not taking responsibility for ourselves. Already the hit parade of excuses is beginning. According to the Detroit Free Press, Sharon McPhail, one of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s top aides, said today that she believes Kilpatrick will not be charged with perjury despite contradictions between his testimony in court in a whistleblower case and text messages sent between him and his chief of staff.
McPhail, speaking with reporters as she entered the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, said she doesn’t believe enough evidence exists to charge Kilpatrick, although she also said she had not read the text messages.
“When the facts are known this is just going to be a blip on the screen of all the wonderful things he’s done for the city,” she said.
McPhail said calls for the mayor to repay the city for paying his legal bills in the whistleblower suit and the $9 million judgment in that case are misplaced. The case resulted because of Kilpatrick’s official decision, justifying a taxpayer-funded legal defense, she said.
The text messages exposure of his affair with chief of staff Christine Beatty was not why three former police officers sued the city, she said. The case originated because former Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown continued to investigate a never-proven wild party at the Manoogian Mansion.
And lets not forget about the rather sexist nature of our substandard community accountability on display here with the resignation of Christine Beatty. As my wife pointed out, her career is effectively destroyed. She is now out of a job, divorced, and branded as a whore and certified home wrecker. Who is going to be willing to employ her in any position of public trust or responsibility again? What will be the quality of her professional relationships with other women and men in the future? She is out of her job right now, but Kwame's staff is going on the defense of him and I'm sure the drumbeat from the community may already have begun that he should not have to resign, that if he is, he's being held to a different standard than white politicians. I don't see anyone coming to Beatty's defense. Why shouldn't the excuses being advanced on Kwame's behalf apply to her as well? How that plays is even more interesting considering the number of other high profile black women in the orbit of this mess. The prosecutor is a Black woman. Christine Beatty is a Black woman. Carlita Kilpatrick is a Black woman, as is Kwame's mother, Carolyn Kilpatricke head of the Congressional Black Caucus. Don't be surprised if Beatty is vilified by the same black community that wants to excuse Kwame.
This is the accountability issue front and center for black people and the kind of stuff that makes us look like total jackasses. We are on a hair trigger when a white person makes a comment rightly or wrongly and will DEMAND folk be fired and punished, but we will make every excuse for black people in positions of responsibility who are guilty of egregious behavior, from taking a crack hit on camera to banking $90,000 in bribe money in the freezer. The result: underperformance in nearly every aspect of the community when it comes to implementation of effective strategies that address the interests of black people. Black Americans must call check on the poor performance of black leadership and demonstrate more maturity as a community by refusing to any longer tolerate the exercise of extremely poor judgment in positions of responsibility in order to have "black" leadership. If we effectively demand accountability and responsible leadership irrespective of the race of the person in a leadership position, we would be far better off.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
White Voters and Black Voters joined together in South Carolina last night to smack down the color arousal campaign of Team Clinton in support of the institutional change message of Barack Obama.
In his Victory Speech Obama questioned “the assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-America candidate; blacks and Latinos cant come together. He answered: But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in.
Although Hillary tried to high jack the Obama change message, black, white, latino, and native American voters in South Carolina were not buying the Hillary and Bill Clinton color Arousal politics.
Of course the team Clinton campaign has downplayed the Obama win spinning with their sick color arousal politics of days gone by, discounting the Obama Victory.
Check out the infamous and alleged first wannabe black President Bill Clinton's racist spin: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in 84 and 88," the former President Bill Clinton told reporters outside a polling station in Columbia. "Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here." Translation? As blogger Mia T noted, The Clintons want people to believe Obama is simply this year's Jesse Jackson. This as Obama gains the endorsement of the Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Inquirer, and the daughter of former U.S. President John F. Kenndy, Caroline Kennedy.
I can't wait to read the spin of alleged liberal blogs at Mydd, My Left Wing and DailyKos and others who have all been generally supporting Billary Clinton, and refuse to link to black political bloggers.
But then again, I'd rather read Afrospear bloggers take on Barack Obama. The folks at Mydd, My Left Wing and DailyKos pretty much hate on black folks anyway. But hey, that is just my opinion. What's your?
Here is a link to Barack Obama’s South Carolina Primary Speech.
Cross posted at African American Political Pundit
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times...I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.
I'm taking a second and third look at Obama. Does Obama remember what Ronald Reagan did to black America? Candidly, I'm feeling anyone who will kiss up to Republicans and use the name of Ronald Reagan, may not be the change agent America needs.
What did you think about Obama saying "Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not." Maybe Barack Obama should have read the late Steve Gillard's post on Ronald Reagan, when he wrote, "Reagan depicted blacks as "welfare queens" leeching off the society, when in reality, white women are the largest recipients of AFDC. Reagan used race like a club to hammer minorities and pander to the racist right."
Steve Gillard also noted, "We need to ask what hath Reagan wrought. His economic policies crippled this country, preventing the kind of long term structural changes which are still needed. How long will American businesses have to foot the bill for health insurance? How long will unequal funding for schools exist? How long will the right of women to control their bodies be subject to restrictions? This is the real, domestic legacy of Ronald Reagan. His breaking of the PATCO strike began the road to anti-Union policies across business. Once, businesses wanted labor peace, after Reagan, strike breaking was permitted, hell encouraged.
Reagan began the road of crippling America's ability to care for Americans. Now we have this failed trickle down economic policy pushed by yet another President. One that leaves Americans in record debt and record bankruptcies. Instead of tax rates which fairly distribute the burden of funding America, the rich have been encouraged to avoid their fair share. Ronald Reagan began the bankrupting of America and the creation of a super wealthy CEO class, one where their great grandchildren will never have to work, an aristocracy of trustifarians. Under Reagan hypocracy and selfishness became the rule of the road. Not just in public life, where his staff routinely lied, eventually leading to Iran-Contra.
But if Reagan started to ruin America, his foreign policy left the dead around like fallen leaves. His foreign policy was a disater by any standard. Dead nuns in El Salvador, murdered school teachers in Nicaragua, the tortured in Argentina, the seizure of Grenade, the failed intervention in Lebanon, the aerial assasination attempt on Khaddafi, which led to the bombing of Pam Am flight 103. Reagan's policies left a trail of failure and disaster at every turn.
How to explain funding the deeply corrupt Contras? Former Somocista generals who funded their war by the drug trade? Who murdered the innoncent. Or the war in Guatemala and the genocide of the indian population. Or the war in El Salvador, where American nuns, among many others, were raped and murdered. A government so callous that it murdered an archbishop in his church. Reagan's foreign policy left a trail of death and fear wherever it touched." More HERE
Maybe Barack Obama should read more about Ronald Reagan, and stop kissing up to Ronald Reagan supporters. They probably won't be voting for Obama anyway. But that is just my opinion, what's yours?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
It is important that all Americans who are eligible to vote do so this year. Many of the issues on the national agenda have a disproportionate effect on the Black community. Yet, past voter turnout by eligible Blacks continues to lag behind.
With those factors in mind, the Afroshpere Action Coalition has initiated a 'Proud Black Voter' movement to encourage people of African descent to vote in 2008. The 'Proud Black Voter' blog hopes to:
- inform the public about the importance of the need to vote
- facilitate people in getting registered
- encourage greater voter registration and election participation within the Black community
LaTonya Johnson (aka Mrs. Grapevine) started the discussions leading to creation of this Proud Black Voter blog. She wrote, "I am an avid voter…hopefully we can get Black people moving so that we can vote in the Presidential Election in record numbers."
Wayne Hicks (aka Villager) is participating in the Proud Black Voter blog because he sees it as "...a tangible way to use the growing influence of Black bloggers to influence the actions of our readers for the greater good. It is a way to use cyberspace to uplift people of African descent by pointing out ways for them to get registered and vote no mater where they live ... or who they want to support."
The Afrosphere Action Coalition asks all blogs and websites operated by people of African descent to participate by prominently displaying one of the six Proud Black Voter buttons on their blog or website. The HTML widget reads 'Proud Black Voter...Join Me Now, Register to Vote' and can be placed on anyone's blog or webpage with a link back to the Proud Black Voter blog to obtain information on voter registration, voter rights, and other voting issues.
This is a nonpartisan effort to increase participation in the political process. If you have questions or wish to discuss further you can reach out to any member of the Afrosphere Action Coalition, including LaTonya Johnson (email@example.com), Yobachi Boswell (615.478-5204) or Wayne Hicks (513.362-2703).
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Finally Black folks and some whites are peeling the onion back, and finding out that the Clintons' are human, and can make the same bigoted comments as other Americans with Color Arousal Syndrome. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton have pulled out their exclusive " Get Back Obama - Race Card" In fact, even a key S.C. endorsement the highest-ranking African American in Congress, seems to be just a bit pissed off with the Clintons about their civil rights history and the "fairy tale" comments.
It is true, Hillary Clintons' arrogance is shining through her tears
Photo Source Politico.com
I guess Bill Clinton thinks he can explain his Obama "Fairy Tale" comments away by calling up Al Sharpton. Now Clinton's are the talk of the town, from NY to South Carolina.
Congressman Clyburn who has commented on the statements made by the Clinton's. Cylburn's statement signals clear displeasure with Clinton comments. Personally I'm glad to see that black folks are holding Hillary accountable for her comments about Martin Luther and her efforts of castrating a dream, particularly when Bill Clinton wants to continue to defend his "fairy tale" remark about Obama. I guess Bill Clinton would rather argue his point and act like he, his wife and surrogates have not been placing the "Race Card" and the "Class Card" into play in the 2008 Presidential election. but I guess they don't care, now Hillary is saying: Obama Was "Part Time" State Senator. The Clinton's are making it ugly folks. Let’s see? Racism, or Sexism? Which will win? Watch Out, black Republicans are loving this.
I guess Hillary and Bill are loosing their hold on black voters.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
African American Political Pundit says: I had planned to write an analysis of yesterday's primary and the Clinton family win in New Hampshire, but I decided not to do one because fellow Afrospear blogger, Villager, at Electronic Village has completed a great analysis that is in keeping with what I was going to post. His post, Hillary Clinton Wins in New Hampshire ... What Next for Barack Obama? is a must read.
Don't forget to read Jack and Jill Politics' Reaction to NH Primary. Hey, and While your at it Read Black Agenda Reports' article on Barack, Hillary and the Sinister Nothingness of “Change”
Citizen Journalist, Faye Anderson of Anderson@Large is also covering the election. She notes, while black men got the right to vote before black women (at least on paper), sisters will determine whether Clinton or Obama leaves the Palmetto State with a pep in their step as they march on to Super Duper Tuesday. While in the Field, The Field Negro notes how the Clinton's have called out their big guns-- such as Steinem --to make the case for gender over race, read more in his post a funny thing happened on the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. I guess as the blog Skeptical Brotha points out, negroes have come back to earth.
Lets hope issues of trusting Obama don't become the issue in South Carolina, but wait a minute, Francis L. Holland new post, I Think I Know Why Hillary Won New Hampshire makes some good points too. Maybe its just time to compare notes from a Barack volunteer in New Hampshire. It's also time to see if Barack got game.
More on the Hillary win later on African American Political Pundit
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Al Sharpton's National Action Network Makes Demands To City Of Trotwood
"We want a real response, in terms of a written this-is-what-we're-going-to-do and how we are going to implement it plan," said Jones. "The recent incident involving the Tasering of a pregnant woman and the tasering of two 13-year-old girls on a school bus illustrates the need for immediate and desperate action."According to police reports, the girls were Tased on a Trotwood school bus in May when they allegedly refused to comply with police orders to stop fighting. In November, a pregnant woman was Tased when police said the woman also refused to follow police orders. The officer said he did not know the woman was pregnant at the time.J
ones said the Cleveland Office of the NAN has taken "the extraordinary step of purchasing stock in General Motors as means to illustrate the seriousness of the issue.
"Trotwood Public Safety Director Michael Etter told NewsCenter 7 that they have had very few complaints from citizens about the department and said that no one raised issue with the school bus case until November's tasing incident. More HERE
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Hillary and Bill Clinton have used black voters.
Yes you heard me! Hillary and Bill Clinton have used Black Voters Long Enough!
I'm no Fox News Fan or a huge fan of Juan Williams for that matter, but Juan Williams gets it right many times, and is right when he said, Blacks Support Clinton Because Of “Patronage Politics.”
Unfortunately, Ellen at News Hounds just does not get it. As she reported on the blog News Hounds, During special coverage of the Iowa caucuses on FOX News last night (1/3/08), African American Juan Williams, a FOX News contributor, spoke stirringly about what a historic night it had been for America that a predominantly white state had selected a black man as its leading candidate for a presidential nomination.
Ellen goes on to report that a few moments later, "he (Juan Williams) smeared his own race with the dubious claim that the reason blacks love the Clintons is because of “patronage politics” that delivered money and other favors for their community."Ellen, I say, "wake up and smell the bacon, the Clintons have been doing exactly that for years. mainly for alleged "black leaders" for many special pork barrel projects that never impacted in a positive way in African American communities."
Will blacks switch their allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama , now that he has won Iowa? I'm in agreement with Juan Williams when he responded, “It’s gotta introduce the idea that people saying, ‘Wait a minute. I can be a part of history, something very special going on here' and it introduces also identity politics to a new level, that you just take pride in the accomplishments of this incredible young man. But on the other hand, the reason that the numbers were reflective of a Clinton win so far among African Americans, is because Bill Clinton had practiced what I would call ‘patronage politics’ for so long. People had gotten money, they’d gotten paid, they knew exactly that they could rely on Clinton as a pipeline for support in the black community, in the black churches, all the way down to the community centers. They knew how that worked. They don’t know Barack Obama. They don’t know that they can trust him to deliver. They don’t know if he’s got to make a show of favoring whites or suburbanites in order to prove his bona fides with that part of the electorate."
Ellen writes that Williams’ comments were nasty and cynical assessment of Clinton’s popularity with blacks. WTF!
Check this out, she even goes into Williams did not take into account many other factors, such as his (Bill Clinton's) personal knack for relating to African Americans. Double WTF! And get this, she says that he relates so much to black people that Toni Morrison was moved to call him the “first black president.”
AAPP: Wholly Sh**! Not the First Black President Bull sh** again.
Here is the real facts, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have been willing to throw black poor under the train with a Welfare Reform program that did not work, NAFTA that took millions of jobs from blacks and placed into the hands of China, Japan, Vietnam and other countries, while throwing Sistah Souljah under the bus as part of the process.So, Ms. Ellen, your post was well intended, but your facts were wrong. The fact of the matter is Bill and Hillary Clinton may really like black people, (I have my doubts) yet, they more importantly want to get elected and they know the importance of the black vote in order to get elected, and they are willing to use a new Southern Strategy to make it happen. Now the big question is... Will Blacks switch their allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, now that he has won in Iowa? Or Could Black Voters Trip Up Obama?
Thursday, January 3, 2008
SEATTLE - The King County Sheriff's Office is investigating a scuffle that erupted when Seattle police tried to make an arrest on New Year's Eve.
Police officers ended up using a Taser on the man who, at that time, was on his hands and knees.
Watch the raw video of the arrest)
Police say Richardson, 23, had a simple choice -- comply or get arrested, and he chose the latter. But Richardson's aunt claims the police took it one step too far when they didn't have to, with her nephew already on the ground.
The scuffle broke out in the packed streets near the Space Needle when a computer glitch suddenly stopped the planned fireworks, sending the excited crowds on the ground over the edge.
The footage shows Richardson being pepper-sprayed, punched then Tased from behind while he was down on his knees.
"He was beat in the back of the head with a baton, he was kicked, he was punched in the face (and) for what?" said Michelle King, his aunt.
King, who works for Seattle's Municipal Court, says she knows the justice system and is sure the officers went too far.
"To me, the police department is nothing but a licensed gang and I stand by my son. And no matter what happens after today, I'm going to stand by my son and my nephew until the end," she said.
When KOMO 4 News showed the tape to Seattle police, they shared a different take of the incident. more HERE
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Locked Outside the Gates - Tasers, Pepper Spray and Arrests in the Struggle for Affordable Housing in New Orleans
by Bill Quigley
Caste out, drowned out, and all but chased out of New Orleans more than two years ago, the city's poor and their allies found themselves tasered, beaten, arrested and locked out of a city council meeting on affordable housing. In a spectacle of brutality orchestrated by developers, their servants on the council, and Bush's implacably hostile federal housing authorities, the powers-that-be of the shrunken, whitening metropolis dispensed with even the formalities of democracy and civil discourse in their determination to get rid of public housing once and for all. Brute force and raw intimidation ruled. "Residents were warned by phone that if they publicly opposed the demolitions they would lose all housing assistance." Most of what remains of established Black electoral structures in New Orleans shamelessly betrayed their poor fellow citizens, whom they seem to detest as much as do the white rich. More HERE