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Commentary

Racist Incidents Increase in the Wake of Obama's Election

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George E. Curry
The rise in racist incidents – from university campuses to police stations – is a sobering reminder that despite the election of Barack Obama, there are still a lot of sick people out there stuck in the Stone Age.

Editor & Publisher magazine, the Associated Press, and local newspapers recently catalogued
some of the most egregious incidents.

In addition to the garden variety types of hate crimes, such as painting racist graffiti on
cars and houses, there was a particularly disturbing incident that stood out from the rest.
Parents in Rexburg, Idaho contacted police after 2nd and 3rd graders on a school bus were
heard chanting, “Assassinate Obama.” I doubt that any of them could spell the word assassinate, yet they were recycling hate learned from their parents.

Some might have learned how to hate in school if what happened in Allison Park, Pa. is
an indication. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a teacher’s aide told a biracial 11th
grader that Obama will be shot, the U.S. flag will be changed to the KFC flag and that the
national anthem will be changed to “Movin’ On Up,” the theme song from The Jeffersons sitcom.
Students living in Morrison Hall on the campus of Baylor University in Texas walked outside and found a noose hanging from a tree. On the campus of North Carolina State University, four students spray painted racist messages that included “Let’s shoot the (n-word) and “Hang
Obama by a noose.”

At the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, a poster of Obama was defaced and carried the
message, “He’ll be shot” followed by the nword. While there were a lot of hate crimes instigated
by young people, adults proved that the youth have no monopoly on ignorance.

According to the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, employees at Hampel’s Key and
Lockshop flew the U.S. flag upside down – an international signal for distress – the day after
Obama was elected president. In an interview with the newspaper, one employee, Rod
Nyland, said the flag was being flown upside down because, “…We feel our country is in distress because the n----- got in.”

The Associated Press reported that in a Maine convenience store, a reporter saw a sign
inviting customers to participate in a pool guessing what day Obama will be assassinated.
People were charged $1 for each entry into “The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool.” The pot
was supposed to go to the person picking the closest date to the attack. “Let’s hope we have
a winner,” the sign proclaimed.

Interracial couples and cars with Obama bumper stickers were targets.

In Pennsylvania’s Apolacon Township, an interracial couple discovered what was left of a
burned cross in their front yard the day after Obama’s election. The woman, who is White,
lived in the house with her husband, an African-American.

According to the Los Angeles Times,
''Vandals spray-painted swastikas and racial
slurs on a house and several cars in Torrance
that displayed campaign signs or bumper stickers
for President-elect Barack Obama, authorities
said Tuesday. The incidents occurred
Saturday night in the Hollywood Riviera section
of the city, said Sgt. Bernard Anderson.

Four separate incidents were reported the next
day, he said. No arrests have been made.
''At one house, the phrase 'Go Back to
Africa' was spray-painted across the wall, in
addition to a racial epithet on the garage door,
Anderson said. Several parked vehicles on the
streets were spray-painted with racial slurs, he
said.''

As usual when race comes to the forefront
on the national scene, White supremacy groups
see a surge in the membership. According to
AP, one White supremacy Web site attracted
2,000 new members the day after the election.
One person posted a note to the site that said, “I
want the SOB laid out in a box to see how
‘messiahs’ come to rest. God had has abandoned
us, this country is doomed.”

The real danger is when hate talk is converted
to hateful acts. According to Newsday, two
18-year-olds were among a group of New York
Whites who yelled “Obama” as they assaulted
a Black teenager with a baseball bat on Staten
Island the night Obama was elected president.
Also in the early hours following Obama’s
election, a Black church is Springfield, Mass,
was destroyed by arson. The pastor of the
church said the timing of the blaze causes him
to believe it was a hate crime.
Some police may not be interested in prosecuting
hate crimes for one obvious reason –
they share those same feelings.

For example, Milwaukee officials found a
poster of Obama with a bullet going through his
head. They discovered the poster on a table in
the police station.

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of
Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service,
is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media
coach. He can be reached through his Web site,
www.georgecurry.com.

"Class" And "Classy"

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Joseph A. Baily, II MD
In the beginning the paradise nature of
Africa, with its abundance of food, allowed
Primitive (the first) Africans to engage in
foresight and forethought—an essential
ingredient for the cultivation of any high
level civilization (Societal and
Technological development) and culture
(Intellectual, Feeling, and Spiritual development).
Geography continued to play a major
role in Africans being able to pursue cherished
things not biologically necessary for
survival. Also of particular importance was
the introduction of agriculture (before
?12,000 BC) in the fertile deltas of the Nile
River, such as those of Kemit (Egypt).

Whereas primitive agriculture exhausts the
soil and compels frequent migrations, this
was not the case of the Nile River deltas
because of its yearly over-flow. Instead, the
replenishing of the agricultural land with
rich soil deposited by the flood ensured a
surplus of food produced by one man’s labor
that was far above one man’s needs. This
alone was sufficient to make possible the
creation of a small leisure class (from which
the word “Scholar” derives) who thought
deeply about order in the seen and the
unseen. Two features of such thoughts were
to view Class as a collection of objects to
which a concept applies (Type I); and to
view Class as a collection of objects that
have a part in common (Type II).

Manipulating and maneuvering these concepts
enabled them to create or to invent
things like writing, architecture, mathematics,
astronomy, and other arts essential to all
subsequent civilizations and cultures.

From “culture” being a thing of the mind,
the highest thoughts of things—whether
related to knowledge, inferences pertaining
to the Sublime, Pure Feelings, and/or
Emotions—were of a top Type II Class
nature. Examples of Type II thinking are: to
be aware in space and time of the minuteness
of oneself and of ones immediate environment
in relation to the Cosmos; to see
ones own country not only as home but as
one among the countries of the world—all
with an equal right to live and think and feel
in a free manner that benefits humanity; and
to see ones own age in relation to the past
and the future. Products from seeing such
things in a Wholistic manner (that all God’s
creatures and creations are related no matter
how remote in time or space) were deemed
by Ancient Africans to have “Class.” In
African Tradition the marquees of “Class”
come from the Wholistic thinking that produces
harmony and unity--both universally
acknowledged to be superior to any other
works of the same type and to be of enduring
worth, value, and appeal that does not
diminish over time.

Among Europeans, balance and proportion
are emphasized for the highest appeal.

Fashion designs that show “great style or
quality” are deemed Type I “Classy.” A traditional
example is shown in Classic Dress-
-a simple garment, of solid color, unadorned,
of moderate length, and that remains fashionable
regardless of changes in fads. It may
be accessorized by accents of jewelry.

Shared features of Class throughout the
world include serenity; a detached bearing; a
dignity that conveys the sense of being godlike;
and the possession of perfection and
beauty that transcends time. Class Beauty
emerges from and also generates elegant
simplicity; fine design; and a flowing harmony
that creates a form and pleasurable
atmosphere not subject to deteriorating over
time. Top Class is inspirational and is
wrapped with the sense of universality about
it. A Classy Person sees a situation from the
other’s point of view and then solves a common
problem from a mutually beneficial
point of view. Or, when that is not realistic,
then makes excuses for the guilty. To do this
effectively involves stepping back into time
and bringing the best of it forward to deal
with the present and to predict the future. A
Class Act is to show Appreciation, Thanks &
Gratefulness. Automatically demonstrating
compassion is a masterpiece of classy
human behavior.

The 2008 Presidential Campaign Was Reminiscent Of 'Roots'

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Richard O. Jones
Not since the TV miniseries Roots
(1977) and Roots: The Next Generation
(1979) based on Alex Haley's novel about
several generations of an American Black
family from slavery to freedom have
Americans been so captivated by television
until Roots: The Presidential Campaign
(2008). The star of the modern day miniseries
was Barack Obama who through his
African roots knew of his ancestor Kunta
Kinte that was abducted into American
slavery in 1767 and constantly plotted to
run away. Hillary Clinton is the modern day
version of Miss Anne who was the White
woman that taught her slave-girl Kizzy
(Kunta Kinte’s daughter) to read. John
McCain is a descendant of John Reynolds
who was the first master of Kunte Kinte.
“The 2008 Presidential Campaign,” was a
seismic ending to the saga of Roots where
ironically, Obama runs vicariously for
Kinte, although miraculously Obamas’ run
was for the office of President of the United
States, 241 years later.

In Roots: The Presidential Campaign,
Senator Obama campaigns to become the
first Black presidential nominee as his competitor
Senator Hillary Clinton dupes many
women to believe that a win for her would
be a glass ceiling breaking victory for all
women. Clinton conspicuously never mentioned
that twenty-nine women have served
as the governor of a U.S. state, including
two in an acting capacity. The first female
governor was Nellie Taylor Ross of
Wyoming who was elected in 1924, during
an era when Blacks couldn’t even vote. As
Clinton made women feel alienated from
the political process nine women were
active governors of U.S. states, including
Sarah Palin of Alaska. Black men are still
politically second to women in major elective
political posts with only two elected
Black governors in American History, L.
Douglas Wilder (Virginia, 1994 - 95) and
Deval Patrick (Massachusetts, 2006 - present).

Clinton and her feminist supporters
also cleverly avoided the fact that the first
female Secretary of State, Madeleine K.
Albright who served prior to Colin
Powell’s’ appointment debunked the glass
ceiling myth as did the historical victory of
Nancy Pelosi by becoming the first female
Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives, which is a position that no
Black has held.

The historical aspect of the campaign
was bigger than social issues, Black pride,
and even than Obama himself. This was the
final chapter of Roots. Senator Obama wins
the nomination and later defeats McCain in
the presidential election by a landslide to
become the first Black president in
America. Obama’s victory serves as undisputable
evidence to all reasonable
Americans that Martin Luther King’s
dream had been fulfilled. America became
an unparalleled global moral leader and
example of “Yes You Can!” Ironically,
Kinte, the slave, ran to escape American
government while Obama, the senator, ran
to administrate America’s government.
Roots: The Presidential Campaign, a great
American story.

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Recently one of our local pastors spoke about our economic turmoil. He said, “our
faith in God is being pressed hard in this season of economic turmoil. No matter how hard
times get, the fact remains that someone else is struggling worse than you. The book of
Daniel depicts such an event that transcends beyond human imagination, and just like so
many of us today, Daniel’s faith was tested under fire.”


HELLO MORENO VALLEY
Where Dreams Soar

Moreno Valley today was the homegoing celebration services for our longtime friend
and resident of the city Mr. Louis Eason Jr. Louis thanks for being a good neighbor and
friend. Louis and his late wife “Rubbie” worked a food bank from their home for many years. They also worked the polls until their health would no longer permit. I know they are still giving back. They always had room for one more. We will miss Louis. If you can, help someone have a great Thanksgiving in Louis’ honor.

Let us remember one another and let us always pray for one another. As I laid in the ambulance on 11/16/08, I thought Lord come on you said 100 or so. But vertigo will make you think you are leaving. Today I feel a little better after leaving the hospital with meds in my body. Keep me in your prayers. my race is not over, I must run a little longer. I have some more hills to climb and races to run.

Then I will know as MAYA ANGELOU wrote: I Know Why The Cage Bird Sing, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, And Still I Rise. I pray that you have the most blessed thanksgiving ever, and keep you eyes on the prize.

Top Obama Aide Reassures Black America

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By George E. Curry

Many African-Americans are asking: Now that Barack Obama has won the White House, will he be so eager to govern from the center that he will forget about his obligations to Blacks?

Valerie Jarrett, a long-time friend and one of his closest advisers, gave an emphatic reply to
that question on Sunday – No.

In a private meeting with the Trotter Group, an organization of African-American columnists,
Jarrett fielded numerous questions about Obama’s commitment to Blacks. And, in each
instance, she left no doubt that the presidentelect, who has a straight-A Senate rating from
the NAACP, will remain true to his past.

Jarrett, one of three chairs of Obama’s transition team, was asked why so few African-Americans are being mentioned in speculation about future cabinet posts. She replied, “There isn’t a single name on that list that you’ve heard from President-elect Obama. There’s not a single name on that list that you’ve heard from me, or from John Podesta or from Peter Rouse,” she said, referring to the three co-chairs of Obama’s transition team.

“Or, now from Rahm Emanuel. So the five people who actually do know the names on the list, you haven’t spoken to them. So what I think you see in the newspaper is what everybody
speculates. I haven’t seen the list but my guess is they’re speculating on the people who
are most commonly thought of.”

Some of that speculation has centered on Jarrett, a Chicago real estate executive. Some have suggested that she might become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or head the Commerce Department. But there are news reports out of Chicago that she is the front-runner to replace Obama in the U.S. Senate. In her meeting with journalists, Jarrett said she would be willing to serve in any capacity that Obama sees fit.

On the question of Obama’s commitment to diversity, Jarrett was unequivocal.

“President-elect Obama, as should be no surprise to anyone in this room, would like his cabinet to be diverse – both in terms of race, in terms of perspectives, in terms of party, in terms of geography,” she said. “So he is looking to have a cross-section of America.

Spending the amount of time with him as I do, I can assure you this is something front and
center of his mind. Not because it’s the politically expedient thing to do, but because he
would make better decisions by having diversity.

He really believes in that.” Asked the most surprising thing about Obama, she replied: “I’m not sure people understand how pragmatic he is. …He really wants to get things done.”

Jarrett recalled staff meetings where the tone was set by Obama.

“In that room, there’s a certain element of pragmatism: Let’s make sure what we are trying
to accomplish is doable and is actually going to change the lives of the American people.
Let’s not just be idealists, but let’s be realists. I think that’s the part of him that will make
him an extraordinary president.”

In the don’t get mad, get even world of politics, Obama is an anomaly, according to
Jarrett.

“I can remember after the primaries, some people had been very strong Clinton supporters
– including some members of my own family – said to me, “How’s Senator Obama going to
respond to me? I wasn’t with him.’ I said, ‘You all don’t get this. He is as inclusive as he could
be. He does not hold grudges.’”

Jarrett is close to both Barack and Michelle Obama. In fact, she met the president-elect
through Michelle, when the couple was engaged. She had hired Michelle for a job in
City Hall. The three went out to dinner and a strong bond developed between Jarrett and the
couple. Obama said he speaks with Jarrett every day about a variety of issues.

According to Jarrett, Michelle is focusing her attention on Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, preparing them for the upcoming move to Washington, D.C. and finding the right schools for them.

Michelle revels in her role as mom-in-chief and has no interest in serving as her husband’s co-president.

That does not mean that, like every first lady, she will not have her pet projects.

The First Lady-in-Waiting has spent a lot of time with military spouses who try to balance a
career with motherhood while their husbands serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has also
been part of the volunteer movement and has a deep interest in education.

But the question uppermost on my mind when we met with Jarrett, the daughter-in-law
of the late Vernon Jarrett, an icon in journalism, was whether Obama can keep his promises in
view of the Wall Street debacle, fighting two wars simultaneously, high joblessness,
unprecedented deficits and record home foreclosures.

Jarrett’s reply was as self-assured as Obama’s demeanor: “We can’t not do this.”

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com.

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