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Commentary

2008 Election: Historic, Whether Obama Wins or Loses

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By Ron Walters


We may be about to witness what political scientists call a "critical election" which promotes a realignment of American politics - in this case, from Republican to Democrat.  

But more important than that, it may signal a realignment from the conservative politics that has gripped this country for the past 30 years to a more liberal version going forward.  For the racially disadvantaged and economically needy, who need government most, it may signal a return to policies that emphasize investment in human development since the evidence is that the lack of such investment has been the major factor in the fading middle class. 

This signals that if there is a difference in the previous administration and what is coming, it will be measured by how the new leaders see the role of government.  I'm sure from what he has said, that Barack Obama wants to emphasize personal responsibility, but I am just as sure that he understands the decisive role of government in making sure the opportunities exist that enable people to exercise it.  

McCain, however, has followed an ideology which suggests that government does not have much of a role in this, that people should try to exercise their personal responsibility and if they don't succeed - tough.  

While that ideology may have been a weapon begun by Ronald Reagan, blunt the force of the Civil Rights movement and to return to the unchallenged supremacy of whites to the racial hierarchy, the record shows that it has also damaged whites, especially, white middle class enormously.  So, the issue becomes what kind of change voters really want and which of the candidates they believe can produce it. 

If Barack Obama wins, it will undoubtedly be an historic event because of his race and because it may create in some, the idea that America has moved beyond racial evaluations in its determination of what things are important. But race has not always been the determining factor, for if it had, Clarence Thomas would not be sitting on the highest court in the land. 

Those who sponsored him did so not only because he was black in succeeding Justice Thurgood Marshall, but more importantly because he believed in the same things and they could trust him to deliver policy based on that belief.

Obama's win would signal a generational change, departing from the influence of the "baby boomer" generation moving into post modern America, an America more at ease with race, more comfortable with global culture and the electronic and visual technologies that unites it. Will he be post-racial in his leadership of public policy? 

I don't think so, because of his pledges to carry the legacy of the Civil Rights movement into the 21st century, his understanding of racial problems and the fact that presidents also have to respond to problems in the political culture that they didn't create. 

So, he will have to respond to the on-going saga of racism which has taken over 400 years to invest in the culture. The caveat one sees, is that his decision will also be based on those around him.

He is in a position to be the leader of an era changing movement, the true characteristics of which are not yet clear, but the seeds of which he has proposed in this campaign, such as more emphasis on environmentalism, concern with domestic productivity and security, promotion of diversity, and collaborative decision making here and abroad.

However, if Barack Obama loses, it will take us in a familiar direction, defined by a primary concern with narrow racial privilege and competition and radical nationalism.  The difference between the political parties on issues has favored the Democrats during this election season by an average of as many as 10-15 points on what Americans regard as "most important"  issues - war in Iraq, economy, health care, education, terrorism, and etc. in various surveys.  

The difference between candidates Obama and McCain, however, has rarely been in this range, more like 3-7 points with Obama leading most of the time. 

Analysts have suggested that given this relative small difference, he will need a greater lead going into the November election if he is to win, because the racial vote will more than likely reduce his numbers. 

Thus, there has arisen a debate over whether the so-called "Bradley factor" is alive and well, that is, whether white Americans say they will support a black candidate in polls, but deny him or her support when they cast their vote. 

Some believe that because the US Senate race of Harold Ford, Jr. turned out close to the poll predictions in 2006 that the Bradley factor no longer exists.  We will see.

Black Americans most assuredly will be disheartened if Barack Obama loses, given the heights that he has ascended thus far in winning the Democratic nomination for president. But their expectations of an historic outcome have been increased as he recovered his lead that McCain had achieved after the Republican Convention with the gloss being removed from his VP pick, Sara Palin, and the "perfect storm" of the economic crisis that is pushing Obama at this very moment into a lead beyond anything he has experienced over McCain.  

For many, the question has become, "how can he lose?"

Others have formulated various versions of the "October surprise" that appeared from time-to-time in elections.  Underneath it all, there is the tortuous feeling of many African-Americans that America is not quite "America to me" yet, that the use of race will triumph and spoil the dream.


Dr. Ron Walters is the Distinguished Leadership Scholar, director of the African-American Leadership Center and Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland College Park. His latest book is: The Price of Racial Reconciliation (University of Michigan Press).

The Word “Class”

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Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
In the Western world, the word "Class" derives from Latin, Classicus ("group"). Yet, its original ancient concept was that of a ‘Characteristic' (whatever identifies individuality). Later, its purpose was as an ‘Umbrella' (or Canopy) word for a host of dissimilar ‘class-type' things-like the work products of elevated civilizations and cultures--products deemed to be Classic, Classics, or Classical. These offspring terms appeared suddenly, as if exploded out of those fireworks that burst into showers of stars. Although out of that burst flowed practical processes (e.g. Classifications), there was no specific evolving chronological "Class" history. So let us start the story with Servius Tullius, a 6th century BC king of Rome who subdivided the ancient Romans into six classes. The Classicus was any citizen belonging to the highest rank of taxpayers (and hence to the rich). They and others on the highest rung of the social ladder declared themselves to have "Class" in the abstract sense of a standard of value-a sense conveying the special commonality of the pursuit of money, possessions, recognition (if not fame), privilege, and power. Thus, to have "Class" was to possess high level purposes, attributes, and characteristics. But also they were seen as arrogant and having "a slight touch of snobbery." The earliest and most widespread use of the word "Class" probably began in the sense of a "group of pupils" and then to a division of pupils in a school-implying that a number of boys learned the same lesson in the same class. The terms ‘school class' and ‘classes' naturally followed.

Nevertheless, when Roman citizens were drafted into service, given a rank, and placed in some useful order, the military personnel were said to have "Class" compare to the populace-i.e. the Infra Classem (un-classed who, in fact, did represent a ‘Class'). The Infra Classem was a homogeneous totality of persons having one or more common characteristics-things like nativity or possibly age, occupation, and income commonalities. In this social status sense, the word Class was viewed as a neutral word-not itself denoting levels of quality or of rank. This means "Class" was used as a way of describing the position of different groups in society so that people would "know their place" on the totem pole of status. Membership in each class and the ranking of that class was based on the amount of land, and later, the money they held. This provided the modern application to social classes.

Meanwhile, initially "Intellect Class" depicted things in the world that formed natural groups-like the Tree Class of Plants. Such a group was a collection of any kind that is typically specified by giving a condition for belonging to those of like-kind. The similar things grouped together are called a Class. Each Class has distinct or defining features--as seen in cats, horses, and houses.  Since to arrange them in order means to classify, this process led to the Science of Classification which, in the Western world, is called Taxonomy (the classification of living things). Because a Class is those defining dimensions common to the separate things within it, to learn what those distinct or defining features are is the process of forming a Concept. Put another way, a Class is the totality of objects, individuals, events, or abstractions distinquished from others by some selected mark or marks. A Complementary Class (complement) is the collection of all things which do not belong to the original class. The important point here is to note the arrogance contained in ideas of ‘Class' as used by the ancient Romans. Just because a person or a group declare themselves to be the best does not make it so. Nor does it mean something is wrong with you simply because you are not included in their group. The basic questions to always ask: "What is your proof for superiority and how is that determination made-and by whom?"




 

 website: www.jablifeskills.com

Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.

Single Moms Today Are Faced With Increasing Obstacles To Set Good Examples

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Richard O. Jones
It is a myth that single moms don't raise productive children. Millions of decent, hardworking, clean-living, godly, educated adults around the world can testify that they were raised by a single mother. The absence of a father in the home is not a precursor to under education or imprisonment, Senator Barack Obama (likely to be the first Black president of the United States) and Tom Bradley the first and only Black mayor of Los Angles (1973 - 1993) are two good examples. Both were raised without their father in the home. The ideal two-parent home has become the exception rather than the norm in many communities throughout America.  However, according to statistics, Black single mothers head 70% of the households, which is greater than any other race. This percentage has steadily increased with every U.S. Census for the past several decades.

Decades ago, although Black single-mother headed households were an increasing lifestyle their children were not dropping out of school or occupying prison space at the high numbers of today. Consequently, I believe, Black women are being misled by popular culture as the Pied Piper of Hamlet led the children away in the fairytale. Popular culture is very influential and can't be overlooked. Even white moms are affected by pop culture from sexually placed tattoos to public displays of lesbianism, such as celebrity Brittany Spears, who lost custody of your children because of her lewd conduct. Nobody told these impressible females that mature men are not seriously interested in women with sexually suggestive tattoos and/or body piecings, (which most young women regret as they mature) and/or lewd conduct beyond a diversion responsibility and definitely not as their child's role model for womanhood.

Young women today are bombarded with negative images that affect their choices and lower their standards; however, Black women seem to take a bigger bite of the apple. For example: In their song Gangsta love, Alicia Keys and Eve claim they ain't giving up until they get some gangsta love. Beyonce, Michelle and Kelly of the hit group, Destiny's Child, released a song in November of 2004, entitled: Soldier. In their song, they declare they want a soldier, "a rude boy with some street credibility." Better known as a thug, baller, shot caller or pimp. They say, "If he ain't hood, they're not interested."

Women get on their knees and pray for a good, responsible, mature man but their actions speak otherwise. Is it impossible to want a man that practices ‘thug life' and a ‘good husband' or ‘good father' to your/his child at the same time... it's an oxymoron.  I constantly see young women on the arms of young men playing thug for attention and arrogantly sorting the image; yet, these women imagine that these guys are the answer to their prayers. In later years, the single mothers are complaining the father(s) is a deadbeat, and their child is out-of-hand. The challenge for single women to beat the odds and raise productive children is greater than ever.


Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Bishop Keith Butler spoke on "Faith works by Love." For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; Now, the scripture says that oppression and terror will be far from us, and that they won't even come near us. But how is that possible? Well, it's possible when we do not allow ourselves to function in fear. Fear is what allows terror and oppression to come to you. And overcoming fear is what drives them far from you.


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Juanita Barnes
HELLO MORENO VALLEY

Where Dreams Soar


Moreno Valley you know that October 20, 2008 is the deadline to register to vote. I pray that you have register to vote. It is very important that you vote for who ever you choose. What an awesome country to live in to be able to vote as you choose. So many people died that you may have that right. As citizens we must help bring about a change in this world for the better, remember to read everything and choose what must be changed for these United States.


Moreno Valley it is that time again "The National of Negro Women" Bethune Recognition Luncheon. November 1, 2008 at the Hap Arnold Club March Air Reserve Base. Social hour 11:30 a.m. Lunch served at 12:15 p.m. "deadline for donations is October 22, 2008. To enter the base you must have a driver's license, insurance and registration. For donations and tickets contact Mattie (951) 242 - 6952 or Clara (951) 924-1387. Adults $30.00  Children $18.00. Moreno Valley please support this powerful group.


Inland Empire Cathedral Of Praise International Ministries and The Harvest Community Development Center  is inviting all residents of the Inland Empire to participate in a Health & Wellness Fair on Saturday October 18, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information contact Elder Alma Derritt  (909) 874 - 8676.


If you have faith the size of a mustard seed Inland Empire meet the Intercessory at the COPIM  Worship Center every third Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for information (909) 874-8676.


Bishop Craig W. Johnson Southern California State Bishop is Embracing The Next Dimension October 10, 2008  for  the Full Gospel Church Fellowship Southern California State Rally. The kenote speaker from Baltimore, Maryland will be Pastor Jamal Bryant.  You must come early to get a seat, admission is free and the dress is casual, intercessory prayer at 6:30 p.m.  And a spirit filled service at 7:00 p.m. State Headquarters, COPIM,  1521 S. Riverside Ave. Rialto, CA. For more information (909) 874 - 8676 or visit website at www.copim.org   or e-mail sswin@copim.org .



Be Blessed

Are Arrogant “little gods” Right?

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Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
Untold amounts of evil have been done by those who declare that they are fighting evil. The question arises as to where to draw the line between good intentions and good acts directed toward fighting evil as opposed to good intentions and bad acts. In making this decision I must always consider whether or not the Extreme and the Moderate arrogant people are right. This is a possibility because, despite most everyone believing otherwise, no one knows anything thing for sure. The Arrogant who have had privilege handed to them or are "Self-Made" (i.e. worked their way up) believe they are superior human beings-and with absolutely no foundation for such a belief. Suppose that when you are dead that is it-meaning there is no Afterlife or no "Other life." If so, then the Arrogant would be right to do the Bad Guy's modification of the Boy Scout Oath: "On my honor, I will do my best, to take all I can, and steal the rest." There would be no point in having any connection with other human beings or having any cares about what happens to their untold numbers of victims around the world.

 Besides lacking compassion, they avoid intimate relationships and, instead, set up alliances where "every man for himself" reigns behind their efforts in increasing each other's riches. These very superficial people-and there are 1000 billionaires in the USA-have as their total focus in life the making of outrageous sums of money; possessing a degree of power that is above that of any other human being; and of displaying their property ownership as "conspicuous consumption." They live what appears to be the "Good Life"-and naïve people are sucked into this false belief-- by owning homes and estates all over the world and never visiting many of them; or greedily acquiring adult toys: "beautiful lovers," private jet airplanes, yachts, rare and expensive Art and jewelry; and pay 100,000 dollars to join a club and many thousands a year to maintain membership. The same amounts may be used to pay some one to simply set up "vacations" for them. To me, these are the opposite of possessing "class."

For "little gods," making money is a way of life and a way of keeping score to see how they are doing in life. It is a game about: "when you get to the top, see how much higher than the top you can go." It is a form of daily competition with themselves and with peers. If they do not continue to make more and more millions and billions a year then they feel they are not playing the game very well-and that strikes at their narcissism mindset. Yet, all of this striving indicates that they possess deep fears, deep insecurities, and have an intense need to prove that they are more than they really are. By lacking a sense of what life is about or where life comes from or where life is going-and by not caring, they are not happy. Their bottomless pit of materialism (as a substitute for Love) can never be satisfied. The fact that they struggle to decide what to do with their money upon their death is also a sign of them knowing that there is something more to life than money. Many choose not to leave all their money to their children because of their awareness that being in possession of so much money either destroys character or prevents good character from developing. Think about that! Thus the key to deciding whether to have a "little god" attitude and lifestyle may be to look at the effect it can have on you. I do not know if my way of living is right but I do know that life for me is quite good. I have emphasized things of Worth (e.g. Love, peace, harmony, helping the needy) and have worked much harder than most to achieve "enough" things of Value (i.e. the material creature comforts). Despite all of my lacks, losses, obstacles, struggles, and pains in life, I would not trade any of them for anything. To me, what I strive for in life-to have a sense of well-being and to help others--seems "natural" while what the Arrogant are about seems unnatural.



 website: www.jablifeskills.com

Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.

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