Daily Archive: October 22, 2009


Documenting Limbaugh’s racist comments

(NNPA)—Supporters of Rush Limbaugh, including Fox commentator Juan Williams and Frances Rice, chairman of the National Black Republican Association, have targeted two undocumented quotes attributed to Limbaugh to prove, in Rice’s words, the “phony charge of racism” was used to deny Limbaugh’s bid to become part owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams. They point to a purported quote widely circulated on the Internet: “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back, I’m just saying it had it merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”



Rush Limbaugh meets Reggie Fowler

Last week Rush Limbaugh, right-wing talk show host and race-baiting provocateur was dropped from an investor’s group that was going to buy the St. Louis Rams football team. The sports and mainstream press dissected the story for a week and Rush himself has played martyr on his radio program claiming he was denied the chance to buy the team due to left-wing politics in “Obama’s America.” It seemed pretty clear to me why Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t be allowed to become a partial owner of the team, and that put a smile on my face. Finally, the NFL owners seem to be putting business before race and politics, and perhaps by denying Rush Limbaugh they’ve slightly made up for the sin they committed against Reggie Fowler.



(NNPA)—I am opposed to the war in Afghanistan because it will continue to cost the United States—and the least well-off communities within the country—people and material resources that we cannot afford. I believe Vice President Joe Biden has a point that President Barack Obama should not send tens of thousands more American troops into that sinkhole to die.


Obama won Nobel Prize for his ‘Transformative Spirit’

“For his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”— The Norwegian Nobel Committee (NNPA)—There has been such a whirlwind of analysis, criticism and even some derision among certain segments of the chattering class about President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize that I decided to go to the source for some answers.



What exactly does ‘affordable’ mean?

A very good friend of mine has lately taken me to task for my opposition to a single payer, universal medical coverage. She argues that she is one of those the president speaks of when describing Americans that do not have “affordable” health insurance. She has a pre-existing condition and coverage is expensive. When I point out that while the cost of her coverage may be high it is certainly affordable (in that she is managing to pay for it). She rejects the argument on the basis that the high cost eats into other equally important expenses. When pressed to define exactly how much an affordable health insurance plan would cost her answer sounds an awful lot like what some folks refer to as free. Like many Americans her ideal is that she should receive the most comprehensive coverage—care for illnesses minor and major—for little or nothing—health coverage is, after all, a right.


From dropouts to jail

It’s no surprise that high school dropouts fare far worse than their peers who graduate. From the lack of sustainable jobs available to them to the loss of income over the course of their lifetimes, a young person who fails to finish high school is at a serious disadvantage in society. One more issue dropouts have to contend with—they are more likely to wind up in jail or a detention center than those who earn their diploma.



All Black cops needed in Black neighborhoods

(NNPA)—Fifteen years ago, in response to a series of homicides by Black teenagers in Richmond, Va., I made the following suggestion in a column written for the Richmond Free Press: “I have a suggestion on how to more effectively combat street crime in Black neighborhoods in Richmond. Put all-Black police officers in our neighborhoods. The use of Black cops would eliminate race as a factor in crime control in our neighborhoods by taking this cover out of the hands of that minority of neighborhood residents who indulge in criminal behavior, mainly against their own people.”


Night of Poetry at August Wilson Center

On Oct. 14, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture opened its new glass doors to award-winning poets, Terrance Hayes, Afaa Michael Weaver and Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press, and emceed by Toi Derricotte, poet and professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. THE POETS—From left: Terrance Hayes, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon and Afaa Michael Weaver. From the introductions to the very last word, the night was filled with poignant lyricism, shared kinship and enough stories to light a halo over Pittsburgh.


Blues powerhouse wows Diesel audience

Blues dynamo Shemekia Copeland dazzled the crowd with her powerhouse voice despite the low turnout at Diesel. “This show was not promoted well but the crowd that was here was wonderful. Pittsburgh keeps inviting me back and I’m glad to come back,” said Copeland. “You get a good feeling when you come to Pittsburgh and I love coming there.” SHEMEKIA COPELAND


Out & About at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum

This week I visited the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood, The First Source Center in the Hill District, The Shadow Lounge in East Liberty and CJ’s in the Strip District. My first stop was at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood where the City Sharkers held their 33rd annual cabaret. This event was packed with folks from all over the city and everyone got their party and drink on. It was like a family reunion at the City Sharkers event in Homewood.