Daily Archive: April 28, 2010


Arkansas man sentenced to 10 years for Obama plot

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP)—A White supremacist has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiring to kill then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and dozens of other Black people. U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen April 22 sentenced 19-year-old Paul Schlesselman of Helena-West Helena, Ark. He had pleaded guilty in January. GUILTY—This undated photo obtained from a MySpace webpage shows Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn. holding a weapon. The Tennessee White supremacist pleaded guilty, March 29, to charges that he plotted to kill then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and dozens of other Black people in 2008. Twenty-one-year-old co-defendant, Daniel Cowart of Bells, Tenn., also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Authorities have described the pair as White supremacist skinheads who hatched a plan to go on a cross-country robbery and killing spree that would end with an attack on Obama in 2008.


This Week in Black History

Week of April 30-May 6 April 30 711 AD—Tarik the Moor invades Spain with force of 7,000 troops, routs the Visigoths and establishes Moor domination of Spain. While there remains some dispute over Tarik’s race, the weight of the evidence is strong that he was a Black man. He was described in accounts of the time as having “brown skin and wooly hair.” His full name was Tarik al Gibral. The famed Rock of Gibraltar is named in his honor. SHAKA 1828—Shaka, the great Zulu king and military leader, is killed. His innovative military strategies kept European imperialism at bay for years as he established Zulu dominance in large parts of Southern Africa. The Zulu nation grew to at least 250,000 with an army of over 40,000. But Shaka became increasingly dictatorial. Opposition to his dictatorship combined with jealousy led his two half brothers to assassinate him on this day in 1828.


D.C. teacher schools students with hip-hop syllabus

by Stephen D. RileyFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—It landed on vinyl then moved to cassette; traveled to CD before reaching iTunes to be downloaded to iPods. The history of hip-hop has had a long and winding journey, but a Washington, D.C. teacher is making sure the origin never escapes her students. Special education inclusion teacher Pamela Mitchell instituted her Hip Hop Scholars program in 2004 as a means of improving student testing, listening and study skills. Through a hip-hop-based curriculum, the program also teaches research methods and strengthens vocabulary through study of various music moguls and culture history.


Blacks with guns?

(NNPA)—When the so-called pro-gun demonstrators decided that April 19th would be their day to “march while packing” (weapons), the first thing that I said to my wife was this: “So, what would happen if hundreds of Black folks were to go to a national park fully armed and march?” I think that there is little doubt but that the subsequent scene would make Custer’s Last Stand look like a squabble. The forces of the police; more than likely the National Guard; and some right wing extremists would all have shown up to prepare for armageddon.


Bill O’Reilly’s obsession with playing race card

(NNPA)—So-called conservatives in this country spend much of their time accusing Black folks of “playing the race card” when practically any comment is made about expressions of White su­pre­m­acy. The leader of the conservative mantra on this subject is Fox “fair and balanced” cable news’ reigning propagandist, Bill O’Reilly. On his television program and in his newspaper column, O’Reilly regularly scolds those whom he considers “playing the race card.” In a recent column he pontificated about speaking to a gathering of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network during which he told the attendees that “…branding the Tea Party as a racist group would be a huge mistake that could actually create racism…”


A rising tide lifts all boats

(NNPA)—You’ve heard the saying; it was made famous by John F. Kennedy to suggest that an increase in a particular region’s wealth would enhance the overall wealth of the entire country. Ronald Reagan and his minions came along and used the same aphorism to suggest that an increase in individual wealth, namely through tax cuts, would result in a “Trickling-Down” of prosperity to the poor (Supply-Side Economics). Now we hear the phrase being uttered by President Barack Obama—I wonder what he means by it?Whatever the intent, original, twisted or revised, there is an overriding truth in the phrase: A rising tide lifts all boats, that is, if you have a boat, it has no holes in it, and it is in the water rather than in dry-dock.



Barbershops, Ben Roethlisberger and our changing times

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—A few weeks back I was in my barbershop having the kind of demographically rich and entertaining conversation that popular culture now expects to occur in every Black barbershop in America. The room was filled with the sounds of laughter and argument as a college professor, UPS delivery man, community college student, bank employee and two barbers all pontificated about life, money, race and of course, sports. Eventually everyone started debating the possible fortunes of Ben Roethlisberger, the embattled quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was investigated by police after two women accused him of rape over the last 18 months. My barber took bets on how long people believed he would be suspended from football, but the consensus in the room was that because “Big Ben” was a Super Bowl winner, hadn’t been convicted of a crime yet and most importantly was White that he would not suffer the same fate as other athletes like Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods. I am pleasantly surprised to see that for once it appears that at least in the case of sexual assault, justice has trumped race and money in the eyes of the NFL.


Race is the least of the problems

The people of Mississippi have not been angels. The history of the Magnolia State and segregation invites the kind of scrutiny and criticism that has recently been visited upon the state. Media reports that the Walthall County School District has been ordered to stop segregating its schools raised the ire of most Americans because it was a reminder of a particularly ugly moment in this nation’s history—a history that Americans have no desire to repeat. Still it stretches the limits of credulity when a school that is 66 percent White and 35 percent Black is labeled a “racially identifiable ‘White’” school and the county supporting the school is depicted as filled with a bunch of ugly racists just itching to don the bed sheets and ride through the night terrorizing the countryside. Yet, that is exactly the case in Walthall County, Mississippi.



Am I important? Am I somebody?

There are two no more important questions that you can ask yourself. Why? Generally what we do with our lives, how our children develop can be determined by how we perceive ourselves. If you lack a strong sense of self-esteem it is often reflected in how you live your life. For example, a drug addict and alcoholic are those who lack self-esteem and must do something synthetic to help them feel that they are somebody. Too many define importance and being somebody as someone who is rich, with expensive cars, money, houses and other symbols of material wealth. It is my conviction that richness is a state of mind not a state of being.



‘Road to Memphis’: PBS documentary filled with potholes

(NNPA)—On Tuesday night, (May 3) PBS’s “American Experience” series will premiere “Road to Memphis,” a two-hour documentary on the interconnected final days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his assassin, James Earl Ray. As one who has read every major book on the King assassination, I was looking forward to this movie, which is based on the book, “Hellhound On His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin” by Hampton Sides (Doubleday).