Did you ever see the Dave Chappelle Show and catch the skit of the Blind, Black Racist? No, don’t worry because I’ve posted a video of a person who is not just against his own people, he hates women. For this, he is my Uncle Ruckus of the Week. Did I mention he is also conservative and a tea party fellow?
“…Thank God for slavery.” Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
The ladies of The View have some words for the good reverend.
President Obama commented on the Zimmerman verdict in an unexpected press conference today. I think what he said was very real, touching, and true. I think he spoke as a person of color who for once shared honest frustrations of what is like to live with the daily little nuances of being colored to all out racism in America. I am actually quite pleased that we got to see the man and not the politician emerge for once.
It would be easy to politicize this but right now and I am sure some will. However we need to achieve peace and the way we do it is to digest the president’s words. It is time to take out those mirrors like Mike said and ask what are we doing to contribute to restoring peace to our communities and to our society.
Normally I being the conservative would take liberty to point out my issues with this president. Today however for our youth and for the sake of moving forward I think it best we listen and take time to really hear what he is saying and let it sink in.
Below is the entire text of President Obama’s speech today.
President Comments On George Zimmerman Verdict
The reason I actually wanted to come out today is not to take questions, but to speak to an issue that obviously has gotten a lot of attention over the course of the last week — the issue of the Trayvon Martin ruling. I gave a preliminary statement right after the ruling on Sunday. But watching the debate over the course of the last week, I thought it might be useful for me to expand on my thoughts a little bit.
First of all, I want to make sure that, once again, I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation. I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.
The second thing I want to say is to reiterate what I said on Sunday, which is there’s going to be a lot of arguments about the legal issues in the case — I’ll let all the legal analysts and talking heads address those issues. The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that’s how our system works. But I did want to just talk a little bit about context and how people have responded to it and how people are feeling.
You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.
There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.
And I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.
Now, this isn’t to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.
And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.
I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else. So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys. But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied. And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.
Now, the question for me at least, and I think for a lot of folks, is where do we take this? How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family. But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do.
I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.
That doesn’t mean, though, that as a nation we can’t do some things that I think would be productive. So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff, so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.
Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it would be productive for the Justice Department, governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.
When I was in Illinois, I passed racial profiling legislation, and it actually did just two simple things. One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped. But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.
And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in them and, in turn, be more helpful in applying the law. And obviously, law enforcement has got a very tough job.
So that’s one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought to bear if state and local governments are receptive. And I think a lot of them would be. And let’s figure out are there ways for us to push out that kind of training.
Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it — if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.
I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the “stand your ground” laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case. On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?
And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I’d just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.
Number three — and this is a long-term project — we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African American boys. And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?
I’m not naïve about the prospects of some grand, new federal program. I’m not sure that that’s what we’re talking about here. But I do recognize that as President, I’ve got some convening power, and there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front. And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes, and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed — I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation. And we’re going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.
And then, finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching. There has been talk about should we convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have. On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s the possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can? Am I judging people as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin, but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.
And let me just leave you with a final thought that, as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better. Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. It doesn’t mean we’re in a post-racial society. It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated. But when I talk to Malia and Sasha, and I listen to their friends and I seem them interact, they’re better than we are — they’re better than we were — on these issues. And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.
And so we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues. And those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature, as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions. But we should also have confidence that kids these days, I think, have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did; and that along this long, difficult journey, we’re becoming a more perfect union — not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.
Thank you, guys.
Wonder Woman Needs Your Support!
Right Wisconsin is looking for their “RightWisconsin/RightWoman.” I am offering my services. I believe I have worked hard to bring you news from the right and I have kept you informed overall as best I can. More importantly, I founded “The Umoja Project” which is our very own historic Black Conservative Movement in Milwaukee and Wisconsin which is growing by leaps and bounds. It is no easy task. The Umoja Project not only is a movement but we educate everyone to conservative issues impacting the Black community and our state. We are a platform to express how we feel and why we feel this way. We teach and incorporate conservative solutions as taught by our ancestors from the motherland. We plant seeds on solid ground for a bountiful harvest. We create a setting for blacks and people from other cultures to gather together and learn how to best work together to end divisions and share common values.
I am most proud that our legacy is being instilled in our kids. We meet with them and show them there are other ways. We are stopping the very process that is stunting them. We are showing them to analyze everything, including us. Accept nothing, achieve everything! The Umoja Project is truly changing the direction of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
There is nothing remotely like our project in the state and we do a lot of good work that is sorely needed in Wisconsin. We will continue to work with everyone to fill voids that need to be filled. Thus we continue to grow.
An example of some of my published work…
http://www.rightwisconsin.com/perspectives/213745561.html (This is for subscribers to the site if you have an account.)
So I am humbly asking for your vote. The following are the categories and the directions for the nomination process. Suggestions: I am attempting the “Innovator Award.” However the “Iron Lady” Award is also nice. The link below will take you to the nomination page and I hope you will choose me as your Right Wisconsin Woman! I thank you in advance your vote and any consideration. Nominations are accepted until August 18th!!
September 18th we will find out the winner of the Margaret Thatcher award.
In advance I thank the Milwaukee Drum (themilwaukeedrum.com) on whose shoulders I stand for giving me the platform to even get to create a movement. Secondly, I thank Brother Frederick Meade for constant advice and wisdom. Thirdly, I thank everyone here who reads my posts, agrees, disagrees and keeps the Drum beating in me when I am not at my best. It is not always easy to be WW.
I approve this message :) and Game on.
Wonder Woman is a community activist and blogger and Chair of The Umoja Project, a Black Conservative Movement in Wisconsin.
She is a proud member of the JustUs League!
She has her own blog site at http://www/wonder2woman.blogspot.com
She also contributes to The Milwaukee Drum, the Black Convo Network, Insane Asylum Blog, and Black Bloggers Connect.
Margaret Thatcher Award
Winner must be a conservative female whose unique character, contributions and effort have led to the betterment of the State of Wisconsin on a large scale.
Winner must be a conservative female whose accomplishments have been unique in her field, allowing other women to follow her path with greater ease than her own pursuit, because of her efforts.
The Trailblazer Award symbolizes the achievement of equal respect in the fields of policy and politics that can be more easily achieved by the next generation of women because of the lives of “trailblazers”.
Winner must be a conservative female whose public policy or political campaign has introduced an impactful and positive innovation to contribute to the betterment of Wisconsin.
The Innovator Award symbolizes the effort to efficiently problem-solve and invent new and better solutions.
*Iron Lady Award*
Winner must be a conservative female who has been uncompromising of her guiding principles and virtues in the face of a battle and proven her willingness to sacrifice to fight bravely for her beliefs.
What does it symbolize? The Iron Lady Award symbolizes the courage and self-sacrifice of a leader willing to risk comfort for the advancement a meritorious cause.
FOX’s Sean Hannity Show hosted a Black Conservative Town hall and since then this video has spread like wild fire. It brought up issues many people liberal and conservative alike could relate to. Blacks began to find that there are not wide divisions between their conservative counterparts and themselves. This could be a great start for Blacks as we need to come together and start healing and talking to form the new Underground Railroad. Seeing that we really have more in common than differences will start to break down the walls of division and help us to start to focus on the true enemy that keeps us from moving forward.
This is a great video that needs to be shared in its entirety. Many people want to know about the elusive Black Conservative. Well here is a segment of us in a town hall answering questions and talking about issues and matters near and dear to our hearts.
I am sure if people listen to this with an open mind they will find some pieces where they can agree and find common bonds. The differences, well as I always say; We shall have to agree to disagree. However this video is very interesting and is great food for discussion.
I know everyone is into the national politics and debates and caught up in everything going on around us, but this story caught my eye. I thought it was an interesting piece and something worthy of discussion. It is not a new topic but still a hot topic. Every now and again it is healthy to look at the other topics being discussed around the blogosphere. Hope you will find it as interesting.
By: Shahida Muhammad | Posted: June 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Ebony contributor Shahida Muhammad argues that the “politically correct” term doesn’t say enough to be useful.
What does it mean to be African American? This is a question that is quietly resurfacing in Black discourse, due to the fact that many of our people are rejecting the term as a means of identification. While “African American” still manages to be socially accepted, it seems many privately take issue with the term. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people. I have never truly felt connected to ‘African American,’ yet have never felt compelled to argue my standpoint publicly because our discussions on identity tend to be dividing and non-productive. However, I believe it’s a topic worth re-examining, as the term has been the questionable dashiki in the room for quite some time.
I have never been offended by the use of ‘African American,’ but personally there are a few reasons I don’t particularly like the term. I have used it in my writing when making efforts to be politically correct, or as an alternative reference to Black people. Yet I have always viewed it as just that: a politically correct alternative to Black. Never something I whole-heartedly embraced. I have checked it on applications, but never used it to self-identify in real-life. It has always felt forced, redundant, and quite frankly, inaccurate. Using the term ‘African American’ feels like using Kente cloth made in China trying desperately to authenticate myself. In theory I know where I’m from, but in actuality I wasn’t made there.
I’m very much aware that my ancestors were from Africa, and in no way would I want to distance myself from that fact. From an early age my family taught me the painful context of our history in this country, and also that our history as a people did not begin solely with slavery. We come from great peoples and civilizations, and it’s something that has always given me a sense of pride and dignity. However, knowing all of this, there is still no way to pinpoint exactly where my African ancestors came from. Therefore, I have no direct lineage, specific heritage, language or traditions to lay claim to.
I see ‘African American’ as both ambiguous and limiting at the same time. It’s an ethno-cultural term that has become synonymous with race and “regular Black folks.” It’s used exclusively in reference to Black people in the U.S. who are descendants of the Transatlantic slave trade, yet excludes anyone who is an African immigrant or first-generation citizen–who in my opinion would be most fitting of the title. African American is also very vague and simplified. Africa is a vast continent, made up of various nations, cultures, languages, traditions, etc. So to associate myself namely with the continent, without a specific point of reference, doesn’t bring me any closer to my roots, yet it subtly reinforces the misconception that Africa is a simplistic, homogeneous land.
The history of the term is said to have begun with poet and civil rights activists, Johnny Duncan. In 1987, his poem “I Can” was published in the Black History Calendar. Towards the end of the poem he writes: “The last 4 letters of my African Heritage and American creed spell “I can”!” It was this line that inspired Jesse Jackson to coin the term and he along with other civil rights leaders began to encourage Black people to begin using it shortly after. During a 1988 press conference to discuss a national Black agenda, Jackson confidently announced that Black people now preferred to be called ‘African American,’ opting for an ethnic term opposed to a racial one. He stated that “to be called African American has cultural integrity,” citing groups like Italian Americans and Arab Americans as examples.
While I can understand why one would want to have a distinct cultural identity, the difference between our people and the ethnic groups Jesse Jackson referenced that day to support his statement, is that they all came here willingly, as immigrants. And of course, we did not. In addition to this, we have systematically been far removed from our cultures of origin. Making our ethnicity and nationality far more complex.
Finally, ‘African American’ just does not invoke the same bold pride as Black does. (And I’ve always suspected that was one of the reasons we’ve been encouraged to use it). During the heights of Black consciousness and the Black Power Movement throughout the 60s and 70s, when everything black had previously been associated with inferiority and despair, our people began redefining and embracing it as a means of identification. It took on a spirit of self-pride, self-love, dignity and even resistance. And we began opting out of terms that had been previously imposed on us such as colored and negro.
Black connects me with that struggle. Black also connects me to my people throughout the world, whether they are in South America, the Caribbean, Africa or elsewhere. I identify as Black in terms of race, American (by default) in terms of nationality; always keeping in mind that my ancestry ties me to Africa and the original peoples of this earth. To me, Black unites us beyond our various geographic locations, nationalities or cultures; whereas we can all say we are Black, connected and proud.
Wonder Woman is a community activist and blogger.
She is a proud member of the JustUs League!
She has her own blog site at http://www/wonder2woman.blogspot.com
She also contributes to The Milwaukee Drum, the Black Convo Network, Insane Asylum Blog, and Black Bloggers Connect.