Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"With one arm clutching a teddy bear, Nikisha Ramsey hugged three teenaged boys who had come by to offer condolences over the loss of her 17-year-old son, Dwayne. 'Ya'll be careful,' she cautioned as they left her North Philadelphia rowhouse. Just moments before, she had arrived from the Medical Examiner's Office, where she had identified the body of her son, who was killed near their home Tuesday night. Police said that Dwayne Canty, who lived with his mother on Newkirk Street near Susquehanna Avenue, had been shot to death about a half-block away after being robbed at gunpoint on his way to a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken to get dinner for his family.
He didn't make it far. He was approached by two individuals who shot him several times at close range and stole about $120 to $140, said Homicide Capt. James Clark. His killers fled on foot, leaving him lying in the cold in a vacant lot, Clark said. Canty was pronounced dead shortly after at Temple University Hospital.
'It's a senseless killing, it's a cold-blooded killing,' Clark said before asking for the public's help in apprehending the killers.
'Here you have a 17-year-old male who's never had any problems with the police, was in a GED program, and once he graduated from his GED program, he had plans to go into the Navy,' he said.
'It's senseless and we're going to do our best to bring these individuals to justice.'
Clark implored anyone with information about the killing to call homicide detectives at 215-686- 3334.
Earlier Tuesday, Dwayne had gone for his annual medical check-up, his mother said yesterday. He'd just gotten paid from his job at the McDonald's in Plymouth Meeting.
The family returned home to watch the presidential inauguration and remained in high spirits the rest of the night, she said.
Later on, she grew hungry and Dwayne offered to treat.
He left and almost immediately Ramsey said she felt something was wrong.
'I heard the shots and I got a sinking feeling,' she said, her voice quivering.
She flung the blanket that was draped over her onto the floor, threw on a pair of pants, and, forgoing a coat, ran out.
On the corner, police and a crowd of curious neighbors had already congregated by the time she arrived. Ramsey tried to reach her son, who lay riddled with bullets on a small grassy area, but was held back by cops.
'I just kept thinking, 'Why my son? Why my son?' she said. 'My son didn't do nothing but go to school, work and be with his girlfriend'.
'He worked for that money they took it from him.'
At a vigil held last night, supporters huddled next to the lot in the freezing cold, long candles held in their gloved hands. A man called for sinners to repent and requested that neighbors give donations to the family. One woman shouted for the community's help. Ramsey continued her plea.
'I want to know what happened to my son,' she said, surrounded by neighbors.
Tears spilled as a girl sang the gospel song, 'Still I Rise.'
Afterwards, Dwayne's younger brother, Deandre Ramsey, 15, headed home with his head bowed, shuffling his feet against broken ice on the sidewalk.
'I feel hurt, sad,' said the soft-spoken youngster. 'I know he's in a better place, but I want him down here with me.'"
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
As our entrée was served, the restaurant began to fill up and a couple was seated at the table behind us. We were close enough that it was easy to hear their conversation without feeling guilty of eavesdropping.
They were seated directly behind me. As we finished our main course, I heard the woman praise the menu as she told her friend that he would love the food no matter what he ordered.
Trying not to listen, I heard only snippets of what was said next until a word was used that managed to turn my stomach upside down. She asked him what his favorite food was. He replied, "I can tell you what I don't like. I don't like n----- food."
His use of the "n-word" continued and led into a discussion about President-elect Obama.
Numerous disparaging and ugly remarks were made, including how sad it was that someone hadn't already "knocked him off." I was stunned as I felt the color drain from my African-American face.
I felt emotions I hadn't felt since my childhood. I was horrified and filled with rage. It was difficult for me to stay seated and not turn around and face them with my anger and embarrassment. I looked across the table at my Jewish business partner as I shook my head. She knew by my reaction that something terrible had happened, but she didn't know what because she couldn't hear their conversation.
What should I do? These people were having a private conversation. They never looked my way - nor were their racist comments directed at me.
I wanted to turn around and confront them. But I didn't.
I was suddenly frozen in time as painful memories from the past came flooding back. The dull ache in the pit of my stomach was one I hadn't felt since growing up in a small western Pennsylvania town in the '50s.
Blacks weren't permitted to eat in upscale restaurants nor could they swim in community pools.
I flashed back to the time when my two best friends, who were white, told me they couldn't walk to school with me because I was "colored." Those emotional feelings of racism and exclusion churned inside when I heard him say the word that was never spoken in our home - the word my parents raised me to rise above and not become a victim of as they taught me the familiar chant, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."
I turned slightly in my seat to watch as her other two friends came to the table. I was shocked to see that one of them was African-American. It was all I could do not to pull him aside and tell him what I'd heard. As we passed by their table to leave, I tried to make eye contact. But I was invisible.
Would being noticed by them have satisfied me? Probably not. Would my white Marine Corps husband's being there to defend me have made me feel better? Yes, but only for the moment.
What did I do? I took the high road. The experience made me realize how important it was to remember how far we've come, and the opportunity we all have to achieve long-term satisfaction. So rather than dwell on the negative feelings that were generated from the past during my dining experience, I'm uplifted as I look toward the future.
I knew then that on Jan. 20, 2009, I would be privileged to witness what my ancestors had struggled for and dreamed of but never got to see: the first African-American sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
Thank you, Mr. President, for the hope you've given me. I invite you and the first lady to join me for dinner at one of Philadelphia's finest restaurants! "
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"My day will be spent watching the Back to the Future trilogy, and a dvd marathon of old Star Trek episodes. The Tribbles never looked so good."
Posted by LaMedusa January 19, 2009 5:06 PM
I probably *should* watch, though - just to see if his eyes dart around will promising to "uphold and defend the Constitution..."'
Posted by apb January 19, 2009 5:17 PM
"Spending the day at the local rifle range. I think it's appropriate.". Posted by GarandFan January 19, 2009 6:58 PM
"I have to work, but if I didn't I'd do something really constructive - in keeping with the festive occasion - clean my toilet! Much more satisfying - at least when I'm done, I will have accomplished something worthwhile!" Posted by FedUp January 19, 2009 9:33 PM
Monday, January 19, 2009
As the day *of my inevitable run draws near, I cannot look anywhere without being reminded of my silly prediction and subsequent dare. It's wall to wall coverage of his O ness and his coronation tomorrow, and rightfully so. Honestly, I wish I could be there, but unlike Mrs. Field and her girlfriends, I just don't do crowds too well.
So tomorrow the first [black] family will move into the house that slaves built, and A-merry-cans will all be anxiously watching as Barack Hussein Obama is sworn in as our 44th President. For white A-merry-cans it will be a chance to feel good about their beloved country again. And for black A-merry-cans it will be a chance to feel pride about their stake in it. This is closer to the A-merry-ca that a certain Reverend from Atlanta dreamed about. This is closer to becoming the A-merry-ca that we all can be proud of.
I still don't know what kind of president his O ness will be, and I am pretty sure that from a purely political standpoint he is going to piss me off throughout the course of his presidency. But I cannot close my eyes to the enormous impact that having someone that looks like he does will have on the lives of children of color who are dreaming big dreams and who are aspiring to do great things with their lives. Every time they see their president on television they will be reminded that he looks like them or the people in their family and a positive seed will be planted. The fact that he is relatively young only makes it better. And hopefully, every time one of my brothers see that beautiful family and how they are achieving and still showing love to each other, they will aspire to do the same thing with their shorty (as Obama did with his) and not just step away after the first sign of trouble. It's no secret my brothers that you have a better chance of building wealth and becoming successful in life if you stay with your family and not make two or three of them that you can't contribute to emotionally or economically. But I digress. I need to stop preaching, there will be plenty of time for that later.
Right now we should all just enjoy the moment and the wonderful irony that comes with it. The day after we celebrate the birthday of the man with the dream, we inaugurate a man as our president which makes his dream closer to being a reality. That, as my young white friends would say, is "rich".
Now please observe the frat boy's countdown clock on my side bar and go pour yourself a stiff drink. It's almost over! You survived!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
'There was a period when it was not at all clear that Obama would be able to win the vast majority of the African American vote,, David Binder, Obama’s focus-group guru, told me after the election. 'The biggest problem we had with African Americans would be that they didn’t think he could ever win.' In the focus groups, black voters told Binder that they didn’t believe whites would ever vote for Obama. 'That all changed with Iowa,' he said. 'The Iowa results proved to many African Americans that Obama had broader-based appeal and was not just someone who was going to be a token African American candidate.'
Last February, the black journalist Tavis Smiley held his annual State of the Black Union forum in New Orleans. For the second year in a row, Obama declined to attend. (The 2007 forum took place on the day he launched his campaign.) Smiley was angry about the slight and criticized Obama openly. The backlash against Smiley was intense. This was just after Obama had won the South Carolina primary, after African Americans had united around Obama in part because the Clinton campaign seemed to be writing him—and them—off. Smiley quit The Tom Joyner Morning Show, one of the country’s most popular radio programs among African Americans, because, as Joyner explained to his audience, 'He can’t take the hate he’s taken over Barack Obama. He’s always busting Barack Obama’s chops.'
The Smiley backlash was evidence to Obama’s inner circle that, in the words of one adviser, “Barack became untouchable in the community,” in much the same way that civil-rights heroes such as John Lewis had earned a lifetime’s worth of goodwill and benefit of the doubt. “Tavis Smiley was the object lesson for everyone,” says Anita Dunn, a senior campaign strategist.
'We came to realize that the black community, politically, had moved into a different era,' another senior Obama adviser told me shortly after the election. 'You could get intensity in the African American community by giving them a candidate they could see as being able to win. You didn’t have to speak to them in a way that would make white people nervous.' Obama shared the antipathy of liberal whites and younger blacks toward the hand-to-hand, transactional politics that had characterized the relationship between the Democratic Party and many African American leaders.
It took the campaign a while to figure out the right course. 'We did not have an organized strategy around this,' says Michael Strautmanis, a counselor to Obama. “It was like a series of constant recalibrations.”
In the winter of 2007, the campaign entered a bidding war with the Clinton campaign over the endorsement of State Senator Darrell Jackson, the pastor of one of the largest congregations in South Carolina. The Obama campaign offered him a $5,000-per-month retainer, and Jackson said he would soon endorse him. But then he sent word that the Clinton campaign was offering a more lucrative contract, implying, at least to the Obama team, that he would endorse Obama only if they would tender a more generous offer. Through his deputy campaign manager, Obama refused. It would be the last time that Obama negotiated with black pastors this way. (Jackson endorsed Clinton.)
A few weeks before the general election, aides to a pastor contacted the Obama campaign and laid out a political battle plan. The pastor would mobilize 300,000 volunteers and dispatch 72 church vans to battleground states on Election Day. He would touch more than 2 million voters. All he needed was $5 million to pay for it. The Obama campaign thanked him and said no. The pastor threatened to go public with the refusal. The Obama campaign pointed to examples of other black leaders who had confronted Obama in public, and invited the pastor, in essence, to bring it on. (The pastor apologized the day after the election.)"
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Now just what they were talking about we don't know, because the meeting was kind of hush hush. It was supposed to be an off the record meeting of course (yeah right, the details will be on FOX NEWS by next Sunday), so his O ness might have opened up to our right wing friends a little.
I guess his O ness was serious about reaching across the aisle. Yes Washington, this man is serious about changing the tone in that town. But just be careful who you pal around with there O man, they are not your friends. They might be glistening now, but it's all fool's gold. Believe me, that luster they are showing you won't last.
But back to the dinner: I am really curious to know what they said to each other? I bet there was a lot of forced smiles and phoniness in the house. (George I love what you did with the place? I didn't know you were into African Art? Sooooo how about them Ravens huh Obama? Do you watch football much? The little lady whipped up some barbecue, I know you love barbecue don't you Obama?I mean... being from Chicago and all..) Let me stop. O man, I just hope that you didn't eat anything that your host didn't eat first.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 09, 2009
I wonder what the O man has against Howard Dean? I don't mean to diss on the chosen one, but I really have to wonder why the good Doctor is being avoided like a black man at a FOX NEWS party.
Come on O man, show the guy some love. I know what your campaign did with the Internet and modern technology, but let's not forget who started this ball rolling. It was Dean. I think he deserves a lot of credit for being the DNC chair at a time when the dems swept back into Washington.
Yes folks, on a day when his O ness and company was welcoming in the new DNC chair, Tim Kaine, poor Dr. Dean was half way around the world cooling his heals. The Obama people said that they would have invited him, but they knew that he had other travel plans. Yeah right. * me rolling my eyes*.
“..It’s the most puzzling thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” added a longtime Democrat and friend of Dean, echoing the exasperation and befuddlement many close to him feel about his treatment since the election. “I have tried my best through [Obama advisers] Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and David Plouffe to ask if he ever committed some crime. I don’t get it. He’s been a good soldier....”
Apparently not good enough. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this and tell me why there is no love between his O ness and the good Doctor. Maybe one of you Obamaholics know the real deal. If you do, please tell. Inquiring minds want to know.
I am seeing all these Cabinet posts being filled, and still, no bones for the man who, more than anyone else, (except for the candidate himself and you Obamaholics) was responsible for making this happen. It wasn't Rahm Emanuel (who I hear might be the cause of this rift), it wasn't David Axelrod, and it sure as hell wasn't the rest of the dumbocratic leadership (not even you, black caucus). Health and Human Services? Nope that goes to Tom Daschle. Surgeon General (the man is a Doctor) Nope, that goes to CNN Sanjay . Nothing against Sanjay, he might actually do a fine job, but when his O ness looks to CNN instead of the good Doctor for this position, there is a problem.
So O man, let the good Doctor in the O house, whatever he did to you couldn't have been worse than what Traitor Joe did. And you seem to be chumming up with him again. If it's Rham, tell him to get over his issues with the guy and move one. He deserves that much.
I know you are sitting on top of the world now, but remember, karma can be a bitch.