What’s Happenin’ Hump Day? I’ll Be Part of a Panel on KLRN Online Radio!

12 05 2021

The Girl will be joining my dear Patriot Sister Leslie Ann Dowd, as well as DJ Shagoury, JeSuis, and host Rowdy Rick Robinson on KLRN Radio tonight. Tune in at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, and 7:00 p.m. Pacific for a rousing, roundtable discussion you won’t want to miss!





Happy Mother’s Day!

9 05 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who birth, care, nurture, and shepherd life. Whether that life is of your own blood, of your own heart, human, or fur, you are honored today!

I wrote a memoir what seems like eons ago. It is yet-to-be published, and with this much space between the last time I pitched it and now, it will probably need ample rewrites and of course, new content. But, there are certain chapters of which I am quite proud: and this chapter about my own mother, Bernice Oliver, and the matriarch of our family, Annie Foxx is one of them.

An excerpt about mothers and grandmothers, on this day to honor the mother’s in your life and world.

Excerpted from Fried Chicken and Sympathy, Chapter 1: Affectionately Known as Bay

My mother’s given name was Bernice Betty Jo Foxx, but everyone called her “Bay.”  Born on August 10, 1931 in Tyronza, Arkansas, she was the fifth of the eight children born to Annie Belle Simmons Foxx and Joe Henry Foxx.  Tyronza is one of those towns that if you’re driving through it and blink, you’ll miss it. It borders on Arkansas and Tennessee, and its population today is just over 1,000.  That’s the number of people in a four-block radius in most major cities.  The small-town ethic of family, religion and community remained a part of Bay all her life, even though she lived most of it in big cities.  But Bay was never really happy in the city, and spoke often about moving back down South.

Bay was a beautiful girl, with what we would call a “high-yella” complexion.  This was sometimes a point of teasing between her and her sisters, who were much darker than she was.  She had curly brown hair that she wore short to frame her face, and she had a petite figure that was made for the fashions of the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Two pictures of her that always stick in my mind are her eighth-grade and high-school graduation photos.  In her eighth-grade photo, she is standing in a shin-length white petticoat dress, and white strappy shoes découpage shoes.  Along with the white corsage, she wore a stoic expression which would later come to characterize her general demeanor.  Her high-school graduation photo was much more carefree, even happy—which is a term I would rarely use to describe my mother.  It was a head and shoulders portrait, in her mortarboard and robe, and Bay has her head posed to the side, with an upturned smile, as if looking forward to the future.  That picture gives a glimpse of the Bay I never knew, and the Bay that probably attracted my father, Oliver, to her.  Unfortunately, the years of death and destruction, beginning with his murder in 1970, wiped that woman completely out, and only the picture is left to bear witness that she ever existed.

Bay and her seven brothers and sisters picked cotton for extra money, while Grandpa Joe worked in a mill, and Grandma Annie cleaned houses and raised chickens in order to sell the eggs.  When Mom was in the fourth grade, they moved to Memphis, where they had greater work opportunities.

Tyronza was a spit in the dirt compared to Memphis.  Grandpa Joe worked as a houseboy at the once-prestigious Peabody Hotel, and also at the King Cotton, and Grandma Annie worked as a maid at both hotels.

My Uncle Joe Louis, Bay’s youngest brother, added, “Grandpa was a ‘sharecropper’ in Arkansas, so moving to Memphis and getting a job in a hotel was a step up.  And believe it or not, it was also easier work.”

With Grandma Annie working nights, my mother went to school during the day and worked during the evening, sharing the responsibility of caring for her toddler brother (Joe Louis) with her sister Cornell (Honey).  She graduated from eighth grade, and went on to Washington High School, while working nights in a hospital.  When today’s teenagers talk about the pressure they’re under to make good grades and work at the same time, I shake my head.  Bay made exceptional grades and worked pretty much full-time—concrete proof that one can do what one sets one’s mind to.

Being the third girl, Bay was closest to her older sisters, Geraldine and Cornell, or “Honey,” as I came to know her.  As my Aunt Allene, who was born after Bay, attests:

“Of course we were close,” she said.  “We argued like most siblings, but we didn’t fight.  Mama didn’t allow that.”

The Foxx way of hard work, family and sacrifice was part of Bay’s genetic code, and was passed down from her unique and visionary parents.  Uncle Joe Louis elaborates:

“Based on what I heard and saw, they had a difficult time in the South.  By ‘difficult times,’ I am only referring to what was most likely a universal state of affairs for Blacks in the South at that time.  Most had large families and low-paying or no-paying jobs.  There was never enough money.  In the case of Daddy, it was a no-paying job.”

Uncle Joe elaborated on what this type of “employ”—sharecropping—really entailed:  “A person lives on someone’s farm, and plants and harvests the crops for a share of the profits when they are sold, but this was the replacement for slavery.  They were owned economically, because after the crops were sold, and the profits divided, and the indebtedness paid, there was usually very little left for the sharecropper—so the cycle started all over again with an indebtedness.”

Grandpa Joe Henry and Grandma Annie Belle both had the wit and wherewithal to move out of a no-win situation, in order to attain a better life for themselves, and their children, and they were strong influences on their children and grandchildren—but Grandma Annie, in particular, left certain distinctive marks on Bay.

Grandpa Joe Henry’s grandmother had been a slave, and somewhere in the lineage we have Native American—most likely Cherokee or Blackfoot-blood, although Aunt Everette, Bay’s baby sister, says that we also have Crete in our line.  Grandpa Joe had that burnished mahogany skin, hooked nose and chiseled countenance that is typical of Native Americans, and it shows in the black and white photos I have of him.  Annie Belle was also the granddaughter of slaves, and was a proud woman who kept a clean home and was no-nonsense about almost everything.  Her life revolved around her children, her church and her community; she took these things seriously, and expected everyone around her to do the same.

Bay inherited the no-nonsense persona from Grandma Annie.  Silly and lazy just didn’t rate in her book.  You were either about business, or you were up to no good.  When my sisters were younger (somehow, the brothers were exempt), Saturday mornings always started early, doing laundry, cleaning and ironing.  One of Bay’s constant expressions (I’ll call them “Bayisms”), was, “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop!”  I’m quite sure she heard this first from Grandma Annie’s mouth, and she definitely learned under her tutelage to never to be idle.

Annie stood 4 feet 11 inches tall, but according to those who knew her, she packed a wallop.  She’d go on tirades without warning, and the whole house would shake.  My cousin Ricky called them her “5150 episodes,” borrowing the police code for someone having a psychotic breakdown.  Her storms ranged from swearing up a blue streak to throwing pots, pans and any furniture that wasn’t nailed down.

Since she died before I knew her, most of the information I do have is thanks to my brothers, sisters and cousins.

Some of that fire is just the Foxx nature, but I also suspect that Grandma Annie’s short fuses were due to brain damage.  She’d had a stroke in 1958, which left her partially paralyzed on her left side.  But Annie had a strong will, and refused to let it immobilize her.  She regained her speech, and with the help of a cane, she was able to walk and get around quite well.  Although she couldn’t work full-time, she still tended to the house and her family.

Where Grandma Annie was volatile, Grandpa Joe was as even as a river in summer. A calm, peaceful man, he was happy and smiling, always humming a tune—especially when Grandma Annie went 5150—which only irritated her more.  But the more she fussed, the more he hummed and sang.  Guess everyone has his way of coping, and that was his.  He died from brain cancer a week after I was born.  Bay started keeping a family history in 1983, and she wrote this about Grandpa Joe’s death:  “August 1966 was the death of my father and the children’s grandfather.  He was missed very much.  He died of cancer, starting with a kidney that had to be taken out and it spread to his brain.  After they operated, he passed away.”

June remembers Bay breastfeeding me at Grandpa Joe’s funeral, a towel draped over her shoulder for modesty.  So I guess you can truly say my life began with death.





What’s Happenin’ Hump Day? We Started a Podcast!

5 05 2021

A few months ago, I had a great time interviewing Marc Ang for our RedState VIP members.

Marc is a political activist and community organizer through his Asian Industry B2B organization, Pass The Beacon, and the Lincoln Club of Orange County. He does political advocacy, marketing, and fundraising through Visualyft, and he is also an estate and financial planner with Mangus Finance.

Marc found my three-part expose on the Carmel Foster-Phil Ting affair at Communities Digital News, and wanted other political allies to hear the story and understand how Sacramento manipulates and controls legislation not according to the will of the people, but through their preferred interests groups, and how they will use vulnerable individuals like immigrants and illegal aliens toward those ends.

It was a successful night, and Marc and I exchanged information in order to collaborate on other kindred projects in the near future.

That future is now! The Red Beans & Fried Rice Podcast is an hour of conversation and observation. Marc and I talk about politics, pop culture, food, music, and race. We also have great guests on who embody many of those aspects of our lives: from activism to community outreach to political and creative endeavors.

This week, we’re happy to host musician, band, and worship leader Aaron Gayden! His deets are below, but like many of us, Aaron has become an activist because of AB5; so we’ll get to hear more about that journey and his game plan to continue to fight against this horrific law, and its bastard cousin, the PRO Act.

Join us live via Zoom, 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Visit the Facebook page to stay up to date on our happenings and past episodes, follow our Twitter, or visit my YouTube Channel to catch up on the visuals of past episodes!





AB5 and the War on Lyft/Uber expose why Black Jobs Matter

18 08 2020

Well, Lordy, lordy, who would have thought that a bad law and a pandemic would render a response from Civil Rights organizations that actually address the real needs of their people? The NAACP and other business and civil rights organizations sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for him to stop the war on the gig economy and to use his emergency powers to suspend #AB5, and to protect the work of drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Another anti-AB5 colleague found it, but I promptly tweeted it out:

NAACP Calls Newsom to Stop War on Gig Economy

For those of you who have been under a rock, #AB5 has all but decimated the economic prospects of independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers in California. On top of this, the State of California is doing its utmost to end Uber and Lyft operations in California: filing lawsuits, lodging fines, and faux organizing by disgruntled drivers (totally engineered by the Labor Unions) in order to extract money that they claim the state and their drivers are owed.

Uber and Lyft have refused to cave, but in light of the court upholding an injunction forcing the app companies to convert their drivers to employees by August 20, both Uber and Lyft have said they will suspend operations in California through November. The vote on the Prop 22 ballot measure, which would allow Californians to decide whether these drivers should be able to be an independent contractor or an employee, will be the deciding factor.

Then Covid-19 with its subsequent lock downs and closed businesses rendered the death blow. Governor Newsom’s schizophrenic and inconsistent response and actions, appearing perfectly groomed and coiffed while the rest of us developed gray hairs and lumberjack beards, were just more nails in the coffin.

Both the evil law and the virus exposed unintended consequences (what else is new?). The fact that Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to be adversely affected by it, and the so-called experts still have no idea why this is the case. The lack of any proper measures beyond mask wearing has made some of us understandably cautious about trying to go among people and look for work—if there is any work to be had.

CBS News reported on a University of Santa Cruz research survey that found that 40 percent of Black businesses in major cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have been lost, and probably will never come back.

“There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, according to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.”

Back in May, on my Communities Digital News page, I reported that women and minorities make up a huge chunk of independent contractors, and this law disenfranchises us; particularly during this pandemic, when we all could be working from home.

So, the fact that the NAACP recognizes this and took action came as a huge surprise. Writer baldilocks replied to my tweet with this apt response:

Baldilocks Response to NAACP Tweet

The rest of that phrase goes, “is right twice a day.” And it’s true. As much as the organization has moved away from true racial justice and equality, on this particular issue of the evils of AB5 and the Uber/Lyft war, it has stepped up to the plate.

Other organizations who sponsored the letter include the Los Angeles Urban League, Ex-Offender Action Network, and Independent Professionals Association.

It is quite an amazing missive, and you can read it in its entirety here. While I don’t agree with all its suggested solutions, the outlining of the case that AB5 and the injunctions against Uber and Lyft need to go is spot on.

An excerpt from the letter:

“The fact is that this crisis demands a new approach. COVID-19 has exposed just how broken the existing safety net programs are for people of color. Unemployment insurance in the U.S. is a patchwork of state-controlled programs originally designed to allow states to exclude Black domestic and agricultural workers during the Great Depression. The challenges faced by Black Americans in accessing unemployment assistance, business loans, and other pandemic assistance funding today are the direct result of racist policies that systematically disenfranchise Black Americans because they do not look like the traditional employees and businesses for whom these programs were designed.”

It ends with this:

“Governor, for African Americans, self-employment is not just a matter of pride – it is a matter of principle. Our people have been fighting for the right to profit from our own labor for over 400 years. We are proud of our resilience and entrepreneurship in the face of odds that have always been stacked against us. But while the coronavirus is destroying Black businesses, we must not allow this disease to destroy our independence.”

Boom. The NAACP laid bare to the Governor why Black JOBS Matter.

Let’s hope Newsom grows a brain and listens.

 





CAAN-LA Black History Panel

7 02 2018

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position
that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he
has overcome while trying to succeed.”
— Booker T. Washington

One of the great privileges of being part of the Columbia College Chicago National Alumni Board is representing the Board at CAAN events. The CAAN-Los Angeles network has been ably built up and guided by Sarah Schroeder, the West Coast Regional Director for Columbia, and her events are always top notch, well represented by our up-and-coming alumni, and well attended.

Yesterday’s Black History Panel featured our Columbia alumni who are also some of the trailblazers and innovators in Black filmmaking and entertainment: Producer-Director-Writer George Tillman, Jr., who has been the creative force behind some of my favorite movies, including the Barbershop films and Men of Honor; Writer-Director-Actor Kenny Young, the genius behind You Can’t Fight Christmas, Chance, and One Week; Producer-Development Executive Crystal Holt, engineer behind Rebel (BET), and The Swap (Disney Channel); Actress Erica Hubbard, who had pivotal roles in Chicago Med, Let’s Stay Together, and Lincoln Heights; Producer Paul Garnes, who gave us Selma, and Queen Sugar; and on-air personality, Grammy-Nominated Music Producer-Songwriter, and co-founder of Da Internz, Marcos “Kosine” Palacios.

The panel was moderated by some really talented and thoughtful Columbia student moderators: Jocelyn Shelton and Marquise Davion.

20180206_185958.jpg

Gearing up for our CAAN-LA’s Black History Month Alumni Panel with some fabulous filmmakers and student moderators Marquis Davion and Jocelyn Shelton.

George Tillman, Jr. discussed how he got into film, and how the presence of African-American creators and filmmakers has grown since he first came to Hollywood.

Kosine talked about his journey, encouraged the alumni still pursuing their dreams to simply, “Stay in the game,” and urged that, “Black History Month is a great time for African-Americans to be networking with each other,” and to take advantage of this and motivate each other towards excellence.

As an actress, Erica Hubbard discussed the high bar set by the writing and talent she experienced on the “Lincoln Heights” set, and how it is difficult to accept projects that don’t meet that standard.

If Paul Garnes did nothing else, he helped launch director-producer Ava Duvernay to the world. Paul shared his journey in filmmaking, how he met and got started with Ava, and working on Selma with David Oyelowo, and Oprah, as well as Queen Sugar.

Kenny Young talked affectionately about his mentors and the people who helped steer him in his career. He also talked about making determinations. He said at one point that he didn’t want to work a full-time job ever again, and he hasn’t since then. He has found a way to juggle, struggle, and forge ahead on his drive and talent, while still earning a living in Los Angeles.

Crystal Holt gave, what I felt was the most powerful and practical advice. “Drive is something you cannot teach, and that goes further than talent… You have a goal in mind, and you are working toward that plan for your life. Don’t give up on that.”

She also gave some sage advice on contracts and equal pay: “Trust no one! Be contract literate, and read it from front to back before you sign.”

While this old dog gleaned from their practical wisdom, I also enjoyed hearing about the endeavors and adventures of our young alumni; like the delightful Toy Monique, who works for Will Packer Media in their scripted and unscripted television department. Toy is a recent transplant to L.A., having gone through Columbia’s Semester in L.A. program in 2016. She laid the groundwork back then, and came back to Los Angeles as an employee at the place where she interned! What a smart lady—we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her, and very happy to stay in contact via Instagram and LinkedIn.

Screenshot_20180207-070446.png

 





Illustrating Absurdity: Rachel Dolezal wins the “WTF” award

12 06 2015

11406532_10153144472037670_2046971547255303365_o

This is a comedy sketch that’s writing itself. Rachel Dolezal, head of the Spokane chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. has been “passing” as black. She was born Caucasian and raised by two white parents who apparently grew tired of her deception—so they’ve outed her.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Armed with pictures and a birth certificate, Lawrence and Ruthanne Dolezal are taking to newspapers, cable and network news shows to let the world know this Black activist who has filed police reports about nine different hate crimes perpetrated against her, who is touted as an academic expert on African-American culture, and teaches African-American studies classes at Eastern Washington University is their estranged daughter who is… white.

After the obvious jokes and the laughter subsides, you then start to think about how many people this fraudulence hurts, not in the least her Caucasian parents.

I explore the role of the feckless N.A.A.C.P. in this mess, and social media reaction over at Communities Digital News: The self-loathing Rachel Dolezal marks the irrelevant N.A.A.C.P.’s demise.

In the meantime, listen to her seemingly shell shocked parents talk about the daughter who has rejected them and her race, because #whitelivesdontmatter.





Black History Month 2015: Zora Neale Hurston

5 02 2015

zora-neale-hurston

“It would be against all nature for all the Negroes to be either
at the bottom, top, or in between. We will go where the internal drive carries us like everybody else. It is up to the individual.”

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora is one of my favorite writers. Her language is beautiful, uplifting, elegant, and scarcely seen in modern literature. Literacy across the board is becoming a thing of the distant past, much to the detriment of of our people.

I explore this a bit more over at Communities Digital News, Black History Month 2015: Let’s promote a return to literacy:

“Sadly, the richness of literacy exhibited by her and her contemporaries—like Langston Hughes, who would have been 113 this week—is sorely lacking in today’s literature. Do our young people even know the names of these and other great writers, or the titles of their works? If the crisis in our culture is any indication, we are failing our children by starving them of the substantive words and sweeping vision of great writers while spoon-feeding them the steady pabulum of gangster rap and reality television.”

Read more here.





Black History Month 2015: Harriet Tubman

2 02 2015

harriet-tubman

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand
more if only they knew they were slaves
.
-Harriet Tubman

This famous quote by the “Black Moses” could well be applied today. The chains of slavery are evident in the mind, attitudes and allegiances of our race, and are being reflected in the lack of leadership and focus in the modern civil rights movement:

“Seeing the power, presence, and passion of Dr. King artfully portrayed by actor David Oyelowo, as well as the re-enactment of the give and take between Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and John Lewis of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, merely spotlights the total lack of conviction or moral authority in the civil rights movement of today. In place of an intelligent, articulate, and anointed Dr. King, we have the mush-mouthed Al Sharpton, and the empty bumper sticker slogans of “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Dr. King is flipping in his grave.”

Read the rest at my Communities Digital News column: Martin Luther King Day, Selma, and the moral scarcity in modern-day civil rights.





A Tempest in a “T”-Cup…

12 04 2013

filizanka-do-kawy-porcelana

So here’s my daily fun: My Twitter compatriot, @BlackRepublican, re-tweeted the nonsense of Marc Lamont Hill. I’m glad BR does, because I have no desire to follow him on a regular basis.

Marc Lamont Hill is a host/contributor at the Huffington Post and HuffPo Live. He is also an associate professor at Columbia University, and a former Fox News commentator. His last bit of opinion/commentary that captured the interwebs was a piece on “The 15 Most Overrated White People”. Had a white columnist written such a piece about “The 15 Most Overrated Black People” (and there are way more than 15), the Left would have been up in arms. Maybe I will set my hand to that particular list–but I digress… Marc Lamont Hill is one of the Left’s creations, the same as Touré;  so he is allowed to spout fallacies and pablum about race and conservatives under the guise of original thought.

Taking nothing away from the good work of Twitchy, the re-tweet in question was one where Marc Lamont Hill decided to diss Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because she accepted the invitation to be one of the FIRST women to join the Augusta National Golf Club. The club has been exclusively male throughout its history, and Secy Rice, along with Darla Moore, eliminated that barrier.

MLH Tweet-Rice Advocate for ALL WOMEN

Stunning logic here.  But I felt this arrogant tweet warranted a response:

ATGT response to MLH re Token Comment

It still rankles me that our own people will not give Secy Condoleezza Rice her due. No matter what her political affiliation or anyone’s issue with President George W. Bush, it does not eliminate the fact that Secy Rice is an accomplished Black woman and a historical figure. She was FIRST in many respects, blazing trails for Black women in academia, government, and world affairs. Yet, the Left finds any excuse to denigrate and  demean her legacy and her choices.

And tell me, how many women golfers are fighting to wear a green blazer in Atlanta? Is it even a valid argument? I have my doubts about that.

I decided to expand my comments on Marc Lamont Hill’s “Token” reference:

ATGT re MLH Tweet-Was Robinson a Token

From there Marc Lamont Hill’s logic became even more… circular:

MLH Tweet-Rice First is unnecessary

So there are no longer necessary FIRSTS in Marc Lamont Hill’s world.  Interesting…

MLH Tweet-Rice and Real Change

But I couldn’t let that one let slip by either:

ATGT-Why do your care MLH if her first is unnecessary

Marc Lamont Hill continued to double down on his line of reasoning–or lack of it:

MLH Tweet-Only Minority in the Room

Perhaps he speaks from experience? Are there many under 40 associate professors of color at Columbia University? I speculate that if Marc Lamont Hill were not a Left-wing youngster of a particular race, he would not have the perch he now enjoys. A perch, frankly, that was blazed for him by Secy Rice and other blacks who had to suffer more discrimination and denigration than someone of his generation, or mine for that matter, ever have.

After hitting bottom with that last comment, he continued to dig:

MLH Tweet-Rice is Selfish

By calling Dr. Rice “selfish”, Marc Lamont Hill just destroyed the first part of his statement.

Marc Lamont Hill finished his attack on Secy Rice with this complete falsehood:

MLH Tweet-Nothing to do with Black Repub

Black Republican’s final response was worth the price of admission:

Black Republican Tweet on MLH

Eye roll indeed, along with shaking my head.





In My Orbit

17 01 2013

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Too much swirling in the universe in general, and in my own world; so I’ll touch on the hot topic for the week: President Obama signing 23 executive orders in yet another step toward attacking the Second Amendment and trampling the Constitution. Ed Morrisey’s column in The Fiscal Times does a good job of pointing out the incompetence and pretentiousness of this latest action from the Smoke and Mirrors Presidency.

“The President also announced almost two dozen executive orders that he will sign to bypass Congress on gun violence, a threat that had civil libertarians outraged over potential abuses of power. Instead, the list is a demonstration of executive impotence, procrastination, and an approach that has little to do with the actual Newtown mass murder.”

Obama Thumbs Nose at Congress on Gun Control

On the other side of the spectrum, Gary Younge of the Guardian waxed eloquent about how principled President Obama is for doing something about this problem of gun violence and starting a national conversation:

“His address implied that, after four long years, he had finally worked out what both the office of the presidency in general and his presidency, in particular, were for. Appealing over the heads of a stubborn and gridlocked Congress to the nation at large, the president sought to rally the nation to both a moral cause and much-needed civic engagement.”

Excuse me while I yawn. It appears Mr. Obama is very selective about what rallies him to action. Why did it take the tragedy at Sandy Hook for the President to take action? Were the 532 homicides in his adopted hometown of Chicago in 2012 alone not enough of a clarion call?

Urban Grounds blog points out that Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation; yet, this does not prevent young black men from shooting other young black men on the regular, with young girls and teenagers caught in the crossfire. “10-year Old Daughter of a 24-year Old Mother Shot While Playing Outside on Chicago Street at 11:20 p.m.” and “Obama Visits Chicago, Gun Violence and Murders Drastically Reduced in the Presence of The Won“.

When has Obama sermonized, lectured, and vowed to do something about it? From my general Google search, next to never.

So much for sweet home, Chicago.

So while President Posturing did his dog and pony show with children in tow on Tuesday, Charles “Chuck” Hicks chose to use Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to walk for Civil Rights and the Second Amendment. Courtland Malloy in his Washington Post column profiles this Civil Right’s leader and his dual stance that marching for Civil Rights includes marching for gun rights:

“‘The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,” recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. “The black men in the community wouldn’t stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I’m convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.'”

Malloy points out that Hicks and his family are under constant threat for their stance and presence in the Civil Rights struggle:

“In the current debate over gun rights vs. gun control, predominantly white pro-gun groups such as the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation cite oppressive British rule over the American colonies as the basis for the “right to bear arms.” The terrorism cited by black gun owners such as Hicks, however, is much more recent.

“Just last year, for instance, on the King holiday, arsonists burned a car that belonged to Hicks’s sister in Bogalusa and attempted to burn the home where she and their mother live. His sister is an outspoken advocate for civil rights in Louisiana. Last week, a car was seen circling the block around their home, parked, then suspiciously sped away when neighbors approached. The FBI is investigating both incidents.

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 1,000 hate groups are operating today in the United States, most of them neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates and racist skinheads with a particular antipathy for black people.

“Infringe on the Second Amendment? No way, say 30 percent of African Americans (myself included), according to a recent Pew poll. No doubt many of them believe, like Hicks, that it’s better to have a gun and not need it than not have one and wish you did.”

Damn skippy–count me among them.








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