Thursday, October 20, 2016

Aretha Franklin - Willing To Forgive

A Black Conservative Explains His Dilemma

Jackie Robinson is remembered for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, but he played a less heralded role in Republican politics and black community activism. Robinson was a vital voice of reason in the early ‘60’s as the black liberation movement in the urban north grew more radicalized. He struggled to preserve an older, conservative vision of social progress against a wave of left-wing extremism.

In his biography, Robinson described what drew him to Republican politics:

“I believed blacks ought to become producers, manufacturers, developers and creators of businesses, providers of jobs. For too long we had been spending too much money on liquor while we owned too few liquor stores and were not even manufacturing it.

“If you found a black man making shoes or candy or ice cream, he was a rarity. We talked about not having capital, but we needed to learn to take a chance, to be daring, to pool capital, to organize our buying power so that the millions we spent did not leave our communities to be stacked up in some downtown bank.

“In addition to the economic security we could build with green power, we could use economic means to reinforce black power. How much more effective our demands for a piece of the action would be if we were negotiating from the strength of self-reliance rather than stating our case in the role of a beggar or someone crying out for charity.”

This was a sharp contrast with the dominant values that were emerging in the black community in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. For the growing black left in the ‘60’s oppression was defined, not resolved, by capitalism. In the early ’60′s men like Robinson found themselves trapped. The Republican Party, which had long been the outlet for their values, was looking to Dixie for votes. Though they saw little to like in the priorities of the Democratic Party, the climate for African-Americans in the GOP was becoming increasingly difficult.

The 1964 Republican Convention was the first to give white Southerners a significant role. Not surprisingly, it also featured lowest black representation ever at a GOP national convention. Not coincidentally, the second lowest was 2012.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.



One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.

Some of these anti- Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.
But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term.


Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.

Read more:

John McWhorter: 4 reasons to learn a new language -

Akil Alleyne — You're Killing Us, Gary Johnson

There's no good excuse for these ridiculous gaffes that the Libertarian Party nominee has been making—and the liberty movement and the country will pay the price.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dr. Anthony Bradley — Rhode Island makes it difficult to suspend students

The current problems with the school-to-prison pipeline often start with poor school discipline policies. Various school discipline policies and tactics have recently come under criticism for being overly harsh—often causing students to drop out of school. The frequent use of suspension and expulsion for minor offenses has become commonplace in many schools across the country.

Over the summer Gina Raimondo, the Democratic governor of Rhode Island, signed a bill into law1 making it harder for schools to suspend students for minor infractions. The law creates stricter guidelines for when students can be sent home from school in order to lower the number of suspensions. High suspension rates are just one of the contributing factors to the school-to-prison pipeline. A Febuary 2015 study2 by The Center for Civil Rights Remedies looked at some of the contributing factors to the problem and how the policies affect different parts of the population.

Data cited in the report found that most suspensions occur in secondary school and are rarely used in younger grades. Students who had a disability were suspended twice as much as non-disabled students in the 2009-10 school year. One out of 3 students with an emotional disturbance were suspended.

Read the full article HERE.

Reginald Kaigler ― Why Hillary CLINTON Is Losing!

My commentary on why Hillary Clinton will ultimately lose the election. The questions about Hillary's health, her honesty, the email scandal, the deleted Benghazi emails, the Clinton Foundation pay for play situation will all contribute to her defeat in Nov.


Akil Alleyne — Colin Kaepernick Shows the Perils of Celebrity Politics

By alienating patriotic Middle Americans, Kaepernick's protest risks directing public attention to his methods rather than to his cause.


Ayo Sogunro — On Classthink and the "Other" Nigeria

"It takes a deliberate—and often painful—effort to pierce the bubble wrap and actually see the bleak landscape inhabited by the masses that service our comforts and execute our needs." — Ayo Sogunro

I have previously written on our “classthink” mentality in Nigeria. Classthink explains why those of us who are members of the educated middle class often overlook the circumstances of poor Nigerians when discussing government policy. We weigh government policy from the perspective of our immediate environments. If the policy works for us, then it is good enough. If we can “endure”, then so should everyone else. This is dangerous and, somewhat, juvenile. However, this attitude is not surprising. Most of us in the educated middle class are only aware of the “Nigeria” that surrounds us. This is the Nigeria inhabited by our immediate family, neighbours, colleagues, and networks.

It is the Nigeria where education is natural and accessible, along with its career options. Education confers the benefits of policies and laws governing human rights, access to government, commerce and employment, insurance, health, pensions and so on. People with similar experiences orbit our personal space. It rarely occurs to us that we are in the minority in Nigeria.

Inevitably, our perception of reality is distorted. We substitute our own experiences as the reality of all other Nigerians. It takes a deliberate—and often painful—effort to pierce the bubble wrap and actually see the bleak landscape inhabited by the masses that service our comforts and execute our needs.

Read the full article HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

John McWhorter on Black English (or AAVE)


CHE Sadaphal — THE MAGIC OF REALITY by Richard Dawkins

The bottom line: A book that is “magical” when it sticks to objective science and quite ordinary when it dives into subjective opinion.

At its core, The Magic of Reality successfully accomplishes what it sets out to do: take a broad approach to clearly explain natural phenomenon and clarify what makes the world work the way that it does. Yet ironically, the book’s purity becomes tainted when it acts quite unlike a scientist and delves into the realm of subjective speculation to answer questions where the scientific evidence isn’t as compelling.

The Magic of Reality begins with a chapter titled, “What is Reality? What is Magic?” which sets the rules for how we ought to determine what is true. This is based on our senses, evidence, and scientific models that both make reality-predictions and are dynamic in order to accommodate new information. Resultantly, the author affirms that “how we know what’s really true” is based on a system that is neither infallible nor does it offer exact explanations for everything that can be observed.

Read the full article HERE.

General Assembly – Dr Dambisa Moyo with Elhadj As Sy, Facing the humanitarian challenges ahead

Alan Keyes ― Can liberty be saved from a pair of demagogues?

Alan Keyes holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard and wrote his dissertation on constitutional theory.


This morning, I saw a press release about an Internet documentary series called "Third Candidates" that's being put together by two filmmakers, John Farrell and Jake Simms. According to Farrell, "because of widespread dissatisfaction with the major parties, there's still some room for shakeups between now and November."

This report led me to reflect on the tragic irony of the electoral misdirection that at present seems poised to secure the demise of the constitutional self-government of the people of the United States. That misdirection has entirely perverted the character of the role American voters are supposed to play in the selection of the president and vice president of the United States. The proponents of the U.S. Constitution regarded its implementation of
the principle of "representation" as the key reason the self-government of the American people would escape the fatal course of events that overturned every republic, in ancient and modern times, that formally relied upon the sovereign power of the people at large.

By reason of natural justice, America's founders were sincere proponents of republican self-government. Even such cautionary tales as the fate of the Dutch Republic in the 17th century did not lead them to reject it. Because of the "Glorious Revolution," the history of the British Monarchy had a direct link with that of the Dutch Republic. Of course, that republic also figured in the heritage of Dutch settlers in New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey, whose descendants played an important part in the American Revolution.

Read the full article HERE.

Anthony Rek LeCounte ― Pride and Terrorism: Reflections on Orlando

Anthony Rek LeCounte is a Yale-educated conservative. He blogs at Token Dissonance, where this essay originally appeared.

“People like me are constantly subjected to immense violence. I expect violence walking alone late at night… I expect random acts of hate violence on the street. [But] I do not expect violence when I am dancing at an LGBTQ club…” –Jacob Tobia

Sunday morning, after news of the Orlando terrorist attack broke, I received a text message from an old friend I hadn’t connected with in a while. A Jewish UChicago Law graduate (and passionate Duke alumnus) from suburban New York, he is a stalwart #NeverTrump conservative who interned for Utah Senator Mike Lee and campaigned mightily for the presidential campaign of Texas Senator Ted Cruz from start to finish. Like both senators, this friend is socially conservative to a fault, and we have sparred often and bitterly through the years over gay rights, from the Obergefell decision to the various iterations of the Federal Marriage Amendment to the circumstances in which my future husband and I should be able to adopt kids.

Some might wonder how I would have the patience for such a friendship, and I don’t have an easy answer to that question for the truly incredulous. But some people are worth the long project of winning their hearts bit by bit, even through the inexorable pain of the many potholes and snares along the way.

His text read: “Just want you to know that as I wake up to this terrible news in the midst of Pride week, that I am thinking of you. That is all. Hope you are well, otherwise.”
It was a welcome surprise, considering.

As the unexpected thoughtfulness of that gesture has lingered, it’s been surreal to see the furious amalgam of LGBT allies—from the ACLU to a vast network on social media—blaming Christian opponents of gay rights, among others, for the murderous evil of a radicalized adherent to the superlative homophobia of Islamism. Most social conservatives, like just about everyone else, recoiled in horror and sadness from the undisputed evil of anti-gay terrorism. Accordingly, many of them, like my Jewish UChicago Law friend, were dumbfounded and insulted to be public targets of blame for villains they revile engaging in conduct they abhor.

Read the full article HERE.

Superb discussion btwn serious, enlightened men: Sam Harris vs Glenn Loury

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris talks to economist Glenn C. Loury about racism, police violence, the Black Lives Matter movement, and related topics.

Stephen L. Carter — Why I Support Dissent: My Great-Uncle Who Wouldn't Name Names

Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park” and “Back Channel,” and his nonfiction includes “Civility” and “Integrity.”

Dashiell Hammett and Alphaeus Hunton, on their way to jail in 1951.
Source: Bettmann
(Bloomberg View)

This year marks a peculiar anniversary for my family. Seventy-five years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a file on my great-uncle. Ten years after that, he was in a federal penitentiary for refusing to name names. The swirl of events of the intervening decade helps explain why I believe so strongly in the freedom of dissent, and why I find so repulsive efforts to restrict debate on controversial subjects, or to try to harass or intimidate those with whom we disagree into recanting or shutting up.

My great-uncle’s name was Alphaeus Hunton. He taught English at Howard University. He held a master’s degree from Harvard and a doctorate from New York University. His specialty was the Victorian poets, particularly Tennyson. And in 1941, due largely to his activism in the cause of anti-colonialism, the FBI opened a file on him.

Well, a lot of people had FBI files in those days. But Alphaeus, it seems, was special. Within months, agents were following him around, watching his mail, and quietly spreading the word that he was a subversive and should not be trusted or (especially) funded. They spoke to his neighbors and his employers. Because he taught at Howard -- a federal institution -- they tried to get him fired. J. Edgar Hoover signed off on a preventive detention order to be used to justify Alphaeus’s arrest in the event of national emergency. In the file is a poignant letter from my great-uncle, asking whether he is under surveillance. The bureau never answered, and the letter did not slow things down.

Read the full article HERE.

John McWhorter — Ellen DeGeneres Is Not Racist

John McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University

(Time Magazine)

One of the most disgusting photographs I have ever known was the one in 2000 of then New Jersey governor Christie Todd Whitman. She was riding along on a cop call; when a black man was detained, the cops invited her to take a turn at frisking the man. In the picture, Whitman is heartily grinning for the camera as she frisks—or really, “frisks”—this human being, as if she had caught a massive salmon, as if this were some kind of sport.

I’m not one for using occasions like that to deem someone a racist, but the photo was starkly and appallingly tone-deaf. That photo is of someone ignoring the ignoble history of American law enforcement and its effects on black people, ignoring that excessive profiling—as hot an issue in 2000 as it is today—is a keystone scourge of black communities, ignoring that quite a few criminals have mental health problems, or are truly desperate, or are otherwise victims of circumstances beyond their control.

Apparently we are to have the same kinds of feelings about a new photo: Ellen DeGeneres’ photoshopping of herself in a tweet as riding Usain Bolt’s back, captioned with “This is how I’m running errands from now on.” DeGeneres, we are told, is implying that a black person’s proper place is as some kind of pack animal.

Read the full article HERE.

Darrell B. Harrison — The Myth of “Black Community”

They surmise because black people have a “particular characteristic in common”, namely melanin, there exists an inherent “feeling of fellowship” because, again, being black, we naturally “share common attitudes, interests, and goals”, and on that basis further assume that blacks prefer to “live together” in “specified habitats”.

In other words, get a group of black and brown-skinned people together in one place and – Voila! – like magic – “black community”.

See how this works?

It is a mindset that gives little or no consideration whatsoever to the uniqueness of one’s God-given personhood. No thought at all to diversity of ideological worldview or individual cultural or social experience.

It simply assumes that to be of a certain skin color is to be in “community” with others who likewise might be of a similar skin color.

It is the cultural equivalent of making instant oatmeal for breakfast. Only instead of hot water, “just add melanin”.

Read the full article HERE.

Akil Alleyne ― What Forms of Gun Control Are Justified?

"Actually, in many respects, guns already *are* regulated like cars in the U.S." and other thoughts.

Here's Professor Eugene Volokh's article about regulating guns like cars:

Willie Lawson ― Building A Urban Conservative Infrastucture

It is 2016 and we are talking about some of the same things we were in 2008. Omissions and poor ground strategies by conservatives and the GOP. Primarily in the Urban communities across the nation.


School choice and the liberation of low-income families

Education reform: For Marquette professor Howard Fuller, it's not about test scores, it's about liberation and freedom. But Fuller argues that the ed reform movement has three requirements for success: Low-income families need school choices, the schools they choose among must be high quality, and the reform movement must be led by the people it's trying to liberate.

Dirk Tillotson ― Why do I and other black families support charter schools?

(Citizen Ed)

Most Black families support charter schools, not because they are duped or privatizers, but because many see their neighborhood schools, and know their children need better options.  I know, because I saw it first hand in West Oakland, struggling to get my brother the education he deserved, in a system that didn’t treat him with concern or respect.

I never intended to be the charter guy, it just happened.  It all started when I went to my brother “johnny’s” school in West Oakland.

When schools disrespect you

“The teacher made fun of my mama” my little brother said, restraining his sobs.
I would help Johnny with his homework if I was around, but I was in law school and out a lot.  If his mom couldn’t help him, I told him to just tell the teacher he couldn’t do the homework and needed help.

That’s what he did.  The teacher then mocked him in front of the class, “Johnny’s mom doesn’t know how to do long division.” Chuckles and ridicule, he is humiliated, and she insulted his mom.
I wrote a nice letter…It’s not his fault…maybe we can meet and talk about a schedule to support his homework or what resources there are…very nice.

Next day in class, the teacher starts in again, “Oh I better not say anything to Johnny or he will get his big brother after me.”  Another frustrated call from Johnny.

I write another letter… it’s not right to embarrass him…more formal…and asking for a meeting.
We meet, there are 4 or 5 folks there.  I don’t know what they expected.  The teacher addresses me in a condescending tone, “those were very big words in the letter you wrote.”
I think they were trying to say I didn’t write it or understand it, because some brother from West Oakland couldn’t write it.  But who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of people.
“You learn big words at Berkeley Law School” I responded.

Long pause, and everything changes.

Read the full article HERE

(Other Related Articles).

Theodore Dalrymple: Is Society Broken?

Theodore Dalrymple — nom de plume of the ‘sceptical doctor’ Anthony Daniels — will explore social and economic inequality in a session titled Is Society Broken? How to think about poverty, crime and inequality. A retired doctor and psychiatrist who worked in prisons in Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham, Dalrymple has famously chronicled ‘life at the bottom’, anatomising the development of a multigenerational underclass in Western democracies. His lively and provocative essays and books — including Life At The Bottom, If Symptoms Persist, Spoilt Rotten! The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality and The Wilder Shores of Marx — challenge liberal mainstream views about the causes of crime and the reality of poverty. Dalrymple is the CIS’ Max Hartwell Scholar-in-Residence for 2016.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Reginald Kaigler ― HARD TRUTH: The Republican Party Needs Cultural Change To WIN AMERICA!

By Reginald Kaigler

I'm going to tell you what's wrong with the Republican Party. Obviously, the party has abandoned its small government/liberty ideological roots. But its inability to attracting racial minorities is making the party less and less relevant in American cities and threatens to create a situation where conservatives can't win presidential elections (or even compete in many senatorial races).

I will discuss how the GOP can attract more minority voters and win the victory. But first, I must explain why the GOP is losing minority votes. Rough Upbringing I will use myself as an example.

I am a 34 year old black Libertarian who loves guns and doesn't want to government to take over every aspect of my life.

I was born in the Motor City in 1981 during the beginning of a major economic downturn for the industrial north. The auto industry was beginning to move jobs over seas and close manufacturing plants in cities such as Detroit and Flint, MI.

I was raised by a single black mother in the industrial decaying city of Flint, MI. My mother raised my older sister and I in the heart of the Rust Belt. We were homeless when we moved to Flint in 1985. Although my family depended on welfare and food stamps to get by, I never felt comfortable in that environment. I think this is why I've always looked for a political path that was different from the people I was surround by. As a young man in college, I didn't know a lot about politics, but I knew that I walked something different. My mother and older sister were staunch Democrats, but I never cared for the Democratic Party. After all, the Democrat Party had always controlled the impoverished city of Flint and usually controlled the declining state of Michigan.

Read the full article HERE. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bryant Jackson-Green ― Illinois voters support removing licensing restrictions for ex-offenders

Each year, more than 30,000 people are released from Illinois prisons and face the challenge of re-entering society. The surest way for ex-offenders to get their lives back on track – and not return to prison – is to find a good job. One barrier in the way of successful workforce re-entry, however, is the fact that Illinois has 118 occupational and professional licenses that by law can be denied ­– and in some cases must be denied – to people with criminal records.

A majority of Illinois registered voters oppose these restrictions, as shown by a May 2016 poll the Illinois Policy Institute commissioned. Pollsters surveyed 500 Illinois registered voters about criminal-justice reform issues, including occupational licensing. Pollsters asked respondents:
Illinois has at least 118 business and occupational licenses that by law either must or may be denied to people with criminal records. This includes, for example, occupations such as barber and real estate agent. Once someone has successfully completed their prison sentence and parole, do you think they should be denied these licenses, or should they be granted these licenses if they’re otherwise qualified?
Seventy-six percent of respondents say they should be granted – compared to just 15 percent who disagree.

Read the full article HERE. 

Reginald Kaigler ― Forming A Group May Save Your Life In A CRISIS

Ex Top Cop: We Need a New Model of Policing

L.E.A.P.'s Neill Franklin reacts to Philando Castillo and Anton Sterling shootings, the deaths of Dallas police officers, and #BlackLivesMatter.


The horrific deaths of Philando Castillo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, give us an updated and up-close glimpse of police encounters gone bad—but they are rooted in decades of problematic policing in America. "Historically in this country, the police have never really been the friends of the black community," says Neill Franklin, a former officer with the Baltimore Police Department and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P).

Franklin talked with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at this year's Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, pointing out that slavery may have ended officially in the late 1800s, but a lot of policing was born out of that era and the one that followed, when police deliberately enforced laws in ways that targeted black citizens. Even today, police are tasked with enforcing laws—from driving without a license to missing a court date—that tend to target poor communities and communities of color.

"You know a $250 fine doesn't mean much to people who have money," says Franklin. "But when you enforce these policies in poor communities, a hundred dollar fine can devastate a family."

It comes down to the need for a new model of policing in America, says Franklin, not just tweaks of the same old system. "What we have now is not like trying to fix a broken car, this car was a used car in the first place."

Akil Alleyne ― Justin Timberlake Is No Cultural Appropriator

Non-Black artists who make Black music aren't "appropriating" it just because they don't throw themselves into Black political struggles as well. They're musicians, not politicians or professional activists; let them do what they do.

Darrell B. Harrison ―Black Lives Matter and the Mirage of Activist Salvation

“All of us growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us.”Isaiah 59:11 (NASB)
I recently undertook a rather judicious study of the Guiding Principles of the entity known as Black Lives Matter (or BLM). In reading carefully through each of the organization’s 13 precepts, I was surprised by the extent to which many of the words and phrases used to describe them have either a direct or indirect parallel in biblical theology.
This is not to suggest that the dogma to which BLM subscribes has its origins in biblical Christianity.
That is not what I am positing at all.
In fact, if I were pressed on the matter, I would say without equivocation that the approach BLM has adopted in its attempts to bring about the kind of world it envisions, is more closely aligned with the philosophy of Karl Marx than Jesus Christ.
I am saying only, as a collective ethos, that much of what BLM aspires to achieve is rooted in ideals that are not totally foreign to the pages of sacred Scripture (e.g. justice, equity, love, community, and so on).
On the surface, the principles that guide the BLM movement appear quite laudable.
Read the full article HERE. 

Charles Badger ― What Black Speakers at the RNC Didn’t Say

“It often seemed that to be accepted within the conservative ranks…a black was required to become a caricature of sorts, providing sideshows of anti-black quips and attacks.”
That “sideshow” came to Cleveland last month. And those words — spoken by Clarence Thomas — are as true today as when he said them almost 30 years ago.

Polling shows the overwhelming majority of black Americans think we have a problem with policing in America. White Americans— because their communities, in general, are policed differently — are far less likely to see this problem. So, naturally, the Republican Party went to the ends of the Earth to find the few black people who see no problem with policing in America.
What we saw at the RNC was a procession of faces of color gleeful to distance themselves from people of color. We were reminded — as if we needed it — that there is a market for black people publicly admonishing other black people. Most distasteful, the party was all-too-eager to provide a platform for this.

Read the full article HERE.