April 30, 2008

John McCain = 4 More Years of Bush

It's the fifth anniversary of Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech. We should remember that John McCain once noted, "no one has supported President Bush on Iraq more" than he has.

Kudos to MoveOn.org for creating this video.

April 29, 2008

Open Entrance Announces 'Top Ten Best Black Blogs'

I read with interest the Top Ten Best Black Blogs as researched by Brian over at Open Entrance. He uses a different measurement metric than we use here each month. However, the great thing from my perspective is that he made me aware of at least three Black owned & operated blogs that I simply hadn't heard about before.

His Top Ten list is as follows:
  1. MediaTakeOut.com (not BBR-ranked)
  2. Sohh.com (not BBR-ranked)
  3. Bossip.com (BBR #1)
  4. Concreteloop.com (BBR #3)
  5. Young Black & Fabulous (BBR #7)
  6. Nah Right (BBR #4)
  7. Sandra Rose (BBR #10)
  8. Crunk & Disorderly (BBR #97)
  9. Mrs. Grapevine (BBR #42)
  10. Open Entrance (BBR #113)

Brian noted, "The number of blogs in the black blogosphere has exploded and the number is only increasing." The updated Villager's Black Blog Rankings will be posted on May 1st.

Do you follow any of these blogs?

Barack Obama Throws Jeremiah Wright Under the Bus

Barack Obama tried to change the subject from Rev. Wright over the past 6-8 weeks. It didn't work. Today, he decided to change friends. Barack Obama made it clear today that he thought Rev. Wright was wrong, destructive, and disrespectful. Things turned personal today.

Barack Obama held a press conference today in which he denounced his former pastor, Rev. Wright. Obama was visibly angry and upset about the antics of Rev. Wright, especially during the Q&A session at the National Press Club on Monday. Obama went out of his way to give the benefit of the doubt to Rev. Wright a few weeks ago during the race relations speech in Philadelphia.

Rev. Wright could have stayed out of the limelight for the duration of this presidential election cycle. The issue had died down in the public eye. Instead, Rev. Wright went on a 3-day media blitz on PBS, NAACP Detroit fundraiser and National Press Club. He clowned and showed himself to be very self-centered. He enjoyed himself during the NPC Q&A session. He had no concern about Barack Obama's future. Rev. Wright decided to go on national television with this foolishness.

Barack Obama clearly divorced himself from Rev. Wright as a person, not just his comments. Obama realized over the past few days that Rev. Wright was no longer the same person that he knew over the past 20 years. Obama denounced 'ridiculous statements' made by Wright on AIDS, Farrakhan and such.

Now, we wait for the next punch to be thrown. After all, Rev. Wright is a former marine. He is a fighter... and it appears that he is also a very self-centered person that will not resist the urge to fight back. After describing Barack Obama as a phony politician over the past 3-days ... you wonder how he will respond to Obama's press conference remarks.

I'm very disappointed and sad in the road taken by Rev. Wright. All indications are that he is a very intelligent, charasmatic and motivational leader, preacher and theologian. He is a lousy friend, mentor and public figure. He decided that his personal pontification was more important than our nation's opportunity to elect the first African American president. Rev. Wright singlehandedly is putting Obama's presidential aspirations in jeopardy.

The next 72 hours is critical for Obama. He needs to successfully change the subject during his campaign in Indiana and North Carolina. If he can do it ... he may have a chance to win in both states. If we're still talking about Rev. Wright over the weekend ... then Obama may lose both states.
What say u?

Elaine Brown Withdraws as Green Party Presidential Nominee

Elaine Brown was the highest ranking woman in the Black Panther Party back in the day. She had a taste of power that stayed with her through last year when she announced her candidacy to become President of the United States. She had many supporters. I didn't realize until recently that Sis. Brown pulled out of the race.

She wrote on her website,

"As of today, I am no longer a candidate for the Green Party nomination for president of the United States, and I hereby resign from all affiliation with the Green Party. I believe the leadership of the Green Party of the United States has been seized by neo-liberal men who entrench the Party in internecine antagonisms so as to compromise its stated principles and frustrate its electoral and other goals. They have made it impossible to advance any truly progressive ideals or objectives under the umbrella of the Green Party, and, thus, rendered it counterproductive for me to go forward as a Green Party candidate or member.

I believe this small clique that has captured control of the Party has transformed it into a repository for erstwhile, disgruntled Democrats, who would violate the Party’s own vision and sabotage the good will and genuine commitment of the general membership. Indeed, these usurpers foster a reactionary agenda, supporting partisans in and backers of the Bush wars and disavowing the Party’s more progressive tenets in favor of promoting high-profile participation in the politics of the establishment.

This became clear to me almost from the moment I announced my candidacy in February of 2007. I intended using my campaign to bring large numbers of Blacks and browns into the Party, particularly from the hood and the barrio—as would come to be reflected in the lists of supporters and delegates I’ve submitted in connection with my candidacy.

As I asserted I would use the respect I enjoyed as a former leader of the Black Panther Party to do so, some in the hierarchy seemed utterly fearful of the prospect of a massive influx of blacks and browns into the Green Party. Soon, there was wide circulation of false rumors that I was a one-time “government agent,” which was intended to discredit my history in the Black Panther Party so as to undermine my potential influence.—And, since then, I have had to devote significant time and energy to addressing these lies.—What this effort revealed, though, was how the Green Party, while advocating “diversity,” remains dominated by whites. Indeed, the Party is able to count less Blacks, browns and natives in its membership than our national population percentages and certainly less than the Democrats themselves.

In effect, the present Green Party leadership promotes a kinder, gentler capitalism, a moderated racism, an environmentally-sustainable globalism, which I cannot support. They are dedicated to the underside of the Party’s platform, which falls short of repudiating the capitalist state, source of all the social ills the Party would address. They equivocate by promoting “an economic alternative to corporate capitalism and a socialist state,” advocate a “re-formulation” of the IMF,NAFTA, so forth, and advance the institution of “stakeholder capitalism.”

On the other hand, they demonstrate a willingness to override the best of the Party’s platform. My sharp criticism of high-profile Party members’ support for the “three-strikes” crime laws, the sole basis for the inhumane mass incarceration of people in the United States, particularly Blacks—the repeal of which the Party’s platform advocates—has been met with outright enmity. And, to divert attention from this and other critical issues, the leadership has employed chicanery in their promulgation of defamatory lies about me—which they finally extended to character assaults on my supporters and critics of their unscrupulousness.

It is my sincere belief that the Green Party as it now exists has no intention of using the ballot to actualize real social progress, and will aggressively repel attempts to do so. To remain in the fray or in the Party, then, would require a betrayal of my lifelong and ongoing commitment to serving the interests of Black and other oppressed people by advancing revolutionary change in America."

Any thoughts on the Green Party or Elaine Brown that you care to share with us?

April 28, 2008

Creating a Peace to Keep in Darfur

Ending the catastrophe in Darfur requires international protection for civilians, a peace agreement that resolves the underlying political issues, and accountability for human rights abuses. Complete humanitarian access must be assured.

To achieve any of these goals, there must be meaningful consequences for individuals who impede efforts at protection, peacemaking, and humanitarian access. The deployment of an international civilian protection force, authorized last July by the UN Security Council, is moving ahead fitfully in the face of constant obstruction by the Sudanese government (and gross inattention by the Security Council to the pressing needs of the mission). While full and effective deployment of that force is necessary to save lives, it ultimately will prove insufficient unless it is accompanied by a viable peace process. Unfortunately, the current peace process is in shambles.
The ENOUGH Project and the Save Darfur Coalition created a joint report that outlines the urgent steps that must be taken to create a peace to keep in Darfur. The two groups identified these steps through field work, consultations with key actors, and experience with peace processes in Sudan and elsewhere. In particular, the joint report draws on the model used to negotiate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the decades-long war in southern Sudan. [SOURCE]

To date, international actors, including the United States, China, France, and the United Nations, have sought more to manage the Darfur crisis piecemeal rather than solve it completely. Now is the time to appoint an empowered mediator and support that mediator with an international quartet of powers that have leverage and interests in Sudan.

The mediator must simultaneously protect humanitarian access, push for full and effective deployment of the UN-AU civilian protection force authorized last July, and vigorously pursue a viable peace process.

That peace process must address both the local and national issues that underlie the conflict, ensuring that resolution of the conflict in Darfur complements full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the conflict in southern Sudan and that provides a blueprint for the democratic transformation of the entire country.

The problems of Darfur cannot be solved without solving the problems of Sudan and vice-versa. The time has come, finally, to get it right in Sudan. The long-suffering Sudanese people deserve as much.

Do you have what it takes to become an activist on behalf of the Darfuri people? If so, then you are encouraged to download or read this Activist Brief on creating a peace in Darfur.

April 27, 2008

Darfur and Tibet ask 'Am I Not Human?'

Whether your are a blogger or a blog reader ... our hope is that you will join us on the 27th of each month to participate in our 'Am I Not Human' campaign. We often get caught up in our day-to-day lives or in the latest diversions in the presidential elections. Sometimes, we simply aren't aware of the atrocities being committed against human beings in places like Darfur, Tibet and elsewhere.

Sudan, the historic Nubia, is the largest country in Africa. Darfur is roughly the size of Texas. Sudan scarred having fought a civil war for 21 years that killed millions of people. Unfortunately, Sudan is an oil country with 70% of its oil derived revenue fed to the military while the Darfurian people starve. China is the largest stakeholder in Sudanese oil, purchases 70% of Sudan's exports and is Sudan's largest supplier of arms. China has major clout with Sudan. Yet, we have seen over 400,000 Darfurians senselessly murdered and 2.3 million have been displaced. The people of Darfur ask a simple question, 'Am I Not Human?'

Tibet was administered by Llamas (Tibetan Buddhist high monks) as a free and independent state from 1913 to 1950. In 1949, the People's Liberation Army of China invaded Tibet as a part of their cultural revolution. Millions of Tibetans have been murdered as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Tibetans are not free to openly practice their their religion. The Dalai Lama is considered by China to be a terrorist instigator. Tibetan buddhists consider him to be the reincarnation of Buddha. However, speaking of him or possessing his photograph is torturously punishable by Chinese law. China recently renewed its crackdown of Tibet as a result of recent protests. The people of Tibet ask a simple question, 'Am I Not Human?'

I hope you take action! Download our E-book to see a number of ways to take action. Stop supporting businesses who support rapists, torturers or murderers. Do your research. Visit links here, here or here to see what you can do to hold inhumane criminals accountable and stopped flat.

Are you up to supporting this human rights campaign on the 27th of each month? What say u?

rsspect.org Provides Black Blog Headlines

The Young Black Professional Guide created rsspect.org to increase the networking and exposure of blogs that feature content related to Black culture. The concept of rsspect.org is very simple. It is a neat little web application that acts as a headline feed reader for a variety of blogs surrounding the African American experience. The stated goal of the project is to gain visibility for these blogs and empower readers to enjoy our network of opinions.

We are proud to note that those Black-owned blogs shown on rsspect.org have also been included in Villager's Black Blog Rankings. BBR updates are issued on the 1st of each month.

April 26, 2008

More Defections from Team Clinton to Obama's Camp

Have you noticed how many people who know Team Clinton the best seem to be supporting Barack Obama?

The latest to make the jump was Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon, former Ambassador to Chile. Guerra-Mondragon was appointed to the Ambassadorship by Bill Clinton in 1994. More recently he served as a successful fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. Some say he raised over a half-million dollars for her campaign. Yet, this week, he defected from the Clinton campaign and endorsed Barack Obama. A formal announcement of a role for Guerra-Mondragon on Obama's national finance committee will be made next week. Guerra-Mondragon was uneasy with the tone of the Clinton campaign and was beginning to worry about what this would mean for the general election.

He's not the first to defect from Team Clinton. Some others that come to mind are:
  1. Nancy Larson (DNC member & super-delegate) - She was initially pledged to Clinton; but recently changed her mind.

  2. Robert Reich (served in Clinton cabinet) - He announced his endorsement on his blog earlier this month.

  3. Bill Richardson (served in Clinton cabinet) - Quite possibly, the most important endorsement thus far in the campaign. The Clinton campaign is very bitter over this defection.

  4. Greg Craig (Clinton's lawyer during impeachment) - This is a 'Friend of Bill' who has known Hillary and Bill for many years. He has been a friend and confidant ... and it surprised many that he came out as an Obama supporter so early in the process.

  5. Anthony Lake (Clinton's National Security Advisor) - He is a key element of the Obama foriegn policy team.

  6. David Wilhelm (Clinton's campaign manager - They guy who ran the campaign for Bill Clinton endorsed Obama early in the process.

It tells you something when the people who worked so closely with Team Clinton are abandoning the ship. Are there others?

April 25, 2008

Old School Friday: Found A Cure

Mrs. Grapevine announced that our theme this week is 'Perms'. The focus is on showing an artist with a perm hairstyle. If I could find a video with Morris Day singing 777-9111, that would have been my top choice. However, my second choice was anything showing Ashford of 'Ashford & Simpson' fame! Here is one of their best from back in the day. I hope you enjoy...

April 24, 2008

Join Blog Campaign: Am I Not Human?

I am hopeful that all bloggers and blog readers will take a moment to remember humanity. Sometimes we get so tied up on our day-to-day existance that we forget to look up or think globally about humanity. We have a chance to think globally with upcoming major competitive events such as the Beijing Olympics. Many agree that China is a country guilty of numerous human rights violations and outright oppression.

You are invited to take a moment to remember humanity on Sunday, April 27. On that day we are asking bloggers and blog readers all over the world to ask a simple question for Darfurians, Tibetans and others that have been affected by China’s lack of concern for human rights ---> Am I not human?

The Olympics should be global representation of friendship and humanity. However, the Beijing Olympics are tainted by the oppressive reality of China's human rights stance in Darfur, Tibet and elsewhere. China shows a willingness to ignore the lofty principles of the Olympic movement.

Our blog campaign, Am I not human? involves bloggers from a myriad of cultures recognizing the symbolic importance the Olympics claim to represent and the direct violation towards humanity China is guilty of in its act as a supplier to oppressive forces in the Sudan, and it’s unspeakable acts towards Tibetan Monks.

The campaign’s strategy is to educate, motivate and activate. A small ebook will be available for download detailing the background of the struggle in Darfur and Tibet, highlighting real actions that can and should be taken. The ebook will present the opportunity to continue action offline within our communities by anyone claiming to be interested in making a positive change.

AfroSpear blogger Eddie Griffin states, “We will no longer idly stand by and watch such blatant hypocrisy as human beings are inhumanely preyed upon.

The Blog Campaign participants will post in unity on the 27th of each month until real measurable, progressive change can be seen in Darfur and Tibet. Our first postings will begin on Sunday, April 27.

You can learn more from our 'Am I Not Human' Virtual Campaign headquarters or you can email the Campaign Organizers for additional information. The Campaign Organizers are: Daz Wilson, Danielle Vyas, Wayne Hicks and Eddie Griffin.

The next step is yours! What say u?

April 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin is leaving the Law & Order television series after starring in over 200 episodes. His next career move is to star in a biopic entitled 'Sexual Healing' about soul singer Marvin Gaye. There are few positive Black male role models on television, so we will miss Jesse L. Martin...

Another Disappointing Night for Obama Supporters

What a terrible night for those of us that support Barack Obama. Hillary wins Pennsylvania by 10 points. She connects with voters in her victory speech. Barack loses another big state. Barack gives a rather predictable and repetitive concession speech.

I miss the feeling that we had in February when Obama was winning 12 contests in a row. He's now lost three of the last four ... and he simply can't knock Hillary out. He has another chance to get match point in two weeks. If he wins both Indiana and North Carolina ... perhaps that will end it.

I didn't see much of a silver lining last night ... except for the fact that he still has the most victories, delegates, money and popular votes.

What is your take on the Democratic primary at this point? Are you beginning to feel that Obama is going to need to select Hillary as his vice presidential candidate? Any thoughts on Pennsylvania results? Share your village voice....

April 22, 2008

Fox News Attacks Barack Obama

I don't watch Fox News very much because it is difficult to stomach their obvious bias against Barack Obama. In fact, you may recall that I asked you to sign an online petition demanding that the media stop spreading the 'FOX virus'. Brave New Worlds created the video below that uses humor to show the FOXification of the mainstream media. You can see how FOX guests and personalities distort and misrepresent the statements of Obama and those around him, only to have that pesky "liberal" media pick up the smears and keep on running!

It amazes me how much we let Fox News get away with as it relates to its treatment of Barack Obama. Hopefully, the citizens of Pennsylvania won't be hoodwinked or bamboozled.

April 21, 2008

1,100th Blog Joins Villager's Black Blog Rankings

Our tradition is to highlight every 100th blog added to the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR). In the past we highlighted the 800th, 900th and 1,000th blogs added to the BBR.

Today, we are pleased to announce that Slausin-Ass Slaus' Want / Do Not Want is the 1,100th blog added to the BBR.

Want / Do Not Want (BBR #796) , created in February 2008, is another "piece of absolute shenanigans, foolishness and simple ridiculousness" from the creators of Oh Hell Nawl (BBR #147).

April 20, 2008

New AfroSpear Member: Afronerd

Please join me in welcoming Afro Nerd and his blog, Afronerd, to The AfroSpear. Afronerd (BBR #151) is a new and needed web sanctuary for people of color with intellectual and artistic pursuits. This blog addresses subjects such as current events, culture, science, religion, politics, entertainment and literature.

When asked how his blog could help The AfroSpear, Afro Nerd replied that his blog would "provide an alternative political viewpoint for other bloggers and their readership." Afro Nerd himself made a commitment "to contribute to the Black blogosphere with my time, intellect and conservative views ... and to always be open minded and truthful."

It is always great to find unique voices in the blogging diaspora. I hope that you will take a moment to visit Afronerd...

Villager Speaks in Washington DC

I will be in Washington DC on April 24-25 to talk with African American information technology professionals about trends in our industry. The event is free and open to the public. I encourage any villagers living in the greater Washington DC area to come by the event on Thursday night if you have time or inclination. I'll be staying overnight in Arlington, VA. Let me know if there is any chance for an informal meet-up with any villagers while I'm in town...

April 19, 2008

Will Foxy Brown Check Out HousePlansAndMore.com On Her Release From Prison?

I see that Foxy Brown was freed from prison this week. She served 40-days of her sentence in solitary confinement. She had plenty of time to dream of her dream home. Now that she is out in the free world, she might want to check out some pre-drawn home plans.

While it can take an architect months to complete a custom ranch style house plan, HousePlansAndMore.com (a subsidiary of HDA, Inc.) has plans available on their new website that a customer can purchase and obtain a building permit for within a matter of days. In addition to time saved, custom drawings may cost up to 10 times more than a comparable stock home plan. These plans are created to include the most sought after home features, and with thousands to choose from, it is easy to find a home design with all of the amenities desired.

MC Hammer ain't building no mansions anymore! He can tell you that a common theme among anyone deciding to build a home is value. Obtaining the American Dream is a huge investment, possibly the biggest of most people's lifetime. Therefore, when making the decision to build, it is wise to investigate all possible avenues, including the world of pre-drawn home plans or "stock plans." HDA, a premier home plan company, offers thousands of best-selling home designs available at everyone's fingertips on its newly redesigned website.

HDA features more than 15,000 home plans available for purchase on their Web site, from small cottage house plans to log house plans. With that sheer volume, one might feel a bit overwhelmed to begin their search. But with user-friendly search features, including searching by home style, size and estimated cost-to-build, the task becomes a breeze. The site also offers a Photo Gallery, allowing a virtual tour of many homes built from HDA's pre-drawn plans.

For more information or to view the countless pre-drawn home plans they offer, Foxy Brown, MC Hammer or you should contact HDA by phone (314.770-2222) or their online website.

--==[ SPONSORED POST ]==--

Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #17

Step #8 in the Declaration of Financial Empowerment calls for us to 'to support the creation of profitable, competitive, Black-oriented enterprises'.

One way that we can support Black-owned businesses is to educate and motivate ourselves on the subject of business and entrpreneurships. As such, I encourage you to take a moment to check out the 28 blog entries in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #17 compiled by Bootstrapper.

Are you a current or future entrepreneur?

April 18, 2008

New AfroSpear Member * Hawa Bond (Fackin Truth)

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of The AfroSpear! Hawa Bond created Fackin Truth: Two Cents of My Hot Air (BBR #541) in April 2006. She was accepted into The AfroSpear earlier this morning.

Upon joining The AfroSpear, Sis. Bond wrote, "I am a daily reader at the AfroSpear blog, and I've read the mission statement more than once. I seek to become another black mind... a single piece of the collective... dedicated to a human-minded (as opposed to race-minded) future - real enough to understand that this may be an ideal - but strong enough to endure a fight for the possibility."

Villagers, please share some love with this new AfroSpear contributor as she becomes the latest story to be told in the AfroSpear history.

April 17, 2008

Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #16

Step #8 in the Declaration of Financial Empowerment calls for us to 'to support the creation of profitable, competitive, Black-oriented enterprises'.

One way that we can support Black-owned businesses is to educate and motivate ourselves on the subject of business and entrpreneurships. As such, I encourage you to take a moment to check out the 39 blog entries in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #16 compiled by Bootstrapper.

Are you a current or future entrepreneur?

Barack Obama Recap of Philly Debate

Hillary Clinton simply doesn't know how to run on her own record. Her only campaign strategy right now is to bash Barack Obama. It seems that ABC debate mediators were paid by her campaign ... and since George Stepanopolus owes his entire career to the Clintons ... it appeared that George was intent on playing 'gotcha' with Obama for the first 50 minutes of the debate.

My advice to Obama is to stop having debates. There is no upside for him to participate in future debates. Who the phuque is Ayers anyhow?

'E' for Excellence Award

We are honored to receive the 'E' For Excellence award from Maryannville. Maryannville is a popular blog created by Mary Ann. Mary Ann traveled from border-to-border and coast-to-coast before settling in a town with zip code 'E-I-E-I-O'. I met Mary Ann during the Blogging-To-Fame contest last year. She is a powerhouse blogger. As such, it means alot when she shares this award with us.

The rules state that after receiving the Excellent Blog Award, you must pass it on to 10 more excellent bloggers. Here are the ten bloggers that I would like to share this award with today:

Congratulations to each of 'em for doing what they do! I hope that all villagers will take a moment to visit these ten Excellent Bloggers.

April 16, 2008

Is Barack Obama the New Rocky Balboa?

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #15

Step #8 in the Declaration of Financial Empowerment calls for us to 'to support the creation of profitable, competitive, Black-oriented enterprises'.

One way that we can support Black-owned businesses is to educate and motivate ourselves on the subject of business and entrpreneurships. As such, I encourage you to take a moment to check out the 26 blog entries in the Carnival of Business and Entrepreneurship #15 compiled by Bootstrapper.

Are you a current or future entrepreneur?

April 15, 2008

3rd Annual Black Web Awards

The 3rd Annual BlackWebAwards is now accepting nominations in over 100 categories. Nominations are 100% FREE (they won't even ask you for your email address!). We have over 1,000 Black Blogs out there according to the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. Now is the time to celebrate African, African American and Caribbean excellence online. I encourage all villagers to nominate your favorite websites ... heck, nominate as many websites as you wish!

Uhhh....and feel free to nominate the Electronic Village if the spirit moves ya!

April 14, 2008

Congressman Geoff Davis Calls Obama a "Boy"

UPDATE: Geoff Davis personally delivered a letter of apology to Senator Obama today. In the letter, he apologizes for his "poor choice of words."

My current hometown, Cincinnati, is just across the river from Northern Kentucky. The congressman on the other side of the river is Geoff Davis, a Hebron Republican. Rep. Davis was a speaker at Northern Kentucky Lincoln Day dinner. In his speech he compared Obama and his message for change to a "snake oil salesman". [SOURCE]

He said in his remarks at the GOP dinner that he also recently participated in a "highly classified, national security simulation" with Obama. "I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."

It is remarkable to me that Geoff Davis feels comfortable enough to refer to a United States Senator as a "boy" in the public venue of a dinner speech. If white politicians feel comfortable with this type of verbiage in public ... is it unreasonable to think that the N-word very far behind in their conversations in private?

Clutch Magazine Offers Summer Blog Academy

I'm pleased to see more and more Black bloggers taking their craft seriously. Dede Sutton, the sister who runs Clutch Magazine (BBR #17), plans to partner with with Black Web 2.0 (BBR #237 and others to create a summer series that helps her readers learn how to succeed online. The seminar will go over just about every element someone should know when entering the online game. Also, it will hip them to the most up to date trends in social media.
Some of the topics to be discussed in the Summer Blog Academy include:
  • How to make money from your blog or website.
  • Tactics to increase traffic.
  • Learn about social media/marketing in general.
  • Learn how to set up, design and maintain your site.

It should be an interesting experience. I plan to participate as a prelude to attending the Blogging While Brown Conference in Atlanta on July 18-20.

April 13, 2008

Sexual Violence in Darfur

One of the scary aspects of the armed conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region is that women and girls living in displaced persons camps, towns, and rural areas remain extremely vulnerable to sexual violence [SOURCE]. Those responsible are usually men from the Sudanese security forces, militias, rebel groups, and former rebel groups, who target women and girls predominantly (but not exclusively) from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities.

Perhaps even more scary is the public response of the Sudanese government. The government of Sudan has repeatedly denied that sexual violence is a problem in Darfur. As recently as March 2007 President Omar al-Bashir said in a television interview, “It is not in the Sudanese culture or people of Darfur to rape. It doesn’t exist. We don’t have it.

Survivors of sexual violence in Darfur have no meaningful access to redress. They fear the consequences of reporting their cases to the authorities and lack the resources needed to prosecute their attackers. Police are physically present only in principal towns and government outposts, and they lack the basic tools and political will for responding to sexual violence crimes and conducting investigations. Police frequently fail to register complaints or conduct proper investigations. While some police seem genuinely committed to service, many exhibit an antagonistic and dismissive attitude toward women and girls. These difficulties are exacerbated by the reluctance—and limited ability—of police to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or militia, who often gain effective immunity under laws that protect them from civilian prosecution.

Americans are shocked beyond belief when we learn of sexual violence against young girls in our country. This week we are watching the raids on a Texas compound as a result of a 16-year old girl telling police that she was having unwanted sexual relations with a 50-year old polygamist. However, America doesn't seem to be willing to engender any outrage over the sexual violence occurring in Darufur. Women and girls continue to be brutally beaten and raped. Social stigma and obstacles to justice continue to discourage women and girls from seeking redress.

Since 2004 the African Union peacekeeping mission, known as AMIS, made efforts to protect women and girls victimized by sexual violence. But a lack of resources and various logistical and security challenges undermined these efforts. On January 1, 2008, an expanded United Nations-African Union mission (UNAMID) took over the mandate of the African Union mission and has been tasked to ensure security for humanitarian agencies, protect civilian populations, and monitor peace agreements, among other things.

It is imperative that the Sudanese government and UNAMID, still in the process of deployment, give high priority to meeting the challenges associated with addressing sexual violence. The government should demonstrate its resolve to address these serious human rights violations by state security forces and government-backed militias through concrete actions addressing the causes of sexual violence:
  1. Bring to an end all attacks on civilians, including women and children, by government forces and government-backed militia.

  2. Issue clear, public instructions in the form of a presidential decree to all members of the armed forces and government-sponsored militia, that rape and other forms of sexual violence will be promptly investigated and prosecuted.

  3. Hold those responsible for acts of sexual violence, including those in positions of authority, accountable as a matter of command responsibility.

  4. Ensure police and prosecutors are trained in victim-sensitive approaches to handling criminal investigations, and that properly trained female police investigators are deployed to police stations in Darfur, especially to internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.

  5. Revise criminal laws on sexual violence to provide for attempted rape and ensure rape victims are not exposed to prosecution for adultery, as is possible—and has happened in the past—under Sudanese law.

  6. Clearly and publicly instruct military authorities to comply promptly and transparently to requests from police and prosecutors regarding criminal investigations of members of the armed forces.

  7. Repeal immunity laws that provide members of the security forces effective immunity from prosecution in civilian courts for human rights violations, including acts of sexual violence.

I encourage all villagers to take a moment and download the 8-page summary and recommendations made to provide justice for victims of sexual violence in Darfur. You've been reading the various posts that are part of the In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur blogblast ... what have you learned? Are you motivated to take action?

In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur ~ Crisis in Darfur

Villagers, this post is part of In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur called by Modern Musings and supported by All About Race, A Political Season, Black and Missing But Not Forgotten, BlackPerspective.net, Black Women Blow The Trumpet, Black Women Vote, CEO Mum, Darfur: An Unforgivable Hell on Earth, Eddie G. Griffin, Electronic Village, Mrs. Grapevine, Musings of the Night, My African Diaspora, Opinionated Black Woman, Regina's Family Seasons, Slant Truth, Sojourner's Place, Take Political Action, The Jose Vilson, The Unapologetic Mexican, Trav’s Thoughts, UltraViolet Underground, Vanessa Unplugged and others.

Take your time and browse through the eight (8) links below. I encourage you to share a link with this post on your blog even if you aren't participating in the blogblast today. We need to ensure that this genocide does not continue on our watch!

  1. The Current Situation
  2. What Needs to Be Done
  3. Crisis Group Analysis
  4. Current Information on the Humanitarian Situation
  5. News & Other Reporting
  6. International and Local NGOs Working on Darfur
  7. Important Documents
  8. What You Can Do

What are your thoughts on the situation in Darfur?

Our Choice, Too: On The Edge in Darfur

This six-minute video was aired on Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria. Pulitzer Center Director Jon Sawyer traveled in early 2006 to Sudan, where he spent a week with African Union peace monitors in Darfur. You can watch the full 20-minute video documentary if you have time or inclination.

China's Genocide Games

Villagers are encouraged to check out this article describing the connection between Darfur and China. Obama, Nadar and others have publically tied the Beijing Olympics to the situation in Darfur. Many of us watched the heated protests in Paris, San Francisco and elsewhere during the journey of the Olympic Flame.

It goes without saying that the Beijing Olympics are a powerful target to be pursued by any of us that care about the Darfur genocide. Eric Reeves lays it out for us in his article entitled, 'China's Genocide Games'.

Traveling in Darfur: Six-Week Travelogue

Many Villagers simply don't know very much about Darfur. As such, we may think that we cannot make a difference in stopping the genocide taking place in that part of the world. One way we can move forward in a positive manner is to simply learn more about the conflict. The Res Publica Team that runs Darfurgenocide.org conducted a six-week trip to Darfur and the surrounding areas. This travelogue describes their encounters with the Darfuri people, political leaders as well as the Sudanese Liberation Army.

I encourage all Villager to take a moment to download the report and recommendations being made by the Res Publica Team. More importantly, I hope you will take some time to click on the links below to follow the summary and photos of their six week journey:

Villagers, this post is part of In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur called by Modern Musings and supported by A Political Season, Black and Missing But Not Forgotten, BlackPerspective.net, Black Women Vote, CEO Mum, Darfur: An Unforgivable Hell on Earth, Eddie G. Griffin, Electronic Village, Musings of the Night, My African Diaspora, Regina's Family Seasons, Slant Truth, Take Political Action, The Jose Vilson, Trav’s Thoughts, UltraViolet Underground, Vanessa Unplugged, What About Our Daughters and others.

Villagers, what is your take on the situation in Darfur? More importantly, what steps do you advocate for us to end the genocide in that part of the world?

Video: Living Darfur (Mattafix)

The official music video for 'Living Darfur' filmed on the border of Chad and Darfur. I had not heard of Mattafix prior to the 'In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur' effort. It turns out Mattafix is a Londoner duo that is a cross-cultural, ambitious & committed crew described as being halfway between Hip hop, Electro, Pop and Reggae.

This is my first post as part of the In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur blogblast. Please come back often and feel free to let others know about this effort. We must not let this genocide happen on our watch!

April 12, 2008

3GB Community and Vivica Fox Sex Tape

At some point you would think that there would be one too many social community networks out on the Internet. It is one thing to spot Vivica Fox drunk and having sex while her buddy films it on a cellphone ... but, wouldn't it be great if we could find that same entertainment on an Internet community site? If so, I imagine we would want a community site with something unique. Perhaps one that was first rate, offered ease of use, the ability to upload photo albums, chat with friends and maybe even enter the blog community.

I'm not certain that Vivica Fox is there yet ... but, it seems to me that the 3GB Community offers a good value for anyone seeking a new online social network. Another benefit of the 3GB Community is that is offers the ability to listen to the latest mp3 hits. Joining is free. If you don't find Vivica ... you can look me up. I signed up as Villager earlier today.

--==[ Sponsored Post ]==--

Missing: Chioma Gray ~ $5,000 Reward

A private organization, the Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, is offering a $5,000 reward for the safe return of Chioma Gray, an Oxnard teen missing since December.

Police and the FBI say Andrew Joshua Tafoya disappeared with 15-year-old Chioma Gray to Mexico seven months after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with her. Tafoya was named in a federal criminal complaint for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution after being charged in December with child stealing, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and car theft, according to the FBI. A $5,000 reward also will be paid for information leading to Tafoya's arrest and conviction.

Gray's family and friends have not heard from her since she disappeared. Authorities ask anyone with information on the case to contact the FBI at (310) 477-6565 or Ventura police at (805) 339-4400. [SOURCE]

Obama Ties Beijing Olympic Boycott to Crisis in Darfur

Much of the protests against the Olympic Games in Beijing focused around the way that China is handling the unrest in Tibet. I was pleased to see Barack Obama pivot the discussion to include the relationship that China has with Sudan.

Barack Obama called for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Obama said a boycott "should be firmly on the table," but that a decision should be made closer to the Games.

Here is Obama's full statement:
"If the Chinese do not take steps to help stop the genocide in Darfur and to respect the dignity, security, and human rights of the Tibetan people, then the President should boycott the opening ceremonies. As I have communicated in public and to the President, it is past time for China to respect the human rights of the Tibetan people, to allow foreign journalists and diplomats access to the region, and to engage the Dalai Lama in meaningful talks about the future of Tibet. I am also deeply concerned about China's failure to support efforts to halt the genocide in Darfur. Regarding the Beijing Olympics this summer, a boycott of the opening ceremonies should be firmly on the table, but this decision should be made closer to the Games."
Please join the Electronic Village and others tomorrow as we participate in a Blogblast entitled, 'In Solidarity: Global Day for Darfur'.

April 11, 2008

New AfroSpear Member: Sojourner's Place

Please join me in welcoming Sojourner's Place to The AfroSpear. Her membership was accepted earlier this week. Sojourner's Place is an afrocentric blog created with the professional African American woman in mind. The scope of Sojourner’s Place evolves every day. I've been reading her for most of the past month or so. The sister inspires, informs, motivates and energizes her 'sojourners'. It is no wonder that her blog has moved up the Black Blog Rank to its current #405 slot.

When asked how her blog would contribute to the mission and purpose of The AfroSpear, Sojourner wrote, "As the 'proprietor' of Sojourner's Place, I will bring the 'truth' to my readers. That 'truth' will always be presented in a dignified and intellectual manner - and will never be based on false or misleading information. Sojourner's Place will be one more 'warrior' in the AfroSpear to serve as advocate and change agent."

Share some love with Sojourner and the other members of The AfroSpear if you have time or inclination!

April 10, 2008

Will Colin Powell Endorse Barack Obama?

It was interesting to read recent Colin Powell interview in which he praises Barack Obama for his speech on race relations. Powell provided advice and counsel to Obama earlier in the campaign. However, retired Gen. Colin Powell insists he hasn't yet decided who he'll back in the 2008 presidential election.

"I'm looking at all three candidates," Powell said in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer for Thursday's "Good Morning America" on ABC. "I know them all very, very well. I consider myself a friend of each and every one of them. And I have not decided who I will vote for yet."

Villagers, I like Colin Powell. He phuqued his legacy up bigtime when he carried the water for the Bush administration to the United Nations in the build-up for the Iraq War. He misled and lied to the international community as well as to the American people. It was a shameful act ... and Colin Powell expressed regret for his role in that UN testimony after the fact.

All that being said, I still like Colin Powell. In fact, I remember when he retired from the military and nobody knew whether he was going to participate in politics as a democrat or republican. I hoped he would run for president as a democrat. Do y'all remember those days?

April 9, 2008

Philadelphia Tribune: 'Blogger Nation'

The afrosphere (in general) and The AfroSpear (in particular) are featured in the April issue of The Philadelphia Tribune. The article is called 'Blogger Nation' and focuses on the Civil Rights Movement currently growing on the web.

A number of AfroSpear blogs and bloggers are highlighted in the article, including Jack and Jill Politics, What About Our Daughters and Dallas South. There is also a mention of the Villager's Black Blog Rankings. Cool, huh?

The bloggers making up The AfroSpear are getting into the mainstream media more and more often. One of our brethren was on CNN last night! I hope that many of us are able to meet one another in person at the Blogging While Brown conference later this year in Atlanta GA. Any chance that you can attend?

Condoleeza Rice for Vice President? Are Civil Rights Groups Obsolete?

Farai Chideya hosted Blogger's Roundtable on NPR News & Notes earlier today with Arlene Fenton, Jay Anderson and me. We talked about the rumors of Condoleeza Rice seeking vice presidency.

All three of us agreed that Condi Rice was not going to be McCain's veep candidate. All reports indicate that she wants to leave Washington DC at the end of Bush's term of office in order to return to the academic world of Stanford University. I don't think Condi brings anything useful to a McCain ticket. She doesn't have economics expertise ... nor is she a darling of the radical right ... also, she is tightly-tied to George W. Bush ... and that ain't a good thing for McCain! Those are three things that McCain needs in his VP candidate.

Actually, the rumors are insulting in some respects to the talent-level of Condi Rice. She has some serious skillz and doesn't deserve to have her name thrown in the ring by the Republicans to counterbalance the diverse talent (Clinton or Obama) being showcased by the Democrats.

Our roundtable also dealt with the question of whether or not Civil Rights groups are obsolete. What do you think villagers? Are groups like the NAACP or the Urban League or CORE or SCLC obsolete? In our view, the issue went beyond the ability of these groups to adopt new-age technology, such as blogs. Rather, the blogger's panel wondered if the leadership of these groups could look at problems in our community from a 21st century perspective.

As an example, we noted that NAACP and Al Sharpton jumped on comparisons of the Dunbar Village ('alleged') rapists were being treated unfairly in light of the fact that ('alleged') white rapists in Boca Raton are free on bail. Ol' school thinking! White boys got bail, therefore, our Black boys should get bail. That is stinkin' thinkin' when the Black boyz are undeniably responsible for rape, torture and terrorism with an innocent mother and her son. 21st century thinking is that no bail should be offered to the Dunbar Village rapists. Eventually Al Sharpton and NAACP apologized for their stinkin' thinkin'.

Finally, I was pleased with Bro. Anderson (AverageBro blog) perspective that our civil rights organizations ... and Black bloggers ... should be more PROactive and less REactive. For example, he calls for bloggers and Black organizations to get engaged in mentoring, tutoring and other PROactive efforts to keep our young people on the right path, rather than REact when our young people get involved in rapes, gangs or other counter-productive behavior.

We had a great time. I hope you had a chance to listen to us live ... but, if not, you can click here to listen to what we had to say. What would you have said on either of the two questions --> Condi Rice for Vice President? or Are Civil Rights groups obsolete?