November 30, 2008

The Storm is Over ... Hope is Here!

I'm still feeling the glow from the November 4th election results. Are you?

November 29, 2008

Who Will Replace Julian Bond as NAACP Board Chair?

Villagers, we didn't talk about it earlier ... but, it is worth noting that Julian Bond, 68, will not seek reelection as NAACP National Board Chairman when his term ends in February 2009. Bro. Bond served in this post for 10 years.

"This is the time for renewal. We have dynamic new leadership. The country has a new President in Barack Obama; the organization has a new CEO in Benjamin Jealous, and we'll soon have a new Chairman of the NAACP Board. The NAACP and the country are in good hands," he added.

It strikes me that the NAACP has a critical decision when they elect their next national board chair. Will they elect another 'old school' person? Or will they take this opportunity to truly turn the NAACP over to the next generation of Black leaders?

The organization made a statement with the selection of Ben Jealous as the CEO. Will they sustain the momentum of becoming relevant in the 21st century with their selection of another young leader to backfill vacancy left by Bond's retirement?

I don't know all of the candidates ... but, I like what I'm hearing about Roslyn Brock, the current NAACP Board Vice-Chair. She seems to represent the NAACP of the future. She became the youngest person and first woman to hold serve as NAACP Board Vice-Chair. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Virginia Union University with a master's degree in health services administration from George Washington University, and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

I hope that the NAACP won't miss this opportunity. It would be a shame for them to take a step backwards in time.

What are your thoughts? Do you sense that the NAACP will continue to be relevant to people of African descent in America?

November 28, 2008

Old School Friday: Stevie Wonder

I invite you to enjoy some 'grown-folks music'! Ms Grapevine and MarvalusOne have teamed up to create a weekly meme that we call, Old School Friday. It is our effort to post some music from the last millennium to relive some memories and to educate or just entertain each other.

The theme this week is 'Stevie Wonder music'. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Stevie Wonder because of the longevity of his career ... the social awareness of his music ... and his ability to overcome blindness.

However, I must admit that I've not always liked his music. So it was more difficult than I thought to make a selection for this week's OSF-meme. In the end, I realized that this is my favorite song by Stevie Wonder. Kick back and enjoy 'Superstition' with me...

Cincinnati Business Incubator Video Overview

I served as president of the Cincinnati Business Incubator (CBI) for five years. It is a non-profit small business incubator that spurred economic growth and job creation in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am very proud of the work that we did at CBI during the time I spent there. Here is a video with some feedback from CBI clients, sponsors and board members:

Please share comments that you have on small business incubators ... either in Cincinnati or where you are located. I am curious to learn if other villagers have used incubators to help grow their own business.

November 27, 2008

Am I Not Human? Child Soldiers

We support the 'Am I Not Human?' blogging campaign that lights up the 27th of each month. I encourage all villagers to find a way to support this effort to shine a light on human rights abuses taking place all over the world.

My submission this month was inspired by a television show. I watched the season premiere of "24" a few days ago. I was struck by the use of children as soldiers for the rebels in this show. In fact, the rebels were actually kidnapping children from homes, soccer fields and schools.
The fantasy of television is born from the reality of our world.

It turns out that child soldiers are fighting in at least 17 countries including Angola, Burma, Burundi, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Lebanon, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda.

Boys and girls alike are forced into combat, exploited for their labor, and subjected to unspeakable violence. A UN treaty prohibits the participation of children under the age of 18 in hostilities. But too often, it is not enforced.

Physically vulnerable and easily intimidated, children typically make obedient soldiers. Many are abducted or recruited by force, and often compelled to follow orders under threat of death. Others join armed groups out of desperation. As society breaks down during conflict, leaving children no access to school, driving them from their homes, or separating them from family members, many children perceive armed groups as their best chance for survival. Others seek escape from poverty or join military forces to avenge family members who have been killed.

I rarely compliment President Bush ... but, I'm proud to know that he signed a new law last month that calls for the arrest and prosecution of leaders of military forces and armed groups who have recruited child soldiers.

I encourage all villagers to visit the Red Hand Day website. The folks on that website want us to urge the United Nations to take stronger action to end the use of child soldiers.

The aim of the Red Hand Day campaign is to gather one million “red hands” — the symbol of the global campaign against the use of child soldiers — and present them to UN officials in New York on February 12, 2009, the anniversary of the day the treaty banning the use of child soldiers took effect.

Participating in the campaign is easy:

  1. Use red paint to make a handprint on a sheet of paper, and add a personal message about your desire to end the use of child soldiers; organize others at your school or in your community to do the same;

  2. Upload photos or videos of your event to;

  3. Send your red hands by February 2009 to Human Rights Watch, 350 5th Ave, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118

Will you join this effort? What are your thoughts about using children as soldiers?

November 26, 2008

Black Friday 2008 Has Arrived!

Black Friday deals start today! Don't spend Black Friday 2008 jostling for bargains and parking spots. Amazon will have amazing deals to help villagers get holiday shopping done for less. Our Black Friday page is the central point to find all our Black Friday deals, including the Gold Box hourly deals featured from midnight to 11pm PST and thousands of products that are on sale for a limited time only.

Rep. William Jefferson .... Please, Just Go Away!

UPDATE: The corruption trial of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., will likely be delayed until 2009.

Do you believe that things come in threes? If so, perhaps there is still hope that New Orleans congressman William Jefferson will fade from sight soon. First, Kwame Kilpatrick was forced from his position as mayor of Detroit. Second, OJ Simpson was forced from his position as a sports icon.

Perhaps U.S. Rep. William Jefferson will be #3 on this list. Jefferson, seeking his 10th term in Congress, faces a December trial on charges that he took bribes, laundered money and misused his congressional office for business dealings in Africa.

Of course, the people of New Orleans can end his career on November 4 when his congressional district holds a runoff. Jefferson was the first Black elected to Congress from Louisiana since Reconstruction. But, it is time for him to go away. Since he won't retire, it is up to the people to put him away.

OJ Simpson had false hope before he was found guilty by Las Vegas jury. Perhaps Jefferson is a wee bit too confident. He addressed a few dozen family members and supporters at a restaurant in a section of eastern New Orleans still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. “We look forward to a rigorous campaign but a successful outcome,” Jefferson said.

A victory in the Nov. 4 runoff would send Jefferson to a Dec. 6 general election in the heavily Democratic district against a little-known Republican.

Jefferson’s campaign stressed his influence in Washington and prominently featured pictures of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders joining him in touring New Orleans, still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But his clout was already dropping even before his last election two years ago. By then, news had broken that he was under investigation for alleged bribery and that federal agents said they found $90,000 hidden in his freezer. He survived, winning re-election in 2006 easily, but he subsequently was stripped of a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Last year, he was indicted on corruption charges by a federal grand jury in Virginia. Other family members also have been caught up in an unrelated scandal. Two siblings face federal corruption charges in New Orleans and a third has pleaded guilty.

Jefferson has denied wrongdoing, while refusing to discuss details of the accusations against him. Sounds like Kwame and OJ, huh?!

What do you think villagers? Ain't it time for this guy to just go away?

New AfroSpear Member: The Liberator Magazine

I'm proud to let villagers know that a new member has been added to The AfroSpear. The Liberator Magazine recently earned membership in The AfroSpear.

The Liberator's mission is to help preserve humanity by creating and supporting excellent spaces of dialogue that provide fresh and forceful analysis and critique of art, culture, education, and politics. And they have a vision for how to do it. The Liberator effortlessly transcends boundaries because serious discussion is the precursor to serious action.

Brian Kasoro is the editor of 'The Liberator Magazine' (BBR #392). His blog started in March 2006. He feels that his blog will support The AfroSpear in its efforts "to provide a network of discussion and ideas on African issues in the diaspora and the continent." When asked how his blog would support that purpose, he wrote, "The Liberator is dedicated to supporting and creating excellent spaces of discussion in order to better serve humanity. The Afrospear is such a space."

Please join me in welcoming Brian Kasoro and his crew from The Liberator Magazine into our progressive group of Black bloggers.

Wordless Wednesday: Mixed-Race Animals

November 25, 2008

Why Won't Jeremiah Wright Just Go Away?

Rev. Jeremiah Wright almost cost Barack Obama his chance at becoming our 44th president. Not from his incendiary sermons that were caught on tape. Barack Obama handled the uproar from those video images when he gave that remarkable speech on race in Philadelphia.

Rev. Wright used poor judgement in making a speeches and interviews one weekend on PBS television, NAACP Detroit banquet and Washington Press Club. His comments were so out-of-line that weekend that the Obama family had to resign their membership in Wright's church and distance themselves from Rev. Wright on a personal basis.

Wright said he was hurt when the campaign removed him from Obama’s African American religious advisory committee last spring without sending word. [SOURCE]

That kind of opened up a wound because … I found out I was put off the committee by watching television on a family cruise in the Caribbean,” Wright said. “Now that hurt.”

Wright was unapologetic about his April 2008 remarks that were widely condemned — including by Obama — saying reporters had “spat in my face” by not asking a single question about the 30-minute speech he gave about his theological views before he took questions.

Though he hopes to talk with Obama again once he leaves office, he also said he won’t hold back in criticizing Obama’s administration.

I’ve already told … Obama: On Nov. 5, I’m coming after you,” he said.

It’s not you the person … it’s the policies of this country. And as long as you are presiding over policies that grind God’s people into the earth, I’m coming after you."

Am I the only one who thought that Rev. Wright retired? Why doesn't he just fade away and enjoy his retirement years in quiet solitude?

Some of you might remember how Bill Buckner was reviled in Boston after his error at first base that many Red Sox fans thought cost them chance for world championship. Can you imagine how much Black America would have reviled Rev. Wright if his error cost Obama the presidency?

Personally, I don't have any love lost for Rev. Wright. I figure that he will be on Fox News before long. What are your thoughts on th future of Rev. Wright?

November 24, 2008

America's New Face to the World

It will feel good to have a president that is respected by other world leaders. It will be wonderful to travel to other parts of the world where people talk about our leaders with a smile instead of with a scowl. I imagine that we will need to get comprehensive immigration policy as there is sure to be an uptick in people wanting to come to America!

November 23, 2008

November 22, 2008

Blog Safari #20

I come across some great posts during my jaunts through the cyber-jungle. I invite you to join me and my rhino guides on this week's 'Blog Safari'. Enjoy the flow from these other talented bloggers!
Let us know if you come across any remarkable posts that should be shared in our next Blog Safari!

November 21, 2008

Execution of Troy Davis Put on Hold by Federal Appeals Court

A federal appeals court has agreed to take up the case of a Georgia man on death row for allegedly killing a police officer despite strong doubts about his guilt.

Troy Davis, 40, is to get a new hearing on December 9, said the court, which has postponed his scheduled execution for the murder nearly 20 years ago of a white policeman.

The federal appeals court can either confirm the death sentence or send the case back to a lower court.

Davis has maintained his innocence and several witnesses at his 1991 trial have since recanted. Nine people who testified in Davis’s 1991 trial have recanted, saying they were pressured by police in the aftermath of the shooting. The murder weapon was never recovered and there was no DNA recovered at the scene.

His lawyers took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. In September, the high court halted Davis’s execution two hours before he was scheduled to die as it considered his request for a new trial.

But last month, the court refused to consider the constitutionality of executing a person when there is new, substantial evidence to show he was not guilty of the crime, thus opening the way for the state to reschedule his execution.

Now we wait to see what the federal appeals court has to say about the case. And Troy Davis lives another day...

November 20, 2008

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maatha to Receive Chairman's Award

NAACP celebrates 100 year anniversary in 2009. The centennial celebration kicks off with the 40TH NAACP Image Awards that broadcasts live from Los Angeles' historic Shrine Auditorium Thursday, Feb. 12 on FOX.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai will be awarded the NAACP Chairman's Award during the special. The Chairman's Award, chosen by NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond, is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service.

"I am very proud to recognize Former Vice President Gore and Dr. Maathai for their substantial efforts in environmental awareness, sustainable development and peace," Bond said. "Their courageous and historic accomplishments have benefited not only current but future generations, and they clearly reflect the values that we have so valiantly fought for over the past century."

"The NAACP has served as a beacon, advancing civil rights to the benefit of all Americans. I am so honored to be a part of this historic, centennial celebration. The Image Awards are made all the more special because I am joined by my friend and colleague, Dr. Wangari Maathai," Commented Al Gore.

Prof. Maathai states: "I am deeply honored and privileged to share this award with my friend and colleague in environmental work, former Vice President Al Gore. I am especially honored to be receiving this award from the NAACP an organization that since 1910 has been working tirelessly for the dignity and humanity of ethnic minorities, especially focusing on social and economic equality. The election of President-elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America is a testament to your mission. As I receive this award I congratulate and thank you for your vision and commitment to the cause of human dignity."

Click here for the full NAACP press release.

November 19, 2008

Top Obama Aide Reassures Black America

by George E. Curry, NNPA Columnist

Many African-Americans are asking: Now that Barack Obama has won the White House, will he be so eager to govern from the center that he will forget about his obligations to Blacks?

Valerie Jarrett, a long-time friend and one of his closest advisers, gave an emphatic reply to that question - No.

In a private meeting with the Trotter Group, an organization of African-American columnists, Jarrett fielded numerous questions about Obama’s commitment to Blacks. And, in each instance, she left no doubt that the president-elect, who has a straight-A Senate rating from the NAACP, will remain true to his past.
Click here to read the rest of the story. Why would anyone doubt that Obama policies and appointments will be viewed positively by the Black community?

November 18, 2008

Morning in America

The vibe coming from the November 4th election was so powerful that we plan to remind all villagers about it each Tuesday thru the January 20th inauguration. Does it feel like a new day in America to you?

November 17, 2008

The Old Man and the Marine

One sunny day in January 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."

The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The old man said, "Okay", and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it." The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."

This Week in Blackness: Black, Black, Blackity Black

We continue to enjoy promoting the comedy video series known as This Week in Blackness by Elon James White. Sit back and enjoy his satirical romp through the Black culture here in America.

Villagers, what is your take on Elon James White comedy sensibilities? What is your favorite episode of the 13 that currently exist?

November 15, 2008

Case Study: The Death of Darryl Turner

Amnesty International is tracking taser abuse as a human rights abuse issue in the United States. Since June 2001, more than 320 individuals in the United States have died after being shocked by police TASERs. Most of those individuals were not carrying a weapon. Amnesty International is concerned that TASERs are being used as tools of routine force -- rather than as an alternative to firearms.

They recently posted a case study about the taser-related death of Darryl Turner.

Darryl Turner, age 17, died in March 2008 after he was shocked by an officer from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina. Turner, who worked in a grocery store, reportedly went home for lunch with two snacks for which he had not paid. His mother told him to return to the store and admit what he had done.

When he returned to work he got into an argument with the store manager. A store video recording of the incident shows that Turner entered the store's customer service area and pushed an object off the counter. He walked out but came back into the room and pointed at the manager. A police officer entered the room with his TASER, which he immediately fired at Turner, who was standing behind the counter with his hands at his side. There was no visible attempt by the officer to talk to the teenager or calm the situation. With the TASER probes in his chest, Turner moved past the officer, after which he reportedly collapsed out of view of the camera.

Downloaded data from the officer's TASER shows that he held the trigger down for 37 continuous seconds until Turner collapsed -- and shocked him again when he was on the floor. Attempts to revive Turner were unsuccessful. The coroner later ruled cause of death to be a fatal disturbance of the heart rhythm due to stress and the TASER shocks. A police investigation subsequently ruled that the officer's initial decision to use the TASER was within departmental procedures, but that holding down the trigger was not justified. The officer was suspended for five days.

November 14, 2008

The Black Paper by Veronica Conway

I learned about this online newsletter recently. I agree with anyone that encourages us to look within for solutions. Our problems in the Black community are less with white people than they are with ourselves. The revolution will NOT be televised, because it is INTERNAL.
Anyhow, I invite all villagers of African descent to check out The Black Paper by Veronica Conway.

Thousands of Black Online Activists Detail Their Role in Historic Campaign released an interactive map highlighting the personal stories of thousands of online activists who mobilized support for the Obama campaign. The 450,000 member online civil rights organization collected more than 7,800 stories across the last week as part of the "Election Stories" project, providing a digital snapshot of the impact of Obama's election on Black Americans and their allies, Black online activists' contributions to the campaign, and also their experience at the polls on Election Day.

"Many of our members were active and engaged before the Obama campaign started, but hearing the real stories of those who got involved is emotional, inspiring, and sometimes heart-wrenching," said James Rucker, executive director of "But what stands out most clearly from the stories comes as no surprise. This year, our members – like other Black Americans from coast to coast – were not only ready for change in Washington—they were ready to stand up and fight for it."

After collecting reactions to the news of Obama's victory, the results were plotted on a Google map, allowing viewers to get an inside look at the election's impact on their next-door neighbors, as well as someone on the other side of the country.

Alongside the emotional reactions to the Obama victory, the Election Stories project also collected key data including whether respondents were first-time voters and if they went to the polls on election day or voted early. In addition, members showed the ways, big and small, they contributed to the campaign – by voting, canvassing, phonebanking, participating in campaigns or simply passing on information to friends.

The contributions were significant:
  • 15% of respondents canvassed during the campaign.
  • 30% registered voters.
  • 42% made a financial contribution.

Voting experiences showed these highly-motivated voters persevered despite problems at the polls on Election Day:
  • 523 said they stood in line for 3 hours on Election Day. Another 86 said they waited for 6 hours or more.
  • 4% were first-time voters.
  • 33% said they voted early. plans to use the information to keep their members active, even as an extremely popular president takes office.

"Before the campaign, our members were already standing up and winning real change on issues like criminal justice and voting rights," Rucker added. "Obama's victory only reaffirms the necessity of that grassroots movement for change and the important role Black Americans play within it. When enough of us act together – even in small ways – we can write history. That idea is even bigger than putting a Black man in the White House."

Old School Friday: Jackie Wilson

The theme for this week's Old School Friday music meme is 'Birth Year Songs'. I was born in 1959. So, I've gone back in time ... 49 years ago ... to bring you Jackie Wilson and his 1959 hit 'Lonely Teardrops'.

November 13, 2008

Help Bring Safe Drinking Water to Sierra Leone

Veronica Henry ( is partnering with ZCD Foundation to help bring international focus to the issues affecting post-conflict Sierra Leone.

ZCD Foundation was founded in early 2008, through the pioneering efforts of Zainab Beckett, a Sierra Leonean residing in Las Vegas, with the support of her American and Sierra Leonean counterparts. They share similar aims in bringing hope and dignity to the poor in depressed and disadvantaged rural communities and in improving their standard of living.

ZCD Foundation supports initiatives to bring clean drinking water and latrines to thousands of inhabitants in impoverished Sierra Leone communities. At least every rural household will need a clean and safe source of water and adequate sanitation facilities. ZCD Foundation wants "to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation, by 2015."

Click here to learn how you can donate to this worthy cause.

Amnesty International Issues 100-Day Human Rights Challenge to Barack Obama

Many of you know that this blog participates in a human rights campaign on the 27th of each month. As such, I read with interest the recent efforts of Amnesty International to urge U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to make human rights central to his new administration. The organization is calling for certain concrete steps in his first 100 days in office that would demonstrate a genuine commitment to bringing the United States into line with its international obligations.

Specifically, they want the new administration to:
  1. Announce a plan and date to close Guantanamo

  2. Issue an executive order to ban torture and other ill-treatment, as defined under international law

  3. Ensure that an independent commission to investigate abuses committed by the U.S. government in its "war on terror" is set up.

These demands are part of a "checklist" of actions Amnesty International is asking the new U.S. President to take during the first 100 days in office.

Personally, I'm in agreement with all three requests ('demands') being made by Amnesty International. As such, I plan to sign their online petition. I invite villagers to click here to learn more.

November 12, 2008

Yes We Did!

Last Tuesday was a remarkable day in American history. We plan to share a political cartoon in honor of Barack Obama's election every Tuesday thru his inauguration on January 20, 2009. We want this vibe to last for a long time...

Lindsay Lohan Calls Obama our First "Colored President"

Being rich and famous doesn't keep you from being ignorant. Lindsay Lohan used a derogatory term for African Americans most commonly used by racists rednecks.

It’s an amazing feeling. It’s our first, you know, colored president,” the 22-year-old actress said in response to a question from Maria Menounos on “Access Hollywood” about her reaction to Obama’s win in the 2008 presidential race.

The brain-dead starlet muttered the offensive term at the beginning of an interview about her role on “Ugly Betty,” gay marriage, and cancer research.

Wordless Wednesday: 5 Obama Hair Don'ts


November 11, 2008

Black Unemployment Nearly Double White Rate

One of the reasons that Barack Obama won the election this year is the continued inability of the economy to produce jobs. The nation’s unemployment rate climbed to 6.5 percent last month. But the Black unemployment rate remained substantially higher at 11.1 percent, nearly double the rate for whites [SOURCE].

The 6.5 percent overall rate marked a 14-year high in joblessness and was creating a huge impact on ordinary Americans as 240,000 jobs were cut in October, far worse than economists expected.

In total, 1.2 millions jobs were lost this year, making October the tenth consecutive month in which the economy reported job losses. But Blacks have been particularly hard hit by the troubled economy.

African Americans posted the highest unemployment rate of any racial or ethnic group in the survey. The October unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, for whites was 5.9 percent, for Hispanics 8.8 percent and for Asians 3.8 percent, but for Blacks it was 11.1 percent.

November 10, 2008

Joe Scarborough Drops the F-Bomb on Live Television

Did you see Joe Scarborough drop the F-bomb this morning?

I imagine that Joe needs to be reminded that 'fuck' is one of the seven words that you can't say on television. Anyone remember the other six?

November 9, 2008

New Report Tracks Economic Security of Children across the Continent

Globalization has contributed to rising incomes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico but has not improved economic security for many vulnerable children across the three countries, according to Growing Up in North America: The Economic Well-Being of Children in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Despite rising national income, many poor families in the United States slipped deeper into poverty.

The study completes a series published by the Casey Foundation as a partner in Children in North American Project, which highlights the well-being of children and youth in all three countries. Previous reports have explored health and safety issues and the challenges facing children in an era of globalization.

November 8, 2008

Blog Safari #19

Join us on this week's 'Blog Safari'. We are traveling deep into the jungle to find some of the interesting blog posts from other village in the afrosphere. Share some love with these talented bloggers when you visit them!
Let us know if you come across any remarkable posts that should be shared in our next Blog Safari!

November 7, 2008

Radio host Mark Larsen Wears Blackface After Obama Win

We still have a long way to go in our nation before we judge people by the content of the character rather than the color of their skin. As long as folks like Mark Larsen continue to spout their racist views.

WWBA-AM (820) morning man Mark Larsen, who is white, dressed in blackface makeup at the start of his show. Joined by the station’s news director Roger Schulman, Larsen joked about caking on the cosmetics, using a number of racially influenced comments in the process. Fans could watch the whole process go down via an in-studio Webcam.

“This gives me that Uncle Tom feel,” said Larsen, who also joked about changing his name to Marcus Washington Larsen. “Are you sure this comes off? Because I don’t feel like running for president.”

Before Tuesday’s election, Larsen talked about seeing a long line of Black people waiting to vote at a Tampa Bay area polling place, saying they “looked like the line for takeout at Big Tim’s Barbecue” in St. Petersburg.

Villagers, what say u? Will we ever make it to the mountaintop?

Old School Friday: Right Now (We Need One Another)

On the heels of this year's epic general election, four of the biggest voices in country, pop, and gospel music are reaching across the aisle and coming together for an unprecedented single aimed at fostering unity across partisan, social, ethnic, and economic divides, setting a tone of harmony and togetherness for the new presidency and the country's immediate future.

GRAMMY®-winning, multi-platinum-selling recording artists BeBe & CeCe Winans along with country superstars Vince Gill and Wynonna Judd came together and recorded the soaring ballad, "Right Now" (We Need One Another) an empowering song they debuted today live in a special post-election episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

In a climate where there has been much to say about the state of our nation as it pertains to its economy, its citizens' ability to find and keep jobs, its ability to provide affordable healthcare for all, and mounting tensions abroad, "Right Now" (We Need One Another) is a song that takes the half-full approach to the country's plight: by focusing on the common ground and shared values that make us a great nation, it promotes a vision of hope for years to come.

I encourage villagers to share this song with others at this critical moment in our nation's history.

Mississippi Officials Tell Kids Not To Say 'Obama'

Did you see where school officials down in Mississippi threatened children with expulsion from busses and classrooms if they uttered the word, "Obama"?

I imagine that there are still some folks who will have difficult time dealing with a Black president. I imagine it will hurt some of the officials and judges that run federal buildings and federal courtrooms when they have to place a portrait photo of the incoming president on the walls.

I share this Obama collage in an effort to help these hard-headed folks in Mississippi and elsewhere get used to the idea of a new POTUS. As the youngsters in Mississippi school busses and junior high school classrooms are saying, "Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama and Obama!"

November 6, 2008

Taser Cop Scott Lugent Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The behavior of law enforcement officials that are too eager to use taser guns changes when they see large consequences. It was good to see taser-happy cop fired in Florida for using taser at party with minors.

In addition to taking away their livelihood ... we now see where the family of a taser victim, Baron Pikes, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against former Louisiana police officer Scott Nugent, Louisiana city officials, and Taser International in relation to a police brutality incident earlier this year.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Pikes' wife. He had a four-year-old child who will now grow up fatherless.

Baron Pikes, a 21-year-old from Winnfield, LA, died of cardiac arrest brought on by multiple taser shots. Pikes was tasered nine times by police officer Scott Nugent before his heart gave out. Each taser blast pumped 50,000 volts of electricity into Pikes, who was in handcuffs before ever receiving the first shot.

Nugent was arresting Pikes on a drug possession charge. Winn Parish District Attorney Chris Nevils has charged Nugent with manslaughter, claiming that he used unnecessary force on Pikes by continuously administering taser shots after he had subdued his suspect. Nugent also failed to secure medical attention for Pikes after he collapsed. He was dismissed from the police force after the incident.

Personally, I hope that the Pikes family wins their lawsuit. How about you?

November 5, 2008

This Week in Blackness: President-Elect Obama

The Electronic Village is proud to present the 12th installment of the series This Week in Blackness. In the latest episode Comedian Elon James White discusses the historic election and the outcome for Black folks.

Wordless Wednesday: America's First Family

Barack Obama: Victory Speech

The United States of America will never be the same. We proved to ourselves and the world that we were capable of listening to our better angels. Take a moment to listen or read the words of our next President of the United States as he accepts a nation's electoral decision...

Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. Video Watch Obama's speech in its entirety »

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

John McCain: Concession Speech

Villagers, I must admit that John McCain surprised me last night with his concession speech. My respect for McCain is at his highest during the moment that must be his lowest. I encourage all villagers to give the man his props...

“Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.We have come to the end of a long journey. American people have spoken and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago I had the honor of calling Obama to congratulate him on being elected next president of the country we both love.

His success alone commands my respect … that he managed to do so by inspiring millions of Americans who once wrongly believed they have little influence in elections is something I admire.

This is a significant election and something I recognize for African-Americans.

I have always believed America offers opportunities to Americans who have the will.

We have come a long way … the memory of these events has the ability to wound.

A century ago, the invitation to Booker T Washington to dine at the White House was taken as a slight. There is no better indication of the change than the election of an African-American to the White House.

Obama has achieved something great - I applaud him and offer my sympathy for his grandmother’s death.

Obama and I have had and argued over our differences and he has prevailed. No doubt many of these differences remain.

These are different times for our country. We face difficult times … I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him but offering our next president ways to come together to find compromises to bridge our differences … defend security in a dangerous world … leave a better country than what we inherited.

We are fellow Americans, and please believe me when I say no association has meant more to me than that. It’s natural tonight to feel disappointment … tomorrow we must move forward.

Though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for your support … I wish the outcome had been difficult. Your support never wavered. I cannot express how indebted I am to you. I am grateful to my family, mother, old and dear friends who have stood by my side through this campaign.

Campaigns are often harder on a candidate’s family than on a candidate. That has been true in this campaign. All I can offer is more peaceful years ahead. I am also grateful to governor Palin, one of the best candidates I have ever seen.

One of the best campaigners I have ever seen and an impressive new voice in our party. Her husband Todd and their five beautiful children, for their dedication to our cause. We can all look forward to her service to the state of Alaska, the Repubublican party, and the country.

To all my campaign workers who fought valiantly month after month, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I do not know what more we could have done to win the election. I will not spend a moment regretting what might have been. This campaign will remain the highlight of my life.

I was given a fair hearing before the country decided that Obama and my old friend Biden will have the honor of leading us for the next 4 years.

I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving the country for half a century … I thank the people of Arizona.

Tonight more than any night, I hold in my heart love for my country and its citizens whether they supported me or Obama, and I wish Godspeed to the man who was my opponent.

I call on Americans not to despair about our difficulties - Americans never quit. We never hide from history, we make history.

Thank you and God bless America.”