December 31, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: Working Together in the New Year

President Obama tells the American people that, by joining together, we can move past the tough debates and help to create jobs and grow the economy in the new year.

December 30, 2011

Top 10 Greatest GOP Moments of 2011 (VIDEO)

While these moments are definitely funny, the truth is, they reveal a little something about the GOP candidates for president.

Some of them need to brush up on foreign policy and the federal government. Some think that under-privileged kids should work as janitors to one day make it to the middle class. And others truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that corporations really are people.

No matter which one ultimately gets the nomination, they're going to be hawking an extreme agenda. And they're going to have a ton of money from corporate lobbyists and outside super PACs to back them -- and their ideas.

Villagers, we should be scared ... one of these people could actually become president.

December 26, 2011

Taser Death: Ernest “Marty” Atencio (Phoenix, AZ)

It happened again! This time the infamous law enforcement apparatus of the Maricopa County Sheriff were involved in the taser-related killing of 44-year old Ernest “Marty” Atencio. [SOURCE]

Atencio was a military veteran. He was in police custody. He was unarmed. There were no drugs in his system. He was surrounded by ten police officers. There was no need for the use of a taser gun. The use of force was totally out-of-whack for the situation.

The infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently released video of the confrontation.

I have a feeling that this taser-related death is not going to fade away so easily for the powers-that-be in Phoenix. What say u?

December 25, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: The President and First Lady Thank Our Troops for Their Service This Holiday Season

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama offer a special holiday tribute to the men and women who wear our country's uniform and the families who support them.

This blog joins with the First Family in wishing a very Merry Christmas to everyone who has ever visited the Electronic Village!

December 24, 2011

The Racism of Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul is a serial candidate for the Republican nomination to become President of the United States. He is also a serial racist. He fought against making an official holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.   He called it "Hate Whitey Day".  That was only the beginning.  There is a disturbing pattern of racism in this Ron Paul Political Report.  Here are some links to some of the racial comments in his most incendiary newsletters.
  • A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.
  • The November 1990 issue of the Political Report had kind words for David Duke.
  • This December 1990 newsletter describes Martin Luther King Jr. as “a world-class adulterer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and “replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”
  • February 1991 newsletter attacks “The X-Rated Martin Luther King.”
  • An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that  “Welfaria,”  “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,”and “Lazyopolis ” would be better alternatives—and says,  “Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”
  • A May 1990 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report cites Jared Taylor, who six months later would go onto found the eugenicist and white supremacist periodical American Renaissance. 
  • The January 1993 issue of the Survival Report worries about America’s “disappearing white majority.”
  • The July 1992 Ron Paul Political Report declares, “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems,” and defends David Duke. The author of the newsletter—presumably Paul—writes, “My youngest son is starting his fourth year in medical school. He tells me there would be no way to persuade his fellow students of the case for economic liberty.”
  • A March 1993 Survival Report describes Bill Clinton’s supposedly “illegitimate children, black and white: ‘woods colts’ in backwoods slang.
This is some nasty stuff ... and it was always written in a newsletter under his own name. Paul has disavowed these articles and statements. I find it hard to think that he's sincere. He didn't apologize for these newsletter articles. Instead he is trying to say that he never wrote nor read about these racist comments.

Dr. Paul is uncomfortable
about the fact that people are beginning to unearth his past thoughts and statements on race relations in America. I guess this must be how Herman Cain was feeling when his past sexual improprieties began to get publicized!

What is your take on Dr. Ron Paul?

Taser Death: Wayne Williams (Houma, LA)

It happened again! A young man was electrocuted with over 50,000 volts of electricity from a taser gun and died. This time the taser gun was used by police officers in Houma, LA. The guy who died, 27-year old Wayne Williams, was in police custody at the time of his death. The police indicate that he swallowed drugs. I imagine that the autopsy will play up the drug angle.

Click here to learn more about this taser-related death.

It is worth noting that Houma is a relatively small town in Louisiana. However, Houma is no stranger to taser-related deaths. Villagers may recall that Dennis Sandras was also electrocuted by the Houma police department last year.

December 12, 2011

What Has Barack Obama Done for Black Folks?

President Obama received about 95% of the African American vote in the 2008 presidential elections. Black folks put a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into his election. Some say that the Obama administration has not delivered enough for Black folks in America.

Personally, I think that Barack Obama could have sleep-walked through the entire 4-year period of his first term as President of the United States and I would be cool with it. Just having a person of African American descent as our president is powerful enough in many respects. My young son now understands that there is no limit to his dreams and aspirations.

However here is a more tangible list of accomplishments made by Obama administration that impacted on the Black community. Methinks this list may be more tangible for the more skeptical 'villagers' in cyberspace!
  1. Last year President Obama extended unemployment benefits for roughly 7 million workers who would have otherwise lost them.
  2. The Small Business Administration will commit $1 billion to invest in companies located in under-served communities. This will include investing in hardest hit areas.
  3. $3.6 billion out of a total of $7.2 billion has been secured in grants and financing for Black businesses due to the work of President Obama’s Minority Business Development Agency.
  4. President Obama is challenging states to turn around America’s 5,000 lowest performing schools – many of which are serving African American children. And this Administration is investing more than $4 billion to help states turn those schools around.
  5. More community colleges will receive funding they need to grow and thrive – $2 billion more over 4 years.
  6. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like Morehouse, Spelman, Howard University and Florida A & M will now receive nearly $1 billion more in funding over the next 10 years with the total amount of funding going to HBCUs now approaching $2.55 billion more to invest in serving their students.
  7. Because of the Affordable Care Act 8 million African Americans now have access to healthcare. And, expanding access to preventive care will reduce health disparities for 41 million African Americans (14% of the population).
  8. President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act, to reduce the huge disparity in punishment of those convicted with cocaine possession or use versus those caught with crack. The law gets rid of so-called “mandatory minimums” and knocks down the disparity in length of sentences from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1.
  9. Under President Obama 80 cents of every dollar in HUD’s budget is being used for renewing homeless and rental assistance for current residents of HUD-assisted housing. In the 2012 budget the Obama administration will assist over 5.5 million families and double the number of new supportive housing units.
  10. President Obama signed the Cobell-Pigford settlement for Black & Native American farmers which approved two multi-billion dollar settlement agreements that have been held up in Congress for decades that benefit minority groups with claims against the federal government.
The challenges faced by President Obama have been unique and powerful -- two traditional wars, war on terrorism, BP oil spill, natural disasters, near-depression level economic, high unemployment and a do-nothing Congress. Yet, he continues to fight for us. At the end of the day I suspect that the Black community is going to realize that Barack Obama is a better choice for a second term as our president than any of the folks currently running for the GOP nomination.

Don't you agree?

Video of the Day: Al Sharpton Lampooned on Saturday Night Live

I guess that you know you've made it into pop culture when you are satirized on Saturday Night Live. I must admit that I haven't watched a full episode of Saturday Night Live for over 20 years ... but, I did find this video-clip about the new Rev. Al Sharpton talk show to be funny!

Did you laugh?

December 11, 2011

Did You See 60 Minutes Segment on Tasers?

Some villagers have asked what I thought of the 60 Minutes' segment titled, 'Taser: An Officer's Weapon of Choice'. Personally, I thought that it was a puff piece that could have been filmed entirely by the public relations department of Taser International.

The show indicates that only two (2) people have died as a result of being electrocuted by a taser gun. Of course, it seems to me that over 500 people have been killed by taser guns over the past few years ... at a rate of once per week in the United States alone. There is quite a bit of difference between two taser-related deaths and 500+ taser-related deaths. 

I did learn new things from the 60 Minutes' piece. For example, I truly didn't know that the manufacture and sale of taser guns is not regulated like any other lethal weapon. Instead, the regulations is no more stringent than that placed on the manufacture and sale of a screwdriver or a hammer.

Also, I admire the entrepreneurial aspects of the Taser International story. These two siblings in Arizona took an idea ... worked on it in their backyard ... and now they have a multimillion dollar business. You can't argue with their business plan or their aggressive marketing of the taser guns to police departments around the country.  

The scary part is that they are now looking to market the taser guns to households. Scary when you realize that (supposedly) trained law enforcement officers are killing people on a weekly basis with the device.

In case you missed the show ... here is the full 13-minute episode for your viewing pleasure:

What was your opinion of the show?

December 10, 2011

Video of the Day: Mitt Romney Offers a $10,000 Bet to Rick Perry

Do you remember the last time that you made a $10,000 bet on national television? If your name is Mitt Romney ... then it was earlier tonight! Romney put his hand out to Rick Perry suggesting that they make a $10,000 bet on some words in his book...

All of a sudden this photo from Mitt's past doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore:

I think that Mitt Romney may have lost his chance for the presidency tonight. His $10k bet has already spawned its own Twitter account --> @Bet10k

'Blogging While Black': New Book Discusses One Journalist’s Rise to National Prominence During the Historic 2008 Presidential Election

We had some heady times in my early days as a blogger!  The afrosphere was buzzing with online activism that reached its heights with the Jena Six protest march.  One of the leading Black bloggers of that era was a young brother named Shawn Williams.  

As such, this blog is pleased to inform all villagers that social media and hyper-local news pioneer Shawn Williams released his first book, Blogging While Black, which chronicles the pivotal role his blog played during the historic 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama, as well as during the brief but effective online civil rights movement. Williams is publisher of, a frequent columnist for the Dallas Morning News and formerly contributed to WFAA Channel 8’s Inside Texas Politics.
The meteoric rise in popularity of then-Senator Obama created an avenue for African Americans to stand up and speak out about their community and their country,” said Williams. “Regretfully, when some people saw Black bloggers weigh-in on politics, the message was misunderstood by some and perceived as antagonistic by others,” Williams said. “Blogging consistent messages allowed us the opportunity to articulate an intelligent point of view that didn’t appear vitriolic, and allowed for understanding which opened doors for effective communication.” 
Beginning with the plight of a teenager in Paris,Texas, and ending with the election of President Barack Obama, Blogging While Black tells the story of how Williams, and other online advocates, changed America for the better. The book also looks at “breakthrough bloggers” who have transferred their online stardom into offline success.

Blogging While Black is a tool created for aspiring writers, bloggers and journalists who want to make inroads through the media and make a difference in the community as well. At the end of each chapter, Blogging While Black provides tips for anyone who aspires to use social media tools to make their own mark online, including: how to launch a blog in five minutes; how to become a big fish in a small media pond; how to leverage your personal networks; and how to use your phone as a news gathering tool.

This would make a great gift for any bloggers in your sphere of influence!

December 9, 2011

Video of the Day: Not Disappointed by President Obama

Last month I mused over the things that President Obama has done for Black folks. This month I share with you some thoughtful commentary given by American author Jake Lamar.

I'm willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt as well. Can he live up to our dreams and aspirations if he is re-elected for a second term? YES, HE CAN!

December 8, 2011

NAACP Leads Fight Against Voter Suppression Tactics

My favorite era in American history was known as 'Reconstruction'. This was the era after the end of slavery when our nation had more African Americans in congress, Senate, state legislatures and statehouses than any other time in our nation's history. Of course, the white power structure couldn't stand to see people of color doing so well in politics ... so they began to find ways to 'block the vote'. Poll taxes. Counting jellybeans in a jar. White sheets and hoods. The era of 'Jim Crow' came into fruition and Blacks were driven out of congress, Senate, state legislatures and state houses.

Fast forward to 2008. The first election of an African American to the presidency. An unprecedented number of Black and Latino voters. The white power structure couldn't stand to see people of color doing so well in politics ... so they again began to seek out ways to 'block the vote'. Several states have passed laws requiring voters to present specific types of photo identification and proof of citizenship to vote; creating new rules for voter registration drives; reducing early voting days and voter registration periods; and further preventing ex-felons from voting. 'James Crow, Esquire' hopes to drive President Obama out of the White House.

There are 14 states who have passed such laws this year: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

These are some the findings documented by the NAACP in their recently-released report: 'Defending Democracy'.

The NAACP collected this information about early voting advocacy by Black churches in Florida, hoping to convince the Justice Department to strike down a slew of new state voting laws it claims are intended to thwart growing minority participation at the polls ahead of next year’s presidential election.

NAACP President Ben Jealous said the NAACP wants to diligently document how the laws affect African Americans and Latinos, and provide the attorney general ample evidence for finding the laws unconstitutional.
"In some ways, these tactics are not Jim Crow. They do not feature Night Riders and sheets … This is in fact, James Crow, Esq.,” said the Rev. William Barber, NAACP North Carolina president and a pastor. ”...Jim Crow used blunt tools. James Crow, Esq. uses surgical tools, consultants, high paid consultants and lawyers to cut out the heart of Black political power."
For example, a law passed in Florida reduced its early voting period from 14 to 8 days, including the last Sunday before Election Day.

In 2008, 54 percent of Black voters in Florida cast their ballots early, and Blacks comprised 32 percent of the entire statewide turnout on the last Sunday before the election, said Ryan Haygood, director of political participation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
"It’s widely known in Florida that Black churches would organize what they called ‘Get Your Souls to the Polls’ where they urged their members, after fulfilling their spiritual duties on Sundays to discharge their civic ones by voting," Haygood said.
Florida’s Black and Latino populations grew during the past decade, inching it closer to being a majority-minority state.

Supporters of the new laws, including at least one group funded by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, have said the new laws are designed to prevent voter fraud. Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said voter ID laws have wide support, including in the Black community.
It’s hard for me to believe a serious group like the NAACP would come out to say there’s some grand conspiracy to deny people the right to vote,” von Spakovsky said.
Actually, the only person in the Black community that I know who is supporting these 'voter suppression' efforts is Artur Davis. Anyhow, the NAACP has planned a protest march and rally that will start at the Koch brothers’ offices in New York on Saturday. This blog encourages all 'villagers' in the New York area to participate in this protest march.

We also encourage all 'villagers' to sign the online 'Stand for Freedom' pledge.

December 6, 2011

Gift Suggestion: RSS Feed Subscriptions

Our economy is terrible! Therefore, most villagers are looking for less expensive ways to share gifts with our favorite bloggers. I thought that I would help you out with one really great idea:

Subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog!

Some villagers may be asking, 'What the heck is RSS?'. My hope is that the rest of y'all already know the value in being a RSS feed subscriber. After all, you don't want to go into the new year missing any of our blog posts just because you weren't able to personally get online to visit. The front page of this blog only holds about 7-9 posts ... so some of them only stay on the main page for a few days.

Subscribe to my feed and you never need to miss out in the future.

I tried to make it easy with the widget up at the top of the sidebar over on the right. I hope that this is a helpful decision for your holiday gift-giving efforts. After all, a RSS feed subscription is the gift that keeps on giving!

December 5, 2011

Russian Journalist Fired After Giving Middle Finger to President Obama

It appears that there are 'haters' of our president all over the globe ... even in Moscow, Russia. Award-winning journalist Tatyana Limanova was fired after making an obscene gesture when mentioning President Barack Obama in a live newscast. She says that the middle finger gesture was meant for her TV crew, not President Obama. [SOURCE]

Watch the video and you can be the judge:

December 4, 2011

Taser Death: Jonathan White (San Bernardino, CA)

It happened again! This time we learn that a 29-year old Black man was electrocuted by unidentified police officers in San Bernardino, CA. [SOURCE]

Jonathan White was mentally-ill ... suffering from both bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. He got confused and his mother worried that she couldn't control him ... so she called the police to ask for their help. Her son was dead less than an hour after the police arrived on the scene. Suffice it to say that this was not the outcome that she sought when she made the 9-1-1 call to the police.


The investigation needs to determine if the unidentified officers in this taser-killing were trained sufficiently in the use of a taser ... and whether the use-of-force in this case was unreasonable.

The only thing I can say is that a 29-year old man didn't need to die that day. What say u?

December 3, 2011

Video of the Day: Racism Unleashed on British Tram

Did you see the video of the white woman who woke up on the wrong side of the bed? She tested out her freedom of speech rights as she began to lash out against the number of Black people and Polish people who have immigrated to Great Britain.

I gotta say that I'm glad that the young man sitting behind her thought better of his initial decision to get physical with the woman. Also, I think it is sad to see that this woman had no problem saying these things with her toddler on her lap. Finally, I guess that it is not surprising that people on this bus would rather stand up than sit in the empty seat next to this woman.

What say u?

Obama's Weekly Address: Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut

President Obama calls on Congress to extend and expand the payroll tax cut -- to protect middle class families and ensure that the economy continues to grow.

Have you checked out the 'Tax Calculator' that the President mentions in this week's message?

December 2, 2011

Old School Friday * Merry Christmas Baby

We had our first snowflakes yesterday. Thanksgiving leftovers are gone. It truly is time to begin the preparations for Christmas. What better way to get in the mood than to listen to a few different renditions of Merry Christmas Baby. The song was originally written by Charles Brown. Here he is singing it live.

My favorite version is the one that Ray Charles gave back in 1979 while on tour in Germany.

And you know a song is a classic when it brings together people as different as these two!

Merry Christmas Villagers!

Black Unemployment Rate Falls to 15.5% in November 2011

The economy added 120,000 jobs last month according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are about 13.3 million unemployed people in the country bringing our overall unemployment rate to 8.6% ... down to its lowest level since March 2009. This is good news for the re-election prospects of President Obama.

The news is not as rosy for the Black community.

The unemployment rate in the Black community did fall from 16.7% (August) to 16.0% (September) to 15.5% in November. However, that is still a ridiculously high rate of unemployment ... that is even worse when you look at the impact on African Americans without a college diploma ... and worse than that for those in the Black community who left school without a high school diploma.

The jobs gained in November were in the following industries: retail trade, leisure and
hospitality, professional and business services, and health care.

December 1, 2011

25% of Blacks Will Go Into Foreclosure

Foreclosure rates among African American homeowners are pretty much the same across all income groups, unlike those for whites whose foreclosure rates decline as income rises, according to a study published in November by the Center for Responsible Lending. [SOURCE]

The 47-page report , "Lost Ground, 2011: Disparities in Mortgage Lending and Foreclosures," said that 9 percent of mortgage loans to higher-income African Americans, based on mortgage originations made from 2004 to 2008, went into foreclosure, virtually the same rate of foreclosure for loans to middle-income Blacks. Among moderate-income Black homeowners, the foreclosure rate was 10 percent, and among low-income Black homeowners, the foreclosure rate was 11 percent.

"For African Americans, the foreclosure rate is highest among low-income groups, but there is not much variation across income groups," found The Center For Responsible Lending, which is based in Durham, N.C. "Among non-Hispanic whites, the completed foreclosure rate decreases as income goes up."

The foreclosure rate among higher income, non-Hispanic whites was just above 4 percent, compared with 5 percent for middle-income whites. Among moderate-income whites, the foreclosure rate was nearly 6 percent, and among lower- income whites, it was above 6 percent.

The organization defined low income as borrowers at 50 percent below the area median income; moderate income refers to borrowers at 50 percent to 80 percent of area median income; middle income referred to borrower at 80 percent to 120 percent of the area median income and high income referred to borrowers at 120 percent or above the area median income.

The center reported that the disparity in foreclosure rates among African Americans, Hispanics and whites is tied to mortgage-loan products.

"We find that borrowers in minority groups were much more likely to receive loans with product features associated with higher rates of foreclosures, specifically higher interest rates, hybrid and option ARMs [adjustable rate mortgages] and prepayment penalties," center officials reported.

The study found that 21.4 percent of African Americas with credit scores over 660, which is considered a high credit score, received high-interest-rate mortgages, 3.5 times higher than the proportion of non-Hispanic white borrowers receiving high-interest loans. The organization based its report on data provided under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

So far, 25 percent of African American homeowners either have lost their houses to foreclosure or have become seriously delinquent, according to the report. The foreclosure rate has destroyed Black communities. In Detroit, for instance, more than 33 percent of African American homeowners have lost their houses to foreclosure, the center reported.

"This is a staggering statistic for a city that once had one of the highest African American homeownership rates in the country," the report said.

Center for Responsible Lending Officials noted that this is the fifth year of the nation's foreclosure crisis, and that it does not show any signs of abating.

So far, 6.4 percent, or 2.7 million homes, have gone into foreclosure, and 8.3 percent of families are at risk of losing their homes, the report said. Among African Americans, the center officials predict 25 percent will lose their homes to foreclosure before the crisis ebbs.

The foreclosure crisis will have a devastating effect on Black wealth.

"The average white household now has twenty times more wealth ($113,149) than the average African American ($5,667) household," the report said. "The ongoing foreclosure crisis will only exacerbate this growing inequality, as more African American households see their assets erode either directly through foreclosure or though loss of home equity resulting from concentrated foreclosures in their neighborhoods."

November 29, 2011

Video of the Day: 9-9-9 The Movie, Slay the Tax Monster

Herman Cain is trying to regain his footing in the GOP primaries. He created this 5-minute video about his 9-9-9 economic plan in this effort. Check it out:

What is your take on Herman Cain and his 9-9-9 video?

November 28, 2011

VIDEO: Jungle Love Story of Ginger White and Herman Cain

Ginger White
Herman Cain will always be able to say that he was the leading candidate for the GOP nomination for a moment. However, that bright moment in his life will be forever muddied by the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Today we learn that another white woman ... this time an unemployed single mother, Ginger White, says that she had a 13-year extramarital affair with Cain. Ginger White said in her televised interview,
"It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship."

Cain gave his side of the story on CNN earlier tonight:

Cain's attorney is Lin Wood. He wrote the following message to the television station in Atlanta that is breaking this story:
"Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault – which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.

Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public’s right to know and the media’s right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one’s bedroom door.

Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."
Doesn't it seem like Cain's attorney is confirming that an affair took place?

Georgia Company Sign: 'No Hiring Until Obama is Gone'

Did you see the story about a Georgia company, U.S. Crane, with signs on the front of the business and the sides of its trucks that say:
'New Company Policy: We Are Not Hiring Until Obama is Gone'
The business is owned by Bill Looman III, who is making it clear that he doesn't have much love for President Barack Obama. Looman says,
"Can’t afford it. I’ve got people that I want to hire now, but I just can’t afford it. And I don’t foresee that I’ll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."
The decision to place these signs on his business hasn't helped his business. The negative blowback to Looman caused him to disconnect his phone and take down his website. In addition, he has been visited by the Secret Service because his message could be perceived as an assassination threat on the president. [SOURCE]

I guess that Looman doesn't remember that America was losing over 700,000 jobs per month at the end of the Bush presidency. But, then again, I've noticed that right-wing wackos very rarely allow facts to get in the way of a good argument.

November 27, 2011

Taser Death: Roger Anthony (Scotland Neck, NC)

It happened again! This time a rookie cop with about a month on the job decided that it didn't have the training to handle a 61-year old UNARMED Black man riding his bike without electrocuting him with a taser gun.

The 61-year old man, Roger Anthony, was riding his bike on Monday, November 21st. Someone called '911' to report that he was drunk. The police responded with Officer John Turner. He found Mr. Anthony riding the bike and followed him in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away.

Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Mr. Anthony didn't stop, the officer pumped him with 50,000 volts of electricity from his taser gun, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community.

Turner, who has been on the force for just over a month, has been placed on administrative leave.

Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills is calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to look into what happened.
"The best we've been able to determine is that he offered no threat," Mills said.
Milton Freeman said Anthony, his brother-in-law, used to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and ride his bicycle around town. Anthony was nicknamed "Rabbit" because of his big ears.
"Why would you (use a stun gun on) a man on a bike? He didn’t do any crime. He wasn’t trying to escape. How (was) he going to escape on his bicycle?" Milton Freeman said.

November 26, 2011

2011 Power List of Black Women in Europe

Adrianne George
One of my favorite 'blogging kinfolk' is Adrianne George. She is the blog-mistress of Black Women in Europe (BWIE). One reason that I admire Adrianne is her willingness to create that which may not already exist. Her blog provides a forum for sharing news and information Nubian queens operating on the European continent. There aren't (m)any other forums with such a focus.

Last year (2010), the Black Women in Europe™ Blog released its first Power List naming 58 women across Europe in 6 categories.
"Last year’s list proved that there are countless numbers of amazing Black women in Europe very few people ever hear of," Adrianne explains. "I couldn’t wait to compile the 2011 list."
Adrianne followed up on the success of that list with a new one this year. The methodology for the 2011 list is straightforward. The 2011 list names 35 women in nine categories: Athletics, Entrepreneurship & Business, Law, Lifestyle, Literature, Media, Politics, Science and Social Activism. Winners include award winning authors, record making athletes, model philanthropists and outspoken activists. This list is intended to acknowledge powerful Black women in Europe and to inspire others to reach their full potential.

View the complete Black Women in Europe™: Power List 2011 – A List of Our Own© in a variety of formats:
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I didn't know about any of the 35 powerful women of African descent on the 2011 BWIE Power List.  How many of them did you know before reviewing the list?

November 24, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country

President Obama wishes the American people a happy Thanksgiving -- and gives a special thanks to the brave men and women serving overseas and those giving back to their communities during the holidays.

November 22, 2011

Barack Obama in 1991 Black History Minute Video

YouTube didn't exist back in 1991 when Barack Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review. As such there aren't many video-clips of our current president from back in the day.

However, an old video of Barack Obama doing a “Black History Minute” did pop up recently.

Could any of us imagine that he would later become the first Black president of the United States?

November 21, 2011

NBA Stars Support Obama Re-Election Campaign

I see that a number of current and retired NBA All-Stars ar getting political next month when they play in a basketball exhibition game to raise funds for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Players who have confirmed they will play in the Obama Classic Basketball Game include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Ray Allen.

Retired big men Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Patrick Ewing will also play in the game in Washington, D.C., on December 12.

Ticket prices range from $200 for general admission to $5,000 for court-side seats. Funds raised at the game will go to the Obama Victory Fund, an account managed by the Democratic Party and Obama's re-election campaign.

I began to imagine who I would want to be on my Electronic Village Classic Basketball Game. My dream team would include: Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving.  I guess you can tell that I'm a lifetime fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, huh?!

Who would you want to play on your Classic Basketball Game?

November 20, 2011

Andrew Tafoya Pleads Guilty to 'Child-Stealing' in Chioma Gray Case

The unusual case of Chioma Gray is coming to an end. Her abductor, 24-year old Andrew Tafoya, pleaded guilty to felony child stealing charges. He will spend three years in prison. [SOURCE]

Chioma was a 15-year old high school student in Oxnard, CA when she was kidnapped by Tafoya on December 13, 2007. She lived with him as his wife for nearly four years in Mexico. Chioma is now 19 ... and she says that she is married to Tafoya.

The couple voluntarily returned to California last month.

November 19, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: Creating an Economy Built to Last

President Obama is on an international trip that finds him in Indonesia today. Of course, most of the GOP candidates for president couldn't find Indonesia if you gave them a world map. Fortunately, the President didn't talk about GOP ignorance ... rather he spoke about his administration's work opening up markets to support thousands of American jobs and keep us on track to double American exports by 2014.

What say u?

November 17, 2011

What's Your M.O.? Video Contest

There are a number of remarkable young 'uns within the reach of our 'electronic village'. We encourage them to get with Monique Coleman and GimmeMo to enter the What's Your M.O.? video contest for youth.

Coleman, an actress, singer, activist and United Nations Youth Champion dedicated to empowering today's youth, created What's Your Mo as a chance for teens to tell what their Mo' is, what teens are passionate about, and what they are doing to make a difference.

This contest is for teens ages 13-to-18. Videos must be :60-:90 seconds. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube with the tag "What's Your M.O.?" and the link emailed to The winning video will be featured on Coleman's online show at and the winner will receive a personal 15 minute Skype video call with Coleman.

The deadline is November 28, 2011 ... so get busy!

November 15, 2011

Why So Few Black Technology Entrepreneurs Funded by CincyTech?

I joined over 400 people at the CincyTech annual meeting at the Duke Energy Convention Center earlier this morning. I counted 35 start-up companies and community partners participating in the Start-up Showcase. I visited each of the booths and talked to many of the technology entrepreneurs who have enjoyed success with CincyTech.

CincyTech is a public-private partnership whose mission is to invest in high-growth start-up technology companies in Southwest Ohio. The organization provides management assistance, seed-capital investments and connections to partners who share its mission. CincyTech focuses on opportunities in information technology and life sciences. This is a wonderful opportunity for technology entrepreneurs.

After seeing the CNN's Black in America episode,'The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley' I was very sensitive to the issue of racism that impacts Black technology entrepreneurs when it comes to venture capital funding of start-ups. As such I was disappointed to see that less than a dozen of the 400 people in attendance were African American ... and only three (ConnXus, Innovative Card Solutions and SampleSaint) of the 35 booths were filled with technology companies that were owned and operated by people of African descent.

CincyTech President Bob Coy announced CincyTech’s performance numbers during the meeting. CincyTech has invested $10 million in 28 local start-up companies and helped its companies attract another $100 million in private co-investment since 2007. There were no statistics or emphasis mentioned at any point during the meeting about the dearth of Black technology entrepreneurs being supported by the process.

I am glad to see that there are Black leaders on both the staff and executive committee of CincyTech. That is better than what we saw from the movers and shakers in Silicon Valley.

I suggest that BDPA (local, regional and national) become more aggressive in their engagement with entrepreneurial organizations like CincyTech. I plan to follow-up with CincyTech and its portfolio companies to invite them to learn more about BDPA Cincinnati chapter and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. There should be speaker opportunities, company tours for our members and students, internships and perhaps even support for BDPA's college scholarship program.

Perhaps the CincyTech Annual Meeting in 2012 will have a growing level of engagement with Black tech entrepreneurs and start-ups!

November 12, 2011

Science and Tech Education for Students of Color

Did you watch Soledad O'Brien share insights on the NewMe Accelerator journey in "Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley"? The point was made that there are very few African Americans being funded for technology start-ups in Silicon Valley. It is obvious that creating a vanguard of technology CEOs begins with the education that we give to our young people.

Check out this video to see how one woman seeks to make a difference at an early age for students of color:

There are a number of other organizations trying to create future STEM superstars.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

November 11, 2011

Joe Paterno Should be Fired; Penn State Grand Jury Report Shows That Evil Sex Abuse Was Covered Up

Joe Paterno has worked for over 60 years for Penn State. He has been a legendary head coach who earned two national championships and has won more games than any other coach in the history of football. He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Penn State University.

Jerry Sandusky
Coach Paterno's close friend for many of his years at Penn State is a guy named Jerry Sandusky. Jerry Sandusky was the defensive coordinator for both of the Penn State national championships.

Jerry Sandusky is also a pedophile. He likes to have sex with young children ... as young as 10- or 11-year olds. In fact, he was caught by a Penn State graduate assistant having anal sex with a young middle-school student in the Penn State showers. The incident was reported to Coach Joe Paterno.

Here is the 23-page grand jury testimony that lays out the entire story:

Joe Paterno
Villagers, I understand that Joe Paterno announced that he will retire at the end of the season. It is my view that Joe Paterno forfeited the chance to have a say in his retirement when he allowed his friend to sexually abuse a minor in his facility ... and then decided to cover it up to protect his legacy and the reputation of Penn State.

Joe Paterno should be fired immediately and not allowed to coach the game this weekend. Period.

If this had happened with any other university official ... or with a football player on the team ... he would be SUSPENDED immediately (if not FIRED immediately). Why is Joe Paterno getting a pass? Just because he's an old white guy?

Did you read the transcript? That is why I posted it ... once you read the transcript then you know that all bets are off. This is a disgusting, illegal and immoral pattern of behavior that was condoned and covered up by Joe Paterno, his staff and Penn State University.

Not only should Joe Paterno be fired ... I hope that his players all walk to the 50-yard line at the beginning of the game on Saturday ... then in unison they should take off their helmets and sit down ... I hope that the players REFUSE to play the dayum game.

What say u?

November 10, 2011

Video of the Day: Rick Perry is an Intellectual Midget

I guess it's fair to say that Rick Perry just lost any chance he had to win the Republican nomination for president. In fact, Rick Perry may now replace Dan Quayle as the biggest dummy to ever run for the presidency ... with honorable mention to Sarah Palin.

It turns out the the Department of Energy was the third agency that Rick Perry was trying to remember.

Do you see any future for Rick Perry?

November 8, 2011

2011 Women of Color in Technology Awards

One of my favorite people in the world is Tyrone Taborn. His company puts on a number of events to highlight diversity in the information technology industry. One of those events is an annual conference that honors top women in technology. The conference this year was held on November 5, 2011 in Dallas, TX.

Here is the video showing highlights of the conference:

What is your take on diversity conference such as this one?

November 7, 2011

Conrad Murray Found Guilty of Killing Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's doctor was convicted Monday of involuntary manslaughter after a trial that painted him as a reckless caregiver who administered a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic that killed the pop star.

The verdict against Dr. Conrad Murray marked the latest chapter in one of pop culture's most shocking tragedies — the death of the King of Pop on the eve of the singer's heavily promoted comeback concerts.

Murray sat stone-faced and showed little reaction at the verdict.

Are you satisfied that justice was done?

November 6, 2011


If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but you think you can't
It's almost certain that you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've lost;
For out in the world you'll find
Things begin with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise;
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

November 5, 2011

Biden's Weekly Address: We Have to Increase the Pace

Speaking from the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President Biden argues that this month's jobs numbers demonstrate that Congress should pass the American Jobs Act to strengthen our economy and create jobs right away. [Video / Transcript]

What is your take on this week's message from the White House?

November 4, 2011

Taser Death: Chad Brothers (Colonie, NY)

It happened again. This time 32-year old Chad Brothers is dead as a result of having been electrocuted 4-5 times by the taser guns of unidentified Colonie (NY) police officers. There were no drugs involved in this case according to the preliminary autopsy reports.

Chad Brothers went on some type of rampage at the Gold's Gym in Colonie, NY. Police responded to a 911 call that says that a man was "going crazy". Nobody appears to know why Brothers was so upset. We'll never know now because the young man is dead.

Witnesses tell police he was intentionally speeding up treadmills other people were using, as well as pushing over machines, some weighing up to 700 lbs.

When the first officer arrived to the scene, an unidentified female officer, Brothers was still causing a disturbance and started throwing items at the officer.

The officer tried to take Brothers into custody, commanding him to calm down, but the 6'1'' and 240 lb. man continued to cause a ruckus. The officer attempted to handcuff him, and when she was unable to do that, she deployed her pronged taser. At that time, the officer said Brothers attempted to grab her taser away.

Two additional officers arrived at the scene, each using their own taser on Brothers.

Police say Brothers was stunned four to five times, in all.

After taken into custody, Brothers went into cardiac arrest. The officers at the scene, as well as a gym patron, began CPR on the victim before Colonie EMS arrived.

Brothers was taken to Albany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The unidentified officers involved in the incident have been put on paid administrative leave pending the end of the investigation.

Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider says his officers were jusified in what they did.

November 3, 2011

Video of the Day: Rick Perry is Dazed and Confused

'Sheriff' Rick Perry wants to be the President of the United States. He wants to be on the world stage as the face of our nation. Check out this video and let me know if this is the image that America needs for the next 4 years.

Was that Rick Perry being Rick Perry? Or do you think he was drunk?

November 2, 2011

Leadership Tip: Avoid The Word 'But'

If you eliminate the work 'but' from your memos, e-mail, phone conversations, and dealings with villagers, you'll strengthen your ability to persuade others.


Any time you use the word 'but', what you're really saying is that you disagree with that person. For example, if you say, "I agree with you, but let me say this...," villagers will wonder if you really agree with them or not.

The solution?

Always replace 'but' with 'and'. In the above example, you would say: "I agree with you, and let me say this..." Replacing 'but' with 'and' eliminates all contradiction from your message, and makes what you say more powerful.

November 1, 2011

Wayne Hicks Discusses 'The Art of Networking' at University of Cincinnati

I'm honored to be the guest speaker at the ADVANCE Networking Reception later this evening. The Networking Reception will take place on Tuesday, November 1st at the University of Cincinnati’s Myers Alumni Center form 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Located at 2906 Woodside Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221.

ADVANCE is a student focused professional development organization that assists students, primarily African American, with making the transition from college to the work environment by developing and enhancing skills in resume writing, interviewing, networking, business etiquette, and understanding corporate/world of work cultures.

This reception was created by students in ADVANCE over 24 years ago as a pre-career fair activity designed to market the Diversity Student Career Fair, and to promote students’ understanding of the “Art of Networking.” Students also benefit by receiving insight on business protocol and work world dynamics.

The ADVANCE organization will host the Networking Reception. Following sign-in, there will be introductions, acknowledgement of sponsors, and a brief presentation on the do's and don'ts of the "Art of Networking." Immediately following this segment, light refreshments will be served and students will begin their interactions with corporate representatives. Please bring plenty of business cards as students have been instructed to collect cards from company participants. The dress for employers is business formal or business casual.

I look forward to my participation in this year’s ADVANCE Networking Reception. Wish me luck!

October 31, 2011

Sex Scandal: Rise of Herman Cain in Presidential Politics May Be Over

I've heard 'Godfather' Cain talk during his presidential campaign about the powerful influence of his wife. He says that she is not visible on the campaign trail because she is home making sure that his personal life is undisturbed. Today we learn that Cain may have engaged in sexual harassment of two women who worked with him at the National Restaurant Association back in the day. The two women accepted 5-figure settlement offers from the Association in order to drop their cases.
"Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman."
I suspect that we will soon have the 'Good Wife' moment when Gloria Cain makes very public appearances with her husband.

We've seen many other times when male politicians got in trouble because of their inability to be faithful to their wives. I guess it's not just politicians ... this is a situation that many men get into over time. However, it is most public when it happens to a politician. Just ask Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Mark Foley, Christopher Lee, Anthony Wiener or David Wu.

In this case, we find a political candidate experiencing tremendous success in his effort to win the Republican nomination for the presidency. In fact, the most recent polls in the Iowa GOP primary showed Cain was leading the frontrunner. Folks were smiling at Cain's recent campaign ad that went viral. All things were coming up roses for Cain ... then POW! ... a sex scandal is unleashed on the public by the reporters over at Politico.

Cain will do some damage control over the next few days.  His side of the story is as follows:
"I've never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association, and I say falsely, because it turned out, after the investigation, to be baseless," he said on Fox News.  "It is totally baseless, and totally false, never have I committed any sort of sexual harassment," he added.
Cain was asked if he has ever had to settle a sexual harassment or sexual misconduct claim, false or otherwise.
"Outside of the Restaurant Association, absolutely not," he said. "If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I am not - I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much, because nothing happened. So if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the Association. So the answer is absolutely not."
However, the make or break moment for this story will be when the identities of the two women are made public. If either of the two women are white ... then all bets are off and we can see Herman Cain forced to resign his candidacy.

I suspect that the tip about this sex scandal was probably provided to Politico by someone in the 'Sheriff' Rick Perry campaign. Don't you agree?

Anyhow, what is your take on this sex scandal with Herman Cain?

Taser Autopsy: Cocaine is Cause of Death for Michael Evans

We learned that the 50,000 volts of electricity pumped into the body of 56-year old Michael Evans contributed to his death back on August 25. However, the cause of death is listed as cocaine overdose. [SOURCE]

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Fayetteville (NC) said Evans had more than four times the lethal amount of cocaine in his system when he was electrocuted by the police.

The report says the cocaine level was the cause of the death, complicated by cardiovascular disease, significant physical exertion while trying to avoid restraint and the electric shock.

Officers said they were trying to take Evans into custody because he was trying to jump in front of cars.

October 29, 2011

Obama's Weekly Address: We Can't Wait to Create Jobs

President Obama says that we can’t wait for Congress to take action to grow the economy and create jobs -- and highlights actions he took to help families refinance their mortgages, put veterans to work, and lower the cost of student loans. (video / transcript)

I think that President Obama is right on the politics and the policy on this issue. He is fighting for jobs and that Congress is doing nothing at all. Congress has refused to negotiate with the president for the past year ... so, it is about time that Obama find other ways to get things done.

What say u?