On Being Black

Dad Explains To Son The “Black Man Code”

I have a ten-year old grandson here in Georgia that will have to learn the “Black Man Code”.

His eight and six-year old brothers will need to be informed as well.

Alan Colmes’ LiberalLand

Associated Press writer Jesse Washingtonhad a talk with his 12-year-old boy, just as Bill Stephney talked to his son, Trevor (pictured).

As I explained it, the Code goes like this:

Always pay close attention to your surroundings, son, especially if you are in an affluent neighborhood where black folks are few. Understand that even though you are not a criminal, some people might assume you are, especially if you are wearing certain clothes.

Never argue with police, but protect your dignity and take pride in humility. When confronted by someone with a badge or a gun, do not flee, fight, or put your hands anywhere other than up.

Please don’t assume, son, that all white people view you as a threat. America is better than that. Suspicion and bitterness can imprison you. But as a black male, you must go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are.


Obamacare is Now Officially Obamacare

Smart move Mr. President, et al…

Mother Jones

Sometime last year I gave up entirely on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Not the act itself, of course, but the name. I gave on PPACA and I gave up on ACA. President Obama himself seemed to be OK with it being called Obamacare, so I decided that’s what I’d call it too.

So naturally I’m pleased that the Obama campaign has now made it official:

The campaign launched a Facebook feed Friday featuring a big “I Like Obamacare” logo. The social network rollout also included a Twitter hashtag that the campaign reported become the top trending topic in the world within hours. On the web, an “I Like Obamacare” frontpage popped up on the Obama campaign website.

In an email to supporters, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said it was time for Democrats to turn the “Obamacare” insult into a badge of honor. “I’m proud of it — and you should be, too,” he wrote. “Here’s why: Because it works.”

This has always seemed fine to me. We have Pell grants and Roth IRAs, so why not Obamacare? Like it or not, that’s what everyone calls it, and it’s the only widely recognized name that PPACA has. What’s more, I never thought of it as an insult in the first place. The masses have spoken, and Obamacare it is.

FL · Trayvon Martin · Trayvon Martin Shooting

Jackie Robinson, Trayvon Martin and the Sad History of Sanford, Florida

When I recall that the parents of Trayvon Martin said that their son laid in a morgue as unidentifiable for three days, basically tossed aside until someone came for him, I wondered, why didn’t the police make an effort to find the kid’s family?

Why did they throw Trayvon Martin away for three days?  However, learning more about the city of Sanford’s history, (unfortunately, similar to the history of far too many cities in the South) through the fog of my questions comes an image of generations of discrimination and negative impressions of Blacks in general.

The Nation

Sanford, Florida is a city that will now be known for all times as the place where Trayvon Martin was killed for the crime of Living While Black. It’s in addition the place whose institutions—the police department, the local press, and even the city morgue—treated Trayvon and his body in ways that should disturb anyone with a shred of conscience.

The city of Sanford also has a past that speaks to the racism many believe to be at the heart of why Trayvon was killed and why the man who pulled the trigger was not arrested. I’m not arguing that Sanford, Florida, is somehow more or less twisted than anywhere else. Last month, unarmed, 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was killed in his bathroom by police in New York City. Last week Dane Scott Jr. in Del City, Oklahoma, was killed by police after a “scuffle.” The state medical examiner’s office, however, declared Scott’s death a homicide. The murder of Trayvon Martin is a “local issue” only if we understand “local” to mean local communities across the country.

But Sanford, Florida, does have its own history and it includes a collective moment of intolerance and bigotry that almost derailed the man Martin Luther King Jr. called “a freedom rider before freedom rides,” Jackie Robinson.

Before Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he spent a season desegregating the minor leagues, playing for the Dodgers AAA team, the Montreal Royals. The Royals held Spring Training in Sanford.

Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, after so many years, thought he knew Florida. He believed that Robinson’s presence could go over if efforts were taken to ruffle as few feathers as possible. Robinson, on Rickey’s instructions, didn’t try to stay at any Sanford hotels. He and his wife didn’t eat out at any restaurants not deemed “Negro restaurants.” He didn’t even dress in the same locker room as his teammates.

Rickey thought that would be enough. He thought he knew Florida. But he didn’t know Sanford.

Continue reading here…

Feel Good News

Sleepy kitten grooms his friend

Happy Saturday friend!

The Raw Story

If your [Saturday] afternoon could use a moment of near-perfect stillness and quiet along with a big dollop of cute to go with it, have we got a video for you. In this video, one of two intertwined kittens discovers that his bunkmate missed a spot or two in their bedtime bath routine.

Watch the video, embedded via YouTube, below:

Politico top quotes of the week

Politico’s: The week in one-liners: Mitt, Brown, Biden


The top quotes in politics …

“That’s a big lava lamp, congratulations.” — GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney admiringa light source.

“It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch.” — Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on why the campaign can restart in the fall.

“I’m sure it’s not a pretty sight.” — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorumapologizing for a shirtless photo.

“I think it’s the first time he’s actually ever used protection.” — Sen. Scott Brown joking about Santorum’s secret service team.

“Now for you who are not full Irish in this room, lubricated has a different meaning for us all.” — Vice President Joe Biden making a weird joke.

“We believe the joke was inappropriate.” — Olivia Alair, Michelle Obama’s campaign press secretary, chiding Robert De Niro.

“He is my son.” — First lady Michelle Obama talking about her dog, Bo.

Newt Gingrich · Obama Derangement Syndrome

Newt Gingrich: Obama’s Trayvon Martin Statement ‘Disgraceful’

I really don’t like Newt Gingrich…in my mind, he personifies EVIL…

The Huffington Post

Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich slammed Barack Obama on Friday, saying the president’s remarks about the fatal February shooting of Trayvon Martin were“disgraceful.”

President Barack Obama addressed Martin’s death during a Rose Garden appearance earlier Friday, framing the tragedy in personal terms by saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”Gingrich responded to Obama’s remarksduring a “Hannity Radio” interview:

What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background.Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him. That’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point, we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American, it is sad for all Americans. Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. I really find it appalling.

Gingrich’s comments came amid boiling public outrage over the death of Martin — an unarmed, 17-year-old African American shot by a volunteer neighborhood watchman. The former House speaker commented on the shooting Thursday duringan interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, calling it a “tragedy.”