Michael Vick has paid his debt to society. So why is PETA, other organizations and dog lovers still on his case? No one is condoning what he did in killing dogs, when he was the star Quarterbak for the Atlanta Falcons, no one is trying to minimize his actions in that regard.  The fact is that many people believe he was excessively charged and over-sentenced, which was only due to public outcry. Vick got caught doing what he did and while the media eye was on him PETA and the Humane Society pushed their agenda hard, emploring people to go to shelters and get a dog. Being the sensitive human beings that many people claim to be (including then President George Bush) we went out and picked up millions of abandoned dogs from shelters. This mass rescuing of dogs at the time was so prevalent that the pet dog population overtook the pet cat population for the first time in a decades. Then guess what happened? The bottom fell out of the housing market and the recession took hold of the country. People were losing their jobs and homes left and right, they could barely feed their children and now they have to decide whether to feed a dog as well. So those same caring sensitive human beings did what any reasonable dog lover would do, they abandoned their new pets by the thousands…thanks PETA.

This is not to bash PETA because both PETA and I believe in non-captivity. I do not support the enslavement of any animal as does PETA. I believe that enslavement of an animal makes it easier for human beings, us, to accept the mistreatment of people. I had hoped that the outrage expressed towards Michael Vick was not racial in nature (They went after Pedro Martinez as well), but where is this outrage when it does not involve minorities? I have never heard PETA calling to shut down racetracks, or ask for the head of any racehorse owner. These Dog Lovers have never called for kennel club participants to have their Brain Scanned as they did with Mr. Vick. Dog Shows, Dog and Horse Racing means taxes, which means cities and governments profit. The fact is that Las Vegas odds makers will still take bets on Vick’s games even if they are card carrying PETA Members. NFL Defensive Backs won’t tackle him any harder because they have pets. Wide Receivers won’t drop his passes because they are dog lovers. Remember that just because you like dogs doesn’t necessarily mean that you like cats. For all of you who don’t like where this article is headed, here is the question?  How is spaying, neutering, declawing and imprisoning an animal for your entertainment purposes not enslavement?

What about those breeders that strap female dogs to metal devices and then let the male dogs repeatedly mate with them? Where is PETA when these Kennel clubs who are altering the dogs and then trotting them around for people to celebrate? My guess is that they are perhaps, in the stands drinking gourmet coffee. PETA stands for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. Supposedly they care more about the treatment of animals than they do the treatment of people. Don’t ask them to donate to help a homeless child because they will say “if it were a dog, I would gladly give.” And whose “Humane” and “Ethics” are these organizations really talking about because in todays world everything is up for interpretation. As far as Animal cruelty goes aren’t we all complicit and completely hypocritical when we complain about what Vick did, and at the same time lounge on a leather couch eating chicken wings watching the players throw around the old pigskin. And let’s not forget the chickens cut up for our Superbowl parties and cows slaughtered for our leatherwares, you may want to check your closet. Say what you will about the companionship of dogs and cats, all pets are only around for our pleasure.

Horses racing is ‘sport’ where the horses are starved, beaten, altered, killed, given steriods and hormones. Horses are commonly known to have their spirits broken. In Hollywood movies we see that happening by a good rider not being thrown from the animals back. However, in real life a horse’s spirit is broken when it is hit with electric prods, thrown to the ground while running at full speed and having its genitals crushed. In some circuses, animals have been beaten, whipped, and prodded how do you think they get them to perform those amazingly unnatural acts. Some of these animals are poorly feed and kept chained night and day in small cages. Zoos are not much better when it comes to animal treatment. Many of those animal have been stolen from their natural habitats and that couldn’t have been pleasant. In our own homes pets are enslaved, punished, beaten, mistreated, starved, declawed among other things. So before you animal lovers start dictating measures perhaps you should adhere to some of your own. PETA and the Humane Society kill Millions and Millions of Dogs, Cats and Chickens each year, they say they do it because “they care more”.

Many people believe in standing up for the defenseless, helpless, homeless animals, but are we, as a society, really civilized and compassionate enough to do that? Aren’t we the people who torture, and hold people without rights, and believe me we are using those tactics and worse? Aren’t we the people who urinate on dead Afghans? Aren’t we the ones who blind-fold and stack up naked foreign prisoners in a pyramid. Isn’t America the place where our judicial system boast a wrongly incarcerated rate of 10%? Are we not holding people in detention camps, just so they can’t sue us? Are we not a society of racist, fanatical, sexist, bloodthirsty individuals? We have become professionals at “Looking The Other Way”, so much in fact that maybe we can label the “unethical” treatment of animals as Enhanced Training Techniques.

Michael Vick’s debt to society has been paid, to the tune of 2 years in prison, 20 million dollars and all of his dignity. So who do those “heartfelt” apologies go to? Because you sleep with a dog in your bed, adopted a pet, or kiss dogs in the mouth, he owes you an apology? I don’t think so. If I were told 10 times “No” and “Back Up” by bodyguards it seems to me that a journalist continuing to confront Micahel Vick after that, is going too far, but not according to Richard Hunter because he has a dog. This is not all about the Media, PETA, The ASPCA, The Humane Society or other dog cuddlers. This is about our society. When Michael Vick was released from prision, no team would sign him, because activist organizations pressured them not to. But 10 year veteran Quarterback Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles put his neck out for Michael Vick.

McNabb forced the Philadelphia Eagles owner to sign him and the coach used Vick as a trick playmaker in 2009-2010. Vick did everything he was ask to and obligated to do. Privately the Eagles brass simmered at McNabb. The following season the Eagles traded McNabb, their all-time leader in career wins, pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns, to the lowly Washington Redskins, where was disrespected and mistreated all season, so much for a black man putting his neck out for another black man. The Eagles named Kevin Kolb their new starter, Vick never said a word. Kolb got hurt and Vick led the Eagles to impressive victory after victory, in press conference after press conference the coach said that Kolb is still the starter, Vick never complained. Kolb’s injuries and the obvious leadership qualities of Michael Vick forced the coach to start Vick. Michael Vick had an amazing almost storybook season. Vick left the announcers and crowds speechless even in defeat. In during the 2011 season, he had the Eagles believing, leading the division and in serious Superbowl contention. He had other teams devising methods to stop his pass and run attack. He went 6 games without an interception. He was their leading rusher. He was the leading vote getting for the pro bowl. He was in MVP contention with the likes of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Payton Manning, but he is also Black and that’s the problem not one really wants to tackle.

In the midst of the huddles, the confeiti, slow-mo hits, advertisments, one handed catches, celebrations and trophy kisses the NFL is and has been the most racially bias of all professional sports. So racial was the NFL’s inception that they actually had “No Niggas” in their bi-laws. Yes on the field you see Blacks and Hispanics, but that’s only because they needed the market appeal and talent to have a sucessful product. The NFL, in full acknowledgement of America’s racial division, felt that people would not accept America’s sport being black dominated, so they strickly enforced unsportsmanlike conduct penalties such as enzone celebrations and helmet removal in the 1980’s, the players of that era said as much. You can see a racial tint in how they film the players, how long the camera is on a player and especially in the complete lack of Black History month in Superbowl advertisements and promos, the Superbowl was moved into the month of February.

In recent years the NFL has taken to creating rules and fines to protect the (primarily white dominated) quarterback position. No matter how much you don’t want to believe, or how difficulty a thing is to accept, sometimes you have to look at a things the way they are and not how you want them to be. In America most minorities never get tried by a jury of their peers, which is why minorities take so many plea deals. Michael Vick knew this, which is why he took a plea deal. He was facing a 20 years sentence and a jury of his peers would have understood that his environment and perhaps his upbringing led to his involvement in dog-fighting non-sense. To Vick’s peers Dog Fighting is wrong, but it not worthy of Levenworth. Anyone that was raised in the any white middle class or inner-city in the 80’s, or 90’s had to kick the shit out of a dog or two, there were no leash laws and dogs bite, this is something that Vick’s “peers” would have been aware of.

Media portrayal and societal anger towards most African-American athletes is often racially coded and emoted. Look at the situations of James Lebron, James Harrison, Donovan McNabb and Vince Young, then look at Brett Farve, Tim Tebow and Cliff Lee and how they are treated and discussed. Look at the many chances Tim Tebow has been given and he can’t throw the ball, Brett Favre is elderly and is sending people text messages of his crank, Cliff Lee is just white and the last time I checked steroids were illegal. Society is always look for and clinging to the next great white hype at the expense of better talent in minorities. Were it not for McNabb, Vick would not have had a sliver of opportunity.

Were it not for Vick’s value through his physical attributes and ability to entertain he would not have been allowed to play. Although he is entertaining and using his ability to make the corporation money, look at how he is treated, talked about and disregarded. He has been involved involved in programs to help children and education program and in many ways he has been heroic, yet he is the constant example of how the black man once released from prison is not really free and how they are in many ways still imprisoned. Did Michael Vick deserve the NFL MVP award?  Did he deserve the comeback player of the year award?  However, what he deserves most the the opportunity to have his second chance. This golden second chance ticket of an opportunity that is readily afforded many Whites, but sadly absent when it comes to minorities. Michael Vick was forced to look himself in the mirror and he has changed. He is better for it. What is unfortunate is that when it is time for Society to look itself in the mirror it, chooses the option to look the other way.

Food for thought: Throwing things on people and destroying their clothing that they worked hard for doesn’t help make your case… it pisses people off. Wouldn’t the horses run faster if they didn’t have someone on their backs? Why do they call things inhumane when it involves animals? Do we only like dogs more than humans because they don’t tell us where to get off?  On Fox News Tucker Carlson said “Vick…should have been executed, for killing dogs”.  Do you think Mr. Carlson would have said that if Michael Vick were white? If I were Vick I would get a big contract and then begin the slow road to retirement.

Think for yourself.

On December 2, 2010 Lebron James, now a member of the Miami Heat, returned to the Cleveland Cavilers and swiftly dropped 38 points on them. After the games Lebron James was asked for the 30,172 time if he wanted to apologize to the Cleveland Caviler fans by a Mustard Wine Jacket clad Craig Segar, a side line commentator for TNT. James quickly responded “I don’t want to apologize.”

Upon hearing these comments the sporting news world, including TNT’ commentator and NBA great Reggie Miller, quickly surmised that Lebron was only stroking the fire, but he wasn’t because he was right. Before the season began, a Free-Agent, Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers, took less money and joined the Miami Heat, in a move that the entire sporting world has widely condemned. Apparently the fans and commentators are unaware that the NBA needs villians. The NBA needed a Bad Boy team. The NBA makes rules and penalties as if they don’t but they want controversy. All you have to do is look at the games and how they are promoted and the ratings that follow.  Post “The Decision” the game ratings and game intensity are way up. So it’s not personal, it’s business, for this and many other reasons fans owe Lebron an apology.

Multiple sporting venues from ESPN to the Sporting News to Yahoo Sports have written many articles on why Lebron’s move to Miami was a bad move for Lebron. The fans were livid, and called Lebron’s choice arrogant and these sport information entities echoed the same popular opinion. Now I will echo the Truth, regardless of whether or not Lebron and the Miami Heat win a title they all owe Lebron James an apology. Recently Baseball number 1 pitcher, Cliff Lee chose the chance to win and less money to join the Philadelphia Phillies and was celebrated, but Lebron is being vilified. Lebron James suggested that much of the venom towards him has a racial component to it, yet his feelings were quickly dismissed, look at the Cliff Lee situation and we’ll wait on the apology for that.

  • The Cleveland Cavalier fans owe Lebron an apology.
  • Charles Barkley owes Lebron James an apology. Charles has always had a big mouth, but calling the Miami Heat Big 3 “punks” is classless.

  • The fans who spent their hard earned money to buy Lebron James jerseys only to burn them in effigy owe all of us an apology, after all it is a recession.
  •  Radio station 100.7 WMMS, which brought in a witch doctor to cast an “injury” spell owe James an apology.

  • Dan Gilbert, the Cavs owner, owes the Cavalier fans an apology for his online rant and continuing to complain, even though he actually traded Lebron James to the Heat.
  • Dan Gilbert owes James another apology for trying to pressure the NBA to look into whether or not Miami tampered with James before “The Decision”.
  • Dan Gilbert owes the Cleveland Calvalier fans a very big apology, for not ever surrounding Lebron James with enough talent to win a title. Before Mr. James made “The Decision” what big free agent moves had Gilbert made to enhance the roster had Lebron stayed? Who did he sign to enticed Lebron to stay? What was his backup plan? If you look at the current Cavs roster, you will see that his back-up plan was the same as it was in previous years- “Ride Lebron until you can’t ride him anymore”. Dan Gilbert and the Cavalier fans should thank Lebron for his years of dragging their sorry teams through the playoffs.

  • The fans who printed up shirts calling him “Queen”and “Quitness”, the vendors selling them and the people who wear them owe James an apology.
  • The people who make videos that call James a quitter owe him an apology.
  • Countless radio station hosts, newspapers, magazine writers and bloggers all owe Lebron James an apology.

It was offensive after the second time Lebron James was asked to, or if he wanted to apologize for 7 years, 5 playoff appearances, 28 ppg, 17,000 points and 2 MVP awards.

If Dan Gibert had announced that he was trading Lebron James, would people be this upset? Nope. Think about that.

I know much of this ‘what he should have done’ commentary will die down as the wins mount, but will the apologies? This is not the first time these sports entities have got it wrong, remember Lebron’s 1st MVP award an award that should have went to Dwayne Wade, but sports writers didn’t have the guts to give it to Wade. Lebron James knew where that award belonged. Wade is Lebron’s MVP and that’s what really matters. I am sure that had plenty to do with “His Decision”. Lebron James knows to apologize when someone he cares about is slighted, he also knows that those who owe him an apology don’t care about him and probably never did. Now while you are thinking these things over, apologize to Chris Bosh also.

“It’s not Lebron’s team, It’s not Dwayne’s team. The Miami Heat is their team.”- MG

Kanye West recently released his new video “Power” from his album ‘Dark Twisted Fantasy”. Some have called it a Video, others have called it Art, at 90 seconds long many are saying that they are waiting on the rest of it. In this video you see a huge gold chain, naked women, violence acts and various vices, but does it push boundaries, does it raise the bar, is the video sexist; as some have suggested. As always the public will search for meaning in the Marco Brambilla produced “Power”.  In this new video, or portrait if you will, Kanye is portrayed as “Damocles”, as the legendary sword hangs above is head.  The video is scattered with ancient and modern day visual representations of the many perils that come with Power. Filled with sharp light and dark visual contrast all the way down the the white and black individuals wielding swords to strike each other down. To fully understand this video, we need to take a look at Kanye West the artist. I didn’t call him a rapper, I said the Artist, but more on that later.

I was just wondering if the MTV staff and security didn’t see Kanye wandering around below the stage before hand

While we are on Mr. West, does anyone still care if Kanye took a mic from Taylor Swift? Especially since she is really not a country artist add to that the fact that MTV was trying to steal the country youth audience by giving her a “throw away” award, (MTV also threw away and award in 2011 to Tyler the Creator, likely due to Kanye not wanting his ex-girlfriend’s (Amber Rose) husband (Wiz Khalifa) to be on stage) Kanye the artist called MTV on the throw away award. President Barack Obama, rightly called Kanye a “jackass” for his actions that night. But then again the President went to an elementary school and told the youth there that they can’t all be the next Lil Wayne…Lil Wayne.  At a Hurricane Katrina telethon, Kanye West said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”, while it is hard to argue with him on that, but he said it so matter-of-factly, so openly and in front of so many people that his comments from that night still haunt President George W. Bush. Kanye’s words haunted ex-President George W. Bush so much that in his memior “Decision Points” that moment is listed as the lowest of his presidency? Not the Hurricane Katrina response, not 9/11, not the Mission Accomplished statement, not the Vice President’s heart attack, not illegal wire taps, or a mis-guided wars, but Kanye West saying that you don’t care about Black People was your lowest point. When asked about Kanye West’s comments that night the ex-president said “I didn’t appreciate it then, I don’t appreciate it now.”  This is a testament to the power and affect that entertainers could have and use but so very often don’t. In a 4-year period Kanye effectively tied himself to two Presidents and a rising young country star, without rhyming a single lyric.

Factions from all sides have taken swipes at Kanye West ever since he released his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004.  The Hip Hop community poked fun at Kanye’s “808 & Heartbreak” album. An album which was dedicated to emotions and the heat break of love, but isn’t that what music, dare I say Hip Hop needs? A black man rapping about power shows how hip hop is evolving. Kanye’s power breaks down the paradox of those in the industry that say he can only talk about the hood, what it’s like to be in jail and, what it’s like to get free government cheese.  Kanye isn’t supposed to be rapping about power and he definitely isn’t supposed to be sophisticated enough to use images of Renaissance artwork  to get his point across.

Was posing on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing a crown of thorns a bad idea?

Only if you don’t remember it.

Kanye has even went so far as to suggest that his race is a major factor in why he gets a lot of media flak and is overlooked for some awards, in the words of Kanye “Give a black man a chance…Maybe my skin’s not right”. Does Kanye say things that you don’t agree with? Does he speak ingrandiose term of himself? Does he really need to say “Black”, or “I’ve got the” in order for us to see and hear it?

Hip Hop today is not focused on the Art, but the production. So much so that even the average listener is conditioned to only be concerned with catchy phrases and the formulaic dance-ability of a song. Corporations are riding the music gravy train and squeezing every drop of money out of each stop. Does anyone care that Pop singers can’t sing, or that R & B has become a soulless mosh pit of rap and pop or that Hip Hop is often little more than bad lyrics and violent rhymes? There is no doubt that corporations are pushing explicit wording, overt sexuality and trying to front the genre with White Acceptable rappers. The fact is that Hip Hop has permeated our American lives. Politicians try to relate to our youth by rhyming lines, brushing imaginary dirt off their shoulders or by throwing out a rappers name. Does controversy sell? Does sex sell? They sure do, and when the media trots out people to point fingers at they sell even more.

What do you think?

Kanye’s  lack of humility is the main reason people will always find a reason to not like him, but people also do not like his politics, race or  his grammar, yet he does seem to enjoy his share of critics. When “Dark Twisted Fantasy” was released, many that live on the music industry’s outskirts mistakenly called it a comeback. Even the most respected critics quickly deride the intellectual, or message filled rap, while at time they same time speak in glowing terms of rappers with Dr. Seuss lyrics, or an imaginary violent acumen reminiscent of Al Capone. At the same time radio and television browbeat the populace with this subpar music until they like it. Unknown to many is that the best music every created will never be heard, except for a few select people.

By incorporating spoken word poetry and narration, rappers have made their products more accessible to “the mainstream”. Some rappers have adapted by embedding knowledge into their bars, a few have extended that to their videos. Here is where Kanye West comes into play, he has now branched off into Fine Art. How many times have you or your child went to a museum to appreciate the art? Art is not just sculpture, dance, music and paintings, it also includes wood and metal shop, and he cut that from schools too. Aside from questioning the subversive qualities of power, celebrity, sexuality decadence; what Kanye does is bring the Art to you on your television, powered by images and bass lines.

Jay Z did it in his  video “On to the Next One“, but he did that more so to make fun of the pettiness of people.

Lady GaGa tried it, albeit it in a less artistic fashion with “Telephone“, but that was only to spark controversy and solidify her brand.

These entertainers are creating their own kind of power

Showing that he is a true hip hop student, Kanye’s song nods to Snap’s 1990 hit “The Power”. The hook may not be quite as catchy as “I’ve got the power”, but Kanye’s “Power” shows the power, hope and promise of Hip Hop, especially when you study your craft. The song “Power”, aside from powerful social commentary, is addressed to his many haters. Everyone should seriously take the time and really listen to his lyrics in “Power”, especially the remix. In the remix Kanye West raps in Arabic, I wonder if 20% of Americans will believe that he is a Muslim, like they do President Barack Obama.  You can love Kanye’s vocal samples and instruments or not, he has been a lightening rod for the media and consumers alike and now he is trying to spark an interest in Art, how dare he. So while you are watching Kanye West, recognize that he is so out of touch that he is and has been trying to touch each one of us. There are many followers, and those that play them for that. There are people who will say or do something just because someone else did it, and there is a growing market for that too. Maybe this type of thinking can be traced back to early childhood Art Education, I’m just sayin’.

There will still be those that think that Kanye is ignorant. However, I beg to differ, Kanye seems to know the power of Art. He is aware of the boost in creativity, the focused concentration, the increased eye-hand coordination, the sense of completion you get from it. He also knows that Art promotes thinking outside of the box because that is exactly where he is.

Karen Hunter’s book “Stop Being Niggardly” loudly urges blacks to Stop all of the marching, all of the complaining and rise to action and fix what is wrong in our lives and our communities. This book is at its inspirational best when it talks about the “Quite Heroes” in our community and the need to “Write down the dream” in regards to setting goals and a plan of action. “Stop Being Niggardly” is filled with solid points to consider, statics to back up assertions and historical references for perspective.

Early on in the book Karen Hunter states that anger was her impetus for writing this book, and the book does reflect that anger along with her frustration in powerful lines such as, “I believe that black folks worry so much about what people are saying and calling us, but spend little time on what we are saying and calling each other and even less time on building out communities.”

Karen Hunter doesn’t just ‘Bring It’ when it comes to Black America, she also mixes it up with jaded Americans in general. When she isn’t lamenting on her life experiences she is calling a spade a spade. “People don’t know that a majority of Mexicans are of African descent.” Karen Hunter’s book  deals with many topics and subjects, but she is deft enough to push people to embrace and value who they are. Karen Hunter knows that the truth tellers of the world are not eagerly received, but she shows true courage when she writes, “We complain about the images of us in movies, yet when we get an opportunity to produce movies, what do we put out: Soul Plane? And, sorry, I love your heart, Tyler Perry, but you’re part of the problem.”

In the book’s most thoughtful moments Karen Hunter speaks of Martin Luther King and his dream, and his lack of and action plan, but many of the points in her book line up directly with the philosophy of Malcolm X, especially on having an economic power base. Ms. Hunter’s book/guidebook cleverly covers many topics and it moves smooth and quickly. Often her book speaks of life instances where she had to humble herself, but at times the tone of the book is elevated.

“Stop Being Niggardly” also takes time out to present a historical perspective, “When filmmaking began, the assault on the black image was heightened. Birth of a Nation, praised as one of the best films ever made is a Ku Klux Klan– inspired movie depicting blacks as savage, childlike, and inhuman beings that needed to be stopped and controlled.” As an added bonus “Niggardly” contains a reprinting of Nannie Helen Boroughs’ book, 12 Things the Negro must do to Improve Himself, with a commentary by Karen Hunter. Karen Hunter deserves a large amount of credit when it comes to telling us all like it is. Stop Being Niggardly: And Nine Other Things Black People Need to Stop Doing is a good book that you need to have on your bookshelf, as it appeals to all races because truth knows no color, or boundaries.

4 out of 5 stars

Here we are once again on the issue of race. The incident that forced Shirley Sherrod to resign from the USDA and following apologies has America once again talking about race. Racial Politics has the  NAACP condemning the Black Panther Party and at the same time calling for the Tea Party to not let racist into their organization. The Tea Party is calling the NAACP a racist organization. Sherrod, a government official, who made a speech at the NAACP event was forced to resign  after a video clip was posted on http://biggovernment.com/site a site run by Andrew Brightbart. The NAACP immediately issued a statement saying that “Sherrod’s comments were Shameful”. The video clip contained a part of a speech where Sherrod mentions that prejudice made her think of not helping a White farmer. Media outlets jumped on the blogger’s post and soon it was national headlines and Sherrod was labeled a racist.  The full video  shows that Sherrod’s speech was about overcoming prejudice and helping people. The event was filmed by the NAACP, which for some reason acted like the video came from an outside source. Once the full video of Sherrod’s speech came to the public’s attention, the NAACP released a statement saying that the blogger “bamboozled them”.  The Obama Administration fired Shirley Sherrod on Tuesday, and apologized to her on Wednesday.

Sherrod blames the NAACP, Brightbart blames the Media, The NAACP blames Brightbart, The Obama Administration blames The Media and of course The Media blames Fox News.  Shirley Sherrod says that “The Administration wanted her to pull over to the side of the road and resign”. And that is how it always is with these things, nobody is to blame and everybody is responsible at the same time. We The People don’t want our problems solved, we just want to be able to live our lives without having to think too much, if we wanted the problems fixed we would have elected leaders that do more than just manage our problems. Racism is always in fashion and sadly, it is not in corporate or political America’s best interest for races to get along. If they did they would have deconstructed the lies and myths long ago. America is heading in a dangerous direction.

America is simply afraid of Race, that includes organizations like the NAACP. In their rush to become White Acceptable they allowed someone who wasn’t racist to be labeled racist, by their own fault. The NAACP can’t just use a new slogan and put red, white and blue on it’s website and then shy away from your guiding principles. I know that one of the A‘s in the acronym stands for Advancement, so Ben Jealous where is it? Instead of compromising such a storied organization why bring in new people with fresh perspectives, why not not come up with ideas to stay relevant. The ACT-SO program is great, but why not have a NAACP Entertainment Division or NAACP Record Label and the NAACP can promote actors, actresses, rappers, singers, song writers and others in the field of entertainment who generate positive images of African Americans and other people of color? You need better ideas, and kowtowing shouldn’t be one of them. As for the Tea Party,  since there are racist in every organization, if you are not a racist organization don’t promote racists and by all means don’t let them lead you.

Blacks have national forums on race and many of those forums exclude West Coast Speakers. Gays have meetings that exclude Blacks. Whitetopia’s have sprung up in the mid-west where minorities are welcome to visit, but not welcome to stay. Hollywood continues it’s White Wash of Actors as do our magazines. Racially-coded fair continues to populates our televisions and our radio stations. White rapper Eminem constantly talks about misogyny (in his latest song, Love the way you lie, he talks of tying a women to a bed and then setting the house on fire) and violence, is lauded for being artistry, while Nelly and other black rappers are vilified. The way it is now the Chinese don’t like Vietnamese, the Vietnamese don’t like Koreans, the Puerto Ricans don’t like Mexicans, the Mexicans don’t like Guatemalans, the Japanese don’t like Filipinos, Latinos don’t like other Latinos and Black aren’t very popular with anyone. All the while the police shoot unarmed black men in the street.

Books that are changing everything

Here is the deal both political parties want and need division, that’s how they get paid. Politicians don’t become popular from doing the right thing. Not from being right. If that were the case Dennis Kucinich would be in charge. The Radio, Television and Media were once used to inform the public. However, once it was realized that the constant imagery and bombardment can alter perceptions and attitudes these mediums are now being used to shape public policy, and instead of reporting the NEWS they have been making the NEWS. They can do this because most Americans are too caught up with our fears, or at the very least too busy watching what is going on a Football field or the Jersey Shore.

The facts always  matter. Do Native Americans have a legitimate gripe? Do the Japanese? Do the Blacks? Yeap. When the Klux-Klux-Klan killed Sherrod’s father over a cow that wasn’t even his, who could blame Shirley Sherrod if she was prejudice or even racist, and yet there are many who say “just get over it”. For anyone to try and vilify Birghtbard for airing a video is absurd, he is a blogger that is what he does. We point fingers because we want race to be someone else’s issue, and not ours. Race is a media’s issue, a corporate issue, a political issue and a, Obama administration issue. Our officials will point fingers, drink beers in rose gardens, apologize and offer jobs; while the media changes the subject to leaked war diaries or British Petroleum’s restructing all to give us this false sense that we are dealing with the problem.

The President will bend to the pressure of his administration. He will appoint, select and put people in certain positions who are sensitive to race, but ultimately they will be politicians. Racial Politics, Gender Politics, agendas and strategies  will creep in and yet again, and nothing will really be done. Real conversations on race will not take place. American’s, far longer that the term Politically Correct was coined, haven’t been speaking their minds. The only one saying how they really feel in America today is Mel Gibson and ex-American Idol Judge Simon Cowell.

Some of our leaders have people so whipped up on Socialism and Social programs and how bad they are for this country. When the truth is that 40% of the US economy comes from money right out of our social programs, and you wondered why Canada’s tax rate was so high.  Now take that 40% out of the economy and what happens?  Add another 40% of tax to your paycheck. Our elected officials for years have us believing that the invasion of Afghanistan was necessary. Last year the Afghan people earned an average of $1,000 per year for a total of 10 Billion gross national product. At the same time the United States of America spent $30 Billion dollars to win the hearts and mind of the Afghan people.  Why didn’t we just put the Afghan people on our payroll instead?  I don’t know about you, but if somebody tripled my yearly income I think I would be on their side, or at the very least I would have lost the will to shoot at them. And yet not one will bat an eye when congress passes a massive $60 Billion war funding bill. Spending the money to occupy Vs. actually trying to succeed–think about it. And that is the real problem, we aren’t thinking. We are being told what to think, what opinion to have. There will be multiple conversations, discussions and many articles will be written on this Race issue, but when you ask the wrong question to the wrong people you are going to end up with the wrong answer. As a nation we have to be ready to deal with the answers whether we like them or not.

These national organizations, The Media and the Obama administration should be ashamed of themselves for saying that the responsibility is Brightbart’s. Blogger Media, which is usually one sided and polarized. If the Obama Administration continues to allow “The Media” and “polls” to set public policy we are in big trouble. If the NAACP continues to allow the media and media perception to dictate their philosophy their legacy is in trouble  If the media continues to allow bloggers and unvetted information to appear as news the public at large who depend on them are in big trouble. As a nation we need to get beyond race. That is what Post-Racial was supposed to mean, but it actually means that we can be racist and not have to be so tongue and cheek about it. It means that now we can be overtly racist, or use coded racial remarks and if we get called out on it we can just apologize and all is well. Let’s face it they meant to say it, or they wouldn’t have said it. We need to grow together as a nation, after all you can’t legislate racism away. As evidenced bythe fact that articles like these are only written when something happens.

America we have a serious problem, and a lot of growing up to do.  The entire country needs to go on a national P90X program to get rid of prejudice, violence and unwanted notions. Perhaps, racism is America’s second biggest problem, because the first one is Denial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_United_States

The ACT-SO program

http://biggovernment.com/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/naacp-statement-on-the-resignation-of-shirley-sherrod1/

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/best_sellers/p90x.do?tnt=P90X_SHAKE_B1&code=P90XDOTCOM

Note: Now the NAACP and Shirley are joining forces to continue the discussion on race.

This is the third and final part of my exploration into the Retail Pharmacy. I have spoken with doctors, pharmacist, technicians, managers and other professionals and what I discovered about the retail Pharmacy business is shocking.  This information was gathered from workers at the big chain pharmacies Rite Aide, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

Racism

There have been many articles, case studies and other ways to define or identify what racism is.  This is a tricky and touchy subject to gauge, so I have provided a few real stories. These are actual stories taken this year from your local pharmacy.

First here is the standard:

A Caucasian pharmacist, who routinely and inappropriately touched his female minority technicians was written up and the complaining technician was moved.

Another Caucasian pharmacist would openly pass gas in the pharmacy. He did this so much that he would at times soil himself. He would then go into the break room wash his undergarments and hang them up to dry, in plain view no less. He was written up and the complaining party was moved to another pharmacy. It sounds funny, but it is not, from what I was told the pharmacist was quite rank and that this went on for several month.

Minority Leadership Programs

Retail pharmacy corporations trumpet their diversity, as well as their programs initiated for minorities. What they don’t say is that the Federal Government gives them write-offs for such programs, nor do they mention that they get another tax write-off for hiring a minority.

Each of these corporations have minority leadership programs.  Recently, one company sent out an email inviting employees to the African-American Leadership Group. The email said that topics would be “Low Productivity, High Turn-Over and Absenteeism“.

The email for the Asian Leadership Group said the only topic would be “Communication”.

Books that are changing everything

Human Resources

A Regional pharmacy supervisor, who is Middle Eastern, told me that he has heard his bosses make racist comments toward him. Although he tells his workers to call Human Resources if they encounter this kind of problem, he acknowledges that he will never go to Human Resources with the issue. Everyone knows that Human Resources is there to save the company money and the minute you complain about something like this the clock is ticking on your employment.

Obvious Racism

*Pharmacy Corporate Executives always travel with managers and other executives*

An executive visited a store in Compton. When he saw that the prescription numbers were down, he said “If I get on the loudspeaker and started beat boxing I bet the prescription numbers will go up.

An executive entered a pharmacy in a neighborhood where the median income is $55,000 and median home price is $600,000. Upon seeing two African-American pharmacy technicians he promptly picked up his cellphone, called his friend on the east coast and said with a smile “Guess where I am? I’m deep in the hood now.”

Another executive remarked to a crowd of managers on the possible cause for a slight dip in the pharmacy’s customers service score, he said to the pharmacist “I know it is not you, it’s Those.” The only other people who worked in the pharmacy were African-American.

Here is a common case

A pharmacy executive toured a retail pharmacy and all of the comment she made were glowing, all except one, she said “We need to change the color scheme.”

Including the front store portion this pharmacy was 45% African-American, 30% Latino, 20% Asian and 5% white. Two weeks after this executive made her comment. The African-American General Manger was removed, The Asian supervisor was transferred. A Caucasian was brought into replace the General Manager while the other minorities hours were summarily cut. Every two weeks a minority was moved, fired or replaced. It goes without saying that minority workers are harassed, threaten with being fired, or have their hours cut as a matter or routine.

An African-American supervisor who was very tough on giving refunds was told to be more lenient on giving out refund to customers. Two weeks later they arrested this supervisor and brought them up on charges of fraud. Loss Preventions said that she was giving out too many refunds. Meanwhile at another location a General Manager had stolen $40,000 this person was merely fired.

6 months after this executive make the “Color Scheme” comment the store is 70% white, 15% African American, 10% Latino and 15% Asian. I assume they feel that the color scheme is now more manageable.

The National Perspective

With unemployment of minorities much higher than the national unemployment rate on 9.5,  you can see that this scenario is typical of what is and has been occurring all over America. The politicians will say that Americans need jobs, so the government sets out a jobs creation bill, enter the HIRE Act. It sounds reasonable, right?  Wrong. In most companies the executives, who are by-in-large Caucasians and who generally  occupy positions of authority, from executives down to supervisors, have a tendency to hire people who have “similar backgrounds to their own“.  As the economy grows more jobs will be created, but this squeezing out of minorities allows the overall unemployment numbers to stay high. This is what happens when you let the “Market Correct Itself“. This is what happens when you place your emphasis on “Hope”. This is what happens when we no longer pay attention. This is what happens when our elected officials stop working for the people and begin working for themselves. Ultimately, this is what happens when the wrong people are in charge.

President Barack Obama talks a lot about the 17 Billion in tax cuts to big business, he talks a lot about spurring on small businesses, but he never talks about race. He talks about incentives, and growth, but where are our incentives to grow as a nation? The real victims are more than voiceless masses and campaign slogans. These people vote, these people are hard working, law-abiding U.S. citizens and now they are victims of not only the recession, but racism as well. Surely this can’t be happening… maybe my examples can be explained in another way? Perhaps we just don’t want to confront the issue or maybe we no longer have the stomach for it. With regard to racism there are those of us that believe that this issue will just go away and there are those of us that know that this issue wont just go away.

These scenarios that I detailed have nothing to do with skill level or education, upon further examination you realize that many of these pharmacy  executives have little to no experience in the positions they are hired for and it goes without saying that minorities are promoted slower than Caucasians. Most pharmaceutical workers are intelligent,  nice and completely under appreciated not only by the corporations which employ them, but also by the customers they serve.

MG’s Health Word:

Long term use of (Proton Pump Inhibitors) PPIs can substantially increase your risk of fractures.
Today death caused by prescription drugs now out number traffic fatalities, yet law enforcement spends tax dollars on marijuana and alcohol.

(Generally speaking Heartburn means don’t eat that)

For Reference (White unemployment rate 8%, Latino 14%, Black 17%)

Ethics Sexism

During the process for writing my new book I had the privileged and opportunity to speak with hundreds of diverse people. I spoke to many immigrants illegal and naturalized.  I had numerous conversations with many Hispanics on the issue of immigration, but more importantly on the issue of  illegal immigration. What these many individuals imparted to me, for my book, was enlightening to say the least. I won’t say that the Arizona Bill is right or wrong, but here is what I will say. The Media has been all over this topic reporting this, investigating that, showing numbers and stats. And we, the masses,  are tuning in and posting. Even our “leaders” and elected officials, who haven’t done anything of note in their city and who we haven’t seen or heard from in months, have also chimed in with their own share of face time about SB 1070. Even Los Angeles’ misguided Mayor Antonio Villarigosa convinced the city of Los Angeles to have all businesses boycott Arizona, but somehow the boycott didn’t extend to businesses, colleges or professional sports teams.

There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. Are illegal immigrants employed in the low tedious work that a lot of Americans don’t want to do? Yeap. Is there a difference between illegal immigrant and an immigrant? Yeap. Why does the media and spokespeople seem to put them all in the same barrel? Coalition politics. The fact of the matter is that America, like it or not, is a nation of immigrants. And what that means is that the person next to you, the person you call friend, the person you know and love maybe an immigrant. However, the immigrants who have legally come to the U.S. do have a problem with the illegal immigrants from the Western border…and rightly so.

Many immigrants that have come to the U.S. by boat or by plane and they had to wait in line, or they had a work/school visa. Many of them have taken naturalization classes and fulfilled all of the necessary steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The fact is that most immigrants are white collar workers and and thus pay a large amount of taxes.

The majority of American’s either supported the Arizona bill or something legislation close to it. There have been many assertions concerning potential police abuse, but doesn’t every law have the same potential? If you don’t trust law enforcement officials, then why trust them on anything. Why pass a bill at all? Why not just make the federal government enforce what is already the law? They are elected by us, so that means that they work for us. We don’t want them on television, we don’t want the sound bites and we damn sure don’t want the politics. What Americans want, not let me rephrase that, what Americans demand is action. Politicians will use the public emotions to get elected and then do nothing about the issue.  Arizona appears to simply be one of the many battle grounds for a much larger American issue.

What if the Arizona Legislature were to pass a law saying that Arizona would be an “English Only State”? And by English only no non-English store signs, no DMV with 11 languages printed forms, no banks using your money to print things in who knows how many languages, would that be divisive or unifying? President Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border and the problem became worse, so why is President Obama is sending 1200 troops to the border? Politics, and  to generate good headlines that galvanize the base and Hispanic voter incase of a low voter turn out election.  The United States deports over 1000 people per day, so even if immigration reform were done, it would only be part of the solution. The DREAM act, would provide amnesty for many illegal immigrants living in this country, has been tabled by congress. As other states follow Arizona’s lead the federal government waste tax payer monies by filing a lawsuit against Arizona. The bill wont solve Arizona’s problem, if anything SB 1070 is a cry for help.

Now here is the Truth. The border and immigration issue will nver be properly addressed because many non-latino illegal immigrants, who are in America have families with deep pockets. This is especially true on the East Coast, which enjoys a healthly amount of illegal immigrants from Europe. Also many illegal immigrants come from Asian countries and now live hear with their well-to-do children. The media chooses to focus on the Hispanic community because they have the least amount of in-country power. There are many illegal immigrants in America and only 70% of them are hispanic. The most important reason the border issues with not be resolved is because the FAA does not track airplane flights below a certain height. This means that if your airplane is below that height you are not tracked, don’t need to have a flight log and do not have to register your flight with the FAA. This is how the majority of human trafficking and drugs gets into the country. This is one of America’s dirty little secrets… The Border Issue extends to the sky. As long as the powers that be can keep the citizens and congress focused on what is happening on the ground, the skies are and have been wide open. The FAA has admitted that they have not been about to track 120,000 planes in the United States, but somehow news agencies always reports the one commerical flight that has a problem. I don’t think that the people we see being  arrested on T.V. and running through fields own a single plane, do you?  While Home Land Security puts out warning and squeezes the average traveller putting them through invasive pat downs, making them wait in long lines, scanning them with radiation and repeated questions and searches, they have been letting those who own planes come and go as they please. I was shocked when I discovered this fact during the course of research for my book It Ain’t Just the Size. Furthermore, all of the immigrants legal and not that I honestly spoked to advocated Closing the Western Border, for a limited time period, “it’s chaos, if they don’t vote to close it then you know who they really work for”.