Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Rev. Wright is Wrong




Most people who have any interest at all in Sen. Obama's campaign for president are scratching their heads over what could possibly be governing Rev. Wright's decision to go public at this time. When I first learned that the reverend was being interviewed by Bill Moyers, I naturally assumed that he and the Obama campaign had decided upon a strategy of allowing the American people to see who the reverend really is, in order to offset the media portrayal of him. While I could understand the rationale behind such a move, it seemed to me that it was an extremely risky endeavor, and ill advised. Then I learned that not only was Rev. Wright being interviewed by Bill Moyers, but he was also going before the National Press Club, and all on his own accord, without bringing Obama into the loop. It was only then that I realized that we had a loose cannon on our hands, and we were also facing yet another political disaster.

I've learned a lot about my people during this campaign, but nothing has come into focus more clearly than the penchant for some of us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Within an hour after Obama first announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination you could hear the crabs stirring restlessly in the barrel. Then the first claw reached out, in the person of a supposedly enlightened Black talk show host–What kind of brother are you if you think announcing your candidacy for presidency is more important than coming on my infomercial? Then the next claw , from a so-called Black intellectual–I just want to know two things- how much do you love your people, and where you getting your money. Then came the Black politicians, pundits, and self-serving businessmen--and from there it became an absolute self-hatefest.

Thankfully, due to the thinly veiled dismissive remarks of our "First Black president", the people in the community began to see through the ignorance of our failed leadership, and came to rally around this impressive young brother. But unfortunately, we found that a history of envy, self-service, and egomania is a tenacious foe, and will only die after a slow, lingering, and agonizing struggle.

If we'er ever going to correct this situation in the Black community, instead of trying to defend our Black icons who behave inappropriately, we must refer back to the wisdom that we learned in order to survive on the street, and simply call a hat a hat. And in this case, the hat that Rev. Wright is sportin' is one of unabashed self-service.

Rev. Wright knows full well that his previous remarks have severely undermined Sen. Obama's pursuit for the Democratic nomination. He also knows that we are now at a crucial point in the nominating process. So why would he--literally, and in God's name--choose this moment to lose his mind?

His answer to that question is as lame as they come. He said, "They're talking about my momma", the Black church. His response was reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's lament about her yearning need to save America, and it came off just a phony. The Black church doesn't need Rev. Wright's defense–it was doing just fine under circumstances much more dire than we find ourselves today, and beyond that, it survived for countless generations before there even was a Rev. Wright, so he's gonna have to come up with something better than that.

Wright also pointed out that it doesn't matter what anyone says, whether they be pundits, the news media, or politicians, if it is God's will for Barack Obama to become the next president, he will be the next president. I'll come back to the validity of that statement in a moment, but if it is Wright's conviction that God has the ability to protect Obama, even from a mouth like his own, why does he think God needs his help to protect the Black church?

While Rev. Wright is clearly a learned man, it is just as clear that he's highly selective in the Biblical passages that he chooses to adhere to. How does his behavior square with the Biblical prescription to treat others as he would like to be treated, for example? If he was in Obama's position–a hare's breath away from becoming President of the United States–I wonder if he would want some loose cannon of a preacher strutting around on stage antagonizing voters to milk his thirty minutes of fame? I don't think he'd like it at all.

But the reverend tries to justify his distraction by pointing out that while Obama is a politician, he, Rev. Wright, speaks for God, and as mentioned earlier, indicates that if it's God's will for Obama to be president, nothing can stop it. But he's wrong. All it takes is one silly old self-serving preacher to, indeed, stop him in his tracks, with just one thoughtless turn of a phrase, because God helps those who help themselves–and at this moment in history, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is of absolutely no help whatsoever.

I always point out to my religious friends that we can only know God's will by what he has done, and what he has done is made birds to fly, fish to swim, and man to think. Yet, in this current situation, Rev. Wright has conveniently chosen to go spiritual on us in lieu of his common sense–and that's in spite of the fact that next to life itself, common sense is the most precious gift that God has bestowed upon man. If the reverend disputes my contention, I invite him to try jumping of the building he spoke so eloquently in and see if God intervenes. God gave us common sense to handle such matters.

The simple fact that God blessed man with a mind, is prima facie evidence that it is his will that we use it. That's what Obama's doing. His candidacy alone is God's answer to the prayers that lingered on the lips of a million slaves. And even as Wright struts across the stage promoting his own image, Obama is hard at work desperately trying to find an answer to the prayers of millions of our contemporaries across this land, and around the world–people who are praying to save their homes, to find a job, to put their kids through school, and others, who simply pray that their children survive a brutal and unjust war.

So Rev. Wright, while your delivery is extremely witty, and your words are quite eloquent, I'd appreciate it much more if you'd refrain from preaching us your sermon and start living us one.

Eric L. Wattree


Monday, April 28, 2008

Juanita Bynum, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar: Is the Black Church Getting A Little Crazy?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

People have asked me what I think about Juanita Bynum and her post, pre and intra-marital drama. In case you haven’t heard, Juanita Bynum is a well-known black evangelist who was allegedly beaten by her husband Bishop Thomas Weeks. The alleged incident took place in an Atlanta Hotel Parking lot, and received a great deal of media attention.

As one would expect from a woman who’s been recently beaten by her husband, Juanita Bynum held a press conference. No trial, no hearings, no indictment, no conviction: just a press conference. Bynum then declared herself to be the new face of domestic violence in America.

That was my introduction to the peculiar world of Juanita Bynum.

I am not sure what world Juanita Bynum lives in, but it can’t be my own. When hearing that she held a press conference after the alleged attack (along with appearances on Divorce Court and Essence Magazine), I immediately wondered if any good could come from this. I was hopeful that the goal was to truly fight domestic violence, thus empowering women around the world from her experience. I also wondered if this was Juanita Bynum’s version of Celebrity Pastors Gone Wild.

It is no secret that Juanita Bynum wants to be the next Oprah. Such lofty ambitions require you to sometimes sell your soul for success: Halle Berry shaves her head and signs a big movie deal. Vivica Fox gives oral sex on camera and then gets a new show. Rappers get shot on purpose. That’s the celebrity fame game, and Juanita appears to be a part of it.

As a specialist in marketplace buying and selling, I quietly wonder if those responsible for saving souls should be so quick to sell their own. At the same time, there are many in the ministry who’ve made money and power their primary objectives, and spend a lot of time praying to the false God of capitalism. Anybody got a Dollar for the collection plate? How about some Taffi? Praise the Lord, amen.

I don’t consider Juanita Bynum to be a bad person. I just hope that she hasn’t allowed blind ambition to turn her into a spiritual Stevie Wonder. Mixing the idea of celebrity with service to God is a slippery slope, and if Jesus were among us in the flesh, I am not sure he would be appearing on Divorce Court. But spiritual leaders are the first to remind us that they can’t quite match up to Jesus. At the same time, one expects a higher standard from Juanita Bynum, TD Jakes and others who expect to preach to us every week.

I am a finance professor and a hardcore capitalist. I fully understand the drug of money. In some ways, I feel like the drug pusher who looks at the church going mother of 3 and says “Ma’am, you don’t want to smoke that crack pipe.” I know that addiction to the drug will cause the mother to abandon her children and destroy everything she holds sacred in order to get another hit. Hearing pastors (i.e. TD Jakes) referring to Jesus as a “product”, or seeing men and women of God speaking on money more than I do is beyond disturbing. It’s just downright crazy.

I don’t consider Juanita Bynum to be the face of domestic violence. Domestic violence has millions of faces of women who never held a press conference. But I certainly hope that she is working to use her newfound fame to support and protect those who are in abusive relationships. But truth be told, I haven’t seen much out of Bynum other than publicity stunts designed to promote the name, fame and wealth of Juanita Bynum.

If the leaders of the flock have been blinded by their own ambition, what does that mean for the sheep? I would hate to imagine that going to church might somehow jeopardize my salvation. Perhaps it implies that we should cut out the middle man and find our own connection to God. What would Jesus do?

Dr. Boyce Watkins is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” He makes regular appearances in national media, including CNN, BET, ESPN and CBS. For more information, please visit http://www.boycewatkins.com/.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008





Hillary Clinton has done a lot of talk about the value of experience, and her selfless dedication to America during these primaries. But it's just that--talk, and many of her supporters are beginning to see it. She's trying to be all things to all people. In order to prove her executive experience, she all but claims to have been co-president with her husband. Then to prove that she's tough enough to handle the job, she claimed she had to corkscrew into a war zone while dodging sniper fire, because it was too dangerous to send Bill. And earlier on, when she began to fear that Obama might just win the nomination, and critics said she was too hardcore, she went before a gathering of women in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, valiantly fighting back tears, and with a softly cracking voice, she said the following:

"It's not easy . . . it's not easy. I couldn't do it if I didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. This is very personal for me. I have so many ideas for this country, and I just don't want to see us fall backwards. It's about our country, it's about our kids. We do it--each one of us--because we care about our country. But some of us are right, and some of us are wrong; some of us are ready, and some of us are not. Some of us know what we'll do on day one, and some of us don't."

It was a stellar, and now familiar performance (she's used the same wistful persona on several occasions since, but without the tears), and it went a long way towards helping her to win New Hampshire, and rightly so--that kind of talent shouldn't go unrewarded. In spite of the fact that she was ostensively choked with "emotion", her talking point was right on que ("Some of us know what we'll do on day one, and some of us don't").

Thus, one would think that someone as passionate about America as Hillary would fully understand and appreciated the integrity of a man like Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. Instead of simply taking the easy way out and caving in to cronyism, the governor, one of the most experienced politicians in America today, looked back over his vast experience and came to the conclusion that he had to support Senator Barack Obama over the wife of his long-time friend and former boss. But instead of having the class to say I'm sorry I didn't earn your support, and I understand how you must have agonized over your decision, Clinton surrogate, James Carville, labeled Gov. Richardson "Judas." Now I ask you–is this world-class, presidential politics, or kids throwing sand in a nursery school?

That incident alone shows why America should take Hillary's contention that she's running to protect our children, and in the best interest of the country with a box of salt. First, the statement is both highly presumptuous and condescending–what makes her think that she's the only one who can save America? And secondly, it's a lie–that's right, yet, another one. Hillary is running for one reason, and one reason only-- to quench her own unquenchable thirst for power.

It was Gov. Richardson who acted in the best interest of our kids and country, and not because of who he chose to support, but because of the way he made his decision–like a statesman, as opposed to the petty, red-faced, and power-hungry politicians who are jumping up and down about it.

They claim that Richardson's not a team player, but the fact is, he's the ultimate team player, they're just on the wrong team. The Clintons' angry response to Richardson's simple act of integrity says it all–they're committed to business as usual. Sure, they want change, but only a change in power--from Republican hands, to theirs. Richardson, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he heard the American people loud and clear, then acted on it in spite of what must have been tremendous personal stress.

And according to an article, by Mark Leibovich in the New York Times, Clintons Sort Friends: Past and Present, Gov. Richardson isn't the only one who's beginning to see the light. Nancy Larson, a Democratic National Committee member from Minnesota, indicated that after Chelsea Clinton learned that she was switching her allegiance from Hillary to Obama, Chelsea pressed her to know why. "She was really pushing me. She kept asking me why I was doing this. She just kept asking, 'Why? Why?' "

The article goes on to point out that "Mrs. Clinton has been losing potential endorsers and superdelegate backing from grass-roots activists like Mrs. Larson as well as elected officials, party luminaries and former Clinton White House aides (the most recent being former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who endorsed Mr. Obama on Friday)." And that "there is no shortage of powerful Democrats who are quick to accuse the Clintons of defining loyalty as a one-way street, with little regard for the sacrifices they have made for a couple whose own political needs seem to their critics always to come first."

And therein lies the problem–if the Clinton campaign hasn't shown anything else, it has clearly demonstrated that Hillary's needs, wants, and desires come first--before friends, before party, before country--and that's an exceedingly ugly trait, even to us little people.

Previously, Clinton supporters viewed Hillary's single-mindedness as a sign of focus and determination, but the mean-spirited scratching, clawing, and lying that she's done during these primaries have betrayed a serious flaw in her character–a desperate, even, pathological need for power, and at any cost.

So, yes, Clinton supporters are beginning to jump ship in unprecedented numbers. Many remember the early years, so they're leaving with deep regret. But Hillary's extreme behavior has awakened their sense of responsibility, so they must leave, as a simple matter of conscience.

Eric L. Wattree


Monday, April 14, 2008




I realize that many of you feel that you owe the Clintons your loyalty, and others are waiting to ensure that you act in the Democratic Party's best interest, but when is enough enough? Even the most rabid Clinton supporters have to recognize by now that Hillary can't possibly secure the Democratic nomination without literally tearing the Democratic Party apart–and Hillary knows that better than anyone. So it must be clear to everyone by now that Hillary is no longer in this race to win. Hillary's sole purpose at this point is to stay in the race as long as she can, and sling enough mud on Barack Obama to prevent him from winning in November. Then, since at McCain's age he's not expected to remain in office but one term, Hillary will still be young enough to run in 2012. I've mentioned Hillary's strategy before, but it bears repeating, since it stands as a monument to mean-spirited selfishness.

But that shouldn't surprise us, because Hillary's entire life has been centered around self-service, and what's now beginning to look like a sociopathic fixation her own ambition. Every since she entered the White House as First Lady, everything Hillary's done has been in the service of her ambition to become President of the United States. Her failed attempt to provide universal healthcare and her run for the senate was all designed to buildup her resume for the job. That explains why she's so hostile towards Barack Obama.

Throughout Bush's second term Hillary has been acting, and treated, like the president-in-waiting. In fact, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she's already decided what color she intends to change the drapes in the Oval Office. Then here comes Barack Obama, this young upstart who has the audacity to seek her office. Initially she simply tolerated him. Then as he became more popular, she became dismissive, but once it became clear that he might actually win, she panicked–first she tried to play on our emotions with tears, then she tried becoming gracious and sincere, and finally, when that didn't work, she morphed into who she really is, angry and mean-sprited (Who does he think he is–does he really think he can become president based on a speech? ). So make no mistake about it, this has become intensely personal to Hillary. At his point, she could care less about her supporters, the Democratic Party, or the American people–all she cares about is taking back what she has convinced herself that she's personally entitled to.

But seeing Hillary in this mode has turned out to be a fortunate opportunity for both the super-delegates, and the American people as a whole, because it has allowed us to see the chinks in her armor while she's under pressure. It has also given us the opportunity to see the flaws in her character, and how she's viewed through the eyes of her opponents.

In that regard, I never thought I'd live to see so many Republicans supporting a Clinton with such enthusiasm. Rush Limbaugh has been threatened with indictment for encouraging his conservative listeners to crossover and vote for Hillary during the Ohio primaries. That one act alone goes farther towards repudiating Hillary's repeated claims that Obama is inexperience and can't win than anything that anyone can possibly say. Obama's so-called "inexperience" notwithstanding, the Republicans are essentially saying, "Please send us Hillary."

The reason for that is simple. The Republicans see a deeply flawed candidate, and they realize that Hillary's nomination represents the Republican Party's only chance of returning from the dead. They know that the conservatives' hatred of the Clintons is so pervasive that it represents their one and only chance of re-energizing their base. They also know that if Hillary does manage to get the nomination, it can only happen at the expense of an irreparable rift in the Democratic Party–a rift that may very well completely destroy the party as we know it.

On the other hand, Obama is a Republican nightmare--he's captured the imagination of many young Republicans who were too young to remember the feeling of optimism during the Kennedy era, yet, are attracted to the excitement surrounding Obama. The excitement of their young, Democratic peers is new to them, and they like it. At the same time, Obama has also reconnected many older Republicans with their youth–a time when they were young, full of enthusiasm, and fully supported the optimism that engulfed the nation under John Kennedy. These older Republicans remember Camelot, and the opportunity to revisit the optimism of their youth excites their soul.

Thus, the Republican leadership realizes that if Obama becomes the nominee, they don't have a chance. They know that they'll not only lose the November election, but it will usher in a new era in the body politic that will render the Republican Party dead in the water for years, and maybe even decades to come. Republican success is based on anger and dissent, and as is clearly apparent even within the Democratic Party, Hillary's very nature would feed that beast in spades. But Obama's strong suit is consensus, and bringing the country together, so the Republican Party would have to re-assess their entire approach to the political process.

So it seems that the future of this nation has been dropped right in the lap of the superdelegates, but your decision should be relatively easy. If you indulge the self-serving whims of Hillary Clinton, you're surely going to destroy the Democratic Party, since the only way that you can give her the nomination is to ignore the wishes of the majority of the Democratic and Independent voters across this land–including the many young Democrats who have gotten involved in the political process for the first time in response to Senator Obama. If you do that, Democrats and many Independents will stay away from the polls in droves, resulting in Democratic officeholders all over this country being turned out of office–including many of you.

So in this case, justice, common sense, and your own self-interest has converged to suggest the right thing to do-- simply declare for Obama and tell Hillary to get a grip on reality–and the sooner you do it, the better off the nation will be.

Eric L. Wattree


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Black Familes, Child Support and Bill Cosby: Black Scholars Debate the Issue

by Jimi Izrael

Singer Sean Levert, serving a 22-month term for felony non-payment of $85,000 in child support, is dead after being found unresponsive in his jail cell. The family is asking the FBI to investigate, but Levert should have never been in jail in the first place—men shouldn't be put in jail for non-payment of support.

For those unfamiliar with the law, men who are $2500.00 or more in arrears in their child support payments (based on approximately 15% of the man's gross income) can have their driver's license revoked, their property sold at auction or in some cases, be put in jail. Sure—there are a lot of irresponsible fathers out there who don't want to be responsible for their children. More often than not, fathers become unemployed. And if you happen to get a job making less money, child support agencies are not inclined to lower your obligation. Some men pay what they can, but if you are obligated to pay $490 a month in support, and can only pay $200, the $290 gets tacked on. So the following month, you owe $780 smackers, but can still only pay $200.

See how easy it is to get behind?

Child support agencies enforce a woman's right to money but not a man's right to see his kids. Women are not obligated to allow the father to see his children, and are rewarded with public assistance for having as many babies as possible, to the extent that it's become a hustle of sorts and a strain on resources.

When Sean and I talked for an article I wrote, he very pointedly didn't mention his children on the record. Off the record, we talked and laughed about our respective baby-mama drama. I went to school with Sean, and I'm going to miss his big, Levert laugh and sad to see him go under such undignified circumstances. He should not have been in jail.

I'm not saying that men don't need be held accountable, but the child support solution has to be fair to all parties involved.

Shouldn't we also hold women accountable for their irresponsible behavior? What does that look like?

Response to Jimi Izrael from Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Temple University

Melissa,On Friday, I read an interesting and provocative blog post by our Root colleague Jimi Izrael. In his post, Izrael argues that the current child support laws are disproportionately stacked against the interests of men. I agree with Izrael that we need to reform current child support laws. In the current moment, as William Julius Wilson notes, child support laws serve as a “labor tax” that dissuade Black men from working traditional jobs. This is particularly true for previously incarcerated men, whose wages can be garnished up to 66 percent in order to repay outstanding support.

Unfortunately, the popular notion of the “deadbeat dad”, like the welfare queen of the 1980s, obscures the more fundamental problem: structural barriers to gainful employment. For this reason, we need to develop more realistic and humane approaches to child support for economically disadvantaged people.On the other hand, I disagree with Izrael’s argument that men should never be placed in jail for not paying support. Take, for example, Sean Levert, who died tragically while serving a 22-month prison sentence for felony non-payment of $85,000 in child support. While Izrael says that he shouldn’t have been in jail in the first place, I can’t imagine any alternative for someone who so wantonly ignores his responsibility.

Perhaps I’m biased because I pay child support every month while many of the brothers I know go to extravagant lengths to avoid taking care of their kids. Are some of these men experiencing financial trouble? No doubt. This is why I support government subsidies and debt forgiveness for people who truly need it. But many of the men I know, even those who earn solid middle class wages, are simply unwilling to make basic sacrifices in order to ensure that their child has food, clothing, and shelter. Would they let their children live on the streets? Probably not. But anything short of that means that it’s the mother’s responsibility. What do you think Melissa?

Is Jimi Izrael right that the law is too tough? Am I having a Bill Cosby moment over here in the way I’m critiquing men? Also, Jimi Izrael concludes by asking “Shouldn't we also hold women accountable for their irresponsible behavior? What does that look like?” How would you answer that question?

Response from Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Princeton University

Marc,I am having a little trouble responding to your call because fire is shooting out of my fingers and smoke out of my ears after reading Jimi’s blog.

I am not even a little bit objective and detached on this issue. I am a divorced mother and my solidly middle class, ex-husband has consistently paid half of his court ordered support for years. I don’t want to lock him up, but I wouldn’t mind kicking him in the leg with my best stilettos.

From where I stand irresponsibility is not the only possible explanation for single parenting. I did everything “right.” I dated my ex-husband for five years, finished my degree, got married, bought a house and then got pregnant and had my daughter. Still, I find myself living as a single parent. Life is complicated, none of us is fully autonomous and even good choices can lead to tough circumstances.

The law is not about punishing a parent for irresponsibility. The law is meant to protect the best interests of children. I am firmly convinced that in the vast majority of circumstances children’s best interests are served by ensuring that the non-custodial parent provides substantial financial support.

Paying this support will require discomfort and sacrifice. I assure you that being the custodial parent requires discomfort and sacrifice of all kinds.

I am no Bill Cosby and I don’t think we can behave our way to racial equality. On the other hand I know that the reason black folks in America have anything at all is because our mothers, fathers, aunties, grandpas and nanas did their very best even within the tremendously difficult circumstances they encountered. For our children we must do the same thing.

I believe that the interests of children are best served by establishing loving bonds with both parents. Assuming there is no abuse, our kids do best when they are allowed to love both parents unconditionally, no matter the failures and weaknesses of those parents. These bonds are nurtured through time, visits, phone calls, letters and even emails. It is the absent parent’s responsibility to initiate these encounters. It is the custodial parent’s responsibility to facilitate them.

We also foster these bonds by controlling the selfish impulse to speak negatively about the other parent. My mouth sometimes bleeds from biting my tongue in my daughter’s presence, but I believe that loving her dad and feeling loved by him are critically important to her sense of self.

That said, I think the courts are a terrible place for conducting the work of parenting. Jimi is absolutely wrong that courts are universally biased against fathers. The stories are too long, ugly and painful to tell, but I have seen the courts allow angry, vengeful parents to use children as tools of harassment rather than as subjects of loving concern. Fathers do this as much as mothers.

Courts care little for the complicated, personal, nuanced circumstances of our lives. Hear this: paying your support makes a hell of al lot more sense that paying a lawyer to get you out of paying your support. The support goes to enrich the life of your child, the court fees just make the lawyers rich.

Many matters of government policy affect the quality of lives for our children. Most of our kids are relegated to shockingly unequal public schools. Many must live in unsafe neighborhoods marked by crime, environmental hazards and daily reminders of hopelessness. Even our privileged kids are constantly navigating landmines of racial difference and anxiety that tears at the fabric of their self-esteem. As parents, let’s stop trying to punish each other and get focused on sacrificing for our kids so that we buffer them from these assaults.




I was in Los Angeles on the corner of Vernon and Central the other day, just after school let out. If it hadn't been for the fact that I grew up in that area and recognized my surroundings, I would have thought I was in Mexico. What use to be an almost exclusively Black community was now filled with happy, playful--and mannerly--Latino children coming home from school. As I looked around, I saw thriving Latino businesses being patronized by poor, but thriving Latino patrons. I was intrigued, so I decided to take a detour through the neighborhood.

Now, I don't know whether the area is primarily Mexican-American, or filled with illegal immigrants, but what was clear was that the area was changing. There was a new vitality there. I saw fathers and teenage boys in the yards, both at home and enjoying the love of family rather than hanging out in the street. I saw a neighborhood free of young men glaring at me, or waving me over as I drove by. The neighborhood was no longer threatening. It was a neighborhood that now said family, instead of gangster. It was a neighborhood that was clearly trying to make a comeback.

It felt good to see my old stomping grounds rejuvenating itself, but I also felt a twinge of both guilt and envy. I felt guilt because my own teenage antics contributed greatly to dragging this very neighborhood down to its previous state, and envy that what comes so easily to most cultures, seems to be so elusive to my own. I also felt more than a tinge of fear, because to anyone who's familiar with Charles Darwin's theory on natural selection, it is clear that the Black man is swirling around the event horizon of a massive black hole. If we don't do something to get our young people's attention real soon, at best, the Black man is going to become irrelevant, or at worst, the new Neanderthal.

According to Darwin's theory of evolution, which at this point is considered more fact than theory to most scientists, nature is in a constant process of selecting which groups or species will survive to perpetuate itself, and which will die out. The concept is called natural selection, or popularly known as the survival of the fittest. In order to insure that only the best, most adaptive, and strongest life forms populate the Earth, nature eliminates the weak to insure they won't procreate and contaminate the Earth with their weak offspring. The process of elimination starts even before an individual is born. Every individual starts out with as many as 40 million potential brothers and sisters, all scurrying towards their mother's egg. But most die off before they reach the mother's egg. Therefore, just the fact that you were born means that you're not just one in a million—you're one in 40 million. You were the strongest and most viable of over 40 million others.

Nature takes the survival of the fittest very seriously. Anyone who has ever watched a dog or a cat give birth to their young have probably seen first hand how brutally serious nature can be in this regard. If you haven't, just ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a puppy born with a birth defect. If you have, it's very rare, because if an animal is born defective in any way, the mother will kill it on the spot—and in many cases eat it. Nature doesn't provide animals with a welfare office, so they know by instinct that they, and their young, must to be able to hold their own weight in this world, or die.

But a life form doesn't have to have a physical defect for nature to weed it out. Nature will also weed out things that are maladaptive or have an inability to adapt to its environment—like us, for example. God made birds to fly, fish to swim, and man to think. If a bird refuses to fly, it cannot survive. If a fish refuses to swim, it will not survive. The very same rule applies to man. If a man refuses to think, he will not survive--and that has become a serious problem in the Black community. Many of our young Black men simply refuse to think.

It's as though we're on a mission to ensure our own extinction. While the men of other cultures seem to have no problem in stepping up to the plate to solidify the family unit and ensure their children get a running start in life, we're abandoning our children, and referring to the very womb of our culture as "bitches and whoes"; and if we're not killing other Black men over drugs, we're killing ourselves with drugs. And even when we aren't killing ourselves, we're making dumb decisions that's causing us to have to spend years at a time locked up in jail like animals. Many of us have embraced a philosophy of manhood that enforces a moral obligation to be stupid. It's like, you're not a true Black man unless you take a pledge to remain ignorant.

This is a sad state of affairs, because nature is already hard at work weeding the Black man out, and we're giving her all the help that she needs. Every time one gang member or drug dealer kills another, that's nature at work upgrading the gene pool. Every time someone dies of an overdose, nature's right there--"well, I don't have to worry about him fathering anymore weak minded people." And when you go to jail, that also takes your seed out of circulation.

But the biggest impact is right around the corner. Look around you, Black man. While you're acting a fool nature is also selecting traits in Black women that's allowing them to do without you. Notice that while you're out there sagging and getting dumber and dumber, Black women are becoming better educated, and getting good jobs. That's right, brother—nature is rendering you irrelevant. You are no longer a suitable mate, so nature is preparing the Black female to do without you—and it's happening right before your eyes.

So if you're a young brother, you can just standby. That pretty young lady of yours may think your droopy pants are cool now, but as she becomes better educated and gets that good job that you're too maladjusted to be considered for, she's going to begin to see you for what you really are, a looser—and a broke one at that. She's going to realize you're not a suitable mate. She's going to recognize that saggin' (spell it backwards) doesn't make you a man, in fact, it makes you an embarrassment in the world she wants to move into—and it's not because she's getting uppity, it's because it's true. She wants to live, and she wants her offspring to live, and you're a dying breed. As a direct result, their very survival is going to require Black women to go outside of the Black race for suitable mates.

That's right–that beautiful young sister that you love so much is going to have to go out and find her a real man, one who's capable of survival in the real world. Then once that starts to happen, what was once a proud Black race is going to become less and less Black with every generation that passes, until the Black man, as we know him, will only exist as pictures on the wall of natural history museums–a relic of the past.

I can hear the anthropologists discussing us now—in the past tense, of course. They'll probably give us a scientific name like "Africantus Americana Fool". They'll be in the museum looking up at some brother that they found dead in the snow, and then had stuffed. One will say, "You know, it's really amazing when you think about it. They had the intellectual potential to thrive, but they just didn't have any common sense. The major downfall of 'Homeboy' (a nickname they assigned to our species) was that he lacked a sense of community, and had less than rudimentary coping skills. But there's one thing you've got to give him--he was the coolest thing on the planet, while he was around. He didn't have much common sense, but the brother could sho'nuff sag."

But the one upshot is, we'll finally get the attention that we so passionately crave--on the History Channel.

Eric L. Wattree


Stay on top of what's going on around you. From Hip Hop to world and national news--stay informed about those things that impact both the Black community and the world by some of the nation's top Black writers. Stay in touch with Your Black World www.yourblackworld.com/. It's your piece of the net.

Friday, April 4, 2008




Hillary Clinton's ravenous ambition and sense of entitlement has clearly blinded her to reality. If she wasn't so blinded by the arrogance of believing that America owes her the presidency, she'd realize that her antics in this election is not only undermining any chance she has of becoming president, but it's also wreaking havoc on the Clinton legacy. The one thing the Clintons had going for them was America's belief that, with all their flaws, they were primarily motivated by what was in America's best interest. But that's no longer the case. Now we see the Clintons for what they are–a couple who's willing to lie, cheat and steal to promote their own greed and self-interest. That, in turn, has caused many Americans to take a second look at both, their character, and Bill's presidency through the lens of this new information, and a large number of them don't like what they see.

Now, many Americans are beginning to ask themselves questions, like how can we trust Hillary to answer that call at 3 a.m. When she seems to be totally oblivious to facts that are staring her in the face–especially when those facts don't conform to what she wants to see? For example, doesn't she realize that by continuously slinging mud at Obama instead of addressing the issues that it's making her look desperate and less than concerned about the fate of the Democratic Party? And what about her judgment? What could she have possibly been thinking when she repeatedly endorsed the Republican nominee over Obama? Then there was the Bosnian matter. Didn't she realize before she told that blatant lie about the Bosnian trip that there were news cameras there to document that she was lying? And if that wasn't stupid enough, she then went on The Tonight Show and tried to joke about it, as though lying to the American people was all in fun. Now, as a direct result of that lie, a Pew research survey indicates that 29% of Democrats asked describes Hillary as phony. In addition, she's also placed herself in a position where every syllable she utters, and every scrap of paper she releases is going to be scrutinized with a fine tooth comb--and that doesn't bode well, considering her dubious past.

As a matter of fact, it seems that the process has already begun. Dan Calabrese reveals in his column that former general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Zeifman, indicated that he fired the 27 year old Hillary Rodham from the House Judiciary Committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation due to her lying and unethical conduct. Zeifman said that during the Watergate investigation Hillary lied in a legal brief, them removed evidence from public access that would document her conduct.

In addition, Christopher Hitchens wrote in an article for Slate Magazine that Hillary's lie about flying into Bosnia under sniper fire was just the tip of the iceberg in the Bosnian story. Hitchens points out that while Hillary arrived in Tuzla in 1996, the real story began four years earlier in 1992 when Bill Clinton promised to take action to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. Hitchens points to Sally Bedell Smith's book, For Love of Politics, where she indicates the following:

"Taking the advice of Al Gore and National Security Advisor Tony Lake, Bill agreed to a proposal to bomb Serbian military positions while helping the Muslims acquire weapons to defend themselves—the fulfillment of a pledge he had made during the 1992 campaign. But instead of pushing European leaders, he directed Secretary of State Warren Christopher merely to consult with them. When they balked at the plan, Bill quickly retreated, creating a 'perception of drift.' The key factor in Bill's policy reversal was Hillary, who was said to have 'deep misgivings' and viewed the situation as 'a Vietnam that would compromise health-care reform.' The United States took no further action in Bosnia, and the 'ethnic cleansing' by the Serbs was to continue for four more years, resulting in the deaths of more than 250,000 people."

Revelations such as the one above, along with the truth about NAFTA, and the Clinton antics during this campaign is rapidly changing America's view of the Clintons-- including Bill's legacy as president. Regardless to what one's position is on the matter of universal healthcare, allowing the death of 250,000 people is much too high a price to pay to promote any legislation–and especially when that legislation ultimately went down to defeat.

But at this point, one must wonder about Hillary's commitment to universal healthcare in the first place. Now that we've seen the several faces of Hillary, along with the Clinton's Machiavellian approach to politics, one is tempted to wonder if Hillary was really as committed to universal healthcare as she claimed, or was she simply building a resume for this future run for the presidency. Her commitment seems especially suspect now, since it has recently been revealed that she failed to pay the healthcare premiums for her own campaign staff.

According to Politico.com , Hillary has failed to pay $292,000 in healthcare premiums for her own staff. And what makes this episode even more ironic is the fact that Hillary's failure to pay those premiums reinforces a point that Obama has repeatedly made during the campaign. Hillary claimed that Obama's plan was flawed because it didn't cover all of the people. In response, Obama said that his plan covered anyone who wanted to be insured, but he didn't make it mandatory that every adult be insured because under Hillary's plan if a person couldn't afford to pay the premium they'd be fined for missing the payment, which would create an additional financial burden on many people. Now maybe Hillary will understand Obama's point. If Hillary's campaign staff had been insured under her plan, in addition to having to pay the $292,000 in back premiums, she'd also be facing a fine.

It's sad to watch the Clintons go down in flames. I would have been quite comfortable with having Bill step into history as one of our great presidents, and to see Hillary live out an illustrious political career, whatever that entailed. But in the end, it's beginning to look like it is the intent of destiny to set the record straight. What we now know about the Clinton's ugly greed for power has brought additional scrutiny into their lives, and at this point, it looks like it's going to be their undoing. While it's painful knowing that I was wrong about them, I'd much rather to be informed than to be right.

Eric L. Wattree


Stay on top of what's going on around you. From Hip Hop to world and national news--stay informed about those things that impact both the Black community and the world by some of the nation's top Black writers. Stay in touch with Your Black World www.yourblackworld.com/. It's your piece of the net.