Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009: Random Prognostications

In no particular order.... Here's some notable events and episodes in 2009:


Clarion Call for Change.... I watched with great pride as President Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. I had an active role in my city in getting folk to register to vote... I know the country needed change - a fresh perspective in order to bring us to a standard of greatness in these challenging times. I am proud of this moment... My only regret, whether I agree with Pres. Obama or not, is that my parents were not alive to witness this moment....

New hair: After 9 years and four months, I cut my beloved locks.....

Chris Brown vs. Rihanna: I was in the media room at the Grammy Awards when they announced that the LAPD was actively looking for Chris Brown because he had beat her down the evening before... it was a shocking and certainly nearly unbelieveable piece of information....

Cartoons or Caricature??? New York Post depicts President Obama as a Chimp. The Mayor of Los Alamitos sends out a cartoon depicting the famed White House Rose Garden as a Watermelon patch... and there's so much more....

TI goes to Jail: WTF??!!! for weapons....

Los Angeles Marathon: I am a mature man.... with grandkids and everything.... yet I completed my third marathon....

Gospel Showcase at Knott's Berry Farm: we had 30,000 people, an allstar lineup on two stages and even Stevie Wonder came out to witness the glorious ocassion... Kurt Carr, Dorinda Clark Cole, Hezekiah Walker, James Fortune, Shekinah Glory Ministry, so many more...


Lakers Win!!!!: nuff said!

Lakers Parade: City holds victory parade even though they are broke....

Taste of Soul: 105,000 people jammed Crenshaw Blvd.... for a day of music arts, and food!! Our stage was rockin!!!


BET Awards '09: epitomizes coonery and a sobering demonstration of our popular culture...

Soul Train Awards returns: And live from Hotlanta! it was aiight...

Housewives of Atlanta: A new reality hit.... Nene, Lisa, Khandi, Sheree and even Kim are a hit....

Kanye West makes a fool of himself: After this year, I really think Kanye has lost his mind.... jumps onstage and takes Taylor Swift's microphone away from her to proclaim Beyonce should have won the award instead of Ms. Swift... it was unconscionable....

Michael Jackson passed away: wow.... 'nuff said.

Michael Jackson Funeral: I got tickets....

Michael Jackson Red Carpet: I was on the red carpet at the premiere of This is it...

I am positive there are more moments out there.... but this is enough for your discussion right now.....

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tiger Woods Race War???

Ok... let me get this straight...  the CIA thinks Tiger is revered by the black population to the degree that his downfall would demoralize us and maybe just maybe we would take to the streets for war.... a race war....

Ain't nobody checkin for Tiger like that!!!!

I received this article in my inbox at the outset of the Tiger Woods mess... I immediately dismissed it as a far fetched fairy tale of conspiracy theorists and crackpots... but upon reading it a second time -and this some weeks after the story of Woods' infidelities- I read it again just to critically analyze the article's claims....

I'm not sure about all this, but I will say that being a part of a talk radio show known as Front Page over the years, I have met and talked to a number of scholars and well informed people who have long warned of a CIA-instigated race war... read the article for yourself. I've inserted it here, but I must give credit to the originating website http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/  Here, there are supporting links with curious, yet interesting info...)

Read.... comment... think....

Tiger Woods ‘Takedown’ Reported Ordered By CIA

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

An interesting FSB report circulating in the Kremlin today states that the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is behind an unrelenting media assault upon US golf legend Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods [photo top left with his Swedish model wife Elin Nordegren] and had ordered his ‘takedown’ in an effort to greater fuel their efforts to ignite a race war these forces believe is needed in order to socially re-engineer the United States as it nears total economic collapse.

The startling revelations in this report are reported by the FSB to have been released to Russian Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye (GRU) agents posted at the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. this past week by an “associate” of the head of the American private military force known as Blackwater (now known as Xe Services LLC), Erik Prince, who had just been “outed” by the CIA as being one of their main operatives involved in a covert plot to assassinate enemies of the United States.

So angry was Prince over his outing by the CIA, that aside from releasing previously secret CIA intelligence to the GRU he blasted the American spy agency by publically stating to the US magazine Vanity Fair, “I put myself and my company at the CIA's disposal for some very risky missions, but when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus.”

To the reason behind the CIA’s targeting of Tiger Woods, this report continues, is the ‘deliberate demoralization’ of Americas black raced population by the destruction of one of their most esteemed idols by the racially stereotyped depiction of him as an ‘out of control’ and ‘oversexed’ negro man unable to assimilate among whites.

Even worse, this report further states that the ‘main target’ behind the media destruction of Woods is President Obama, whom the CIA has calculated will suffer increasing alienation from his Nations white population (who number 75% of the American population compared to a black population of just 12.4%) by his being compared with Woods as both Obama and Woods are viewed as the two most popular of all black American peoples and reinforcing white Americans belief that ‘black men just can’t control themselves’.

New reports from the United States are showing that these CIA actions against Obama are indeed working as a just released Gallup Poll finds his approval rating falling below 50% among all Americans for the first time of his Presidency, and among white people alone falling to the chilling low level of just 39%.

To the disdain held by the CIA against Obama we can see evidenced by a report from a former member of the CIA's Directorate of Operations named Kent Clizbe who states in an article titled “CIA Counterterrorism Expert: Obama and Holder 'At War' with Agency” that the “Holder/Obama Global War on the CIA has only just begun.”

Not being understood by the American people, however, is that Obama’s war against the CIA is deemed vital to the survival of the black peoples of America who have been under an unrelenting assault by this spy agency for over 40 years and who have pumped literally hundreds of Trillions of dollars worth of drugs into America’s black communities (and reaping Trillions in profits) from their vast narcotics networks of cocaine from Colombia and opium from Afghanistan.

To the horrific destruction of American black peoples by the CIA it should be noted that the courageous investigative reporter Gary Webb first brought the insidiousness of this spy agencies actions in a 20,000 word, three-part investigative series titled “Dark Alliance” written for his then publisher San Jose Mercury News, but who under pressure from the US government stopped their publication of Webb’s articles, none of which were ever reported by the ‘mainstream’ US propaganda media. On December 10, 2004, Webb was found dead with two gunshot wounds to his head, which was ruled a ‘suicide’.

So successful has the CIA’s genocidal destruction of the black population of America been that aside from having the World’s largest number of their citizens in prisons (Land of the Free?), the black population of the US is jailed at a rate of 3,138 black males per 100,000 against 451 per 100,000 of white males and leading Human Rights Watch to warn in a 2008 report that fully 11% of the black male population of the US were behind bars, and at just 12.4% of the American population they now make up nearly 55% of all American prisoners.

It is also interesting to note in this report that the CIA backed American tabloid newspaper National Enquirer is reported to have broken the scandalous stories about Woods, and which is important in that this tabloid was one of the main targets of the US Military retaliatory strike against the CIA following the attacks on September 11, 2001, when its headquarters building in Boca Raton, Florida was infected by the deadly anthrax botulism killing a photo editor named Robert Stevens who became the first death in what is now known as the “2001 Anthrax Attacks”.

To one of the most fearful conclusions of this report it states that with Woods “destruction by scandal” nearly complete, Obama will become so weakened among American white peoples that his effectiveness to govern will be destroyed, a most grim outlook especially when viewed in the light of the Global ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service now warning that the United States credit rating is in danger of being downgraded for the first time in its history and the US government also warning that their entire economy is in danger of collapse because their citizens are saving their money instead of spending it, and in an economy based not on making things but on consuming is vitally important.

Most unfortunately for these American people in all of these events is their utter failure to remember their own history, especially the events of the dark Great Depression year of 1933 when another of their Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, when facing off against these evilest of forces was nearly deposed by coup called “The Business Plot” led by Prescott Bush (the father of one President, the grandfather of another) and which sought to join a new Fascist led United States with that of Nazi Germany which had, likewise in 1933, saw the seizure of their government by the US backed and financed Adolph Hitler.

To if Obama, like Roosevelt before him, will be able to withstand and survive the war being waged against him it is not in our knowing. What is in our knowing though, is that unlike Roosevelt, Obama now governs a population of Americans of whom the majority have been reduced to nothing more than idiots and imbeciles and, like the peoples of Nazi Germany before them, are totally uncaring and blinded to the mass genocide of their black population that has been happening right before them.

© December 8, 2009 EU and US all rights reserved

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Morning Glory: Step into the Light

I love waking up in the pre-dawn hours. The essence of being completely awake and alert in time to see the first light of  God's new day is exhilarating and empowering. Each day, I seek to detect the very moment that the sun pierces the veil of night's darkness... The exact instance when the Sun's ray's explode over the horizon.


I'm not talking about that totally visible and dramatic moment of sunrise that we have seen in photographs, film and video... no... I'm talking about that short moment in time just before dawn's explosion of light.  The nano-second when the molecules of light first collide  with and overtake the molecules of darkness. It is a moment that seemingly cannot be detected by video or photography. It is a moment that must be perceived and observed with your Third Eye... It is the moment just before your physical eye can behold the morning glory that is the rising sun as it illuminates the heavens and the stars which shone so brightly moments before but are now making a hasty exit 1 by 1...
" And God said, 'Let there be light...' " Gen. 1;3

On most mornings, I am up meditating and excercising. 4 Am and I am outside embarking on my morning run. Usually a 7-10 mile run on most days. It is so still and quiet. The last vestiges of night's denizens have gone in and the world seems to be completely still. Fully night. The darkest hour... I rise... I pray.... I run.... I listen. ... I listen to the quiet. I am listening for God... He is there... I know it... I want to hear Him...and I want Him to hear me...At this hour there is nothing to do but be quiet and listen..... to the quiet..... listen......
And then, in a twinkling of an eye, the light comes. In that instant, I can actually hear the light colliding with the dark. I can perceive the light... it's on but yet it is still dark... Have you ever been in a room or place where someone is taking photos with a flash, but you are not in the room or in direct view of the flash... you are just periphally conscious of the sudden burst of light. That's what the instant of morning looks like to me...  I see the light.. it's like the flash but it does not diminish. It does not go away. It remains on... There is a discernable light all around me. But then I notice that not only is the light coming from the rising sun, there is a light emanating from my soul.
"Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."  John 8:12

When the sun's light hits my consciousness, my inner light is energized. Like a solar battery is energized when exposed to sunlight, my inner light is energized. I am alive, recharged and powered up...ready for the new day... God has given me another day to share my light with the world for inside this light, He lives... This light is the force of  God's essence. This light is life's energy.... for all things on the earth need sunshine. We need the light to see... We need it to share.... Light is the essential element for sight. We need to see... inside and out.

This morning light I have described is pure for it is at this moment the energy is untainted from evil thoughts, bad vibes and malicious intentions of those who dwell in the shadows. and so in the morning I run... I breathe, I open my heart and mind, my spiritual and physical consciousness to receive the pure essence of first light. The light empowers me and charges my life to do, think, act, and love... The light is the nucleus of  my soul...

Now I know that most folk reading this are not up and moving about at this early hour. Most are turning over in their beds trying to capture a last hour or two of sleep. But think about it for a moment. There's that instant in the morning when you awaken. You have been sleep all night and there is that moment when you wake up. You just open your eyes. It still dark, but nonetheless your eyes open.... You may glance at the clock, you may turn over and get even more cozy under your covers... and go back to sleep. But nonetheless you eyes opened and you did not rise to see the first instance of illumination. You went back to sleep. But the exact moment of God's new day erasing the unconsciousness of night has not escaped you. Because after all, you heard the moment of first light in your consciousness. Yes, you heard it. Because in an instant.. in the early morning you were awakened by the voice of God from a deep sleep. Sleep so deep, that the next stage would be death. In that instant the solar batteries in your soul were charged and powered on... In that instant God turned on the light and whispered your name in your ear, telling you that another day is nigh... another day to act, think, do and love....God's will. Get up and do something.... Yes. God called your name, you woke and opened your eyes.. but did you hop to? Did you get up to answer God's call? or did you again close your eyes, roll over and go back to sleep????......

Some folk never see the light. It is all around them but they still cannot see... . Some folk never step out into the light.... we remain depressed, sitting in the dark... curtains drawn.... keeping God's light out of their consciousness..... The solar battery in their soul has not been charged and needs a jumpstart. And so since they cannot get started with the light, they introduce alternative substances into the powertrain thinking that this will take the place of the light... abuse of drugs illegal and prescription..abuse of alcohol... sex addictions and perversions...  other vices which seemingly replace the light inside thier soul. but in reality these things only dims the light and in the worst cases... completely extingusihes the light.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. " 2 cor. 4:6

Some folk receive the light but keep the light shuttered within thier soul. They do not allow the light to reflect as a beacon to humankind... Selfish. But the light is meant to be shared. The light is meant to be seen so that your light may be a help to all mankind. It is meant to help, guide and empower each of us through us. Love One Another...

Just think... those folk who do not see the light are fumbling around in the dark and maybe just maybe they need a little light to shine so that they can find thier way.... Your light is an essential element to other folk's sight.... It may be in the kind words you say... the smile on your face... that encouraging word..... the most inconsequential action of lovingkindness emanating from the light you carry inside your soul could represent that initial pure light that pierces the veil of their darkness.. The solar battery of thier sou is powered on... And then the sun rises inside them... the dawn of a new day....... They can see..... no longer in darkness but inside the light because you shared your light......

" Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:16

Morning Glory........

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas State of Mind...

Over the holiday season, I have been too busy to really contemplate what the holiday season means for me and my family. I mean things were really busy from feeding nearly 5000 hot Thanksgiving meals to the homeless and indigent on LA's Skid Row with the Union Rescue Mission to being a part of a community wide effort at the yard of Jackson Limousine Service to giveaway turkeys and all the trimmings to the needy people in our community... There, we serviced more than 10,000 people with a nice sized turkey, and all the trimmings plus a box of groceries to tide them over in these hard times. Big up to EJ Jackson, Lyn and everybody over at Jackson Limousine....


After Thanksgiving, I switched gears to Toy mode just in time for a major toy drive and giveaway. Gathering toys, reading letters and talking to people who need so much this holiday season... Spreading some positive cheer to young people who if not for this drive, would not receive the joy of Christmas in any way shape form or fashion. Stevie Wonder's House Full of Toys Benefit Concert was a hit with The Jonas Brothers, Michele, India Arie and more..... We gathered so many toys... a lot of kids will be happy this Chrismas morning...

As of this writing I am approaching the last of this project. And the closer I get to the end, I have to admit that for the last few days I have been pining and reflecting on my circumstances, my family. my holiday swagger...

I realize that my parent's passing gives pause to ponder the brokenness of family. Now that they are gone, there is no gathering.... no dinner planned.... no exchange of gifts....  a memory of Christmas past. There are relationships that need to be galvanized...... and there is a future generation....

But even  still the Christmas story warms a light inside of me... Even at this quiet time of reflection.... There is hope in each day... There is celebration with each moment... There is a future..... There is joy.... Joy to the World!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The irony of peace... President Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize

I watched as the world paid homage to President Barack Obama... the award of the Nobel Peace Prize is an awesome and admirable honor. The paradox that he would receive the award just as he sends 30,000 troops into Afghanistan is strange fruit indeed. How does President Obama rate the prestige of the Nobel Prize so early into his Administration. So early into his entry onto the world stage?? What message of peace is being delivered by battallions and battalions of Marines and Army troops.

Yes, the President came through the electorate with attractive considerations of how to end the war... but has not had the opportunity to test and try his pre-election perspectives. After all, remember when he was first elected, he was whisked off to a series of top secret meetings with the military? I believe that it was here that President Obama got the realities of the situation. I believe that he has, after getting all the information and hisotry of the matter, he has decided to increase combat troop levels in Afghanistan so that he may have the best chance of getting Osama Bin Laden. (and why aren't we hering Bin Laden's name in the news these days?)

And even as he moves to protect democracy and freedom, the President still receives criticism from the conservative right. If he had stood by and done nothing, the right would complain that the President was spineless. And now that he takes an assertive strategy, the right wants to second guess his moves. Nothing is ever good enough.

In the meanwhile, the Nobel Prize Commiutte has bestowed it's prestigious honor on our President. not, perhaps for his peacemaking legacy - it has not blossomed for such a prize - but perhaps for his place in history as America's first African American President. The paradigm of Dr. King's dream coming true in this lifetime is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize so says the Comittee...The committee said it honored Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."  I agree that the ascendancy of Barack Obama to the nation's presidency is certainly a worthy footnote in history, but it is too soon, way too soon to honor the man for peace and diplomacy.

Even President Obama noted the paradigm as he accepted his award. "I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people," Obama told his audience in Oslo's City Hall. "For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world."

Irony of Peace. We must destroy evil to promote peace...... Congratulations President Obama.... I guess.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Soul Train Awards 2009: A reflection of heritage?

I saw the Soul Train Awards on Centric last week.... And while I could take this time to dish about elements in the show, I have to admit I was taken to a space of introspect, retrospect and reflection on where the Soul Train Awards had been. This production, after all, was a resurrection of sorts.

The Soul Train show had been cancelled upon sale of the Tribune Broadcast Company and even as Soul Train had not produced an awards show in a couple of years, the awards already had been declining in quality and allure in it's last say, five years of life...

I was glad to see it back.

Soul Train is without a doubt, a national treasure. A distinctly American heritage. The foundation for the mass popularity of modern black music. Thus, when Don Cornelius decided to produce an awards show, the Soul Train Award became, for the black artist, almost as prestigious as the Grammy Award.

Now, with new owners of the Soul Train brand, they have resurrected the Soul Train Awards anew:

New channel - BET has created a new brand called Centric. (My guess is that they are trying to re-invent themselves...)
New location: Atlanta, GA - Georgia World Congress Center
New hosts: Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard

They got off to a decent start with 4 million viewers. According to CNN and PR NewsWire, compared to the last airing of the Soul Train Awards in 2007, the CENTRIC PRESENTS: 2009 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS on BET posted triple digit gains in viewership (+144%) as well as among adults 18-49 (+192%) and ranked as the # 1 Soul Train Awards telecast ever among Adults 18-49 (2.2 MM Adults 18-49). Additionally, the show’s ratings exhibited continuous growth every half hour. BET and CENTRIC Soul Train Awards-related terms dominated the top 10 trending topics on Twitter on Sunday, November 29.

When the Awards first debuted in 1987, the buzz all over the industry was tremendous. This was our award, created for us by us.... The ceremony was held at the Santa Monica Civic Center and was hugely anticipated by people within the industry and without. I mean we wore tuxedos, the ladies wore gowns, it was off the chain.... For years we came to the Awards in formal attire, the after parties were among the most elegant in Hollywood. And soon Soul Train Awards night became a week of celebration in the city as artists, record companies, magazines and corporations gave must-attend parties with guests lists that read like a who's who in Black America publication. The Soul Train Awards were the bomb until....

With the explosion of HipHop and Rap, came the expectation of violence at some of our most important black music events. All across the nation, our biggest and best music events would be stained by the spectre of violence. Those of us in the industry would frequently be caught in the middle of some beef between hiphop crews. We stood helplessly by as hiphop posses and their street teams totally vandalized the five star hotels where we used to hold our national conventions, or some beef would send us scattering for safety as the crew squared off in free for alls and even gun battles...

The Soul Train Awards was no different. Over the years, fear of fights caused an uneasy celebration. The Soul Train Awards was known for its' awesome after parties, a reputation forever tainted after a few were shut down by police due to fights, arguments and gunfire.

In spite of it all, The Soul Train kept on rolling. And while it rolled, the Awards got more and more stale. Artists stopped maintaining the Awards as a must attend event on their itineraries. Soon, only the brand new and wannabe artists would be in attendance. Rarely did the major artist come through and if they did, they did not stay around for the after parties or social soirees traditionally attached to the Show. Backstage, we would stand around for hours to wait for an major artist to visit the media room. That was few and in the end, that few dwindled to none...

The quality even went down in the attendees.. sign of the times I guess, but for the life of me could not understand how "generation next" could stop considering the awards as a dressy affair. Folk were coming to the awards in jeans, tennis shoes, shorts. etc. Ok, I know, those are designer items that carry a pretty penny at the store, but c'mon.. jeans and tennis shoes??? At an awards show???

video

And now, the Soul Train Awards is back. In the end, I am glad that "generation next" had the foresight to purchase the rights. I can only be optimistic that MadVision Entertainment will retool and grow the heritage brand that is Soul Train.

I wish them LOVE PEACE AND SOUL in all that they do...

Friday, December 04, 2009

Is Church Relevant?

My friend Pastor Mark Whitlock posted a question on his facebook which asked if Christian Sermons were relevant to the issues today's communities. I found this to be an interesting question and posted an opinion on his site and decided to repost here as a blog... I do this because even as I go to church regularly, I too have contemplated this question especially as I watch so many television ministers.... so much show business inside of church... I watch the gospel music scene as it presents a contradicting message especially to young people..... I watch the issues of our community such as housing, employment, drug abuse and recovery, domestic violence, education and see that these are all issues that need the church's input, guidance and participation.

Some sermons and ministries are not relevant. And it's because that sometimes, we are so heavenly bound, we're no earthly good.... Sometimes we get so caught up in the ceremony of church, we forget that the purpose of our coming together as Christians is to save souls and love one another. how can we show love in today's world if we are caught up in spiritual cliche's and catchy rhetoric.

Some church's are relevant. Their leadership is progressive and aware of what the believers are faced with in today's world.

I like a church of action. Action in the community. One with footsoldiers out there fighting the maladies of the city with holistic and socially empowering information. The church that says Yes, we want to save you and share the Good News, but we are also a resource with real and palatable information on what you can do to lift yourself up. Come my brother! Come my sister! the church stands as a "beacon of hope" to improve our communities and serve where the underserved can be found. The church should promote self determination and education. The church organization should have a passion for community development.

The Church must be a center of consciousness for the believer in a world of confusion, strife and corruption. The lifestyle of the righteous man or woman is rooted in the church experience. The fellowship with other believers, the activities and ministries within the church, the access to study of the Word of God. so with this close relationship, the believer should be able to hear wisdom and gain spiritual insight to today's problems.

I like the preacher who can relate a message about today's life's experiences with spiritual guidance in the Word. The church that can help me align my social folkways and mores to what God would have them be. A church that helps me find the abundant life in my soul...A holistic experience that heals me, encourages me, informs me, and keeps me centered.

I like a church that can feel me like I feel it....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Politics of Race

There's no denying that this is an interesting and challenging time to be black in America. We have elected a black man as President of the United States of America which means the conscious image of the Black male, once reviled, is now the premiere representative image of America's might and power, Her leadership and her global consciousness.

Yes, the black male image was once reviled. A dangerous, shifty, not to be trusted man who could not - no- would not work, or take care of his familial responsibilities. And yet, in an effort to stimulate much-needed change in American Society, we, the people, elected the black man to lead the way. A notable accomplishment for a nation built on a foundation of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, miscegenation and outright racial terror. We have finally come to the moment, it seems, where Dr. King's dream that we are judged by the content of our character, not by the color of our skin...

Even still, the politics of race has been energized through massive media outlets. The political rhetoric takes on a contentious tone reminding us just what grandma and them used to tell us while encouraging higher consciousness..." You have to be three times as good as them" It seems that every move of President Barack Obama is criticized, ostracized and minimized... There have been cartoons relating the President to a chimp... The watermelon jokes and other stereotypical literature..

The dishonoring of President Barack Obama is unconscionable. That is our President, the leader of the United States of America and he is due ALL the respect that you bestow on the one who holds that office.

That said, I have to ask, do we really expect white folk to suddenly stop having this feeling of supremacy and entitlement? We can change the laws of the land, but we cannot change the hearts of the people. The mistrust of the black male image is the underlining of the style of criticism we are seeing. The image of an African American man, highly educated, steadfastly married, father to his children, role model to millions is the image that most concerns mainstream America.

We cannot expect middle America to suddenly change their negative perception of the black people. We have to use this propitious opportunity to work on it ourselves... control how our images are presented to the world. Yes, they have their perception of us and that will always be present on the global media stage, but we control who we are and what we are.

Even for those among us who choose to forget the history past, certainly the images and rhetoric we see today should awaken that consciousness that says We cannot forget from whence we came in this country... we have to remember where we are and whose we are in this country, and stand strong to represent our progress.

For God has brought us this far along the way... delivering us, educating us, strengthening us, empowering us.. We owe it to Him to lift our image to higher heights.