President Barack Obama

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President Obama’s visit to discuss gun violence disappoints

 

What joy and excitement energized the Black community, individuals and organizations alike, anticipating seeing and meeting the first African American president, Barrack Obama, in North Minneapolis when he was in town Monday, February 4 to make a major speech on guns and violence in America. Although disappointed in what the president’s administration has not done for communities of color, and skipping North Minneapolis as a campaigner, expectations still ran high until they gave way to high disappointment when his visit turned out to be a PR drive-by, as his motorcade sped to and from the well-fortified police academy building at 41st and DuPont in North Minneapolis, leaving many bewildered and upset. The gun and crime statistics didn’t match ours of columns past nor address the concerns Harry Belafonte expressed at the February 1 NAACP Awards show: that Black Americans are the “most incarcerated, most unemployed, and most hunted in America,” nor the question Belafonte asked earlier regarding why contemporary discussions continue “to ignore decades of urban gun violence.”

The courtesy and respect denied the community in general spilled over to key leaders such as the Assistant Majority Whip of the Minnesota Senate, who received none of the considerations that should be accorded to a man of his political stature (he stands fifth in the line of succession for governor). One wonders how many were behind Senator Hayden being so disrespected by his own. Senator Hayden is known within the Black community for his significant expertise and experience. Continue Reading →

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Ruby! The Story of Ruby Bridges: Play about civil rights-era child hero re-created in new staging

 

 

It isn’t often a figure from African America history is still around once his or her accomplishments finally are celebrated. A spectacular exception, of course, is President Barack Obama. Not nearly as famous but nonetheless a hallmark is the triumph in 1960 of little six-year-old Ruby Bridges, documented as the first child of color to set foot in a segregated elementary school. She attended William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans and, in those days, it wasn’t a simple matter of being enrolled and showing up for the first day of class in a pretty dress with your pencils all nicely sharpened as you get ready to learn your reading, writing and arithmetic. White hatred of Black people was even worse than it is today and savagely overt in the South, such that this innocent’s mom and dad, Lucille and Abon Bridges were, by request of the NAACP, taking her life in their hands. Continue Reading →

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Election fraud: Why it didn’t work this time

As Inauguration Day for President Barack Obama neared, it was hard not to recall the voter fraud of 2000 and 2004 that outright stole the elections of those for George W. Bush. BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast proved that George’s brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and Florida Elections Unit Chief Clay Roberts, along with ChoicePoint Corporation rigged ballots the first time and it worked so well that they went back and did it again for the next go ’round. The allegations charge that, in 2000, among other skullduggery 57,700 people — primarily African American and Latino Democrats — were incorrectly listed as felons and barred from voting. The Republican-run U.S. Supreme Court helped out in the hijacking by halting the recount: Independent recounts show Al Gore otherwise would have won. You have to give it to Bush for unmitigated gall. Continue Reading →

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A nation in pain, a nation whose heart is broken again

When news began to flash across the airways Friday, December 14, that a tragedy was taking place in Newtown, CT, the magnitude and the heartbreak of this violent and insane action began to sink in. Twenty of the 26 lost lives were six- and seven-year-old children dying from multiple gun shots from an assault/combat rifle. This incident caused me to pause and relook at what to write for this end-of-year/looking-forward-to-the-future column, especially in terms of the tragedies in Minneapolis’ African American communities in terms of education, jobs, housing and getting caught holding the bag to pay for a stadium neither the state nor city can afford. In terms of school shootings, we remember Virginia Tech; Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation; Springfield, OR; Columbine, CO; Jonesboro, AR; Blacksburg, VA.; and 1927 Michigan: 45 killed, mostly children. Recent school killings have also been in Norway; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Sana’a, Yemen. Continue Reading →

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Just the facts! A lack of diversity in Minnesota sports

I hope you had a great Christmas. This time of year grips me like you cannot imagine. It’s a time of joy and reflection. I have taken to social media at FitzBeatSr., my Twitter handle. No Facebook for me. Continue Reading →

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Obama wins! Historic second term for the president

The 2012 presidential election proves 2008 was not a fluke nor an accident. The 2012 election demonstrates the peril of all-White “dream teams” with mostly White door knockers in the field. When will the Republicans accept “representative democracy” on ballots and in the field as well as in voting booths? It was interesting to watch the red-faced and frivolous TV pundits scramble to understand, whether Fox News, CNN, MSNBC or the rest. The Republicans mixed up a special batch of snake-oil tonic in the first week of November 2008, after President Barack Obama won his first term. Continue Reading →

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