Reparations and the Redskins – William Reed Columnist

You can call me Ray, or you can call me Ray-Ray, call me what you want, but don’t forget to call me when it’s time to get paid.

What do you think of the “Redskins” debate? The Redskins organization and owner Daniel Snyder have been under a lot of pressure to change the team’s name, amid mainstream claims that it’s “racist.” These people argue that the word is a racial slur – like chink, wetback, or the N-word. Actually, the political correctness in opposing the Redskins’ name does not even hint at addressing the real problem. After decades of being overlooked by the media, Native Americans are now being cast into the national spotlight for the wrong reason. The truth of the situation is: if the Redskins’ name changed today, the lives of Native Americans would be just as desperate as they were yesterday.

In truth, some senators are knee-deep in a private sector issue, sponsoring a bill that would strip the NFL’s tax exempt status if the Washington franchise’s name is not changed. Someone should tell those senators that the Redskins have had that name ever since 1932 when they were still in Boston. The senators should stay in their own lane and put forth legislation that pays Native Americans for wrongs done them.

The name “Redskins” is probably politically incorrect at some level, but it’s hard to believe that any offense inflicted upon Native Americans because of a pro sports nickname outweighs the fact that their ancestors were slaughtered and robbed of their land by Whites. For centuries, the U.S. government basically treated Native Americans as prisoners of war, relocating them from tribal lands to barren, desert-like reservations in the West. They were forced onto land that deprives them of basic means of subsistence and viable economic development. They still live the least among American lifestyles.

Native Americans lag behind the rest of the country in almost every leading indicator of health and well-being. And yet, we rarely, if ever, hear these problems discussed in mainstream media. Politically-correct Americans need to know that Native Americans are suffering, but it’s not because of the name of the Washington sports team. Forces like poverty, substance abuse and suicide continually strike this segment of the population to a greater degree than most other Americans. More than a quarter of them live in poverty, a rate two and a half times higher than Whites. While Americans are lamenting use of the word “Redskins” living conditions on the reservations are the same as in third world countries. Many of the homes do not have indoor plumbing or electricity. The U.S. Census Bureau reports about one of every four Native Americans live below the poverty level. On some reservations, unemployment runs as high as 80 percent. Compare that statistic to less than five percent for the U.S. as a whole.

As some compensation for the sins of its past against them, the U.S. government has authorized Native American gaming in sovereign Indian nations and states. Gaming is a relatively recent phenomenon and has developed into an enormous and still-rapidly-growing industry. In 2012 Native American owned casinos nationwide combined for a $28.13 billion in gaming revenue.

It’s time to call a spade a spade. The Washington Redskins are under attack for the name they’ve had for 80 years. It’s one of the world’s most valuable sports teams and is valued at $1.7 billion. To counter public pressure, Snyder has created the “Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” as a charitable organization to utilize the team’s assets and its corporate and community partners to help make a positive and measurable impact on youth development across the country.

Snyder is setting the right tone. Those senators would do well to put money toward correcting two of the country’s greatest crimes by righting treaties and paying just reparations to Native Americans and to the descendants of slaves by endorsing and supporting Congressional legislation similar to the H.R. 40 bill.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Slavery in the Nation’s Capital – William Reed Columnist

Washington, D.C. has always been a mecca for Blacks. But the Nation’s Capital has always had a complicated past and ideals that ran on parallel tracks. The District of Columbia while serving as a hub for abolitionists had thousands of enslaved Africans in its population as the city’s elite made copious amounts of money off slavery and the slave trade.

In the early days of this city’s history, the White House, U.S. Capitol building and private and public projects were built and completed primarily on the backs of enslaved Africans. In 1800, Blacks comprised 25 percent of the city’s population and politicians in the District, in a move to solidify slavery as an institution and to more fully enforce racial segregation, passed the first of several “Black Codes” in 1808.

Slavery finally ended in 1862 after President Abraham Lincoln signed the DC Compensated Emancipation Act which historians say marked an important legal and symbolic victory that requires recompense.   

D.C. has always been considered a politically sophisticated enclave. Anti-slavery newspapers were an important aspect of the abolition movement. The National Era newspaper, for example, was founded in Washington, D.C. by the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. In 1851-1852, Gamaliel Bailey, a well-known White anti-slavery journalist, serialized Harriet Beecher Stowe’s popular novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The renowned Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery in Maryland, published the anti-slavery North Star newspaper in Rochester, New York from December 1847 until June 1851. In his later years, Douglass was an important District resident. Appointed marshal for the District of Columbia, in 1878, Douglass purchased the 20-room Victorian home overlooking the city named Cedar Hill.

In the 1960s, Blacks in Washington gained and began to leverage political power. Currently, Black Washingtonians comprise the wealthiest concentration of Blacks in the world. From Douglass to now, the city has attracted Blacks of vision and participants in enterprise. In October of 1964, Calvin Rolark founded the Washington Informer newspaper. The 1968 riots caused the city’s population to become majority Black. As Blacks started to wield power in the District of Columbia, Rolark and his newspaper rose to prominence.

Rolark served as a role model for Blacks in the Washington area and as a powerbroker in both the private and public sectors. “If it is to be, it’s up to me” is a quote Rolark often used about self-reliance. A member of America’s Black Press, people such as Rolark have been vitally important to African Americans’ progress. Forerunners for justice and economic uplift in Black communities, publishers such as Rolark demonstrated leadership in vision, values, charisma, and intelligence toward the benefit of Blacks. Rolark proved to be a pacesetter for enterprise and information in D.C. As founder of the United Black Fund of America, Rolark headed one of the nation’s largest black charitable fundraising organizations that provided money for Washington inner-city social service organizations and community projects.

Rolark is respected by many in the District for his political lobbying as well as emphasis on accountability.” He taught that “Accountability starts with you.” Rolark died three years after Eleanor Holmes Norton was first elected as the District of Columbia’s Delegate to Congress. Since she assumed office in 1991, Norton has offered a D.C. Statehood bill at the start of each Congress. Statehood for D.C. is a political movement that advocates making the District of Columbia a U.S. state. The bill would formally create the state of New Columbia, with two senators and one House member. The state would not have control over federal buildings or territory within its borders.

Going forward, it’s important that future leaders in D.C. follow in the traditions that have gone before them. Blacks in D.C. can set the standard for the country and be the venue where legacies of slavery are resolved. The people of the Nation’s Capital should join the push for Congressional passage of the Statehood resolution, as well as that of H.R. 40 so that forms of compensation are provided to descendants of slaves in consideration of their ancestors’ coerced and uncompensated labor.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Let’s Have a Black Renaissance – William Reed

“By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over, and now we are determined to have it.” – N’Cobra

How can Blacks gain economic parity in America? The answer is so simple that no one ever suggests reparations as a remedy for what ails Blacks.

A long-running crime has been perpetrated against the descendants of slaves. Blacks are owed restoration of the rich history that slavery and segregation stole. But nobody stands up for Black descendants of slaves to get their just due in America. American justice for Blacks will require an act of Congress. With a little prodding from their constituents, Black members of Congress can lead the charge and bring about an act of Congress in regard to reparations owed to more than 30 million Black descendants of slaves living in America today.

Well over a century after slavery’s end, Black Americans are still poorer, less educated, and earning far less than their White counterparts. Blacks lag behind Whites in every area of American life. We all know that racism, racial discrimination and inequality continues to be perpetuated against Blacks. It’s on Blacks to initiate national discussions that have race, slavery and reparations as themes. Blacks need to use their resources to put it on America’s agenda to acknowledge its financial obligation for centuries of slavery and continuing subjugation. Instead of cowering and trying to lay low, Blacks need to correct the country’s ignorance of its racist history and illustrate the impact of de facto discrimination and slavery’s legacy in our social and political lives as well as psyche.

Many differences between Blacks and Whites stem from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. In the years since the civil rights triumphs of the 1960s, when compared to Whites, African Americans complete less formal schooling, work fewer hours at a lower rate of pay and are more likely to give birth to a child out of wedlock and to rely on welfare.

We should use our resources to work toward a “renaissance” for our race. America was built from the ground up by slave labor. But, officials, Black and White, denial of the benefits gained from centuries of slave labor are, in effect, an attempt to pretend that America’s holocaust never occurred. Isn’t it time we demanded our political representatives submitted reparations legislation to obtain what we are owed? Blacks are slow to discuss “the debt” we are owed, even though we remain “behind” in every category of social measurement due to slavery’s legacy. Blacks’ current plight results from slavery and there should be instruments and policies to assist in Blacks’ current educational and economic deficiencies.

Contemporary Blacks need to focus on the fact that a debt has accrued over centuries of slavery – a debt that has only been deepened by segregation, discrimination, and racist institutional policies that persist to this day. Residual effects of slavery still exist, but too many Blacks seem to be ashamed to demand payment for centuries of slavery, of destruction of our minds and the theft of our culture.

It’s estimated that 30 million descendants of slaves are eligible for $1.5 million each in reparations compensation. American enslavement counts as an obvious rebuttal to claims that this Republic represents “the land of the free and home of the brave.” Sadly, the victims of this calamity feel more guilt than pride and few strive for “reparations” or other restitution to overcome the nation’s uniquely cruel, racist and greedy legacy.

Hopefully, Blacks can bond to get H.R. 40 passed. We all need to get to know and support Congressman John Conyers’ H.R. 40 bill, “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.”  The bill establishes a federal commission to review slavery and its resulting racial and economic discrimination. Let’s each initiate local, state and national discussions toward the Congressional Black Caucus’ adaption and eventual Congressional passage of H.R. 40 reparations legislation. A discussion among African Americans about reparations should happen on social networks or whenever blacks get together.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Send a Message to Congress – William Reed Columnist

For Black descendants of slaves to get their just due in America requires an act of Congress. Acts of Congress are designated as either Public Laws or Private Laws. The full realization of Black’s voting power kicks in when the nation’s 43 Black members of Congress come together to bring about an act of Congress toward reparations for the country’s 30 million Black descendants of slaves. Too often, Blacks are all too happy to pursue other concerns to show racism occurring, but vacillate in pursuing reparations for the ongoing crimes perpetuated against them.

The politically savvy among us know that the 113th Congressional Session is occurring. At its outset, the 113th Congress had 43 African-American members (all but one in the House of Representatives). Operating together, those 43 Black legislators could make reparations a reality for Blacks. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) contends that it “influences the course of events pertinent to African Americans,” and works to “achieve greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.” Since they started in 1971 as a policy-wonk conference for African-American lawmakers, Black Caucus weekend has blossomed into an annual networking event for Black America’s business and cultural elite. This year’s Congressional Black Caucus’ 44th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) is an event sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., which boasts that it “is the premier gathering of African Americans, cultivating engaging policy discussions on issues that impact Black communities.”

As the nation’s Black leaders gather in Washington, D.C. September 24th-27th it’s important they know that the great symbols of America, the Capitol and White House, on the backs of slaves. The 44th ALC will be a four-day conference with scores of policy sessions, a national town hall and a job and contract procurement fair. During the ALC’s sessions, many people will dwell on Ferguson; but hopefully the subject matter experts, industry leaders, elected officials, and concerned citizens there will focus on generating energy and activity toward a national discourse about race, slavery and reparations that will reverberate throughout the country and Congress.

Though they’ve been slow to collectively support H.R. 40, the concept of reparations isn’t new to the CBC. In January of 1989, Rep. John Conyers first introduced the bill H.R. 40, “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act” to Congress. Over the years, Conyers has convened numerous ALC reparations forums.

Blacks’ passage of the H.R. 40 bill would be high honor to the ancestors that built the Capitol for no pay. H.R. 40 is a first step toward Blacks getting paid. The bill will establish a “Commission to Study the Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.”  Also known as the “Reparations Act,” the bill establishes a federal commission to review the institution of slavery and the resulting racial and economic discrimination that impacted and continues to impact generations of African Americans. The bill wouldn’t pay up now, but acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery in the U.S. between 1619 and 1865 and “make recommendations to help correct the residual effects of these acts.”

Reparations mean “repair.” In actual practice, Black Americans continue to experience a precarious social and economic existence. Three-fourths of Blacks are owed a million dollars each but too few know and understand the tenets of H.R. 40. At this ACL event Black leaders have the opportunity to initiate plans, discussions and campaigns toward CBC adaption and eventual Congressional passage of reparations legislation.

What does it take to motivate the 30 million Blacks eligible for $1.5 million each in compensation to ask for support and passage of H.R. 40? Let’s each send a message to Congress to vote “Yes” on reparations: as in compensation for the crimes of slavery and indigenous genocide. Blacks deserve justice for the horrific consequences of one of the greatest crimes committed against humanity in the history of this planet – the 400 years of the African Slave Trade. – William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Bet on Ben Carson to Defeat Hillary Clinton – William Reed Columnist

Who are you supporting in the upcoming 2016 elections? Those being discussed include: Vice President Joseph Biden; talk-show host Herman Cain; Dr. Ben Carson; Gov. Chris Christie; former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Gov. Deval Patrick; or former Florida Rep. Allen West?

As the 2016 presidential election approaches media speculation, propaganda, and misinformation spikes. This presidential election will be the 58th quadrennial United States presidential election and is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Voters will select presidential electors, who in turn will elect the next president and the vice president. Incumbent President Barack Obama is ineligible to be elected to a third term due to term limits in the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Article II of the Constitution stipulates that for a person to be elected and serve as president, the individual must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident for no less than 14 years. Candidates for the presidency often seek the nomination of one of the country’s various political parties, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate that party deems best suited to run. This is a year that voters elect state lawmakers who will redraw local and state political boundaries.

If Blacks don’t use their votes better, we’ll continue getting D-list treatment. Blacks will have to use their votes more strategically. Obama’s candidacies created processes that placated Blacks enough to get their votes without them seeking or receiving any level of reciprocity. Black politicians and activists inside the White House bubble play kingmakers. “Nobody can go to the White House unless they stop by our house,” boasts Obama-administration insider Rev. Al Sharpton. Growing numbers of Blacks are embracing victim status as cover for simple laziness and irresponsible lifestyles. People who promote “Big government” socialist agendas too often preach false, evil gospels of victimhood.

This season, as has been the case for many voting seasons, the president and most contenders, remain silent about race-oriented issues. Race is America’s eternal flashpoint issue and few politicians are willing to venture out far enough to say anything in regard to it. Mainstream candidates avoid race like the plague. Racial issues rarely enter into presidential debates. No president or presidential challenger will risk being labeled as pandering to minorities. It’s time Blacks faced the reality that shoving race to the back burner of presidential campaigns invariably produces presidents that ignore their legislative agenda.

For Republicans, who have struggled to win support among Black voters for more than 50 years, retired neurologist Ben Carson happens to be the contender capable enough to garner the Black vote and take the party to the Winner’s Circle in 2016. A conservative African American, Carson’s a respected and admired figure among Blacks. He’s able to clearly and calmly discuss conservative positions in a way average voters can understand. Carson can bond with all Americans and can speak definitely about party values. He rose to prominence after delivering a controversial speech at a January 2012 National Prayer Breakfast, where he lambasted Obama and his policies. A Republican and a true political outsider, Carson appears to be the one candidate capable of taking down Hillary Clinton.

The one actively seeking out African Americans’ support is Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.  Paul broke ranks with “fence-sitters” when he penned an op-ed in Time magazine that “Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice … is not paying close enough attention.” Paul has been showing up at traditional Blacks venues and staking out positions on issues that resonate among Blacks.

Polls among Americans show something close to parity between the Democratic and Republican parties. Among Blacks the Democrats win – 8 to 1. The current consensus shows Clinton winning Blacks’ ballots in 2016 without making much in the way of promises to get them.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Looting in Lieu of Reparations – William Reed Columnist

What’s your attitude regarding reparations for slavery? Too often the state of affairs among Black Americans has centered on fighting the law, and winning. As often as Blacks find America’s laws and practices stacked against them, why haven’t Blacks been creators of laws that are favorable toward us? With the numbers of Blacks that comprise the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), why haven’t they made it their collective duty to put forth laws and language necessary to pay reparations to descendants of slaves?

The calculated reparations for America’s Black slave descendants total approximately $1.5 million each. Instead of dancing to partisan parties’ tunes, more Black Americans need to be among those determined to ensure that legitimate slave descendants get their just due. The people championing the status quo of affairs in America will always dispute these claims. There are people in contemporary Black American communities who contend that they aren’t owed anything because they are better off living in America than they would be in Africa. America still owes an enormous debt to Africans and African Americans for the tremendous emotional and financial toll that they’ve suffered and continue to suffer as a result of nearly 400 years of slavery and segregation. It’s as if Blacks are afraid, or feel unworthy, to collect what’s owed them.

Instead of calling for additional Black voter registration efforts and “social change,” Black voters should consider that we have the clout to hasten our own changes through reparations we gained for slavery – compensatory payments for the descendants of those who found themselves enslaved by the Atlantic Slave Trade. By reclaiming what has been stolen from us, Blacks can lay the foundation for viable futures and receive compensation for slavery and the century of de jure racial discrimination that followed with monetary restitution and/or educational programs. Four hundred years of legalized oppression entitles many Blacks in America to just reparations. Blacks are the poorest group in America because our ancestors built this country and never had anything of value to pass onto future generations.

In 1867, Thaddeus Stevens sponsored a bill for redistribution of land to African Americans. It was never passed and Reconstruction came to an end in 1877 without the issue ever being addressed. Now America needs to reconcile with racial history – seek genuine atonement and make meaningful amends. Until such time, angst-ridden race relations will continue to plague America.

A group of influential lawyers and scholars called the “Reparations Coordinating Committee” identified institutions it says have profited from slavery and they have initiated numerous lawsuits against the government and major corporations. Some companies and universities such as Brown acknowledged roles in slavery. The Hartford Courant newspaper apologized for running ads for the sale and capture of slaves. Aetna Insurance apologized for insuring slaves as “personal property.”

Reparations are the ultimate realization of our civil rights. Black media, civil rights and political leaders who flocked to Ferguson, Missouri now need to turn their righteous indignation about what happened there into reparations legislation in Congress and state houses. It’s time Blacks question their leaders as to: What are you doing about reparations? When will Blacks make political officials accountable for their plight? Due to a popular movement that was occurring in Detroit, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. started a procedure of regularly submitting House Resolution 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act” to Congress. That bill asked for a look into the effects of slavery on contemporary African Americans. So, what’s your favorite CBC members’ position on HR 40?

Civil rights and social justice groups are lobbying to receive reparations-based grants to service Blacks, but Black voters need to make their elected officials put forth HR 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.” We can’t allow party politics to dilute our interest and thrust for reparations. Send a letter to your local and Congressional representatives telling them to support HR 40. Ten send letters to 10 friends and government officials and tell them to suggest and advocate passage of HR 40.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org

Early Voting Begins Today Thursday October 23, 2014 And This Is Who I Am Voting For

November 4, 2014 General Election

I Curmilus Dancy II live in the 13th Congressional District and I am voting for the following candidates.

US Senate
Kay Hagans

US House 13th Congressional District
Brenda Cleary

US House 1st Congressional District
Congressman G.K. Butterfield
Note: I can’t vote for him but he will always be my Congressman, can’t help I was redistricted out of the 1st District

NC Senate District 3
Erica Smith-Ingram

NC House District 23
Shelly Willingham

District Attorney District 7
Robert Evans

Board of County Commissioners District 6
Donald C. Boswell

District Attorney District 7
Pell Cooper

County Clerk of Superior Court
Carol Allen White

County Sheriff
Sheriff James L. Knight

NC Supreme Court
Chief Justice
Mark Martin

NC Supreme Court
Associate Justice
Sam J. Ervin IV

NC Supreme Court
Associate Justice
Cheryl Beasley

NC Court of Appeals Judge
Keischa Lovelace for Court of Appeals

NC Court of Appeals Judge
Lucy Inman

NC Court of Appeals
Mark Davis

NC District Court Judge District 7
Pell Cooper

NC District Court Judge District 7
Lamont Wiggins

NC Constitutional Amendment
Against
Note: I would want to have a jury trial and not leave it up to a Judge alone

ENDORSEMENTS

The DCN endorses the following candidates

Nash County Candidates

Nash/Rocky Mount Public Schools District 9
Robert Bynum

Senate District 4
Angela Bryant

NC House District 7
Bobbie Richardson

Board of Commissioners District 6
Mary P. Wells

Sheriff
Stanley Griffin

Wilson County Candidates

Sheriff
Calvin Woodard

NC House
Bobi Gregory

US House 1st Congressional District
Congressman G.K. Butterfield

See related:

Edgecombe County Political Forum