The Real “First Black President” by William Reed Columnist

"Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, what they did was hard. It takes time. It takes more than a single term. It takes more than a single president … and more than a single individual." – Barack Obama

Barack Obama became America’s first Black president in 2009; Nelson Rohihlahia Mandela preceded Obama to the top of his government, being inaugurated South Africa’s first Black president on May 10, 1994. Both presidents will be recorded in history but the 94-year-old Mandela holds higher “street cred.”  He commands a level of respect due to experience in issues that are 40 years ahead of Obama.  Born July 18, 1918 in the Transkei region of South Africa, Mandela was steeped in Black culture.  Mandela’s life and works represent a vision and values that demonstrate new levels of achievement and life’s possibilities for Blacks. Mandela’s father was Tembu Tribe Chief Henry Mandela.  Nelson was groomed to become the next chief to rule his tribe. He attended the prestigious all-Black Fort Hare College, a key institution in higher education for Black Africans from 1916-1959. Fort Hare created an African elite that was part of many movements and governments of newly independent African countries.

Not to be confused with Obama’s post-racial ideology, Mandela represents real Black power. He is the movement’s uncompromising force and figure. When he realized that non-violence would not suffice, Mandela resorted to guerilla warfare to achieve his means. The U.S. government still considers Mandela and the ANC as terrorists. Mandela still needs to get a special waiver to enter the U.S. The iconic struggle between the apartheid regime of South Africa and those who resisted it has a complex timeline that begins with the founding of Cape Town in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company as a way station between the Netherlands and the East Indies. As it developed into a settlement, it was populated by the European ancestors of the Afrikaners, who eventually were the White minority comprising less than 20 percent of the population but who had nearly complete control of the nation’s government and economy.

November 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 1761, establishing the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and imposing economic sanctions on South Africa.  Through campus demonstrations, corporate boycotts, media and music campaigns, the U.S.-based activists helped galvanize efforts against apartheid. The international movement of solidarity with the South African struggle was arguably the biggest social movement the world has seen.

In his lifetime, Mandela went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa’s first Black president from 1994 to 1999.  It’s important to note Mandela’s militant activism. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served 27 years, many of these on Robben Island. Following his February 11, 1990 release, Mandela used reconciliation between Whites and Blacks as the bedrock of the “Rainbow Nation.” Mandela became the globe’s symbol of resistance to racism.  But, as we enter 2013, an overwhelming majority of South Africans now see him as a figure firmly rooted in the past with limited impact on their future. Democratic South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation” is just 18 years old. Most of the nation’s people were children or not even born when Mandela was released from prison in 1990. A whole generation has been "born free" since racial segregation ended with the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Almost 60 percent of South Africans are under 35 years old – 29 percent are younger than 15.

With this country’s Blacks’ adoration of Obama, it’s important to point out that both their Black presidencies have left some wanting and illustrate the “fool’s gold” Blacks have about “political empowerment.” In both places, the races remain bitterly divided by economics: White households’ incomes in both countries are six times higher than that of their Black counterparts.

Mandela calls Israel’s structure of political and cultural relationship with Palestinians, an “apartheid system.” Obama baits Palestinians with the possibility of resumption of U.S. aid on condition they “renounce terrorism.”

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

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What’s Your Party Preference? by William Reed Columnist

Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that can’t keep promises it made you during election time and you’re dumb enough to continue to identify with that political party, you’re not only a chump but traitor to your race.” – Malcolm X

What’s your personal political ideology and most important value?  Do you agree that certain political parties and issues are more important to Blacks than Whites?  A political party typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating candidates with aligned political views and trying to seat them in political office.  In your political alignments, are you getting what you need and deserve in return, and not chump change?

It was a Republican president who sought the Emancipation Proclamation. The Republicans Party was the party of most Blacks prior to the 1960s, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King.  The founding fathers of the NAACP were Republicans as was the party that desegregated the South’s schools and implemented America’s Affirmative Action programs. Republicans believe in the free enterprise system. The Office of Minority Business Enterprise, a federal agency dedicated to minority business, was established by Republican President Richard Nixon in March of 1969. 

African-American history is most often presented through liberal political lens that skew contributions and examples of African Americans outside the “liberal mainstream.”  Black Americans have been taught that Republicans are racist and care nothing about Black empowerment. Black Republicans are often labeled “insufficiently Black.”

In truth, the history of the Republican Party’s relationship with Blacks is one of a bright start followed by steady decline.  Unfortunately, a reliance on family and faith has become a casualty of the modern welfare state, contributed to the destruction of family cohesion and supplanted faith in God with faith in government.  Black conservatism is a political and social movement rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the American conservative movement.

Since the Civil Rights Movement, the African-American community has generally fallen to the left of the political spectrum and has aligned itself on the side of liberalism, but Black conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, capitalism, free markets, and social values consistent with the context of Blacks and their religious beliefs. “Our goals promote freedom for all and encouraging entrepreneurship,” says Donald Scoggins of the Republicans for Black Empowerment.  In light of 2012 election results, Scoggins is on a mission to retool the Republican Party.  He’s seeking to raise profiles and awareness of Black Republicans and their number of elected officials.  Scoggins invites inquires via Donelsco@aol.com.

Alan West is an example of an elected Black Republican. Atlanta-born West who was defeated for re-election in the 2012 race is known for comments alleging that Democratic "handouts" to the poor have resulted in a "modern form of slavery” and rejects Black History Month honors the achievements of African-Americans throughout history and that is a good thing.Unfortunately, a reliance on family and faith, which allowed many African-Americans to survive the horrors of Reconstruction, racial injustice and violent acts of discrimination, has become a casualty of the modern welfare state, which has contributed to the destruction of family cohesion, supplanted faith in God with faith in government and fashioned many African-Americans into a Democratic voting bloc that has not improved the lot of the impoverished among them.While African-American history is important, the way it is most often presented through a liberal political lens skews the contributions and examples of African-Americans who do not toe the liberal line.One especially sees this in the civil rights establishment’s response to Justice Clarence Thomas and more recently to Rep. Allen West, R-Fl “the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock."  West’s point is that Democrats who claim to care so for African Americans, in reality, have done them a grave disservice by perpetuating myths of Republican racism and addicting them to a government check instead of liberation through education and strong families. Heritage Foundation data supports West saying: "The public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23 percent under President Obama.”

Since the 1930s, the Democratic Party has put forth and promoted social liberal and progressive platforms; and for over 40 years Blacks have increasingly aligned themselves with Democrats rarely questioning: social policies rooted in low expectations and government dependency; economic and tax policies that stifle economic growth, job creation, personal savings and investment; and education policies that refuse to subject public schools to the competition of “school choice.”

Blacks are naïve if they continue in their status and low regard among either of the dominate parties.  The Democrats, led by President Obama, plainly ignore Blacks, while the Republican establishment disrespects and disregards us. But, apparently Blacks cannot envision leveraging our voting bloc into party platforms, policies and programs that reflect Black Americans’ needs and wants.

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

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William Reed Columnist

NC Supreme Court: Newby can participate in redistricting case

RALEIGH — Democrats, the state NAACP and other groups suing over the legislature’s redistricting plans learned Monday that the state Supreme Court has rejected their request that Justice Paul Newby recuse himself from participating in the case.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, said the groups were disappointed by the decision, but believe they will win the larger case. (More)

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Redistricting

Perdue appoints Beasley to Supreme Court – WTVD 11

RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court of North Carolina Wednesday. Beasley, who is currently a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

Timmons-Goodson announced last month she would retire Monday. She was the first African-American woman to serve on North Carolina’s highest court. (More)

Pardon the Wilmington 10 – News & Observer

As Gov. Bev Perdue winds down her final days in office, the smoke of a fire long ago returns.

It’s from 1971 when nights of racial unrest in Wilmington led to the arrest and trial of nine young black men and one white woman who came to be known as the Wilmington 10. They were charged with firebombing a white-owned grocery store in a black neighborhood and then shooting at firefighters who responded. (More)

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Wilmington 10

Final Raise the Age LRC meeting TOMORROW!

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Final Raise the Age LRC meeting TOMORROW!       

Dear Allies,

 

The Legislative Research Commission’s (LRC) House Study Committee on Age of Juvenile Offenders will convene TOMORROW, December 18 in room 643 at 2pm in Raleigh. 

 

WILL YOU JOIN US?  

 

For the final meeting, LRC committee members will VOTE on raise the age recommendations that will be used for the 2013 legislative session. We expect that the recommendation will be to raise the age of 16 and 17 year old misdemeanors, but need allies in the room to make sure this happens! Join us at 2pm in room 643 Legislative Office Building in Raleigh.   

 

Can’t make it? Submit your statement of support! 

 

The leaders from this committee need to hear from us: Allies, families and youth who care and are impacted by the current outdated law. Let’s support the LRC members who are committed to reforming juvenile justice and raising the age! 

 

Click HERE to enter your statement of support.

 

Below are some suggested talking points you can share. Remember to let the committee know why YOU want to see North Carolina pass raise the age legislation in 2013. 

 

  • North Carolina remains one of only two states that automatically prosecute all 16 and 17-year olds as adults – even for something as minor as stealing a bag of Doritos. Nearly 22,000 youth each year are impacted by this 100 year old law. 
  • By raising the age our state, "has a significant opportunity to get smarter on fighting crime, create an effective juvenile justice system and shore up the workforce by opening doors for more productive, law-abiding citizens." – The News&Observer
  • Raise the Age legislation has bi-partisan support. Supporters know Raise the Age legislation means holding youth accountable and involving their families. There is no get-out-of-jail-free-card in the juvenile justice system. It includes frequent contact with court counselors, receiving services, treatment, education and it makes youth pay back victims.  
  • An analysis by the NC Sentencing & Policy Advisory Commission (2007) found that handling kids in the juvenile justice system instead of the adult system meant less crime and more public savings! 
TAKE ACTION TODAY!  

    

For more information about the Raise the Age Campaign, please visit:
www.ncchild.org  
or contact us at:

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Thank you for continuing to stand for
youth justice!
 
Sincerely,

Action for Children North Carolina

 
Tax-deductible contributions to Action for Children are needed and greatly appreciated.  Donate online at http://www.ncchild.org, or send a check to: Action for Children North Carolina, 3109 Poplarwood Ct., Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27604-1044. Financial information about the organization and its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Brand at 888.830.4989. The license is not an endorsement by the state.

 

Thank you for helping make North Carolina the best place to be and raise a child!

 

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