Keep Hope Alive by William Reed Columnist

Where have all our young men gone?  An overwhelming number of black males go either to prison, or politics.  The routes are similar, but entrepreneurial-oriented John Hope Bryant is a young black people need to get to know.  The fifty-something head of Operation Hope exemplifies the entrepreneurial mindset blacks need to know and emulate.

These days most blacks’ vision of empowerment is through the route of elective office.  While our race’s “talented tenth” spend time, energy and money posturing to run for office;” what blacks really need is tutorials on effecting economic empowerment.  Blacks that continue to repopulate and celebrate career politicians, by repeatedly sending them back to office, need leadership beyond the realm of politicsJohn Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation Hope, can illuminate the path toward liberation for blacks. The author of numerous books highlighting that true power comes from economic independence, not in politics; John Hope Bryant is showing blacks the way to more prosperity.  Bryant’s economic message is spelled out in “The Memo” publication.

Blacks need less politics and more economic empowerment strategies.  Small is the number of blacks that see business as empowering activity.  Too many blacks want a change to come about in our economics without changing dysfunctional practices.   One such habit is elevating politicians to celebrity statuses. Conveners of church or organizational conferences and seminars should pare down their Rolexes of politicians and broadcast news readers in lieu of experts like John Hope Bryant, an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, and prominent thought leader on financial inclusion and economic empowerment.  Bryant is focused on making free enterprise work for all and believes people have potential to prosper, with “a hand up and not a hand out.”  Bryant is responsible for the modern “Silver Rights Movement” and highlights the importance of investing in African American-owned institutions; and blacks’ entrepreneurial ventures in our own neighborhoods and making informed decisions with finances.

Bryant founded Operation HOPE, Inc. following the 1992 Los Angeles Rodney King riots.  The organization has an $8 million annual operating budget and Bryant a million dollars plus personal net worth. Bryant’s teachings remind blacks to “Keep Hope Alive.” Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Bryant is responsible for more than $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development in under-served communities across the U.S.   Operation HOPE operates partnerships in more than 300 U.S. cities.  Bryant’s projects have served more than 1.5 million clients with government to private sector partners.

“We have to find the hope, the life purpose, and reason to live” says Bryant.  He has etched out a leading role in financial literacy.  This book will “get your mind right” teach you clear ways to make changes to how you view money”“ so that it becomes your friend and not something you chase, briefly acquire but can never hold on to, and fall into the same poverty trap that your loved ones have generation after generation.”

We hope to help African Americans by pointing them in Bryant’s direction to help them move away from “civil” rights leadership to “silver rights.”  Bryant says blacks will never advance “unless we start implementing new ways of thinking.”  In The Memo: Five Rules for Your Economic Liberation Bryant teaches readers five rules that lay foundation toward achieving financial freedom.  Surely, more blacks can develop viable plans to get them out of poverty and desperation by subscribing to Bryant’s works.  Bryant admits, “There is inequality in America.”  And, “theirs is systemic racism that benefits people who seem to be handed everything in life, but you cannot do anything about that. You can’t take their money or privilege away…nor stop their rich relatives, spouses and employers from over paying or spoiling them.  You cannot make these people care at all about you, nor your inability to pay bills on time.” 

Bryant provides an example of ‘civil” and “silver rights” coming together, as operator of HOPE Inside Atlanta on the campus of the King Center and as anchor tenant of the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex.

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

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life! by William Reed Columnist

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life!

“Get your Mind Right” is a term used to tell someone to get it together and start using their brain. Successful people have “yes I can” attitudes and outlooks.  “I can do it” are postures Blacks needs to use more effectively. Black Washingtonians will get a generous dose of “the power of positive thinking,” when the “Get Motivated Business Seminar” happens in Washington Tuesday September 22 at the Warner Theatre.  The day-long seminar training program features Les Brown and Washington-native Willie Jolley.

Willie Jolly is a D.C.-based entrepreneur that preaches and practices the power of positive thinking.  Based on the premise: “Think good thoughts and good things will surely follow,” both Brown and Jolley say their business seminars will take you to the next level of success, and that attendance will give patrons proven strategies to sharpen business skills, effectiveness and multiply your capabilities.

Some say African Americans have a “victim mentality” and lack personality traits deemed necessary for achievement endeavors.  Some blacks have been “faking it.”  But, they can gain confidence, heightened self-awareness and “stick to it until you make it” attitudes and outlooks from Dr. Jolley’s high energy, enthusiastic presentations on how to live a better life.   Though blacks have a right to righteous anger, most of us need new and healthier way of thinking and acting that lifts each of us and our race.  Jolley’s programs encourage, enlighten and enliven.

Willie Jolley has strong musical talents.  The personable entrepreneur uses his public platform to encourage people to rise above their circumstances to maximize their God-given potential.  Jolley’s presentations lay out guidelines for success.  In life, Jolley has come from being a fired singer, who was replaced by a karaoke machine, to president/CEO of Willie Jolley Worldwide, a top player in the $10 billion self-improvement industry of programs and products to improve clientele physically, mentally, financially or spiritually.

Son of a freelance newspaper reporter and a high school social studies teacher grew up in Washington, D.C., Jolly began singing in church and at parties, and soon formed a singing group which became a local sensation.  Though the singing group broke up, Jolley continued on as a solo vocalist, singing jingles for companies such as Pizza Hut and Black Entertainment Television.  A talented performer, Jolley has recorded dozens of commercials and songs singing background vocals for artists such as Jean Carne and Phyllis Hyman. Jolley’s voice is still featured in TV and radio jingles.

Likable “Willie” holds a Doctorate of Ministry Degree from the California Graduate School of Theology, a Master Degree in Theology from Wesley Theological seminary and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American University.  Jolley places great emphasis on individual growth and the collective development of black communities.  Jolley states that “It’s not important how much time you have; the key is what you do with the time you’re given.”

The Get Motivated Business Seminar can help patrons go from “I wish I could do that” musings into reality.  The series can help blacks connect self-esteem and achievement.  The other distinguished presenter in the seminar series is Leslie Calvin “Les” Brown an author, radio DJ, former television host, and politician. As a politician, he was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.  If there is anyone that could walk around with a “woe is me” outlook, Les Brown was it.  Born into dire circumstances Brown was subsequently adopted by a single black woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic but gave him a sense of self-worth.  Les’ sense of self-esteem gained him an Emmy for his works on television after he’d left Ohio’s legislature,

Nobody will be mad at you feeling and appearing “full of yourself.”  Blacks can move up in society simply by using the power and initiative of positive thinking. A positive person anticipates happiness, is aware of and works on health and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle or difficulty.  Blacks can grow by positive thinking that allows greater cooperation among African Americans to network talents and skills to create wealth and economic goals.

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

What is "Black Lives Matter"? – William Reed Columnist

The Political Agitator’s response: My friend I agree with your comments about the movement to a certain degree. However you are speaking a truth but I don’t feel that it is those few who are tarnishing the movement speaks for the whole movement. I hate that when something negative happens it tarnishes the whole movement but I strongly feel that there are more folk in the movement that wants to do it the right way versus the wrong way. I feel strongly that that is why it takes black folk so long to accomplish our goals because we the folk who want to do things right get put in the same damn category with the folk who make a bad name for us. Well I refuse to allow folk to put me in the same category with those few negative folk who are doing things on their own and not a part of an organization or group that I may be associated with. I do things on an individual basis however I am a member of the NAACP, Democratic Party and other but I don’t condone the wrong that any of them may do as it relates to the movement. If they get out of order I will call them out. Those few who are tarnishing the movement, I don’t know them don’t believe they are a part of the NAACP. I am quite sure they have a name for their own little group or association. I am not with them.

America’s racism is a devastating force that possesses the power to render black Americans virtually invisible.  In our society, it is not unusual for an African American to experience a sensation that he does not exist in the real world at all.  And, at every turn the black experience seems to exist in an ongoing and nightmarish odyssey of white superiority.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement to rid America of prejudice and racism could find tutoring from the premise of the Invisible Man novel.  The novel traces the nightmarish journey of its unnamed black narrator from his high school and college days in the South to his harrowing experiences in the North as a member of the Brotherhood, a powerful organization that purports to fight for justice and equality for all people but in reality exploits blacks and uses them to promote its own political agenda. Invisible Man describes one man’s lifelong struggle to establish a sense of identity in white America illustrates the powerful social and political forces that conspire to keep black Americans “in their place,” and continue denying them their “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Published in 1952, Invisible Man is regarded as a classic of American literature.  It is a tool black Americans need to know about to gain an identity and positive visibility in white America.  The “Black Lives Matter” movement represents a generation of African Americans convinced that their existence depends on gaining the support, recognition, and approval of whites — whom they have been taught to view as powerful, superior beings who control their destiny.  Sadly, “Black Lives Matter” people are using rude and crude tactics trying to establish their image and presence in a society that refuses to see them or their worth.  The “Black Lives Matter” movement’s “in your face” tactics will do little to gain Blacks’ equality in America.  Ultimately, African Americans must create an identity, which rests not on the acceptance of whites, but on our own acceptance of the past.  

“Blacks Lives Matter” is a Black Agenda gone rogue.  In the new movement against racist police violence, “Black Lives Matter”” activists literally force themselves onto (and into) the campaign platform of Democratic candidates.  In Seattle “Black Lives Matter” movement militants took the stage from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemning the largely white crowd of being “white supremacist liberals” as they demanded a program addressing the crisis facing black communities.  Sanders later released a policy statement detailing the campaign’s support for racial justice and hired Symore Sanders, a young African American organizer to help shape the campaign’s racial justice program agenda.  If the field of presidential aspirants all followed Sanders’ lead, dozens of African Americans will be getting high-paying campaign jobs preparing policy positions and papers.  

“Blacks Lives Matter” gives many millennials a glimpse of the structural inequality that exists in America where one category of people is attributed an unequal status in relation to others. This relationship is perpetuated and reinforced by a confluence of unequal relations in roles, functions, decisions, rights, and opportunities.  The status of blacks’ economics in America is dire. Youth unemployment hovers at over 30 percent — nearly twice that of white teenagers.  What is the candidate you currently push saying about employment, job growth and educational opportunity?

There is nothing wrong with making presidential candidates address the concerns of Black people, uniquely.  Willingly, or through bullying, political candidates must be made to articulate policy and show deeds on issues such as unemployment, health care, voting rights and education..  After the crude and rude political protests conclude more emphases must be placed and practiced regarding a African American agenda. Blacks need more emphases in entrepreneurial education.  Across America entrepreneurs are often the spark behind community growth and vibrancy. Blacks need to tone down the “liberal politics will empower us” mindsets and more broadly nurture entrepreneurship across urban enclaves.

We should all become involved in blacks having equitable participation in campaign positions and platforms to advance a common goal of a society of equality, democracy, and solidarity.

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

C. Delores was Right – William Reed Columnist

Most Black Americans are downright giddy over the success of Fox’s “Empire” drama television series and its success.  The plot centers around a unique Black family in the world of a hip hop empire.  But, with all its “mainstream” adulation and ratings, the question Blacks should be asking is: “what would C. Delores Tucker say about “Empire” and its connotations of imperialism and colonialism?”

In the 1990s, Cynthia Delores Tucker gained fame accusing America’s Blacks of participating in their own disparagement.  C. Delores Tucker was an antagonist of profanity-laced rap music lyrics that denigrated women and Blacks. Mrs. Tucker had should be should be remembered and revered as role model, renowned civil rights activist and public servant.  Conscious of her race and its needs, led Tucker to an original organizer of the Black and Women’s Caucuses who worked to ensure that Blacks, women and minorities got fair representation within the Democratic Party.

Tucker last years were dedicated to condemning sexually explicit lyrics in rap and hip-hop tracks, citing concern that the misogynistic lyrics threatened the moral foundation of African Americans. She fought against the NAACP’s decision to nominate the late rapper Tupac Shakur for one of its Image Awards and filed a $10 million lawsuit against his estate for comments that Shakur had made against her.

As Tucker sounded the alarm on Gangsta Rap’s impact on Blacks, she was lambasted and harassed as being “narrow-minded.”  At the height of her campaign in 1994 Congressional hearings were held.   When Tucker set her sights on Time Warner’s media empire she focused on Interscope, whose rap subsidiary, Death Row Records, put out the most popular gangsta artists’ recordings.   Tucker purchased stock in Time Warner, and went to the 1995 shareholders’ meeting to ask the company executives there to read aloud the lyrics through which their company reaped such profits.  Of course they refused.

“Empire” has a sound ground.  Over the past generation gangsta rap has become became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip hop.   “Rap” is a style of popular music, developed by urban Blacks and disc jockeys in the 1970s, in which an insistent, recurring beat pattern provides the background and counterpoint for rapid, slangy, and often boastful rhyming patter. Hip hop is a genre consisting of stylized rhythmic music commonly accompanying rapping (or emceeing).

JayZ, Ice-T, N.W.A. Dr. Dre and other Blacks have accumulated billions of dollars performing the genre but the subject matter inherent in gangsta rap has caused great controversy.   The genre’s critics accuse it of promoting crime, violence, The genre’s critics accuse it of promoting crime, racism, promiscuity, misogyny, materialism, and self-importance.

In his eulogy, Jesse Jackson proclaimed Tucker had been “a woman regal and royal and rare non-negotiable dignity.”  Tucker gave Blacks the challenge that if a group of people want others to respect them, they have to respect themselves.  Tucker reminds us to stand and strong and responsible for our people and history.  And, understand that if a derogatory phrase is used against you, you’re not open to repeat it.  The people who are part of and sponsors of, this music should reconsider what they say.

As she founded the Bethune-DuBois Institute in 1991, Dr. Tucker began her personal crusade against “gangsta” rap in earnest and rallied against record companies to halt distribution of music she believed derogatory toward women and minorities.  Tucker called gangsta rap “the unholy alliance of gangstas in the suites and gangstas in the streets.”

Surely Tucker started to get most Blacks to stand by “sets of standards,” “principles” and “values.”  That principled work must go on.  Joe Madison is BDI’s current president.  An influential broadcaster, Madison is known as “the Black Eagle.”  A former member of the NAACP’s national board, Madison has also served as executive director of the NAACP’s Detroit Branch, 1974-77.  Rosa Whitaker, a member of BDI’s board of directors, is CEO and President of the Whitaker Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy on trade and investment in Africa.  “They have been deeply involved in missions advocated by my wife” says BDI Chair, William Tucker.  – William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

Do Blacks Even Know What’s Going On? – William Reed Columnist

Has Black capitalism failed?  Was it even given a chance?   The two basic approaches to the world’s economics are – free market capitalism and planned or command economies. Blacks don’t seem to really know what’s going on in the capitalistic system around them.  Year in and year out, high percentages of Black Americans display woefully inadequate understandings of this nation’s economics.

Blacks’ pattern in America’s capitalistic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned businesses and controlled rather than commonly, publicly, or state owned is government-centered. In economics the basic resources or factors are land, labor, capital and entrepreneurship.  American capitalism involves “the exchange of supplies or goods between businesses and the people for money” and the social system under which we live.  Under this system other ethnic groups have thrived while Blacks remained stifled.  Over the past half-century Vietnamese, Koreans, Jews and Arabs have successfully mastered producing and distributing goods as American entrepreneurs and capitalists, while the  majority of Black Americans sell their skills and labor for a wage or salary.

It’s as if Blacks have a “workers mentality” they can’t get beyond.  Sadly, Blacks view themselves as “the working class that is being exploited by the capitalist class.”   For the most part, Blacks are lackadaisical about being entrepreneurs.  Yet, its entrepreneurs that drive America’s economy and account for the majority of new job creation and innovations. America’s 25.8 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce and generate more than half of the gross domestic product.  It’s as if Blacks don’t know entrepreneurship as an employment strategy that can lead to economic and personal self-sufficiency. While Blacks shy away from self-employment, it is a vital facet of the United States economy.  According to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) the USA is the most entrepreneurial economy in the world.  The USA is followed by Canada, Australia and Sweden in second, third and fourth place, respectively.  Between 1996 and 2004, America created an average of 550,000 small businesses each month.  Nigeria and South Africa house Africa’s most vibrant economies.

Blacks are consumers rather than producers.  Most often, Blacks’ lives and existence are as clients of “big government.  Contemporary Blacks have low historical rates of entrepreneurship and need to cultivate entrepreneurial spirits independent of politics and who occupies the White House.  Blacks often frown on capitalism and equate it with racism, saying: “whenever Blacks attempt to establish business ventures their efforts were sabotaged by White competitors and supremacists.”  The truth is that the free market system isn’t racist and is the best economic system and provider for Americans of all races.  Note immigrants’ economic successes here.

Black owned businesses in the United States total 1.9 million Black firms.  The growing failure of Blacks to do significant business with other Blacks casts a dark shadow on Black Capitalism.  What’s wrong with the Black culture is that we do nothing to help each other.  Unity and collective capitalism is “out of our league.” African Americans’ annual $1.1 trillion buying power is the 16th largest economy in the world.  Currently 43 million strong, African-American consumers have unique behaviors from the total market.  Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and in White communities 17 days.  A dollar goes in and out of the Black community in 6 hours.

Too often Blacks’ acknowledged “leadership” is primarily politically-oriented.  In regards to the February 2015 Jobs Report, Ron Busby, Sr., President, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. said, “February’s jobs report is encouraging… with 295,000 jobs created last month and the unemployment rate dropping to 5.4 percent, we have good reason to feel optimistic about the future.  However, our economy still has major disparities…and lawmakers could be doing much more to encourage Black entrepreneurship.”

For Blacks to become more effective among America’s capitalistic enterprise system it’s important that parents educate children on the importance of supporting their communities and kind by purchasing products and services from people who look like them.

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

Start Conversations About “Banking Black” – William Reed Columnist

If you are not a part of the solution to Blacks’ problems, it should be evident, that you continue as part of the problem.  The answer to Blacks’ economic woes is in our own hands and control.  The simple capitalistic solution to Black Americans’ economics is to place our money and assets in banks owned by other Blacks.  Third generation Black banker, B. Doyle Mitchell, says “If Blacks used their assets strategically they’d be as rich as other groups in America.”

Banks are Western communities’ most important institutions.  Banks are stabilizing forces in the communities they serve, loaning money to businesses to help them expand and create jobs.  Banks help customers become home owners and existing home owners make repairs and additions to their property.  Every community except Blacks’, finance banks and they in turn finance their people’s needs.

In Washington, D.C. three generations of Mitchells have made an enormous impact on Blacks’ development.  B. Doyle Mitchell’s family is an example for conscious Black consumers to emulate.  In 1934 his grandfather, Jesse H. Mitchell, foundered Industrial Bank with the equivalent of $3.25 million.  Industrial went on to compile an illustrious record servicing America’s most affluent community of Blacks.

Today, there are more than 40 million African-Americans living in the U.S., but less than 1 percent of all federally chartered banks are Black-owned.  Although 13 percent of the U.S. population is African-American, only 0.35% (24 in total) of U.S. banks is Black-owned. African Americans’ buying power is projected to top $1.1 trillion, yet the number of Black-owned banks even lags behind the number of financial institutions owned by Asian-Americans, who made up just 5.1 percent of the total U.S. population of 314 million people and own 40 banks nationwide. 

Blacks need to talk to each other about how “banking Black” advances the system of capitalism in our communities.  Blacks in D.C. have a history of banking Black. After the Civil War, Blacks’ collective capitalism flourished.  Capital Savings Bank, the first bank organized and operated by African Americans, was founded in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 1888.  Although Blacks’ incomes and employment options have increased over past decades, Black-run banks have been struggling. These banks, historically headquartered in the heart of traditional Black communities such as Chicago’s South Side, New York’s Harlem and Washington, D.C.’s Shaw, fail out of favor with post-Civil Rights’ up-and-coming Blacks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. counts just 25 Black-owned banks, the majority of which are on shaky ground, struggling to hold on.  In 2013 60 percent of Black-run banks lost money.

A community is defined as a group of people with a common characteristic or interest.  It’s a body of persons with common concerns.  Check their records, Black-owned banks have been, and are, the backbone of many African American communities. However these banks have limited resources because the greater body of Blacks refuses to deposit monies there. Blacks have trillions of dollars in spending power, however; most Black banks struggle to get any significant population of Blacks to make deposits there.  Contemporary Blacks have an idiotic behavior of spending and putting money away from where they live.  There needs to be a conversation among African Americans about Black banks’ common-cause with Blacks and their communities.

The greatest challenge facing African-Americans is increasing our collective wealth. Toward that the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) recently made a model $5 million investment in African American-owned banks.  The CBCF’s then-chair Rep. Chaka Fattah said, “CBCF has invested in this partnership because we need these institutions to grow and thrive.”   Blacks need to broadly explore and discuss their aversion to putting money in another African-American’s hand.

Too many Blacks are convinced that the White’s ice is colder.  In order to create Black wealth Blacks must recycle their dollars by supporting Blacks’ banks, businesses and creating more.  Black-owned banks are vital to achieving this.  Let the word go out that every Black that who has a checking or savings account should transfer money to a Black owned bank. Not to do so is self-defeating.

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

Airing Republicans’ “Dirty Laundry” by William Reed Columnist

Blacks in America tend to reject Republicans; now Blacks in that party are rebuffing each other.


Raynard Jackson recently publicly aired grievances with the Republican National Committee (RNC), its outreach staff and their methods and practices.  A Black Republican, Jackson has “had it” with certain factions in his party and will be “stay away” from this year’s Republicans’ Black History Month Honors Program, an awards program he started.  The well-respected Black Press contributor says Blacks on Reince Priebus’ RNC staff “hijacked” a luncheon to recognize and pay homage to African-American Republicans of iconic status to a lightweight affair with little substance that will have little reverberation in Black communities.


Some Blacks may decry Raynard for airing the party’s dirty laundry, but it’s time that party examines their recent relationships with Blacks.  The Republican Party once enjoyed nearly unanimous support among African American voters; today, it barely maintains a foothold among Blacks.  A long-time Washington insider, Jackson presents a Republican face and guise the RNC sorely needs to institute substantive and race-conscious messaging that convinces Black Americans that are benefits that can accrue through joining their party.  The leadership of the RNC has long-standing lack of acquaintanceship with Blacks.  Jackson is one of a few Republicans engaging in programs that show Black Americans how to benefit by being in their party and pursuing their policies. 


No matter how poorly Democrats serve Blacks in politics and/or economics, Republicans make no headway among them. Many Blacks call Republicans “racist,” could it be that both White and Black Republicans suffer from a cultural bias and viewpoint whose preference for one culture that produces political ideology and notions regarding race, power and inequality?  “Black Outreach” is not a new experience to the GOP; supposedly they’d been doing it for decades.  As they experience loss after loss at the polls, the RNC persistently uses the same political retreads to position the party among African-Americans.


But, the Republicans have yet to clearly define their brand and “what it is” and “what it stands for.”  Black voters share far more values with the Republican Party than they realize, and are on the same page on abortion, gay marriage, Christian values and supporting entrepreneurs.  Republican Party people have to start working with Black Americans and using conservative principles to address issues impacting them nationally, and at local levels.   Republicans should help in our cities and tackle issues among Blacks that the Democrats have avoided and ignored for decades.  Republicans should think in terms of how to help Blacks.  Republicans at national and local levels should introduce legislation advocating minority business development and resources to implement inner-city enterprise zones.


Priebus needs people like Reynard to help Republicans “grow and expand with different communities and groups.” To remain relevant in politics Republicans have to discard old practices and start making solid and lasting political inroads among African-Americans.  If they are going to target African Americans, they should speak out via Black Pages.  To do that will require the RNC provide “a clear positive message for people of color” with conviction.  The Republicans need to expand who they are talking to in communities of color and eliminate “elitist” protocols and self-reinforcing image problems that make them, and their party, inhospitable to people of color.  Jackson’s “honors” event was substantive for people who did things for, and within, Black communities.  The RNC has to learn how to use the right people to communicate in the right way.  To this point, the RNC has ignored Black newspaper in getting their message out.  Priebus would do well reviving relationships with Raynard, as well as starting conversations with Black publishers to really reach Black voters.


It’s a shame Priebus & Company can’t see the subtle and substantive differences in Jackson’s program designs and those that the RNC has used over the decades.  When it comes to Black outreach, RNC leadership continues doing what they’ve been doing among African Americans to get the results they’ve been getting.  White or Black, the Republicans don’t go out, nor know how, to compete for African-American votes.

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

The Overcriminalization of African-Americans by William Reed Columnist

Overcriminalization is a dangerous trend that is threatening African-Americans.   America’s addiction to criminalization backlogs our judiciary, overflows our prisons and increases the racial wealth gap.  The nation’s incarceration rate is at historically unprecedented levels and as a result, imprisonment has become an inevitable reality for subsets of the American population. 

The trend is to use the criminal l rather than civil law to solve societal problems.  These days, America’s criminal codes are voluminous.   Our courthouses are clogged and many prisons operate well beyond their design capacity.  The chief executive officer of Koch Industries says that the past four-decade’s rise in incarcerations has been extremely costly for African-American families and communities, state budgets and society.  There’s a 70 percent chance for an African-American man without a high school diploma to be imprisoned by his mid-thirties.

Blacks should be alarmed at the number of young men in the criminal justice system. Charles Koch has set about eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal justice system policies and practices.  The CEO of the second-biggest private company in America, Koch is leading an effort to reform America’s criminal justice system.   Koch represents renewed, refocused, and reenergized acts and actions toward racial justice.  Koch says “too many Americans have been jailed for crimes that shouldn’t warrant incarceration and points out that over half federal inmates are nonviolent drug offenders. 

The Democrats and labor unions depict Charles, and his brother David Koch, as “the devil incarnate.”  But, Koch’s concern for the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks is an issue that shouldn’t be abruptly dismissed by party partisans.  Koch says: “Overcriminalization leads to mass incarceration, undermines race relations and ultimately keeps more people in poverty.” 

America’s legal system and processes have not been fair to African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but currently account for almost 40 percent of the prison population.  This statistic should cause Black voter’s concern about the people they’ve elected to office.  Since the 1970s, Congress and state legislatures have enacted prison and sentencing laws that have mandated prison time for lesser offenses and ensured longer sentences for offenders.  Reversing overcriminalization and mass incarceration will improve societal well-being in many respects, most notably by decreasing poverty. Fixing our criminal system could reduce the overall poverty rate and dramatically improve the quality of life throughout society—especially for the disadvantaged.

Koch and organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers maintain that the runaway growth of the criminal law has been accompanied by the dilution of constitutional rights. It’s important for Blacks to note that, more often than not, minority defendants are charged with crimes requiring a mandatory minimum prison sentences which leads to large racial disparities in incarceration. The likelihood of Black males going to prison is 28 percent compared to 4 percent for White males.  Koch financially supports the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse “get tough on crime” trends that have resulted in the tripling of incarceration rates and stripped the poor of their rights to legal defense.  Counter to what political partisans have intentionally led Blacks to believe about him, Koch says that “Overcriminalization leads to mass incarceration, undermines race relations and ultimately keeps more people in poverty.”  Voters should note that the spate of devastating criminal laws has come under increasing numbers of Blacks in legislators – many of whom are still in office.  The laws of past decades directly harmed Blacks.  Koch points out that: “Prison has become the new poverty trap…and a routine event for poor African-American men and families…enduring at the very bottom of American society.”  Koch’s concept of overcriminalization requires all our attention and efforts.  Bringing about needed societal and racial transformations to make society fair and equitable requires setting aside partisan politics, replaced by collaboration toward effective solutions.  We have to demand legislators to “do no more harm.”  Black shouldn’t allow legislators to criminalize activities that do not fit a common-sense understanding of what is a “crime.”

Hopefully, lawmakers and committed citizens will support Koch’s proposed reforms. 

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

A Black All American by William Reed Columnist

Julius Caesar “J. C.” Watts, Jr. is proving that there is life after Congress and charting a course Black youth can emulate.  In contrast to career Black politicians who get elected to Congress and stay there decade after decade, J. C. Watts is proving to be a businessman of significant note.


The GOP’s great Black hope, J.C. ranks as one of the “most influential Blacks in America.” An All-American role model, Watts is estimated to have a net worth of $3 million.  A college football hero, charismatic conservative, and gifted public speaker, J. C. Watts is the epitome of what a young Black can grow up to be.  Although he fathered a child at 17, J.C. gained national fame as a successful college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.   He graduated from college in 1981 with a degree in journalism.  J.C. the athlete played professionally in the Canadian Football League until he retired in 1986.  Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican, representing Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.


A country boy in place of birth and nature, J.C. was born in eastern Oklahoma in Eufaula in McIntosh County.  His father is J. C. “Buddy” Watts, Sr., a Baptist minister, cattle trader and the city’s first Black police officer.  Buddy Watts was also a member of the City Council.  As an adult, J.C. junior opened a highway construction company and later cited discontent with government regulation of his business as reason to become a candidate for public office. J.C. is well foundered in Republican disposition and way of life.  Watts’ family has long-time affiliation with the Democratic Party and his father and uncle Wade Watts were active in the party and continued to strongly oppose the Republican Party, but supported J.C.‘s election to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in November 1990 for a six-year term. He served as a member of the Commission from 1990 to 1995 and as chairman from 1993 to 1995.  J.C. ran for Congress in 1994 and was re-elected to three additional terms.  In 1998 J.C. was the fourth-ranking leader in the party.


Nowadays, Watts boasts being “the largest African-American owned lobbying company in Washington, D.C.”  Watts is not unlike Black Members of Congress before him – they lobby.  He founded the J.C. Watts Companies lobbying and consulting firm after he departed Congress.   The John Deere Company hired Watts as lobbyist in 2006 and Watts later invested in a Deere dealership.  Watts was asked to find Blacks to become John Deere dealers after a lawsuit showed that not one among 1,400 Deere’s dealers were Black. In the process, J.C. Watts Cos. acquired Mustang Equipment, an independent John Deere dealer with stores in San Antonio and Marble Falls, Texas.  J. C. Watts Companies is a National Minority Supplier Development Council certified Minority Business Enterprise.


Watts Partners boasts it as “a leader in the corporate and government affairs industry.”    The practice operates at a nexus of business, government, and grassroots advocacy.   J.C. has built a diverse business organization that includes  Deere dealerships; CLS Group, a project management firm with construction and engineering operations; Oak Crest Capital, a private equity firm; and a public affairs consulting company.  Mr. Watts’ firm’s work with John Deere has includes a multi-million dollar project in the west African country of Senegal.  A full-fledged capitalist, Watts makes almost a half million a year in board fees.  He serves as a corporate director for: John Deere, Wells Fargo, NASCAR, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Clear Channel Communications, Dillard’s Department Stores, and Terex Corporation.


J.C. comes to most Blacks’ minds as a political animal, but he is proving that Blacks with entrepreneurial mindsets can succeed in American capitalism.  His book is: What Color is a Conservative?  J.C.’s family is split in political loyalties, the young Watts insists Black would do better economically with Republican orientations.  In regards to Black Americans’ voting and loyalty to the Democratic Party, J.C. says that Blacks have “made a home” with that party and it “hasn’t rewarded their loyalty or earned their support.” 

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

Blacks and Criminal Justice by William Reed Columnist

Is America’s justice system racist? Rep. Maxine Waters, for one, charges that “the color of your skin dictates whether you will be arrested or not, prosecuted harshly or less harshly, or receive a stiff sentence or gain probation or entry into treatment.” Pretty much everyone – Republican or Democrat, right or left – familiar with America’s criminal justice system agrees that the prison population is far too large and way too Black. The mass incarnation of Blacks is a fact that’s at the center of African-American life, and an issue that cannot be ignored. With the exception of affected African-American families, the subject remains taboo and definitely off the table as a political issue.

Isn’t it time that the racial disparities that are so evident and inherent to our nation’s criminal-justice policies and practices be eliminated? So, it’s going to be interesting to witness how the Koch haters will try to spin the public’s perception regarding the grant Koch Industries, Inc. is giving to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The grant’s designed to: “ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing.” Millions of Black families are affected by the nation’s criminal-justice practices. This action may have brought the Kochs to the fore of this civil rights issue. The Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees the rights of criminal defendants to afford a lawyer for defense in a criminal case.

Jesse Jackson maintains that Blacks are overrepresented in prison populations because the justice system holds them to “much stricter standards” than Whites. Whether the Democrats, or the Republicans, take the lead, there must be a renewed, refocused, and reenergized movement for racial justice in America. People of color continue to be disproportionately policed, sentenced and incarcerated at significantly higher rates. Continuing racial disparities in the criminal-justice system threaten communities of color – denial of equal access to employment, housing, public benefits, and education.  Correcting these disparities is an imperative that could evolve into the civil rights issue of the 21st century.

Who pays for Public Defenders or private law firms contracted to represent indigent defendants in their criminal cases? Across America it’s still a fact that: “You get what you pay for.” The Koch grant will cast a light on an issue that has been a decisive fact of African-American family and community life over recent generations. The haters cannot pigeonhole this grant or call it “racist.” No matter the political party you declare, it’s hard to deny that the shadow of jail squats in the corners of, and often at the center of most Black family’s lives. The effects of Black incarceration are among the most deeply felt concerns of millions of African-American families. One in every 11 Black Americans is in prison, jail, on probation, bail and parole, pre-trial and post-conviction supervision. Something must be done about Blacks’ imprisonment because it curtails the economic vitality of entire communities and destroys the cohesion of millions of Black families and thousands of their neighborhoods.

From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled to 2.3 million. African- Americans constitute nearly 1 million of the total population. Five times as many Whites are using drugs as African-Americans, yet Blacks are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites. The draconian “Get tough on crime,” “War on Drugs” policies and “Three Strikes” – habitual offender policies came to urban neighborhoods via Democratic politicians.

Before they come for you too, it’s time more in Black communities take an interest in how the issue of indigent defense is playing where they live and who is effecting change there. Koch Industries’ Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark V. Holden points out the NACDL grant and Koch organizations have sponsored community summits and panel discussions on criminal justice issues across the country, such events have occurred with the state NAACP president in Austin, Texas and in Chicago before the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

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

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

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

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

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

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