Gregg L Greer

Will history be kind to Barack Obama’s Legacy as a Black President, many say no!

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History was changed-on election night November 4th, 2008, when a more youthful Barack Obama walked out to as the newly elected American President with his wife and young daughters by his side, every step thereafter seemed by many to represent a great leap of racial progress by citizens of the United States. I  agree with British historian Arnold Toynbee-who warned historians against trying to understand the present—let alone imagining what historians would say about current events in the future.

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There are those who say, President Obama did not do enough to elevate or even fight for the rights of African-American people, they would suggest the antagonism of Obama’s own blackness was not provoked; still others, may suggest- the way in which his racial self-consciousness constrained him, not as to openly advocate in an effort to avoid showing any resemblance of outright favoritism toward his own race. In an article for NYmagzone.com when 53 Historians weighted in on the Presidency of Barack Obama (link Below) it was suggested that we will care a great deal less about his race generations from now — just as John F. Kennedy’s Catholicism hardly matters to current students of history.
 
If the “Legacy,” of Barack as President is to be challenged, then should we consider questions about Barack Obama’s sojourn in Kenya, the land of his father. In Kenya, where President Obama is saluted as an absolute “Hero,”-coming after un-numbered African generations suffer the agonies of enforced servitude and historical exile, a favored native son, blood of the land, who returns in triumph to claim the mantle of “world leader and heroic figure.” Without a doubt, White House spin doctors would love to have this story told. Yet notwithstanding the tired cynicism of the political age and the familiarity of Obama’s much-told personal journey, this remarkable reversal of fortunes, briefly glimpsed and savored, remains genuinely uplifting.(photoshoped Kenyan version of President Obama source unknown, below)
 
Barack with Braids (photoshoped) source unknown
Kenyan version of Barack with Braids (photoshoped) source unknown
In post 2012 America, So great has been the increase in political power that the black voter turnout rate surpassed that of whites with the 2012 presidential race, and the number of black elected officials has risen sevenfold. But while school segregation and workplace discrimination have declined, too many African-Americans go home to segregated, often impoverished neighborhoods. How much can we attribute the overwhelming number of political seats as to being inspired  by this President.
 
According to recent polls-The black poverty rate has dropped from more than 40% in the 1960s to about 27% today; child poverty similarly has dipped from 67% to about 40%. Those numbers still are glaring, however. And the gap in overall wealth is more than 5-to-1 between whites and blacks: The average white household had nearly $800,000 in assets in 2011, compared with $154,000 for blacks.
 
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Many feel that President Obama, could have been significantly instrumental in making progress on civil rights an area which has surprisingly has been much slower. Yes, it is true that today-America has many post civil rights issues to openly deal, examples being the flurry of Police Brutality issues: Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Andrew Joseph, Freddie Gray, Mike Brown and the list goes on. We may never understand the dynamics that have been at the heart of America’s seemingly non-existent policies with Civil Rights, and why Present Obama did not do more?
 
In closing if history is to be kind  President Obama, we must consider the fact that a person of color who became the President of the United States of America has inspired many, many children and others around the world who never really believed that  they could achieve this feat, and they are now saying, “one day I’ll be President of the United States of America.” that alone has challenged the hearts of the detractors who say, “President Obama did not do enough for African-Americans.” In addition we must agree with another great President-John F. Kennedy who knew the challenge wasn’t just passing laws, but changing hearts and minds. “Law alone cannot make men see right,” he said. “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue.” We have to inspire people so change is in their hearts (a hard pressed task), I believe President Obama has accomplished this task-so in this respect-History will show President Barack Obama favor.
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Tamir Rice’s Family asks for aggravated murder charge against Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann-Statement

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*******For Immediate Release*******

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Tamir Rice’s Family asks for aggravated murder charge against Cleveland Officer Timothy Loehmann-Statement

09/14/2015
       

I along with a growing number of people in communities around the country truly believe Tamir’s life was taken due to the careless-cold hearted actions of two individuals. We also believe it was truly bad police work,- many times citizen shootings have shown the officers seem likely to follow a “shoot first, ask questions later” strategy and these officers are rarely investigated and brought to justice. Tamir was only 12 years old when the Police Officer shot him- We are now calling for any/every good hearted human being to assist us in our effort to hold  these officers to account for their wrong doing.

 

We believe the officers seem to have ignored the state’s most fundamental duties which police officers, as agents of the state, must comply with- that is carrying out their law enforcement duty, to protect life!

In addition, we agree with the recent U.S. Department of Justice report that found the Cleveland Police Department to have a “pattern or practice of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force,” and has repeatedly violated the civil rights of local residents, and routinely fails to adequately investigate law enforcement for wrongdoing has added daily to the growing level of discontent.”

 

With that being said, “I along with my advocacy team stand with the effort for aggravated murder charges against Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann and I will support any effort that will brings an end to police abuse of citizens.” Join us-In the days ahead as we intentionally raise our efforts in our fight for Tamir.

 

Samaria Rice

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This Labor Day lets honor the American Slaves who died and suffered to build America

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 LaborDay

Today we honor, the lost lives and the commitment of the American Slaves  who had to endured- The Middle Passage and other sea routes that took the enslaved Africans away from their homeland. Many had never seen the sea before, let alone been on a ship. They had no knowledge of where they were going or what awaited them there.slaveship

The slaves were packed below the decks of the ship for a usual six to eight weeks. The men, women, and children were usually shackled together in pairs using leg irons, or shackles. Some leg irons, along the way. People were packed so close that they could not get to the toilet buckets, and so lay in their own filth. Seasickness, heat and lack of air all contributed to the terrible smell. These conditions also encouraged disease, particularly fever and the ‘bloody flux’ or gastroenteritis. Many did not survive, and were tossed out to the cold sea, without regard to proper ceremony of life-much less treated like unwanted trash.

Though the Union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves, the legacy of slavery continues to influence American history, from the tumultuous years of Reconstruction (1865-77) to the civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s, up until the movement for Black Lives that exist today. Many understand almost 200 years-after emancipation proclamation, America still has not come to grips with its’ endorsement of the Slave trade.

ca. 1860s, Near Savannah, Georgia, USA --- Slave Family In Cotton Field near Savannah --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
ca. 1860s, Near Savannah, Georgia, USA — Slave Family In Cotton Field near Savannah — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
 
When Slavery in America began-the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. Afterward Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 solidified the central importance of slavery to the South’s economy. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion, along with a growing abolition movement in the North, would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody American Civil War (1861-65).
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Children slaves from Congo aboard an Arab slave ship on Indian Ocean passage – taken during the 1800s
 

While slaves in the antebellum South constituted about one-third of the southern population. Most slaves lived on large farms or small plantations; many masters owned less than 50 slaves. The majority of the workload was constituted by Slave labor. The average losses were between 10 and 20%, through sickness, suicide and even murder at the hands of the slave Masters. 10% means over 1,000,000 Africans died on board the ships, 20% represents over 2,000,000 deaths including children. The American slave trade caused 5 million deaths “or more.” … historical researchers say it’s impossible to know the overall death toll caused by slavery in America.

 So as a nation the (USA) has to apologize for slavery, and honor the commitment that African Slaves and their African American descendants have made to build the America’s, and the Caribbean.
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Southern Lives Matter_Alabama Rally turns out to be a “DUD” with no attendees!

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The a group of 30 Angry Pro Confederate Flag Supporters/Protestors sparked a controversial debate when the crowd showed up for a rally this past Friday August 28, 2015 at the Alabama Capitol State House in favor of the flag and carrying ‘Southern Lives Matter’ posters to mock the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. . Many were singing “Dixie,” some were taking selfies.  The rally was organized primarily to bring attention to legislators and all regarding the widespread support and approval for keeping the current confederate state flags in light of recent demonstrations calling for removal. 
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Another aim was for attendees to have an opportunity to address the Southern Folks message of Southern Nationalism and secession, as well as several other topics. Initially the rally was well received by the majority of over 300 demonstrators via Facebook and many of them expressed interest in exploring the merits of “Southern Nationalism,” but only 30 attended on the day of the rally. A few young black bystanders decided on an attempt to explain to the delusional men in Confederate uniforms that the war had ended, only to have the protesters tell them “Go back to where you came from.” Then stating to the onlookers  “If you don’t accept history behind flag, find a new country.”
Burn your Own
Standing at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps, where 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. led a march for civil rights, Tim Steadman said it wasn’t right to remove the flags.  “Right now, this past week with everything that is going on, I feel very much like the Jews must have felt in the beginning of the Nazi Germany takeover,” he said. “I mean I do feel that way, like there is a concerted effort to wipe people like me out, to wipe out my heritage and to erase the truths of history.”  A statement from the groups facebook page says;
We are spreading the news across America about this tragic and illegal action of hate toward our Southern family. Like our page to get up to date news and announcements about this fight for freedom. Have a news story we should tell? Message us! Tell America and be heard!

The two groups briefly discussed heritage and racism while Confederate flag supporters proudly waved their flags, before ending the conversation. No arrest were made by Capitol Police, the rally ended two hours short of it’s original goal-due to low turnout.

For more information on the Conferderate/Southern Lives Group see:

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One World Honors-Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson-A True Hero!

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Hero

Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson (born August 18, 1911) is an American woman who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama and a key figure in the 1965 march that became known as Bloody Sunday. In 1984, she became founding vice-president of the Schiller Institute. She was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Medal in 1990.

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In 1964 and 1965 Boynton worked with Martin Luther King, James Bevel, and others of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to plan demonstrations for civil and voting rights. While Selma had a population that was 50 percent black, only 300 of the town’s African-American residents were registered as voters in 1965, after thousands had been arrested in protests.By March 1966, after passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, some 11,000 were registered to vote.

ABR

To protest continuing segregation and disenfranchisement of blacks, in early 1965 Amelia Boynton helped organize a march to the state capital of Montgomery, initiated by James Bevel, which took place on March 7, 1965. Led by John Lewis, Hosea Williams and Bob Mants, and including Rosa Parks and others among the marchers the event became known as Bloody Sunday when county and state police stopped the march and beat demonstrators after they left the Edmund Pettus Bridge and crossed into the county. Boynton was beaten unconscious; a photograph of her lying on Edmund Pettus Bridge went around the world.[8] Another short march led by Martin Luther King took place two days later; they turned back. With federal protection and thousands of marchers joining them, a third march reached Montgomery on March 24, entering with 25,000 people.

**More information on Amelia**

http://www.birminghamtimes.com/2015/08/statement-from-the-family-of-dr-amelia-boynton-robinson/

http://www.biography.com/news/black-history-unsung-heroes-amelia-boynton

**Editors Note**

It appears that at 104 years old Dr. Boynton was still appearing at conferences and engagements but unfortunately -few weeks ago, Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson was hospitalized after suffering a massive stroke.  Presently, she is in stable, but critical condition. I was scheduled to appear with her at the Community Advocates In Action, Inc 4th Annual Youth History Civil Rights and Voter Education Conference for youth organized by Community Advocates in Action. Inc. Instead her Advocate Leon Frazier will appear. Please keep Amelia in your prayers. For more information on the conference contact communityadvocatesinaction@yahoo.com. One World Honors-Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson-A True Hero!

KELLFLY

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Press Release: Civil Rights Group and Families of Police Brutality Victims Urge GOP Debate to Address Discriminatory Policing

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August 6, 2015

For Immediate Release: August 6, 2015 (Reissue)

Contact: Michele Setteducato, 732-614-3818, michele@fitzgibbonmedia.com
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Samaria Rice, Mother of Tamir Rice, issued the following statement:
“I agree with ColorofChange’s efforts and support any effort that assists with bringing an end to police violence. We believe that many people nationwide stand with us in our call for justice for Tamir Rice. Our city’s ongoing refusal to take responsibility and indict the officers can only continue to spark moral outrage in the local Cleveland community and communities across our country. We must do all we can to prevent the pattern and practice of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force and the repeated violations our civil rights.”
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John Crawford Sr., father of John Crawford issued the following statement:“We are continuing to relentlessly pursue justice and reform of the criminal justice system, in efforts to vindicate the victims and hold accountable the wrongdoers of egregious acts of violence. We support ColorOfChange’s billboards campaign and call on elected leaders to do everything in their power to stop the crisis of discriminatory policing.”

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Rashad Robinson issued the following statement:

“The families of Tamir Rice, John Crawford and Tanisha Anderson have faced unconscionable tragedy. No person should have to experience the pain of losing a loved one to discriminatory police violence, let alone having to fight for justice. It’s unacceptable that the Department of Justice and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tom McGinty haven’t indicted these officers and we urge them to do so immediately.
The billboards around the convention center honor Tamir, Tanisha and John, while holding candidates accountable for prioritizing systemic reforms to policing and mass incarceration. It’s likely that no candidate will raise the fact that police kill Black Americans at nearly the same rate as Jim Crow era lynchings and more than 175 Black people have been killed by police this year alone. But we cannot afford to allow this political apathy and dangerous silence to continue. It’s time to hold their feet to the fire.”

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With more than one million members nationwide, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.

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My memories of the 70’s

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Altogether, the 70’s for me seemed to be a simpler time was a fantastic kinder, gentler time that brought us to a place-where culture stood in-between society.
The Jackson 5 1973 publicity shot.
         The Jackson 5 1973 publicity shot.
These were the days of the robot and the foxy dance, pet rocks, mood rings, water beds, and wild color. There were fads, changing times, and a few troublesome events. One of my favorite songs was Papillon (Aka Hot Butterfly)” by Chaka Khan. The fact that I was not old, and but as a five year old in 1979 -I was still aware of the world, and the fact that I had older siblings contributed greatly to my 70’s awareness.
 
 
With that said, what exactly did happen in the 70’s? Women’s liberation, more awareness toward nuclear activity, environmentalism, Disco Funk. P Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)” is a funk song by Parliament was the  hit of 1975 and I could remember- if you were cool you would be down with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic.
GeorgeClinton_parliamentfunkadelic
My father Leroy brought a 1975 Buick and to us it was top notch! My father and I always knew when the old tube went out in our Zenith we had to run to the grocery store to get tubes for the TV. While I did want to editorialize my whole story-but also I wanted to share some other pictures of the era that brings back memories. (below)tvs
 
People’s awareness and anger over the race was minimal at this time and I could appreciate the rare times that I did not have to be exposed to anything that was seriously racial.  In any case- I hope these pictures give you some pleasure.
 
If you had a Green Machine you were one cool kid!
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This Telephone was all the rage-The “Red” Commissioner Gordon Model was hot!
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I learned the “peoples eye” from Lee Majors aka Steve Rodgers!
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Okay get the Alcohol out for your Village People -YMCA-78″ would skip, seriously!
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Sorry Chips-Y’all were always a little corny! -Okay a whole lot of corny. lol!
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The macaroni soggy! the pea’s all mushed and the chicken taste like ______?
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If you played Pong on this Atari you were set!
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Serious “Booty” Busters! Right!
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I stole all the love songs off the Radio Station WBMX with this one!
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I saved the best for last! Playah, Playah-Right! “Young” Michael Jackson eat your heart out!
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