I was talking to my little sister (actually she's 27, but I had the good fortune to have been born first so she'll always be "little" to me) the other night about this very same subject and how Black folks (Black men in particular) need better role models in the community.
My little sister is single, has two degrees, owns her own home and is tired of hearing excuses from Black men about why they resort to making certain negative choices in life (she only dates guys who make as much or more than she does). I try to tell her that it's not that easy and while we all need to take more responsibility for the choices we make, there are other aspects, including racism, family dysfunction, lack of religion in the household, modern-day liberalism and a serious lack of Black male role models, that contribute to the many trials and tribulations of Black men in current-day society.
Kimberly Oliver visited the White House two weeks ago - not as a tourist, but as an honored guest. Standing alongside the president, the 29-year-old Hampton (Va.) University graduate and kindergarten teacher with straight white teeth and smooth mocha skin was honored as the National Teacher of the Year.
Also in recent weeks, in Durham, N.C., another black woman of similar age and educational background found herself the center of attention, but not for altruistic reasons. The exotic dancer had claimed that she was the victim of an assault by white lacrosse players at Duke University.
The juxtaposition of these two women in some ways is reminiscent of events surrounding the Montgomery bus boycott, and how image can play a significant role.
Historians have noted that before Rosa Parks became the mother of the civil rights movement, at least two other women had been arrested for challenging segregation laws. But boycott organizer E.D. Nixon had feared that 15-year-old Claudette Colvin's out-of-wedlock pregnancy and rumors that Mary Louise Smith's father was an alcoholic would undercut their images. This seems harsh, but leaders such as Nixon understood that no cause succeeds without the right role model.
Today's self-appointed black leaders often act in self-serving ways, much like Kim Roberts, the dancer who accompanied the accuser and admitted in an e-mail to a PR firm that she wanted to "spin this to my advantage." The Rev. Jesse Jackson, in turn, offered to pay college tuition for the alleged victim. Wouldn't it make more sense to pay the tuition for single mothers who earn a living without shaking their "moneymakers," or support someone such as Oliver, who has helped increase test scores and skills of disadvantaged kids?
Monday, the New Black Panther Party, considered to be a hate group by some, rallied in Durham in support of the accuser. Its members also appear blinded by the camera lights. They don't seem to understand that at a time when such a high number of blacks are attending college and moving into the middle class, the movement of the 21st century is as much about living a life of dignity and civility as it is about civil rights. This is not to say that when laws are broken, offenders should go unpunished. A stripper, if proven to have been assaulted, surely deserves to see her offenders imprisoned. One can be a victim no matter her standing in life. But when Rush Limbaugh calls the stripper a "ho" on the radio, it is exactly the type of disparagement that civil rights leader Nixon had anticipated. Local ministers and NAACP officials have criticized the activities of the New Black Panthers. Perhaps they believe, as I do, that a black teacher of the year is a much better rallying point for the race.
Winfrey was talking to cyclist Lance Armstrong's ex-wife Kristin Richard, who claimed that being married to Armstrong "smothered" her:
Lance Armstrong's ex-wife, Kristin Richard, revealed to Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday that the road she shared with the Tour de France record holder was far from smooth. Although the 1999-2003 marriage produced three children before it ended in divorce, the union also left Richard feeling "smothered," and turned her from an opinionated career person into a "yes" woman, Richard, 34, said on The Oprah Winfrey Show."
You and Lance looked like you had it all," said Winfrey, noting that Richard was swept off her feet by the stellar athlete, married him, had three children quickly and moved to the French Riviera. Richard, however, said that her role was strictly to cheer on Armstrong, prompting Winfrey to advise women not to make the same mistake. "
It wasn't Lance saying, 'You should be like this' or 'Do this.' It wasn't him making a mandate and me being a mouse. It was me trying to emulate whatever I thought would be the perfect wife or the perfect mother," said Richard, promoting an article she's written for the April Glamour magazine titled "What I Wish I Had Known About Marriage."
"We think we're trying to please somebody for the sake of our marriage, but then if you ask Lance today if he appreciated that, I think he would probably say, 'Well, that wasn't the woman that I fell in love with,'" added Richard. As for first meeting Armstrong she said: "He had just finished up his chemotherapy. He was bald and cute."
But once they were married she surrendered her job and her dog, as well as her independence, said Richard, who admitted also to being blinded by the huge diamond ring Armstrong gave her when they got engaged. "I paid more attention to the rock on my left hand than to preparing myself for the journey ahead," Richard wrote in the article, which Winfrey said reduced her to tears. "This is why I never got married," said Winfrey. "I just wanted to always be myself."
Honestly, why doesn't Oprah Winfrey just come out and admit that she's a liberal? I mean, she's constantly speaks down on marriage, she is a sexist who supports feminist ideals, she's pro-abortion, pro-gay rights and hates Black men. Does she really think her fanbase - white women - would abandon her if she admitted that she was a liberal? Or does she think that officially branding herself a leftist would unmask her already circumspect stances on God and religion?
Funny too how its always the never-marrieds who speak loudest on how bad marriage is.
In a development that got no media play over the weekend, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's defense lawyer announced on Friday that he has located five witnesses who will testify that Joe Wilson outed his wife Valerie Plame as a CIA employee before Robert Novak did so in his July 2003 column.
According to the NationalReviewOnline's Byron York, Libby's lawyer Ted Wells told the court that his witnesses "will say under oath that Mr. Wilson told them his wife worked for the CIA." Wells said that he expects Leakgate Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to call Wilson to testify in a bid to salvage his case.
Reacting to the news on Friday, Wilson declined to deny the allegation, suggesting instead that it no longer mattered who first outed his wife.
"The last I heard, this is case is about allegations Mr. Libby lied, perjured himself before the FBI, special prosecutor and grand jury and obstructed justice," he told CNN in a statement. "None of those charges of which he's been indicted has anything to do with me."
Plus, Wilson and his wife have other more pertinent things on their mind, like how they're going to start spending that $2.5 million Valerie just got for her book deal.
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns went from the brink to a blowout, from the edge of elimination to one of the most impressive turnarounds in NBA playoff history.
So much for the nail-biting suspense of a Game 7. The fast, feisty Suns won in a 121-90 laugher over the listless Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Leandro Barbosa led the layup parade with a career playoff-best 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting and the Suns became the eighth team in NBA history to win a series after trailing 3-1. "I am going to steal a line from Disney and say it's a small world after all," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I guess small guys can play. That's about as good as we could play. Every one of our guys, I can't pick out one, all of them had an amazing game." That all-L.A. second-round series that looked so probable a few days ago vanished in a blur of Suns' fast breaks and repeated drives to the basket.
OK, I'm biased. I hate Kobe and everything he represents: adultery, phoniness and selfish, me-first basketball. Thus, as I've stated before he'll never win another NBA championship. So it's with great glee that I write this knowing that we won't have to hear about Kobe & Company anymore after they got blown out & sent home by a resilient Suns team led by the reigning (and succeeding) MVP Steve Nash.
By the way, My NBA Finals Prediction: Detroit over Dallas in 5.