Saturday, October 03, 2009

Investigating the Murder of a Black Student in Chicago: Don't tattletale, the number one ruley.

Don't Snitch
by Mac Dre

Man... I'm through fuckin' around
You niggaz keep on ya gon' be duckin' some rounds
I'm rushin' the mound, bitch done hit me with a pitch
He a snitch and he walk with a switch
He in a band that sing for the cops
Him and his mans, they cleanin' up shop
Undercover concert promotor
Ricky Schroder tryin' to turn somebody over
Put that E.T. finger up, you stooley
Don't tattletale, the number one ruley
You the jumpest, the boys, them people
Slipped in the game, sellin' toys to people
I avoid them people, don't ask me shit
The only law I break is in public, grip
My mouth zipped, I plead the 5th
And niggaz like you get pushed off a cliff

[Chorus] - X 2
(Don't ask me shit)
I don't tell mayne
(I don't tell)
You can send me to jail mayne
(Don't ask me shit)
I won't tell mayne
(I won't tell)
Send me to jail mayne

You can line 'em up and put twelve in a box
and find out your boy is workin' with the cops
Doin' flip-flops, the Rover rollin' over
The Tootsie Roller, scared to do a quarter
It's October and he can't be gone 'til November
So he's givin' up the gang, every damn member
Everything he remember - he's tellin'
He get out of jail free, ain't no bailin'
He's no felon, he's no misdemeanor
He got a target melon and a E.T. finger
Nigga you the cleaners tryin' to wash me
Quit peepin' at my Beamer, tryin' to watch me

[Chorus] - X 2
(Don't ask me shit)
I don't tell mayne
(I don't tell)
You can send me to jail mayne
(Don't ask me shit)
I won't tell mayne
(I won't tell)
Send me to jail mayne

Police Chief Decries 'Code of Silence'

Chicago Breaking News Center, September 30, 2009 (link)

On Tuesday, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said authorities believe at least three other teens also punched or kicked the boy.

Weis called on the community to step up and tell police what they know. "Few have come forward," he told a news conference. "We must do better."

Weis decried the "code of silence" that he said was keeping police from making more arrests. Without more cooperation, he said, there will be "more violence...and unfortunately more funerals."

He also criticized teens who witnessed the beating last Thursday and did not call police. Weis said the 911 center did not get a call about Albert until after he was brought into a nearby community center.

"You got kids with cell phones but no one called," Weis said. "It's sad more people didn't call earlier."

A good kid, a young Black man, is brutally beaten to death in front of a large group of other Black kids in daylight on a public street and the public will not cooperate with the police in solving the murder. There is an epidemic of Black on Black youth crime in this country. Here in Nashville, we have had 18 young people killed year-to-date, all but a couple of them African American. This is happening across the country and the Black community will not cooperate in solving the crimes. Instead, rap lyrics celebrate not snitching and you can get the "Don't snitch" ringtone for your cell phone and your "Stop snitching" tee shirts in the local clothing store.

Where is the Black leadership in decrying this "code of silence" and senseless murders? One Black Harvard professor gets arrested by a white cop and it dominates the news for days and the President intervenes with some Beer Diplomacy. Last year in Louisiana at Jena High School, six black students were arrested charged with attempted murder after a school fight in which a white student was severely beaten and suffered a concussion. Celebrities and Black leaders rallied around to defend the "Jena Six." To defend the Jena six was a cause worth getting involved in, yet we have unsolved murders of Black kids by other Black kids coast to coast and no one seems to care.

If a Black kid had been killed by a gang of white kids in a similar manner to the Chicago murder, you can bet we would be hearing from Hollywood celebrities and Oprah Winfrey and Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson and probably the President.

What are we to take from this? As long as Black kids are killing other Black kids is it OK? Are we to assume that the Black communities of America care more about showing solidarity against the police rather than cooperating with the police in stopping these senseless killings? Is life in the hood worth so little, that not being a snitch is a higher value than catching a killer. Will no one rise up and say enough is enough and that "Black Culture" has become the culture of the jungle and the thug and must be reformed? Will no one suggest that it is time to stop blaming the problems of the Black community on the oppression of the white man and see the self-destructive behaviour? Does anyone give a damn?

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Celebration of cultures!

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Sept. 16, 2009 – The 13th Annual Celebration of Cultures festival, to take place Saturday, Oct. 3 at Centennial Park, returns as the region’s largest and most authentic multi-cultural festival. The event is free and open to the public.

Named as a Southeast Tourism Society “Top 20 Event for Fall 2009,” the festival is presented by the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation and Scarritt-Bennett Center.
Celebration of Cultures aims to celebrate and embrace the cultural diversity of our community by encouraging understanding, appreciation and respect of the cultures of the Greater Nashville community through a fun-filled day of music, dance, food, children’s activities, a marketplace, and an educational component called “The Global Village.”

More than 40 cultures will be represented, food vendors will offer a sampling of cuisine from around the world, and entertainment will be provided on five different stages throughout the park. A children’s area will feature free interactive music and dance programs, storytelling, a children’s stage, nature activities, puppet shows and hands-on art projects presented by local Nashville organizations. “The Global Village” offers a glimpse of daily life in countries such as Panama, India, Mexico, Bolivia, Somalia, Japan, Jamaica, China and Kurdistan.
New to the festival this year will be an area for teens called TEENS UNITED!. In partnership with Oasis Center, TEENS UNITED! is being organized by a group of local teens from 10 different countries, including Mexico, Ethiopia, Haiti and Sudan. Highlights of the teen area include a stage that will feature entertainment such as teen drummers, dancers, and puppet shows; traditional costumes for festival goers to try on and have their photos taken in; a world map where people can mark their country of origin; and more.

Last year, 28,000 people attended the festival, making it the largest one-day attendance number in the event’s history.

What: Celebration of Cultures festival, a FREE event- Global Village - Ethnic food- World Market - TEENS UNITED!- Children’s area - Entertainment on five different stages
When: Saturday, Oct. 3, 200910 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Centennial ParkWho: More than 40 cultures and thousands of Middle Tennesseans
Cost: FREE
Parking: Free parking is available in the ground-level HCA parking lots off 25thAve. N. and throughout Centennial Park.

Web site:

Comment: This is fun event. If you are in Nashville and have never attended, I highly recommend it.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

That Brutal Attack on a Black Chicago Honor Student

Teens charged in brutal attack on Chicago honor student

Staff Reporter, The Daily Voice, Posted September 29, 2009 8:45

A Chicago honors student was beaten to death on Thursday as two rival gangs fought outside a community center in that city.

An amateur cell phone video posted on YouTube showed a young man being struck on the head by a young man with a long wooden board, then punched by another young man. (link)

Too many of our youth lost to gun violence

By Dwight Lewis, The Tennessean, Sunday, September 27 2009

Sometimes you just want to yell, stop it, stop it! We've got to stop it! We're losing too many of our children and teenagers to senseless deaths, senseless killings, senseless shootings.

We've got to stop it! We've got to get them to put away their guns, to value life. Too many of these children and teenagers are being shot down as if they were a deer or rabbit being hunted. We've got to stop it!


The above video and news story is disturbing, sickening, and frightening. To talk about bad timing, this does not bode well for Chicago being picked as the site for the 2016 Olympics. The Olympic pick however is a footnote to the tragedy of this story. I have seen news coverage of this story and feel sadness for the boy’s family. Apparently the victim in this story was a good kid and a good student and was just caught in wrong place at the wrong time. The wrong place and the wrong time was a bus stop on the way to school during the day.

What has happened to America that things like this are not so uncommon? The truth is that things like this are common, not "in America" but in the Black community. It is not just in Chicago that things like this happen. In Dwight Lewis's column above he list the eighteen homicides that have occurred this year to-date in which the victim was younger than 18. Most of the victims are Black kids murdered by other Black kids. Neither Nashville, nor Chicago is unique and unfortunately this is typical for the inner cities of America.

I have spent most of my adult life working closely with African Americans and working in the inner city. As a city councilman for eleven years, one of the neighborhoods I represented was a Black community. I also chaired the Federal Grants Review Committee of the Metro Council that had legislative oversight of Community Development issues and related topics so I had insight into what was going on in the Black community. As a previous employee of the local housing authority and in my current job as a housing counselor, I serve mostly Black clients. I have worked in the housing projects trying to provide services that lift people out of poverty. I have seen some successes. I have seen some people change their attitude and change their life, but for the most part I have seen failure.

There are lots of reasons and excuses why black poverty persist, and along with the poverty, the despair, violence and lawlessness. I don’t have the answer of how to change the Black community. I have some ideas about what brought us to this point and some thoughts about what we should be doing, but I really don’t know if any of it would make much difference. In the 90’s with Welfare reform I thought we were making a major step in the right direction. A program called HOPE VI, I thought was a small step, but a step in the right direction. I thought No Child Left Behind was perhaps another modest step in the right direction. The truth is that not much has changed. The Black community seems as hopeless and crime ridden as ever.

One of the reasons I became a “disgruntled” Republican is because my party ignored the problems of the inner city, when I felt that following up on welfare reform, we had an opportunity to make a real difference. I have been ashamed of Republican indifference. The last Republican who cared about Black people and urban problems was Jack Kemp. I wanted the party to have more Jack Kemps. As unhappy as I have been about the Republican Party’s policy of indifference I thought Republican indifference was preferable to Democratic policies that would foster further dependence. I want policies that will fundamentally change the nature of Black society and lift Blacks out of poverty, not programs that simply subsidize the poverty.

I did not expect much from President Obama that would really improve the Black community. Liberalism fosters greater dependence, which is the last thing the Black community needs. But I was hopeful that President Obama’s example of hard work, responsibility, stable intact family, and success would inspire. I was hopeful he would use the bully pulpit and his prestige to motivate change in Black America.

Instead of flying off to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago for the Olympics, I wish Obama would have gone to Chicago and pitched non-violence, lawfulness and responsibility and called attention to epidemic of youth violence that is taking its toll on the Black communities of America.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seeking Common Ground on Health Care Reform

Since July, I’ve been trying to meet with the President to discuss health care. To this day and after three letters, faxes and emails, I have heard no word from the President’s office about a time to discuss this very important matter. I certainly understand the President is busy these days, so in an effort to help streamline his schedule – while upholding his latest pledge, “be there to listen” to serious proposals – I sent another request with other doctors to set a meeting. Last week, I sent the following letter, reiterating my request to the President for a meeting along with Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Republican doctors Tom Price (Ga.), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Jason Chaffetz (Utah):

As individuals who share your support for passing health care reform, we are
writing to reiterate our request to meet with you at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss what we believe are serious problems with the current approach being considered in H.R. 3200, the House version of health care reform legislation. We would also like to raise with you potential areas of common ground that can help make bipartisan health care reform a reality.

In your speech to our body last Wednesday, you stated, “If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open.” We believe we have serious proposals that merit your consideration.

In the past two months, we have all individually requested to meet with you, but in an effort to try to accommodate your schedule, we would be willing to meet as a group, as we have many similar concerns.

We appreciate your commitment to enacting health care reform, and hope you will
work with us to find a mutually convenient time to have a discussion about our ideas.
Everyday there are news articles, polls and op-eds released showing serious concerns from people all over the country regarding the health care plan in Congress (H.R. 3200). In a study done by Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), physicians were asked the following question: Will the quality of care for seniors improve under health care reform currently being considered by Congress?

Of the 1,376 physicians polled who answered their survey, 65% said that
government reform would lead to lower-quality care for seniors.
Just 28%
said it would lead to better care for seniors, while 7% declined to answer. Even more troubling, IBD polled that two out of every three doctors oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington (H.R. 3200). In addition, the poll found that four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.

Congress needs to work together to come up with true health care reform that does not compromise care. I’m ready, willing and able to do that. I look forward to the chance to do that with my Congressional colleagues and the President. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of assistance to you or your family. You can
contact my office by mail, email or phone. Our contact information can be
found on our website,

Comment: I am more and more convinced that the President and the Democrats in Congress are less interested in solving the real health care crisis that faces this country than they are in grabbing power and expanding the public sector. There are numerous proposals that could reform health care without destroying the system we have now. These proposals are being ignored. The President is not interested in bi-partisan solutions. His appeal to bi-partisanshp is simply window dressing for a radical agenda. This is all about transforming the character of America, not about solving a serious problem.

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