The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

Protestors sound off against Trump’s Immigration Ban at Orlando International Airport

Sunday, protestors took over the Orlando International Airport to protest Trump’s ban on immigrants. Ironically, OIA issued a statement on Saturday that no detainees were being held at the airport due to the ban but on Sunday, as the protests were underway, 3 people were detained due to Trump’s new and unconstitutional policy at Orlando International Airport.

Protestors, or protectors as they called themselves, met at a nightclub called Haven on Semoran Boulevard not far from the airport to get instructions on what to do and how to behave during the protest.

“We will not engage,” shouted one march organizer as she instructed the crowd on what to do. One major rule was to not engage any Trump supporters so that violence would not break out. Protestors then caravanned over to the airport and began chants and a march that lasted for about an hour. An estimated 1500 people or all races and religions were in attendance.

Some elected officials were in attendance. State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith and U.S. Representative Darren Soto marched and showed their support.

A lady wearing a hijab, with tears of joy in her eyes, rested her head on Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith’s shoulder. She was overwhelmed at the support Central Floridians showed. Smith said to her, “Look around. This is your community. We are here for you.” That wasn’t done on a stage or in plain view, but happened naturally as the crowd moved about the airport.

Not all elected officials who claimed support were in attendance. The ACLU showed up with a banner and shouted, “No Ban, No Wall” and “Islamophobia has got to go!”

Trump’s ban on immigration is unconstitutional but his supporters are backing him. A Fox News poll read 48% of Americans agree with Trump’s position on immigration.

Even people with green cards and visas were being detained in the past few days due to Trump’s Executive Order. They were asked to give up their contacts in their phones and were instructed to list the websites they’ve visited.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit and was able to overturn Trump’s ban but airports around the country were still detaining people.

President Obama also banned immigrants coming into the United States but not on a scale of this magnitude.

Trump, an immigrant himself, banned refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya (only one refugee from Libya entered the United States in 2016), Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

During his campaign, Trump’s immigration plan also includes building a wall along the Mexican border and having Mexico pay for it. He has since changed his position and said Americans will first pay for it and then we’ll have Mexico pay us back with a 20% tax on imports to the US.

Top Ten Things The Democratic Party Isn’t Telling You

Although Democrats won the Oval Office in 2008 and 2012, the POTUS had little to no help in Congress making it ever so hard for President Obama to push through initiatives needed to help move the country toward bigger achievements. The leaders of the Democratic Party counted the President’s wins as universal gains but didn’t care to educate the public, or donors of the party, about how Republicans still had so much power and were using it to their advantage. Even the Supreme Court nominee chosen by President Obama wasn’t cleared. For many, a redesign of the Supreme Court is the reason we chose President Obama. Now, the liberals have not only lost the Oval, but Congress and what’s even more destructive, Democrats lost the upcoming picks for the Supreme Court. Some say the Democratic Party is nearer to its demise more than ever before, but leaders like Nancy Pelosi are denying anything is wrong. Let’s take a close look at the truth. Here are the top ten things the Democratic Party is not telling you.

  1. Superdelegates. Sigh. The Superdelegate process is just as corrupt as the Electoral College itself. It shows they don’t care about the delegates or the votes people cast on a local level. They give gifts and benefits to the Superdelegates to make sure they vote on behalf of the party at the convention, not the people.
  2. The Democratic Party took a big, fat back seat to the Black Lives Matter movement and still captured the “hearts and minds” of the vast majority of Black female voters. As officers gunned down Black men, women and children in the bloody streets of Anytown, USA, where in the world was the Democratic Party? Black people are the firewall to the party and Clinton received 95% of the Black vote. There’s no reason the Democratic Party should have sat silent on this issue. But, shhhhh. Between us, they don’t want you to recognize that a political party has significant power in ending this kind of corruption.
  3. There is no democracy in choosing leadership within the party. Some say there was no democracy in choosing the nominee. During the last Presidential pick, there is some real evidence showing Clinton was coronated. The Party neglected to listen to the members of the party and proudly chose who they owed and convinced members of the party that Sanders could not win a general race. Sadly, we now suffer with the outcome of that decision. Recently, at the Miami-Dade Party meeting, Democrats had plenty of coronating going on in the race against Bullard versus Bittel. Michigan had the same struggle. Local chapters all over the country are facing this battle. The party isn’t listening to the voices of the people, who are the local voters and is putting those in office who are elite and wealthy.
  4. They don’t want you involved in the political process. They want you as a silent member of the committee. But, they don’t want to hear your voice if it’s not in tune with theirs. Even if, you’re right and even if you can push them to win more seats across this country.
  5. The leaders of the party are elite, wealthy and white. These leaders can make it big regardless of which party is in office. They have money and money is power, right? The elite lead the Democratic Party and they really don’t want you messing that up. Hillary Clinton may or may not have been able to understand the struggle of middle class America. We still don’t know that and now probably never will. Most importantly, the takeaway here is, we’ve often bragged that the Democrats feel our struggle. Unfortunately, they just may feel it more so than the Republicans but not to a level of doing anything significant about it. No one really understands the struggle of the middle class except the middle class and those who have had a first-hand experience with it. The Democratic Party’s main goal is to serve its members and the majority of those who protect the party are diverse, poor and middle class.
  6. The Democratic Party ignored Progressives and even abused them. On the other hand, Trump talked directly to the Progressives and felt their pain. When President Elect Trump acknowledged that Bernie Sanders was a victim of the party’s corrupt system, Progressives listened and gravitated toward him.
  7. Progressives mapped out the outcome of the Presidential election and the Democratic Party ignored it. Democrat party leaders were sure they’d win against President Elect Donald J. Trump. They turned off and angered not only progressives but Trump’s “deplorables” as well. Trump reenergized the worst part of America’s mind and clinched the Oval Office by doing that. Democrats were not unprepared, they were unwilling to notice. It was a case of snobbery at its finest.
  8. The Democratic Party ignored the issue at Standing Rock and the protestors that Occupied Wall Street. This was a major mistake in which the Democratic party is not prepared to talk about publicly. When the Occupy Wall Street movement took off, the party should have listened. When our Sioux brothers and sisters stood against the North Dakota Access Pipeline the party should have stood with them. These were predominantly middle-class, Democrats. People who have donated and been active in the party. Yet, the party remained silent.
  9. The Democratic Party rules are the most corrupt. Did you know, leaders of the Democratic party can suspend rules if they don’t want to follow them? They can throw whatever they want out the window during an election and stand on what they think is the “best” action to take even if it goes against the will of the people. Leadership in the party is a steep hill to climb. If candidates in the party don’t have the look or the requirements that pass the elite in the party, the voters don’t have a fighting chance at getting in an election or winning it. Read the rules. They are simply, anti-democratic.
  10. The Democratic Party is struggling to save money right now, not members. So, feel free to leave at any time. If you’re not amongst the super-wealthy, they don’t care. If they have tons of money, they can rebuild a losing party. Right now, the money donors have given is squandered on a system that is outdated and losing. The only way to move forward is with Progressives leading the way and they have clearly refused that option, which is the only option left. Progressives have always said, to beat a far right administration is to put a far left administration into the war. Democrats are just standing there praising the minimal wins they have gotten thus far. President Obama’s win helped the party to push an illusion on donors pushing the narrative that the Democratic Party had far more power than it really has. In addition, this narrative put so much pressure on the POTUS that it made him seem as if he could do anything. When you wonder why the President worked with Republicans, this is partly why.

Trump Swiftly Constructs Administration While President Obama Addresses the Nation; Supporters

Democrats, your grieving period is going to have to come to a quick end.

This is reality. No, it’s not a reality show, it’s our American reality.
While some Democrats, Independents and No Party Affiliated voters are still blaming each other for the election’s outcome, protesting in the street and sharing safety pins on Facebook, we must move forward strategically and quickly by first accepting the fact that Donald Trump will be our next President.
And, the President-Elect is not wasting any time by pulling together his transition team which is made up of his children, Rudy Giuliani, Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich, Pam Bondi, Chris Christie and Stephen Bannon, who is an ultra conservative, to say the least. Those mentioned here are just some of the names on his transition list, however the list continues even suggesting an inclusion of Trump’s ex-wife Ivana. She is rumored to be putting her name in the hat to become an Ambassador while Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner is going to have a significant role in the administration.

Unfortunately, we have no idea of the qualifications of many of those said to be appointed. As those who will be governed, it is up to us to find out.

As for the election results, unfortunately, the mathematics of this outcome is as true as it was when Clinton was nominated last summer at the Democratic National Convention. Here’s what’s scariest: Trump only needed 5% or less of our vote to win and he got it. In the eyes of those who are in his administration and want revenge, this means they don’t have to serve or govern in a manner to support issues that plague the Black community.

Latinos turned out in high numbers and voted for Trump. “The only thing that unites us, is the language,” shouted one American Latino at a protest. Even though many thought Trump’s language was damaging to his own campaign, threats to deport millions of illegal immigrants did not sway the Latino vote to significantly oppose him.
This shows us how much farther we have to go with learning the true reasons people voted for Trump. We will have to be ever present in our government in order to fight the legislation and all the issues that will come against us. In the first White House Press conference since Trump’s election, President Obama said on Monday, “Campaigning is different from governing and I think he (Donald Trump) recognizes that.”

Obama said his job is to make sure he has The White House in the best possible shape before he hands it off to Trump and his team. After the President’s Press Conference, he joined supporters, activists and campaign workers on a conference all and talked a bit more about Donald Trump.

“He successfully mobilized a big chunk of the country to vote for him and he’s going to win; he won,” he said.

President Obama continued and said he told his team, “You’re allowed to mope for a week and a half, maybe two if you really need it.” Fighting day-in and day-out for our ideals, building relationships, focusing on down-ballot races like Senate and House of Representatives seats, recruiting, training candidates are all things the President said we need to do. “We gotta train new voters, we gotta train volunteers,” he said.

“I’m going to be a private citizen and I’m not going to stop,” Obama added. The President assured those on the call he was in the fight for the long haul saying, “I’m sure we are going to be working shoulder to shoulder for many, many years to come.”

I must say though, when I saw how humble Trump looked when he met President Obama, I was oddly relieved. In a CBS interview on Sunday night, Trump humbly said, “I’ve had a lot but I’ve never had this much,” referring to what was around him in The White House.

I was happy he wasn’t power-tripping and he seemed differently than he was on the campaign trail. My concerns are those who are advising him. They can easily set him up to fail or push an agenda on people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, Native Americans, any group of people they wish to harm. Before we do anything rash, I think we owe it to the person elected by this country and its process to give him a chance. And, just as Dave Chappelle said on SNL, we demand he give us a chance, too.

So what if Black Lives Matter? What now?

Keith Lamont Scott was murdered by police in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Terence Crutcher was murdered only days before Scott by an officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Crutcher was unarmed and Scott is believed to have been unarmed by his family, supporters and activists nationwide. Neither Scott nor Crutcher posed a deadly threat to the officers that shot and killed them.

Crutcher’s killer was indicted on charges of manslaughter. For Scott, there’s pushback surfacing from the Police Department alleging Scott was armed, had a “marijuana cigarette” and pointed a gun at the officers. Scott’s widow said he was sitting in his car reading a book while waiting on his son to get off the school bus.

Officers have a different story.

Parked in an unmarked car, officers were waiting to serve another person a warrant. The officers forced Scott out of his vehicle while they were out of uniform with guns drawn. As the victim backed up away from the officers that had guns pointed at him, he was shot four times.

Riots and protests ignited in Charlotte and in Atlanta. In solidarity, Oregon supporters joined the movement. But, what happens now is barely a headline in mainstream press. A North Carolina law goes into effect on October 1st that allows law enforcement officers to not have to release body or dash cam videos to the public and press unless a judge rules otherwise.

I’ve tossed and turned watching video after video of the shootings wondering what in the world could have triggered a deadly response from those officers. As I so often do, I jumped up in the middle of the night and wrote down six things I think we can do as a unit to help move keep our brothers and sisters safe from the very people we trust to protect us.

We must make a pledge to stop taking the “black candidate” bait. It doesn’t matter if the President, Chief of Police, State Attorney or Officer is black. If we are still being murdered by law enforcement, what difference does it make? If our needs are not met, what have we achieved? We need to make a promise to each other that we will elect people, not just because of their race, but because of what they’ve stood for and what they’ve done for our people. Many white people have also stood behind us in this struggle. It is unfair to not realize their dedication to our lives and the lives of our brethren. I don’t care if you’re black or if you’re female, if you haven’t fought against injustice, you have not earned my vote. I screamed this from the top of my lungs during past elections and people stared at me as if I had just turned purple before their eyes. We gift wrap our votes to politicians because they smile, have hot sauce in their purse or kiss our babies. Miss me with all of that. I’d rather you show me what you’ve done. To sum it up, I am nobody’s firewall unless you are proven to have been mine.

We must force resignations of crooked leaders but don’t stop there. If they are not serving us they way they should, they have to step down. I believe the Charlotte Chief of Police should resign now. There’s way too much in the videos that have been released, showing they’ve not only lied but appear to have placed a weapon at the scene of the shooting of Scott. When there is civil unrest that has, in turn, lead to the death of yet another young black protestor named Justin Carr, law enforcement has failed us yet again. They are not even keeping the protestors safe. The day Carr was killed, law enforcement protecting protestors was at a minimum. Let me be clear, a resignation doesn’t fix the situation. Properly vetting and being active in the selection of the person who takes that vacant office and changing the law will significantly help. The Governor signed legislation stopping police videos from being shown in the public. This further ignites the narrative that we are being sold a lie. If we continue to allow politicians to pull wool over our eyes with these kind of laws, then we’ve bought into the madness with the blood of black men like Scott and Crutcher. Let’s not stop there. With a fine tooth comb, we must go through all of the legislation that impacts us.

We must demand Full Transparency and then read it. The law is an open book that no one is reading. The facts are an open book that no one is reading. The officers had no qualms about shooting these men in public. They should explain it in public. There’s no reason why the public and the press should not see each and every detail in situations that matter most to us. We live in the age of information. Nothing needs to be added or taken away from the details of any situation. It may inflame the community but it may also even settle the community. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t know the truth behind every story that impacts our people.

Candidly and kindly expose those candidates, elected and appointed officials who have not supported the struggle. Recently, a Central Florida attorney celebrated the victory of her client’s sentencing. Noel Carter received a light sentence in court on Monday. Carter was found guilty of a felony. He could have taken a plea deal, before taxpayers spent money on his trial and ended this the exact same way. But, the attorney and activists at the head of this case wanted national attention and pushed to get just that. When they didn’t, and when they lost the trial, they came back and wanted a deal that was likely put before them the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy he didn’t get time in prison. The case was complicated, but the facts and the law remain clear. We don’t have to be nasty to tell someone they aren’t serving us properly, but we sure had better tell them. If we elect an official or support the appointment of a community leader or hire an attorney, we have the right to praise them when they are good and expose them when they are bad. It’s just that simple. There are no friends in the game when people are being gunned down in cold blood. We must also pressure the Press to use the Freedom of Information Act. Journalists are like little elected officials. They are supposed to serve their readers and increase readership. Tell us what you want to see covered and suggest how and we’ll take it from there. Force us to ask the hardball questions. Today, many cannot speak out on social media for fear their employers may punish them for their views. Let us be your voice. Real journalists are unapologetically and unafraid to do our jobs. We don’t back down and we don’t lose any sleep if people in prominent positions hate us. Our job is journalism. Our brand is truth-telling. I couldn’t care any less who doesn’t like the truth I write. My job is to write it.

Push the Senate NOW to approve the nominee by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court of the United States. Breaking News…Antonin Scalia is dead. He’s gone, people. That means there’s a seat open on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Scalia is rejoicing in Heaven, hopefully, while we are here trying to decipher the Constitution and the current Supreme Court is slammed with more cases than they can handle. They not only need another Justice to help with that, we need that Justice to help us. Scalia was a conservative whose views differ vastly from ours. The Supreme Court is where the laws are made about what can be enforced on our streets and in our courtrooms. The law doesn’t start and end with a Judge, attorney or a State Attorney. We keep marching in circles, confused and wondering why people can get a slap on the wrist for murdering our brethren and we are fighting the wrong battles. We are still trying to get people to like or love us and hopefully that will solve our problems on the streets. News alert. That’s not happening. Cut them off at the knees with what America has already put on paper as the law of the land and force them to put a Justice in an open seat that will interpret the law in such a way that we are no longer treated as cattle. This way, when it comes down to our level, we are protected and people who hurt and kill us are punished for their crime.

Stop letting Pastors, community and caucus leaders take you down the wrong path. All of us have elected officials that represent us. There’s no reason why we can’t pick the phone up and call them. We can also be quick to believe the mess that comes out of the mouths of people in the pulpit, that we get caught up trying to decipher scripture from the law. They are two separate things and we shouldn’t be crossing the streams. Let your pastor be your pastor and when they start holding debates and talking about elections, vet them, if you choose to stay and listen. Once they cross that political line, they deserve to be treated and handled like politicos. Let them choose if they want to be a Pastor or a Politician. Most of them have no clue as to what they are talking about. Shut them down, shut them up and ask them to get back to scripture or go study political science before they misuse their voices.

Trump dominates the press while Democrats scramble to recover

In a recent campaign stop in Miami, Presidential hopeful Donald Trump challenged Hillary Clinton to “disarm her bodyguards and let’s see what happens then.” Whatever that means and for whatever reason he said it, it captured headlines.

It has nothing to do with poverty, crime, policing our streets, foreign policy, the national debt or any other issue in which a Presidential candidate should be focused.

On the other hand, Jimmy Fallon of NBC’s Tonight Show welcomed a recently sick Hillary Clinton right after he put a face mask over his nose and mouth pretending (or not) to be protecting himself from her recent bout with pneumonia.

In the press, neither candidate is strongly focused on the issues that should matter to Americans and Democrats don’t have enough collective intelligence to stop blaming Progressives to demand a race that is concentrated.

Many Democrats are “Clinton-Splaining” Hillary to many who support a progressive agenda. That discussion, all to often, seem to be a bloody battle leaving a long list of casualties in its path. Trying to instill fear in a millennial is like trying to move a sleeping rhinoceros from your pool deck. Die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters are unafraid of Donald Trump and they see both Presidential candidates as much of the same.

Stick with me here and trust me on this.

Many Progressives would rather see a Trump Presidency than a Clinton Presidency at this point. Here’s why.

In the eyes of many Berners, the nomination was like taking candy from a baby. Having Trump as President is payback for some who feel Bernie Sanders was cheated out of the nod from the Democratic Party and treated unfairly on the campaign trail. Many Berners also feel they were disenfranchised as well. So, largely, threats have not and are still not working.

The press surrounding the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington D.C. was less than exciting with the exception of former Orlando police chief and United States Candidate for Congress, Val Demings’ statement on Donald Trump’s announcement that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

On MSNBC, Demings said, “Donald Trump is not the best that America has to offer. At a time when people are hurting, they’re struggling, they’re suffering, they’re afraid, instead of coming up with solutions that will make peoples’ lives better and improve the quality of life for Americans, Donald Trump is doing everything he can do divide. He’s a hater, he’s a bigot and he’s a racist.”
The press was also understandably overshadowed by the recent New York and New Jersey bombings.

Even without these urgent press events, the coverage surrounding the Congressional Black Caucus had no strong angle and no strong vocal communications to the press that would circumvent national news away from Trump except that of the President’s appearance and speech.

However, Donald Trump, is a master of manipulation and while the Congressional Black Caucus was kicking off, he managed to call a press conference, speak live on television, online and radio, for 20 minutes or more about his new hotel. Then he dropped the golden pinky-swear, that our POTUS actually was born in the United States after years of demanding President Obama show his birth certificate. Imagine that.

The press fell for it hook, line and sinker while Trump used earned media to get the attention of not only Republicans but Democrats as well.

This election is an embarrassment to our nation as a unit, to individuals who believe in democracy and to those who are too busy to be consumed by the details of politics on a daily basis while they entrust the democratic process to those who professionally and voluntarily lead it.

News outlets then leaned-in while Hillary Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters deplorable. Again, none of this has anything to do with the state of this country. It’s all ego-driven and seems more like a popularity contest than a campaign that should be designed to work best for the American people. It’s an insult.

Americans want to hear about things that will make our lives better, not just a rant or rave about how The Donald brushes his hair or what new girlfriend Bill Clinton has now.

Neither candidate has been strong on the issues and only one knows how to garner press and when he does, he parades his hotels and steaks in front of the camera and we, the press, shamefully, admire it, cover it and can’t get enough of it.

Even while Clinton was ill, the campaign handed Trump the press while they still allowed Clinton to do phone interviews from her sick bed. With all the excited Democrats down-ballot and the big one who’s elected at the top, the Hillary camp sat silent for 1.5 to two days after Hillary stumbled into that van while Orange Hitler, aka Donald Trump, (in the words of Bill Maher), took center stage and dominated the polls.

Finally, President Obama came out and stomped for Hillary telling the crowd how much he loves her. He said it like he was being forced to eat peas and if he said it loud enough and convincing enough, that he may just convey to the American people that he does like Hillary.

Let’s face it, this is a lackluster, pasty, election and we are all trying so hard to keep focused on who we need to vote for in November and most importantly, why we must vote for them. So far, we haven’t seen much of why we need to be so passionate in this election except the “fear” component, which seems to be the only backup plan each party is using to sway voters.
Again, on MSNBC, Bernie Sanders made an appeal to millennials, “Before you cast a protest vote, think hard about it.”

As a supervoter, I will listen to that appeal and as always, think hard about who I will vote for this election cycle and why even though my faith in the process fits the mold of many Progressives who are not consumed with fear from either party or candidate. Equally as important, I’m concerned with why the vacancy is still open on the Supreme Court of the United States and why we are not fighting as a party and as the press, to allow our sitting President to appoint someone to the seat(s) that remain vacant.

The Top 5 Races to Watch in Central Florida

On a national scale, there’s no question this election season will be exciting. Along the spectrum, it could be interesting and even possibly depressing, for some.

With Donald Trump being the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, the silent majority has spoken so far and they apparently agree with Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Women rhetoric. As for Black people, well, he has Black friends and his daughter is married to a Jewish man.

The previous sentence was written with the most sarcasm I could possibly put into words.

That’s about as much as we know about Trump’s views on how he personally and professionally feels about people of color and that’s plenty. Besides the soon-to-be bland Presidential general race, we have local races that can directly change communities of color and hopefully reshape the United States Senate. Yes, that drag of a Senate that refuses to not even so much as grant a hearing for President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Closer to home, we need serious change in Central Florida’s Black and Brown communities and it doesn’t only come with a change in current elected and appointed officials. All races are important, however, the top 5 races to watch closely will indeed shape the next 2-4 years of Black and Brown life in Central Florida if we choose wisely.

 

  1. State Attorney: The State Attorney’s race is indeed shaping up to be both exciting and interesting as current State Attorney, Jeff Ashton, is challenged by his former employee, Aramis Ayala. Both are Democrats. While Ashton is still favored in the race, he won with an estimated 47% of the Black vote and 42% of the Latino vote. Ayala is Black and her husband is Latino which leads some to assume Ayala could have a real shot at this office based on the demographics. However, that is an assumption that all people of color vote for people of color and that’s not accurate. While it’s not impossible, it is hard to be an incumbent. Ashton is not only known for his role in the Casey Anthony trial but, quite frankly, he’s a brilliant attorney even outside of that one case. He was the first attorney to earn a conviction by introducing DNA as evidence in 1987. Ashton is favored by many because he’s more experienced and has a strong track record. He ran a successful campaign against Lawson Lamar calling out most of the things that Black and Brown people hold near and dear. Especially, the “improper” prison sentences Lamar was known for supporting.
  2. Congressional District 10: With this race, we have the potential to elect a Black woman as a U.S. Representative in this area. With the newly drawn lines, Representative Daniel Webster (R), who currently holds the seat, has chosen to run in District 11 instead of District 10, while former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings (D) shapes the race as the favored candidate. Businessman Bob Poe, Senator Geraldine Thompson and Attorney Fatima Rita Fahmy, all Democrats, also challenge Demings in the race for the seat.
  3. Senate District 13: State Representative Randolph Bracy, Jr (D), former Senator Gary Siplin (D), Environmentalist Chuck O’Neal (D) and former State Representative Bob Sindler (D) have all raised a pretty decent amount of money according to their financial reports for this Senate seat previously occupied by Senator Geraldine Thompson. While this is a hard race to call “favorites,” name recognition may be what it all boils down to. The Bracy name is well-known in the community because of his parents and their success as Pastors and their work with the community, local and national politics. But, young Bracy has to earn a “name” for himself when it comes to drafting legislation that creates positive change. Siplin brings his name recognition to the table as well as he not only served as Senator but has served the community as an attorney and was known for his backpack giveaways each year before school starts, which also happened to always be around primary elections.
  4. Senator Marco Rubio’s Current Seat: This race is known to most people as “Rubio’s seat.” It will be a knock-down, drag-out fight simply because Alan “say my name” Grayson is in the race. Grayson always makes a splash wherever he goes. He’s a registered Democrat but acts more like an Independent. As Rubio makes his exit, many believe he was always preparing himself for the role of President while neglecting his responsibilities as Senator. Rubio (R) didn’t vote on issues that had a direct impact on his constituents, Alan Grayson (D), Patrick Murphy (Republican turned Democrat) and Pam Keith (D) are all vying for former Presidential Candidate and current Senator Marco Rubio’s seat. Keith is the only woman and only person of color in this race. One thing that stood out to me when I spoke with Pam Keith is her passion for issues that matter to Black people. She is passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement which may drive younger people to the polls in her favor. Recently, in his final time as Senator, Rubio visited Orlando and went to the often talked about Windsor Cove Apartments and called the owners “slumlords”.
  5. The Race for Weed: In a sense, Attorney and activist John Morgan of nationally known law firm, Morgan and Morgan, is the favored candidate when it comes to the legalization of medical marijuana commonly called “pot” in Florida. Everyone seems to have their eyes on this race as last election cycle it narrowly failed to pass. Now, medical marijuana will be on the Presidential ballot. Presidential races always bring out more voters, so many anticipate this time around the legalization of cannabis is within reach.

Elections should not be a popularity contest nor should they propel reality show excitement in voters. Elections are serious business and shouldn’t be taken lightly. As we move forward with debates, Q&A’s with candidates and as we gather other information, possibly, we will be able to make decisions that will help create the communities we desire.

Bill Clinton rallies for Hillary; Puts his foot in his mouth

If most Black people don’t see the Clintons for what they are by now, they never will.

Bill Clinton spoke at a rally last week as a surrogate for his wife, Hillary Clinton. Today, he’s still trying to wedge his foot out of his mouth by ‘almost apologizing’ for his tirade.

A Black Lives Matter supporter shouted at Clinton during the rally and he launched a full court press calling the woman a “girl” while defending his position on the 1994 crime bill that incarcerated an overwhelming number of Black Americans. Bill Clinton was completely self-serving in his response, shouting down the woman defending Black Lives Matter, in the crowd. What Bill Clinton didn’t dispatch from his mouth was the issue of privatized prisons.

If you haven’t noticed it yet, the Clintons are notorious for being mean, wicked and nasty to those who don’t share their same ideologies and if you dispute their decisions, they go into finger-pointing, chicken-necking, bully-beast, mode. Exhibit A is the finger-pointing monster that reared it’s ugly head from Hillary Clinton’s body at a rally a couple of weeks ago in early April. When a Greenpeace activist asked her if she accepted fossil fuel money for her campaign, Hillary pointed her finger in the woman’s face and shouted, as if she was getting ready to attack her Jerry Springer style at any given moment. She also went off on a young black woman for not sharing her same ideology. That, in itself, is not presidential.

When a South Carolina Representative yelled to President Obama, “you lie,” the President did not respond in such a way as Hillary did with those who disagree with her. When Governor Jan Brewer pointed her finger in President Obama’s face, he did not let the nation see him sweat. Even though we die-hard supporters of the President wanted to throw a chair at the head of the finger-pointing governor and the congressman to protect our President, he remained Presidential and kept his cool.

There are also pretty solid rumors of Hilary Clinton being insubordinate to President Obama. Those rumors are not hard to swallow as she made it clear when she campaigned against him that she had no respect for the then Senator Obama and she followed it up by resigning before the term was up as Secretary of State in his administration. For the record, Benghazi was not the reason she resigned. If so, and as I regurgitate the words she used during the Benghazi hearing, “what difference does it make, now?”

Bill Clinton took the rally shouting match against the Black Lives Matter activist exactly where he wanted it to go and that was AWAY from the issue of the privatization of prisons. See, private prisons are for profit corporations and yielded wealth for the Clintons. Each Black body that fell victim to that crime bill paid with their lives over and over again.

There was money to be made from each prisoner. With Black men being incarcerated at a rate of almost 5 times that of white men, there is plenty of money to be made, with very little pushback. There is even additional money to be made if those prisoners are sick or die while incarcerated. If you think the buying and selling of baby parts by Planned Parenthood is the only sick body organ scandal going on in America, then you’ll be surprised to know, if a prisoner is sick or dies, their body; their organs are property of the state or the prison. The state or the prison can then sell those body parts to companies for clinical trials. Prisoners and their families have no rights under the law regarding what happens to their bodies – dead or alive.

Sadly, these prisons have monthly quotas to meet based on occupancy. If one of these prisons doesn’t have many prisoners, tax payers may have to foot the bill and pay for any empty beds inside that prison. Some of these prisons guarantee a 80-100% occupancy rate. How and where do they get those prisoners? So glad you asked. Look around the prisons and you’ll be able to tell. The prisoners are just as Black and Brown as I.

Bill Clinton shouted back at the Black Lives Matter activist saying, ‘Obama is trying to fix it and let ‘em out now, but…’ Fix what? Glad you asked again! He could have only been referring to the mess made by himself (Bill Clinton) and his wife, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The lobbying firms for private prisons spent millions of dollars convincing lawmakers to join in on this private prison money-maker. GEO and Corrections Corporations of America have given more than $10 million to campaigns. In 2015, they made over $3 billion in annual revenue. Talk about modern day slavery.

During Clinton’s presidency, the prison population more than doubled following the 1994 crime bill. At the rally last week, the Black Lives Matter activist had every right to protest the stories Bill Clinton told in support of his wife from the podium. For those who claim it was his administration that did all this and not Hillary, then why is he stomping as a surrogate for her? And don’t be fooled into thinking she was a “do-nothing First Lady”.

The Clinton’s have always acted as Republicans in this manner and their biggest support system is still from Black people and I’ll never understand why.

Why Bernie Sanders is more electable than Hillary Clinton

Why Bernie Sanders is more electable than Hillary Clinton

From out of nowhere, this 70-ish year-old Jewish man, with wild hair, steps on the scene with a Presidential bid and starts talking to us about issues. Issues that touched the core of various target demographics. After the latest democratic debate, here are the top three reasons why Bernie Sanders is more electable than Hillary Clinton.

1.) Bernie Sanders and the issues he works hard for, appeal to college students, senior citizens and the middle class.
That’s about all of the target demographics! With most Americans being either middle class or poverty stricken, the candidate who makes sense to these voters is Bernie Sanders. With a significantly smaller percentage of people being wealthy, the candidate who will create plans to boost the middle class and is passionate about eliminating poverty is Sanders. In addition, he is instilling hope that will help propel the agenda and legacy of President Obama.

2.) Sanders talks more about what he will work hard to do, while Clinton talks about what cannot be done.
For example, during the debate and actually quite often, Clinton talks about free college and why it won’t work in America while Sanders is pushing for free college for every student who desires to go and is willing to work hard to achieve that goal. With two-thirds of college students graduating with major debt, Sanders is proposing a plan that will not only encourage more students to go to college, but also will aid them in getting a degree that is actually well-worth the studies. Most institutions of higher learning are financially sound by charging students anywhere from $30k to $100k and often more in private schools. Most students spend years trying to pay their student loans back. Sanders studied other countries like Sweden, France and Norway and believe we should thrive just as well as they have with free college plans. Sanders also uses the word “We” and Clinton uses the word “I” at every engagement in which they speak.

3.) Generally, those who will vote for Clinton in the primary election will vote for Sanders if he becomes the nominee to beat the Republican front-runner. However, the Sanders “cult” will not vote in droves for Clinton if Sanders does not become the nominee.
Every vote counts. Especially when it gets down to Democrats versus Republicans. The Democratic Party would be smart to realize their base, along with registered Independents, are ready to vote for Bernie Sanders. He has energized students, seniors, the middle class and a significant segment of the Black and Brown communities. His voter base is passionate and are less likely to go to the polls for anyone other than him. Strategically, Bernie Sanders is holding the golden ticket for Democrats to get another 4-8 years in the White House.

In an act of desperation, Clinton started using Bernie Sanders’ talking points on the night of the New Hampshire primary. She made sure to speak to America’s youth and then she hired a new Director of Black media that night.

I don’t know about you but I feel hiring a Director of Black Media out of fear that the black voter base is siding with Sanders should be organic. Bernie Sanders has been involved in the black movement since the 1960’s. Now, THAT’S organic!

Who would have thought Hillary would again be in such a close race for the nomination. Twice Hillary has run for the highest office in the land and again she is neck and neck with another candidate many feel can do a better job. Her first major opponent was Barack Hussein Obama and now, she faces Bernie “Feel the Bern” Sanders. Sanders was just a “nobody” yesterday who was fighting for his district as a Senator from Vermont. Even with just a small team of staffers behind him, America is shouting they are not interested in polished, scripted politicians who benefit from Wall Street. They want Bernie. If the Democratic and Republican parties would keep their ears to the ground, they would see the masses are not interested in scripts or talking points but are interested in honesty, integrity and candidates who can at least have hope, passion and their own money, or the money of supporters to run in this race.

Civil Rights Leader Julian Bond passes away at age 75

Social Activist and civil rights icon, Julian Bond, passed away on Saturday at the age of 75.

Bond was more than an icon during the civil rights movement of the 60’s but also was the man who helped shape the way white people and black people relate to each other in America. Bond helped define the civil rights movement which was about demanding change for people of color. On Sunday, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which Bond is the founding President, issued a statement of Bond’s death. The statement read, “Not only has the country lost a hero today, we’ve lost a great friend.” The post also stated, Bond suffered a brief illness and passed away on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

What made Julian Bond great was that he stood firm on his demand for equal rights for black people and he told the story of civil rights with such charisma and class. He made sure to create and help charge organizations with the same goals and objectives that he worked hard to develop with other black leaders, so that the mission could be a successful one.

In response to the news of Bond’s death, President Obama issued a statement from The White House, stating, “Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that.”

Bond was also a student of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at Morehouse College and helped lead one of the very first college sit-ins. From leading boycotts to leading his state, Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, where he would carry out civil rights equality in a different capacity.

Bond championed equality in America with a blueprint that is used still today by different groups trying to achieve the equality in America, too.

Julian Bond’s impact to this country was equally advantageous to whites as blacks regardless of what many in white America feel or felt at that time. The Southern Poverty Law Center called Bond a “visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights.” The SPLC goes on to state, “With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice. He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”

What a beautiful way to be immediately associated, remembered and recognized.

The life Bond lived and what he accomplished gives each of us the same blueprint in which to work. Equality today must come in the form of economic opportunities, equal pay for equal work, an increase in 7 and 8 figure contracts for minority businesses and so much more. The kind of change that was made in race relations in America during the 60’s is so critical to the way we live today. Our Social Activists in our local communities help make and create the change we wish to see and feel as a community an ultimately a country.

Our elected officials as well as the appointed ones are expected to enforce this change just the way the leaders like Bond did during the most charged movement in American history. We certainly still have boundaries put on us and barriers put in our way but collectively, we can choose to be as active in our communities as we can in order to achieve greatness for our country and our families for generations to come.