Jeff_column

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Of Glorious Uncertainties

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

It has always been my view that the closeness of the outcome of the 2013 general elections in Barbados spoke more to a popular perception that there is very little to choose from between the two major parties with regard to policy and general conservatism, and to a shared wonderment whether the solution to our current social and economic malaise is the traditionally political than to any overwhelming or underwhelming preference for one group over the other.

A similarly, though not identically, close electoral outcome in last week’s elections in Jamaica serves only to confirm this assessment in my mind, as does the farce being played out currently in the US where, among the Republican party candidates, the frontrunner in the primaries and likely nominee is one who eschews the traditional political solution, refuses to give an intelligible answer to any policy issue and, either wittingly or unwittingly, manages literally to insult the intelligence of his audience to their wild acclamation and applause.

“We won with the poorly educated. I love the poorly educated”, he proclaims to raucous approving cheers. And as to how he will bring back the American dream that many of the electorate wishes for, he is in earnest- “Look. We can bring the American dream back. That I will tell you. We’re bringing it back. Okay? And I understand what you’re saying… “Is the American dream dead? And the American dream is in trouble…but we’re going to get it back and do some real jobs…”, before he abruptly breaks off to acknowledge a man in a “beautiful red hat”. “Stand up! Stand up!” he urges, “What a hat!”

The surprising success of this absence of specifics and the appeal to trivia causes one to wonder at the relevance of traditional poll questions about the issues that ought to be considered. Do people really give serious consideration to the party’s or an individual candidate’s position on them, should these ever be articulated? Or is it that these do matter, but not so much as the populist perception of where a party stands on a particular question of policy? Might it not be that elections are not won [or lost] so much on the basis of what you do or do not say but rather on what it is people believe you to be saying (or not saying) and whether this resonates with the volksgeist – the spirit of the people – at that critical moment? If so, our local inquiry would be more usefully directed to determining this factor rather than in spending time analyzing, in a context where all are supported by a minority of those polled only, who is likely to prove most (or more) popular. As a wise commentator once observed, in politics the truth matters less than perceptions.

Nevertheless, the expression that forms the basis of today’s caption is usually employed, not so much in the realm of electoral politics but in one that equally serves as fodder for popular discourse in the region –that of cricket. And in recent times, that conversation has focused mainly on the alleged maladministration of the game, although our playing fortunes should have received an infrequent boost with the victory of the regional squad at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this month. Indeed, those in opposition to the regime of the current [West Indian Cricket] Board [WICB] were quick to forestall any claim to a contribution to this achievement by the Board.

Writing in a column in Wisden India, former WI cricketer and now cricket commentator, Mr Michael Holding, asserts; “For all the well-deserved praise of the young side…it is ridiculous that the victory is being used by some at the [WICB] to portray the image that everything is fine in the Caribbean (sic). The same claim was being made when the senior team won the Twenty20 World Cup in 2012, but where has our cricket gone since then?”

Mr Holding echoes a seeming general disgruntlement with the current Board that has been voiced by many regarded as influential within the region. In an earlier column in the same publication, Dr Rudi Webster intoned, “It would be a tragedy if administrators who have contributed little or nothing to the administration of West Indies cricket could knowingly and intentionally destroy everything that our great stars achieved on and off the cricket field. And indeed, everything that past administrators fought for since 1928…”

Further, the immediate dissolution of the Board has been recommended by a CARICOM Cricket Review Panel that, bizarrely, included a member nominated by the Board itself and, more recently, the heads of regional governments in caucus accused the WICB of “undermining the integrity of West Indies Cricket”, whatever that phrase might mean, and described the Board’s corporate governance standards as “undesirable”. Other similar instances abound.

In the face of this apparently universal assault on its governance from leaders, players, commentators and, as my late mother would have said, “Nesha, Kaya and Bobby Fray” [?], the Board has managed to subsist with an equal measure of obstinate claims to constitutional legitimacy and dogged confrontation. It bears reminder somehow of the poem, “Casabianca”, by Felicia Hemans –

“The boy stood on the burning deck

Whence all but he had fled;

The flame that lit the battle’s wreck

Shone round him o’er the dead…

The flames roll’d on… he would not go…

For my part, I am inclined to be wary of criticism that seems a tad too popular and eerily reminiscent of the mass hysteria of the late 17th century Salem witch hunts. Not that I am overly partial to defending the Board itself, but that I am also of the opinion that much of the current carping criticism is owed to an admixture of frustration with the woeful performances of our senior team, the impatience of the critics with a seeming inability to get their own way and a general regional sentiment that our players are among the, if not the, world’s most talented exponents of the game and if we are nowhere near the top of the ICC rankings, then it must be owed to some other factor -Others abide our question, you players are free.

Might it be the selectors? Nah! The coaches? At all! The management? Scarcely! Then it must be the Board! Are we not all on the same page?

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108 Comments on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Of Glorious Uncertainties”

  1. David February 29, 2016 at 7:55 PM #

    Damn Amrikans!

    Trump blames ‘lousy earpiece’ for KKK flap

    Like

  2. ac February 29, 2016 at 8:16 PM #

    look most of trump support can in part be attributed to a racist and bigoted socio economic climate influenced by tensions between police and blacks which goes as far back to the killing of Trevon Martin and the recent killings of blacks by police where there was over whelming outrage by blacks which spilled on to to the streets which whites have not forgotten
    Trump now is being seeing as the white knight in shining amour riding into town saying what ever he pleases and does not have to be political correct or bow at any one calling cause he is filthy rich and needs no one money
    The very thought of the Klu Klux Klan backing Trump says a lot and how much of what he says is in alignment with the klan philosophy
    Trump exuberance to the White House has already drop enough stink bombs along the way but some how not many people seems to care or maybe too apathetic to care

    Like

  3. Bernard Codrington. February 29, 2016 at 8:38 PM #

    Jeff, this week’s column was a cop out. But then you are a lawyer by training and uncertainties and law do not mix. The lawyer always project an image of knowing what is- legally. I agree that some of the conclusions people come to and decisions they make appears to be repugnant to common sense and baffling. But that is the real world. Very competitive. Everyone wants to win and ends up with everyone losing.

    Like

  4. balance February 29, 2016 at 8:41 PM #

    “The very thought of the Klu Klux Klan backing Trump says a lot and how much of what he says is in alignment with the klan philosophy”

    Hush your mouth do- Mr Robert Byrd Grand Wizard in the Klu klux klan was a major figure in the Democratic party until death.
    In December 1944, Byrd wrote to segregationist Mississippi Senator Theodore G. Bilbo:

    “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds”

    David Duke was also a Democrat before he became a Republican. He ran in the Democratic presidential primary race.

    Like

  5. ac February 29, 2016 at 9:25 PM #

    Listen balance we have all made mistakes but does that mean we should repeat them
    It is years now that the democractic part or any of its members been affiliated or associated with the Klan and for good reasons
    Should now the public belive that a man of Trump stature and intellect is unaware of the Klan history and would not guard his word and language from being suspect to those of the klan
    Could it be that Trump and the klan has similar philosphies that bodes well and resonates in the minds of their followers

    Like

  6. de Ingrunt Word February 29, 2016 at 9:40 PM #

    @Balance, your moniker is ill-suited @ 8:41. Both political parties in the US have undergone tremendous change re their racial underpinnings.

    What is now current cannot be transported to another time when the exact opposite was then current to make any point about Trump and Duke. To pluck that quote as you did is terribly disingenuous.

    David Duke can align himself to whatever party he wants to. Be just and also validate that he was not accepted within the Democratic party beyond his narrow parochial group. He trid any party to get his political message publicized. His eventual switch to the Republican party enjoyed greater success because that party is the one then and still to this day attempting to stifle the Black vote in the south.

    What is your point? That both Democrats and Republicans have a shameful racial history..Yes.

    But the Republicans give the impression to be doubling down on theirs for another extended run!

    Like

  7. balance February 29, 2016 at 10:32 PM #

    “What is your point? That both Democrats and Republicans have a shameful racial history”

    The point is that both have a shameful history particularly the Democrats in terms of oppression even though in recent times some Republicans have taken stands which tended to marginalise not only blacks but underclass blacks as well. For some reason commentators like you seem to suppress the truth if it does not fit in with your fantasy.

    Like

  8. de Ingrunt Word February 29, 2016 at 11:25 PM #

    @Balance, which fantasy would that be about which I attempt to suppress. The historical data of Pres Lincoln et al is quite pellucid so nothing to question there.

    If in good consciousness you are comfortable with the ‘truth’ that “in recent times some Republicans have taken stands which tended to marginalise not only blacks …” then be happy.

    But please do not throw broadside my way based on your rather strange truth…strange in that the political links between the Democrats and Blacks has been rather evident for almost 40 plus years now.

    As clear as the history on the Republican Lincoln so it is for example of the Republican (generally) to the Civil Rights era….and yes there were issues with many Democrats too in the south…so going back to larger than life individual let’s highlight the Dem to Republican Strom Thurmond. An exact opposite to the ‘accidental’ integrationist Lincoln; he was no accidental segregationist. He and many like minded folks left the Democratic party.

    It is not simply race per se of course but also issues that resonate with the average Black that have been anathema to Republicans these ‘recent’ 40+ years.

    So to suggest that Democrats nationally have been as bad as Republicans is truly an attempt to suppress …not by me, however!

    Like

  9. Well Well & Consequences February 29, 2016 at 11:25 PM #

    AC…you idiot, you know nothing about who member democrats are affiliated with, you do not know who wears a white sheet at night under cover of darkness, stick to what you know, DBLP stealing land from their people and giving it away to crooked business people….at least everyone knows where they stand with racists.

    Like

  10. balance March 1, 2016 at 6:16 AM #

    Payments related to CLICO Executives
    There were also a number of payments funded by CIL, which related to CLICO Group Executives:
    • On January 16, 2009, a payment for $3.333mm was made to the law firm Thompson & Associates by CIL. We examined the invoice from Thompson & Associates dated December 30, 2008, which described four different legal matters in detail and the „fees‟ or „retainers‟ for each. The invoice was approved by Mr. Leroy Parris, as Chairman. The invoice was paid by CIL cheque on January 16, 2009 and deposited „to the credit of the payee‟ that day. CIL recorded three of the four matters as an inter-company receivable from CHBL. We were advised that the fourth amount for $237K was believed by CIL to be its expense at the time the invoice was
    © Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. 13

    received and therefore this item was not charged back to CHBL. In CHBL‟s accounting records, three of the four matters were recorded as separate transactions as “Professional Fees”, totalling $3.096mm.
    • We have been advised by CIL that the $3.333mm payment was actually to the benefit of Mr. Leroy Parris, the former Chairman of CIL and CHBL, and related to partial payment of a “gratuity”. We have been advised that Mr. Parris acknowledges that this payment was related to the “gratuity” payments owed to him under his employment contract. The employment contract was between CHBL and Professional Financial Services (“PFS”), which we understand to be Mr. Parris‟ company through which his remuneration was paid, and was signed by Mr. Parris, Mr. Duprey, and Mr. Terrence Thornhill. Part 4 of the contract provided that:

    “The employer will pay to Professional Financial Services Inc. and/or Leroy Parris a gratuity of US $5,000,000.00 on the 15th day of May 2008 in such manner as may be agreed between the parties on terms as set out but amended herein as to the date of payment but in no way otherwise in a letter dated December 5, 2002 between Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey”.
    • We have not seen a copy of the letter dated December 5, 2002 referenced in the employment contract.
    • CIL provided a letter dated June 18, 2010 from CHBL to “PFS”, which indicated that:

    “In addition, under contract commencing May 15, 2005, Clico Holdings (Barbados) Limited will pay to you, a gratuity of BDS$10 million on May 15, 2008. BDS$3,333,333 of this amount has already been paid”.
    • We found no reference to this payment in the Minutes of CIL or CHBL at or around the time it was made. However, in July 2009, shortly after the appointment of Dr. Frank Alleyne as the Government‟s representative on the Board of CHBL, there was reference to a request from the Oversight Committee for information relating to payments made to Mr. Parris, specifically a copy of Mr. Parris‟ employment contract;
    • As of the date of this report, we have not had the opportunity to ask either Mr. Parris or Thompson & Associates about the circumstances or timing of this payment and the creation of the invoice.
    • CIL also funded approximately $2.1mm dollars relating to Mr. Parris‟ annual bonuses in the years 2003 to 2008. We reviewed Mr. Parris‟ employment contract, which indicated his entitlement to receive an annual bonus of $300K per year between 2003 and 2007, increasing to $600K per year in 2008. We also reviewed supporting documents for the payments such as cheque copies and vendor histories from the accounting system. These payments were paid by CIL on behalf of CHBL to different associates and related companies of Mr. Parris, such as David Thompson, Thompson & Associates, Branlee Consulting Services Inc., PFS, as well as payments to Antigua Commercial Bank. Some of the documents we reviewed showed that the releases of funds by CIL were made based on directions from Mr. Parris that were acted upon by Executive Management, such as Mr. Thornhill.

    received and therefore this item was not charged back to CHBL. In CHBL‟s accounting records, three of the four matters were recorded as separate transactions as “Professional Fees”, totalling $3.096mm.
    • We have been advised by CIL that the $3.333mm payment was actually to the benefit of Mr. Leroy Parris, the former Chairman of CIL and CHBL, and related to partial payment of a “gratuity”. We have been advised that Mr. Parris acknowledges that this payment was related to the “gratuity” payments owed to him under his employment contract. The employment contract was between CHBL and Professional Financial Services (“PFS”), which we understand to be Mr. Parris‟ company through which his remuneration was paid, and was signed by Mr. Parris, Mr. Duprey, and Mr. Terrence Thornhill. Part 4 of the contract provided that:

    “The employer will pay to Professional Financial Services Inc. and/or Leroy Parris a gratuity of US $5,000,000.00 on the 15th day of May 2008 in such manner as may be agreed between the parties on terms as set out but amended herein as to the date of payment but in no way otherwise in a letter dated December 5, 2002 between Leroy Parris and Lawrence Duprey”.
    • We have not seen a copy of the letter dated December 5, 2002 referenced in the employment contract.
    • CIL provided a letter dated June 18, 2010 from CHBL to “PFS”, which indicated that:

    “In addition, under contract commencing May 15, 2005, Clico Holdings (Barbados) Limited will pay to you, a gratuity of BDS$10 million on May 15, 2008. BDS$3,333,333 of this amount has already been paid”.
    • We found no reference to this payment in the Minutes of CIL or CHBL at or around the time it was made. However, in July 2009, shortly after the appointment of Dr. Frank Alleyne as the Government‟s representative on the Board of CHBL, there was reference to a request from the Oversight Committee for information relating to payments made to Mr. Parris, specifically a copy of Mr. Parris‟ employment contract;
    • As of the date of this report, we have not had the opportunity to ask either Mr. Parris or Thompson & Associates about the circumstances or timing of this payment and the creation of the invoice.
    • CIL also funded approximately $2.1mm dollars relating to Mr. Parris‟ annual bonuses in the years 2003 to 2008. We reviewed Mr. Parris‟ employment contract, which indicated his entitlement to receive an annual bonus of $300K per year between 2003 and 2007, increasing to $600K per year in 2008. We also reviewed supporting documents for the payments such as cheque copies and vendor histories from the accounting system. These payments were paid by CIL on behalf of CHBL to different associates and related companies of Mr. Parris, such as David Thompson, Thompson & Associates, Branlee Consulting Services Inc., PFS, as well as payments to Antigua Commercial Bank. Some of the documents we reviewed showed that the releases of funds by CIL were made based on directions from Mr. Parris that were acted upon by Executive Management, such as Mr. Thornhill.

    Like

  11. balance March 1, 2016 at 6:25 AM #

    “So to suggest that Democrats nationally have been as bad as Republicans is truly an attempt to suppress …not by me, however!”.Not as bad but worse having suppressed the psyche of the blacks, poor and marginalised during the years they held office particularly during the 40 year period from 1955-1995 when they held a solid majority in the House which is far longer than the republicans. Democrats also held the senate for 26 years during that period and the same self serving freenesses they were offering blacks then they are still offering now.

    Like

  12. Sargeant March 1, 2016 at 9:43 AM #

    @Balance
    Not as bad but worse having suppressed the psyche of the blacks, poor and marginalised during the years they held office particularly during the 40 year period from 1955-1995 when they held a solid majority in the House which is far longer than the republicans.
    +++++++++++++++++
    Do you have any facts to support the unadulterated crap you wrote about suppressing the “psyche of blacks”?

    If any organisation suppressed the pysche of blacks it was the Republican Party led by in no particular order Ronald Reagan, GH Bush, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and many others. It was ably assisted by political operatives like Lee Atwater who was behind the campaign ad featuring Willie Horton and who famously said in a 1981 interview about the “Southern Strategy’ employed by the Republicans

    “You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    How about minor reps like Joe Wilson who shouted “you lie” during one of Obama’s State of the Union speeches without even a reprimand from the Republican leadership? How about Joe Barton who apologized to Tony Hayward (head of BP) after Pres Obama extracted major concessions from BP to alleviate the suffering of people affected by that spill? Barton’s rationale? A black man can’t speak to a white man like that even if that black man is Pres of the US. That apology was too much for the Repubs who distanced themselves from it pity they allowed Donald Trump and others to perpetuate the notion that Obama was an alien in any incarnation of the word.

    That is what is trying to suppress the “psyche of blacks”.

    Like

  13. de Ingrunt Word March 1, 2016 at 10:28 AM #

    @Sargeant, wooooa! You have a powerful one-two, jab and knockout punch there!

    Had forgotten about that Barton item.

    Yes sir, the words change but the nuance and mental thrust remains very much the same.

    One small item of ‘balance’. As much as Joe Wilson’s remarks and too frankly Justice Alito’s silent ‘Not true’ were egregious and distasteful on the disrespect thermometer, that level of disrespect was also levied towards Bush by his Democratic opponents over the years.

    Frankly, I am amazed at what I perceive as a high level of disrespect to the office of the President by all and sundry.

    Gotta watch your Ali shuffle in the future…LOLLL.

    Like

  14. David March 1, 2016 at 10:34 AM #

    @Sargeant

    What about inviting Netanyahu to address the Congress and snubbing Obama in the process.

    Like

  15. ac March 2, 2016 at 7:11 PM #

    interesting Editorial worth the read

    Trump’s rise and the threat to US civility

    Recent wins in the Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire Republican primaries suggest that Donald Trump has momentum as an outsider candidate in the party’s presidential balloting, and has become the odds-on candidate to win its nomination. Trump appears to have the backing of enough angry voters to win many upcoming party primary elections, even as the field of candidates narrows.
    Trump prevailed with 35 per cent of the vote in New Hampshire, twice as much as his nearest rival, with a 10-point margin over his nearest rivals in South Carolina, and 20 per cent in Nevada. Yesterday’s ‘Super Tuesday’ elections, when 13 states vote, may have gi Does Trump’s rise herald a final collapse of civility in American politics, or something worse? Does he have a real chance to be president?ven Trump a margin that will be hard to overcome.

    Trump’s rise is breathtaking – highly worrying for many – when his candidacy was still being ridiculed several weeks ago, not least by members of the Republican establishment. He has repeatedly said that Obama is not an American, seemed to encourage violence against protesters, and speaks with open hostility about immigrants. Trump says he is going to deport 11 million people.

    FINAL COLLAPSE OF CIVILITY

    Does Trump’s rise herald a final collapse of civility in American politics, or something worse? Does he have a real chance to be president?
    Though he brags about his deal-making prowess, Trump got his start the way many of the rich get theirs – by inheriting several hundred million dollars. With a current fortune of around $4 billion, founded on his father’s real estate empire, Trump epitomises the one per cent of Americans who own 90 per cent of United States wealth, who have become the butt of protests on the American left.
    Trump’s nativist – sometimes overtly racist – rhetoric also appears to be part of his inheritance. Unless there was another Fred Trump who lived on Devonshire Road in Queens in 1927, it was Trump’s father who was arrested after dozens of New York police were beaten by the Ku Klux Klan that year. (Since no charges were lodged, Trump told a New York Times reporter, “it shouldn’t be mentioned”.)

    Trump claims he has always had good relations with “the blacks,” as he has put it. But in 1973, Trump Management was sued for refusing to rent to African Americans (the company held 14,000 apartments at the time, many built with the government subsidies Trump’s father excelled at securing). Trump says that his firm sought to avoid welfare recipients who “wouldn’t be neat and clean”.
    In 1989, Trump infamously took out an ad in the New York Daily News demanding that the death penalty be extended to five under-aged youths who – it turned out – had been wrongly arrested for raping a Central Park jogger. When each was later paid a million dollars’ restitution for each year he was imprisoned (one had been held 11 years), Trump was happy to move into the spotlight again, characterising the settlement as “a disgrace”
    Trump has tweeted phony statistics suggesting that black people are responsible for most murders of white people, shouted encouragement as a black protester was shouldered from an appearance, and received the backing of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Vizier David Duke and other white supremacists..
    The press can seem baffled by Trump, more interested in capturing his excesses than understanding why followers are passionate about him. But Trump’s appeal isn’t complicated – his followers crave his success and the stuff it has bought him. They cleave, if naively, to his outsider populism.

    Senior Writer Matthew Kopka is a Florida Interdisciplinary Ecologist. He has been writing for ‘The Gleaner’ since 2003.

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160302/trumps-rise-and-threat-us-civility

    Like

  16. balance March 3, 2016 at 2:17 AM #

    Read Sarge to your heart’s content or discontent about your first white president for black people what people choose to ignore in their warped view of the goodness of the democratic party towards black people.

    The last couple of weeks were filled with excitement and euphoria, disappointment, bitterness, and frustration on the part of some African Americans after Barack Obama came in first in the Iowa caucuses, but lost to Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary. Determined to win more primaries and to get the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential elections, the knives were sharpened, the gloves came off, and both Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton went on the attack. The net was cast widely as it

    The last couple of weeks were filled with excitement and euphoria, disappointment, bitterness, and frustration on the part of some African Americans after Barack Obama came in first in the Iowa caucuses, but lost to Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary. Determined to win more primaries and to get the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential elections, the knives were sharpened, the gloves came off, and both Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton went on the attack. The net was cast widely as it went beyond Obama to include disparaging comments about Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many African Americans including civil rights leaders, politicians, media personalities, and ordinary citizens were outraged and shocked while others were not. They included everyday Africans Americans and even Bob Johnson—the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and whose company RLJ owns the Charlotte Bobcats. Why were some African Americans caught off guard by Bill Clinton’s behavior and comments as if he had suddenly turned against the African American community? Why did some African Americans believe that Clinton did nothing wrong and that his comments were fair—after all he was the first ‘Black’ president, was good for Black people, and was an FOB (Friend of Blacks)? This is because there is myth around Bill Clinton concerning his love affair with Black America. There was never a love affair and if one existed, it was one-sided. African Americans loved him while he fervently worked to make the lives of working class and poor African Americans a living hell. However, it was not just the lives of the descendents of the four million slaves who were affected by Clinton’s wrath. Africans, West Indians, Latin Americans, and South Americans who were also a part of the African diaspora in this country were also affected—citizen, non-citizen, documented, and undocumented. Clinton’s reach was long and he reached out and touched the lives of millions of Africans on the continent. Unfortunately, the effects of his negative actions are still with them as I write this blog.

    Let me begin to unravel and dismantle the myth that Bill Clinton was good for and to African Americans by addressing his domestic record. First, an analysis of welfare reform is needed because not only did it adversely affect a lot of African Americans, it had a disproportionate negative effect on African American women who according to lawmakers and the media, would be the main beneficiaries of welfare reform. I clearly remember the day in 1996 when Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act on the White House lawn because the scenario was so racist. Clinton smiled widely as he signed the legislation, took questions from the media, and praised Congress for passing such an important and historic piece of legislation while two large African American women stood by his side. Although white women made up a larger share of the welfare rolls, the media, politicians, and white Americans were convinced that African American women followed by Latinas were the main recipients of welfare and this merely reinforced the stereotype. Therefore, the legislation was overdue; these women needed to stop having children out of wedlock for the taxpayer to support and they needed to join the workforce. Clinton’s policy was a long way from the Great Society and War on Poverty programs associated with President Lyndon Johnson who according to Hillary Clinton was responsible for passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Clinton’s policy was workfare and not welfare.

    The welfare reform legislation was part and parcel of a neo-liberal economic agenda that called for a retrenchment of the state from its social welfare responsibilities. We often read, write, and talk about the rolling back of the African state as a result of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) superimposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, but we do not situate these same policies within the context of the United States and its poor and working classes. The federal government has offloaded and downloaded a number of social responsibilities to the states including some very important welfare programs as a result of the 1996 welfare reform legislation. The legislation called for a drastic reduction in the welfare rolls and states were responsible for kicking off as many people as they could through their efforts to move people from welfare to workfare. African American women and others on welfare now had the options of working, attending school, or getting off welfare and they were given time limits depending on where they lived. Some women were given more time if they had children under a certain age or they suffered from disabilities and illnesses, but the bottom line was that the cycle of welfare dependency would no longer pass from one generation to the next. The results were mixed. There were some African American women who received educational and vocational training that allowed them to find gainful employment and to take care of themselves and their families. However, many women were not so fortunate. They were trapped in a never-ending cycle of dead-end, low paying jobs often in the service sector away from their places of residence with very few benefits including health and childcare. They ended up in a lose-lose situation. Once they began to work and to earn an income, they ran the risk of losing some of their benefits. At the same time, the jobs did not pay enough to cover transportation to work as they jobs were often located in suburban areas away from urban centers. If the women resided in rural or small towns, the jobs often required having a car and some women could not afford to purchase and maintain one. To makes matters worst, under the new legislation, women did not qualify for some benefits once they began to earn a certain income. Finally, some women were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea concerning childcare. They were forced to work or to attend school, but some of them did not have adequate childcare or they could not afford to pay for it. Women traveled long distances to work at this minimum wage jobs with few or no benefits while their children were often left alone, with older siblings, neighbors, or relatives. These jobs were not always nine to five. These were the hospital, nursing home, restaurant, Wal-Mart jobs where women often worked the night and overnight shifts.

    Again, both citizens and non-citizens were affected by welfare reform policies. Initially, the legislation denied federal welfare benefits to legal permanent residents. These benefits included Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), food stamps, Medicaid, child health insurance, public housing, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). After much outcry from immigration advocacy groups, Congress lessened the draconian policy, but the damage had already been done. Many African and Black immigrants, especially single women, women with children, children, the elderly, and the physically challenged found it difficult to survive without these benefits. Those who were undocumented were not entitled to receive any benefits under the new legislation. Although the media portrays the undocumented as “illegal aliens” from Mexico, the reality is quite different. There were thousands of undocumented men and women from various African countries, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South American who were Black. If this constituted friendship on the part of Clinton, both citizen and non-citizen Black people did not need enemies. In reality, all poor and working class people regardless of their race and ethnicity who depended on welfare in any form now had to fend for themselves as Clinton’s policies moved more and more to the right.

    Clinton signed into law another two bills in 1996 that did not bode well for African immigrants and immigrants from the diaspora—the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that resulted in thousands of individuals being detained and finally deported. In the war on crime, that was often associated with the Republicans and not the very progressive Democratic Clinton, this act expanded the categories of aggravated assaults. As a result, documented immigrants even permanent legal residents or “green card” holders were automatically detained and some were deported after being convicted and sentenced for crimes that included shoplifting, drunk driving, vandalism, assault, and selling marijuana. Some of the convictions did not result in a prison or jail sentence. To add insult to injury, the law was retroactive which meant that individuals who committed crimes years ago that were not considered aggravated felonies at the time, completed their sentences or served no jail time due to suspended sentences, did community service or completed their time on probation were still detained and deported. This meant that hundreds of Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Haitians, Guyanese, Brazilians, Nigerians, and Ghanaians were removed, oftentimes permanently, from this country. Many of them grew up in the United States, had relatives and children here, and did not had familial and cultural ties to those countries where they were deported. These ties to the community were not taken into consideration when the orders of deportation were issued. In other words, the effects of the deportation on children, spouses, and other family members had no weight in the decision to deport. Many children were separated from their parents; marriages did not survive the separation; some of the deportees lost property and businesses while the parents and relatives who remained here struggled to meet the needs of the family.

    The legislation also violated the human rights of asylum seekers who were increasingly turned away at airports and other ports of entry if the government believed that they entered the country with falsified documents. They often were not given the opportunity to present their cases to an immigration judge, but rather, the legislation called for mandatory detention that lasted for months and years for some followed by expedited removals. As stated above, persons who were convicted of crimes were subjected to these actions, but what crime had the asylum seeker committed? While in detention, many women and men had their human rights violated by the state. Human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Women’s Commission on Refugee Women and Children, and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights reported that detainees were sexually, physically, verbally, and psychologically abused. Again, with a friend like Bill Clinton who signed legislation to enact these policies, who needed enemies?

    Although African Americans cannot be deported, they can be permanently removed from society or at least for long periods of time through the court system and Clinton saw to that with the enactment of mandatory minimum sentencing, three strikes, and truth in sentencing—all interconnected and intertwined with the war on crime and drugs. These also coincided with the reduction of the state in welfare expenditures and in increase in state and local funding for the construction of new prisons that fueled the prison industrial complex. There may not have been money for public schools, job training program, healthcare, and food, but there was money for prisons and jails. Again, these are associated with Reagan-Bush presidencies, but they were carried over and made harsher under the Clinton Administration. As the crack epidemic heated up in many African American communities throughout the United States, the arrests, convictions, and sentences for drug-related offenses increased. Under new drug sentencing laws, judges now had little discretion in the sentencing of drug offenders. The rates of African American men and women who were charged, convicted, and sentenced for drug offenses increased under the Clinton Administration as judges were given little discretion in sentencing due to strict, statutory federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences for crimes that were committed three times. Similar to the situation of deportees, community ties and family relations should have been helpful in obtaining a reduced sentence or keeping the person out of prison. This was not the case even for women who were pregnant, had small children, or were responsible for other family members. States also adopted truth in sentencing (TIS) guidelines that gave way to the construction of more prisons. Prior to the enactment of TISs, parole boards could determine the actual amount of time one spent in jail. A convict could be released early for good behavior while in prison and placed on parole. This changed with the war on crime and drugs and now both violent and non-violent criminals including drug offenders must spend a larger proportion of their sentences behind bars and parole is often restricted. A federal TIS law passed during Clinton’s administration in 1994 sweetened the pot for states to adopt truth in sentencing. They were now entitled to receive federal funding if convicted criminals served eighty-five percent of their sentences.

    It is obvious that Clinton was not a friend of Black people nor was he good for Black people in the United States, but can a case to be made for Africa and Africans. Let us turn our attention toward Clinton’s foreign policy with Africa by first discussing the Rwandan genocide. The Clinton administration was advised in 1993 that the conditions on the ground in Rwanda made genocide a real possibility. After a while in 1994, it was obvious that genocide was taking place in Rwanda according to the United Nations’ definition of genocide—there was a concerted effort on the part of the Hutu-dominated government and its supporters to annihilate the Tutsi minority. Instead of the Clinton administration recognizing this fact and putting pressure on the international community to intervene and to place peacekeepers in the country, it refused to recognize it as such. Rather, Madeleine Albright, whom we saw standing behind Hillary Clinton after the Iowa caucuses, argued against this. She was the Clinton administration’s ambassador to the United Nations during the height of the genocide. Given the standing of the United States in the world and in the United Nations, the recognition of the killings as genocide may have helped to stop the bloodletting earlier. However, the recognition of genocide means that the United States was obligated to intervene and it did not believe this small, land-locked, resource-poor country was worth the effort and sacrifice by its military or other countries’ military. This was demonstrated when the United States pushed in the United Nations Security Council to reduce the amount of peacekeeping troops from 2,500 to 250. This was before and not after the killings had stopped. A true friend of Africa and Africans would have done the opposite to ensure that additional innocent lives were not lost.

    The next example of Nigeria may present a better case for the claim that Clinton is good for Black people regardless of where they live. We all knew that Nigeria exercised hegemony in West Africa and served as major supplier of oil to the United States during Clinton’s two terms as president. However, it remains puzzling that the Clinton administration would turn blind eye or at least not open them widely to human rights violations carried out by the military government of Sani Abacha from 1993-1998. The stage was set for the execution of human rights violations following the annulment of the 1993 presidential elections. The apparent winner, Moshood K.O. Abiola, was quickly imprisoned where he remained until his death in 1998. Nigeria had had military governments before, but under Abacha, it was different in terms of all segments of the population who felt the brunt of his crackdowns on civil and political freedoms. Students, trade union members, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, and ordinary Nigerians were imprisoned if they called for an end to military rule and for a transition to multi-party democratic elections. At best the convictions and executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other human rights and environmental activists in 1995 should have signaled to the Administration that something had gone terribly awry concerning the human rights situation in Nigeria. Many within the African American community, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) strongly urged Clinton to take strong actions against the Abacha regime including economic sanctions. Their voices fell on death ears. The Administration used very mild weapons in its diplomatic arsenal. It was clearly not willing to pull out the big gun—an economic embargo that would have hit the Nigerian government and U.S. oil companies where it would have hurt—in their pocketbooks and wallets. If tougher sanctions including an economic embargo had been used against Nigeria, they would have illustrated that Clinton was serious about human rights violations in that country and the lives of Nigerians were worth protecting. In other words, Clinton had the opportunity to prove that he was a friend of millions of Black people and not just the ones in the United States.

    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) also exposes the myth of Bill Clinton. Clinton pushed for and signed this bill into law in 2000. As stated above, one of Clinton’s domestic policies was to transform welfare to workfare. In terms of Africa, his policy was to move from aid to trade as if the U.S. government ever gave a large percentage of its foreign assistance budget to Africa. It appeared to have a welfare to workfare ring to it. African governments would no longer be able to sit on the dole and collect aid; they would now have to work to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and earn their assistance. The Administration argued that the legislation would put Africa on a more level economic playing field with the United States. African governments with the exception of North African (they were excluded from participating) that met the conditions set forth by the legislation would be able to participate in certain trade areas with the United States—mainly the textile and apparel industries. However, the conditions were stringent and on its face the legislation appeared to be an American version of structural adjustment programs. In order to participate, the legislation required African governments to basically open their economies to free trade with the United States. It required African governments to expand and improve their infrastructure to allow huge companies such as the Gap and Levi Strauss to operate. The legislation also required African government to recognize workers’ rights, uphold the rule of law, recognize human rights, reduce poverty and corruption, and to help the U.S. government in its fight against global terrorism. If this legislation was an indication of how Bill Clinton felt about Africans, he turned out to be no friend at all. This legislation called for the president to decide what countries were eligible to participate and under what conditions. It was condescending to say the least. It did not put these countries on an equal footing with the United States if they had very little or any input in terms of eligibility to participate, beneficiaries, and what sectors were included. It was an excuse to claim that the Administration had strong ties to the continent and was committed to helping Africa to achieve economic, political, and social development. In reality, Africa’s significance and importance to the United States underwent few changes for the better.

    From Bill Clinton’s domestic policies on welfare reform and the war on crime, drugs, and terrorism, it is obvious that he was bad for a lot of Black people regardless of their citizenship and immigration status. Clinton’s most damaging policies that affected Black people occurred before his troubles with Monica Lewinsky. After they were revealed, all segments of the American public were preoccupied with Clinton’s moral misbehavior while in office to the extent that they did not pay particular attention to the interconnection between the war on crime, drugs, and terror and it contributed to the expanding prison industrial complex. There were many Black people both citizens and non-citizens who benefited economically during Clinton’s eight years in the White House. However, for people who found themselves a victim of the retrenched state, especially African American women, they found it nearly impossible to advance economically as the state retreated from public education that used to serve as a standard vehicle for social and economic advancement. For those thousands of African Americans who found themselves caught up in the war against drugs in various ways, Clinton could not have possibly been the first ‘Black’ president. African American women were involved when they were arrested, convicted, and sentenced for the sale and possession of drugs in increasingly larger numbers. They were separated from their children. Some of the children were turned over to the state to live with foster parents. Mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, etc. were involved when African American men and women went to prison as local, state and federal governments cracked down on drug sellers and offenders because they now had to be responsible for raising the children of the detained. There were many stories of grandmothers who had raised their own children and should have been enjoying their golden years in peace and quiet who struggled to take care of their grandchildren whose mother or father was in prison. Some of them still worked while others lived on a fixed income that was not sufficient to cover the expenses of children and teenagers. We also know that there was a class dimension to the new prison population. They were disproportionately poor, did not have a college degree, and were unemployed at the time of their arrest for drug-related offenses. In terms of drug users, their behavior was attributed to a flaw in their character—they were too weak to resist the temptation. There was very little discussion on the part of lawmakers and policymakers concerning the fact that drug addiction is a medical condition regardless of the drug of choice and its legality. Middle class and upper middle class people who had drug addictions could afford to quietly check themselves into treatment and detoxification centers while African American drug users publicly checked into jails and prisons where there were no funds to treat their illnesses. As new mandatory federal sentencing laws went into effect, both African American men and women could not have seen Clinton as a friend to Black people. This was evident in the different sentencing laws for crack cocaine and cocaine. It was an open secret that African Americans used and sold more crack cocaine than cocaine because it was cheaper. Instead of crafting federal sentencing laws that gave equal punishment for the sale and use of both drugs, they were made harsher for crack cocaine. Following the federal government’s lead, many states adopted similar mandatory sentencing laws. To make matters worse, the federal sentencing guidelines did not take into consideration that the women often had children and the drug offenders were responsible for their welfare. These laws have shaken many African Americans communities and families to their core and some may never recover.

    In sum, the myth that Clinton was good to and good for African Americans needs to be dismantled and placed on the dustbins of history but not before the 2008 primary elections. With a record like Bill Clinton’s, he truly is an albatross around Hillary Clinton’s neck. If Hillary Clinton (who stood by her man) is using her eight years as First Lady in the White House as part of her experience and this is an indication of her civil rights record, African Americans need to think long and hard before casting their votes for her. Still more alarming is the fact that she was chairwoman of the Children’s Defense Fund and has touted her work with this organization for years. It seems like such a contradiction. She argued that she defended the rights of children and that it took a village to raise a child. I suppose it does when parents were put in prison, parole was made more restrictive, kicked off welfare, and as a last resort to rid the country of its undesirables, deported.

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  17. balance March 3, 2016 at 2:29 AM #

    “Trump’s nativist – sometimes overtly racist – rhetoric also appears to be part of his inheritance. Unless there was another Fred Trump who lived on Devonshire Road in Queens in 1927, it was Trump’s father who was arrested after dozens of New York police were beaten by the Ku Klux Klan that year. (Since no charges were lodged, Trump told a New York Times reporter, “it shouldn’t be mentioned”.)

    Trump claims he has always had good relations with “the blacks,” as he has put it. But in 1973, Trump Management was sued for refusing to rent to African Americans (the company held 14,000 apartments at the time, many built with the government subsidies Trump’s father excelled at securing). Trump says that his firm sought to avoid welfare recipients who “wouldn’t be neat and clean”.

    For you Ac-True or false
    Did he or did he not?

    Why did John F. Kennedy vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1957?

    I’ve always heard growing up how JFK was one of our nations national heroess in the Civil Rights Movement. But doing independent research I’m finding out he not only voted against many of the Republican’s civil right bills while he was a Senator, he and his family are recorded as saying very racist and uncaring things towards blacks and minorities their entire lives.

    In his biography “John F. Kennedy: A Biography” Michael O’Brien shared this that is causing me to rethink everything I’ve been taught about the civil rights movement and the Democratic Party.

    “By seeking assistance from African-American leaders, Kennedy followed a Massachusetts tradition. Rather than fight for civil rights legislation, Democrats in Massachusetts traditionally looked into a few influential individuals to deliver the black vote. “You never had to say you were going to do anything on civil rights,” observed Robert Kennedy. “It was mostly just recognition of [Negroes].” By winning the support of black leaders, A Democratic candidate could capture the black vote quite easily.” – O’Brien, M, “John F. Kennedy: A Biography”, 2006, p. 365.

    I remember reading about Martin Luther King, jr’s writings detailing the same thing about Kennedy as a President: that he made good speeches about promoting civil liberties for blacks, but never actually did anything. The “Million Man March” on Washington that King was swept into was protesting Democrats specifically like Kennedy.

    So I’m learning that it has been the opposite in real history of what I’ve been taught all through my public education and college history classes. That the Republicans are the major proponents of civil liberties for minorities and women, while the Democrats have always been the antagonists. But despite all of this, I’m curious if anyone has greater insight into why Kennedy specifically voted against Eisenhower’s (Republican) CRA of 1957 as a Senator?

    It’s one thing to not honestly care about helping minorities and just pander for their vote, but another to actively vote against their civil liberty. I’m reading that Senator Lyndon Johnson was also instrumental in stopping the Republican’s civil right bills from passing as well. I’m curious to find their motives and rationality of why they were so hostile towards blacks and minorities before pretending to switch and create the idea their party has always been the party for minorities as they presume to be today.

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  18. balance March 3, 2016 at 2:36 AM #

    Civil Rights Act of 1957

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    The Civil Rights Act of 1957, Pub.L. 85–315, 71 Stat. 634, enacted September 9, 1957, primarily a voting rights bill, was the first civil rights legislation passed by Congress in the United States since the 1866 and 1875 Acts.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was also Congress’s show of support for the Supreme Court’s Brown decisions, [1] the Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which had eventually led to the integration (desegregation) of public schools. Following the Supreme Court ruling, Southern whites in Virginia began a “Massive Resistance.” Violence against blacks rose there and in other states, as in Little Rock, Arkansas where that year President Dwight D. Eisenhower had ordered in federal troops to protect nine children integrating into a public school, the first time the federal government had sent troops to the South since the Reconstruction era.[2] There had been continued physical assaults against suspected activists and bombings of schools and churches in the South. The administration of Eisenhower proposed legislation to protect the right to vote by African Americans.

    Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, an ardent segregationist, sustained the longest one-person filibuster in history in an attempt to keep the bill from becoming law. His one-man filibuster lasted 24 hours and 18 minutes; he began with readings of every state’s election laws in alphabetical order. Thurmond later read from the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and George Washington’s Farewell Address. His speech set the record for a Senate filibuster.[3] The bill passed the House with a vote of 285 to 126 (Republicans 167–19 for, Democrats 118–107 for)[4] and the Senate 72 to 18 (Republicans 43–0 for, Democrats 29–18 for).[5] President Eisenhower signed it on September 9, 1957.

    The goal of the 1957 Civil Rights Act was to ensure that all Americans could exercise their right to vote. By 1957, only about 20% of African Americans were registered to vote. Despite comprising the majority population in numerous counties and Congressional districts in the South, most blacks had been effectively disfranchised by discriminatory voter registration rules and laws in those states since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Civil rights organizations had collected evidence of discriminatory practices, such as administration of literacy and comprehension tests, poll taxes and other means. While the states had the right to establish rules for voter registration and elections, the federal government found an oversight role in ensuring that citizens could exercise the constitutional right to vote for federal officers, such as the president, vice president, and Congress.

    The Democratic Senate Majority Leader, Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas, realized that the bill and its journey through Congress could tear apart his party, whose southern bloc was opposed to civil rights, while northern members were more favorable toward them. Southern senators occupied chairs of numerous important committees because of their long seniority. Johnson sent the bill to the judiciary committee, led by Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, who proceeded to drastically alter the bill. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had denounced the bill as an example of the federal government seeking to impose its laws on states. Johnson sought recognition from civil rights advocates for passing the bill, while also receiving recognition from the mostly southern anti-civil rights Democrats for reducing it so much as to kill it.[6]

    Ac and Sarge you must not hide these things from people who are not as educated as you all are

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  19. David March 3, 2016 at 6:16 AM #

    And they say the Blacks shall lead them…

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  20. ac March 3, 2016 at 6:21 AM #

    bal everything in context there are reasons why the times surrounding actions and circumstances also matters

    JFK’s Civil Rights Legacy: 50 Years of Myth and Fact
    There’s been as much myth as fact regarding John F. Kennedy’s civil rights legacy in the more than 50 years before, during, and especially after, his assassination on November 22, 1963. In the days before he delivered his now famed presidential inaugural address on Friday, January 20, 1961, two of his principal advisers Louis Martin and Harris Wofford battled hard to get Kennedy to add two words “at home” to a pivotal sentence in his speech that addressed human rights. Kennedy meant the human rights fight that the U.S. waged internationally against communism. The “at home” referred to the battle for civil rights in America. Kennedy reluctantly added the words. That reluctance typified the wariness that Kennedy had in making civil rights a centerpiece of his presidency.
    The myth and fact about his civil rights legacy came jarringly together in the quip from his wife and widow Jackie Kennedy on his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, “He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights.” Jackie in the national trauma after his murder understood that Kennedy’s place in history would be even more firmly established if he was seen as the civil rights president, rather than a president who was forced under extreme duress to champion civil rights.
    In the decade before he won the White House, Kennedy said almost nothing about civil rights. In 1957, as a senator he voted against the 1957 civil rights bill. His opposition has been spun two ways; one cynical, one charitable. The cynical spin is he opposed it to appease Southern Democrats because he had an eye on a presidential run in 1960. The charitable spin is that he thought the bill was too weak and ineffectual. Three years later though he ignored the angry shouts from Southern Democrats and lobbied for a forceful civil rights plank in the Democratic Party’s 1960 platform.
    During the presidential campaign he publicly pledged to end segregation in federally subsidized public housing “with the stroke of a pen.” Despite a mass campaign for him to keep his promise, he foot dragged for months in signing the order. This was not hypocrisy, or racial faint heartedness. There was a brutal political calculus at work. In 1961, Southern Democrats, all staunch segregationists, had an iron grip on the House. They held 11 of 19 committee chairmanships and in the Senate two-thirds of its standing committees. Kennedy did not have anything near a governing mandate to prod, cajole, and arm twist Southern racial obstructionists in Congress following his nail bite, squeaky 1960 presidential election win over Richard Nixon.
    But if he had would he? The answer is probably a qualified no. His expertise, passion, and focus then were on foreign policy, more particularly, trying to contain, if not best, the Soviet Union on everything from the nuclear arms race to influence in emerging Third World nations.
    The bloody desegregation clashes at the University of Mississippi and the bloody assaults on freedom riders in Alabama, however, could not be ignored. But even here there was a hard political calculus that struggled side by side with the moral calculus. African-American voters made a major difference in his narrow election win over Nixon, aided in large part by a massive black voter shift to him in direct response to his famed phone call to Dr. Martin Luther King’s family following King’s jailing in Georgia for contempt of court stemming from a civil rights protest. Kennedy had a keen eye on the black vote and its potential to be a crucial factor in future national elections. That included his almost certain reelection bid in 1964.
    The tipping point was the spectacle of women and children beaten, hosed, and gassed by brutal white cops in Birmingham in 1963. The barbarous scenes were beamed globally, that and the eloquent heart wrenching letter and appeal by Dr. King from his Birmingham jail cell propelled Kennedy to do what he had long been urged to do and deliver the definitive statement on civil rights. He did on June 11, 1963. He piggybacked on the words and sentiments King expressed in his letter about rights, justice, inequality, and the moral and political shame and disgrace to the nation of racial bigotry. King and civil rights leaders applauded Kennedy’s words. But King also saw more political pragmatism than moral outrage in it. He quipped that he was “battling for the minds and the hearts of men in Asia and Africa.” This was probably true. Yet the equal truth was that it didn’t much matter whether Kennedy was motivated by pragmatism or idealism, crisis or conscience, he had spoken, and this marked the major turning point for the nation on civil rights
    If Kennedy had lived would he have fought hard for passage of the 1964 landmark civil rights bill, or been stonewalled by his party’s racists, and forced to accept a watered down bill? An assassin’s bullet insured that that question will remain forever unanswered. Fifty years after that horrific November day in Dallas, Kennedy’s civil rights legacy is an enduring and deserved fact, despite the many myths surrounding it.
    .
    bal maybe you would find a nugget of truth in this article to whys and wherefore

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  21. David March 3, 2016 at 6:25 AM #

    Combermere in the news again.

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  22. de Ingrunt Word March 3, 2016 at 7:56 AM #

    Oh wow duelling cut and paste from @Balance and @Ac….what folly,

    The art of blogging – thus we love Bushie so – is to distill a view as crisply as possible. Why paste these extensive pieces…didn’t you guys complete precis stuff at school, uni or wherever.

    And Mr Balance your bias is a big weigh to carry it seems. I didn’t say – and neither did I interpret in @Sargeant’s excellent blog – that the Democratic party membership is monolithic and immune to racist actions towards Blacks. The simple argument is that overall that party is more liberal and with that has embraced the Black population and issues surrounding that community moreso than its Republican opponents.

    It is also ridiculous to come at this argument with your level of hard bias because the Black community itself absolutely does not have a monolithic view on the issues particularly welfare reform.

    So let’s distill, decipher and offer our perspectives without the useless long winded pasting…is the concept of links, extracts or very brief summaries considered at your early morning parties!!! Oh lawd.

    BTW, that piece on Pres Johnson and his ‘struggle’ to pass the Civil Right Act is so disingenuous on your part that its hilariously ROTF laughable. Why, well because its absolutely a true reflection of how difficult decisions are in politics and how an opponent can always find some nugget to attempt to disparage.

    Mr Balance: did A Civil Rights Act – flaws and all – pass. YES
    Was it as perfect as desired. NO…But one was passed correct!
    Did the Act firmly establish rights previously disavowed and set a path for the future. YES
    Was Pres Johnson not accurate that a White America in the south would disavow. YES
    Didn’t his party get decimated even as it grew. YES
    Which party leader made the difficult decision on this race issue. Democrat
    Which party reinforced that statement that America was for all races. Democrats.
    Which party took in all the disaffected Democrats who bolted the party. Republicans
    Which party today is being taken over by a man spouting racist rhetoric. Republican
    Which blogger is wearing his bias poorly on his sleeve. YOU
    Which blogger needs to change his moniker post haste. YOU

    Ahhh, now I too long winded. LOLLL.

    Always good to see such awesome ‘Balanced’ blogging!!!! Phew

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  23. David March 3, 2016 at 8:03 AM #

    @Dee Word

    You noticed too?

    Folly indeed.

    It is the height of insensitivity.

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  24. balance March 3, 2016 at 8:42 AM #

    What folly can there be in the dissemination of information? Isn’t the blog supposed to be a forum of information or speculation?

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  25. balance March 3, 2016 at 8:48 AM #

    What is disingenuous De ingrunt is for people like you Ac and Sarge to trumpet the Democratic party as the party of African Americans when there is clear incontrovertible evidence that they are not. You have your views and I have mine. We will both continue to wallow in our ignorance of the facts.

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  26. balance March 3, 2016 at 8:50 AM #

    A gentleman once told me that Errol Barrow brought free education to Barbados and no one can tell him different despite empirical evidence to the contrary. So people believe what they want to believe.

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  27. ac March 3, 2016 at 8:50 AM #

    Sorry d igrunt but at times when extensive knoweldge calls for a duty to put those things in their true perspective the need to produce sufficient evidence becomes of higher importance.That is what all justice systems expects of the claimants and defendants and which cannot devoid or railroad that which is justifiable right or proper eventually in most cases produces a justice founded on open transparency .
    Therefore ac offer no excuse for the article pasted which in part is evidentiary to balance and transparency.
    Needless to say that many travelling across the blogosphere might have been for the first time exposed to such detailed information and be more appreciative than you are.

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  28. Vincent Haynes March 3, 2016 at 9:54 AM #

    An interesting perspective and one which I share…..one day coming soon all the rubbish over melanin content will be replaced by whose forehead is bigger as we humans must always find a prejudice.

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/donald-trump-noam-chomsky-white-mortality_us_56cf8618e4b0bf0dab31838f

    Like

  29. de Ingrunt Word March 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM #

    @AC, we need to get over ourselves. Anyone coming to the blog certainly enjoys original info or some rollicking different perspective on an issue.

    They do NOT need to force fed bland net data!!!!

    Consider this very weighty remark: if they can FIND this blog then SURELY they can find a link or Google any reference you make to support your point. Ya thiink…Wha do you say!!!

    To cut and paste such abundantly available historical data is as David said INSENSITIVE. Do you really believe that anyone will read beyond the introductory sentence. Oh smart one!

    @Balance..and was that biased person who credits the Honorable Errol Barrow with Bajan’s free education currently blogging with a moniker that suggests he approaches matters with an even handed approach?

    Your problem sir/madam is that you rail against the Democrats with deep bias…I certainly did not “trumpet the Democratic party as the party of African Americans” to suggest in any way that the party is the end all and be all for Blacks. NO sir. That is where your bias blinds you to what is being said.

    I am not wallowing in any ignorance on that subject…and neither are you.

    You are just being UN-Balanced. Change your moniker it’s absolutely not fitting. LOLL.

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  30. Sargeant March 3, 2016 at 10:23 AM #

    @Balance

    Rather than get into a long winded discourse let’s say that the Democratic party was the Party of racists, when the Party started to evolve in its treatment of blacks where did all the racists like the afore mentioned Strum Thurmond go?

    Like

  31. David March 3, 2016 at 10:30 AM #

    @balance

    Simply check the last comment posted by Vincent, you post the link to the article with an opening paragraph. Simple. Imagine if some one is reading on a mobile or handheld device the inconvenience caused by having to scroll. It is commonsense and Dee Word Is correct. BU will exercise our judgement if commenters do not cooperate.

    Like

  32. ac March 3, 2016 at 10:44 AM #

    Sir d igrunt what is the difference between your long winded diatribe and knowedgable information ..go figure
    Yours that only serves a few …and information that gives differenicng perspectives from a historical point of reference go figure

    Like

  33. balance March 3, 2016 at 5:33 PM #

    “Sargeant March 3, 2016 at 10:23 AM #

    @Balance

    Rather than get into a long winded discourse let’s say that the Democratic party was the Party of racists, when the Party started to evolve in its treatment of blacks where did all the racists like the afore mentioned Strum Thurmond go?’


    Look sarge thanks for you engagement but I wouldn’t beat this issue any longer. I do not live in America nor will I ever live there so I do not care from that perspective who is President. I trust that the policies of whoever is elected would not be detrimental to Caribbean interests. That is my concern and sorry to mash your corns but the policies of the democrats do run counter to the interests of the Caribbean. If you doubt me ask Owen Arthur.

    Like

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