Fear or Faith? Make ’08 Great In Black America!

Posted in business, news, politics on November 24, 2007 by bmorenews

Firstly, I hope Thanksgiving – despite all of the political nuances of some dudes with square buckled shoes, the velvet outfits with the really weird hats, accompanied by funny looking rifles – was good for everybody. Despite its start, it nonetheless represents the beginning of what we Americans have come to embrace as “the holidays.” May they truly be holy for all who partake.

None can argue that human beings ought – probably more than once a year, though – enter a season of thankfulness, a season of counting one’s blessings, a season of retrospect and peace and humility and maybe even some type of Godliness. Surely, beginning in Baltimore City, such is desperately needed. From my travels, I can assure the reader that such seasons of love are needed throughout the world.

Seemingly, our 21st century ipod-mp3-nano-cellphone-helldate-text and instant email messaging-hip hop video-six hundred dollar handbag with no money in it-mentality could use a pause from the cause of possibly the most selfish generation the world has ever known.

May we all use this time to reflect on just how good God has been to us all. If one is even able to read this message – whether one is in prison, a hospital, a hospice unit, or overseas in places like Iraq – even that is a blessing.

I am reminded of Brother Terry in Baltimore: a man with no arms or legs. With a prosthesis on every limb, he drags through the ‘hood and other places each day in search of narcotics. May 2008 be great for Terry … and for us all. May we all better realize our potential. And that brings us to today’s topic: Fear or faith?

Fear, according to wise men, is false evidence appearing real.

The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.

If you are like me, that might need a little bit of translation.

Here’s another take on this Hebrews 11:1 verse. The Weymouth New Testament says this: Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

Can anyone prove there is a God? No, not really. Does God exist? People of faith – be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Yoruba, or otherwise – tend to believe so.

Why? For me, I only have to glance at my own life to conclude that without a doubt, unequivocally, hands-down, no question … God is definitely real. And I tend to believe that God talks to people everyday and all the time about our purpose, problems, and potential.

I think God wants the absolute best for all people, that he wants people to learn to get along and to be loving towards each other. I think God wants mankind and womankind to learn to work together.

Recently, I saw a show on cable about Iraq – something like “a day in the life of.” Soldiers were portrayed in what’s supposed to be a most deadly day in the war-torn country for American soldiers. Since seeing it, I have been also reflecting on some comments by some colleagues who have come to think the US presence in Iraq is needed and that withdrawal is problematic and that George Bush, by leading us into war, did a good thing.

My response to the pundits: A stick-up is a stick-up is a stick-up, regardless of the uniform worn by the perpetrator. Whether it’s a ski mask, an Army helmet, or a pen stripe aboard Airforce One – a robbery is a robbery.

Now, some political theorists from the real politik school of thought suggest that those with the biggest guns tend to get their way. Even so, that person or entity with the biggest guns has a responsibility to lead. To misuse that power is to be a bully. And nobody likes a bully – especially one who is only led by selfishness.

Question: Is America acting out of fear or faith?          

Acting out of fear tends to be emotional, reactionary, and truly lacking faith and confidence that God has the whole world in His hands. Acting out fear tends to lead to bad decisions – ones that discount the power of God. America, supposedly heavily influenced by Christianity and the religious right, seems to represent so much that is anti-God.

From MySpace to 15x-rated downloads on Ipods, many Americans – especially under the age of 21 – are not just hearing the most awful, foul, and despicable content. Many are seeing it.

Ten years ago, nobody would show off their underwear. Today, you can see the cracks of hindparts on a regular basis without effort.

Wiser but weaker, saith the Bible.

Maybe, that is what we have become.

At the same time, particularly in the most affluent parts of black America – like Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties – it is Asian students getting the majority of the scholarships and Asian merchants clocking the majority of the dollars.

Seemingly, black America’s destiny is terribly intertwined into that of the larger country.

Sadly, black America was once the voice of reason – of spirituality – of faith for this country, “the greatest nation on earth.”

Yet, by all standards, one could argue that black America is losing its salt, its taste, its value, its worthiness, its purpose. 

From the wilderness, voices like MLK and Martin and David Walker and Harriet Tubman and Madame C.J. Walker and Rosa Parks and all of those great, great grandmas and great, great, great grandfathers shriek a sigh of discontent with the actions of blacks in America today.

Is black America, once the voice of God in America, living by sight? If we don’t have a new car or a new house in exactly 98.62 seconds, are we really going to die? Must we suffer a hissy fit because we didn’t get the new lawnmower like our neighbor?

My big cousin, Jamal, reminds: You can’t have no business minding somebody else’s business.

We, in black America and America, need to start minding our business. We need to provide every American child with a solid education. And that education, I believe, will restore our self-confidence.

Children today know Soulja Boy, but not the Pythagorean theorem. but, Asian American students know about A squared, B squared and C squared. Little black kids today know the lyrics to the popular songs, but have trouble reciting … a Bible verse.

Seems to me we have our priorities in the wrong order.

Hell, in some families – like mine – getting people under one roof to eat some damn turkey is like Superman and cryptonite. Well, maybe not the whole family. But, you get the point.

I think its time to recreate ourselves, redefine our values, and rediscover our greatness with the faith that God knows best, and that unless our thoughts, our aims, our passions are directed by goodness – we are doomed.

The black family is under attack. Black men make up half of America’s prisons. Prince George’s County has a 44% drop-out rate. Baltimore is killing more black people than ever before. Many children don’t know their fathers and black women spend more on hair weaves than the law should allow – especially since no black folks are manufacturing these weaves.

I could go on and on. The point is that each and every one of us might need to take a minute and reflect on our collective and individual progress. What’s working? What’s not? What needs massaging? What needs to be reduced or eliminated? And who needs to be cut or added?

It’s time to do a self-check and really answer the question for next year: Fear or faith? Are we going to be led by false evidence, or by the evidence that got our ancestors through the worst holocaust ever – American slavery and American racism.

Black America, hopefully, can come to understand that we have to move beyond “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and come to live as the true kings and queens of faith that God himself has called us to be.

On that note be well, a very special Happy Anniversary to my pastor – Rev. Dr. A. C. D. Vaughn of Sharon Baptist Church – on 50 years in the pulpit for God, and be sure to share some love. Even more, make your ’08 as great as great can be.      

               

   

Advertisements

TGR Vol. VII, No. 15: To Thine Ownself … Be Truest

Posted in Blogroll, business, news, politics on October 25, 2007 by bmorenews

Morehouse College's Doni Glover and acclaimed film maker Spike Lee

By D. Morton Glover, http://www.BMORENEWS.com

To not live one’s purpose is a sin.

(BALTIMORE – Oct. 24, 2007) – Late at night when nothing is moving except the foxes, the deer, the dogs, the cats and the rats, there comes a time when one has to ask one’s self: What am I doing with my life? Am I doing what I should be doing?

Yesterday, I saw a friend from back in the day when I was a young broker trainee. The dude is Kevin Davis of the May-Davis Group. When I first met him, I was a student in the arena of stocks and bonds at the tender age of 20.

As an employee then of the Chapman Company, I called myself toiling to be a money-maker, a hustler, a guy with the newest car and the swankest crib and the most beautiful chick in the world. By the way, my boss was Nate Chapman, a man I admire and appreciate to this day. Despite mistakes, he reminded me at 20 that I can accomplish any damn thing I put my mind to do. He is incarcerated at present. However, he will always be a superman type of man to me because before his errors, he did all of the things necessary to achieve the American dream. Further, he was selfless enough … to pass … the … ball.

Understand, it was there at The Chapman Company, then located in the Mercantile Trust Building on West Baltimore Street, that I was introduced to my mission in life.

Here, I thought – for a while – that mine would be the accoutrements and platitudes of being the baddest broker in town, able to sell an Eskimo an igloo, a Chinese person a bowl of yat or a wok, and a homeboy some relic of my late mother’s kitchen.

After all, money is supposed to be able to buy us happiness.

One day, however, I would get to the front door of that building, and before I entered – I paused. I paused long enough to look up to our 13th floor office that hot summer day and just stare … stare into the oblivion of knowing damn well I was doing something I was not called to do. It was at that very moment that some empowerment occurred. No longer could I do this blasphemy because I did not (and now I know not) think that that was what God had called me, a Morehouse man, to do.

A Christian song comes to mind: “What God has for me, it is for me.”

The baddest house, the baddest ride, the baddest girl at my side became extremely, entirely and unequivocally irrelevant and what’s more, terribly suspect in my book. Yes, we should all have a home, mainly because it is possible. Yes, we all should have some mode of transportation, and for me that means a vehicle with four wheels, protection from the elements, and a little style wouldn’t hurt nobody. As for the girl – I have come to appreciate that there is something much better: a woman.

So, today as the rains come down in a drought-ridden state, I take solace in knowing that the task I have of being a seeker and a teller of truth is not a bad lot in life. Yes, few people will pat you on the back. Hardly any lovers of truth want to pay you to continue. Only a prayer and a wish sometimes is what you have, especially if you are the creator and founder of http://www.BMORENEWS.com.

Nonetheless, every now and then, in the midst of the great noise, that cacophony of sound that leaves one shaking in one’s boots – a voice invariably appears from the wilderness, especially if you know the Lord like I do: Someone like a Mark Spencer will call out of the blue and say he had just talked about BMORENEWS.com last night to a close relative: “BMORENEWS is a standard bearer for exposing the truth about what people are experiencing in their day to day lives and what the solutions are. Doni, your job is to continue to enlighten the community and to get our people back on their feet. Who else will speak for the people? Who else will speak for Mychal Bell, a person who is illegally incarcerated while his Constitutional Rights have been violated?”

On that note, I will be a part of a panel discussion on Saturday, November 17th from 10 am to 12 noon at the Oxon Hill Library in Gorgeous Prince George’s County, the richest black county in America. Thanks, Marion! The focus is race and the criminal justice system. To say the least, I am honored.

Interestingly, this Saturday I am scheduled to meet Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the urging of DC’s most to-the-right brother alive – Armstrong Williams.

All this to say, the life of the publisher of BMORENEWS is never an easy thing. Why? I think it is not easy because there is so much out there to consider daily. And as soon as you think you have the answer, another scenario – like a Michael Steele in a state that had never before had a black lieutenant governor, let alone Republican one – appears.

Yes, there is always a cornucopia of instances to consider when one even writes a story.

People kill me when they say they are not political. My thought is: Everything you do is political.

Every single thing!

Like right now, someone is reading this and asking where am I going. Am I a Republican? No.

Am I a Democrat that will vote Republican? In Maryland, that did happen to be so.

Why? Because Democrats in Maryland in 2002 disrespected black folk to the nth degree.

Do I like Clarence Thomas? Well, I don’t know him. Never hung out with him, never sipped with him, never dined with him, nothing. I really think it is hard to dislike somebody one has never met.

On the other hand, his media portrays that he ain’t Thurgood Marshall. And I think that is safe to say. Thurgood lived 2 minutes from my current home in Sandtown. Given the geographic dynamics of his times, there was absolutely no way for Justice Marshall to be inoculated from what was happening to black people in my hometown, nationally, and across the globe.

There was no way he could have been insulated from the knowledge of the dog bites inflicted on otherwise innocent people whose only crime was being black.

Clarence Thomas should be ashamed of himself. And so should anybody who would dare claim that his insubordination to Pan-Africanism everywhere is justifiable.

Here’s the hit, because Justice Thomas is not the focus today. Actually, running a successful black business is the key for me. Few think it can be done. Many are quick to critique. Few are willing to support.

Why? Because the truth hurts, and few can handle it, let alone spending a dime to ensure it continues.

Actually, Jack Nicholson comes to mind, saying, “You can’t handle the truth.”

For the truth is and it lives, and it burns, and it encapsulates the mind in a season of freedom, a freedom bought by the lives of people like Denmark Vesey and David Walker and Nanny the Maroon Queen. It is not popular. It is not the subject of hip hop songs or videos. It is not the focus of speeches at music awards shows. It is not the hope of the bourgeoisie or the seemingly arrived or the nouveau riche who find themselves raising children in an otherwise forsaken world.

It is merely the truth. Unpopular, hated, despised, and misconstrued by the hopeless radio commentator as disdain.

But, I say: Oh, how God is able!

Oh, how BMORENEWS.com and DMGlobal Communications – one of the top 100 MBEs in Maryland last year founded by the City Paper’s 2005 Best Enterprising Journalist and awardee of the 2006 Media Choice Award by the local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists – have been the favorite number to call for so many I will not name.

In any event, here at BMORENEWS – we promise to continue to tell the truth with the full knowledge that enough of the community will keep us up and on-line. We promise to continue to demonstrate vision and bring people the most unique radio shows possible. We promise to continue our regular emails – as we have done for about 8 years (Thanks, Mike!, Thanks, Diane!). We promise to continue to answer the calls from WBAL TV 11 and Maryland Public Television and the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, and our favorite – The Gazette.

With every ounce of love and passion in our soul, do know that BMORENEWS.com Lives … today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Do know that we are ever invigorated to tell the truth and keep things moving, all the while speaking truth to power. And please continue to pray that despite any obstacles, BMORENEWS.com is girded in truth so as to continue to play its day role – for whomever or whatever – just so long as telling the truth is the goal.

Rawlings-Blake Tours Asia

Posted in Blogroll, business, news, politics on October 24, 2007 by bmorenews

City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Chosen to Participate in New Generation Seminar in Asia

Baltimore, MD (October 8, 2007) – Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is one of only four rising leaders nationwide chosen to participate in the 17th New Generation Seminar, part of the East-West Seminars program, which will take place over two weeks in Honolulu, Shanghai, and Hiroshima.

The New Generation Seminar is a unique program that brings together rising leaders from Asia, the Pacific, and the United States for two weeks of education and dialogue on issues facing the Asia Pacific and the U.S. The objectives of the program include an increase of awareness on issues and challenges facing each region, and the creation of a network from which participants can draw and develop in their leadership positions.

“It’s important to recognize that in America, we are not alone in the challenges and opportunities we face and there is quite a bit to learn from our international partners,” noted Council President Rawlings-Blake. “I look forward to drawing from the innovative ideas and the unique perspectives of the other participants, and discussing with them how our experiences in Baltimore can help other communities around the world.”

The theme for this year’s program is “Education Challenges of the 21st Century.” Council President Rawlings-Blake will deliver a presentation during the Seminar entitled “The Challenges and Opportunities of Urban Education Systems.”

The Council President’s trip is not City-sponsored, and the expenses are carried by the East-West Seminar program. The Council President’s Seminar begins October 14, and she will return to Baltimore Monday, October 29. Council Vice President Robert Curran will preside over the October 15th Council Meeting, as well as the Board of Estimates during Rawlings-Blake’s absence. A complete list of program participants and originating nations can be provided upon request.

Slots: For or Against?

Posted in Blogroll, business, news, politics on October 24, 2007 by bmorenews

I am for slots if, and only if they benefit the black community, if blacks will have ownership of some slot outlets, and if education is the actual primary target of slots proceeds. Anything less is unacceptable. We have watched the state lottery for three decades do absolutely little or nothing for Baltimore City Public Schools.

10,000 Men BMORE?

Posted in Blogroll, news, politics on October 23, 2007 by bmorenews

With the City of Brotherly Love having just pulled together some 10,000 black men to address its incredibly high murder rate, isn’t it high time that Charm City follow suit. Beginning today, BMORENEWS will reach out to local leaders to see if this is something that can be duplicated. Our number of murders in Baltimore this year is steadily rising, and there seems to be no end in sight. If you think this is possible, we’d love to hear from you: 443.858.2684.

Special session: It’s a bold, daring move … despite critics

Posted in Blogroll, business, news, politics on October 21, 2007 by bmorenews

One thing is for sure: The state has a $1.7 billion budget gap that has to be closed. We do not know the answers. Slots? Higher sales taxes? Closing corporate loop holes?

Not sure. We are sure that something has to be done.

Maybe Gov. Martin O’Malley has ticked off some legislators with his call for a special session just a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Taxpayers probably don’t care. After all, this deficit was not solved during the last gubernatorial administration.

Further, as noted in today’s Sun, this is a battle between Mike Busch and Mike Miller – in many ways.

I say, at least O’Malley is being pro-active and attempting to get a jump on an issue that needs a solition – like yesterday.

If there are going to be slots, we’d simply like to see some black ownership and some guarantees for public education in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. 

Promoting black business on bmorenews.com, WOLB 1010 AM this Tuesday

Posted in business, news on October 21, 2007 by bmorenews

Black business owners are encouraged to call-in on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007 from 10 am to 11 am to promote their business on WOLB 1010 AM, where information is power. Host is none other than BMORENEWS publisher Doni Glover.

Despite the challenges, many African Americans are holding their own as entrepreneurs. Tuesday’s show is meant to highlight many of the accomplishments of these business owners – no matter how big, no matter how small.

BMORENEWS’s black agenda over the past five years, it should be noted, has emphasized and advocated for black business owners.