For more than a year I've tried to get Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to make an appearance on my Sunday morning news show on TV One, the nation's second-largest black cable network.
He has also been invited to appear on my daily segment on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," with 8 million listeners.
Although Priebus did tell me "yes" a year ago, on the day of the GOP primary debate in South Carolina, he has yet to show up and talk GOP politics to either of these audiences.
In 1978 a New Jersey-born and California-raised kid landed in Tennessee. I was a deceitful, recovering heroin addict and a school dropout, thief and former childhood run-away when I met The Honorable Lois M. DeBerry in Crossville, Tenn. at the Annual Legislative Retreat of The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators.
Rep. DeBerry transformed this stranger through increased exposure and raised expectations.
Being a life long Memphian, I have passed Forrest Park and the huge statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest on Union Avenue hundreds of times without stopping. Why would I stop?
Since when has the history of a man riding on a horse ever meant anything good for an African American?
Neither was I prompted to entertain the revelation of the horse's rider, and this despite the local news media's recent swarm to the statue.
The Teacher Effectiveness Initiative has become the most recent attempt and buzz word for the privatization and corporate takeover of public education. The broader question that remains unanswered and unaddressed is school-wide and community effectiveness!
Those who are in control and who have the financial backing will maintain they have no control over the system and the conditions under which our students live; they have identified and targeted teachers as the single most important and crucial element in the public school system. Therein, everything that is wrong with public education is addressed by blaming teachers.
Uncontrolled weight gain saddles a multifaceted group of people. Closer inspection reveals myriad individuals with lives, thoughts and feelings that do not register with many of us.
Meet Judy Lee of Albert, Canada. She has come to the United States again seeking a way to reduce her current weight of 275 pounds, which makes her feel almost ready to live her life as a recluse.
One hundred fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a flawed document that freed enslaved people in Confederate areas that he did not control. At the same time, it was a progressive document because it initiated discussion about the "freedom" Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteen Amendments.
One hundred years later, in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. riveted the nation with his "I Have A Dream" speech during the August 28 March on Washington. Many will remember that he said, "I have a dream that one day people will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Somehow people forget that in the same speech he said, "We have come to the nation's capital to cash a check that has been marked insufficient funds." If people said "cash the check" as often as they said "I have a dream," we'd move more quickly forward in closing the economic gaps that African American people experience.
I really had not planned on writing anything about the shooting in Newtown, Conn. because I didn't have anything fresh or thought provoking to write. As I have indicated before, I can't muster any extra sympathy for the tragic events in Connecticut when young kids are dying every day in Chicago and they barely get a mention in the news, and definitely not by this White House.
The worst thing any politician can ever do is to legislate while caught up in a cloud of emotion. Every time Americans have a tragedy, politicians and the public demand that "something" be done to prevent the same event from happening again. Here is a truth that most of us do not want to admit: There is no current law or future law that can prevent another mass shooting from occurring. Guns are not the problem, it's the people.