Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kappas and Omegas Form Super Pac

The following article is music to my ears. The action taken by these two fraternities is truly groundbreaking and demonstrates the growing political maturity of  our community. Instead of being reactive - showing up a day late and a dollar short - the Kappas and Omegas decided to be proactive. By forming a Political Action Committee and strategically targeting battle grounds states signals, we have a better understanding of the political process and are ready to play ball with the big boys. Hats off to them...

Backed by members of Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, historically black fraternities that both celebrated their centennials last year, 1911 United aims to raise $1.5 million toward training and organizing African-American voters in key battleground states to re-elect President Obama. Members of the two fraternities joined forces last year, officially forming the committee in December, after seeing that both organizations were running their own campaign volunteer-recruitment efforts at college homecoming events.

"We were thinking about how we could really honor the legacy of those brothers who got together 100 years ago, and we thought perhaps the best thing we could do is help re-elect our president," Sinclair Skinner, committee treasurer, told The Root.

To achieve this goal, 1911 United plans to organize and deploy 10,000 volunteers to register at least 100 voters each and activate them to hit the polls. The PAC is focusing its efforts in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado.

"When it comes to putting down dollars, energy and effort, these are the critical battleground states," said Skinner, 42. "We also chose states where the black electorate represents a percentage of the population that will make a difference in the election's outcome if we don't come out. We're not fighting Republicans; we're fighting apathy.

Another critical aspect of 1911 United's approach is organizing early, instead of the typical model of rushing a last-minute push in the fall. Starting now will be especially important in combating possible disenfranchisement of black voters in the form of photo-ID laws, cuts to early voting and other rule changes in the 2012 election

"Some of this is about our people maturing in the electoral process," said Skinner, who added that too often, African Americans mistakenly view elections as a one-day event. "The issue of voter suppression is not new to us as a people. But getting involved in the process in January will ensure that we're more prepared come November for whatever they try to throw at us. That involvement means making sure that people are aware of all the laws, all the rules, and in a position to address them."  read entire story

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gary Kamiya: The anti-Obama cult

My must read Sunday column comes from Gary Kamiya of He insightfully writes about the growing and all consuming GOP hatred of the President Obama and the root causes.

He writes:

The Republican hatred of Obama has become a cult. It is typically dressed up with the trappings of Christianity, but the cult does not reflect the teachings of that Jewish heretic known as Jesus of Nazareth — unless you believe, as Bachmann appears to, that defeating “Obamacare” is an essential part of the Lord’s master plan for the universe. (Personally, I would have thought that the great soul who reached out to the poor, the sick and the despised would have preferred universal healthcare over a system devoted to swelling the profits of those modern-day money-changers known as insurance companies, but what do I know?) But that is not to say that the version of Christianity embraced by many members of the anti-Obama cult does not play a key role in the movement, in ways we shall presently explore.

The anti-Obama cult is based on an irrational, grossly excessive fear and hatred of something the cult members call “big government” or “socialism,” and an equally irrational worship of something they call “freedom” or “liberty.” The fear and hatred of big government is irrational and excessive because Obama’s innocuous heathcare bill, the passage of which cult members like Bachmann see as the beginning of the end for America, is far less momentous as a piece of “social engineering” than Social Security, Medicare, welfare or progressive taxation.

He continues:

The implosion of right-wing ideology and the persistence of the culture war toxin might have been enough by itself to create the anti-Obama cult, but two other factors also played a role. The first was his race. For many right-wingers, Obama was a foreign object, whose unexpected entrance into the body politic activated their immune systems – hence the “birther” movement and other bizarre right-wing obsessions. Whether the right’s aversion to Obama constitutes classic racism is a Talmudic question; what is undeniable is that his race activated a horde of (literally) white cells, rushing to expel the invader. Like organisms, cults always delineate themselves by drawing sharp lines between Us and Them.
The second reason involves Christianity. As Michele Bachmann’s speech demonstrated, for many devout right-wing Christians, there is no real difference between politics and religion. If religion is the uppermost thing in one’s life, if Jesus is with one every minute of every day, then it is easy to see how a true believer like Bachmann could come to see preserving her vision of the Republic as a semi-sacred trust, and defeating “Obamacare” as an essential part of that godly mission. Moreover, devoutly literalistic Christians tend to divide the world up into Good and Evil, with the founding dyad of God and the devil lurking in the background; it is not too much of a stretch to say that for many right-wing Christians, Barack Obama is at least of the devil’s party, if not Beelzebub himself. read entire article

Related Article:
Pure Unadulterated Racism

Jamal Mashburn: Rags to Riches to Wealth

The professional sports world has an abundance of rags to riches to rags stories. Players sign the phat contract and then foolishly run through their loot like it's water. As the cliche famously states: a fool and his money are soon parted.

Well, my man Jamal Mashburn, former NBA great, is no fool and he and his dough have taken vows of
'til death do us part."

Instead of living the Bling-Bling lifestyle - here today, gone tomorrow - Mash used his money as a tool. He wisely created multiple revenue streams with sound investments - parlaying his riches into wealth. Similar to Junior Bridgeman, Mash is still living above the rim.

Read On:

It's mind-blowing how many stories about former superstar athletes involve bankruptcy. An estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are penniless within five years after hanging up their sneakers. But this is the tale of a one-time NBA star who has built his riches.
Jamal Mashburn earned more than $75 million before his career was cut short by a serious knee injury. But he has put together a powerful post-basketball business dossier which includes 37 Papa John's pizza restaurants, 30 Outback Steakhouses, two car dealerships and a real estate company in the state of Kentucky.
Mashburn and former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino (who is now at Louisville) are partners in Ol Memorial Stable, which owns Kentucky Derby prospect Buffalo Man, along with Outback Steakhouse co-founder and Kentucky grad Chris T. Sullivan.
"For me, being in business is always something I wanted to do. When I was a kid riding on trains in New York, I saw older people carrying a briefcase. I was always curious what was in them. That's probably my original inspiration," Mashburn told China Daily.
"I had talent as a basketball player, so I used it as a vehicle to open doors and meet people. I am not a guy who wants to be a one-night wonder. I want to continue my legacy as a businessman. It gives people a chance to see me as more than just a former pro athlete."
Owning restaurants is nice, but Mashburn has big dreams of becoming an NBA owner. He's spoken several times with commissioner David Stern about being part of a group to buy the New Orleans Hornets from the league.  read entire story
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Former NBA great Junior Bridgeman - Still living above the rim