February 21, 2018
Wed, 02 21, 2018

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    The Obamas announced one of their first major projects as private citizens after leaving the White House: The Obama Presidential Center.

    The center will be based on the south side of Chicago, and will have projects throughout the city, country and the world. The center will also be home to their foundation, The Obama Foundation.  More than a library or museum, the center will be a living, working center for citizenship.


    There is a painting called Intent off the main lobby of Chicago's Union League Club, which I like a great deal. It's by Rene Romero Schuler, and it features a solitary, partially attenuated figure silhouetted against a mottled ivory background.  I've seen it several times, and it usually reminds me of Giacometti--the painted wall fragments from his legendary studio at Rue Hippolyte-Mandron or even Tall Figure and Walking Man.  But an unfortunate incident during my most recent three-day stay at ULC turned Schuler’s large square canvas into a symbol of race relations and a reminder of the uncertainties facing America during the presidency of Donald J. Trump.  

    orginal version published at racetowealth.net on 10/28/15

    Yet another video of aggressive policing has gone viral, this one capturing a white police officer grabbing a seated, black, female student by her collar, body-slamming her onto the floor, and dragging her across the classroom at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina. Her alleged infraction? Refusing to comply with the officer’s instructions to leave the room after she was confronted for texting in class.

    Originally posted at racetowealth.net.

    My grade school teachers often told me, “Success is where preparation meets opportunity.” Over the years, I have shared this same mantra with my children, including my daughter.  My husband and I encourage her to take her studies seriously, work hard, maintain high moral standards, and give back to the community. Fortunately, she has taken this instruction to heart– she is a bright, spirit-filled, conscientious high-schooler with her eyes set on a good college and a healthcare career helping others. Yet, as she prepares to launch her adult life, the truth is she is less likely to have the same opportunities as others simply because she is a black female. And because of her name.

    Those who believe in the Law of Attraction say the more attention you give a subject, the larger it gets.  In one of his many programs on public television, Dr. Wayne Dyer put it this way.  Suppose you’re in a shopping mall and you see a store filled with ugly lamps.  And you say to yourself, “Those are the ugliest lamps I’ve ever seen.  I hate those lamps.”  But then you go into the mall and purchase fifty of those very lamps.

    On August 21, 2015, two apologies appeared in the New York Times, which at first glance do not seem related, but in fact are. 

    The first was from the Times’ Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, in response to criticism that the paper’s obituary of civil rights legend, Julian Bond, used the term “slave mistress” to describe his great grandmother.  The second, perhaps more widely read apology was from 50-year-old Hip Hop mogul, Dr. Dre, who issued a statement via the Times indicating that he is sorry about the women he has hurt.

    This is the photograph of Julian Bond I like best.  It is January 10, 1966.  Everyone but Julian is standing, their right hands raised as they take the oath of office to serve as duly elected representatives of the Georgia State Legislature.  Julian does not remain seated in protest, as one might expect this firebrand of the Civil Rights Movement to do.  He's not standing because he is being punished.  The legislature has denied him the seat his constituents have elected him to.  Why?  Because he spoke out against the war in Vietnam before it became popular to do so.

    There will be a feeding frenzy now.  The Big Fish has begun to bleed.  When the sharks have finished anything once thought good and honorable and right will be interred with his bones and replaced by the evil that will surely live on.

    Bill Cosby is no Julius Caesar, but if I am reminded of Mark Antony’s funeral oration it is because the Coz crossed a Rubicon of his own making and by that deed—those 47 deeds and counting—has reached a point from which there can be no turning back.

    As I write this, the pillorying of Rachel Dolezal has been wiped from the front pages by the tragic murder of nine innocents at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.  A young man steeped in the rhetoric of Nazism and apartheid has been arrested for the hate crime.  Both occur during the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, which commemorates the day Texas slaves were finally freed, an event that is celebrated now in at least 40 other states.  Juneteenth is not yet the federal unpaid holiday some hope it may someday become.  But it is a time for remembering not so much the injustices of the past but the remarkable resilience and perseverance of an entire people through the most shameful period in American history.

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