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Book Signing at Left Bank

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Much gratitude to all who came out last evening for my book signing at Left Banks. It was definitely a reunion of old friends and the making of new ones.

One highlight was Daphne Jones  coming out. She was fired from her job back in 2007 for wearing an “I Love Being Black” button on her job. The racist act turned up as one of my columns entitled “Fear of a Black City” because I needed to name names and call out this racist act.(Daphne brought her copy of the newspaper for me to autograph.) An excerpt from my St. Louis American column:

” In a believable-in-Dred-Scott-City incident, Jones was summarily fired for wearing her button in honor of the Dr. King holiday. The button was likened to the Nazi Swastika by the personnel director of Healthcare Strategic Initiatives, Bernard Kindell. Kindell, an African-American, was responding to another employee’s stated offense to the button. That employee’s identity and race are unknown to date.

 What is known is that being black in this city is an every day challenge.”

I did some reading from the book but we also talked about about several issues, eg. mean-spirited black people (internationalized oppression), how white people can deal with the use of the N-word by another white person in their presence, etc.

As we were packing up to leave, a surprise visitor and his fiancee’ came by–Dr. Lee Blount. A patient made him late but I’m alway happy to see the doctor.

Autographed copies of my book are still available at Left Bank. They also have a few copies of my first book, The Best of the Way I See It.

Next book signing: Bluford Library, Kansas City MO.

 

Black voters must challenge Democrats

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Posted by St. Louis American, September 17

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I couldn’t help but think how Hillary Clinton must’ve felt when Bernie Sanders threw his hat in as a presidential candidate and started to draw record crowds to his events. The self-assured Clinton saw an open path to the U.S. presidency when she ran in 2008 only to have a black male with the non-American name of “Barack Obama” dash her dream of becoming the first women president. Now comes an old socialist whose campaign could threaten Hillary.

As the 2016 presidential race heated up, all that came up for me was dread that the public would have to hear from a lackluster pool of candidates for the next two years. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, both from political dynasties who had a family member in the Oval Office, hardly moved the needle of voter excitement. And the cast of characters who make up the Republican circus ring either make you cringe or laugh out loud.

I think it’s accurate to say that the GOP is not that into black folks. Add to the list brown folks, poor folks – well, just about anyone that is not rich and white. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has prided itself on being the voice of the voiceless, the disenfranchised, the economically oppressed, yet done a poor job at showing it.

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One reason why we can’t get the attention of MO lawmakers

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The People don’t have the dollars to compete with lobbyists. We must out-organize the lobbyists if we are to get our so-called public servants to understand they serve ALL of us–not the few who can bribe them with campaign donations and other trinkets. After all, we pay legislatures through our hard-earned tax dollars but must demand accountability: A pound for a pound!

A report from Progress Missouri

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Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) records show that state legislators, statewide officials, judges and local officials have accepted more than $10,810,500 in gifts from lobbyists since 2004. On average, that’s $900,000 — every year — in free meals, booze, trips, lodging and other gifts. Almost all of these gifts go to members of the General Assembly and their staff members.

This report compiles and analyzes the lobbyist gift records, shines a light on glaring loopholes in state law that allow millions of dollars worth of freebies to be reported opaquely, and provides regional data for top gift recipients across the state.

Read the full report here, The Jeff City Gift Culture. See if you notice any familiar beneficiaries of bribes.