by Jim Clingman 

What do we have to lose?

During their recent chit-chat with President Donald Trump, the Congressional Black Caucus members made it plain that they were not there simply for a photo-op or just to engage in meaningless conversation. So, they had a serious discussion about what Black folks need Trump to do in several areas, i.e. education, criminal justice, economics, workforce, rural America, environmental, and health. And, they put it in writing—a 125-page document titled, “We have a lot to lose – Solutions to advance Black families in the 21st Century.”

According to news reports, Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, said the group raised “several areas of concern” but added that it was a “positive start.” According to Bass, among the concerns raised were Trump’s campaign rhetoric depicting African-American communities as “completely lawless,” his proposed budget cuts, mass incarceration, and the “rolling back” of the Voting Rights Act.

The CBC began its document by giving Donald Trump a Black history lesson, saying, “…to consider the state of Black America without historical context denies the origins of the problems that continue to plague our communities, as well as the centuries-long battle to bring our people to this point.” The CBC cited every era from enslavement to civil rights; the one that drew most of my attention was enslavement.

The document stated, “Slaves literally built this country, including the United States Capitol and the White House. The uncompensated labor of millions of slaves established the wealth of White America, unjust profits that have never been repaid.” I got excited when I read that part; I kept reading and assumed I would soon get to see the CBC’s demand for reparations, in some form or another to compensate our ancestors’ families for their free labor. I kept reading.

Surely I would find their position on reparations in the next section: Reconstruction. I kept reading. The Great Migration period was next—no mention of reparations yet, but I still had hope. Then came The Great Depression, The New Deal, World War II, Jim Crow, and The Civil Rights period. Where was the demand for reparations for Black people, considering everything that was pointed out in the document? I kept reading.

Eureka! Finally, I thought. It has to be in the section titled, “Solutions for the African American Community,” which would bring to life the statement its members made in the document, namely, “The CBC has always been committed to actions infused with ‘moral clarity’ and a desire to honestly and forthrightly represent the interests of our constituents, the African-American community, and all Americans.” Yes, I cringed when I read, “and all Americans,” wondering how the CBC could represent the interests of “all,” after citing the words of founding member, Bill Clay, regarding Black “permanent interests,” at the beginning of their document. Maybe the reference to “all” was written in error. I kept reading.

When I read, “Members have always been at the forefront of issues such as economic security and empowerment…” I knew the organization that calls itself, “The conscience of America,” would lay it all out at that point, making its moral case on reparations. I kept reading. Then I read, “Our collective efforts have echoed throughout Congress for decades, and together, we will continue to stand for the many Americans who expect the Caucus to be sound and principled leaders dedicated to progress. Accordingly, we highlight the following problems across several facets of Black life and offer ‘bold solutions’ to advance Black families in the 21st century.”

I kept reading, only to find that each section thereafter, replete with Black problems followed by CBC solutions, said absolutely nothing about reparations. As a matter of fact there was not even an honorable mention of senior CBC member, John Conyers, who has served since 1965, for introducing H.R. 40 and bringing it up each year since 1989. He only asks for a commission to “discuss” the economic impact of 250 years of enslavement, but his resolution has never made it out of committee.

The CBC walked right up to the reparations line in its “We have a lot to lose,” document; they made a great case for us, but they failed to cross that line by including reparations in their demands—or should I say, “suggestions” to President Trump. I stopped reading.

Clarence McKee wrote in Newsmax, “Since they [CBC] got virtually nothing from Obama to deal with issues impacting significant proportions of their constituencies, you can bet that they… will demand more of Trump than they ever did of Obama.” I don’t know, Clarence; Obama did not support reparations either, so maybe the CBC felt bad about asking Trump to do so.

It took a lot of work to write, so I think I will read the document again. A call for reparations has to be in there somewhere.

  NBA’s Warriors’ Star Andre Iguodala’s Use of the N word Deserves Scrutiny 

by H. Lewis Smith

March 10, 2017 during an interview after a Golden State Warriors’ NBA game, Andre Iguodala, in reply to a reporter’s question retorted with the following comments  “They want a dumb n**ger! I’m going to give you a dumb n**ger’s answer!  What would a dumb n**ger say?”  His “I do what Massa say” referring to his coach Steve Kerr, comment didn’t go over too very well either.

NBA fined him $10,000 for using the N-word.  Kobe Bryant a several years ago was fined $100,000 for using the term faggot. Much to ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Jason Whitlock credit both agreed Iguodala’s fine should have been much higher and that his comments were unacceptable.

Other ESPN tv personalities such as Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose and First Take’s Stephen A. Smith don’t see it as a big deal for black people to use the N word. Smith further explains that black folks don’t want white America telling them what words to use and not to use amongst ourselves, though legitimate, it gives the false impression that African-Americans who use the N-word do so of their own volition when this is not the case at all.  African-Americans are genetically predisposed to embrace the immoral n-word as it is transgenerational thanks to 18th century mind control abuses. The experience of the enslaved was one of relentlessly and continual violent attacks on the body, mind and spirit, they were left no choice but to use the N-word as they were browbeaten to do so…to see themselves as inferior. The antithesis of contemporary Black African-Americans who—incredibly—voluntarily use the term.

Stephen A. Smith, who is a proponent of the N-word, also disagrees with ESPN television anchor Sage Steele that black people should NOT refer to one another as the pejorative term. However, many younger generation parents educate their children on the term and rightfully view it as disrespectful profanity. The term is forbidden as everyday language in many Black households across America, and cannot be used—not even when one wants to use the term as a so-called endearment.  Even further, many African-American children are taught to not only refrain from referring to anyone as such, but should also not allow anyone else to refer to them accordingly. There are many capable and brilliant young minds who are not searching for pseudo-intellectual reasons to refer to themselves or any member of their race as a n**ga.  The white power structure sees to it that primarily only black people who are proponents of the N-word have access to microphones through the main stream media using them as puppets to help keep rest of Black America dumbed down.

Other voices simply are not heard because they do not have access to the news media to espouse their beliefs as does a Stephen A. Smith and others who are proponents of the n-word (n**ga).  Atty Roy Miller is a name that comes to mind, he had the N-word removed from a major dictionary yet has never been invited to participate in any public forums, nor is his opinion ever solicited on the use of the term. His voice and others who are non-proponents for use of the n-word are suffocated…this is no coincidence.

Proponents of the n-word say that people give words power. These same delusional people believe that they have taken a hateful word and turned it into a positive, removing the sting from the idiom by boastfully referring to one another as the n-word and using it as a so-called term of endearment. These mentally—and emotionally—scarred descendants of slavery are so severely psychologically disturbed that they fail to understand that though they may be able to alter the context of a word…the history of it remains intact. Given the gravity and scope of the horrors and carnage linked to the n-word African-Americans lack of sensitivity towards their ancestor’s tribulations is surreal.

Embracing the n-word minimizes the sacrifices and struggles of those victimized by the term, its history cannot and should not be overlooked.  Over a 300 year period millions of enslaved Africans—men, women, AND children--were beaten, raped, castrated and/or murdered with "n**ger/n**ga” being the last word they heard. The word is so stigmatized that to try and redefine it would suggest that chattel slavery and oppression never happened. But the fact of the matter is…it did. It was and still is a term of exclusion, verbal justification for discrimination and violence.

Black African-Americans who embrace the N-word are unknowingly accepting the total description of it, sanctioning the evil deeds and carnage, perpetrated upon their race past, present and future.

A strategy was implemented which may be considered weird, but nonetheless brilliant, and that is to get black folks to actually fight for n-word usage…and just for that one cause…blacks and racists are united on the same team. Sell-out rap recording artists have supplanted the KKK and white supremacist insuring that young minds maintain the 18th century slave mentality usage of the n-word. Some people feel so powerless and oppressed they will do anything for wealth, power and fame. It’s the falsehoods that causes us to be divided against ourselves, and it is because of the systematic attention to propaganda that we’ve been able to be injured as we have.  We don’t understand the nature of the battle that we are in because we aren’t privileged to the big picture. 

The N-word is a mirror reflecting America's darkest moments which is why some white folks encourage non-thinking black people to embrace it in hopes of sanitizing the word; but there are also racist who decry use of the term solely on the basis if they can’t use it then no one should; whereas more noble and sincerely concerned white people discourages use of it…truly despising the term…understanding that it is not a term of endearment.

If not for the actions of two conscience white men, Senator Charles Sumner and Abolitionist Wendell Phillips back in 1870, there would virtually be no African Americans in America today.

President Grant and others wanted a bill passed granting power to annex Haiti and all of the Caribbean, however thanks to the efforts of Sumner and Phillips the Senate disapproved the resolution—but just barely. Had the bill passed the plan was to ship all America black people to Haiti and reconstitute slavery.  

One of Sumner’s colleague’s became so infuriated at his actions that he attacked Sumner with his walking cane beating him to a pulp, a beating that Sumner never fully recovered from.  President Grant too never forgave Phillips for his allegiance to the black race. African Americans must learn that when a finger is pointed at white people three more are pointed right back at them.  In other words STOP worrying about how white folks think and start doing some THINKING of your OWN.  Defining yourself with a word that your enemy saddled you with as opposed to redefining yourself validates you have no control of your OWN mind and something that is dominated can be owned and thus controlled and manipulated. 

The continual pseudo-intellectual effort of searching for ways to cast the n-word n**ga in a laudable light only further demonstrates the lack of sensitivity, sense and appreciation of the titanic battles that our ancestry had to endure and overcome.  It can’t be sanitized, cleansed, inverted, or redeemed as a culturally liberating word.  Because of its vile 400 year old history the N-word is and will always have a grotesque, and deadly meaning to it.  If it could really be desensitized then non-black people would be permitted to use it which isn’t acceptable by liberated minds; proving that with the proper approach gullible black people can be manipulated and massaged to accept disrespect, contempt and revel in it.  Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, referring to ourselves as the n-word is wholesale stupidity and a fool’s game.

As Black African-Americans we should want our children EDUCATED, not indoctrinated into thinking and believing that they are a n**ga, we should want them to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think.  There is no redeeming value in black folks trying to con other black folks with the nonsense that they are a n**ga which is ghetto vernacular for n**ger.  We need to boycott ignorance which is the epitome of culture genocide. Time to lose the 18th century slave mentality and all the self-hatred that comes along with it.

Man can change the definition of a word on a whim, but he cannot change the history behind the word for it is indeed STATIC. If by chance anyone have the ability by some sort of miracle to obliterate the wrongs done against our ancestors all in the name of the N-word, restore life to those dehumanized, murdered, butchered, slaughtered, honor to the dishonored, property to those who have been wronged and force the scales of human and divine justice to recover their equilibrium then and ONLY then perhaps the N-word can be embraced and used endearingly. Unless someone can accomplish these task the n-word will eternally remain to be an immoral obscenity no matter whose lips it flows from and their so-called intentions 

H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc.,  author of "Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word" and “Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games.” Follow H. Lewis Smith on Twitter:



    There was a James Bond movie a few years back called “Tomorrow Never Dies”, featuring Pierce Brosnan in the title role of MI6 secret agent ‘007’.  The 1997 film featured a scene where Bond was going to be framed for murder by Dr. Kaufman (played by veteran character actor Vincent Schiavelli).  As Bond challenged his ability to pull off the frame, Dr. Kaufman retorted:  “I am a professor of Forensic Medicine, Mr. Bond.  I could shoot you from Stuttgart and still create the proper effect.”

    That particular movie exchange reminded me of the reported April, 2017 suicide death of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, following his acquittal of a 2012 double homicide charge.  According to written reports and photographic evidence obtained by the Associated Press from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections via the Worcester District Attorney’s office there were more questions than answers generated.

    While the ‘official’ cause of death of the former NFL star has been ruled ‘suicide’, Hernandez could have been the victim of a well-orchestrated ‘gang hit’:  Either by a prison faction of his present gang (to send a warning to others seeking to exit gang life); a prison faction of a rival gang (to disrespect Hernandez’s connection/representation to his Bloods gang ties--or in retaliation for the victim involved in Hernandez’s 2013 murder conviction--a conviction, it was reported that was on appeal), or simply person/persons unknown who wanted to ‘impress’, or ‘follow orders’ so that they could ‘rise’ in the prison gang ranks.  Getting into the cell to get at Hernandez…a formality?

    Now, as one who does have an understanding of the modern street gang scene, worked with a variety of former/present gang members; given biblical counsel to more than a few anti-gang ministries--PLUS served as a Probation Officer on many high-risk felony-level cases (some of which involved gang members) I may be slow on the uptake of certain truths--but a Hernandez suicide seems a bit shaky.  Unfortunately, ‘prison suicide’ is just as much of a DOC classic (among those who know anything about corrections ‘missteps’) as ‘shot while trying to escape’.  As they say in Las Vegas: SDLR--Something Don’t Look Right concerning the Hernandez suicide.

    Among those who truly want ‘out’ of gang life, there is an unwritten understanding that they can do so by letting their gang higher ups know that they have been truly converted/accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior--and are leaving the gang life.  The old slang phrase ‘catching a butterfly’ signifies someone who wants a fresh start out of gang life, which is exactly what a new life in Christ represents. II Corinthians 5:17 well states the promise of a new life to a sinner:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (KJV).  According to published information, Hernandez reportedly had become ‘increasingly spiritual’ while in prison. 

    The ‘unwritten rule’ also holds true of gang members who are incarcerated. 

    Yes, the ‘blood in/blood out’ propaganda exists…but one who has truly yielded their life to Christ is held in high respect, provided their conversion experience is real--and the gang DOES check to determine if it is, right down to the church the gang member attends and what is being preached!  Modern street gangs DO have plants/sympathizers in some churches, even IN the pulpit!  IF the soon-to-be former member was not on the up-and-up, that member could be ordered killed for ‘a false conversion’.  This is the ‘usual’ punishment among many of the more ‘visible’ major gangs of our day--especially those gangs originating in and reaching out of Central or South America.

    Somehow, the Gospel could have been given to Hernandez and he made a decision to catch his butterfly.  The ways of God are mysterious and deep.  Martin Luther was converted by a Bible verse.  D. L. Moody was converted by the testimony of a complete stranger.  A public confession to Christ by Hernandez could have possibly been on the way…but he never got the chance to speak.

    The late John Todd used to be very well connected to the recording/entertainment industry, back in the day.  After his conversion, God called Todd to preach the Gospel and expose his former life, much like the Apostle Paul did in the New Testament.  Many of Todd’s sermons and teachings still exist today, some of them available through Chick Publications.  Evangelist Todd made it clear--in several taped sermons preached in Indiana that when someone, say, in the music industry ‘got converted’, and told their handlers/managers that they wanted out of the drugs, sex, and debauchery, there would be retribution in some cases--including ‘staged’ suicides.  In a piece of irony, I go back to a further exchange between Bond and Dr. Kaufman in “Tomorrow Never Dies”, as Kaufman ‘brags’ of his ‘deadly accomplishments’:  “My art is in great demand, Mr. Bond.  I go all over the world.  I am especially good at the celebrity overdose.”

    In looking over some of the photo evidence released to the AP--and released in published reports through various other publications on line--there was a blood drop on the left side of the Bible verse John 3:16.  That verse was reportedly written on Hernandez’s forehead…and on the wall of his cell.  Corrections officials made a big deal about the blood drop, as if it was a symbol of a Bloods gang member.  A news flash:  IF Hernandez REALLY became a Christian and wanted out of gang life, the Bible would be the LAST book he would want to desecrate.  Besides, a person who truly believed in eternal life would be the LAST person to take their OWN life.  God DOES vindicate those who truly belong to Him, regardless of the passage of time.  In this matter…SDLR.

    Ramey, a Minister, syndicated columnist and book reviewer lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  To correspond, drop him an email at  © 2017  Barnstorm Communications.