The Question of ‘Integration’ vs. ‘Separation’

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

 

“Integration” vs. “Separation”: Which Way Should We Go?” For some of us, the word “integration” conjures up a lot of the pictures of the “1960s” when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many of our Black leaders and a host of young men and women went into the streets and marched for integration of public places such as restaurants, hotels, motels, restrooms, etc.; marching and suffering for a “Voting Rights” Bill because these wonderful brothers and sisters and these well-meaning leaders of our people felt that it was time that Black people share in “The Promise” of America. That “promise” being “liberty and justice for all,” “a piece of the economic pie”; that “promise” being “full-fledge citizenship” with all of the rights and privileges of that citizenship.

On the other hand, there was the principle teacher of “separation,” the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

We know that before the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the great and Honorable Marcus Garvey advocated separation. We know that Noble Drew Ali also spoke of separation. We know that the Communist Party back in the 1920s and 1930s also advocated separation. Although decades have gone by since the principle advocate of separation stood up, the issue of “separation” became a great issue when President Abraham Lincoln was on the scene, and other presidents after him, where there was this constant battle of 1) “Should the descendants of African slaves in America stay, and we become a part of the American way of life?” or 2) “Should we, as Black people, leave and return to our own self, our own kind, our own people and become an independent nation?”

Today, we have to look at the terms “Integration”,“Separation” and “Segregation,” and behind these words discover meaning, and behind the meaning discover the intent of the parties who are advocating either way.

If the intent of the Government in advocating integration is to trick us into believing that our 400-year-old enemy has now become our “friend,” and that we should forgive and forget and be glad to take part in this great American way of life, then the intent is evil. So the result of such evil intent can never bring justice to a people who are aggrieved.

We now have to know not just the word and what it means, but we have to analyze the motivation as best we can of the United States government in advocating integration for Blacks. Then, we have to look at the practicality of “integration” or “separation”—which will work? And if integration will work, how? If separation will work, how? And then let’s come to an equitable agreement on what we shall do.

Understanding ‘segregation’, ‘separation’ and ‘integration’

What is “segregation”? When people criticized the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, they said “Oh, that man wants segregation!”—but what does it mean? Segregation is “separation of an inferior by a superior.” In the house where we grew up, mother and father told us which entrance to come in, do you remember? That is, if we had two entrances to our door or house; sometimes it was only one­, and you had to come in there. But if mother fixed her living room up real pretty and didn’t want you messing it up, she would tell you before she went to work: “Don’t go in that living room”—these are orders from your superior; and if you venture into that living room with your company, “You’re going to get it when I come home. In fact, I don’t want you having any company in my house when I’m gone! Do you understand?” And you always said, “Yes, yes, I understand Mom/Dad.” That’s “segregation”, which is enforced on by “superiors.”

The condition that you are in here in America is definitely an inferior one, right? You don’t have any money, you haven’t made a way for yourself, you’re not bringing any food in the house, so “mother” has the right to tell you when to come, when to go and what room you are going to stay in. And if you “act up”: “Go to your room and stay there.” That’s “segregation,” brothers and sisters. Mr. Muhammad couldn’t be advocating that! That is what White people set up in order to set themselves apart from you and me. They were in the superior position while we were in the inferior position, so they set us apart: “You go over there, you live on that side of the tracks and you’d better not cross over.” This is the way it’s been, and every time we moved we’ve had to pay a price for disobeying the unwritten rule of a man who thinks he’s superior that he put on a people that he has relegated to an inferior position. So we understand “segregation.”

Now, “separation” is a little different from “segregation”. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has said to us that separation is a voluntary act done by two equals who realize that they cannot get along in peace, so they come to a decision that it is “best for us to separate: You go your way, I’ll go mine.”

And within the word “integrate” is the word integer which, in Mathematics, is a term that means “something that is whole; a whole number.” The reason you call a whole number an “integer” is because that which is now “whole” at one time was a fraction; so when you bring a fraction into a whole number, you have brought it from a part to a whole and you call that whole an “integer.” The word “integrate” or “integration” conveys a similar meaning: “People who are separate, we want to make them whole, so we develop a policy that will bring them together.”

While in Mathematics it is the process of finding the “least common denominator” to bring a fraction into a whole number, in politics you evolve a policy—which is really a “strategy”—to bring dissimilar things together into a whole.

The Strategy of those who want to continue Oppression

Notice that I said “integration in politics” is a policy which indicates a “strategy.”

America is considered “the melting pot” of the world, right? The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor has on it, “…Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” This is really not talking to the world at large; it’s talking to Europe because “The Golden Door” means that America is to represent “heaven” for European refugees. America has been a land of opportunity for Italian, Greek, Polish, Irish and Russian immigrants, is that right? For Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians; for Spaniards, Portuguese, French and Dutch people… They all have come to America, and the policy, the strategy, of the United States government is to minimize their cultural heritage back in Europe and to maximize an “American heritage” so that they could be integrated into the fabric of what is called “American Society.”

Though they say “Anglo-American,” “Italian-American,” “Greek-American,” “Polish-American,” or “this American, that American,” they all feel more akin to America than they do to the land that they are refuges from, and this means that they have successfully been integrated into “American society.” So, the policy (strategy) of the United States government has worked for all Caucasians; these that have been integrated into American society are of the same racial strain, but of different ethnic backgrounds (some a little darker, some a little lighter; some a little blond, some a little brunette, but they’re all the same people).

But here is another “ingredient”… When it comes to “Asiatic” or “African” people, you’ve got something different now that has entered into this “American society.” But to this very day, the Chinese are not integrated, the Japanese are not integrated—and they don’t ask for it. They run their own “China Town,” their own “Japanese Town,” would you agree? Their own politics run their neighborhoods, and they have their own separate economy inside the main American economy. Everybody makes their way, because they understand something that you have yet to understand. They understand that they don’t have to be White to get out of the American economy. Their unity, their intelligence and their skill will enable them to get support for their own separate identity and their separate community yet within the body politics of the United States.

Due to faulty leadership, you and I have not yet realized that we can maximize our own strength in America and yet be separate from America and grow powerful. We feel that the only way to be successful is to “get in” with White folks, be like White folks! Do what pleases White folks: Laugh for them, dance for them! Give your woman to them! Send your sons and daughters off to fight for them! You haven’t realized how to maximize your own strength in your own vital numbers.

But White people know your potential power, and they have said: “We cannot afford segregation anymore because the n- – – -rs aren’t going to take it. They are too militant now for us to tell them where to go, how to go, when to go. So we’ve got to abandon this as a strategy, as a policy. We cannot afford to grant them separation and let them build a nation of their own. Even though they are big enough to have a nation, we can’t let them do this because if they become an independent nation, and join the community of nations and look out in the world market for help from other nations to help them get up on their feet, pretty soon they may join on to our enemies and come against us because they may remember what our fathers did to their fathers. So we cannot let them go…. We must not ever let ‘Negroes,’ ‘n- – – -rs’ or ‘Colored people’ even entertain the idea that they should have a nation of their own. That is unthinkable! We must make them think that everything that they want, everything that they need, they must seek it from us.”

So a strategy was evolved into a “policy,” and that policy became the pride of the government under John F. Kennedy, and it became the cry of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, and it became the cry of all sick and affected Black leaders who have always felt that “unless we are approved by White people, we are not approved at all”; unless we get some certificate from them saying “You’re okay,” you are really not okay. So if you were looking at “separation” from the viewpoint of a White oppressor, separating a Black nation out from a nation founded in White Supremacy-based ideals is “crazy,” “absolutely insane” and “madness”!

“Integration”: The Trick to make you think you’re ‘free’, ‘equal’

“Integration” has destroyed the Black institutions of education. In the South, when you were in school under Black teachers, you had to know something about Black history on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the education you received, this caused you to grow up with a degree of pride in the accomplishments of Black people, feeling, knowing and believing that you also could achieve. And even though you left the South and came North, you came North with a spirit to achieve. And although when you got out of those Black high schools; and after those Black colleges wherein you learned whatever you learned and became a teacher some other profession, when you went to the big White Universities for your Masters or Doctorate degrees, your roots were so strong because of that segregated learning.

However, when they broke up segregation (which kept you together, but separate in an inferior position), they thought that integration would make you better. But if you go back down South now you’ll see that they’re going to schools and they have no knowledge of Black accomplishments. This isn’t even being taught anymore in southern schools! The Black colleges are being systematically closed up or integrated into a major university system.

And Black hospitals that were flourishing in southern towns are closed up today and Blacks have no medical facilities in most of the major cities of the South and you are forced now to go into White hospitals to deliver your baby, not knowing whether you are going to come out with a baby, or not! You are forced to go to White hospitals for them to experiment on you because you thought integration meant freedom, and you found that integration as a trick.

White people never intended for you to be a “full American” sharing in the rights and privileges of America. Since “integration” has been advanced as a policy and a strategy, White people know that it has failed. They don’t admit openly its failure, but there’s a pullback now from all of the issues that were sent through the integration policies, such as “bussing.” “I’m going to bus you out of your neighborhood and take you to a better school where you can learn….” And where is this “better” school? Wherever White folks are, that’s the “better” school. But now White people are saying “I don’t want them n—-rs in our neighborhood! I ain’t bussing my children into no Black neighborhood to achieve no ‘racial balance’—that’s out!” And they’ve gotten so strong now that they have made school boards pull back; the federal government is pulling back and the mood in the country now is shifting…

Now what is it that White people never wanted to do? They never wanted to let you go. their thinking is being turned by events in the international world and events on the national scene. Today’s international pressures, domestic pressures, the forces of nature that are at work are absolutely forcing White people to take a stand—a very militant, anti-Black stand.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that Allah (God), Master Fard Muhammad, had The Power to turn their minds and force them to do what He Wills against their own will. He said Master Fard Muhammad has The Power to make them bow to His Will… And the Bible teaches that “every knee will bow and every tongue will be forced to confess.”

Whether you want to or not, circumstances will force you to do the very thing you don’t think you will ever do.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that The Essentials of Life are Freedom, Justice and Equality. Anything that deprives you of freedom, deprives you of justice, deprives you of the essentials of life. If this world of the Caucasian is a world designed to deprive you and me, Black people, dark people and their own people, of Freedom, Justice and Equality, then this means what? That separation is absolutely vital to your own life.”

Mrs. Minnie Burns Harrell

Mrs. Minnie Burns Harrell was born in Marion County, Georgia on January 11, 1942 to the parentage of the late Mr. Clayton Henry Burns and the late Mrs. Christine Williams Burns. She received her education in the Sumter County School System. At an early age, she joined the New Shady Grove Baptist Church. She was joined in Holy Matrimony to Mr. Dock Harrell.

She leaves to cherish her memories, her husband of 51 years, Mr. Dock Harrell, Americus, GA; two daughters, Mrs. Natasha (Remon) Webb and Ms. Dominique Shelton Harrell; three brothers, Mr. Curtis (Diane) Burns, Mr. Thomas (Lana) Burns and Mr. James Gator (Dorothy) Walton; five sisters, Mrs. Lorene (Otha) Floyd, Ms. Dianne Matthews, Mrs. Alice Neal (James) Boykin, Mrs. Delores (Dennis) Peace and Ms. Georgia Mae; one grandson, Mr. Cameron Thomas, Americus, GA; her step-children, Mrs. Yolanda (Richard) Brinson, Mrs. Cynthia (Jimmy) Vaught and Mr.
Ricardo (Adrienne) Harrell, West Palm Beach, FL; two sisters-in-law, Ms. Mattie McCormick, Macon, GA and Ms. Hermese Harrell, Rivera Beach, FL; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

Quanisha Latrece Colwell

Quanisha Latrece Colwell

Quanisha Latrece Colwell

Quanisha Latrece Colwell, age 21, 1015 Baden Street, San Antonio, Texas passed Wednesday, October 21, 2015.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 P.M., Saturday October 31, 2015 at Nazarene Church of Jesus Christ, 2286 Pineville Road, Buena Vista, Georgia.  Elder Larry Franklin Jr., the pastor, will officiate. Interment will follow in Bethel A.M.E. Church Cemetery, 145 Firetower Road, Cusseta, Georgia.

Quanisha was born in  Americus, Sumter County, Georgia on December 6, 1993 to Luequiten Burt Colwell and Samuel Colwell, Jr. She was a 2012 graduate of  Kingsburg High School in Memphis, Tennessee.  Quanisha accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior at an early age and joined the band of Christian believers at St. John Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Quanisha was currently enrolled in Milan Institute of Cosmetology Studying to be a Master Cosmetologist. She was preceded in death by her grandmothers, Mary Ann Crumbley, Kay Marsha Wooden, and Arthea Tymes; an aunt, Sonya Colwell; and an uncle, Otis Burt, Jr.

She leaves to cherish her precious memories to a son, Anthony Colwell, San Antonio, Texas, a mother Luequiten Colwell (Alonzo Jarrett); a father, Samuel Colwell, Jr. (Ruth Stewart), Columbus, Georgia; grandparents, Otis Burt, Sr. (Diane) Buena Vista, Georgia, Samuel Colwell Sr. (Codane) Columbus, Georgia; five siblings, Darrel Burt (Bejaze), Samuel Colwell III, both of San Antonio, Texas, Cornelius R. Colwell, Americus, Georgia, Sa’ Maurie De’Trel Colwell, Memphis, Tennessee; aunts and uncles, Kimberly Sales (Jamaine), Lawrenceville, Georgia, KaTrina Leverett (Connie), Americus, Georgia, Ronda Carnegie, Tracy Padgett (Dottie), both Columbus, Georgia, Tasha Carnegie (LaShane), James Padgett II (Kim), both of Tampa, Florida, Timothy Battle, Americus, Georgia, Tyrone McKeage, Clarksville, Tennessee, Debra Sims (Eli),  Americus, Georgia; one niece, Monica Burt, San Antonio; a host of other relatives and friends.

Marsha Ruth Merritt Johnson

853117Mrs. Marsha Ruth Merritt Johnson, age 60, 911 Magnolia Street, Americus, Georgia passed Friday, October 30, 2015 at the Phoebe Putney Hospital, Albany, Georgia.

The graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, November 7, 2015 at Mt. Zion Webster Baptist Church, Young Mill Road, Preston, Georgia.

Marsha was born December 5, 1954 in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia to the late Eddie Lee Green and Mae West Merritt.  She attended the public school system of Sumter County and was a 1972 graduate of Americus High School. Following graduation, she enlisted in the Armed Forces of the USA Air National Guard and was honorably discharged July 21, 1976.  Marsha furthered her education and became a graduate of Atlanta Technical College with a degree in the Clerical Profession.  Marsha was employed with Fuller McFarlan as a Paralegal and later with Zavatta as a Recording Clerk and Habitat for Humanity as an Executive Assistant.  On  November 12, 2004, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Larry Johnson, Sr.

Survivors are her husband, Larry Johnson, Sr., Americus, Georgia; two sons, Larry Johnson, Jr. and Jermaine Johnson, both of Americus, Georgia; one grandchild, Le’Jaylen Mikale Johnson, Americus, Georgia; three siblings, Jerryel Battle, Americus, Georgia, Michael Battle (Karen), Charleston, South Carolina, and Terry Tyson, Americus, Georgia; brothers-in- law and sisters-in-law, Evelyn Hayes, Jacksonville, Florida, Kenneth Terry (Sarah), Atlanta, Georgia, and Freida Jones, Americus, Georgia; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Freddie Mae Taylor Reagan

Freddie Mae Taylor Reagan

Freddie Mae Taylor Reagan

Freddie Mae Taylor Reagan, age 57 passed away November  04, 2015  at Phoebe Sumter  Medical Center, Americus, Georgia.

A wake will be held at 5:00 P.M., Sunday,  November 8, 2015 at the Oglethorpe Funeral Chapel, Inc., 607 Kaigler Street, Oglethorpe, Georgia.

The funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Jefferson Street, Americus, Georgia, where Reverend H.C. Wilson is pastor. Elder  Larry Taylor, pastor of Inspirational Church By Faith, will officiate. Interment will follow in Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus, Georgia.

Freddie Mae Taylor Reagan was born November 19, 1957 to the late Willie Fred Taylor  and Mary Ruth Millner Taylor in Americus, Georgia.  She attended the public school system of Sumter County.  She was  employed over the years with the Sumter County Board of Education as a Food Service Worker. She was preceded in death by three siblings, George  Bernard Taylor, Virgil Lee Morris, and Evelyn Belinda Taylor.

Freddie Mae was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Americus, Georgia where she served in the Church Choir. Freddie was join in Holy matrimony to Amos Reagan.

Survivors are her husband, Amos Reagan, Americus, Georgia; two daughters, Deborah Nesbitt (Anthony Harvey), Albany, Georgia, Tameka Nesbitt, Americus, Georgia; three grandchildren, Javin Baker, Wartavis Thompson, Shadtavis Nesbitt;  two stepchildren, Marvin Sampson, Yazmine Reagan; siblings, Willie Taylor (Deborah C.), Americus, Georgia, Dorothy Hooks, Wildwood, Florida, Tyrone Williams, Virginia; an aunt, Ethel Millner, Albany, Georgia, Lady B Sims, Elnora Gervin, Lois Taylor, Lillie Cladd; sisters-in law and brother–in-law, Annie Lee Reagan, Emma Reagan, both of Leslie, Georgia, Thomas Reagan (Lynn), Americus, Georgia, John Reagan (Dorine), Americus, Georgia;  two nieces she reared on as her own, Chandra Garry and Mikita  Millner; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, including a few devoted cousins and friends: James & Betty Millner, May Boone, Cynthia Bell, and Kay Dee Jones, Sarah Bacon, Annie B Reese, and Johnnie B Thomas.

Maple Wright

Maple Wright

Maple Wright

​Maple Wright age 62, 163C Lakeview Circle, Americus, Georgia passed away at her residence on Friday, November 6, 2015.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3:00 P.M., Saturday,  November 14, 2015, at Shady Grove Baptist Church, Georgia Hwy 195, Leesburg, Georgia, where Reverend Sterling Calhoun Jr. is pastor. Apostle Henry Holsey, pastor of Mount Pleasant, Lee County, Georgia, will officiate. Burial will follow in Mt. Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, Georgia Hwy 32, Lee County, Georgia.

Maple was born January 13, 1953 to the late Julia Lee Sailor and Michael Charles Wright in Leesburg, Georgia. She acquired her education in the Lee County and Sumter County school systems. At an early age, she confessed Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.

Maple was member of Mount Hope Baptist Church in Lee County, Georgia where she was a member of the church choir. After many dedicated years of service, Maple retired as a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by seven siblings, Willie Lee Wright, Rosa Taylor, Lillie Harris, John Ted Wright, Sallie Jean Wright, Tommie Wright and Barbara Wright, one granddaughter, Julie Wright and Betty Wright who she reared as her own.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two daughters, Nozine Wright and Angela Wright Banks (Doug), all of Americus, Georgia; five grandchildren, Kadijah R. Banks, Kanisha M. Wright, Kevin Banks, Jr. Keaisjah M. Brown and Kurtis K. Banks; six siblings, James Wrights and J.C. Wrights, both of Leslie, Georgia, Michael Charles Wrights, Jr., St. Petersburg, Florida  Harold Wright, Atlanta, Georgia, Sonny Wright, and Nathaniel Wright, both  of Americus, Georgia;  one aunt, Minnie Kate James (Frank), Leesburg, Georgia; Michael Wright, lll of Americus, Georgia, whom she reared as her own;  a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends, including a devoted niece, Gwendolyn Wright-Cobb.

Mr. Ernest Hopkins, Jr.

Mr. Ernest Hopkins, Jr.

Mr. Ernest Hopkins, Jr.

Mr. Ernest Hopkins, Jr. age 74, Americus, Georgia passed Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, Americus, Georgia.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, November 14, 2015, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, 132 Bumphead Road, Americus, Georgia, where Reverend Curtis Frazier is pastor. Burial will follow at Stanley Memorial Gardens, Corner of Mayo Street and Southerfield Road,  Americus, Georgia.

Ernest was born March 14, 1941 in Ellaville, Schley County, Georgia to the parentage of the late Ernest Lee Hopkins, Sr. and Annie Ruth Ingram Hopkins.  After his completion of high school in 1954, he moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he was employed as a city worker for Fort Lauderdale Sanitation Department. Later he was employed with South Florida Mack Trucking Company, where he retired in 1980 as a tractor-trailer driver. In 2002, he moved back to his native land – Americus, Georgia.

Survivors are three siblings, Connie Hopkins Shepphard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Johnny Hopkins, and Charlie Lee Hopkins, both of Americus, Georgia, and host of other relatives, and friends.

Christine Greene Harvey

Christine Greene Harvey

Christine Greene Harvey

Christine Greene Harvey, age 81, 115 Pecan Terrace, Americus, Georgia passed Monday, November 9, 2015 at Phoebe Sumter Hospital in Americus Georgia .

The funeral service will be conducted 2:00 P.M., Saturday, November 14, 2015 at United Holiness Church Headquarters, 901 Aaron Snipes, Sr. Drive, Americus, GA, where Bishop Arthur Fulton is pastor. Evangelist Buford Snipes will officiate. Interment will follow in the Eastview Cemetery, Ashby Street, Americus, Georgia.

Christine was born January 14, 1934 to the late Clarence Greene and Emma Green Greene in Schley, County, Georgia.  Christine acquired her education in the public school system of Schley County. Christine worked as a Nurse’s Aide providing personal care and assistance to many at the Sumter Regional Hospital and retired after devoting over 30 years of service in order to care for her mother. Christine was a faithful member of United Holiness Church Headquarters of Americus, Georgia for many years. She was one of the pillars who helped to organize the Church.

She was united in holy matrimony to Charlie Criss Harvey on November 1, 1953, and to this union, seven children were reared. She was preceded in death by three siblings, Alvin Greene, John Henry Greene, and Barbara Hunt, and five sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Emmitt Harvey, Henry Harvey, Jenny Harvey Terry, Nettie Mae Harvey, and Ziella Harvey Huff.

Survivors included a loving and devoted husband of sixty-two years, Charlie Harvey, Sr., Americus, Georgia; eight devoted children, Charlie C. Harvey, Jr. (Martha), Dennis Harvey (Margaret), Wayne Harvey (Deborah), Cheryl Clemons (Joseph), and Eric D. Harvey (Dorothy), all of Americus, Georgia, Carol D. Wright, (Warren) Columbus, Georgia, Cassandra Chan (Michael), Jonesboro, Georgia, Johnny Barron (Meliton), Fairburn, Georgia; twenty-one grandchildren; a host of great grandchildren; two siblings, Caleb Greene, Missouri, Cassie Floyd (Homer), Americus, Georgia; sisters-in-law, Julia Harvey, Lorene Harvey, Mary Jones, and Christine Sales, all of Atlanta, Georgia; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Ms. Dorothy Mae Foster

Ms. Dorothy Mae Foster was born on May 25, 1935 in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia to the parentage of the
late Mr. Ed Foster and the late Mrs. Maggie Threet Foster. She was educated in the public schools of Sumter County and furthered her education and graduated from Fort Valley State College, where she attained a degree as a Registered Nurse. while residing in Englewood, New Jersey she attained her Realtor License. Upon her return to
Georgia she joined the Old Corinth Baptist Church. Her hobbies included, fishing, sewing cooking and writing poetry. She leaves to cherish her memories: two sisters, Mrs. Virginia (John Lee) Dennard and Mrs. Mary Frances (Willie Lee) Dennard, Sr. of Americus, GA: one brother, Mr. Eddie Foster, Lake Orion, MI: her beloved nieces & nephews, Johsalyn Muhammad, Fisher, IN, Angelique Johnson, Stockton, CA, a devoted niece, Brittany
Nicole Dennard, Americus, GA, Willie Lee (Linda) Dennard, Jr., Americus, GA, Marcus Terrell (Sherese) Dennard, Fayetteville, GA, Michael Foster, Sr. Warren, MI, Walter Foster, Jr., Anthony Foster, Detroit MI, and Michael Foster, Jr. Warren, MI: her great nieces, Nevaen Dennard and Lyndzi Chesteen: her sisters & brothers-in-law, Mrs. Ruby Lee Lusane, Mrs. Helen (Wilbur) Sims, Mrs. Ruby (Walter) Dennard, Mrs. Annie Bell (Samuel) Barthell, Mr. Jerry Dennard all of Americus, GA and Mrs. Shirley (Tom) Terry, Albany, GA; and a host of cousins other relatives and friends, including her devoted church family also survive.

Mrs. Rosa Lee Poole Dean

ROSA LEE DEAN

ROSA LEE DEAN

Mrs. Rosa Lee Poole Dean was born in Sumter County, Georgia on May 27, 1937 to the parentage of the late Mr. Clarence Poole and the late Mrs. Minnie Lee Ross Poole. At an early age, she joined the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, where she served faithfully until her health failed. At Mt. Olive she was a member of the choir, pastor aide and the kitchen committee. Ms. Rosa also attended the Senior Citizen Center. Ms. Rosa was married to the late Mr. John L. Dean. She is preceded in death by siblings, Leonard Poole, Henry C. Poole, Oscar Poole, Willie Poole and Julia B. Ellis.

She leaves to cherish her memories, her daughter, Mrs. Trenna (Jimmy) Felton, Americus, GA; her brother, Mr. Robert Lee Poole, Atlanta, GA; her sister, Ms. Frankie B. Harris, Atlanta, GA; four grandchildren, Kimesha Felton, Shalisha Felton, Cheri Felton and Tiffany Felton; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends, including devoted family friends, Ms. Pearline Lembrick, Ms. Mildred Burton and Ms. Goldie Burts also survive.

Mrs. Susie Ann Dennard Whitman

SUSIE WHITMAN

SUSIE WHITMAN

Mrs. Susie Ann Dennard Whitman was born in Sumter County, Georgia on May 26, 1962 to the parentage of the late Mrs. Susie Lewis Dennard and Mr. John “Buddy” Dennard who survive. She was educated in the public schools of Sumter County and furthered her studies at Georgia Southwestern College. At an early age she joined the Welcome Baptist Church. On April 15, 2005, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Steven Whitman. She is preceded in death by her siblings, Willie Berry, Eric Lewis and Doris Jean Dennard; her grandparents, Joseph & Eula M. Lewis and John & Annie Dennard; a brother-in-law, Curtis Phillips and a daughter-in-law, Sharon Bateman.

In addition to her father, Mr. John (Virginia) Dennard, Americus, GA, she leaves to cherish her memories, her husband, Mr. Steven Whitman, Eastman, GA; one son, Mr. Carlton (Adrianne) Bateman, Cochran, GA; one daughter, Ms. Candi J. Monts, Eastman, GA; two brothers, Mr. William Charles Lewis, Valdosta, GA and Mr. Joe Wade, Warner Robins, GA; three sisters, Ms. Annie B. (Jesse) Milledge, Ms. Mary Wade Merritt, Atlanta, GA and Ms. Carolyn (Billy) Andrews, Americus, GA; four grandchildren, Chakera Bateman, Pensacola, FL, Ebony Monts, Candra Monts and Naomi Monts all of Eastman, GA; her great uncle, Mr. Matthew Lewis, Americus, GA; her father & mother-in-law, Mr. George (Charlotte) Whitman, Machapongo, VA; her brothers & sisters-in-law, Mrs. Teresa (Mark) Miller and Mrs. Wanda (Daniel) Miller, Mr. David Whitman, Dover, DE, Mr. George Whitman, Jr., Machopongo, VA, Ms. Diane Berry of Americus, GA and Ms. Rosa Lewis, Atlanta, GA; and a host of aunts, including a devoted aunt, Ms. Dorothy Lewis, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, including a devoted cousin, Ms. Janis Jones other relatives and friends, including devoted friends, Bria and Danity Carter also survive.

Ms. Thelma Floradelle Seay

THELMA SEAY

THELMA SEAY

Ms. Thelma Floradelle Seay, the daughter of the late Mr. Frank Seay and the late Mrs. Rebecca Myers Seay was born in Lumpkin, Stewart County, Georgia. She was one of five children born to that union. Three siblings, Frank Seay, Jr., Leonard Richard Seay and Trixie Beatrice Seay have all preceded her in death. Her family moved to Americus, Georgia and Thelma attended McKay Hill School, where she was valedictorian of her 7th grade class. She received a B.S. Degree from Savannah State and a Master Degree from Atlanta University and she furthered her studies at University of Minnesota State, South Carolina State College and Georgia Southwestern College.

Ms. Seay joined the Big Bethel Baptist Church, Americus, Georgia at an early age and was a faithful member to the end. She was Sunday School Superintendent and Sunday School Musician, she was a member of the Progressive Women’s Club, she organized and directed Vacation Bible School. Ms. Thelma taught for 30 years as Curriculum Director, she organized the 1st head start, which was named Day Care Center #1. Miss Thelma was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Ms. Seay enjoyed life with her family and friends, she especially loved traveling throughout the United States, she had the thrill of her life when she along with her sisters, Tiny and Trixie joined a group of Baptist and visited the Holy Land and was baptized in the Jordan River by Rev. Cameron Alexander, president emeritus of the GMBC, Inc.

Ms. Seay was a lovable, sweet person who touched the lives of many people. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

She leaves cherishing memories to her loving and devoted sister, Mrs. Tiny Seay Davis, Americus, GA; a nephew, Mr. Frank (Brenda) Seay, III, Atlanta, GA; her nieces, Ms. Darlene Davis Mincy, Burlington, NJ and Ms. Bernadette Davis Farrior, Trenton, NJ and a devoted cousin, Ms. Betty Redding, Lumpkin, GA other relatives and friends also survive.

Mrs. Annie Lee Lurry London

Mrs. Annie Lee Lurry London

Mrs. Annie Lee Lurry London

Mrs. Annie Lee Lurry London was born March 28, 1931 in Cairo, Grady County, Georgia to the parentage of the late Mr. Ivary Lurry and the late Mrs. Cora Hadley Lurry. She was educated  in the public schools of Grady County and furthered her education at Albany State College and the University of Georgia.  She was employed and retired as Director of the Wild  Street Day Care Center of Americus, GA. She was a member of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church of Americus where she served as a deaconess. She was active in the community and served as a member of the Women’s Literacy Club, City Federations of the Colored Women’s Club, NAACP, Americus Cancer Society, Women’s Civic & Social Circle Club and donated regularly to the Disabled Veterans Association.  She met and married Mr. Theodore Roosevelt London and to this union five children were born. One son, Barnett London and her siblings, Ira Lurry, Jr., Columbus Lurry, Willie Lurry, David Lurry, Elstine Brown and Hattie Mae Jones have all preceded her in death.

 

She leaves to cherish her memories, a loving an devoted husband, Mr. Theodore Roosevelt London, Americus GA; two sons, Mr. Adrian London, Americus, GA and Mr. Kalvin (Linda) London, Warner Robins, GA; two daughters, Ms. Sylvia London Ward, Bonaire, GA and Ms. Alva London, Macon, GA; a daughter-in-law, Ms. Geraldine London, Powder Springs, GA;  one sister-in-law, Mrs. Willie Mae Lurry of Cairo GA; eight grandchildren, Antonio London, Powder Springs, GA, Naikeshea London, Atlanta, GA, Monique Goldbach, Fuquay Barinas, NC, Lester Louis Ward, Jr., Warner Robins GA, Nathan Ward, Perry, GA, Bryan Hollis, Bonaire, GA, Ceola Ann London, Warner Robins, GA and Victoria London, Warner Robins, GA; six great grandchildren, Jasmine Young, Ryan Moore, Christopher Freeman, Joshua Ward, Jordan Ward and Andre Ward; a god-daughter, Ms. Kimberly Petty; and a host of nieces, including devoted nieces, Doris Hancock, Trudy Dickens, Vanessa Lurry, Cynthia Lurry, Teresa Munnelyn and Drucilla Roberts, nephews, including devoted nephews, James Wendell Jones, Gerald Jones, David Lurry, Jr., Derrick Lurry, Reginald Lurry and Sebastian Lurry, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY fi Lighten Your Load

CHURCH EDITOR Dr. ANDREA OATES

CHURCH EDITOR
Dr. ANDREA OATES

“‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened… and I will give you rest..and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls for My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.” {Portions of Matthew 11:28-30-Amplified Version}

The Bible tells us that God will not put on us more than we can bear. That means that, the things that He has called us to, we can carry. However, in this world, many times we encounter such opposition that we can begin to also carry fear, anger, unforgiveness, and hurt because of the troubles that we encounter. We can even forget to seek God’s help. When troubling times begin to overwhelm you to the point that you think you can’t make it any further, remember to lighten your load..

“‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors’ [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].”
{Matthew 6:12-Amplified Version}

One way to free yourself from heaviness is to forgive offenses. While we can never avoid having unfair things happen
to us, we do have a choice in how we are going to handle it. It’s no surprise that Jesus told His disciples to be prepared to forgive innumerable times. The benefit of forgiveness is not only extended to the receiver, but also to the giver. When you forgive others of their trespasses, God is also committed to forgive you. However, if you don’t forgive, you will continue to carry the weight of the act as well as the oppression of disobeying God. Yes…He literally
meant for you to forgive those that harm you. And He went even further in telling us to also be an intentional blessing to our enemies. It’s not always easy, but with God, nothing is impossible.

“…that you may know…what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe… ” {Portions of Ephesians 1:19-20-Amplified Version}

The other way in which we allow life to weigh us down is by performing in our own strength. Getting caught up in doing things for the Lord without the help of the Lord can become easy. A few reasons why we get caught in the trap of works is because of familiarity and a sense of responsibility. And because the Bible is a pattern for our daily lives, many of those served by people of God are not necessarily appreciate of all that you do. It is in this scenario that you can become especially weary in well-doing. The way to freedom in this area is to rely more on the power of
the Holy Spirit within you. The Holy Spirit is the tremendous power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, take the time to invite the Holy Spirit to do the work of the ministry and in life through you.

Casting all of your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” {Matthew 7:14- Amplified Version}

Last, many of us experience heavy loads as a result of a lack of prayer. Prayer is the connector that God instituted to commune and fellowship with Him. Even though God knows all and sees all, prayer is the vehicle by which people receive grace and mercy when they need it most. Casting our cares on God involves communicating with Him regarding everything that oppresses you. God loves us and looks forward to saving the day for us.

As we prepare for a new year, take a moment to let old things be forgotten through forgiveness. Take a moment to do
inventory on your time and resources to ensure that you’re working on God’s behalf in the power of His might and now your own. And let’s make sure that prayer is a consistent practice so that we have invited God into every situation. Because when He is present, His power is evident. Walk in the peace of God that passes all understanding
despite your circumstances. Run this race with endurance. And remember to travel lightly. BLESSINGS…

The Road To Justice Requires AMovement, Not AMoment

[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s message to educators and scholars at The Marriott Marquis Hotel on Sunday, October 11, 2015, the day after the historic gathering on The National Mall for “Justice … Or Else!” for the 20th Anniversary of The Million Man March. To order this message in its entirety, please call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200, or visit store.finalcall.com. Also available via digital download.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to me in 1963, as we were looking at the television of the march on Washington: “One day, brother, I’m going to call a march”— and he said the march would be for justice. He commented, “Look at their faces. They’re frolicking,” drinking soda pop and whatnot as they are marching. He said, “This is not the right attitude, if you want justice” because justice represents a “life and death struggle” that doesn’t end with a march and you go home and celebrate (“Oh look what we did”). It starts with a word, and a call, and a commitment to live or die bringing justice to our people. So, I had all our peoples [there on 10.10.15] who cry for justice. …

Elijah Muhammad continued: “Now when we go, we’re not going to leave until we get what we came for.” I said, “Oh my God. How are we going to do that?” Since this is a protracted struggle—we can’t stay on The Mall and put up tents and teepees and whatnot forever. So I finally thought, “I know what he meant,” that once we start down the road to justice: It’s not a moment, it’s a movement. Once we start down the road to justice, we can never stop until what we came for we get.

The question that I raised on 10.10.15 was, “Can we get justice under this present construct politically, socially, spiritually and economically? You have to answer that. And if the answer is “No,” then what is the alternative?

Now, this movement is no “plaything.” You heard me say, “Moses was not an integrationist”; he didn’t want to become one with Pharaoh. And why should you want to become one with your 460-year-old oppressor? You can “love” him to your death—but you can’t change him with your love. Your love has been put in the wrong direction all these years, and that’s why you have to say it, over and over and over again, “what we want” that we never get. Our love has to be turned in the right direction, and the first direction of that love should be to our Creator.

I’m not just a “talker,” I practice this. That is why they can’t deter me; they can’t threaten me. They can’t “promise” me. … They either have to kill me—which they can’t do; because, you can’t kill an idea whose time has come. You can kill the flesh and blood that represents that idea, but the idea lives as long as it lives in the hearts and the minds of the people. Brothers and sisters: You are the power to bring about the change that you desire. We are that.

This [call] came from God: Twenty years ago the idea was put in my heart, but I knew where it came from; so at the end of The Million Man March, I had my Christian brother (Dr. Gregory Hopkins) sing the song “To God Be The Glory,” because I knew where the success of that march came from. But what we must always be mindful of: Whenever you start out, in America, to do something good for yourself, your family and your people, you must know that there is an enemy that wants to block your success. The enemy, and his opposition (to our rise), is as necessary as the sun and the wind and the rain; because if you are not sincere and committed, the opposition will break you down and then you’ll fall away from the idea and say, “Awe what the hell! I might as well go on and live for myself like those that went before me that got tired.” I’m 82—and I am not tired! And I don’t want tired people around me. …

Re-education and mentoring to solve the problems of our time

“100 Black Men of America, Inc.”: Study the works of our brother Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.; look at the present presidents and former presidents, and helpers of Brother Dortch, and the work that they have been able to do. It’s not a lightweight work—it’s a great work. There are four things (“Four For The Future”) that 100 Black Men have as the basic principles of their actions (Mentoring, Education, Health & Wellness and Economic Empowerment). We should start first with “education,” because we are the product of mis-education.

If we are going to make a better Black community, or Red community, or Brown community, or White community, you can’t give us the same education that produced the funk that we represent as educators. You might as well be eating and reading dung, and loving it … Because that is what we produced: A mountain, or a hill, of dung—and that’s how the Bible describes the human condition (it’s a “dung hill”); then, we are the product of something that made us into something that is unworthy. The Bible teaches that our condition stinks in the nostrils of God. So, we need a new education. We need “education,” but not the same kind.

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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has requested a redistribution of our suffering through economic withdrawal.

Those that are “educators”: We have to come together now, and critically examine the fruit of the American educational system. And if we are critical, and think outside of “the educational box,” we can come up with something new and better that will be transformative; and every student will be a product of a great transformation brought about by a new and better educational idea. Those of you who are educators, you had to study Bacon—[even the name should have told you something was wrong with, you know… ]; but, we need the right kind of “education,” so we also want to invite scholars. And we don’t want you (scholars) to think that you “have it,” we want us to be on a serious search for it. Because if you think you “have it,” then you should produce the product that verifies the truth of your having found it. … “Education,” “mentoring”: We must mentor our young, but let’s be honest: Don’t we need some mentoring too? We’ve got to come humble. Let’s let this “ego crap” go because every time the White man gives you a degree, he’s crapping on you—and you can’t see the stench because you feel “I’ve got something now that makes me better than my less-educated brother.” So do we think of serving them, or do we think of using them?

The real idea of “education” is to make us into gods, not “geniuses”—that’s on the “punk scale.” We’ve been “geniuses” all our lives just to get around in America, and that takes some skill. But to become a master of your discipline in reality? Then that should cause us to be able to solve the problems of our time. So “reeducation” is a better word; and, we have to find the right teacher.

‘Study the ways of the ant’ and grow wise

I’m listening to my brothers Lenny Dunstan, the great Dr. Ali [Mazrui] and Dr. Hilary Beckles; and, I listen to us talking about “reparatory justice.” We are on the right road; but, it’s like “looking at the sun and missing a worm”— because you’re “too high” to think of the value of a worm. But when we work on The Farm, we know the value of a worm. The God has put so much value in little creeping and crawling things that we are “too big” to look at; but the Bible, inProverbs 6:6, teaches about “the sluggard”— (that’s a terrible name to give a grown man): *“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise…” A “sluggard” is some lazy buffoon who thinks he’s got something and is doing nothing. In other words, “Mark time, march!”—but you’re standing in place, making motion but not going anywhere.

“Study the ways of the ant, and become wise”: Did you know that the Jewish people who read that scripture understood it, and practice it? There were news reports during the fl oods that were going on in Charleston about people who were walking, and where they stepped, they looked under their foot and saw a mound of ants traveling on the water—that had put the queen on the top; and, they are going to survive. Where is your queen? Why haven’t we put her on top? See, you don’t have a “good education” unless you know the value of that woman.

They say the ant is mimetic: The ant is everywhere on our planet except in the cold in the extreme North and the extreme South; but everywhere on Earth you go, you will find an ant. How did they get there? Where did they originate from? And how do they make themselves fit no matter what environment they’re in? See, the Jewish people have learned this. That’s why when you think you’re talking to a Palestinian, you might be talking to a Jewish man; because they are mimetic—they imitate, they acculturate, they fit in. So they rule everywhere. You think you are talking to “Mexicans”? My Mexican family, you’ve got to wake up! Because the people that rule you: They are not the Indigenous people. They are mimetic; they have assimilated, they are acculturated. Everywhere [Jews] go, they fit in.

I play the violin, and there was a great violinist named Ruggiero Ricci, who gave me some lessons, recently, before he passed; and he told me a story about he had met with Albert Einstein. Einstein played the violin, too. But Mr. Ricci was such a master, much greater than Einstein; but he told me Einstein asked him, “You are Jewish, aren’t you?” and Mr. Ricci said, “No, I’m an Italian.” Einstein said, “Yes, yes, yes; but we have Italians with the name ‘Ricci’, but they’re Jewish. … Why don’t you say you are Jewish? Because if you do, it will be easier for you.” And when he would not do it, no matter how great his mastery was, they controlled that industry that he would have to rise in.

Most of us, we want to be “great,” but he is the “gatekeeper” of all the great disciplines; so, if you get a certain height you have to meet him. Did you see the movie Straight Outta Compton? “The Chitlin’ Circuit” (that’s the circuit where we just play Black clubs): When you do great in the Chitlin’ Circuit, and you keep rising, you’re going to meet somebody who tells you, “Oh, you’re very talented. I watched your show tonight; I can help you to rise.” And they are alwayspresent to help us to rise—always—to their benefit; and most of the time, to our detriment.

Why am I saying this? When we start down the road to Justice, you have to know when you’re going to meet the enemy. And you’ll meet the enemy when you make a decision like you make today. … So, “education” and “mentoring” go hand-in-hand. But we would be better mentors if we were better qualified through a better education, that is all we’re saying.

Know that “reparatory justice” is something the White man can’t give you—so you should just wake up right now, quickly! Because he can’t repair the damage that he’s done. You and I, and our condition, are the damage that White folks have done, and they will not, cannot, never will, repair that damage. When those sisters (of murdered children) walked across that stage on 10.10.15, that is “reparatory justice”; because when you repair The Black Woman, you have started down the road of building a brand new world.

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In September, British Prime Minister David Cameron went down to Jamaica and visited with a great Black queen, Portia Simpson-Miller, the Prime Minister of Jamaica; and of course, they talked about “reparation”: What you English owe to The Caribbean, the British-controlled Caribbean.

And Prime Minister Cameron said to her: “Oh, get over it.” What an insult. We’re coming to them with the heavy weight of truth of what they really owe us, and instead of their saying, “Yes, we recognize the debt, and we have to do something to repay you,” they say to us: “That was yesterday. That was a long time ago… Get Over It”—but that samecracker will never say to a Jew, “Get over it,” because the Jews are organized; they have pooled their monies, they are rich and they are powerful, and nobody would dare tell a Jew, “Get over the Holocaust.” So why would you let them tell you? There is no such thing as getting over justice, because if you sowed that seed, you have to reap the result of what you’ve sown.

They don’t want to reap. The pope asking for forgiveness? Sitting on all those jewels and wealth? And if you’ve been to Rome, and have seen [what was built from our blood, sweat and tears]: They don’t want to give any of that up to the native people. A “papal bull,” a directive, under Pope Nicholas, gave them orders to take the lands of the native people (“Kill them. If they won’t accept, destroy them.”)—that’s still in effect today. So “reparatory justice” will never come because you have great arguments. That’s why you lawyers learn law: So you think you can beat the White man with your knowledge of his law? And he’ll show you at every turn when he’s tired of you that, “The law don’t mean a damn thing where niggas are concerned. We are The Judge!” And they switch it up on you: Even though you won, you can’t get what you won. See that’s “the box” that we are in that we have to extricate ourselves from.

Brothers and sisters, once you start being fed properly, you don’t want anybody to stop you in the middle of the meal. Well, you are a most beautiful people, and your beauty will manifest when you are properly educated, put in the right environment, within the loving brotherhood. You should hear what the people were saying on Facebook and Twitter and whatnot; there was a transformation that took place on 10.10.15 when they saw our Native Indian brothers and sisters, when they saw young people, when they saw women—and they saw strength. …

My point is, we really need to look at “wellness”—you McDonald’s eaters—because there is no sense in you saying you’ve been “well-educated” and not well-fed, because they go hand-in-hand: What you feed your stomach has to equal what you feed your mind. If you feed the stomach garbage, that is what you “eat” up [in your mind]; and “well-fed” means you have to get control of the land again.

‘The 10,000 Parts that became 1’: We need 10,000 Fearless males and females

There are 56.1 million acres of land belonging to our Native American brothers and sisters, but they don’t control it: It’sin trust to a government that we can’t trust. So our coming together has to be along the lines that we understand what our individual struggles are, and also what our collective struggles are. Just like we moved across the stage with our Mexican family, our Native American family, our Black family, our Palestinian family: That’s marching across the stage, saying good words, but we must translate that action into a working relationship. And of the “56.1 million acres” is 3.3 million acres of arable land that is under cultivation by other than Indians. …

The U.S. government will remind you, “But we have a deal.” Break it. They broke every treaty that they signed with you. Break those damn treaties, and get your land.

Imagine The Black, The Brown and The Red working together to develop the land: There’s $1.5 trillion of material wealth under the land, but our native family does not have access to that. The “Justice people,” the White folks: They give the land; sell the land, to whom they please. White folks come among you and say (claim): “I am Choctaw,” “I am Oglala Sioux,” “Me Navajo too!” Yeah right. And the minute they come in, they want tribal rights; they suck up tribal wealth—and you want to call them your “brother”? See, the right education will bring you to the testicle factory: Where you can order the size of testicles that it takes to get the job done.

There is no “economic development” without ownership of land. All our power comes from the ownership of land. … That’s why I mentioned Thomas Jefferson: He really wanted to let us go. It didn’t happen then; but right now, we are strong enough. We have to tell the government: “You’re going to lose it all if you don’t give us some.” And that isn’t just “talk”: God is Present today—that’s what I am trying to tell you! We don’t have to act out of fear; this is what He said, “they (those whom God helps) don’t act out of fear.” Just try being as much “man” as you can; turn them dried raisinsinto grapes, then into pears, until you get to the watermelon state. Family “this is not a plaything.” …

“10,000 Fearless” men and women: That seems like a small number to do a big job, but Elijah Muhammad in The Theology of Time Lecture Series (July 2, 1972) talked about how when God made Himself up, there were “10,000 Parts” that became “1.” There was a song—“Stout-Hearted Men”— that used to be sung when I was in show business; it goes like this: “Give me some men, who are stout-hearted men, who will fight for the right they adore. Start me with ten who are stouthearted men, and I’ll soon give you 10,000 more. Shoulderto- shoulder, bolder and bolder, they march as they go toward the fore.” See, when you have that kind of strength, God is Present! There isn’t anything that you want that you cannot achieve. We have to get that number.

So to the educators: We want to open with a Ministry of Education that develops a curriculum for all ghetto schools. Not just for Chicago, but once we develop it, it has to be accepted. See, we’re like “colonies” now—not the “13 Colonies,” but in all the major cities, there’s a ghetto. The Chinese are not called a “ghetto”: They’re in a separate community, but they control the education, the politics, the business of their community—and they function pretty good, separate. You are already separated, but you’re segregated. You should hear the arguments that Brother Malcolm gave when they asked him: “What’s the difference between ‘separation’ and ‘segregation’?”—and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Brother Malcolm what to say; and when he said it, it blew their minds!

“Separation” is something done by two equals. “Segregation” is separation, where we are controlled by another. Now, you are separate, but you’re segregated—because we don’t control nothing. They tell us the curriculum that should be taught in all the Black and Hispanic schools: We have to break that bond; but we have to, like The Founding Fathers—“with a decent respect for the opinion of others”—tell them “what moved us” to this separate but equal status that Nature’s God has demanded for every human being.

Wealthiest 1 percent own ’half of all household wealth’—report

561d7150c3618815658b45d6Worldwide wealth inequality keeps growing, with the richest 1 percent of the global population accounting for “half of all assets in the world,” according to a new report. Meanwhile, the poorest half has just 1 percent of its wealth at its disposal.

The pace of wealth growth in the middle classes has slowed down, unlike the growth of the richest people, said the Global Wealth Report issued by the Zurich-based Credit Suisse bank.

“This has reversed the pre-crisis trend which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time,” Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse wrote in the report.

“These results reinforce our findings from last year’s edition of this report, which argued that wealth inequality had widened in most countries in the years after 2008,” he added.

The number of super-rich people in the world, meaning those with a net worth of more than $50 million, went down by 800 in mid-2014 due to a stronger dollar.

There are 123,800 people worth more than $50 million, with half of them living in North America and a quarter in Europe.

“This year, the United States continued adding to global wealth at an impressive rate, with solid growth also evident in China. Elsewhere, local currency wealth gains were offset by depreciation against the US dollar, so that world wealth declined overall by USD 12.4 trillion,” the report states.

Europe saw two million people falling out of the millionaire club over the course of a year.

READ MORE: Poverty & inequality costs 550 lives each day in UK

The US was home to the opposite trend – the number of super-wealthy there increased by 3,800 and reached 58,900 for the year until mid-2015. China’s results are far more modest with only 9,000 super-rich people. However, it still fell second.

Despite this year’s financial crisis China added $1.5 trillion to its wealth. The country has seen an impressive fivefold rise in wealth since the beginning of the century, the report says.

The UK, Germany and Switzerland are also top of the superrich list.

The US is expected to remain the richest nation over the next five years, although the level of wealth growth in Europe may overtake that of the US.

“While the bottom half of adults collectively own less than 1 percent of total wealth, the richest decile holds 87.7 percent of assets, and the top percentile alone accounts for half of total household wealth,” the report goes.

The report is aimed at the “understanding of wealth creation and its implications on consumption, retirement savings, and asset allocation,” researchers claim.

The data has been collected since 2000. This is the sixth edition of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report.

Young Africans putting digital tech to use

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A solar backpack that powers a lamp at night and a tablet loaded with a school’s curriculum are two ways that innovative young Africans are putting digital technology to use.

With a slick production in Johannesburg’s high-rise financial district, hundreds of digital enthusiasts gathered Wednesday to share what’s new in Africa’s digital landscape.

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At the Digital Edge conference headlined by American director Spike Lee, speakers enthusiastically described how young Africans are turning to technology to solve existing social problems.

In South Africa, two young innovators have designed a backpack that charges by day on the backs of schoolchildren and becomes a lamp by night to help students do their homework, according to Musa Kalenga of Facebook’s Africa operations.

Kenyan developers have created a specialized tablet that can be loaded with a school’s curriculum, covering subjects from mathematics to languages and religious studies, using video and animations, according to a video by international advertising agency Young and Rubicam, which has offices in Johannesburg and Nairobi. Known as eLimu, the Swahili word for education, the program is aimed at overwhelmed state schools in the East African country.

In Nigeria, Lagos’ gridlocked traffic leads to a loss of 3 billion working hours each year, according to the developers of a carpooling app. Developed in May with 10,000 registered users already, Jekalo—the Yoruba phrase for ‘let’s go’—matches commuters on the same route with willing drivers to form a lift club.

The digital age also allows young Africans to define their own culture in an interconnected world, as a skateboarder and break-dancer in Zambia’s capital Lusaka learned. The two founded Street Culture, a digital platform that connects Zambian youths interested in extreme sports, dance and other urban culture to an online community.

Outraged over U.S.- Iran deal, Israel gets billion dollar pay off

WASHINGTON – While the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany co-signed with the United States on an agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions for the next 15 years, the U.S. is now busying itself with attempts to ease the resulting political tensions with Israel, and to mollify enough members of Congress so that the deal can take affect.

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The real “untold story” about the Middle East nuclear race is the fact that Israel already possesses atomic weapons. “This whole idea of talking about a nuclear arms race in the Middle East without admitting who’s racing is bizarre.”
Grant Smith, Director, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy


President Obama is defending the global agreement as critics—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the loudest among them—are accusing the White House of appeasement. The agreement reached July 14 will see Iran reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and cut its number of centrifuges with which to enrich more uranium by two-thirds. In exchange, Iran will see the immediate easing of $100 billion worth of international sanctions that have battered its economy. Congress has 60 days to review the agreement.

“If 99 percent of the world community and the majority of nuclear experts look at this thing and they say: ‘This will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb,’ and you are arguing either that it does not or that, even if it does, it’s temporary, or that because they’re going to get a windfall of their accounts being unfrozen, that they’ll cause more problems, then you should have some alternative to present. And I haven’t heard that,” President Obama told reporters at the White House one day after the agreement was announced.

“And the reason is because there really are only two alternatives here: Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation, or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are—those are the options,” Mr. Obama said.

The success in the nearly two-year-long Iranian nuclear negotiations came just one week after two soaring personal domestic victories for the president—the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), and his moving, commemorative eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a Black South Carolina state senator and the pastor of Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church who was slain with eight other parishioners in his church by a White supremacist, Confederate sympathizer.

Vice President Joseph Biden, who served for 35 years in the U.S. Senate, was at work immediately after the deal was announced telephoning and then visiting senators, and listening to their concerns about distrust of Iran. The administration will need at least 34 senators to support the agreement to sustain Mr. Obama’s veto, if legislation is adopted to block it. A two-thirds majority would be required in both houses to override a veto and disapprove the agreement.

Democrats “are getting a lot of pressure from constituents who are suspicious of any agreement,” Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said, according to Politico. Mr. Obama “has his hands full.” Republicans in the Senate and the House, as well as GOP presidential candidates are almost universally opposed to the deal.

Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who served in the Senate from New York and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), both, joined Mr. Biden early, registering their support for the agreement.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose past warnings about Iran’s supposed nuclear capacity have contradicted the findings of his own spy agency, called the deal a “historic mistake. And Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran, because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves,” Mr. Netanyahu said according to published reports.

But Defense Secretary Ash Carter was in Israel with offers of more defense aid immediately after the agreement was reached. “Friends can disagree but we have decades of rock-solid cooperation with Israel,” Sec. Carter told reporters traveling with him. Among the proposals Mr. Carter was expected to discuss is a 50 percent increase in U.S. military aid to the Zionist state, increasing the gift from $3 billion per year to as much as $4.5 billion per year.

But while many Republican, Jewish, and conservative politicians oppose the agreement, a majority of Jews in both the United States and Israel support it, according to Jackie Goldberg, who served in the California State Assembly, on the Los Angeles City Council, and as president of the Los Angeles Unified School Board. “Fifty-nine percent of American Jewish people back the agreement,” Ms. Goldberg told Margaret Prescod on KPFK-FM’s “Sojourner Truth Radio.”

That information was revealed in “a poll by ‘J Street,’ the centrist, liberal voice of American Jews—not J-Pac, which is the Netanyahu wing, and certainly not Jews for Peace which is a much more progressive wing—this is kind of a mainstream group who did a poll and found that the deal was a good idea.

“The same poll gave Obama a 56 percent job approval rating, for example. What this business of Netanyahu saying that somehow it’s bad for Israel and then you wake up and find out that the United States has offered to increase military (aid) to Israel by a billion and a half (dollars per year). How is that going to help anything?” Ms. Goldberg said.

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter agreed. “The biggest news in the #IranDeal text is what isn’t there: the content of the new Security Council resolution & its arms embargo language,” Mr. Porter, who recently returned to this country after two weeks in Vienna where the agreement was negotiated said in a statement released by Washington’s Institute for Public Accuracy. “U.S. arms manufacturers have already exploited #IranDeal for $6 billion in new arms contracts with Gulf regimes,” said Mr. Porter who is author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

The real “untold story” about the Middle East nuclear race is the fact that Israel already possesses atomic weapons, according to Grant Smith, director of the Washington-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. “This whole idea of talking about a nuclear arms race in the Middle East without admitting who’s racing is bizarre. You can’t talk about a race without admitting that some have not only left the starting line, but have lapped the field,” Mr. Smith said in a statement released by the Institute for Public Accuracy.

Mr. Smith reported that the “U.S. Confirmed (the) Existence of Israeli H-Bomb Program in 1987.” That report states: “The 1987 report’s confirmation of Israel’s advanced nuclear weapons program should have immediately triggered a cutoff in all U.S. aid to Israel under the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act.

“Under two known gag orders—punishable by imprisonment—U.S. security-cleared government agency employees and contractors may not disclose that Israel has a nuclear weapons program. GEN-16 is a ‘no-comment’ regulation on ‘classified information in the public domain.’ ‘DOE Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities’ forbids stating what 63.9 percent of Americans already know—that Israel has a nuclear arsenal.”

All the while, Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal—estimated at between 60 to 400 nuclear weapons has been virtually ignored. Unlike Iran and all the Arab countries, Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Still, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues his country’s charade. “Today a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history,” he said after the agreement was announced.

“I think what we’re really seeing is an attempt to make it appear that somehow or another that we don’t have Jewish support for this, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth,” Ms. Goldberg continued. “Even in Israel, a majority of Israelis support the pact. The most important issue is that it really does stop the attempt to build a nuclear weapon by Iran. It stops it. It stops it dead cold. And it would have the most stringent and intrusive inspections in monitoring history, of any regime in any time in the world.”

“I’m confident this agreement is a road to peace,” Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian told Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now!” He’s an associate research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, former diplomat who, from 1990 to 1997 served as Iran’s ambassador to Germany. From 1997 to 2005, he was head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Iran’s National Security Council.

“The big issue, as President Obama said, the agreement prevented a war, could (have been) disaster for the U.S., for Iran, for the region and for international community. Second, the deal has closed all possible pathways toward possible militarization, weaponization of Iranian nuclear program. The U.S. and the West, they were worried if Iranian nuclear program in the future would divert toward weaponization. That’s why President Obama’s red line was zero nuclear bomb, no nuclear bomb,” said Mr. Mousavian.

“This red line was welcomed in Tehran very much, because Iranians, they believe and they were reiterating they have never been after nuclear bomb, and they would be ready to give every assurances that the Iranian nuclear program will remain peaceful forever. After 23 months of tough negotiations, they have finalized 159 pages, which would cover the American red line, which is no nuclear bomb,” Ambassador Mousavian said.

In addition, the agreement could result in substantial benefits to the American population, according to Dr. Gerald Horne, who holds the Moores chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Dr. Horne told Margaret Prescod: “The deal is potentially transformative. If all things work out properly, you’ll see an unleashing of a tidal wave of Iranian petroleum on the market. The price of gasoline at the pump in the United States might fall nationally to $2.25 per gallon, which is like a wage increase for U.S. workers.

“It’s going to wound Texas, because whenever the price of energy goes down, the most conservative state is wounded, and that also happens to be the main opposition to Barack Obama, and not to mention world peace in general. It will further weaken the Saudi’s oil weapon,” Dr. Horne said. “Vice President Biden let the cat out of the bag last year when he noted correctly that the Gulf Arabs—particularly the Saudis—are the main supporters of ISIS, which the United States is sworn to fight.”

But Dr. Horne is concerned that Congress may override Mr. Obama’s expected veto, scuttling the agreement. But the president has another important legislative ally in his corner, House Minority Leader Pelosi. “The historic nuclear agreement announced today is the product of years of tough, bold and clear-eyed leadership from President Obama. I commend the president for his strength throughout the historic negotiations that have led to this point. I join him in commending Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz for their leadership,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a statement.

“Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East,” the president warned at his news conference, “and other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.”

Denzel Washington to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes

by theGrio |
On Monday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that Denzel Washington would be the 2016 recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the upcoming Golden Globes.

E! News reports, Lorenzo Soria, the President of the HFPA, announced in a press release, “Washington’s long and storied career is earmarked by his countless roles in front and behind the camera. It is the HFPA’s privilege to honor his contributions to the entertainment industry with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.”

The Golden Globes will air in a few months on Jan. 10, 2016 on NBC and will be hosted by Ricky Gervais.

Congratulations to Denzel Washington – he certainly deserves it!

Willie Mays, Yogi Berra among Medal of Freedom honorees

FILE - In this June 4, 2015, file photo San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2014 World Series champion baseball team. President Barack Obama on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, named seventeen recipients, including Mays, of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FILE – In this June 4, 2015, file photo San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2014 World Series champion baseball team. President Barack Obama on Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, named seventeen recipients, including Mays, of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Baseball legends Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra will be honored with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

They are among 17 people who will be recognized by President Barack Obama at a Nov. 24 ceremony.

Honorees from the entertainment world include Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Sondheim, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, James Taylor and Itzhak Perlman.

Politicians include Sen. Barbara Milkulski, former Rep. Lee Hamilton and the late Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress.

Other honorees include veterans advocate Bonnie Carroll; NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson; and former EPA chief and deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus, known for refusing to fire the Watergate special prosecutor. Posthumous recipients include Indian tribal advocate Billy Frank Jr. and civil rights advocate Minoru Yasui.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Patti’s pie selling out like hot cakes across the nation!

patti-pies7by Michael J. Feeney

If only Walmart knew Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies would be such a big hit.

The sweet potato pies by LaBelle have been exclusively available at Walmart stores for weeks, but the pies suddenly began flying off the shelves after Los Angeles-based singer James Wright Chanel posted a video of himself tasting the pie and singing the singer’s biggest hits.

Since the video was posted on Thursday, Walmart stores throughout the country have reported selling out of the pies. According to the store’s website, locations in Los Angeles, Miami and the singer’s hometown of Philadelphia are all sold out of the pies as of Sunday afternoon.

“I turned into Patti,” Chanel said in a three-minute video in between taking bites of the pie. “You’ll turn into Patti after eating this…You’ll feel like Patti LaBelle after eating this. Go to Walmart and buy the Patti LaBelle pie.”

The viral video, where Chanel sings LaBelle hits “If Only You Knew,” “You Are My Friend” and “On My Own,” has been viewed more than seven million times on Facebook and more than 700,000 times on YouTube as of Sunday afternoon.

Walmart in North Bergen, N.J., was among the stores to sell out of the $3.48 pies on Friday.

“Everybody was looking for the pies last night! Everybody,” store Assistant Manager John Mooney told TheGrio.com Saturday morning.

The location received a new shipment of pies, and as of 8 a.m. Saturday morning, 194 pies sat on a table at the entrance of the store, said Manager Douglas Yeakey.

Pattis pie selling out like hot cakes across the nation! entertainment pies3
“Those will be gone today,” Mooney said.

And he was right.

The store manager said the pies, which are advertised as being made with California-grown sweet potatoes, butter and spice, were gone within three hours.

“People have been coming in all day asking about the pies,” Yeakey said, adding a church group called about buying 300 pies. “We’re going to order as many as we can.”

Lucky customers who got to the store early Saturday morning grabbed multiple pies because of the Patti pie craze that was sparked by the video.

Khaliah Johnson, 32, of Montclair, N.J., carried six pies to the register, sang “Over the Rainbow” and flapped her arms and kicked off her shoes (intimating LaBelle) after purchasing the pies.

“Well, I heard that the Patti pie is good, so I want to be over the rainbow,” she said, referring to LaBelle’s version of “Over the Rainbow.”

She said it was Chanel’s video that brought her to the store.

“I saw people post the video on Facebook, so I wanted to taste [the pie],” she said. “It was funny. The best part of the video was when he was singing.”

But Johnson said tracking down the pie was not easy.

“I didn’t know it was going to be sold out everywhere. I searched high and low,” she added.

Some customers came to the New Jersey store from New York City, where there are no Walmart stores, to pick up the “Patti pie.”

Nikita Rispers, 38, of Harlem, said after watching the video she had to get her hands on the elusive pie to share with her co-workers.

“I came out here just for this,” Rispers said. “Patti knows what she’s doing, she’s black!”

Karen Lewis, 49, of the Bronx, also couldn’t wait to try the pie.

“I’m going to try it out now, and if it’s good I’m going to come back and get a bunch for Thanksgiving,” she said.

Kategia Binion, 38, and Dorothy Rasdell, 60, of Belleville, N.J., snatched up six pies and said if it wasn’t for Chanel’s video they would have never known about it.

“The video made me want to taste the pie,” said Binion, adding she enjoyed Chanel’s singing of LaBelle’s songs. “He hit those notes!”

Chanel’s viral video has not only made him the latest Internet sensation but he also received a phone call from the legendary singer.

“When you get a personal phone call from Patti Labell [sic]. Oh I’m gonna have a great day,” he wrote on Facebook on Friday.

LaBelle also responded to an Elle Magazine tweet about Chanel’s viral video, tweeting, “I LOVE THIS!!!”

Charlie Sheen: ‘I am, in fact, HIV positive’

photoby Frazier Moore, Associated Press | theGrio.com

NEW YORK (AP) — Former “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen has the HIV virus.

In an interview Tuesday on NBC’s “Today,” the 50-year-old Sheen said he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.

But when asked by “Today” co-host Matt Lauer if he had transmitted the disease to others, he declared, “Impossible. Impossible.”

He said he was diagnosed about four years ago. He said one reason for going public with his condition was to put a stop to shakedowns from prostitutes and others who threatened to out him. He said he had paid “enough to bring it into the millions” — perhaps as much as $10 million — to buy their silence and now was seeking to “put a stop to this barrage of attacks and sub-truths.”

He said one prostitute took a photo of the HIV-related drugs in his medicine cabinet and threatened to sell it to the tabloids.

“Are you still paying these people?” Lauer asked him.

“Not after today I’m not,” Sheen said.

With his public pronouncement he said he hoped to reduce the stigma still felt by some diagnosed with HIV.

“I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people,” he said. “And hopefully with what we’re doing today, others may come forward and say, ‘Thanks, Charlie, for kicking the door open.’”

The disclosure was only the latest chapter in Sheen’s headline-seizing behavior. In recent years, drug and alcohol use led to his being kicked off CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” in 2011 after an explosive meltdown that included calling the show’s producer “a contaminated little maggot.”

His escapades also included the revelation that he spent more than $50,000 as a client of “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’ prostitution ring.

“Two and a Half Men” debuted in 2003 and starred Sheen as womanizing bachelor Charlie Harper. It made Sheen one of TV’s highest-paid actors and at its peak was TV’s most-watched sitcom. It ended its run earlier this year, after Ashton Kutcher stepped in for the fired Sheen.

In 2012, Sheen returned to TV in “Anger Management,” an FX sitcom adapted from the movie of the same name.

Sheen has been wed three times, the first time to model Donna Peele in the 1990s.

He and actress Denise Richards were married from 2002-2006 and have two daughters. Sheen and real estate investor Brooke Mueller wed in 2008 and divorced in 2011; they have two sons. Sheen said he had informed her of his diagnosis.

U.S congenital syphilis rates on the rise

By: LUCAS FRANKI, Family Practice News Digital Network,

Since 2012, congenital syphilis rates in newborns have increased significantly, and in 2014 the disease incidence
reached its highest rate since 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 1991 to 2005, congenital syphilis (CS) rates in the United States decreased, but increased slightly from 2005 to
2008 to 10.5/100,000 live births, said Dr. Virginia Bowen of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (MMWR. 2015
Nov 13;64[44]:1241-5) and her coauthors. After 2008, CS rates decreased again, reaching a low of 8.4/100,000 live births in 2012. In 2013, the rate increased to 9.1/100,000 births, and grew to 11.6/100,000 births in 2014. This growth corresponds to a concurrent growth in primary and secondary syphilis in women, the rate of which increased from 0.9/100,000 in 2012 to 1.1/100,000 in 2014, a 22% increase.

This illustration depicts a photomicrographic view of a Fontana-stained culture specimen revealing the presence of
numerous Treponema pallidum bacteria. Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore, known as a chancre.

Every region in the United States saw an increase in CS rates from 2012 to 2014, but was highest in the West, where
the rate more than doubled, increasing from 5.5/100,000 births to 12.8/100,000. All racial/ethnic groups saw an
increase as well, with the greatest increase in whites; however, CS rates in non-Hispanic blacks remained more than 10 times higher than in whites, and 3 times higher than in Hispanics.

“Health departments, in partnership with prenatal care providers and other local organizations, should work together to address barriers to obtaining early and adequate prenatal care for the majority of vulnerable pregnant women. Women who are uninsured or underinsured and women with substance use issues have been found to be at
increased risk for receiving inadequate or no prenatal care, placing them at increased risk for CS,” the CDC investigators said.

Chronic migraine found to have negative impact on parenting

By: DEEPAK CHITNIS, Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network

WASHINGTON – Chronic migraine can have a noticeable impact on child-rearing and affect the overall quality of care provided to children by an afflicted parent or domestic partner, according to findings from the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) study presented at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

“Limited data exists on the burden of migraine on family members, [but] no one has actually studied the burden to family members of chronic migraine,” explained Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

©Getty Images

The CaMEO study was initiated in the fall of 2012 as a prospective, web-based study that surveyed individuals with migraine and chronic migraine, with “cross-sectional modules embedded in a longitudinal design.” This module, called by investigators the Family Burden module, surveyed 13,064 individuals with migraine, of whom 994 met the criteria for chronic migraine – that is, subjects experienced at least 15 headache days per month for the last 3 months.

To assess the burden of chronic migraine on children and other family members, subjects and their partners/spouses responded to questions designed for exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The questions covered reduced participation in, or enjoyment of, family activities; missed or canceled family events; effects of migraine on family members’ activities and emotions; and effect of migraine on migraineur’s interaction with children. Each question was answered with a number of 1-4, with 1 being complete disagreement and 4 being complete agreement.

“We also collected data directly from children who were age 13 and older,” said Dr. Buse. “That data, however, will be coming out next year.”

Unsurprisingly, 75.1% of migraine sufferers said that the noise of their child’s activities can cause or aggravate their headaches, but 66% said they get more easily angry or annoyed with their children when they have a headache, and 71.7% of parents said that they would be a better parent if they did not have chromic migraines.

For questions pertaining to participation and enjoyment of family events, 44.4% of migraineurs and 19.6% of partners “somewhat or completely” agreed that their migraines reduced their ability to properly parent their children. Forty-nine percent of migraneurs responded that chronic migraines reduced their enjoyment of children’s activities, 56.5% said that chronic migraines reduced their enjoyment of a significant event in the past year, and 65.3% said that migraines reduced their enjoyment of family activities.

Nearly 39% of subjects experiencing chronic migraines said that the affliction caused them to miss a holiday in the last year, 39% canceled an important holiday celebration in their own home over the last year, 33% said their children missed a scheduled activity in the last 30 days due to their parent’s migraine, and 33.9% said their children either missed a day of school or was dropped off/picked up late because the parent had a migraine.

Almost 32% of partners said that migraineurs were more demanding of their children because of their migraine, while 30.3% of subjects with migraines said that it has caused conflict between them and their children. Thirty percent of migraineurs said that the condition causes stress with their children, regardless of whether they’ve actually experienced a headache that day.

“Probands with chronic migraine and their spouses perceive a higher rate of burden on children,” Dr. Buse concluded. “Generally, the probands are harder on themselves than their spouses are; probands feel guiltier, sadder, angrier, more frustrated, or that their kids are more affected than their spouses perceive, and going forward, we’ll be analyzing what the kids say themselves.”

The CaMEO study was sponsored by Allergan. Dr. Buse disclosed that she has received grant support and honoraria from Allergan, the American Headache Society, and the National Headache Foundation; that she is an employee of Montefiore Medical Center, which has received research support funded by Allergan, CoLucid, Endo Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, MAP Pharmaceuticals, Merck, NuPathe, Novartis, Ortho-McNeil, and Zogenix, both directly and via grants from the National Headache Foundation.

Self-Defining Memories Help People with Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Recalling meaningful memories can allow patients to re-establish a positive sense of self.

Recalling meaningful memories can allow patients to re-establish a positive sense of self.

It is common to hear people complain that they are “lost in life,” don’t seem to know who they are anymore, or generally lack a sense of purpose. For people living with depression or bipolar disorder, there is evidence that disturbances, which are deep rooted in their memories from their past, can play a large part in explaining such identity problems.

According to a 2004 study by Blagov and Singer,1these disturbances are often due to a phenomena known as “overgeneralization bias,” which is the tendency to recall fewer specific memories than general ones. “Mood congruence bias,” which is the propensity to recall less positive memories than negative ones, also plays a role. People with depression or bipolar disorder tend to have difficulty remembering specific and positive memories.

The retrieval of self-defining memories (SDM) can be particularly problematic for people with depression or bipolar disorder. SDMs are crystallizations of links between memory and identity and form a special component of autobiographical recollection. Blagov and Singer referred to SDMs as vivid, emotionally intense and well-rehearsed autobiographical memories. Essentially, SDMs are memories that tell someone what kind of person they are, and serve as a reminder of how and why they came to be that person.

Aurelie Wagener, MS, Marie Boulanger, PhD and Sylvie Blairy, PhD, all of the University of Liege in Belgium, presented a study during last month’s British Psychological Society Annual Conference, which was held in Liverpool, United Kingdom.2

The study compared the characteristics of SDMs between depressed patients, bipolar patients, and healthy subjects. The authors didn’t confirm the presence of overgeneralization bias among patients with depression or bipolar disorder, meaning there were no notable disturbances in terms of the specificity of their SDMs. There was also no evidence of contamination, where memories with a positive past construction are ‘contaminated’ or recalled within a negative present context.

It was found, however, that mood congruence bias is present in the SDMs of depressed patients. According to Wagener, “They tend to recall more memories with a negative emotional valence than memories with a positive one.” It was also found that depressed and bipolar patients recall fewer SDMs, with a genuine meaning-making component, compared to healthy subjects.

“Meaning-making can be conceptualized as the capacity to evoke a lesson learned about oneself, another or the world due to the SDMs,” explained Wagener.

Other than SDMs, the study also focused on another important aspect of identity, which is known as self-concept clarity (SCC). This is defined as the degree of certainty and confidence concerning self-descriptions. As well as finding that depressed and bipolar patients recall fewer SDMs with meaning-making content, the study also established that these patients reported lower SCC levels compared to healthy subjects. According to Wagener, this demonstrates that the ability to evoke SDMs with meaning-making is correlated with SCC.

“We believe that SDMs help people improve their self-concept clarity because SDMs are related to the main concerns and values of the individual,” she explained. When patients have problems retrieving SDMs, this can threaten their self-perception and how confident they are in describing themselves.

Wagener also adds that when patients possess a low SCC, they might also demonstrate a poor feeling of self-continuity. “Indeed, they might feel lost, and this could present them with some difficulties in projecting themselves in the future,” she said.

The findings of the clinical study imply that there is a need to improve the recall of SDMs with positive valence for depressed patients, and the recall of SDMs with meaning-making for depressed and bipolar patients. According to Wagener, patients have to ask themselves memory-evoking personal questions, such as ‘What has really mattered in my life since my early childhood?’ and ‘Which events have made me who I am today?’

“We believe that the retrieval of SDMs might help patients gain insight of what really matters in their lives. These questions might improve their self-concept clarity,” she added. The goal of recalling SDMs, Wagener explained, is to enable depressed and bipolar patients to recognize the nature of their main concerns and the values that are important to them. It also enables patients to recall their personal problem-solving techniques. “Recalling SDMs,” she observed, “might also help patients to remember how they solved their problems early on and eventually help them solve current issues.”

Besides asking patients questions that facilitate their memory recall, the participation of physicians and family members during psychotherapies can also be very helpful in this area. According to Wagener, “Doctors and psychologists can help patients retrieve memories that are particularly relevant for their sense of self. Family members can assist when patients are not able to recall memories on their own. They might suggest some memories, and the patients could then explain these memories more deeply.”

Overall, SDMs are a major foundation in the formation of an individual’s identity. They are reflections of a person’s key life lessons, central goals, values and conflicts. They often guide our decisions and sense of self-continuity. For people living with depression or bipolar disorder, recalling affirming and meaningful memories can help to re-establish a positive sense of self and thereby assist in their treatment.

Nicola Davies, PhD, is a psychologist and freelance writer who lives in Bedfordshire, UK. She has a love of learning and a passion for making scientific knowledge accessible to everyone.

Central obesity at normal weight leads to increased risk of premature mortality

Central obesity is riskier in people at a normal weight than those who are obese or overweight.

Central obesity is riskier in people at a normal weight than those who are obese or overweight.

HealthDay News — Individuals with central obesity but of normal weight according to body mass index (BMI) have a higher risk of premature mortality than overweight or obese people, according to research published online Nov. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

For the study, a team led by Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., used data from a national survey to compare the risk of premature death among 15,184 adults. The mean follow-up time was 14 years. The researchers looked at BMI and waist-to-hip ratios.

The researchers found that a normal-weight male with more fat around the waist had an 87% increased risk of death during the study period compared to a man who was normal weight without central obesity. Compared to overweight or obese men (as measured solely by BMI, without specific waist size information), a normal-weight man with central obesity had more than twice the risk of dying early. Normal-weight women with central obesity had nearly a 50% increased risk of death during the study period versus a normal-weight woman whose weight was more equally distributed throughout her body. Compared to obese women (measured by BMI only), the normal-weight women with abdominal fat had a 32% higher risk of early death.

“These new data provide evidence that clinicians should look beyond BMI. Although assessing for total fat mass with BMI to identify patients at greater cardiovascular risk is a good start, it is not sufficient,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

Red meat and cancer risk – what your patients should know

By: SUSAN M. GAPSTUR, PH.D., M.P.H., AND MARJORIE L. MCCULLOUGH, SC.D., R.D., Internal Medicine News Digital

It may have come as a surprise to the approximately 60% of Americans who consume red or processed meat that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, recently reported that processed meat is a carcinogen, and red meat is probably a carcinogen to humans.2

This report was based on a review of the world’s body of human and laboratory research by an international working group of experts convened for the IARC Monographs Programme. Since 1971, the IARC Monographs Programme has specifically sought to evaluate the potential carcinogenic effects of a range of exposures – from specific chemicals, complex chemical mixtures, and occupational exposures to physical and biological agents – and lifestyle factors, including dietary factors.

©Fuse/thinkstockphotos.com

Because of the growing evidence on the potential carcinogenic effects of processed meat and red meat intake, it was not surprising that in 2014, an IARC advisory committee recommended the evaluation of processed and red meat.

While the new report has generated considerable media attention, and many questions about whether or not it is safe to consume processed meat (for example, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, deli meats, etc.) and red meat (e.g., mammalian muscle meat such as beef, pork, and lamb), the working group’s conclusions were not unexpected.

Based on review of earlier studies, the American Cancer Society first recommended limiting consumption of red and processed meat in 20023and has maintained this recommendation in its latest (2012) Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.4

The conclusions also are consistent with the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) Continuous Update Project,5 which found the evidence “convincing” that diets high in red meat and processed meat are associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer.5 Moreover, the IARC conclusions support the United States 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee’s recommendation to consume a healthful dietary pattern that is “lower in red and processed meat.”6

The classifications for both red and processed meats are based primarily on evidence showing an increased risk of colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and among women in the United States.

In the IARC report, it was noted that a meta-analysis of 10 prospective studies showed a statistically significant 18% (95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.28) increased risk of colorectal cancer per 50 g (about 1.75 ounces) per day of processed meat consumption, and a 17% (95% CI, 1.05-1.31) increased risk of colorectal cancer per 100 g (about 3.5 ounces) per day of red meat.7

In terms of lifetime risk, this means that eating an extra 50 g of processed meat per day would be expected to increase the average person’s risk of ever developing colorectal cancer from about 5% to about 6%. A similar excess risk would be observed for 100 g of red meat consumption.

While this increased risk is modest, for heavy meat eaters and for those at high risk of colorectal cancer, limiting processed and red meat consumption is one way to help reduce their risk of colorectal cancer.

Some mechanisms thought to be responsible include consumption of N-nitroso compounds formed during meat processing, and the endogenous formation of N-nitroso compounds in the gut, which can be catalyzed by heme iron in red meat. High-heat cooking methods such as pan frying or barbecuing produce high concentrations of known or suspected carcinogens, including heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.8,9

The data for other cancers are more limited, but positive associations were also seen for processed meat consumption and stomach cancer, and for red meat and cancers of the pancreas and prostate (advanced prostate cancer in particular).2

It is worth keeping in mind that preventing smoking initiation and improving smoking cessation rates remain the most important ways to reduce cancer mortality rates worldwide. In addition, there is considerable evidence that other healthful lifestyle habits also are important for minimizing cancer risk, including limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy body weight throughout adulthood, being physically active, and consuming a mostly plant-based diet.

Our own research,10 using data from the Cancer Prevention Study II and that of others,11,12 has shown that a lifestyle most consistent with following the American Cancer Society’s Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention13 has marked impact on reducing the risk of developing many types of cancer, as well as dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and all causes.

In terms of meat consumption, the American Cancer Society’s guidelines emphasize choosing fish, poultry, or beans as alternatives to processed and red meat. For those who choose to eat red meat, selecting lean cuts and eating smaller portions are recommended.4 The guidelines also recommend preparing meat, poultry, and fish by baking, broiling, or poaching, rather than frying or charbroiling, to reduce the formation of carcinogens during the cooking process.

When discussing behavioral approaches to reduce cancer risk with their patients, physicians, dietitians, and other health care providers may find the WHO classification of processed meat as a carcinogen and red meat as a probable carcinogen helpful in motivating patients to make healthier dietary choices.

Black athletes unbound: Missouri protest a sign of a renewed spirit of activism in college sports?

BY J.A. SALAAM AND BRIAN E. MUHAMMAD

ST. LOUIS—When Black students at the University of Missouri came together to force the resignation of university president Tim Wolfe, and the university chancellor, it was the culmination of years of complaints about the problem of racism at the school.

But the entry of Black football players, who vowed not to play or practice until President Wolfe was ousted, decided the matter. What started as 30 Black players in support of Jonathan Butler, a grad student who was on a hunger strike, grew into a strike backed by the entire football team and coach Brian Pinkel.

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University of Missouri students make a show of unity.

The threat to not play could have cost the university millions of dollars, starting with a $1 million payment to Brigham Young University if the Mizzou team didn’t take to the field on an upcoming Saturday. The football program brought in $83.7 million in revenue in 2014. One newspaper reported the university football program had a profit of $6 million.

“Pointing out racism, injustice, etc. many times simply isn’t enough. Racists know they’re racists. But to really bring about change, you have to economically impact the people in power. Then you’ll see decisions made at the speed of light,” former NBA star and activist Etan Thomas posted on Twitter Nov. 9 about the weight of athletes engaging in a boycott. Mr. Wolfe had stepped down the same day. Next came the departure of the chancellor.

“When you give young people space, they can find their own solutions,” said activist Tory Russell, who traveled the two hours from St. Louis to Columbia, Mo., where the university is located.

Mr. Russell has been active in the protest movement that exploded in Ferguson, Mo., over a year ago. Ferguson, a Black suburb of St. Louis, was referenced by the college students as a major impetus for their struggle, he said.

Young people were talking about economics and how to shape the type of society they wanted to live in, said young leader, who helped found Hands Up United!, an activist organization.

These aren’t necessarily poor people but people who are educated and taking a stand, he added.

The students had complained about a lack of action and lack of engagement from President Wolfe, who rebuffed them at a homecoming protest this year.

Fall incidents have included the n—-r epithet hurled at the university’s student government president, who is Black. Before the president’s resignation a swastika was scrawled on a wall in human feces.

A former business executive with no previous experience in academic leadership, Mr. Wolfe took “full responsibility for the frustration” students expressed and said their complaints were “clear” and “real.”

The complaints came to a head Nov. 7, when at least 30 Black football players announced that they would not play until the president was gone.

Mr. Wolfe’s announcement came at the start of what had been expected to be a lengthy closed-door meeting of the school’s governing board.

“This is not the way change comes about,” he said, alluding to recent protests, in a halting statement that was simultaneously apologetic, clumsy and defiant. “We stopped listening to each other.”

He urged students, faculty and staff to use the resignation “to heal and start talking again to make the changes necessary.”

The school’s undergraduate population is 79 percent White and 8 percent Black. The state is about 83 percent White and nearly 12 percent Black.

As students leveled more grievances this fall, Mr. Wolfe was increasingly seen as aloof, out of touch and insensitive to their concerns. He soon became the protesters’ main target.

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Black students block car carrying then university President Wolfe at homecoming. He refused to stop the car and talk with students.

In a statement issued Nov. 8, Mr. Wolfe acknowledged that “change is needed” and said the university was working to draw up a plan by April to promote diversity and tolerance. But by the end of that day, a campus sit-in had grown in size, graduate student groups planned walkouts and politicians began to weigh in.

After his resignation announcement, students and teachers in Columbia hugged and chanted.

Coach Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades linked the return of the football players to the end of a hunger strike by graduate student Butler, who had stopped eating Nov. 2.

After Mr. Wolfe’s announcement, Mr. Butler said in a tweet that his strike was over. He appeared weak and unsteady as two people helped him into a sea of celebrants on campus. Many broke into dance at seeing him.

Football practice was to resume Nov. 10 ahead of a Nov. 14 game against Brigham Young University at Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

In early October, members of a Black student organization said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken White student.

Frustrations flared again during a homecoming parade, when Black protesters blocked Mr. Wolfe’s car, and he did not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police.

The university did take some steps to ease tensions. At the request of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator for the Columbia campus, the school announced plans to offer diversity training to all new students starting in January, as well as faculty and staff. The chancellor also issued an open letter decrying racism after the swastika was found.

Some students expressed little confidence that the promised training would yield lasting results. Chancellor Bowen stepped down Nov. 9.

Many of the protests have been led by an organization called Concerned Student 1950, which gets its name from the year the university accepted its first Black student.

The group demanded, among other things, that Mr. Wolfe resign and “acknowledge his White male privilege.” It also sought a 10-year plan to retain more marginalized students and the hiring of more minorities at the university’s counseling center.

Also joining in the protest effort were two graduate student groups that called for walkouts and the student government at the Columbia campus, the Missouri Students Association.

The association said the president had “not only enabled a culture of racism since the start of his tenure in 2012, but blatantly ignored and disrespected the concerns of students.”

Mr. Wolfe, 57, was hired as president in 2011, succeeding another former executive with no experience in academia.

Activism among young people has seen a spectacular increase since the killing of Mike Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed Black male in Ferguson by a White police officer, a rebellion and heavily armed police, National Guardsmen, nonlethal weapons and tear gas in 2014.

The mass entry of the Missouri athletes marked an important turn, a turn that harkened back to the civil rights and Black Power movements in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time there was a surge in activism among major sports figures. Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight boxing champion, joined the Nation of Islam, stood for Black equality and opposed the Vietnam War; football star Jim Brown was outspoken on racial and economic issues and organized other athletes; while gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos launched the unforgettable black-gloved Black Power fist protest at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

In recent years professional athletes stood in solidarity with those calling for justice for Trayvon Martin, a Black teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida, rejected racist diatribes by Donald Sterling, forcing the Los Angeles Clippers owner to sell the team and last year Los Angeles Ram players engaged in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protest that was associated with demonstrations tied to the killing of young Brown.

Today’s controlled professional and collegiate sports have often been described by critics as plantations where White billionaires control multi-million dollar talent that says nothing about racial or social issues.

Tony Muhammad, student minister and Western Region Representative for the Nation of Islam, called the athletes part of a fearless “Joshua generation.”

“These athletes are taking on the spirit of the Jim Browns’, the Carlos Smiths’, the Muhammad Ali’s—and they have power beyond our wildest imagination. When they decide not to play in the big arenas—which is the modern day gladiators—it shows that our athletes and entertainers, once united, have power,” said Student Minister Muhammad, who is based in Los Angeles.

He also attributes some of the campus activism to college visits by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan in recent years, culminating with the highly successful “Justice Or Else!” gathering in Washington, D.C., in early October that marked the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.

“This is about to happen at many other universities across this country,” Mr. Muhammad predicted. “History is beginning to repeat itself until it corrects itself.” Systemic racism and racial tension is happening throughout America and backlash against injustice isn’t over, he said. “The students are realizing the strength in their unity.”

“Black Lives Matter has done a very good job of revitalizing and rekindling the Black Power movement,” said Greg Akili, a Los Angeles-based organizer. “But equally as important is the work that has gone on in between because had there not been activism, had the (Nation of Islam) not been steady in its position than there wouldn’t be anything for Black Lives Matter to connect to,” Mr. Akili said.

Mr. Akili has lived through the ebb and flow of the Black Power struggle and is happy to see renewed energy, activism and resistance.

The resignation of Mr. Wolfe was a direct victory for those challenging injustice, he said.

“It’s a continuation of a consistent and regular struggle that we have been engaged in since the day we got here and even before the day we got here,” said Mr. Akili. “I think that it should be recognized acknowledged and admired that the students and athletes at Missouri said ‘we are not going to take this.’”

Students also say resignations aren’t the end, but a beginning to force the university to be better and fairer.

Black dollars, Black power and shutting down Black Friday

BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD

LOS ANGELES (FinalCall.com) – Coming out of the extremely successful organizing and turnout for the “Justice Or Else!” gathering in Washington, D.C., marking the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March, is a mass mobilization for a nationwide boycott of Black Friday—the major Christmas holiday spending season from Nov. 27 to Jan. 1.

#BoycottChristmas is a major call to action coming out of the massive gathering on October 10, 2015. “We have to find a way to redistribute the pain,” said Minister Farrakhan, as he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his Justice Or Else! address.

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Congressional staff members protest grand juries’ failure to indict officers in the killings of unarmed Black men. Photo: AP Wide World Photo

“You’re either going to treat us right, or we’re going to withdraw from you our economic support. … We intend to boycott Christmas but not Jesus,” Minister Farrakhan said. “We choose not to spend dollars on Black Friday, Black Saturday, Black Sunday, Black Monday. We are not going to spend our money for the rest of that year with those companies that we have traditionally spent our money on.”

The boycott targets Black Friday for several reasons. Blacks during this time of year spend considerable money on things they can’t afford, all in the name of worshipping Jesus, and corporations press for sales during that time of year to take negative earnings in red ink to in-the-black-profits. Santa Claus has co-opted Jesus, Minister Farrakhan has noted, and he wants to promote a proper understanding and true love of Jesus.

The boycott aspect of the movement with a great emphasis on Jesus and de-emphasis on Santa Claus appeals to people who were not even at the Justice Or Else! gathering, said Cedric Muhammad, an economist and Forbes contributor.

“There are people who may not have even heard of the march … who have a problem with the commercialization and the compulsion to have to go and spend money you don’t have every single year, this time of the year,” he said.

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In this photo from Nov. 25, 2014, civil rights advocates including the Rev. Timothy McDonald, center, Markel Hutchins, left, and Michael Langford, right, announced a boycott of “Black Friday” in Atlanta, as a result of the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision. “One language all of America understands is money,” said Rev. McDonald Photo: AP Wide World Photo/The Atlanta Journal Constitution, David Tulis

#BoycottChristmas was one of the most significant calls that came out of Justice Or Else!, said Greg Akili of the L.A. Black Worker Center and the Black Community Clergy and Labor Alliance, because it’s about Blacks uniting and expressing their disdain for mistreatment in America.

“It starts with that and it’s symbolism is that it reinforces and connects us to the coming together that Justice Or Else! calls for,” he said.

Last year, according to various reports, Black Friday sales dropped 11 percent to $50.9 billion from an estimated $57.4 billion in 2013. While analysts did not attribute the decline to boycotts by protestors who were angry and outraged over the deaths of Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson, Mo.), Eric Garner (New York), Tamir Rice and Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland) John Crawford (Ohio),  Akai Gurley (New York), and countless others at the hands of police, others argued the protests did have an impact.

“African Americans have enormous economic power.  We spend around a trillion dollars a year on this, that and the other. Some of our spending is necessary—rent, food. Some of it is not necessary, and in essentially, in some ways, we are empowering the oppressor,” observed Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an economist and former president of Bennett College for Women.

“We have people who will not invest in our community, but we invest in theirs. We have people who do not open stores in our community, but we go out of our way to find their stores in other communities,” she continued. In addition, Black neighborhoods are plagued by stores that hike prices, run by merchants who ignore and disrespect Black consumers.

“If they do not feel our economic power, we’re just having rhetoric. We’re just having conversation. Blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah. They don’t have to do anything. They might do it out of the goodness of their heart, but there is no building of power,” Dr. Malveaux told The Final Call.

She feels the boycott possibility is important and empowering. The only issue is how many Blacks will buy into it.

Her sentiment drummed up memories of how the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who was acquitted, fueled a push for a Florida boycott in 2013.

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Ricky Hawkins waves U.S. dollars while he tells a group of protesters at the Underground Atlanta entertainment complex to boycott Black Friday sales one day after the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown, Nov. 25, 2014, in Atlanta. Photo: AP Wide World Photo

Experts discussed the need to punish the Sunshine State and strengthen the Black economy.  They raised key questions, such as whether Black America’s financial divestment from the tourist state would produce a strong enough economic impact to force meaningful changes.

Some entertainers and organizations pulled events out of the state, and some small boycotts took place, such as people declining to purchase Florida orange juice, but that was as far as the effort went. Police and vigilante attacks on Black youth have escalated.

“All too often, we have these ideas, but people don’t buy into them, and we need the entire community … but if only 20 percent did it, that would be meaningful and impactful,” Dr. Malveaux said.

If people stood outside one of the targeted stores with picket signs, declared they wouldn’t shop there, then others might not shop on so-called Black Friday, she added.

“Let’s just call it the Friday After Thanksgiving, not Black Friday, because I want to attach Black people to positive things not negative things, but in any case, it also becomes some kind of cult phenomenon,” Dr. Malveaux continued.

People leave their families and dinner to stand in line for hours, to get into stores first-thing at ungodly hours, she noted. “And then people go in there and have a, excuse my language, a damn-near riot!”

Customers have been killed trying to get to sales and stores are playing bait-and-switch, she said. According to the www.blackfridaydeathcount.com, there have been seven deaths and 98 injuries on the shopping day after Thanksgiving between 2006 and 2014, such as Jdimytai Damour, a worker who died after being trampled in a shoppers’ stampede at a Long Island Wal-Mart.

“Why are you there? What are you buying? Do you need it? Does it uplift you? Did you go for the okie-doke? I mean, those are all the kinds of questions you want to ask,” she said.

Dr. Malveaux told The Final Call she likes the theme, Boycott Christmas, Not Jesus, because Christmas was never meant to be a commercial holiday, rather, a celebration of a righteous birth. She encouraged Blacks to think, especially this time of the year, what do they want to do to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, and does all of that involve consumerism?

“Now some of it will. Our little children want toys and we don’t want to necessarily deprive them, but it needs to be placed in context. … You should never go bankrupt or go into debt to celebrate holidays.”

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Protesters on Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Photo: AP Wide World Photo

“We spend because we’re encouraged to spend because for many of the commercial interests in America, it is 50 percent of their business, that holiday period,” said Greg Akili.

He believes #BoycottChristmas will be very successful, especially if it manages to do three key things. “Explain to people what this is and why. Get them to make a decision to support you, and then, reflect on the impact right away,” he said.

Like many, he quickly named Wal-Mart as a primary target for the economic boycott, but didn’t omit other corporations who need to feel some pain.

“I would start with Wal-Mart because they’ve got a bad history anyway, and there’s a national effort to bring justice for the workers there,” Mr. Akili said.

Mr. Muhammad noted Minister Farrakhan’s call to #BoycottChristmas is not simply about money, and is more than a boycott in the political or economic sense.

“He literally is engaging in altering the behavior and psychology of an entire people, the poor and the oppressed, so not to take away from the Civil Rights Movement, but for the most part they were using economic leverage and economic strength to effect some specific political or civic aim,” he said.

Most boycotts throughout history have been noble in that regard, and have attempted to obtain a specific target with a generally political or civic mission, however, Minister Farrakhan’s ultimate target of #BoycottChristmas is raising a people who have been stripped of the knowledge of self, Mr. Muhammad added.

“What makes Black people in America different than any other people in the world including other Black people in the Caribbean and Africa is that slavery in our experience, it stripped us totally of the basis of any informal savings tradition,” Mr. Muhammad said.

Minister Farrakhan is calling people to stop spending in order to obtain the policy objective or to disrupt the particular pattern of behavior that’s harming Blacks, but he’s also saying don’t spend and then save money with the aim of pooling resources, Mr. Muhammad continued.

“That’s a whole other level, and that to me is messianic. It may take some time for someone to understand that, but what he’s attempting to do is much harder, much more difficult, much more involved, and much more inclusive,” he continued.

The five elements of an economy, according to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, are brain power, talent, labor, skill, and wealth, and Minister Farrakhan is only dealing with monetary wealth at this stage, one-fifth of what has to be dealt with, if Blacks are to leverage their full power, said Mr. Muhammad.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we were giving all five of those things to another civilization when we could be giving them to ourselves, so the Minister is asking us to pull one-fifth of our weaponry, our armament, away,” he said.

“It’s a lot more involved, I think. It’s a lot more sophisticated than people think, but still, he makes it so plain and simple that anyone can understand it, and anyone can participate in it,” Mr. Muhammad said.

Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, author and managing director of the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum in Los Angeles, who said he’s very happy Minister Farrakhan called for the boycott, argued Blacks love Santa more than they love themselves.

“The challenge is to reach enough of our people to help them understand, because the Christian preachers have been running this campaign for about five years, that ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season,’ but yet, their churches are decorated with Christmas ornaments, and they have all kinds of toy giveaways and that kind of thing,” he said.

“It just perpetuates the desire to be a part of something that is never in our best interest, but our people’s self-esteem is so low, they don’t want to be left out of anything. Black people are never going to get on a bandwagon that’s standing still, but once it starts moving, they’re going to run to catch it,” Dr. Samad told The Final Call.

He’s hopeful that with the Justice Or Else! movement and the profile of the Black Lives Matters movement that Blacks can draw a correlation between their lives and withdrawing money from a society that doesn’t respect their lives. “If you don’t respect our life, then you certainly don’t respect our money, and I’m not going to let you take either, and that needs to be our position,” he said.

“It started with White Jesus, then Santa Claus was folded into that.  What we have to do is really separate the myth from fact. We have to help our people understand who Jesus was and what Jesus looked like, and what Jesus sacrificed for, and what he ultimately died for,” Dr. Samad added.

The Middle Age White Male Die-Off: When Skin Privilege is Not Enough

GLEN_NASCAR_fansA generation of poorly educated white men who came of age in the Seventies and Eighties are suffering dramatic levels of psychological instability.”

It appears that white middle aged men with no more than a high school education have not adjusted well to their declining economic and social status in the United States. That seems to be the logical conclusion that can be drawn from a study by two Nobel laureates in economics who found that the death rate for white men of lower educational attainment between the ages of 45 and 54 has been increasing, while every other racial, gender and economic group has been living longer. The study was conducted during the 15 years between 1999 and 2014. The findings came as a shock – not just because the life expectancy of non-college educated white middle aged males was going in the opposite direction than everyone else, but also because the heightened mortality rate of this particular cohort is not due to the most frequent killers, like heart disease and diabetes. Instead, these low-income white men are committing suicide or dying from the complications of substance abuse at previously unheard of rates. So many of this group are dying by their own hands, or from illnesses based on self-destructive behaviors, that they have dragged down the life expectancy of the entire white middle aged male population, regardless of education and income.

These low-income white men are committing suicide or dying at previously unheard of rates from the complications of substance abuse.”

Clearly, we are looking at mass psychological problems, rooted in class, race, and gender at a particular point in history in the United States. These suddenly at-risk white men are by no means the most endangered U.S. demographic; Black and Hispanic men still die much younger than whites, but their life expectancies are gradually improving, while the opposite is true of the at-risk white cohort. Even more intriguingly, white relatively uneducated males who are older or younger than the 45 to 54 group are not dying at such high rates from self-destructive behavior.

What the numbers are telling us, is that a generation of poorly educated white men who came of age in the Seventies and Eighties are suffering dramatic levels of psychological instability, so that they drink or drug themselves to death or kill themselves outright. The death rate for this group rose 22 percent during the study period. The researchers noted that the incomes of households headed by people with only a high school education fell by 19 percent during the same period. But, that’s true for less educated households of all ethnic groups and both sexes, and only the white males of a certain age began dying at alarming rates – as if much of their group had been emotionally destabilized.

Working class people of all ethnicities have lost a great deal of economic ground under late stage capitalism in America, but the uneducated white males have also lost what they were led to expect was their special place in the racialized pecking order. Late in life, they find that white skin privilege can’t buy security or serenity in the age of austerity – and their worlds fall apart.

You might say they died from a White Lie.