Mr. Wilbert Gean Gilford

Funeral services for Mr. Wilbert G. Gilford will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 12:00 Noon at Kingdom of Heaven Ministries with Pastor Courtney Moore officiating. Burial will follow at the Lebanon Cemetery in Plains, GA

Mr. Wilbert Gean Gilford was born in Sumter County Georgia on March 24, 1957 to the parentage of the late Mr. Henry Gilford and Mrs. Autry Gilford. He joined the St. John A.M.E church at a early age. Later in life he received Christ and joined Kingdom of Heaven Ministry. He received his education in Sumter County School System. He was preceded in death by four brothers.

He leaves to cherish his memories wife Patricia Ann Gilford, two sons: Wilbert Gean Gilford of Americus, GA and Koshama Richardson of St. Augustine, FL; a daughter, Natavia (Broderick) Hawkins of Atlanta, GA; three brothers: Thomas (Ruth) Gilford of Statesville, NC, Freddie Gilford of Rivera Beach, FL. And Roy (Dolly) Lockett of Pierce, FL; five sisters: Jacqueline (Alton) Green of Cuthbert, GA, Eliion Francis, Mary Morgan of Detroit, MI, Joann Gilford of Americus, GA and Leola Brown of Rivera Beach, FL; six grandchildren, six great grandchildren; one aunt, Ms. Janie Flowers of Delray Beach, FL and a host of nieces and nephews

Mrs. Ethel Seay

Mrs. Ethel Seay

Funeral services for Mrs. Ethel Seay of Americus, Georgia will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Big Bethel Baptist Church with Rev. Calvin Rollins officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday from 6 to 7 P.M.

Mrs. Ethel Seay was born to the parentage of the late Ethel Davis and the late Henry Thrasher in Louisville, Kentucky, and was raised by her Aunt Laura Davis in Americus after the death of her mother.

She received her early education at McCoy Hill School in Americus, Georgia. She also joined Big Bethel Baptist Church at the age of 9 where her membership remains for over 80 years. As one of the oldest members of Big Bethel Baptist Church she has served the church in various capacities including President of the Senior Choir, Deaconess, Missionary Board, Women’s Progressive Club and other duties within the church. She was a lifelong member of the NAACP and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 558 as well as a civil rights activists. One of her fondest memories is attending the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. where she met the late Coretta Scott King. She enjoyed gardening, traveling and spending time with her family. She could be considered a local historian because of her vast knowledge of many of the families in and around Americus.

As a young mother of two boys (James L. and Carl Lamar), Ethel moved to Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts to work and support her two children. She later moved back to Americus where she met and married her husband, the late veteran Fred Seay, on July 26, 1947. To this union four children were born. She is survived by her loving sister, Harriet Gass Broughton, Tyler, TX, (two brothers who preceded her in death; Charles “Zutie” Key and Marvin H. Davis). She is survived by her six children; James (Georgia) Lamar, Ft. Pierce, FL, Carl Lamar and Freddie Seay, Rochester, NY, Deacon Henry C. Seay, Americus, GA, w. Frank Seay, Douglasville, GA, and her devoted daughter and caretaker, Maxine (Kenneth) O’Neal, Jonesboro, GA. Nine grandchildren; Sidney (Sherri) Lamar, Mitchellville, MD, Jewel L. Moultrie, Darrow Seay, Brina (Demetrius) Seay Mitchell, Daniel (Yamara) Demos, all of Rochester, NY, Monisha (Brian)Volley, Jessie D. Seay, all of Americus, GA, Durrell Seay, Atlanta, GA, P03 Courtney Seay, Naples, Italy and Kendall R. O’Neal, Jonesboro, GA, eleven great-grandchildren, six nieces and nephews; Eric Broughton, Laura Fry, Janice Mass, Ernest Broughton, Jr., Tyler, TX, Douglas Broughton and Beverly Butler, Houston, TX and other relatives and friends also survive.

Ms. Beulah Harris

Funeral services for Ms. Beulah Harris age 90 of Americus, Georgia will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in the Chapel of West’s Mortuary. Ms. Harris died on Friday, July 29, 2016 at Phoebe-Sumter Medical Center in Americus, GA.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her sister, Ms. Mazuria Harris of Americus, Georgia; several nieces and nephews including: Essie Harris of Americus, Georgia, Doris Harris of Atlanta, Georgia Linda Harris, Vera, Minnie Price, Errol & Silvia Fredrick, Michael Harris, Allison & Brenda Harris, H.T. Harris, David Harris, Ella & Thomas Wakefield all of Americus, Georgia, Jane & Nathaniel Dunn of Augusta, Georgia, Marvis & Rev. William Spears of Albany, Georgia and Brenda Harris of Atlanta, Georgia; several great nieces, great nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends

Ms. Lena Mae Josey

Ms. Lena Mae Josey

Ms. Lena Mae Josey of Brookdale Dr. Americus, GA died on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at the Phoebe-Sumter Medical Center in Americus, GA. Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Eastview Cemetery in Americus, GA.

Ms. Lena Mae Josey was born on March 3, 1935 in Americus, Georgia to the late Fannie Mae Josey and the late Eddie Lee Josey. At an early age she joined the Mt. Olive Baptist Church where she remained a member until her health failed. She was the first African American to work as a cashier at Winn Dixie in Americus and she was also employed at Elmore’s Dept. Store and Byrun Laundry & Cleaners.

She leaves to cherish her memory her devoted children: Amy Josey (Eddie) Edge of Albany, GA, Lenora (Eddie) Tatum of Oakland, CA, Jessie (Gwendolyn) Josey and Alvin (Shirlene) Josey both of Americus, GA; three sisters: Ms. Lorena Josey, Mrs. Mary Russell and Mrs. Carman (William) Clark all of Americus, GA; two brothers: Jimmy (Doris) Josey and James (Mary) Josey both of Americus, GA. Several other relatives and friends also survive.

Mr. Samuel Smith, Sr.

Mr. Samuel Smith, Sr.

Mr. Samuel Smith, Sr. of Americus, Georgia died on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at his home. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 2:30 at the Friendship Baptist Church on Cotton Ave in Americus, Georgia where Bishop Melvin McCluster is the Pastor. Rev. George Edge of Restoration Church of Americus will officiate. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Samuel Smith, Sr. was born in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia on October 3, 1956 to the late Jessie L. Smith, Sr. and the late Geneva Childs Smith. He was educated in the Sumter County School System and was a 1975 graduate of Plains High School. Sam loved to play the rhythm guitar. He was a member of the band “Little Mickey and the Sticks of Dynamite” and the quartet group “Echoes of Heaven.”

At an early age, Sam accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and joined the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Americus, GA. Eight years ago he joined the fellowship of Restoration Church of Americus under the leadership of Pastor George Edge. He was a faithful member until his health and the health of his mother begin to fail.

Sam was employed with Excel, Davidson Rubber Company and Hickory Springs. He was a truck driver and was also employed at Eaton formerly known as Cooper Lighting.

He leaves to cherish his memories one son Samuel Smith, Jr. and two girls that he loved and cherished as his daughters Ekeathia Roberts and Sarah Smith all of Americus, GA; four siblings Jessie L. (Willette) Smith, Jr., Joseph Smith, Sr., Willie Frank (Leisha) Smith, Sr. and John E. Smith, Sr. all of Americus, GA; aunts and uncles: Mrs. Edna (Jessie) Hayes, Ms. Catherine Hill, all of Atlanta, GA, Mrs. Irene (Willie) Reddick of Blakely, GA, Ms. Annie Ruth Davis of Americus, GA, Ms. Georgia Child of New Brighton, PA, Mr. Charlie Hill, Mr. Alphonza Hill of Andersonville, GA, Mr. Bernard Hill and Mr. Jimmy Little of Americus, GA; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. Also left to cherish his memory are devoted cousins: Brenda Epps, Dorothy Patterson, Donald Ware, Desmond Clark and close friends: Jerry Greene, Dottie Tookes, Sammie Mitchell, Beulah Angry, Tityana Cannon, Tawana Streeter, Wilkeria Sirmons, and Sharronna Wyckoff; special caregivers Mary Clark and Phoebe-Sumter Hospice.

The family will receive friends at the home of Jessie and Willette Smith at 105 Falcon Drive.



Mr. Leroy Sims was born in Sumter County, Georgia on February 6, 1956 to the parentage of the late Mr. Pete Sims and the late Mrs. Memphis Burns Sims. At an early age, he joined the Bethlehem Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Hillsman. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County. He then started a career in painting, where for thirty years he served all over the surrounding counties until his health failed. He is preceded in death by three brothers, Mr. Pete Sims, Jr. Mr. William Clinkscales and Mr. Studd Sims and three sisters, Mrs. Fannie Mae Bridges, Ms. Annie Santiel and Ms. Annie Ruth Sims.

He leaves to cherish his memories, two daughters, Ms. Bonni Sims and Ms. Basheila Sims, Americus, GA; one brother, Mr. John (Thomasena) Sims, Miami, FL; three sisters, Ms. Rosa Dodson, Ms. Mary Frances King, Americus, GA and Ms. Alice Sims, West Palm Beach, FL; three grandchildren, Tacara hubbard, Trenton Hubbard and Bailee Rose Hubbard all of Americus, GA; one uncle, Mr. Eddie Sims, Albany, GA; two aunts, Ms. Edna Mae Sims and Ms. Lady B. Sims, Americus, GA; his devoted nieces, Devon (Nerrus) Ware, Sheena Smith, Stephanie (Timmie) Hollis, Timelia Hollis, Elaine Sims, Alethea Sims, Ebony Jenkins and K’Nae Lewis; his devoted nephews, Johntrell Dodson, Derek Banks, Robtavious Wilborn, Delon Lewis, Alan Sims and Dayon Lewis; and a host of cousins other relatives and friends, including friends, Tim Ellis Wilson, Gabriel Abbott, Annie Ruth Mathis, Mary Lou Laster, Eugene Sims, Porky Wilson, Weslow Jerome Caple, Wanda Thomas, Emma S. Clay and Marjorie Brown also survive.



Mr. Billy Lee Smith, Jr. was born in Sumter County, Georgia on August 2, 1980 to the parents of the late Mr. Billy Lee Smith and Ms. Sonya Bateman. He attended the public schools of Sumter County. He enjoyed playing basketball, baseball, video games and he loved to cook. Billy worked at Suave and Sonics.

In addition to his devoted mother, Ms. Sonya Bateman of Americus, GA, he leaves to cherish his memories, one son, Mr. Jaylon Smith, Stockbridge, GA; two step-sons, Mr. Jacquavious Goober and Mr. Jaden Tatum; a step-daughter, Ms. Jalayah Tatum; one brother, Mr. Travis Sims, Americus, GA; three sisters, Ms. Jhockiesia Smith Battle, Ms. Shikita Smith & friend Adrian Merritt and Ms. Shateria Vonshe Williams all of Americus, GA; his companion, Ms. Jessica Tatum, Americus, GA; two step-brothers, Mr. Brandon Sims and Mr. Shandon Sims; his aunts & uncles, Mrs. Linda (Elder Michael) Coley, Mr. Charles Bateman, Jr., Mr. Wayne Bateman, Mr. Stanley Bateman, Mr. Willie (Sylvia) Barker, Mr. Leroy Jenkins, Mr. Ronnie Jenkins, Mr. Issac Jenkins, Mr. Aldean (Mary) Smith, Mr. Charles (Wanda) Smith, Mr. Clarence Smith, Ms. Martha Smith and Ms. Jessie Green; his nieces & nephews, Jockeen Smith, Casey Smith, Jhockale Smith, Ja’khia Greene, Shaquille Woods, Kahlil Hubbard, A’Mani Merritt, Travis Sims, Jr. Taraji Sims, Ki’Mari Sims, Tyler Welborne; his grand nephews, Mr. Jaden Singleton and Mr. Cash Rashard Woods; his devoted cousins, Mrs. Teresa (Minister Michael) O’Bryant-Cunningham, Jermail Hammett and devoted friends, Kendrick Burton, Roger Jackson, Anthony Cross, Curtis Mathis, Jarvis Cross, Damien Battle and Deborah Barlow; and a host of great aunts & uncles, other relatives and friends also survive.



Gunnery Sergeant Larry T. Robinson was born in Sumter County, Georgia on July 11, 1956 to the parents of  Deacon Arthur Robinson and the late Evangelist Bessie Mae Robinson.  He received his education in the Sumter County School System.  He served as a Marine for 20 years and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant. He is preceded in death by his mother, Evangelist Bessie Mae Robinson, a sister Ms. Melinda Joy “Mickey” Robinson, and two brothers Mr. Eddie Robinson and Mr. Arthur Robinson Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife, Mrs. Annie Ruth Robinson, Atlanta, GA; three daughters, Ms. Lakeitha Butler, Montgomery, AL, Ms. Semeatress Robinson, Atlanta, GA and Ms. Katherine Davenport, Atlanta, GA; three sons, Mr. Darius Robinson, Mr. Willie Davenport, and Mr. Johnny Davenport all of Atlanta; two brothers, Dea. Clinton (Lois) Battle and Elder Alfred (Emma) Robinson all of Americus, GA; three sisters, Mrs. Lucille (William) Simmons, Leesburg, GA, Ms. Mary Braxton and Mrs. Diane (Ervin) Moore of New York City, NY; four grandchildren, PVT2 Kaylon Butler, U.S. Army, Kearston Butler and Karli Butler all of Alabama and Jayden Chatman, Atlanta GA, and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.



Mr. Bobby Lynn Moye, Sr. was born in Sumter County, Gerogia on August 17, 1955 to the parentage of the late Mr. William Lynn Moye and the late Mrs. Mary Jane Fredrick Moye. He was a member of United Holiness Church, where he was an honorary deacon. He was a 1974 graduate of Americus High School. He worked for fifteen years as a meat cutter for Piggly Wiggly. He is preceded in death by his son, Bobby Lynn Moye, Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife of 40 years, Minister Marilyn Moye, Americus, GA; two daughters, Ms. Lachialyn Chevelle Moye and Mrs. Triteasha (Christopher) Jones, Americus, GA; six grandchildren, Taliyah Green, Johnovon Green, Lundon Jones, Deon Hurley, Makala McCloud and Ny’Asia Williams all of Americus, GA; a god-daughter, Lakesha Mitchell, Americus, GA; a god-son, Travin Jordan, Albany, GA; one sister, Mrs. Shirlene (Don) Barnes, Atlanta, GA; two brothers, Mr. William Tarver and Mr. Curtis (Cathy) Tarver, Atlanta, GA; two sisters-in-law, Ms. JoAnn Agoruah and Mrs. Julia (Christopher) Sims, Americus, GA; three brothers-in-law, Mr. Johnnie Hunter, Jr., Americus, GA, Mr. Jock Hunter, Panama City, FL and Mr. Horace (Hiroka) Hunter, Lexington, KY; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many devoted friends. There is not enough room or time to list all of the individuals that Mr. Moye loved and dearly loved him. His big smile will be forever remembered.



Evangelist Bessie Battle Robinson was born in Sumter County, Georgia on April 4, 1934 to the parents of the late Mr. D. W. Hooks and the late Mrs. Jeannie Williams Rouse. She was raised by Mr. Emmitt & Ms. Jessie Battle. She received her education in the Sumter County School System. She was a member of Reachout & Touch Ministry, where she served faithfully and in 1989 received her certificate for Evangelist. She is preceded in death by a daughter, Ms. Melinda Joy “Mickey” Robinson; five brothers, Mr. Michael Rouse, Elder James Hooks, Mr. Robert Battle, Mr. Rufus Battle and Mr. Theodore Battle; three sisters, Ms. Rosa Battle Eddy, Ms. Betty Jean Rouse and Ms. Lila Mae Rouse; a granddaughter, Ms. Tammy Battle Wooden and a step son, Mr. Eddie Robinson.

She leaves to cherish her memories, her husband, Deacon Arthur Robinson, Americus, GA; three sons, Elder Alfred (Emma) Robinson, Leslie, GA, Mr. Clinton (Lois) Battle, Americus, GA and Mr. Larry Robinson, Atlanta, GA; one step-sons, Mr. Arthur Lee Robinson, Jr., New York City, NY; one daughter, Mrs. Lucille (William) Simmons, Leesburg, GA; two step-daughters, Ms. Mary Braxton and Mrs. Diane (Ervin) Moore of New York City, NY; two sisters-in-law, Ms. Berda Lee Wall and friend, Mr. Walter Young and Ms. Ola Mae Holland, Delray Beach, FL; twenty-one grandchildren, Steven (Bridget) Battle, Master At-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class Jarvis (Jeanette) Battle, Jessica (Tremanie) Kelly, Felicia Gooden, Marcus (Edirdra) Gooden, Wendy (Roderick) Thomas, William “Jeff” (Tosha) Simmons, Jr., Jennifer Simmons, Michael Simmons, Lakeitha Monts Butler, Semeatressa Robinson, Darius Robinson, Katherine Davenport, Willie Davenport, Johnny Davenport, Tamika (Maurice) Sparks, Santo Robinson and friend, Octavia Burton, Chekierra Robinson, Raquel Jackson and friend, Tommy Hollis, Emmanuel (Chelsey) Robinson and Jeremy (Chundra) Alexander; thirty-eight great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, including devoted nieces, Ms. Betty Gail Butler, Ms. Adean Battle, Ms. Eloise Gaines and Ms. Albertine Furlow, nephews, cousins, including devoted cousins, Ms. Ruby Frink and Ms. Gennie Mae Brown other relatives and friends, including devoted friends, Ms. Hurt, Ms. Cherry Tietjen, Mother Mae Hayes, Ms. Doris Lee, Ms. Johnnie Mae Black and her entire church family also survive.     

Spelman Grad and Her Travel Agency Named SBA s Minority Business of the Year

(Image: File)UNIGLOBE owner and Spelman College alum honored twice in one week

A Spelman grad is making her mark as one of the top UNIGLOBE Travel International franchise owners. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Columbus District Office has announced the winners of its 2016 Small Business Awards competition, and Elizabeth Blount McCormick, president and co-owner of UNIGLOBE Travel Designers, was named the Minority Small Business of the Year.

[Related: The Pros and Cons of Owning a Franchise]

This week, Blount McCormick also learned that she is a finalist for the Visionary Award, an honor given out by the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. Each year, the NAWBO Columbus Visionary Awards honor one central Ohio woman business owner who has achieved success with her business while also making notable contributions to the community, her industry, and to other women business owners.

McCormick is one of five Visionary Award finalists. NAWBO Columbus will name the winner at an awards ceremony in July. The SBA’s Minority Small Business of the Year is presented each year to a successful minority-owned business that also serves as an advocate for other minority-owned businesses.

“I am so excited that we have been named the Minority Small Business of the Year,” Blount McCormick said in a released statement. “I am committed to working with and mentoring other women-owned and minority-owned businesses whenever I can. I also believe strongly in building diversity in my own company. We live in a global society, and I believe that our companies, therefore, should represent the society in which we live.”

She graduated from Spelman College with honor is 2000. Upon graduation, she started her career in retail. After extensive experience as a corporate traveler, she embarked on owning a travel franchise business.

In honor of National Small Business Week, which is May 1–7, the SBA will honor Blount McCormick and the other winners at an awards ceremony on May 5 at Pinnacle Golf Club in Grove City.

“The SBA’s Columbus district office is honored to highlight the impact of the innovative men and women who work every day to drive our nation’s economic growth, and create jobs and opportunities for Ohioans throughout many communities across the state,” noted Martin Golden, district director of the Columbus District Office of the SBA.

According to the SBA, a panel of judges reviewed the nominations and chose winners using an in-depth selection process. The panel judges the nominees’ demonstrated success through increased sales, business methods, and employment growth.

UNIGLOBE Travel Designers was founded in Columbus in 1981 and became one of the first franchises in the United States for UNIGLOBE Travel International, a company based in Canada. In its 34 years, the company has grown from a small business, with two agents, to a thriving company with 30 employees.

Franchise Company of the Year: Karim Webb Shares Savvy Business Lessons

2014 Black Enterprise Small Business of the Year Honoree Karim Webb. (Image: File)

2014 Black Enterprise Small Business of the Year Honoree Karim Webb. (Image: File)

With 25 years in the restaurant business, this entrepreneur has come out on top

Karim Webb is no stranger to the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Summit. As the 2014 winner of the Annual Small Business Award for Franchise Company of the Year, the 25 year restaurant industry veteran walked away with the trophy thanks to his success with Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. Owning two franchises in Los Angeles (Torrance and Baldwin Hills), his Baldwin Hill location became the first of its kind, offering casual dining in South Los Angeles in 25 years.

Today, as the Operations Partner of PCF Restaurant Management, Webb is a restaurant guru. Growing up in the franchise business, his parents owned fourteen McDonald’s restaurants. After attending Morehouse College, not only did he go on to work for the McDonald’s corporation completing its McDonald’s training programs.

But 5 years after the 2007 opening of his two LA Buffalo Wild Wings locations, Webb was credited with being the brains behind seeing that his Baldwin Hills venue achieved the highest sales percentage increase of any Buffalo Wild Wings in 2012 and 2013.

Dedicated and passionate about mentoring African American youth, creating jobs, and filling the young with necessary skills and leadership needed to follow in his footsteps, Webb’s non-profit work as spokesperson for BLOOM, finds him motivating  14-18 year old Black males in the Los Angeles probation system. Willing to offer advice to the readers of Black Enterprise, Webb shared his thoughts on making it in the franchise business world. If you had to offer a tip to finding success in the restaurant franchise business, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Karim Webb: Get involved with something you know. If you don’t, the learning curve is going to be pretty steep. The margins are tentative. You gotta be pretty good at what you do to make sure the business works. There are people in franchise business who fail, who don’t know. And if you don’t know it, go learn it, go work for someone else and become pretty confident.

What’s an important thing for an entrepreneur franchise owner to do when first getting started?

Get involved with a company that is well established where you can develop relationships with other franchises and talk to them about their experience, one with the brand and business model and two with the franchise door. And don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure that you’re going to have considerable cash from the beginning. What business looks like in year two or three looks different than year one. A lot go out of business because there’s not enough to make it through the lean first 6-18 months.

What’s the biggest misconception you had going into the business that you realize now?

The biggest misconception I had was how involved you have to be as a developer. It’s one thing to be in business, let’s say if you’re in the hair salon business or massage parlor or a real estate franchise. You’ve got to be knowledgeable enough to manage a contractor doing construction related stuff.  So in restaurant franchising, I also had to become proficient at managing people in construction, real estate site selection, and those are things that don’t have anything to do with selling wings or beer. So I really underestimated how critical that piece is going to be.

What’s happened for you since you won the Franchise Company of the Year Award?

When we got this award, we had two Buffalo Wild Wings, and now we have a third in Carson [California]. We have gotten a lot of solicitations we’re considering. So we’re just at the beginning of a lot of growth over the next two years. Coming out of the Entrepreneur’s Conference with BE, I’ve created some talks with young people. My passion is mentoring African Americans. We need black people to know how to hold young people accountable so we can get them working.

The 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 13-16, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, visit

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg will host a cooking show on VH1

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg attend The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber at Sony Pictures Studios on March 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg attend The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber at Sony Pictures Studios on March 14, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are going to be cooking together.

The new series, Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party, which will air on VH1, will feature Snoop and Stewart not only cooking together but occasionally hosting their celebrity friends and will be a “resdesign” of the usual cooking competition shows, according to Stewart.

“My homegirl, Martha and I have a special bond that goes back,” Snoop said in a statement to Variety. “We’re gonna be cooking, drinking and having a good time with our exclusive friends.”

VH1 and Logo president Chris McCarthy said “We’re thrilled to partner with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, two of pop culture’s biggest icons,”

“Good parties are filled with fun, food and unexpected guests. Wait til you see what happens at ‘Martha and Snoop’s Dinner Party’; it will be unforgettable.”

Rihanna joins cast for all female Ocean s Eight spin off

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Christian Dior)

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Christian Dior)

The Ocean’s Eight all-female remake of Ocean’s Eleven just got even more exciting, with rumors that Rihanna is joining the cast.

Anne Hathaway has also reportedly signed on for the movie, as well as Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie begins filming in October, and Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett are also rumored to be appearing in the remake project.

The question still remains, though, whether or not we will see Julia Roberts, who was in both Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve, in this new all-female film, even in a cameo role.

Tyler Perry offers to pay for funerals of Georgia twins who died in hot car

(Getty Images/Family Photo)

(Getty Images/Family Photo)

After two 15-month-old girls died in a hot car in Georgia, Tyler Perry has offered to pay for their funeral expenses.

Perry said that he was moved to help pay for the funerals of Alaynah and Ariel North when he saw a news report that their mother, Breal Ellis, was having trouble paying for the funeral of her twin daughters.

The girls’ father, Asa North, allegedly left them in the car on Thursday. He was seen to be panicked as he tried to cool the girls down by putting them in a kiddie pool and getting neighbors to help with ice packs, but the girls died despite his efforts. He has since been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

Ellis was out of town visiting a relative at the time and is now grieving the loss of her daughters.

“I was with them every day and the one day I left … I just want to tell them I’m sorry. They didn’t deserve to die like that or to die, period, but I know they’re in heaven.”

A GoFundMe page was initially set up with a goal of $10,000 to cover funeral expenses. The page raised more than $22,000.  There has been no word on whether Tyler Perry‘s offer was accepted.

Veteran ESPN broadcaster John Saunders dies at 61

John Saunders Dead

John Saunders (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

NEW YORK (AP) — John Saunders, the versatile sportscaster who has hosted ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” for the last 15 years, has died, the network announced Wednesday. He was 61.

Saunders joined ESPN in 1986. The Canadian did play-by-play, led NHL Stanley Cup and World Series coverage on ESPN and ABC, and hosted studio shows for baseball, college football and college basketball.

A cause of death was not announced.

“This tragic news brings us unspeakable sorrow. John was the patriarch of our family, and we can’t believe he is gone,” Saunders family said in a statement. “We are sincerely touched by the outpouring of support and sadness, which is a reflection of the character and integrity that defined him.

“While we don’t yet have all the specifics, John wasn’t feeling well physically in recent days and sadly, he was unresponsive earlier this morning. We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers for our cherished father, husband, brother and uncle.”

Saunders took over as host of “The Sports Reporters,” a Sunday morning staple of ESPN programming, after Dick Schaap died in 2001. Saunders played the role of calm traffic cop on the panel show that features three sports journalists volleying opinions on the top sports news of the day.

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades. His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement.

Saunders was also a founding member of the board of directors for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a charity started by the network after former college basketball coach and ESPN announcer Jim Valvano died of cancer in 1993.

“He was as close to Jimmy V as anybody at ESPN,” said Dick Vitale, who has worked at ESPN for decades with Saunders and considered him one of his closest friends.

Vitale said Saunders was a diabetic, but he was not ailing, and the death of one of his closest friends was unexpected. Saunders has been the master of ceremonies at Vitale’s gala and V Foundation fundraiser in Sarasota, Florida, in 10 of 11 years the event has been held, said the longtime college basketball analyst.

When Vitale had to have throat surgery that threatened his career in 2008, Saunders surprised him at the hospital and was there with Vitale before and after the procedure.

“The doctor told me that there was a good chance it was going to be cancer,” Vitale told the AP in a phone interview. “I said, ‘John, do me a favor. When you come in that room after just give me thumbs up if it’s not … and if it is don’t do anything.’ And when I woke, the first guy I saw after surgery was John and I saw thumbs up and we hugged.”

Vitale added: “He was like family. I’m so shocked.”

The news of Saunders’ death was reported on ESPN’s morning edition of “SportsCenter” from the Olympics in Brazil by anchor Hannah Storm, who struggled to compose herself enough to get through the announcement.

“John’s passion for his family, his nation, his favorite sport & the V foundation will stay with me forever,” NBC’s Mike Tirico, a longtime ESPN colleague of Saunders’, tweeted. “As will his kindness and support.”

Saunders’ death came less than two years after the network lost another popular broadcaster, Stuart Scott, at the age of 49 in January 2015 after a bout with cancer.

Saunders was born in the Toronto area and grew up near Montreal.

“He was very proud to be Canadian,” said Leo Rautins, the former NBA player who teamed with Saunders on Toronto Raptors’ telecasts. “He’d mention it every time he could.”

Saunders played hockey at Western Michigan from 1974-76, teaming with former New York Rangers president and general manager Neil Smith.

“One of saddest days of my life today as I grieve suddenly losing my best friend of 42 years, John Saunders. Life will never be the same,” Smith tweeted.

Saunders’ younger brother, Bernie, played 10 NHL games for the Quebec Nordiques from 1979 to 1981.

Saunders started as news director at CKNS Radio in Espanola, Ontario, in 1978. He worked as sports anchor at CKNY-TV in North Bay, Ontario, from 1978 to 1979, and at ATV News in New Brunswick in 1979-80 before he became sports anchor for CITY-TV in Toronto from 1980 to 1982.

Saunders worked as a sports anchor at WMAR-TV in Baltimore from 1982 to 1986 before joining ESPN. While at ESPN, he doubled as a play-by-play man for the Raptors.

“I think you’d have a hard time finding anyone to say anything bad about John,” Rautins said. “He was very giving, very caring, very intelligent.”

Saunders lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with wife Wanda. They had two daughters, Aleah and Jenna.

“He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed,” Skipper said. “Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

Men More Likely to Withhold Health Problems From Male Physicians

image.GDYFMYMen often prefer male doctors, but their feelings about masculinity can keep them from being more upfront with them about their health problems, a study in the March issue of Preventive Medicinefinds.

Researchers wanted to figure out what may be playing a role in the gender gap in mortality, said Diana Sanchez, Ph.D., a study co-author and an associate professor in the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

“One thing that we were curious about was whether it had to do with men’s underutilization of preventive care, miscommunication with doctors and being raised to be self-reliant and brave,” Sanchez said.

For the study, researchers conducted surveys and interviews with hundreds of men. Researchers found that masculinity, such as the need to appear tough, played a role in men’s preference for male doctors. They also found that men with high masculinity scores shared fewer details with male interviewers about their health than with female interviewers.

The new findings complement a study from October 2014 Sanchez co-authored, in which researchers looked at the gender role beliefs of male and female college students and other adults, asking if they followed two masculine ideologies: whether a person based her or his self-worth on self-sufficiency and whether a person based self-worth on bravery.

Participants rated certain aspects of the health-care experience, such as how likely they were to downplay their health issues and how frequently they sought preventive care.

Participants rated certain aspects of the health-care experience, such as how likely they were to downplay their health issues and how frequently they sought preventive care.

Both women and men who based their self worth on self-sufficiency and bravery were less likely to seek preventive care and more likely to delay getting health problems examined by a health care professional, found the study, which was published in the Journal of Health Psychology.

However, in both samples, more men supported traditional gender roles than women, and rated the personal importance of self-sufficiency and bravery higher than women. That, as a result, led to poorer health choices in men than women.

“Men show a delay to utilize preventive care,” Sanchez said. “They’re less likely to use it. When they have an injury they’re more likely to delay care. When they go to the doctor, they choose a man and don’t communicate clearly what is wrong with them. It points to a vicious cycle.”

Sanchez added it may be a big ask for physicians to get people to disregard their gender role when it is “embedded in their culture.”

What we can do is make men aware of how their masculinity is affecting their communication with their doctor and tell doctors they need to create a nurturing environment to encourage patients to be
accurate,” Sanchez said.

Rates of Prediabetes Rise

image.ZCYMMYNew research suggests type 2 diabetes, long considered a disease of the overweight and obese, might not need excess pounds to strike.

The study, which appears in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, found nearly one in five normal-weight people in this country has prediabetes, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes. For folks older than age 45, one-third of those at a healthy weight have prediabetes, the study authors said. People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be considered diabetes.

“Being at a healthy weight may not necessarily be healthy,” said Arch Mainous, a professor of health services research management and policy at the University of Florida and the study’s lead author. “We have some strong data that says we need to rethink our model of what we think is healthy. This may require a paradigm shift so that we’re not just looking for diabetes in the overweight and obese.”

Researchers aren’t suggesting we stop looking at excess weight. That continues to be a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the American Diabetes Association currently recommends screening for type 2 diabetes in anyone overweight or obese. The ADA also suggests type 2 diabetes screening start at age 45. If that test is normal, screening should happen every three years.

But focusing exclusively on screening mostly overweight and obese people may lead to missed opportunities for early intervention in normal-weight people with prediabetes, Mainous said.

For this study, researchers used data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which looked at a nationally representative group from 1988 to 1994 and again from 1999 to
2012. The current study focused on normal-weight people (those with a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9). In the first half of NHANES, 10 percent of people at normal weight had prediabetes. By the second portion of the survey, that number jumped to 19 percent.

The percentage of people older than age 45 with prediabetes also had jumped, from 22 percent in the earlier study to 33 percent in the later study.

Researchers also looked a waist circumference; a large waist circumference is often tied to type 2 diabetes. About 6 percent of the normal-weight people had an unhealthy waist circumference in the first survey. Nearly 8 percent had a too-large waistline by 2012.

Mainous thinks the unhealthy changes in “healthy” weight people may be due to our ever-growing sedentary lifestyles. “Saying that sitting is the new smoking sounds trite, but there’s a certain level of truth to it,” he said.

The way we measure overweight and obesity may also play a role in the study’s findings. BMI doesn’t look at bad obesity (the type that collects around the belly), experts say. Because of this, Mainous and his team have been seeking alternative ways to screen people for diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

He also stressed prevention. “I want to re-emphasize that diabetes prevention needs to include people at the highest risk who have the most to benefit from intervening, but now we know we have a group that is being missed,” he said. “So, do we need to rethink the guidelines?”

Who s Getting Tested for HIV?

image.XXOGMYStudy finds too many gay, bisexual teen boys have low testing rates.

Too few gay and bisexual teen boys are getting HIV tests and many are not sure where to get tested, according to a recent study.

Only one in every five gay and bisexual teen boys has been tested for HIV, according to research published earlier this year in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Lead study author Gregory Phillips II, Ph.D., a research assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said his team wanted to see what testing rates are like today, as many studies that have analyzed HIV testing behaviors are more than a decade old.

“The testing rates are really low, and there are these addressable factors we should be focusing on when we’re trying to increase the testing rates among the guys that are most at risk for HIV,” Phillips said.

Researchers used Facebook ads to recruit more than 300 males ages 14 to 18 who identified as gay, bisexual or queer for a text message-based HIV prevention program.

Participants answered questions such as how many times they had taken an HIV test and if they had been tested in the past three months, the study said.

In addition to only one in five—20.2 percent—getting tested, less than half of those who were tested—43 percent—had received a test in the last three months, the study said. Additionally, nearly 43 percent of participants said they did not know where they could get an HIV test.

Teens were also asked about barriers to getting tested, such as lack of transportation and fear of running into someone they know. They were asked to rank barriers as “not important,” “somewhat important” or “very important.”

Teens were also asked about barriers to getting tested, such as lack of transportation and fear of running into someone they know. They were asked to rank barriers as “not important,” “somewhat important” or “very important.”

The biggest barriers included not knowing where to get tested, underestimating risk for getting HIV and not wanting other people to know they got an HIV test, the study said. Gay and bisexual men are at higher risk for HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends they get tested every three to six months if they are sexually active.

To increase awareness, Phillips suggests gay and bisexual teens use CDC’s National HIV and STD Testing webpage where they can enter a ZIP code to find the nearest test sites. He also suggested school-based community testing to eliminate the stigma around knowing an HIV status.

“There are no studies out there about how widespread testing is in schools, but there are schools which have dedicated time during sex education to talk about HIV and risk behaviors,” Phillips said. “There’s a hope that sites doing coursework about it would be open to testing and informing their students about it.”

Put Your Heart Into Healthy Eating

image.C48AMYYou have the power to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and being overweight all increase your personal risk of developing heart disease. A healthy diet can help lower or control these risk factors. So put your heart into healthy eating. Here are five ways to do that:

1. Plan to eat heart healthy. Put together an eating plan that offers the balance of calories that is right for you, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low/fat-free dairy products. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age and how physically active you are. Add seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs and unsalted nuts for protein. Limit saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying, and flavor with spices, not sauces.

2. Eat smart. Changing your perceptions of how and what you eat really helps. Use smaller plates to help limit portion sizes. Chew slowly and really think about textures and flavors as you eat.

3. Choose healthy snacks. Enjoy treats with fewer calories that fit into your daily eating plan—like a cup of red seedless grapes or a small banana, a cup of cherry tomatoes or five red pepper rings or a half cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt.

4. Dine out the healthy way. You can eat healthy in restaurants. Control portion size by eating half your entrée, and take the rest home for another meal. Limit calories by choosing foods that are broiled, baked or roasted. Ask for low-sodium options from the menu, and leave off or ask for butter, gravy, sauces or salad dressing on the side.

5. Find heart-healthy menus to enjoy. How you eat day after day makes a real difference in your health over time. Take a look at how you’re currently eating and compare it with Keep the Beat heart-healthy recipes. Find out more about getting active and living a heart healthier lifestyle


Racism Is Bad For Your Health: Minorities Have Poor Mental Health Because Of Racial Discrimination

image.IS8HMYRacism is bad for ethnic minorities’ mental health, new research has found. The study from academics at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom released Wednesday found repeated racial discrimination can result in poor mental and physical health.

The study published in the American Journal of Public Health examined racial attacks experienced across five years including being shouted at, being physically attacked, avoiding a place or feeling unsafe. Racial minorities who experienced high incidents of discrimination had greater mental health problems compared with minorities who did not report any experience of racism. The most significant stress drivers were the fear of avoiding spaces and feeling unsafe.

“This finding would suggest that previous exposure to racial discrimination over the life course, or awareness of racial discrimination experienced by others, can continue to affect the mental health of ethnic minority people, even after the initial exposure to racial discrimination,” said Laia Becares, research fellow at the University of Manchester’s School of Social Sciences and in the Center on Dynamics of Ethnicity. “Our research highlights just how harmful racial discrimination is for the health of ethnic minorities. We see how it the more racism ethnic minority people experience, the more psychological distress they suffer from.”

The findings fall in line with a growing body of research that shows racial discrimination can be linked to stress, depression, the common cold, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and mortality. One recent study found 18.2 percent of black participants reported emotional stress, compared with only 3.5 of whites.

In the United States, racial discrimination continues to be a problem in housing, law enforcement and education. A 2015 CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found 69 percent of blacks and 57 percent of Hispanics attributed problems facing their racial or ethnic group to past and present discrimination.

In 2016, white people must take responsibility for Donald Trump

Donald Trump campaigns in Sarasota, Florida, USA

The crowd at a Donald Trump post-Thanksgiving “Make America Great Again” rally at the Robarts Arena in Sarasota, Fla. (CRISTOBAL HERRERA / EPA)

White people, come get your boy.”

Depending on how you read that line from comedian W. Kamau Bell about Donald Trump, you might take it as a joke. Or you might take offense.

But Bell meant it as a call to action – because Trump is not a Republican problem. He’s a white-people problem.

For the uninitiated, here’s a primer on “getting your boy.” First, you need to tell said “boy” that he is making you look bad in front of polite company. This is a familiar practice to people of color: Whenever a black or brown person does something unsavory in public, members of their community know that it will – fairly or not – reflect on them.

White people should feel insulted by this. They should feel ashamed – as white people – of Donald Trump. Whites need to stand up and say that they will not allow Trump to hijack their culture, or to conduct his racist politics in their name.

Still, that’s not enough.

The second part of “getting your boy” goes beyond distancing yourself from him. A community must take responsibility for any damage that has been done, and take steps to correct it.

White America hasn’t gotten to this step yet – but it needs to, says Tim Wise, a speaker and author who has written extensively on racism. A recent study shows that Trump may actually have more support than previously estimated, but Wise doesn’t think that Trump stands a chance to win the election.

An earlier version of this post referred to Tim Wise as David Wise.  Also, this article referred to Showing Up for Racial Justice as Standing Up for Racial Justice.

This makes Trump even more dangerous.

“Trump is unleashing this sense among a certain group of white men that violence is acceptable,” he said, referring to recent attacks at Trump rallies. “They’re afraid that their country is being taken away from them by immigrants and people of color, and that Trump is their last chance to take it back. If they discover that they can’t win at the ballot box, the question becomes: What do we expect these angry white people to do?”

“Some of those people,” he says, “might turn to terrorism.”

One sign of a possible shift from anger to action has already emerged: last week, a Richmond, Calif., man was arrested on charges of making explosives with the intent of harming Muslims. A post on his Facebook account said that he would follow Trump “to the end of the world.”

Racism and intolerance have been topics of debate this year, among people of all hues and hashtags. Beginning with the protests in Ferguson in 2014 and throughout 2015, protest movements (though mostly black-led) had a major impact on the national conversation. Black Lives Matter is now a household phrase – in fact, it was even the clue for a “Jeopardy!” question Wednesday night.

Whites, however, have a particular strategic position in the push for social justice, said Kamau Bell in a phone interview with The Times.

“Just being realistic,” he says, “white people listen to other white people better than they listen to anyone else.”

In fact, many whites may not even have anyone else to listen to. “Fully three-quarters of white Americans report that the network of people with whom they discuss important matters is entirely white, with no minority presence,” according to a report by the Public Religion Research Institute.

This phenomenon is underscored in a viral video of a self-described “redneck” named Dixon White. Speaking from his pickup truck, White delivers an impassioned, expletive-laden rant – aimed at other white people. He minces no words: “Let’s take a little bit of white racial responsibility,” he said. “I’m saying we’ve got an evil called white supremacy in this culture.”

“If you hear something racist … stand as a white American, take some … responsibility,” he said.

White’s drawled speech may well have had the effect of throwing some white people off balance just long enough to actually listen to his message.

Conversations about racism in the white community don’t always go so smoothly. Last week, rapper Mac Miller, who is white, posed a challenge to his followers. “Dear White People who listen to rap music,” he asked, “what have you done for the #BlackLivesMatter movement?”

Responses ranged from appreciation to sarcasm. One: “I faved some tweets.”

We should expect some growing pains as this process develops. Mac Miller has had some early trouble galvanizing rap’s white liberal fan base. Even Dixon White came under scrutiny for simply repeating things that people of color had been saying for years. Well-intentioned white liberals are often taken to task for speaking over people of color in conversations about race.

Nonetheless, whites must continue to speak – and listen. Dara Silverman, the national coordinator for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), says that for white activists, carefully listening to people of color is crucial. SURJ is a national network that encourages white people to “act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice,” and sometimes works in support of groups such as Black Lives Matter.

“We don’t have to be at the center of things,” Silverman said. “But we have the ability to do productive work in our own communities.”

One of the group’s goals for 2016 is to reach out to other largely white groups. “We want to engage a bigger base – churches, unions, environmental groups that are mostly white,” she said. “We can have an impact on elections, on white society in general.”

In order to have that kind of impact, the movement will need numbers – and Silverman has one in mind.

She needs 7 million white people.

According to Silverman, SURJ aims to organize 7 million whites who will pledge to combat racism in their daily lives. That amounts to just above 3.5% of the non-Latino white population of the United States, according to the most recent census projections. That’s her other magic number – according to political scientist Erica Chenoweth, once 3.5% of a population are actively participating in a movement, it can succeed.

There’s a long way to go. The network has grown rapidly over the last year, according to Dinah Ferlito, a Los Angeles-based activist who works with SURJ, but still its database is in the tens of thousands, not millions.

One of the biggest barriers may be apathy. Too many whites are satisfied with things as they are – probably because the system seems to work for them. Even as recently as July, after the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, 40% of whites said in a Pew poll that “our country has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights with whites.” Some want to take things further. In another poll, taken after Trump suggested banning Muslims from entering the United States, 40% of whites said they would support requiring Muslims to register in a national database.

Even for whites who find Trump’s rhetoric repulsive, joking about him, or even rejecting him, will not be enough. They now need to turn their focus to the society that allowed him to come to prominence. Particularly among whites who prefer to view themselves as “color blind,” there is a dangerous attitude that the best way to make racial injustice go away is to not talk about it.


Are You Ready for the End of the Republican Party?

The polls have gone so utterly sour on the Republican presidential nominee over the past week that many Very Serious People inside the Beltway have developed an even more devastating night-terror than El Caudillo de Mar-A-Lago with a nuclear arsenal at his beck and call—namely, that Hillary Rodham Clinton will get elected and then try to govern according to the progressive platform that was hashed out with so much sturm und drang with the Democratic primary process. This likely is also true of the many billionaires who have rushed to her side as the GOP nominee cratered.

There already is a strong undertow pulling HRC toward “reaching out” to the GOP, toward governing from “the middle,” and toward not accelerating the now-rapid descent of the Republican Party into the final madness of the prion disease it has welcomed so warmly into itself ever since the late 1970s. Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker even posited that, as a gesture of good faith, HRC should allow the Republicans to pick a Supreme Court justice, a stratagem that has been proven to work only on The West Wing, which was not a documentary series.

Professor Krugman has knocked down most of the arguments in favor of this rainbows-and-unicorns idea. First of all, it’s insane politics. It will divide the Democratic Party just as the Republicans are engaging in what is bound to be an entertaining interlude of public fratricide.

Second, it would be an act of astonishing bad faith that would set in concrete all of the most unflattering opinions held about HRC by the people who trust her the least.

Third, it assumes Democratic control of the Congress, which remains a long shot. As long as the Republicans still hold the House of Representatives, where all the bills involving federal spending are born, and assuming that the Democrats aren’t gifted with a supermajority in the Senate, it’s logical to expect that the GOP won’t be any more willing to cooperate with a President Clinton II in governing the country than they were with either President Clinton I or Barack Obama.

And, finally, and this is something Professor Krugman touches on only briefly, there is a more important reason for a President HRC to press her advantages on all fronts to put in place the policies she committed herself to run on: For the good of the nation, the Republican Party as it is presently constituted has to die.

Ever since the late 1970s, when it determined to ally itself with a politicized splinter of American evangelical Protestantism, having previously allied itself with the detritus of American apartheid, the Republican Party has been reeling toward catastrophe even as it succeeded at the ballot box, and taking the country along with it. Crackpot economic theories were mainstreamed in the 1980s. Crackpot conspiracy theories and god-drunk fantasies were mainstreamed in the 1990s. Crackpot imperial adventures abroad were mainstreamed in the 2000s. And all of these were mainstreamed at once in opposition to the country’s first African American president over the past eight years.

Modern conservatism has proven to be not a philosophy, but a huge dose of badly manufactured absinthe. It squats in an intellectual hovel now, waiting for its next fix, while a public madman filches its tattered banner and runs around wiping his ass with it. It always was coming to this.

There have been three chances since 2000 for the Democratic Party to beat the crazy out of the Republicans. The first was after the thumping that the Avignon Presidency received in the 2006 midterms. The second was immediately after the election of Barack Obama. Both of those went a’glimmering because the Democrats listened to people who convinced them that, because they were the grown-up governing party, they had to make nice with the pack of vandals on the other side of the aisle. Even this president bought this line of argument, until it became obvious to him that the prion disease was too far gone.

Ever since he looked deeply into that big back of fcks and discovered that it had been empty for a while, the president obviously determined to keep proposing sensible measures even though he knows the Congressional majorities will decline to do even the minimal work required of them by the Constitution. My god, they won’t even come back into session to address the Zika epidemic that is now breaking out in Florida. Merrick Garland is sipping a cool one on the veranda somewhere, waiting for someone to tell him where he’ll be working come winter. The president is not budging. Why should he? He’s not the crazy one. He doesn’t belong to the party that, with its eyes wide open, nominated a vulgar talking yam for president.

It long has been the duty of the Democratic Party to the nation to beat the crazy out of the Republican Party until it no longer behaves like a lunatic asylum. The opportunity to do this, to act unilaterally in returning sanity to the Republic, never has been as wide and gleaming as it is right now. To argue that responsible government requires that you treat sensibly a party that has gone as mad as the Republicans have is to argue for government by delirium.

Trump doesn’t need an intervention. His party does.

The Latest Clinton Converts? White, College-Educated Voters

Graduates arrive at the start of their commencement ceremony on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in 2015.

Graduates arrive at the start of their commencement ceremony on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in 2015. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s recent surge in the polls is being fueled in part by a demographic that President Obama lost handily four years ago — white, college-educated voters.

“In over a half-century, no Democratic presidential candidate has carried white voters with a college degree,” said Michelle Diggles, a senior political analyst with the center-left think tank Third Way, who described the split between the white working class and whites with a college degree as “the most underreported story of this year.”

GOP nominee Donald Trump is hoping that white working-class voters can fuel his own victory. But his climb becomes doubly harder as he is far behind Clinton in the demographic bloc that is usually reliably Republican.

In the last presidential election, Barack Obama lost the college-educated white voters by 14 points. But now Clinton is winning this same group by about 8.7 points, according to an average of the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal, CNN/ORC and ABC/Washington Post polls.

“In the past, many college graduates, white people that were business managers or had various kinds of middle-class jobs, would vote Republican — and that group may be taking a second look at the Democratic Party,” said Bill Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.

NPR only had access to exit polls dating to 1988, but with the help of the Pew Research Center, we were able to identify the education/class divide and explore the Republican dominance over time.

Why are we seeing a shift now?

“It seems that Donald Trump is a uniquely polarizing figure amongst white voters,” Diggles observed. “There are a lot of voters who are concerned that Donald Trump is … just so outside of the mainstream and so outside the American political culture that they can’t fathom it.”

She pointed to Trump’s close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, his “anti-democratic” rhetoric, and his threats to the freedom of the press.

The outspoken billionaire’s immigration policy — which includes mass deportations and plans to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. border — also does not seem to resonate well with some well-educated voters.

Trump’s tone and antics, particularly in the week following the Democratic National Convention — which included a fight with a Muslim American military family, a reluctant endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan and a strange response to sexual harassment — did not help his case either.

GOP strategist Lisa Camooso Miller said she is not surprised college-educated voters seem to be tilting toward Clinton, given the “tone” of the two conventions — the DNC as one of hope but the Republican National Convention as one of fear.

“I think people that are college educated have a general understanding that America is the melting pot … and that’s what makes this country great,” she said. “I think that the more [Trump] identifies and specifically singles out various segments of the population, I think that turns people off.”

Camooso Miller also observed that college-educated voters probably prefer Clinton’s stability and predictability, regardless of whether they agree with her specific policy proposals.

Frey agreed, arguing that the overall message of the GOP convention depicted an impending era of “doom and gloom,” targeting Americans who are suffering in the current economy; but he said college-educated voters are more likely to see their jobs as part of a global economy.

Frey also believes that for some college-educated voters (who might traditionally vote Republican for economic reasons), the overall vision and identity of the country has become more pivotal to their vote than the economy.

“[Trump’s candidacy] has become not so much an intraparty battle as it has become a battle about what is America,” said Diggles, explaining why we have seen a spate of recent defections of high-profile, highly educated Republicans.

What does this mean for November?

If the polls are accurate, having a college education seems to be a key indicator of how white voters will cast their ballot on Election Day.

Using census data, NPR ranked all 50 states according to the share of the white (non-Hispanic) population, age 25+, with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

This helps understand which states may be at play this November and why.

For example, there are a few states on polar opposite ends of the education spectrum:

  • Colorado has the highest percentage of white, college-educated voters in the country (43.42). And it is increasingly looking light blue, instead of purple. Recently the Clinton campaign pulled its ads off the airwaves — a sign of growing confidence in the state. There’s a similar trend happening in Virginia, too.
  • But in Ohio, the white population is about as well-educated as Alabama (26.46 percent). Those college education levels help explain why a state like Ohio is likely to be one of the most competitive states in the country for Clinton. The white working class is a powerful force in Ohio. And even though Clinton may be edging out Trump among educated white voters, he is clobbering her among working-class whites.

In recent election cycles, blue-collar white voters have voted consistently Republican; Trump is hoping to do better than Mitt Romney or John McCain did with this group in 2012 and 2008, respectively. And in the Buckeye State, it’s a gamble that might pay off.

“I certainly think Ohio is a state where there’s a good possibility that the noncollege whites could bring a victory to Donald Trump … if they up their turnout,” said Frey. He pointed out that many working-class voters feel like they’ve been left behind in a modern economy, and so they’re “buying” any message Trump sells them.

In Pennsylvania, another critical battleground state, the white demographics aren’t much better for Clinton (29.41 percent), but there’s a larger African-American and Latino population to offset the white population.

An era of “Clinton Republicans”?

It’s hard to say whether this realignment of college-educated white voters is a short-term Trump side effect or the beginning of a new political label — so-called Clinton Republicans.

Trump is certainly a “change” candidate, as evidenced by the coalition he built during the GOP primary.

But that change hasn’t necessarily appealed to highly educated voters. Last week, the oldest college Republican group in the country, the Harvard Republican Club, said it was “ashamed” of Trump. It announced it will not be endorsing the GOP presidential nominee — a first in the group’s 128-year history.

But Frey questions whether that shift away from Trump will last long-term.

“I think this time, whoever votes against Donald Trump is not someone who’s necessarily gonna stay with the Democratic Party for year after year after year in the future,” said Frey. “It’s probably more a vote against the brand of candidate that Donald Trump represents than maybe a vote against the Republican Party.”

For reasons like that, Camooso Miller remains optimistic about her party’s future.

“I think that 2016 is an example year, and is not necessarily the norm,” she said. “I do not think this is a trend that will grow.”

The GOP strategist pointed to other Republican leaders, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, who who could help re-energize and re-engage this college-educated white voting demographic in the future.

Chicago Police Officers Allegedly Caught High-Fiving After Execution of Paul O Neal

image.R5J6LYChicago’s Independent Police Review has released video of the July 28 shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Paul O Neal.

Chicago police officers were caught double-checking to make sure their body cameras were off and reportedly giving each other “high-fives” after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal in video released Friday by Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority, reports CBS Chicago’s Charlie De Mar.

As previously reported by The Root, O’Neal was shot and killed by Chicago police officers July 28 after allegedly crashing a stolen Jaguar into two police officers and then attempting to flee. Officers pursued O’Neal, shooting at him at least “five times,” according to a police officer. That turned out to be a severe underestimate. The video proved that at least 15 shots were fired.

The police officer who fired the shots allegedly believed that he had no choice but to shoot O’Neal, shouting at him on the video, “Get down! Hands behind your back! You shot at us, motherf–ker!” Other officers on the scene were not so sure, asking whether the teen really opened fire on them.

It was later proved that O’Neal was unarmed.

O’Neal later died at a local hospital. When the Chicago Police Department was asked why a police camera didn’t record the actual shooting, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune that the CPD had only recently received the equipment.

It was determined that the three officers involved violated police policy in the shooting and were stripped of their power and placed on paid administrative leave.

Michael Oppenheimer, an attorney for the O’Neal family, said that the family was devastated after viewing the video.

“We just came from watching Chicago police officers execute Paul O’Neal. … It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen, aside from being in a movie. These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner,” he said. “It is amazing to me. It is horrific, it is tragic, that these officers did what they did and took their street justice in their own hands—the things that they are trying to prevent, or supposed to prevent.”

“My heart is completely broken,” said Jedidiah Brown, a Chicago activist. “I felt like that was a tear right down the middle of this relationship between the community and police, and I think it’s going to even further divide communities in Chicago as it relates to public safety in the city.”

Republican Party acts like it can’t figure out how it spawned both Donald Trump and David Duke

Former Klansman David Duke expects Donald Trump supporters to turn out for him, too

Former Klansman David Duke expects Donald Trump supporters to turn out for him, too

Over at The Atlantic, Michelle Cottle has penned a piece looking at some of the hand-wringing going on over Louisiana’s David Duke and his foray back into state politics. State Republican politicos were hoping they were rid of him, but Duke filed to run for the U.S. Senate one day after Donald Trump accepted the party’s nomination for president of the United States.

Desperate to distance themselves from Duke, state Republican leaders and candidates issued statements denouncing him immediately after he announced his candidacy on July 22. Party officials then scrambled to derail his candidacy. At first, they thought about taking the problem to court. “We looked at litigating to get him thrown off the ballot as a Republican,” said Jason Doré, executive director of the Louisiana GOP. But it quickly became apparent, said Doré, that this would require wide-reaching statutory changes that would throw “the entire election into chaos.”

Another problem: The state party has no bylaws controlling who can run as a Republican. This must change, said Doré. The party’s governing committee will meet later this month to consider adopting a rule barring any felon from using the Republican brand. (Starting in the spring of 2003, Duke spent a year in prison for tax evasion and mail fraud. Among other naughtiness, he had solicited donations from his followers under the pretense of financial troubles and then blown the money on gambling.)

The governing committee is also exploring ways to bar someone from appearing on the ballot as a Republican if members feel that the candidate, as Doré put it, “doesn’t represent our values.”

According to the article, Duke credits Trump with his return to politics, and credits himself with many of Trump’s policies:

For his part, Duke is desperate to link himself to Trump. He specifically credited Trump for his return to politics, claiming that he was the originator of many of the “America-first” policy ideas Trump is pushing. Duke’s campaign website features videos with titles like “Duke & Trump: The Supreme Court Does Matter” and “Never Trump & Never Duke Exposed as GOP Traitors.” And Duke’s Twitter feed is a scary mish-mash of ravings about anti-white bigotry and the decline of “Euro Americans,” broadsides against more mainstream Republicans, and lamentations about the mistreatments and misrepresentations Trump has allegedly suffered. […] In an August 5 interview on NPR, Duke claimed that his internal polling shows that he’ll carry 75 to 80 percent of Trump voters.

As state Republican leaders try to figure out ways to keep Duke off this year’s ballot and the years to come, it’s important for them to remember who they are and where they are in this mess. It was the Republican party’s idea to come up with a “southern strategy” to lure disaffected white males into the party in the first place, not this year during Trump’s run, but back before Richard Nixon was president, going back to Barry Goldwater’s presidential run. And let’s not forget the role that Lee Atwater played as Ronald Reagan was on deck, bringing the “southern strategy” into the “modern” era. No. Any hand-wringing and sweaty forehead wiping the Republicans are doing now, they can look into that Grand Old Party mirror of theirs to thank.

That is the source.

Court gives Democrats a big win against Republican gerrymandering in North Carolina

North Carolina's state capitol building in Raleigh.

North Carolina’s state capitol building in Raleigh

On Tuesday, a federal district court threw out a high-handed gerrymander in North Carolina’s Wake County that had been pushed through by Republican state legislators and ordered officials to instead hold elections using districts for the county commission and school board that had been drawn at the local level. A federal appeals court had previously ruled that the maps violated the one-person, one-vote principle because Republicans illegally overpopulated a few Democratic districts and underpopulated the ones they intended for Republicans to win, so this latest decision cements a big victory for both democracy and Democrats.

Republicans took control of the North Carolina state legislature in 2010, giving them total authority over redistricting because state law denies the governor a veto over such matters. This majority used its power to draw some of America’s most extreme gerrymanders for Congress and state legislature, but it didn’t stop there. State Republicans even redrew the maps of county and city governments like Wake County, home to the swiftly growing state capital of Raleigh and over one million people, and Guilford County, where Greensboro is located. Combined, these two counties contain roughly one in seven North Carolinians.

Wake County previously elected all its county commissioners at-large, a system that allowed Democrats to win a majority following strong performances in 2012 and 2014. State legislative Republicans swiftly responded by overriding the county-drawn map and passing a mid-decade gerrymander that eliminated the at-large seats and created nine individual districts, as shown here. And thanks to a shrewd cartographer’s pen, Barack Obama lost five of these nine GOP-drawn districts even though he carried the county by double digits. This map could have allowed Republicans to win a majority by 2018 despite losing the countywide popular vote.

As for the school board, Republicans had previously won a majority in 2009 before Democrats regained it in 2011. But during that two-year period, tea partiers set about enacting a program that would have essentially resegregated the county’s schools. Republican state legislators reacted to Democrats retaking a majority under the map the county drew by gerrymandering the board themselves in 2013. Despite the state GOP’s efforts to interfere in local affairs, Democrats managed to hold on, in part thanks to the fact that school board positions are elected on a nonpartisan basis.

Unfortunately, this litigation is still ongoing and there’s a chance Republicans will eventually be able to implement an “improved” gerrymander that doesn’t violate one person, one vote precepts. However, for 2016 at least, they won’t be able to use their gerrymanders to illegitimately thwart the intent of the voters in one of North Carolina’s most populous counties.




“…Learn of me…and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” [Matthew 11:29]

If you are like some, you grew up in church. You may have even performed as an usher or a choir member. But service to God and having a relationship with God is something entirely different. The
woman at the well mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the book of John was worshipping God through tradition. She did what her forefathers had taught her. But it was entirely mechanical. Jesus revealed that she was worshipping a God that she really didn’t know. Jesus told her that God desired those that would worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Worship means to express reverent honor and adoration. You cannot truly worship, then, who you do not know intimately. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus to us. He gives revelation of the Word and enables us to see Jesus for Who He really is. You may be surprised by what you learn. For one, Jesus is not a taskmaster. He is not lording over us with a bullwhip commanding service. The Word describes Him as meek and gentle. He is full of compassion and has limitless mercy. In fact, He came and died for us because of His love for us. He is not angry with us. He is not full of wrath. He is not waiting o strike you with lighting for asking Him questions. And He does not plague His children with sickness and disease to teach them lessons. In His own Words, he said “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” When we get to know Him, true worship is inevitable. How could we not adore such a great God?

Worshipping Jesus is not about religion. In religion, you know about God, but are far from a relationship with Him. The woman at the well was religious. She was serving God, but she really didn’t know Him. She could only refer to Him as the God of her fathers. Instead of having her own personal relationship, she simply did what she had been taught. She had learned the ritual. This fact
is even revealed in her lifestyle. Jesus, in a very loving way, confronted her about the sin in her life. She, like many of us, turn to other things to satisfy our longing for love and acceptance. But when she truly received a revelation of Jesus by the Holy Spirit for herself, she was made whole. She instantly knew that Jesus loved and accepted her. He made her complete! She let go of the sin and weight that had gotten her off track. By accepting him as her personal Lord and Savior, she had a new lease on life. Old addictions and bondages dropped off of her. She instantly became a new creature in Christ.

Notice that she was not effective serving Jesus until she actually encountered and knew Him for herself. Once that happened, she could tell others about Him. But notice in the passage that her testimony led the people to Jesus so that they could know Him for themselves. Therefore, successful service and ministry for God can only flow from a true worshipper. And once we know
Him, we must be careful to keep Him at the forefront of all hat we do. Remember, He loves us. We do not have to perform acts of goodness to pay Him back for giving His life for us. He gave us salvation as a free gift. He asks for obedience because adhering to His Word is the key to prosperous living. And He loves to bless us.

Knowing Jesus personally is critical. It is only through Him that we are saved. He is the way the truth and the life. No man can come to the Father except through Him. In fact, Jesus was sure to warn the disciples that service and ministry was not the main focus. Only an intimate relationship with Him would suffice.

If your relationship with Jesus has waxed cold, simply rededicate your life to Him. If you never have before, invite Him to be your personal Lord and Savior. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you for yourself. God desires a relationship with you. And no matter what sins are in your life, Jesus came to forgive you and not to condemn you. He died on the cross, paying for our sins, so that sin can no longer separate us from Him. And more than that, He came to heal the brokenhearted. He is a loving God and He desires to have a loving relationship with you. He does not want to simply be the God of your fathers, but your God. He wants you to know Him. The Word declares that others do not have to tell us about God, but we can all know Him for ourselves. This Word can be fulfilled in your life today. He is seeking such to worship Him.

Be blessed.
Exodus 15:26; Jeremiah
31:33-34; Psalm 145:8-10;
Matthew 7:22-23, 11:28-30;
Luke 4:17-21; John 1:29, 3:16-
17, 4:1-43, 10:6-15, 14:6,
Ephesians 1:6-7; Galatians 4:4-
7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21;
Revelation 3:15-16

Life Demands Something From Us: The Power Of Faith And Economics

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Life demands something from us.

No creature that God created earns its justification for being except by being what God created it to be. You don’t see creatures violating that law. Everything that God created the creature to be you find it being. But the only one that there is a problem with is the human family.

God didn’t create us to be racist; He didn’t create us to be sexist; He didn’t create us to put one color over another, one race over another; that’s not His work.

He said, “I (in the Qur’an) created you into tribes and families that you may know one another.” So on this planet there are many tribes, many families, but they come from One Source. Some White people don’t like Black people and some Black people don’t like White people. But then I see White people with a Black dog. I’m a little confused. You don’t like Black but here’s a black dog—all black. I see you kissing the black dog, petting the black dog, hugging the black dog. But the Black human being we have a problem with

It’s kind of crazy. That is real sickness. How many of you like black onyx stone? I have one on made by our Native people—very beautiful—nobody objects. They don’t say, “what you doing with that black stone; hanging out with that black stone.” Just don’t hang out with Black people.

We like red rubies and green emeralds and diamonds that show many different colors and when you’re blessed to go to Kay Jewelers and get a diamond you can’t hold your hand properly. I’m not trying to be funny but the human being is very funny because he’s very stupid. There’s white sand and you love to go to the beach and stick your black foot in the white sand. You didn’t come away with a disease. I have seen pink sand and I’ve even seen black sand. I’ve seen mountains in Arizona and the mountains was so beautiful I jumped out of my car and begin to pray because the mountain had so many different colors in the stones.

I see these beautiful flowers and all of the different colors arranged so beautifully. We bow when we get a bouquet of flowers and don’t realize as human beings we are the most beautiful bouquet.

It’s just that we don’t have anybody to put us together like the florist does with all those beautiful flowers. And that’s why Jesus Christ is so important even among Muslims. Muslims believe Jesus is coming back; they don’t say Muhammad is coming back. Jesus is returning and he’s returning with a man that in the Arabic tradition is called Al-Mahdi or The Guide. Why do we need a guide? I just told you.

Imagine us with a Ph.D. degree and stupid. I’m not belittling education. I’m belittling the foolishness of those with education acting like we don’t have it at all. What did God create the human being to be? What is His purpose for the creation of human life? The Bible puts it very beautifully. He created man and He didn’t say I did it. In the creation of man He uses soft pronouns … Let Us Make Man.

Each one of you was created by the Creator and given a gift from Him that makes you unique. You have never been before and you will never be again. What a joy it is to be on the planet with your uniqueness. Consider people who have never been and will never be, this is our moment in time. So we can make it a beautiful moment or we can follow Satan and make it like the moment that has arrived with human beings filled with hatred and division. Man against woman, woman against man. Neither one can do anything without the other. Man is made and woman is made to reflect God. …This vast universe will not hold back its treasures for those who seek it; just keep pulling for greater knowledge that will allow you to be a productive human being. That’s the aim of God when He said multiply. It just didn’t mean get a woman and have a baby—it means that too. But God says, “take what I put in you and multiply it with what surrounds you and produce a product that says that you were here being what I created you to be.” So your life and your work is glorification of God.

That’s why we’re here with Mr. Joe Dudley. He came to birth like anybody else. His teacher, S.B. Fuller, came to birth like anyone else. George Washington Carver came to birth like anyone else. But he had a gift and he found it in peanut-products. He was so productive the Ford Foundation recruited him. When you’re a producer, people look for you. When you’re doing nothing somebody is looking for you alright. It’s probably the sheriff because when you’re not doing something productive you’re doing something. Smile.

God puts us in a race, a competition. Billions of sperm, but only one will get to that egg to produce the first cell of life. The vaginal tract can be very acidic and hostile. The sperm doesn’t have a lot of time. It has to get to that egg and get there quickly. When the right sperm comes and touches that egg, the first cell of life has begun. The vaginal tract is a hostile environment and the sperm has to swim upstream like the salmon against gravity but you made it; you’re here. You made it as a sperm mixed with ovum. How dare you talk about how hostile the environment is? “White folks make it so difficult, I can’t do anything.” Shut up. From sperm you were made into a full-grown human being in the image and likeness of God. There’s nothing stopping us but our ignorance and our unwillingness to fight negative forces. …

The first verses of the 96th Chapter of the Holy Qur’an, called Al-Alaq (“The Clot”), go like this: “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (Iqra) Read.” That’s the first command that the Prophet Muhammad heard—Read. When a people don’t know how to read, they’re in the clot stage of their development. It doesn’t mean that they can’t grow into a beautiful growth but they’ve got to have the right to read. And that’s one of the first things that the slave master took away from the slave, the natural right to feed a curious nature to know. We’re born into the world knowing nothing but we have this insatiable, curious desire to know what we have come into.

Watch your babies today and I mean watch them. Don’t let that doctor stick a needle in your baby telling you it’s vitamin K. Their K is a killer. The world is closing down. They don’t want to see any more Black genius; they don’t want to see you multiply in the earth and build the Kingdom of God. They must stop you at the cradle. … So you cannot afford to be a foolish woman. The education of the female is a must. But it must be the proper education. Look at how the body is formed, an umbilical cord is there and when the body comes out of this precious womb covered with the blood, the body has to be washed, cleansed, the umbilical cord cut and the baby, according to Ezekiel the 16th Chapter, must be swaddled and salted. There was a baby like that in an open field and a man came by, saw the baby and said this word, “Live.” Because if that baby didn’t have the right care, it would have died. It’s talking about you. You grew up in the womb of slavery but you fed from the mother that you were growing inside of. America has been a giant womb for Black people. You are not free. You haven’t made any history. You live in the history of the womb that you are forming in. Your name is not your name. Every good deed that you’ve done you’ve done in the name of your former slave master.

How can you be free and don’t even know that all the credit of your life goes to your slave master’s name which you wear so proudly? A baby’s life doesn’t start when conception begins. A baby’s time begins when it takes that first breath and the umbilical cord is cut and it’s washed and swaddled and somebody then has to care for it in its development, teaching it values. Then that baby can become a great one.

When things don’t go the way you want, why do you think that The Lord is mistreating you somehow? No. God is trying you somehow. He favored something or someone else: “I’m better, I can preach better, give me the job.” But it’s not about you being able to speak better. What kind of heart did you bring to the endeavor? Is it a diseased heart? God said to Cain, “Cain why are you angry? What happened to your face? It’s fallen.” You know how when you get disappointed how your face falls. Your mouth turns down, you start looking pretty ugly. God asks Cain a question. Then God said, sin is at the door. Cain didn’t understand; he was angry with God.

Let me help you, by God’s grace, to see something in the meaning of that to keep you away from disappointment and going crazy after you get disappointed. You didn’t get the position that you think that you deserved. You didn’t get the accolades that you know you worked hard for. “They overlooked me and I’m mad as hell and I’m going to tear this organization up, that’s what I’m going to do.” You’re not crazy, you’re not lying now—because when you get disappointed you can become a devil.

Why are you angry? Why is your face fallen? If Cain had spoken back to God, God could have taught him. And if we recreate the garden scene, here’s what I believe God would have told Cain: “Cain I needed somebody to till the ground and you’re doing it and I admire the fruit that you brought me from the ground. I’m not displeased with you. But your brother brought me a lamb and I’m looking down the Wheel of Time and I see a man coming that is styled as a lamb. I’m looking down the Wheel of Time that a lamb is going to take away the sins of this world. It’s not that I don’t want the fruit from the ground. I see the fruit coming at the end of this world of evil. I see a man coming that, like a lamb, is going to sacrifice his life to redeem man once again to me. I’m not rejecting you.”

He saw the Christ coming. God doesn’t see in our timeframe. You and I are finite. We are here for a short time and we’re gone. We expect everything that God promised to come to us in our time and then we get confused. “I worked so hard in the church and I’ve done everything you asked me to do. Why should I be sick? Lord I got cancer now.” But can you look at God and say thank you? Can you thank God for the trials in your life and say thank you because they made you stronger? They increased the faith that you showed as a baby on your mother’s breast. Jesus was trying to get a little rest in the boat, a storm came up. He’s sleeping peacefully. “Master wake up. The storm is gone kill us all,” said a disciple. Jesus looked at him. He went to the front of the boat and said, “Peace be still.” Then Jesus looked at the disciples and said, “Oh, ye of little faith.” If you just had faith the grain of a mustard seed, you could say to the mountain be removed and it would be so. How many mountains are in your life as a business person and you say it can’t be moved? “I just can’t make it.” There is no such thing as “can’t.” That’s one word that you should throw out of your language. When God created the universe from nothing, he destroyed the impossible.

All things are possible if only, if only, you believe. So your business is being tried. Sometimes you can make the payroll and other times you’re struggling. You say, “Lord, I may have to close my business down.” But if you listen carefully to the Lord, he said, “Remember when you were on the breast, you kept on pulling until you got something. Keep on pulling, brother.” Seek and you shall find. Ask and it shall be given. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. …

God is the master economist. Poor people we’re so stupid. We’re on barges driving garbage around from port to port. We can’t find any place to bury our garbage and you know economy, you know what economics are. God wastes nothing. You see a buzzard, I talked about him today. He flies around. He can sense something dead down on the ground. That’s his meal. The buzzard circles to make sure the coast is clear. And it flies on down and eats what is dead. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, my teacher, told me that God taught the buzzard its prayer. The buzzard after it eats turns its face to the East, flaps its wings and flies away. The buzzard has more sense than we do. We eat and don’t give thanks to God for what he gave us. Then comes the eagle, who isn’t looking for anything dead. He will kill what he wants and then eat it.

Brothers and sisters, you have become a meal for all the immigrants that come to America. They find their way into our community and they set up shop. They have no respect for us because we’re not busy. We’re not engaged in the activity of life producing what we need and what we want.

So these kinds of vultures and eagles come in and they set up shop. I know you love long hair, sisters. Lord, you look so pretty. Smile. You really do. When I turn on my television, I see all these Black girls on the news. All of them have long hair. I know it isn’t real, but the Koreans have made us look good, haven’t they?

But check your pocket. You got it on your head, which shows you didn’t have much in your head, and the Koreans are going to a bank in Koreatown. You’re telling your landlord, “I’ll have it next week but this week I had to get my hair.” Don’t be mad with me. Take better care of the hair that’s under that weave, you are already beautiful. I understand. I’m not mad at you, but spending $500 and $600 on hair? We could take that money and invest it in some of Mr. Dudley’s products. We could take that money and begin to turn it and make money for us. That shows you have something under the wig. I want you to see that this is economic genius if you study how God fixed this.

May God bless entrepreneur Joe Dudley. May God bless all those who work with him and for him; and may God bless each and every one of you to find the gift that God gave you that is exclusively yours. Discover that gift, exploit that gift and then give it back for the glory of God—then we will be a civilized community, a community that looks out for itself.

Natalie Berry joins New Horizons Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sumter County, Inc.

(Image: File)

(Image: File)

On Monday, July 25, 2016 Miss Berry joined New Horizons Habitat for Humanity as a Mortgage Analyst. Natalie has been in various positions in the mortgage and financial services industry since 2008. Some of her previous positions include; but were not limited to, policy processing, stock issuance, management, senior retirement planner, mortgage lender, and wealth manager to name a few. Natalie relocated from Atlanta, Georgia to join the New Horizons team. Her desire is to support and make a difference in our community.

Her family includes her very busy set of two year old fraternal twins Eden and Gauge Singfield, and her fiancé Glenn Singfield, II is the owner and head chef of Albany Fish Company located in Albany, Georgia. Her passion for helping people reflects in all of the work that she has done in residential mortgage lending throughout her career. Natalie shares the vision of providing decent affordable housing for all homeowners.

Welcome Natalie! We are extremely excited to

have you as a member of our team!