Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who Would Have "Thunk" It?

HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation.

Is there anything left to say? DUH? Gee? Golly Gee Wow!!! In the words of the little boy on the television program The Little Rascals, "REMARKABLE." Yes, I welcome your remarks as a critical thinker.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why Aren't These Discussions Being Held at a Higher Level?

On last Saturday while attending a funeral repast I sat around a table with at least six other astute, articulate, intelligent African American young men. Their titles included a former school board president, pastor, supervisory special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, corporate manager, and a teacher. Along with being the author of The Critical Thinker, and radio talk show host of The Reading Circle, I am a school administrator. I am sharing all of this to help you the readers understand that the learned discussion taking place was being discussed by an impressive panel. A part of the discussion included the fact that African Americans in general consume far more than they own. We discussed how our dollars fail to circulate within our community or to our African American owned businesses. We discussed several reasons for this occurring and in that discussion developed the thoughts for this edition of The Critical Thinker.

Something that has always mystified me is the fact that this type of discussion is not being held at a round table comprised of leaders of major African American organizations such as the National Baptist Convention, the heads of the “Big Eight,” fraternities and sororities, Masonic orders, Beauticians Associations, and so forth and so on ( It seems to me that the leaders of these organizations would get together and come up with a strategy to leverage their collective membership numbers. One idea that has always crossed my mind was the building of convention centers for all of the groups to use by pooling monetary resources from each organization. Every year each group holds a 3-5 day convention usually rotating cities around the country. The conventions are usually held at a major hotel convention center. My idea would work like this. Each organization would suspend holding their respective conventions for a 5 year period; however, the same convention fees that would normally be collected from the members would still be assessed. The money would be placed in an escrow account and would be ultimately used to build the first convention center. It could be in the middle of the country; Kansas City, Missouri. Once the first site is completed, each group would then hold their conventions at that site making it self supporting. The profits generated from the first site would then fund the second site on the east or west coast. As the second center is completed, conventions would now be held at both and so on and so on and so on, until we have convention centers for our use all around the country.

Can you imagine the combined leveraging power and profit potential of groups which include the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. the nation’s oldest and largest African American religious convention with an estimated membership of 7.5 million, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. with its 175,000 initiated members, along with the membership numbers of all of the other African American organizations? Currently each group does their own thing making the Marriott’s, the Hilton's and others even more prosperous. With our collective numbers, why don’t we have our own? If the Marriott’s and the Hilton’s refused to host our conventions, where would we go? Do you think Ford, Honda, Nissan or General Motors would listen to the combined leadership of these organizations concerning doing business with their membership body? If CEO’s of these companies are smart (and they are) they would.

I end this edition, by asking the question, why are not the heads of these major African American organizations having the type of conversation that me and my six buddies were having around the table at a funeral repast? Think about it. While you are thinking, visit; I will be sharing more about this site in my next edition of The Critical Thinker.

I welcome your comments and debate.


Friday, July 11, 2008

God Takes Care of Babies and Fools

"See, Barack [has] been talking down to black people . . . I wanna cut his nuts out" Reverend Jessie Jackson

It has been said that God takes care of babies and fools. As Reverend Jessie Jackson is not a baby, as a critical thinker, I'm sure you can figure out the rest. His remarks on a "hot mike" are even too much for this critical thinker to grasp. Once again we have evidence of what I shared with you in a previous edition of THE CRITICAL THINKER (see What Is It About The Truth concerning hard truth being spoken by an African American man about the plight of African Americans and the need for us to take responsibility for ourselves and another African American man standing around blaming the "white man" for all of our ills. Now don't get me wrong, this piece is not in defense of "da man," it is in defense of African Americans who have awakened and become conscious enough to understand and speak out concerning what is needed for African Americans (or any race for that matter) to move ahead. Just as when Bill Cosby offered his views and was criticized and ostracized, here goes Jessie Jackson of all people looking to castrate a brother for telling it like it is for us (African Americans) to move forward.

Obama speaks the truth with his urging greater emphasis on fatherhood, and his telling of students to stick with school and forget about careers as rap stars or pro basketball players. The drop out rate statistics that Senator Obama quoted were correct. The single family home statistics were correct. The call for African American men and women to be responsible for their choices and actions was also correct. It is for these reasons that I cannot understand what in the world Reverend Jessie Jackson was referring to when he says Barack is talking down to black people. What black people is he referring too? I have heard Senator Obama on several occasions and have yet to feel that I was talked down to. If anything, I am inspired by his eloquence, word mastery and public speaking skills.

The problem is, Jessie Jackson thinks it's all about him. He really needs to realize that it is not about Jessie and it has never been about Jessie. Reverends Jackson and Abernathy were always jealous in my view of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and both thought they were heir apparent to the throne of the civil rights movement. Both wanted the limelight and spotlight given to Dr. King. Neither were able to become a Martin Luther King, Jr. Reverend Jackson is all about photo opportunities. If you'd like to test my theory, pick up a copy of any issue of Jet or Ebony magazines without his picture in it. I dare you to find one. For some reason he appears in nearly every issue. The green eyed monster of envy within Jessie has reared its ugly head again now as Senator Obama is in the spotlight.

I am having trouble even thinking of the descriptive words to call Jessie's comments. In fact words like ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd, stupid, crazy, insensitive, outlandish, etc. etc. etc.. just won't do. Jessie of all people knows the power of words and symbolism. He knows of the words that contain a negative history and are racially charged for African Americans such as lynching and castrating and he has the audacity to sit there and say, "I wanna cut his nuts out." Although Reverend Jackson has done some good despite being motivated by fame and fortune, I have never been a big Jessie Jackson fan because I always thought he was a Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wannabee.

While I felt he lost some credibility with the revelation of his child outside of his marriage, I was still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this last episode of Reverend Jackson gone Wild is too far across the Mason-Dixon line. I heard a radio show host joke the other day that Mason said to Dixon, "We have to draw the line somewhere." Well this is where this critical thinker draws the line. I have had it with Reverend Jessie Jackson. He needs to wake up and understand that we all must take responsibility for our choices in life. The white man did not force him to make those comments about Senator Obama; Jessie made a choice to make them. Since Reverend Jackson is not a baby and it appears that he is taken care of by God.............Have you figured it out yet?

Welcoming your response and debate,