RANDOM THOUGHTS
by
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
08/04/17

 In the past six months, I've frequently complained that developing events, consequential to the administration of #45, leave us inundated and overwhelmed with negative outcomes of his governance or lack thereof.  Weekly, I attempt to give an enlightened perspective on a newsworthy and timely topic; but I'm often conflicted and feel that selecting only one topic does my readers a disservice.

For anyone concerned with the national welfare, these past three weeks have been emotionally draining and the source of sleepless nights.  For others, events have occurred with such amazing speed and volume that they can't keep up with them.  For that reason, this week I'll offer opinions on a variety of topics that impact on the well-being of my community.

#45's Long Island Speech - There's indisputable evidence of a difference in police treatment of ethnics and whites.  Among his inappropriate comments, #45 gave tacit approval to police to physically abuse the "animals" (of color) they arrest.  His statements were so egregious and inconsistent with "proper" law enforcement procedures that they were disavowed by leading law enforcement executives.  I'm hopeful that we won't see additional incidents of unwarranted police violence against persons of color.

Remediation of the Current Opioid Epidemic - I remember the first Godfather movie.  In a meeting of the Dons to strategize criminal activities, one said words to the effect that they should only "sell the drugs to the Niggers and Spicks and let their souls go to hell."  Disparate treatment of addiction has been an ongoing issue in the management of criminal activity - as a case-in-point, the sentencing disparities between powdered and crack cocaine.  Opioid addiction has also been a problem in minority communities; but, now that it's an unmanageable problem in white communities, the hue and cry are for enlightened treatment instead of incarceration.

The DOJ Assault Against Affirmative Action - Most people don't remember that it was Richard Nixon who initiated Federal Affirmative Action Programs to remedy historic and institutional racial (and gender) discrimination.   Under AG Sessions, the DOJ has launched a program of filing lawsuits against colleges and universities whose Affirmative Action initiatives discriminate against white people.  I've always held that "reverse racism" is a myth, but that myth is being codified at the behest of an alleged racist.

WHAT SHALL WE DO?
by
Dr. E. Faye Williams
03/17/2017

TriceEdneyWireService —There are few surprises in Washington, DC politics.  We've been reduced to exhausting ourselves determining when this Administration is being hyperbolic, using “alternative facts” or attempting to use “facts”—without adding “alternative” to their assertions.  

Has any other president been so disrespectful to his (co-equal) Judiciary when he doesn’t like its decisions?  Has there ever been a President, like Trump, with animus toward his predecessor that inspires his manufacture of lies that smear the man and the office, and, in the process, diminish his own credibility?  Despite inheriting the best government in 17 years, Trump continues his reckless and undignified behaviors that are beneath those of Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and, of course, President Obama.  Whether or not those Presidents liked each other, they had/have enough class to respect their predecessors and successors.  What can be done with a president who, in less than 60 days, has brought so much shame to the office, our nation, and likely, many who voted for him?

Should we have concerns about the proposed Trump budget recently submitted to Congress?  Contrasted against a 14% reduction for the State Department, does his $54 Billion increase in our defense budget indicate a predilection for war?   His new (disproportionate) budget for increased defense spending and homeland security suggests his preference for war over world stability through efforts for negotiated peace and justice.  The slashing of State Department funds prevents seasoned diplomats from performing their international mission of winning friends or influencing adversaries instead of resorting to war.  His budget appears to spring from the paranoid pages of Steve Bannon’s ultra-nationalistic playbook.

How must we respond to a demagogue who would convince us that free and independent news sources are a threat?  How do we react to Trump's insistence that any news opposing his worldview is invalid?  Why should we accept his Orwellian model of democracy?  I assume that he fears our being informed about the waste of time and money building his fence.  In his ravings about the threat from our neighbors, he makes no mention of home-grown terrorists who attack us with little restriction.  

As we creep incrementally toward control by "Big Brother,” Trump’s budget proposes to cut federal funding for public broadcasting, the arts, and sciences.  His budget slashes funds from the Environmental Protection Agency where all staff works hard to cleanse our environment pollution incidental to our techno-industrial lifestyle.  Since one of the Administration's first acts was lifting restrictions against dumping mining waste in America's waters, under Trump's EPA, our will to fix Flint's (MI) drinking water and other pollution hotspots are questioned.  

Without regard for the sick and/or elderly who are dependent upon it for survival, this budget eliminates the “Meals on Wheels” program.  Mr. Trump's placement of millionaire and billionaire cronies in control of agencies vital to our well-being requires us to do more with fewer dollars — while they ravage programs that have protected the least of God’s children.  Without compassion, they propose to implement tax-relief for the millionaire/billionaire class on the backs of the indigent.

This budget makes severe cuts to the arts, the sciences, and programs for the poor who are already struggling for survival.  It plays havoc with programs and community assistance that have decreased hunger, health challenges, unemployment, and the violence incidental to poverty.  I predict this budget is a preview of future, more drastic cuts.  So, WHAT SHALL WE DO?

WAITING IS NOT THE ANSWER!  Call leaders at every level to stop the Trump agenda.  Get on picket lines.  Write letters to editors.  Work with like-minded groups.  Pray. The Bible tells us, “Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find.  Knock and doors shall be open to you.”  

DOING NOTHING IS NOT THE ANSWER!!!

(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.  202/678-6788.  www.nationalcongressbw.org)

IT'S TIME FOR A REVIEW

02-24-2017

By

Dr. E. Faye Williams

TriceEdneyWireService.com – One of my most important teaching activities was time spent in review with my classes.  My classroom experiences taught me that in every unit of instruction there were elements of the subject matter that would not be understood, would be misunderstood, would not be prioritized/ordered appropriately or forgotten.  The classroom review was an effective tool for test preparation and a determination of subject matter retention.  

As a manager of personnel, I found formal, interim and informal personnel performance reviews to be effective tools in documenting and improving the quality of performance of our employees.  These reviews gave them an accurate understanding of expectations of their jobs and gave us both a way to measure how well they met those expectations.

I believe it is essential to review and evaluate the performance and motives of elected officials and how both impact on me and those with which I share similar interests and values.  This review must be as broad and wide-ranging as the impact of the decisions made by the politicians under scrutiny.  While providing options for periodic re-evaluation, this review must be thoughtful and as accurate as possible.  It must be Promethean in predictability.

Applying that logic to the first 30 days of the Trump administration, I have concerns at numerous and most unsettling levels.  Rather than acknowledging his slim margin of victory in the Electoral College and loss of the popular vote in his policy-making, Mr. Trump is in disregard of the 54% of Americans who voted against him and he’s gone full-bore in his plan to be a disruptive influence in the structure of American politics.  I fear that his administration will exceed a state of disruption and devolve into an oligarchic autocracy.  Like those who have returned George Orwell's "1984," a 69-year-old book, to the "best seller list,' I wonder how far we are from calling Trump Big Brother.

Those familiar with the rise of autocratic governments in the 20th Century draw our attention to the parallels with Trump World.  Among the first acts by 20th Century, dictators were to destroy and/or restructure the institutions and political processes upon which civil order was established.  To date, the majority of Trump's Cabinet nominees express policy positions in direct opposition to the Cabinet positions they occupy. One only wonders what structural changes will alter the functions of the Departments of Justice, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Human Services and the EPA.

From Trump's mouth come ridiculous, unsubstantiated accusations of widespread, monumental voter fraud.  Many in the Civil Rights community sense that Trump will attempt to further restrict/suppress the votes of minorities and other Democratic-leaning, populations.  Yet, since last year, US intelligence sources confirm Russian interference in the 2016 Election.

Trump's administration has made an obvious effort to discredit and malign the public’s faith in the Judicial Branch and the Media.  Demeaning characterization of "so-call judges" in disagreement with Administration positions are meant to create a loss of faith in our judicial system.  Arguing the validity of lies labeled “Alternative Facts” and the direct characterization of unflattering news accounts as “Fake News” has become the hallmark of Trump and those in his circle.  More commonplace are lies, distortions, and misrepresentations of Trump and his allies.  Just as commonplace are their appeals to sympathetic listeners to reject the truth of media reports as lies.

Until last week, mainstream Republican leaders have failed to challenge Trump’s disparagement of our valued institutions.  Last week, Senator John McCain observed that one of the first acts of dictators was to destroy the open, free dialogue of society.  

Our first 30-day review suggests that McCain is not off the mark.  We must RESIST the destruction of the freedoms we have worked so hard to achieve. 

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President and CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, www.nationalcongressbw.org. 202/678-6788)

OUR GOD HAS THE POWER TO MEET ANY CHALLENGE

By

Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.

 

In 2008 and again in 2012, Black women played a key role in electing President Barack Obama.  That was one of our proudest moments in history.  We came back again in 2016 and did all we could to save America. Unfortunately, we were not successful. 94 percent of us stood together and voted for the person we believed would be most helpful to our community. Unfortunately, bigotry and an unhealthy amount of sexism took over where even a great number of our white sisters and almost all white men preferred being white to allowing us to break the barrier of 45 men only elected to become President of the United States. There is no denying that a lot of the vote was rooted in backlash for a highly successful President who succeeded despite all the roadblocks put in his way.

 

Early after the election, I decided to tell our members and friends who were having a difficult time dealing with the election results that God’s Got This.  We’ve been through so many challenges in our life time and our ancestors went through even more.  There’s one thing Black women know how to manage, and that’s hard times!

 

We are seeing the conclusion of the term of a President who stood up for the least of these!  He allowed over 20 million more people who had no health insurance to finally have a plan.  He paid attention to climate change and to saving clean water. He brought many young men and women back home from the war zone in Iraq.  He organized a way to help young men of color through “My Brother’s Keeper.” He’s fought for law enforcement reform and against voter suppression.

 

I applaud him for these things as well as for finding a way to get the middle-class tax cuts and the unemployed a new lease on life when he extended unemployment insurance in his first term. He saved the automobile industry.  When he came into office, I think the most urgent thing for the President to do was to lift up the least of these in the spirit of the holiday season.  We were filled with joy and thanksgiving. 

Black women have lifted our voices to tell our stories, tell our truths as we were inspired by our wonderful and brilliant First Lady, Michelle Obama.  She lifted our spirits, and we were proud to have her unveil the Sojourner Truth statue that we were responsible for having it placed in the U.S. Capitol, making Sojourner the first Black woman to be honored there.

 

The President and First Lady have definitely made us proud that we worked so hard to get them into the White House. They did not disappoint us. 

 

What a difference 8 years have made in our lives!  We will never forget the impact they’ve made on our families. 

 

Our challenge is to return to the unity we once had in the Black community, and remember that the same God who was in charge when Barack and Michelle came to us is the God who will take us through the next years as we witness what this new Administration will bring. 

 

From all indications, there will be hardships, but we will get through it if we remember that our God brought our ancestors through slavery, through Jim Crow and a lot of very difficult times. He is still powerful enough to bring us through whatever the new Administration has in mind.

 

We invite Black women from all walks of life to join us in our quest to look out for our brothers and sisters even when others try to pull us apart. Know that our God has the power to help us to meet any challenge.

  

(Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.  You may reach her by calling 202/678-6788 or see the NCBW website at www.nationalcongressbw.org)

 

Why Black North Carolinians are not Showing up Early for Democrats:
Hillary Clinton’s Barack Obama Baggage

 

By Amos Jones

 

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 2, 2016 – The Democrats have known they are in hot water with a substantial portion of blacks this year, and in the last days of campaigning they are pulling out all the stops to mobilize this group for party standard-bearer Hillary Rodham Clinton.

 

Careful analysis of past elections shows that Democrats simply cannot win the key states housing large black populations without capturing approximately 85% of the black vote in very high turnout.

 

But there is trouble in the big states. In an October 20-22 Remington Research Group poll of 1,997 likely Pennsylvania voters reported at RealClear Politics, Republican nominee Donald Trump had 29% of the black vote and 30% of Latinos. If this trending holds elsewhere, then Hillary Clinton will certainly lose this election.

 

Nowhere is the Democrats’ desperation for black votes more visible than in North Carolina. Here, because 22% of residents are African American and the state swings, just a sliver of this demographic has the power to decide presidential contests. Presumed to be solidly for Clinton, Blacks nonetheless can make the difference either by voting Republican or by simply staying home. That’s why a presidential or vice-presidential candidate has held major campaign events in this state practically every day in recent weeks.

 

CNN reported Tuesday evening that in early voting “African-American turnout has dropped in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia” and the GOP “has improved its standing in Florida, Iowa and North Carolina.” An online New York Times headline was confirmatory on that day: “Black Turnout Soft in Early Voting, Boding I'll for Hillary Clinton,” it read.

‘If the conversion rate continues unchanged, Islam could become the dominant religion in Black urban areas by the year 2020,' according to researchers.

A demographic study of Black Muslims by C. Eric Lincoln  revealed some startling insights into who responded to Elijah Muhammad's message. The majority of those who joined the Nation of Islam were young, economically disadvantaged, African-American males from Christian backgrounds. Up to 80% of a typical congregation were between the ages of 17 and 35. Traditionally, the church in the Black community has had difficulty attracting young males. In an article entitled, 'Why Most Black Men Won't Go to Church,' Reverend William Harris attributes the primary reason to economics.

'Many Black males won't go to church because today's church does not address their needs. The Black male needs money, job opportunities, business resources, and relevant skills training. The church collects money, but does little to create opportunities through which he can make more money. Jesus understood the need to feed people before preaching to them. Today's church must likewise set the table for the Black man before asking him to pay to have the dishes done.

Megachurch preacher Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland, says the westernization of the church worship experience has resulted in the black church becoming a place that’s comfortable for women and “sanctified sissies.”

Pointing to a culture that’s increasingly paying attention to the needs of women, while marginalizing the importance of men in the family, Bryant explained in a recent message posted on YouTube that the same mindset has seeped into the church fostering a culture that makes it difficult for men to find their place in the church.

Elijah Muhammad's program for economic development played a crucial role in the rapid growth of the Nation of Islam. With the money donated by members, Muhammad purchased land for farms, store fronts, bakeries, apartment buildings and schools. The economic base of the organization grew in proportion to numerical growth. By owning businesses and land, Elijah Muhammad was able to provide both housing and employment for needy followers. Furthermore, the members had the added pride of sharing in the ownership of these various enterprises and being, to a great extent, independent of the broader society. Scarcity of employment for young Black males offers one explanation of why they were drawn to the Nation of Islam in such large numbers.

The grass-roots movement of Islam in America has grown from recruiting African Americans on college campuses, converting inmates in prison, and proselytizing Christians who have converted in an attempt to connect with an African Muslim, religious-ethnic identity. Wendy Zoba in a Christianity Today cover story entitled “Islam, U.S.A." wrote, “Islam is gaining most of its U.S. converts in prisons and on university campuses. The majority of American converts to Islam — 85 to 90 percent — are black.” 4 In addition, the number of American women who marry Muslim men and convert is estimated to be about 7,000 per year.

Is Islam a threat to the Black Church ?

Is the Megachurch a female centered movement ?

 

Justice Department Baltimore Police Report

Community Policing : What can churches do to improve community and Police Relations ?

The Baltimore Police Department routinely violated the constitutional rights of citizens, used excessive force, and discriminated against African Americans, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a detailed investigation released Wednesday.

“The relationship between the Baltimore Police Department and many of the communities it serves is broken,” the 163-page report states. “Officers seemed to view themselves as controlling the city rather than as a part of the city. Many others, including high ranking officers in the Department, view themselves as enforcing the will of the ‘silent majority.’”

The document lays out, in often sickening detail, the many ways Baltimore police abused the law, the people they were meant to serve, the public trust, and their own brothers in arms. In the wake of the failed prosecution of six officers for the death of Freddie Gray, the report serves as a reminder that rather than an isolated crime, the Gray case was symptomatic of a force that regularly arrested people for insufficient reasons, or no reasons at all, and used excessive force against them—but particularly, and uniquely, black citizens of the city. The Justice Department makes clear that African Americans in Baltimore were targeted and abused by the police, making this report a twin to the department’s report on Ferguson, Missouri, which my colleague Conor Friedersdorf wrote indicated a “conspiracy against black citizens.”

How can we improve community and police relations ?

How to improve community policing ?

Black Hebrew Israelites

by Ryan Turner
edited by Matt Slick

 

Founder: Various leaders for different sects. There is no primary leader today.  First started in the United States was before the Civil War.

Headquarters: Various major cities across the United States with state chapters. There does not appear to be a central headquarter of leadership for the movement.

Membership: Approximately 200,000 among the dozens of offshoot branches.

Approximately 50,000 Black Hebrews, while the number who follow some form of Judaism (broadly defined) could be up to 200,000. There is a vast amount of diversity amongst various groups who claim to be descendants from the ancient Israelites. It is difficult to distinguish between all the various offshoots and movements within the broad movement of "Black Jewish Indentity." Therefore, the range of possible adherents could be between 40,000-200,000.

Origins: One sect originated before the Civil War. There was another sect founded later in 1896, the Church of God and Saints of Christ, by William Crowdy. In the 1980s other sects began to appear, such as those lead by Yahweh Ben Yahweh (1935 - 2007), or Hulon Mitchell, Jr. There are a number of other sects of this broad Hebrew Israelite movement known as the Commandment Keepers, The Law Keepers, House of Judah, and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, just to name a few.1 

Practices

  1. Some groups stand on the street corners of major cities and condemn people for their allegedly false beliefs while using vulgar language.2 The Hebrew Israelites are very combative and generally do not want to listen when their views are challenged.3
  2. They frequently use Hebrew words such as Yah [the name of God, Yahweh, shortened as Yah], Yahoshua [Jesus], Shabbat [Sabbath], etc.
  3. They keep the Jewish Sabbath and many other Jewish customs including circumcision, dietary laws, and the observance of certain Jewish holidays and festivals like Yom Kippur and Passover.
  4. They use the Old and New Testament to support their teachings, especially the five books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy).
  5. They do not consider themselves to be Jews in the modern sense of the term as associated with Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative, or Hasidic Judaism.

Source of Authority: It is difficult to determine where these Hebrew Israelites get their ultimate source of authority since they do not have any official writings. They apparently view the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments), preferably the King James Version, as an authoritative source, but they just argue that there have been a number of mistranslations. Nevertheless, some hint that the canon of the Bible is not fixed. They apparently use other writings outside of the Bible to support their ideas, such as the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (meaning literally "false writings").

Teachings: 

Generally, the Black Hebrew Israelites teach that certain groups of black are the descendants of ancient Israelites and that white people (especially those in Israel today) are not true descendents.  Some BHI's adhere to the Talmud (Jewish collection of teachings, laws, and interpretations based on Genesis through Deuteronomy) while others do not. A very small faction is racist and considers white people to be evil.  Most Black Hebrew Israelites are peacable and oppose racism.

Following are some of the teachings that many Black Hebrew Israelites affirm. However, there is no universal consensus on all of these points, nor is this an exhaustive summary of all their beliefs. Not all divisions within the movement hold to all these teaching since there is vast diversity in the movement that has no official creed.They are skilled in Bible Knowledge. Their Bible Knowledge would be a challenge for many Christian Churches.

Since this organization is skilled in Bible Study ; how should the Christian Church respond ?

Michael W. Waters

On August 11, 1973, a party in the recreation room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx became the unlikely birthplace of a movement; hip hop. Forty years removed from its genesis, hip hop remains vibrant, influencing everything from linguistics and politics to music and fashion. To fully understand hip hop – and its historical and present-day contributions – it is important to note the context that shaped it and that ultimately catapulted it internationally.

On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Widely regarded as the American Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leader and most prominent voice for social change, King’s death marked the end of the American Civil Rights era. King’s death also marked the beginning of the decline of the historic African American church, fuelled by a growing disillusionment with the church to effectuate still needed changes and equality for African Americans. “An earlier concern for social justice seemed lost to a new sense of individual pietism that promised heaven but did little to change the existential situation of black Americans.”2

A new generation of African American youth came of age during the years of the African American church’s decline. The children of the Baby Boomers Generation – individuals born during the Post-World War II spike in births in America between 1946 and 1964 – this new generation’s disillusionment with the African American church was fuelled not only by their parent’s disillusionment, but on account of the dire economic and social concerns surrounding them, particularly in the urban centre. Therefore, in one generation’s time, African American participation in the life of the historic African American church declined dramatically, especially with urban African American men. “A generation ago, four out of every five inner city black men had some contact with church or Sunday School. Today…studies show three out of five have no church contact whatsoever.” Hip Hop has a greater influence on the youth than our pastors.

How does the Christian Church compete with Hip Hop ?

 

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