Roger Goodell, Ray Rice, Janay, and Holy Hell Matrimony

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

If Roger Goodell loses his position as NFL commissioner over the Ray Rice vs. Janay Rice Elevator Theater, he may very well be like the cop who intervened in a domestic violence dispute between husband and wife and ended up pushing up daisies. And guess what? After the cop has been buried six feet under, wifey and hubby will rush lovingly into each other’s arms while the cop’s widow(er) cries at the funeral with their children short of a parent. The couple will continue this cycle drawing more victims into their web of holy hell matrimony.
Of course, Ray Rice should not have knocked Janay out cold, but apparently he knocked her into amnesia because she quickly forgot that he did it then dragged her out of the elevator as if she were a corpse not even bothering to call 911.
One has to wonder what’s love got to do with it? (Echoing Tina Turner).
Outside of the outrage and manic calls for zero tolerance regarding this prize fight in the elevator, there is an equal outrage when one attempts to utter the question of why did Janay Palmer decide to walk down the aisle with the bastard after he’d knocked her a few steps from Kingdom Come? But I’ll get back to this in a bit.
First of all, I don’t believe in a Zero Tolerance policy. That is about as much of a sick joke as a One-Hundred Percent Tolerance policy—and can be about as brutal in enforcement. But I’ll get back to this, too, in a bit.

Everyone is on a media seesaw of whether or not Goodell saw all of the TMZ/police- provided tapes. And if he did, why didn’t he dish out a meatier punishment to Ray Rice? Oh let me go ahead and say the unpardonable with utmost political incorrectness: Whether Goodell saw the tapes or not should be placed in another frame to get a more realistic picture.
That fancy frame is called MARRIAGE. And one might even subtract a few letters and call it a mirage, because no one really knows what’s going on inside this venerable institution which sometimes has the illusion of being something it is not.
I am willing to bet my best wig that this wasn’t the first time Rice has used his wife for helmet practice, and I am sure someone in both their respective families knew of incidents and probably tried to talk to them out of continuing this relationship.

Then Goodell gets dragged in this situation called marriage which is probably worse than any situation he’s been in since he took the throne of commissioner in the land called NFL.

Marriage is not so easily dealt with as matters such as Jonathan Vilma (whom Goodell overly punished when Vilma demanded that the NFL prove the charges brought against him), or his stiff punishment of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton or when he dealt with the Miami Dolphin crybaby who wept because some white boy called him the N-word (a situation where one 300 pound-plus player bullied another 300 pound-plus player), or Michael Vick and the dogs.
But in the Rices’ case, Goodell is actually behaving like an average person.

Now how will the average person behave after he or she sees such a tape then learns that the fiancée instead of calling off the engagement chooses to put on her lovely white gown, invites over a slew of guests, and walks down the aisle with a man who has beaten the hell out of her — all this within a span of a day or two of knocking her out. Sometimes these average human beings are invited to such weddings when they know of or have witnessed such domestic violence with said couple. They’re there with eyes bucked wondering how such a couple could tie the knot but choose to hold their tongues when the minister asks if anyone objects to the marriage.

Yes, one gets suspicious how quickly Janay Palmer Rice walked down the aisle then did a ‘stand by your man’ press conference with Rice. Suspicious of what? That this was an attempt to save Rice’s career on behalf of Rice himself and herself. Losing $40 million and a slew of Nike commercials can put a dint in a young couple’s lifestyle of the rich and infamous. Hopefully, Janay had enough sense to get an ironclad prenup agreement which can guarantee her a great lifestyle if d-i-v-o-r-c-e happens or a good burial plan if he gives her the fatal blow. Either way, she might do well to meet with both an attorney and a mortician (and yes, I am being dead serious, pun intended).
To reiterate this is about domestic abuse inside a marriage, and those who saw the first Godfather movie know that Sonny got riddled with bullets when he rushed over to defend his pregnant sister whose husband was beating the crap out of her. Sonny didn’t make it, and in the end of this domestic dispute, his sister went back to hubby and stayed with him until Michael had him strangled.

Should Goodell have Ray Rice strangled?

There have been cases of women who knowingly go into and remain in marriages and willingly take beatings so they can remain Mrs. V.I.P. Now how do you explain them?
Again, marriage is a different beast. Historically it is understood that there are certain grounds of holy matrimony that both church and secular laws protect such as a wife cannot testify against her husband or vice versa or that divorce is a sin or a wife must ‘obey’ and submit to her husband and all the other concoctions of excuses to accommodate domestic abuse. Yes, this Rice marriage may be as perverse as she may love him, but she may love his pocketbook more; he may love her but he may love beating her more to empower some sick ass ego.
This brings us back to the aforementioned paragraph regarding the outrage of how dare anyone ask Janay Rice why she chose to walk down the aisle with Ray-Ray? Why many are equating this question with ‘blaming the victim’ when in fact it is a legitimate question and she should answer it. She did not file charges of assault and battery or whatever other charge she could have thrown in the legal kitchen sink.
Goodell might have felt a little more empowered to act stronger had the former Miss Janay Palmer not married Rice a day or two or less or whatever fraction of a time frame after the elevator drama?
All of which is to bring out the point that Goodell is not a marriage counselor, he is not a minister, he is not the law. He’s about as bewildered as many, thinking that if she married him maybe the two straightened out everything as obnoxious as it was. Yes, there should be a Domestic Abuse policy in the NFL corporate code of conduct, but even with such a policy, marriage remains a murky area fraught with legalities, moralities, and religiosities which no man (not even Goodell) can safely put asunder.

As for any Zero Tolerance policy, that can be abused as much as those who abuse, and it has been when one looks at cases where a six-year-old boy can be accused of sexual misconduct and kicked out of first grade because he kissed his little girl classmate; or a teenage girl takes an aspirin and gets suspended from school with the same severity as one who took cocaine. Zero Tolerance in the public school system has been implemented more to punish Black boys than white boys for the same violations or to punish Hispanic and poor white children.
In extreme cases one thinks of Emmett Till who was tortured for whistling at a white woman which was apparently against Jim Crow law!! This was a race-based Zero Tolerance policy which immediately called for the castration or downright killing of any Black male glancing at a white woman (e.g. a sort of “To Kill a Mockingbird” syndrome) or another case where a Black woman cried rape and an entire lacrosse team of white boys was suspended and some of its members kicked out of school only later for the public to discover that she lied simply because no one bothered to ask her ‘why did you go back inside to get your purse after you’d been raped?’ I remember thinking of this question because I knew no woman in her right mind would return to a place where she’d been raped to get her purse? She might return with a shotgun or the police but not to retrieve her purse. And then one looks at super stars Rhianna and Chris Brown who seem to be lovey dovey after he painted her face black and blue which didn’t come from makeup. And those who had involved themselves or gotten themselves dragged into their mess have every right—let me repeat—every right to ask her ‘why is she so cozy with him now? Why has she gone back into his arms?’ I am sure she would say that it is ‘none of the public’s business’, which is essentially what Janay Rice is espousing on her Twitter, Facebook, or whatever social P.R. media account where she is begging for the public’s understanding. I don’t understand it. To be blunt at this stage of whatever game they’re playing, I don’t even care to understand it, because there are real victims out there trying desperately to get out of dangerous relationships.
Like it or not, Goodell is part of that average Joe (or Josephine) who just might not understand as well, but wrings his hands in frustration because he is damned either way he goes; he is like the cop who got caught in the middle only to get his head blown off; he is the relative or friend who waits for that call from the emergency room or morgue because they have tried everything in their power to help.
In the history of my life as a journalist, I have seen on occasion both men and women make accusations about each other abusing the other just to get the other into legal trouble. Such deadly games can be played inside marriages; thus, giving a bad name to true victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Even after punishment by law or the proverbial public lynching or job suspensions or the guilty verdict from the court of public opinion, there is a type of woman who runs back to these men who abuse them.
Yes, I use the word ‘type’ because there is also the other ‘type’ of woman who doesn’t take this crap, who doesn’t tolerate it or who fights back as best she can. These are real victims of abuse and should not be blamed. These are the lost voices with only a Tina Turner serving as a role model of a woman who went through hell before getting away. She left with a gas credit card and a few pennies, and never went back. Turner had less legal protection then than what women have now. There are some women who still cannot get away because the men are tracking them down to get revenge or to inflict on them some other abuse one can only imagine or not. Funds, counseling, and jobs should be provided to aid and abet these women in getting away.

With all due respect, those who are screaming for Goodell’s head should advocate for women who are really going through hell, who can’t afford legal aid, who have no place to go. Ray Rice should make a sizable contribution to them, even if I believe that he is feeling more sorry for being caught than for knocking out his now wife. And now that NOW has the NFL by its balls, it along with the National Council of Negro Women (the oldest Black women’s organization in the country) should use this predicament to develop in conjunction with the NFL a comprehensive program for these rich boys to learn to keep their fists to themselves.
What there should be is a Common Sense Tolerance policy. Any case of domestic abuse should be done on a case by case basis. To further stretch the point: That catchall zero tolerance policy is about as fair as cutting off a person’s hand who stole a loaf of bread instead of finding out ‘why’ he stole the loaf of bread: from hunger or because he felt like it. Either way, losing your hands does not fit the crime. And having said that, someone needs to ask Rice ‘Why?’ before they condemn him to a career of no return like in forever. There have been many stories in the rumor mill such as she allegedly spat on him and he reacted or that she came at him first and he reacted.

Make no mistake: I am neither on Rice’s side nor on hers. As a man, he should have never put his hands—hard fists—on her; as a woman she shouldn’t have walked down the aisle with him practically within a 48 hour period. Bottom line: The real problem is in this couple which believed marriage could offset a violent relationship which could more than likely escalate.

But like so many who have involved themselves or gotten caught up in such holy hell matrimony, Goodell has found himself in a mess of trouble which rhymes with ‘hit’.


*The above commentary is also on the Op/Ed, Editorial, and Black Paper lanes on The Mid-South Tribune and Black Information Highway at . Welcome, Travelers!

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Obama vs. Putin, Timetables, Ukraine, and Terrorists

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

When President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would pull out of Afghanistan in 2016, I did not so much think that he had given a timetable to the terrorists (which he did) as some have argued but rather that he had inadvertently given one to Vladimir Putin.

Now Czar Putin knows that he has roughly two years to take control of all of Ukraine under the guise of a civil war as he awaits for a new American president (an unknown entity) while taking full advantage of America fighting two wars simultaneously. And as of this writing, the group ISIS seems to be gaining ground in Iraq and that, too, adds to America’s preoccupation. Putin more than likely will never have this perfect storm opportunity again to climb back onto that Balance of Power scale where the Soviet Union once stood in the era of Nikita Khrushchev. Putin wants this; he wants Russia to return as a player on the international game board. And from the looks of it, he is enjoying toying with President Obama knowing that he doesn’t have to play chess or checkers when he’s dealing with an opponent who is playing jacks. He’s had Obama standing at podiums announcing that he and Putin are speaking via phone, discussing, and all the other pronouncements that talks with Putin were moving towards some meaningful resolve to the Ukrainian crisis only to end up as one-sided conversations.

On May 28, 2014 when President Obama gave his commencement speech to the graduates of West Point Academy, I listened to him not so much as his being the president of the ‘Number One Nation’ in the world but as his being a commander-in-chief of the ‘Number One Nation’ in the world. I am sure Czar Putin was listening, too, along with terrorist groups ranging from the sophisticated ones who know the primer of chemical warfare and guerilla tactics to the ragtag ones who get their kicks from kidnapping defenseless little girls. Both sectors want to take down the Number One Nation mainly for no other reason than just to say they took out the Number One Nation. By its very nature being Number One invites challenges. That type of warfare mindset goes back all the way to ancient times and not much has changed in a 21st Century. There will always be those who ‘want to rule the world’ and that forces war and change.

All roads at one time led to Rome and once upon a time the sun never set on the British Empire.

What was monumental in the president’s speech as the commander-in-chief was his making a demarcation that the U.S.A. will not continue to act as a savior to nations that find themselves in conflict and running to the U.S.A. for help. Ironically, this is what is happening now with Iraq which now wants the U.S.A.’s help in putting down the group ISIS which is said to be more aggressive than Al Qaeda.

Of course, when the U.S.A. stays beyond that help, it is run out of town on a rail; thus, incurring the tag ‘loser’ which this nation has been labeled post World War II. Then, of course again, nations are more prone to become saviors to secure their own interests when it’s about oil and other natural resources than they are when it’s about humanitarian reasons. Historically, powerful nations have the propensity to put in place the weakest of leadership they know they can control; thus, such situations as ISIS moving into Iraq should have been expected because ISIS knows, too, the leaders put in place in the name of democracy are essentially rabbits and will run at the first sign of a scuffle (I haven’t the space to expound on this but will do so in a later article).

I agree with Obama that this nation must send the message that it is not the world’s savior. However, in foreign policy, even though the average citizen doesn’t want to think about foreign policy to begin with, perception is a quasi-living being. At the West Point commencement, he sent this message with a posture of weakness, and somewhere Theodore Roosevelt’s “Speak softly and carry a Big Stick” posture was lost in Obama’s highly anticipated speech to set his “vision” for America’s foreign policy.

He began strongly: “Today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in Syria or Ukraine or the Central African Republic are not ours to solve. And not surprisingly, after costly wars and continuing challenges here at home, that view is shared by many Americans. A different view from interventionists from the left and right says that we ignore these conflicts at our own peril; that America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future. And each side can point to history to support its claims. But I believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. It is absolutely true that in the 21st century American isolationism is not an option. We don’t have a choice to ignore what happens beyond our borders…”

After the president began with this strong statement that the nation would no longer engage itself in every (or every other) conflict, he dragged his speech into what I thought was one for goldfish to swim in. The fish were pretty but they really weren’t going anywhere.

The speech became so intellectualized that it was sanitized. It gave little reference to the Russo-Ukraine conflict other than the Ukrainian citizens had voted for a new president and a few other mild mannered sentences.

There was no force or fire which would have stressed his vision that America’s new stance did not mean that the world and/or terrorists should take its kindness for weakness.

The speech dragged on in such an unconvincing tone that West Pointers seemed about as disinterested as Obama himself in the speech. He even went into global warming so I can only view that if the sun went out that would end all wars anyway. This speech created a ‘disconnect’ between himself as commander-in-chief and those under his command. There was nil applause where he obviously wanted more enthusiasm. Sure, he made reference to Dwight D. Eisenhower, stating: “As General Eisenhower, someone with hard-earned knowledge on this subject, said at this ceremony in 1947: ‘War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.’ Like Eisenhower, this generation of men and women in uniform know all too well the wages of war, and that includes those of you here at West Point…”

What Obama failed to mention is that Eisenhower was a realist. I would venture to say that Eisenhower as most people didn’t want war or liked war, but there are in fact people who do like war and people who want war and people who have no problem in engaging in war. How hard is that to figure out? Eisenhower was a manager of warfare, a strategist in warfare. Had America gone to war after he had become president, you can bet your bottom dollar Eisenhower would have behaved as a true commander-in-chief. Allies or not, Khrushchev would not have tested Eisenhower as he did Kennedy. Kennedy stood up and Khrushchev backed down; thus, mutual respect and maybe even mutual fear set the agenda. Yes, Eisenhower had met enough tests in World War II. Kennedy served in World War II and knew war up close and personal having been wounded in it. The point being made here is that neither presidents wanted war but they found themselves engaged in war and stepped up to the plate either on the battlefield or from the Oval Office.

Obama is such an elitist, such an intellectual, that he seemingly thinks he can continually sit down and talk and talk to the enemy and make them see reason because underneath his own reasoning is that he has the upper hand because he is the suave sophisticated intellectual who prides himself on being so above the fray that he doesn’t recognize the fray. To make matters worse, he views (or rather gives the impression) those whom he is trying to make see reason as essentially having no intelligence. This is not an administration which seeks out those with different opinions or those with expertise; this is an administration which seeks heaven on earth. It is an administration that seemingly thinks the likes of a Sen. John McCain or those in his ilk are so Vietnam-centric and hawk-driven that they are relics in a 21st Century. When in fact McCain is a realist who does not love war, but knows there can be war. Furthermore, he knows you damn well better win the war or there will be hell to pay in trying to attain heaven. One cannot give out timetables and have nothing to back it except goodwill and smiles. ISIS loved the goodwill and smiles and more than likely loved Obama’s pretty little speech before the nation’s most esteemed warriors. These groups, too, are warriors. They thrive on war. And their perception of a leader is their truth. And to reiterate, perception in international relations is a quasi-living being.

Ironically, Obama’s viewpoint and estranged philosophy is no more than the extreme left version of why America’s foreign policy fails just as it does with the extreme right version. Why? Because both versions reside in an archaic Western/Euro-centric thinking that the ‘natives’ can be controlled, never realizing that the ‘natives’ can think, too. The natives epitomized as the Third World/Developing Nations and/or the terrorist groups from those with a sophisticated technological network to the rag tag terrorist groups that kidnap little girls now perceive America’s commander- in-chief as weak.

And to be politically incorrect, let me mention the elephant in the room because he’s sitting right there: Unfortunately, Black males in America are already perceived as ‘weak’ post King and Malcolm X. For the record, I did not say they were ‘weak’ but perceived as weak. Whoever becomes the first female president will have this same problem to deal with. This is a world perception of the Black American male and of females regardless of female’s race, color or creed. Any woman who aspires to achieve can attest to the latter. Mandela, an African male leader would not have been tested as would have an African American male head of state. Moving on.

Putin certainly sees Obama as weak; he toys with him while the ‘natives’ are sitting in the balcony eating popcorn watching these two world leaders duke it out. And they are rooting for Putin in that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. They may not like him, but they respect him because he comes off as strong by telling Obama to go to hell in so many words and gestures.

America’s foreign policy remains common-sense challenged, because the foreign policy makers have yet to learn – from left to right—that when weak and controllable persons are propped up as ‘presidents’ of newly formed democracies (e.g. South Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) they will be easily toppled when America pulls out, especially when a ‘specific’ timetable is given. You don’t put the cats in charge and not expect the dogs to come in.

And getting back to the man of the hour, Putin: He picked up on Obama’s naiveté when Obama threatened sanctions on him and his inner circle of plutocrats. They were no doubt filing their fingernails as Obama gave them weeks upon weeks notice that he was going to put sanctions on Russia’s billionaires. If you were a Russian billionaire, would you not move your funds and secure your funds seeing that you got weeks of advance notice that someone was coming after your money? How dumb was that? That was so dumb that I am sure the Russian plutocrats and Putin (one of the richest men in the world) are munching on caviar and vodka resting their feet on gold bars while managing to see secure international bankers who had no problem accommodating them for the right price. Putting sanctions on Russia has made Putin more popular to Russians who view this act with the same indignation as Americans who would behave the same way were sanctions put on the U.S.A. Like it or not: Russia is Russia and to have put sanctions on it is also in the same vein as putting sanctions on Great Britain or France. As a matter of fact, one does not see Great Britain or France or Germany—our allies—chomping at the bit to really punish Putin. They need Russian pipelines and if the truth be told, they are sick and tired of engaging in America’s wars where there are no exit strategies or as in Obama’s case, no common sense of any consequence of what can happen once you pull out.

Then the Czar has stood before the world and announced that he wants America to get the hell off the International Space Station by 2020 and that Russia will no longer be NASA’s BFF. Of course, he can smile and tell this president anything and could very well kick NASA out before 2020. As I said before, Putin thrives on underestimation. Coupled with all this is the waltz Putin has orchestrated in Ukraine by bringing his troops two steps inside Ukraine and taking one step back as his ski-mask wearing agitators work their way inside Ukraine’s belly to provoke civil war while he cuts off Ukraine’s utilities. To reiterate, he probably now has a two-year plan to pull off a ‘civil war’ victory—physically and symbolically.

Yes, Putin is making all of these overt moves before 2016, because he knows he’s dealing with a president who wears rose-colored glasses.

As I’ve written: Czar Putin is a bastard but a brilliant bastard. He continually makes a fool of Obama each time Obama picks up the phone thinking Putin is going to see reason. Seemingly Obama actually believes he can talk the Czar into seeing reason. Seemingly he actually believes he is the more intellectual of the two and that somehow intellectualism will win out. Putin laughs and instead runs to the U.N. demanding that the U.N. should make Ukraine cease fire immediately. He paints Ukraine as the aggressor, knowing no one believes it, but it makes a mockery of the Obama.

At the end of the day Putin would have positioned himself to go into Syria, Iran or anywhere else that is anti-American or anti-American inclined and set up his own NATO-like organization to reincarnate the Warsaw Pact. So what will we have here? A New Axis? Already he is more welcomed in these places because he stood up to the U.S. sanctions. If he takes all of Ukraine under the guise of a civil war, he can send his own envoys in to dialogue with practically every terrorist group from the sophisticated (such as ISIS) to the ragtag ones at some point in time.

What should the U.S. do now? Certainly not boots on the ground because that’s embracing the conventional for the unconventional. What has to happen is for newly-elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (with all his billions and contacts) to bring in his own mercenaries and soldiers under that same guise of civil war as Putin has done. Poroshenko needs to play the same mind games as Putin. Such as when Putin went to the U.N. to demand that Ukraine cease fire; Poroshenko needs to go to the U.N. and to make worse accusations against Russia. In other words, Ukraine needs to be ready to win its ‘civil war’ and play chess. The U.S. needs to be even more open about supporting Ukraine’s efforts and then clandestinely aid and abet Ukraine to provide weaponry to Poroshenko’s ‘loyal’ mercenaries who should be expert in guerilla warfare. Furthermore, Polish troops also should go in clandestinely in with their ski masks, and other troops from nations that feel themselves threatened should Russia revert to re-gathering Cold War territories.

Yes, one can certainly see the role of “Captain Phillips” being recast. Putin is now simply saying to Obama: “Look at me. Look at me. I am the Captain now.” Getting Crimea was good; getting all of Ukraine would be even better in re-establishing Russia on the Balance of Power.

Bottom line: Ukraine has to win the ‘civil war’ because it is the ‘civil war’ which is the real war, and the U.S. has to at least look like it has backed a winner for a change.


*The above is on the Black Paper, Op/Ed, Editorial, and International lanes on The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway on . Welcome, Travelers!

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Adam Silver Flexes Muscles; Time for Players to Black Man-up

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

Adam Silver. Need we say more? This is the power of real leadership. We were in the process of releasing what might border on extreme to some, but when one is caught between tornado warnings and stuck with no electricity, Mother Nature rules even technology.

Perhaps the tornado was symbolic of what was to come.

But never would we have thought the NBA Commissioner would have the guts to do what he did to this billionaire racist a.k.a. Donald Sterling. Silver’s denouncement along with his “personal outrage” called for a rewrite in some instances. We, too, had written that the L.A. Clippers should be taken from Sterling. We didn’t know about the wherefores and therefores of what constituted ownership of an NBA team to be taken away. But that wouldn’t have been our point, because this was not only about sports but the politics of sports. And in politics, there is the power of ‘force’ just like a tornado which doesn’t care about your bank account or what you own. Silver’s NBA Lifetime Ban should dovetail nicely with Sterling’s NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award. Maybe he can use them as book ends.

In contrast to Silver, one saw a further weakened NAACP, especially when the L.A. NAACP president sat at a press conference on Tuesday before Silver’s denouncement and said that there “was room for forgiveness” for Sterling. Would someone tell this Black ‘boy’ that there is a profound difference between being a fool and a Christian? Today’s NAACP has already become a semi-joke in the Black community because everyone knows that a white can buy such awards as the Lifetime Achievement with the purchase of an annual banquet table and a cockroach in a glass jar. After which, quite miraculously the white perpetrators are forgiven of their sins! They’ve seen the light! Glory Hallelujah! Praise de Lawd! Everybody knows that you can promise the Black community everything and deliver nothing. Furthermore, you can go back and keep doing this. If you don’t believe this, ask worshippers of the Church of the Democratic Party as they bow before the Golden Donkey while the Elephant stomps on them.
The Jewish community says, “Never again.” The Black community says, “There’s room for forgiveness.” And we wonder why there’s a crisis in Black leadership, especially in Black economic leadership (which is nil)?

It’s time to Black man-up.

Now that Silver has stated that it is his intention to force Sterling to sell the L.A. Clippers, Blacks should back him with action. A Black group should take ownership. If Sterling fights it legally, so what? Declare war and Black man-up. Get your Black lawyers and go after him in court. That’s what Black lawyers did during the Civil Rights Movement. In this ‘war’, one flank (group) should be ready to take on the owners. Get ready to march (and this is where marching can be effective) at stadiums and if that means taking up funds to pay—or rather ‘employ’ out-of-work people to keep that line strong and going, then do it. There’s nothing unethical about that seeing that white plantation owners got poor whites to take their place during the Civil War. A second flank should consist of a group of Blacks to march on the sidewalks (public property) in these owners’ upstanding zillionaire neighborhoods and at their places of business. This should include Sterling’s neighborhood and his place(s) of business. To reiterate, there should be a specific group formed to get this done. Since Sterling declared ‘war’ on Black people and Black Jews he should be made an example of just as Blacks have historically been made examples of with worse such as with lynching, castration, slavery, and Jim Crow. Sterling would be getting off easy considering he has not had to suffer these!

This group should next head for the NFL. Goal: Black ownership of some NFL teams. About a year or two ago, Advertising Age had an article in which there was speculation that the NFL would be expanding in China. You can bet your bottom dollar Black ownership is nowhere on the agenda, but worse yet, you can bet that same bottom dollar Blacks are not looking at these expansion efforts of the NFL and NBA into Europe, Africa, and China or Mars for that matter. They’re too busy being employees rather than employers when the community needs both! Sit your Black ass down with your strawberry drink and pull your straw chair up to the table. Don’t ask. Just do it. Make demands. You don’t have to be rich to demand to be treated like a Black human being, and you don’t have to be rich to win the economic war. This is the reason why most monarchies don’t have power.

It has been the Black players who have fed white owners, clothed white owners, kept white owners in limousines, gave white owners fatter bank accounts. We don’t see any white owners out there making baskets. We don’t see them running up and down the floor bringing in crowds. We don’t see any white owners as white Magic Johnsons, white LeBron Jameses, or white Michael Jordans. White owners need to realize this is a two-way street. This should be about mutual capitalism. And mutual respect.

Also, what is interesting to note in Sterling’s tirade is the fact that he brought in a dialogue on ‘white Jews’ and “Black Jews”. He said that even ‘white Jews’ don’t want Black Jews in Israel. What makes this situation even sadder is that Sterling is of Jewish heritage, and of all people he should know better. He probably changed his name (unlike Blacks who cannot change their skin color) from Donald Tokowitz to Donald Sterling because he was discriminated against because of his Jewish roots. Has he been ‘passing’ as an American WASP as much as he could get away with? Changing his name might have been one way of Donald Tokowitz sneaking into the country club.

We wonder what the Anti-Defamation League has to say about Sterling’s assertion in his hatred of ‘Black Jews’? Or of his derision of African Americans, one of the Jewish community’s closest allies? Many Black soldiers helped to free Jews from Hitler’s Holocaust only to come home to live under the Jim Crow Holocaust. So where is the Jewish community on this matter?
We don’t see the Hispanic community coming out on this matter. Where are the women groups? We don’t see any Oriental Americans coming out? We don’t see the Gay community coming out (pun not intended)? We don’t see groups who advocate for the Disabled or Seniors coming out? All these groups benefited from the 1964 Black Civil Rights Movement. Ironically, it has been the advertising community which has acted as a quasi-civil rights group by pulling ads (money!). How strange is that?

Most of these little ethnic leeches have sucked the blood out of Black skin and gotten what they wanted, and Blacks have often found themselves in the same position as God (no blaspheme intended) that other ethnic groups don’t come to them unless they’re the ones in trouble. (And that includes the Democratic Party).

To the Black community, stop giving away the store. Get off de-fense! It’s time for a proud Zulu Warrior spirit to emerge. Force Donald Sterling to sell. By any means necessary. If that sounds radical, then it is no more radical than the Civil Rights Movement itself! Than King and Malcolm X! Ironically, it is no more radical than when the federal government aided and abetted white-owned banks in stealing Black farmland.

Like his alleged mistress or not, it took a woman to take down Sterling; just as it took Rosa Parks to stand her ground.

It’s time to Black man-up.


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Robert Gates’ “Duty” Presents ‘Fortuitous’ Insights

-A Book Review-

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

I was finishing up the first draft of a book review of “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” by former Secretary of Defense Robert “Bob” Gates when all hell broke out in the Ukraine. It was almost fortuitous how Gates’ book provided an uncanny insight into what is now an ongoing crisis.

As a matter of fact, my receiving a copy of Gates’ book was fortuitous in itself. I had once met Gates. I was one of 12 journalists invited to have luncheon one afternoon in the Roosevelt Room with President George H. W. Bush. My place card seated me directly across from the President and on my right side this little white card seated me next to Bob Gates. I glanced at him, hopefully I minded my manners and said ‘hello’, but I don’t remember. All I do remember is thinking: ‘Why are they sitting me next to the CIA Director?’ and then I went back to semi-hammering the President about what would become an impending Gulf War with such pseudonyms as “Desert Storm” and “Shock and Awe”. Anyway, I doubt very seriously if Gates even has any memory of this, and in spite of my semi-hammering the President, I did receive a surprising second White House invitation.

This was an animated afternoon which is now stilled in an official White House photograph which has become part of the history of my life. (Just for the record: To those who are staunch this or staunch that, I play no political favorites for I have interviewed presidents, senators, and other politicos across party lines and have covered national conventions of both Democrats and Republicans and their respective politics… Now let’s get on with this, shall we?)

“Duty” does not deal with George H. W. Bush’s presidential term except for a tad bit reference here and there. Gates has served under eight presidents. “Duty” deals with two of them: President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

The book jacket shows a full face photo of Gates which I thought depicted a man not to be F— ed with. I thought it mirrors not only Gates’ frustration and seriousness – but yes, his anger and disgust in an environment where ‘duty’ had perhaps become a four-letter word.

When “Duty” was released, the controversy surrounding it centered on whether or not it should have been released while President Obama was still in office. Well, seeing that Edward Snowden is sipping a Black Russian cocktail and munching on caviar with Vladimir Putin releasing “Duty” seems inconsequential. And seeing what is presently going on in the Ukraine with Crimea, I am glad it hit the bookshelves and Kindles because what Gates does is provide a background of both Bush and Obama which gives insight into Russia becoming a 21st Century international player. It examines the fumbles and miscalculations of both administrations regarding Russia’s reentry into Georgia and Ukraine, respectively.
In flashback and in light of the Ukrainian fiasco, Gates first gives insight to Obama as a commander- in-chief on how Obama handled the hotly debated question of whether or not to send in a surge of new troops into Afghanistan:

“The meeting was unlike any I ever attended in the Oval Office. Obama, Biden, Mullen, Cartwright, Patraeus, Emanuel, Jones, and I were there…Then there was an exchange that’s seared into my memory. Joe Biden said he had argued for a different approach and was ready to move forward, but the military ‘should consider the president’s decision as an order’. ‘I am giving an order,’ Obama quickly said. I was shocked. I had never heard a president explicitly frame a decision as a direct order. With the American military, it is completely unnecessary….Former Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, in his book ‘It Worked for Me,’ writes, ‘In my thirty-five years of service, I don’t ever recall telling anyone, ‘That’s an order’. And now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever heard anyone else say it.’ Obama’s ‘order’, at Biden’s urging, demonstrated, in my view, the complete unfamiliarity of both men with the American military culture. That order was unnecessary and insulting, proof positive of the depth of the Obama White House’s distrust of the nation’s military leadership.”

This is all detailed in the chapter “Afghanistan: A House Divided” and is one of the most compelling. Good stuff. Really good stuff.

But if you want a douse of cold vodka thrown in your face then read and re-read the Russia section of the chapter entitled “Difficult Foes, Difficult Friends”. Gates doesn’t hold back when he elaborates on what the Obama administration called a “New Start” which morphed such ‘strategic arms reduction treaties’ as SALT, START, and SORT —or as Gates called them “acronym hell”—into yes, a ‘New Start’ initiative with Russia. He writes: “…I informed the president a few days later that at the exact moment of the signing ceremony, the Russian military had been conducting a nuclear attack exercise against the United States. A nice Putin touch, I thought.”

If the reader is expecting a stilted style of writing, this is not. The narrative flows easily; therefore, in that sense it is commercially written. “Duty” would make a good summer beach read (though not a quick one!). Okay, I would like to see “Duty, the movie”, for it lends itself to that “Primary Colors” or “All the President’s Men” movie niche.

And speaking of the latter, a Washington Post story written by famed Watergate busting reporter Bob Woodward which allegedly resulted from 21st Century White House leaks became the object of Obama’s ire. From that Afghanistan chapter, Gates says: “The Post had given us advance warning it was going to run the story, and over the weekend Cartwright, Flournoy, and Geoff Morrell negotiated with Woodward and others from the Post to remove sensitive numbers, references…They had some success, but they could not redact the political bombshell the story represented…After I left office, I was chagrined to hear from an insider I trust that McChrystal’s staff had leaked the assessment out of impatience with both the Pentagon and the White House….”
Gates goes on: “Anger and suspicion were further fueled six days later when CBS-TV program 60 Minutes aired an interview with McChrystal…An infuriated president, Mullen and I repeatedly discussed what he regarded as military pressure on him… ‘Is it a lack of respect for me? Are they [‘he meant Petraeus, McChrystal, and Mullen] (Note: These are Gates’ brackets) trying to box me in? …Do they resent that I never served in the military? Do they think because I’m young that I don’t see what they’re doing?’ …Again and again I tried to persuade Obama that there was no plan, no coordinated effort by the three military men to jam him…”

In spite of the controversy regarding how maybe Gates trashed Obama, he in fact provides a balanced assessment of both Obama’s and George W. Bush’s administrations and of the men themselves. Gates even provides some accolades of Obama such as: “But Obama and I were both embarking on uncharted waters in the middle of two wars. There was no precedent, since the creation of the Defense Department in 1947, for a sitting secretary to stay on in a newly elected administration, even when the same party held on to the White House…”

And in all fairness regarding that “uncharted waters in the middle of two wars…” it is George W. Bush who was responsible for that ‘water’ even if Gates found it upsetting that Obama did not take ownership of the two wars he inherited. Gates’ reasoning was that once you are elected president whatever mess is leftover you inherit it and you would do best to man up to the task. Just as presidents inherit debts, presidents also inherit wars.

What is also pronounced in my opinion is how undermined Gates was in the Obama administration; how Gates, a political veteran, is thrown into an administration and into a protocol of nouveau politicos where ego serves as the adrenaline for getting something done—or not done—or undone. It was a typical case of classic Generation Gap which should have had no place in structuring foreign policy.

Gates writes: “… [F]or the first several months under Obama, it took a lot of discipline to sit quietly at the table as everyone from the president on down took shots at Bush and his team. Sitting there, I would often think to myself, ‘Am I invisible?’ During those excoriations, there was never any acknowledgement that I had been an integral part of that earlier team.”
The further I read into Gates’ memoir, the more I viewed Vice President Joe Biden as being more cause-and-effect on the Obama administration than perhaps he should be. Biden serves as a quasi-envoy between the generations, though I’ve often suspected that Biden was a trial balloon incarnate or the prankster who opens his big mouth and controversial issues spew out like the green vomit in the Exorcist (e.g. the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell military policy which Biden commented on allegedly before the administration was ready to deal with the policy or even before the military could revisit it. Gates does discuss this topic’s ramifications at length.)

Gates writes that he was surprised that President Obama asked him to serve as Secretary of Defense in the first place, yet he felt a ‘duty’ to do so as he had with previous presidents who had asked him. (One has to only read how he came back into this White House world with President George W. Bush to see this public servant quality about him).

What is missing in “Duty” is that elephant in the room that these recent books/memoirs in this ilk fail to address which is that Barack Obama is unique in that he is America’s first Black president. That in itself should serve as a legitimate variable in Gates’ or anybody else’s panoramic assessment of the Obama administration in comparing it to lily white presidencies. Not that it is the only variable; but nevertheless, a very significant variable. (It would be the same once the first female is elected president, though I highly suspect that discussing the first female would be less cumbersome and less sensitive than discussing the first Black, a point very much indicative of how race remains a factor in the political-socio makeup. Besides, the first female more than likely will be Caucasian anyway. )
In somewhat addressing this elephant in all its political correctness, Gates simply points out that America is a great nation because it provided this unique opportunity “…where dreams come true. Where an African-American can become president. And where a kid from Kansas…became secretary of defense of the most powerful nation in history…”

What Gates provides – albeit inadvertently—is a disturbing picture of the naiveté of a post-Civil Rights generational Black (Obama) believing because he is the total package (e.g. pedigree degrees, social set, etc.) that he actually resides in a Post Racial America and what is even more disturbing is that Gates—albeit inadvertently– depicts a post-Civil Rights generational Caucasian (Obama’s staff) which believes it too resides in a Post Racial America.

Ironically, this is the beauty of Gates’ book: He is perhaps among the first (if not the first) to define this political-socio paradox of race in the highest quarters of the Executive Branch, the presidency—without setting out to do so.
An Old Guard like Gates knows race can be a factor but moreover he feels himself as having a “Duty”—(pardon the pun) to carry out because whoever holds the title of president is to be respected as such. He’s built that way. It is his type of glue which the Obama administration pulled apart then set outside to freeze.

I am suspecting that Gates would not have published a memoir while Obama’s predecessors were still sitting presidents. But it was a different world even when George W. Bush ascended to the Oval Office in the 21st Century. It was not an era of Facebook, Tweets, Yahoo, Google, Bing, blogs, websites—you get my drift. That different world aspect also represented a protocol, a rule of thought, a rule of carrying out presidential directives (whether one agreed with them or not). What Gates constantly kept experiencing was that ego played on a Generation Gap landscape continued to be the driving force in policy making. To reiterate, this is where the immaturity lies in the Obama administration.
Gates observes how Obama is constantly viewing that his policies are being questioned because of his youth. As a reader, I am asking myself ‘what youth?’ The youngest president was Theodore Roosevelt; the youngest ‘elected’ president was John F. Kennedy–and there have been others in their 40’s elected to the highest office in the land such as Bill Clinton. Or could it be that the president in some Freudian fashion wants to say ‘race’ instead of ‘youth’? But, of course, that’s being politically incorrect.

“Duty” is important. It should be a mandatory read to political science and history students because it is among the first—if not the first—of an interwoven historical account of America fighting two wars at once and because it deals with the historical significance of America’s first Black president. Gates provides solid accounts which neither shy away from objective and subjective analysis nor from the rocky landscape of executive decision making. Gates’ boldness is why the book became raw meat for a dog pound of pundits.

“Duty” is also important because—aforementioned– Gates provides an insight into Russia which has eerily projected itself onto what became events that unraveled a 2014 Ukraine and possibly brought back the Cold War.

If one were to do a content analysis, “Duty” morphs into a paradigm in analyzing America’s foreign policy for future crisis management.


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The White House Bratmobile and Col. Charles Young

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

Since the Commander-in-Chief cannot fight the Russians, he has chosen to fight the National Coalition of Black Veterans. For this, he has unleashed what can be called the White House Bratmobile which consists of pseudo white liberals (I refer to them as Jungle Jims because they’re only happy when they ‘lead’ silent Black people) on his staff. When these pompous ass brats do not get their way, they resort to mobilizing a Willie Lynch campaign which moves on temper tantrums and retaliation when it comes to the African American community. I mean, many African Americans know that some of the most racist Caucasians are in fact those who view themselves as liberal whites. Blah! Blah!
This piece is going to get dirty. However, I figure since the Bratmobile has gotten into the mud then I might as well get into the mud, too. So, to those who don’t want to read further or think that I am disrespecting America’s first African American president, be that as it may. Moving on into the mud pit.
First of all the Bratmobile has released a blitzkrieg of publicity on now recognizing minority soldiers with belated medals of honors. On Tuesday, March 18, in the year of our Lord, 2014, the nation’s first Black president hosted a beautiful ceremony for these soldiers who deserved to be recognized. Before these, the White House honored nine other minority soldiers with belated medals and they, too, deserved to be recognized. But these gestures are not what they seem: Sincere. These gestures are in response to and a retaliation against the National Coalition of Black Veterans which has been campaigning for an “Honorary Promotion” of Col. Charles Young.
We’ve been writing about Col. Young’s achievements in our strong support of the National Coalition of Black Veterans. We shall not repeat all of the Colonel’s achievements here due to space.
For two years, the Coalition has politely asked the White House and the Commander-in-Chief for an “Honorary Promotion” for Col. Young to the rank of “Honorary General”. Among his numerous achievements, Col. Young was the third African American cadet to graduate from West Point. At the time of his death in 1922 he was the highest ranking Black officer in the military– a segregated military.
So, to those African American soldiers and others who received their belated medals, you need to thank the National Coalition of Black Veterans for being the impetus in making this happen. The point being that their medals and ceremonies emanated from the White House’s retaliatory measures against the National Coalition of Black Veterans.
Let’s get deeper into the mud: The President’s Bratmobile snubbed again the National Coalition of Black Veterans when the President refused to come for a Black History event to honor Col. Young. This snub came after the White House had promised several times to call the coalition months before the event and led them on that the President would participate. The Black Veterans inquired again; the Bratmobile promised yet again. But no cigar.
Since then the President has had time to display his comedic skills on a web series.

At the National Coalition of Black Veterans’ Black History ceremony, Cong. Barbara Lee gave her letter of support to the National Coalition of Black Veterans for Col. Young and sent a representative. All members of the Congressional Black Caucus have signed off on letters of support. Haitian Ambassador Paul G. Altidor and Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf along with other notables have sent letters of support (Col. Young served in Africa while in the U.S.A. Army). World War I hero General Jack Pershing supported Col. Young in spite of risking his own career, knowing that Young did not get his next step of promotion because white soldiers made it clear that they would not salute a Black general.
W.E.B. Du Bois gave the eulogy for Col. Young in 1922.
Said Du Bois who knew Young: “…No one ever knew the truth about the hell he went through at West Point. He seldom even mentioned it. The pain was too great. Few knew what faced him always in his army life. It was not enough for him to do well—he must always do better; and so much and so conspicuously better, as to disarm the scoundrels that ever trailed him. He lived in the army surrounded by insult and intrigue and yet he set his teeth and kept his soul serene and triumphed.”
Fast forwarding to the 21st Century: Col. Young is still being trailed by
scoundrels and going through hell—from the first African American Commander-in-Chief who has let loose his Bratmobile to inflict more pain in his memory.
Cong. Lee has been one of those leading this fight to get this honor bestowed on Col. Charles Young who was also denied his promotion due to the influence segregationist Mississippi Governor Bilbo had in President Wilson’s White House.
To beef up this denial of Col. Young’s Honorary Promotion, the White House Bratmobile has utilized what I call the Triple Willie Lynch strategy of squashing the National Black Coalition of Black Veterans. Now, with all due respect, many African Americans know about the Willie Lynch approach; yet, because Black citizens want to respect America’s first African American president, they have inadvertently allowed the Bratmobile to structure the following strategy to punish and to step up its retaliation against the Black Veterans.
This is the Triple Willie Lynch strategy : 1). If you ignore a Black long enough, he/she will just go away like a gnat; thus, this is why the Bratmobile has ignored the National Coalition of Black Veterans. That didn’t work. 2). Politicos know that you can promise African Americans anything but you don’t have to deliver anything; thus, the Bratmobile promised over and over and over that the White House would get back in touch—for two years this promise was made. But the National Coalition of Black Veterans didn’t stop pursuing. So, that didn’t work. 3). African Americans know of the ‘We have one’ approach. This means that if you reward one Black or Black group, you are at liberty to punish the “troublemaking” Black by any means necessary. In this case, that would be the National Black Coalition of Black Veterans which now is being punished with this slew of belated medals bestowed on other minority soldiers ‘to teach them a lesson!’ This way the Bratmobile can say “See, we have done right by Black veterans… see, we are good people… See, we’re Democrats which means we can do what we want to African Americans because we now have a Black president…so if we disrespect the National Black Coalition of Black Veterans, it doesn’t matter…” and all the while they’re styling, smiling and profiling for the mainstream press. The Bratmobile is grinning because it has trounced the National Black Coalition of Black Veterans for not keeping its proverbial Black place and for being the proverbial Black troublemakers, especially during a mid-term election year.
The White House Bratmobile is known for its temper tantrums and how it goes after anybody or any entity which does not acquiesce.
We shall not acquiesce on this matter and will continue to strongly support the National Coalition of Black Veterans in this effort.
For the record, some of the members of this venerable group of Black Veterans are: The American Legion-Charles Young Post #398; Los Banos Buffalo Soldiers 9th and 10th Cavalry, Los Banos, CA; The USCG National Association of Former Stewards and Mates; The Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Committee-Inland Empire Heritage Association; The Association of the 2221 Negro Infantry Volunteers World War II; The National Association of Black Veterans; The African American Patriots Consortium, Inc.; The 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Association; The 555th Black Paratroopers Association; 369th Veterans Association; Montford Point Marine Association, Inc.—among others.
The National Coalition of Black Veterans does not deserve this treatment. It has done nothing to deserve this type of disrespect. It has done nothing to deserve this type of retaliation. It has done nothing to deserve this type of on-going two-year attempts at humiliation. These honorable men and women have done nothing but exhibit the finest example of bravery, commitment, and patriotism. Col. Young does not deserve this treatment.
The White House has delivered the lowest form of behavior one can towards the front defenders of this nation. And that is a downright, lowdown dirty shame.
The White House Bratmobile has temper tantrums. When it has temper tantrums it does not care about the repercussions.
The National Coalition of Black Veterans continues to remain respectful to the Commander-in-Chief; each member remains dignified.
But I don’t have to be dignified. I choose to get into the foxhole. And in the history of my life, this will not be my first mud fight. We have made a commitment to continue our strongest support of these Black Veterans and if this means writing about it until a new president is elected, then so be it.
And to you Black soldiers who received your medals belatedly, send a thank you note to the National Coalition of Black Veterans and send up your prayers for Col. Young that the right thing is done by him.

*The above is on the Editorial, Op Ed, and Africa lanes on The Mid-South Tribune and Black Information Highway at .

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Putin’s Ukraine Invasion, Robert Gates, and Russian Roulette

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

I remember watching NBC’s Olympics coverage and watching Vladimir Putin and watching what was going on in Ukraine. I remarked to those around me: “When the Olympics are over, he’s is going to kick ass, and Mitt Romney is going to get the last laugh.”

I did not agree with Romney on much, but I was in perfect accord with him when he spoke of Russia and the Cold War. The political pundits and even the President himself had a field day with the one-time presidential candidate saying that he was out of touch with reality. I never felt the Cold War was over but rather was put in the refrigerator with the rest of the ice cubes.
Coincidentally before this Russian Roulette with Ukraine started I was finishing up a rough draft of my review of “Duty” by former Secretary of Defense Robert ‘Bob’ Gates. Because of my intense interest in Russia and being a Putin watcher, I was especially drawn to Gates’ chapters on America’s foreign policy relating to Russia and member nations of a collapsed Warsaw Pact. “Duty” covers only Gates’ tenure under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (For the record, Gates has served under eight presidents).
You see, I’ve always thought of Czar Putin as a bastard, but a brilliant bastard. He thrives on underestimation. Presently, he has checkmated the U.S. and Obama. When the Czar comes out of this he either will be closer to sitting on a re-constituted Balance of Power scale or in fact sitting there.
If America’s foreign policy continues in its naïve Euro-centric mode of thinking which floats in that river called denial which allows the U.S. to get into major conflicts without reasonable exit strategies, China will be on the other end of that scale along with Russia. This nation cannot keep going to war and remaining on foreign territory for generations then look up and wonder why it’s hated, resented, and why guerilla tactics are geared up to drive out America. Practically every Euro-nation has had to learn this valuable lesson colonialism provided.
Also, if America’s foreign policy continues to define itself by whittling down a Defense budget with more regard to appeasing those who want to ‘give peace a chance’ rather than deal with the cold reality that there are those who want to take down Number One (U.S.A.) just to say they took down Number One. Having said this, any rational person wants peace and tranquility. Oh, if the world were comprised one-hundred percent of rational persons!

While in Bush’s administration, here’s what Gates says about Putin during the Georgian crisis: “The Russians had baited the trap, and the impetuous [Mikheil] Saakashvili walked right into it. The Russians, Putin in particular, wanted to reassert Russia’s traditional sphere of influence, including the Caucasus. I was asked by a reporter if I trusted Vladimir Putin ‘anymore’? I responded, ‘Anymore’ is an interesting word. I have never believed that one should make national security policy on the basis of trust. I think you make national security policy based on interests and on realities.’ I said to some of my colleagues privately that I’d looked into Putin’s eyes and, just as I expected, had seen a stone-cold killer.”
In reading “Duty” especially in light of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, I am more than convinced that in the Obama administration those who had the expertise, knowledge and maturity about foreign policy constantly were either being undermined and/or sabotaged. I am convinced that Gates (along with a few others) had to get the hell out of Dodge to save his sanity if not his soul. Strong words from yours truly? Yes. Moving on.

One has to wonder what assessment Gates would make of current events; and by the same token I was wondering if he himself made a fatal flaw in thinking that Ukraine should not have been fast-tracked into NATO when he was in the first Bush administration.
He writes: “But moving so quickly after the collapse of the Soviet Union to incorporate so many of its formerly subjugated states into NATO was a mistake. Including the Baltic states, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary quickly was the right thing to do, but I believe the process should then have slowed…The Russians had long historical ties to Serbia, which we largely ignored. Trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching. The roots of the Russian Empire trace back to Kiev in the ninth century, so that was an especially monumental provocation.”
It would seem that not fast tracking Ukraine has come back to bite the U.S. in the buttocks.
To reiterate, now Putin has checkmated the U.S. and Obama. Granted this checkmate did not start with Obama but like it or not, Obama can use the same advice parents give their teenage daughters: As long as you’re the one left literally holding the bag, you’re the one who had better be the most responsible.

Of course, Czar Putin is correctly predicting that any U.S. –led sanctions placed upon it will backfire against the West. I believe he is right, because these sanctions rest in the sphere-of-empty words. Putin just might feel that he can hold out against any sanctions until after 2016 just to negotiate with a new president and to embarrass Obama. Besides, I would ascertain that our allies are tired of following America into seemingly non-ending wars. Putin is quietly chortling every time President Obama makes what can amount to no more than empty threats. Putin is mockingly saying: ‘What are you going to do? Fight three wars at the same time?’

Furthermore, don’t think Putin has not looked at how many American generals and others with high military rank have been behaving badly? And why is the military morale so low? There is a reason for this that the President/Commander in Chief needs to examine along with a nation which has been disrespecting its soldiers since Vietnam.
Yes, the real truth—long before Obama took office—is that America has been looking like a ‘loser’ on the war front since Vietnam. In international relations, perception is a very determinate variable in any realistic framework of analysis. That variable eventually morphs into an indicator—into a measurement– to determine the effectiveness of a foreign policy. America’s foreign policy is murky at best; indefinable at worse.
The global stock markets are precarious with this crisis of a renewed – yes—Cold War. But in the 21st Century it is beyond me why the international money makers (e.g. multi-national banks and companies) are not formally thrown into the mix in determining foreign policy—here or in Russia, for I am sure if I were a little birdie on the wall, Putin, who is one of the world’s wealthiest people, has received clandestine calls or messages from his fellow billionaires and zillionaires who are watching their purses on the monetary global front. Why the world’s ‘One Percent’ is not viewed as more of a substantial player in the international relations framework of analysis has puzzled me. I feel underneath this crisis, this player might be the catalyst to slow down Putin, seeing that his personal billions are at stake because unlike his old communist Russian counterparts, Putin is the new hybrid of capitalism and communism. He is the communist poster child for Adam Smith. He’s learned well the lesson from that Chinese model of capitalism with a red twist. Yes, money makes the world go ‘round. Unfortunately.

Gates writes the following on the suggestion of any sanctions tactics during Russia’s Georgian invasion: “…President Bush and all his senior advisers knew that if we took strong unilateral political and economic action against Russia, we ran the risk of the United States, rather than the Russians, becoming isolated over the invasion. A statement by the European Union criticizing the invasion by [sic] was predictably tepid. So as much as most of us wanted strong action against Russia, we suppressed our feelings and agreed to march in lockstep with our NATO allies…”
Putin’s fatal flaw might have been in not moving quicker to hem up Ukraine. In hindsight, when the Soviet Union collapsed the U.S. should have moved quicker (contrary to what Gates asserts) with rough edges and all to lead those Soviet “subjugated states” into NATO. After all at that time, what could Russia have done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. This time if Czar Putin had moved quicker, with all due respect, what could the United States have done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing but bitch (which is all it is doing presently coupled with Secretary of State Kerry offering a weak Ukraine government $1 billion in aid). To reiterate, this nation cannot fight three wars? Europe wishes to do no more than pay lip service in the form of sending in some team to investigate Ukraine’s complaint (I am sure Putin is chuckling over that!) after all is said and done, pretty much like Gates summed up during Russia’s 1968 invasion of the Czechoslovakia crisis regarding sanctions: “As horrified as the Europeans said they were by the brutal invasion, for them, everything was back to business with the Soviets within three or four months.” So it will be in 2014.
Even if Putin were to half-step back, he still comes out smelling like an international proverbial rose because he at least has the façade of being a winner—of being a leader—of being a czar. Like him or not. He is theoretically closer to bringing back the Balance of Power. All because America has an administration which was caught with its pants down due not to an earnest blunder but due to an arrogance of a new generation of powerniks who are more adept to working social media technology than working real time in international politics which old fogies like Putin and Gates who can put them out to pasture on “Animal Farm” with their knowledge base.

How do you Tweet ‘screw up’?


*See the above on the Editorial and Op/Ed lanes on The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway at http://www.blackinformationhighway. Welcome, Traveler!

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President Obama, Sergeant Cory Remsburg and Col. Charles Young

By Arelya J. Mitchell, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway

“Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit. My fellow Americans, men and women like Cory remind us that America has never come easy. Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble, we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged. But for more than 200 years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress—to create the build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice; and fairness, and equality under the law so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen…”

The above is a quote from President Barack Obama’s January 28, 2014 State of the Union Address as he pays homage to Sergeant First Class Rory Remsburg whom he’d visited four times while this brave American was recovering from what could have been fatal wounds when a mine went off in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Remsburg received well worthy cheers and a standing ovation from members of both parties. These cheers and ovations lasted longer than anything the President said that night and these accolades were respectfully accorded in a bi-partisan spirit to honor this soldier. At the end of the day it is the soldier who protects citizens be they Democrats, Republicans, independents, Black, White, Hispanic, Oriental, Native Americans – all citizens regardless of race, color, sex, or creed.

“Col. Young is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Col. Charles Young never gives up, and he does not quit. My fellow Americans, men and women like Col. Young remind us that America has never come easy. Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble, we make mistakes; we get frustrated or discouraged. But for more than 200 years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress—to create the build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice; and fairness, and equality under the law so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen…”
Of course, the President made no reference to Col. Charles Young in his State of the Union Address. Col. Charles Young died in 1922. Col Young was the highest ranking Black officer in the Army at the time of his death.

For nearly two years, the National Coalition of Black Veterans*, which represents every branch of the military, has been practically begging for the Commander-in-Chief to give Col. Charles Young an ‘Honorary’ promotion to General. You see, Col. Young should have been promoted but because he was African American, he was not.

The National Coalition of Black Veterans had put in numerous requests to the White House to present a bronze maquette of Col. Young on horseback by renowned sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez.

The Black Veterans finally had to resort to the Congressional Black Caucus for a second time, and for the second time it was Cong. Barbara Lee who so passionately stepped in and sent a second letter to the President only to be met with a steel wall of indifference. Should such treatment have been news? Of course not. This is the same President/Commander-in-Chief who scolded this respected organization of African American congressional leaders for “whining.”

“What are you whining about?” he chastised them standing on a podium for all the nation and world to witness. Never mind that he kept refusing to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus in 2009 after he became America’s first Black president, when the Congressional Black Caucus like so many African Americans were foot soldiers in getting him elected. Never mind that he had met with everyone and every other group that did not have ‘Black’ and/or African American as an adjective attached to it. This modus operandi has been this administration’s strategy—or shall we say ‘marketing’ strategy to sell the President as an unthreatening Black male from day one. Why it continues is beyond our understanding.

So, it came as no surprise when Cong. Barbara Lee, obviously a Black woman and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was put in her proverbial place of being ignored, just as was done to the National Coalition of Black Veterans.

We have been following this story very closely. We have written editorials regarding the matter. So, when we asked and were told that the White House had called Mr. Charles Blatcher III, chairman of the National Coalition of Black Veterans and founder of the National Minority Military Museum Foundation, there was hope that the right thing would be done by Col. Young who loved his country even when his country did not love him back.

Seeing that this is Black History Month when the Black Veterans had this event scheduled to present a bronze maquette to the President, we asked again how things were coming along with their requests. We were told that the White House had called in early December 2013. At that time the Coalition was led to believe the President would accept this honor. We double-checked during this Black History Month, and we received the following statement on February 15, 2014 from Blatcher:

“Members of the Coalition are extremely disappointed in what appears to be the run-around in how the White House Scheduling Office has dealt with our request for an audience with the President. We received a telephone call from the Scheduling Office in December informing us that our request was being processed. We were told to expect a follow-up call in a few weeks. The second call came approximately six weeks later on February 3rd from the same office. However, this time the caller was offering an apology for the President missing the February 1st program. We informed him that no program happened on February 1st. We have been waiting for a response to our request for a
meeting with the President to make a presentation of the Colonel Young maquette to the nation. He apologized for his misunderstanding of the facts and asked that we re-submit the request by e-mail. Again, we were told someone would be in touch. Well, it has not happened yet. While we still maintain a sense of optimism, our hope is fading with the passing of each day. February is a short month. We would hate to think the White House could not find time in the President’s schedule to accept the small statue of a Black American Military Hero who symbolizes the dedication, courage and pride in which Black Veterans have historically served this nation. One could certainly argue those historic contributions made it possible for him to occupy the office of Commander-in-Chief.”

All right, I’ve had enough. I don’t care if I am condemned to the dungeons of hell for saying what I am about to. Besides, in the history of my life I have had the KKK pick up the phone and call me choice names (which I returned)—and this was in the 1990’s. This man who is America’s first Black president has continually let be implemented a political strategy to disassociate himself from practically anything and everything associated with his race, outside of his immediate family. He has been paraded by white pseudo liberals whom I have labeled Jungle Jims and has bent over so backwards not to seem that he’s giving favors to Black Americans that he’s one step from being up there with ‘Step ‘n Fetch it’. I mean, can you imagine America’s first Jewish president (and there will be one one day) chastising a Jewish organization with “what are you whining about?” or America’s first Hispanic president (and there will be one one day), saying to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: “What are you whining about?” John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president, and I cannot imagine he would have said to Irish American Catholics: “What are you whining about?”

Of course, the Congressional Black Caucus still wanting to give him the respect of being America’s first Black president constantly has been put in a position of whenever the President says ‘jump’, they ask ‘how high?’ or if he needs votes, they deliver them then crawl back down into the belly of the beast (Congress) until he needs their votes again. How pathetic is this ‘one-sided’ symbiotic relationship? They’ve been respectful for longer than he deserves because they know and he knows that if they give the appearance of being disrespectful to a Black man who is President, they would catch holy hell from Black constituents. Perfect Catch-22 for them; a win-win for him.

During World War I Secretary of War Newton Baker pushed for Young’s promotion until President Woodrow Wilson backed down at the behest of Mississippi Gov. Theodore Bilbo, an avowed segregationist. Even General John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing canvassed for Young’s promotion. During World War I, Pershing took command of the all-Black 10th Cavalry Regiment (an original Buffalo Soldier regiment), because African American soldiers were not allowed to have command of their own troops. Pershing was so derided for commanding a Black regiment that he was known first as ‘Nigger Jack’ which later transformed into ‘Black Jack’ as he became a popular ‘white’ war hero.

President Truman crossed the color line and integrated the Armed forces. Truman also promoted posthumously Colonel William “Billy” Mitchell to rank of Major General; President George H.W. Bush awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Freddie Stowers of World War I; President Bill Clinton pardoned Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper, the first African American West Point graduate who was wrongfully discharged because of racism.

Here we are in the 21st Century and still no promotion for Col. Young– honorary or otherwise.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia sent a letter of support. Haiti’s Ambassador Paul G. Altidor sent a letter of support. Chief Methuselah Z.O. Bradley IV of the Republic of Sierra Leone sent a letter of support. Oh, but, of course these letters of posthumous support were from Black people. Of course, if these letters had come from the Queen of England, the honorary promotion would have been a done deal. The Jungle Jims around President Obama would have immediately seen to that! Then, of course, he never would have asked the Queen of England, “What are you whining about?”

This type of disrespect never should have been exhibited toward this Black soldier.
This President—of all presidents—should have never disrespected Black Veterans.
Let us remember during this Black History Month, the National Coalition of Black Veterans never would exist had it not been for the fact that this country—home of the brave and free—divided the Army into black and white. Never mind that the same blood shed was red.

This President—of all presidents—never should have disrespected a Black Congressional female who represents the likes of Cong. Shirley Chisholm who was the first African American to run for president— before Rev. Jesse Jackson; before Rev. Al Sharpton.

This President—of all presidents—should have never, never, never, never have stood before the world and said to the Congressional Black Caucus, “What are you whining about?” These were the men and women who combed the bushes, stomped the grounds, stood up in Black church podiums… some of whom started the task before he was thought of – who supported him. Such honorable men as Gen. Colin Powell even crossed party lines—to make ‘American’ history… and we cannot even imagine if Cong. Shirley Chisholm or Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton or Gen. Colin Powell had become America’s first Black president standing up in front of the world in a day of advance technology saying to the Congressional Black Caucus: “What are you whining about?”

This matter is not about political affiliation any more than it was when the brave Sergeant Cory was lauded for his contribution before the nation—before the world. Whatever color, creed, sex or race that soldier is, he or she is to be respected for being America’s warriors. So when there was one such as Col. Charles Young who protected this nation under segregation so that Sergeant Cory one day may protect his country under desegregation is constantly being denied this rightful honors, his accolades, his applause, his standing ovation, it’s a lowdown dirty shame that he gets snubbed by America’s first Black Commander in Chief.

Never, never, never should this type of disrespect have been shown to the National Coalition of Black Veterans. Never, never, never should this type of disrespect have been shown to the Congressional Black Caucus.

Never, never, never should this type of disrespect have been shown to this Black soldier, to this Black Colonel, to this Black patriot! May he rest in peace!

Never, should this type of dishonor be accepted. Never, never, never!


For full list of Coalition members, travel on the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune at

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