By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
As Incredible as it may seem—at least to some of us—Charles Barkley will be hosting a network show on TNT entitled “The Race Card.” This announcement gets even harder to believe based on the name of the show. Barkley is described in an article by the AP wire as being sincere and “having something to contribute.” Be that as it may, the name of the show doesn’t get Barkley or anyone else off to a credible start.
What does it mean to “play the race card”? In researching this term, there are several interpretations. Wikipedia says that: “The phrase is commonly used to allege that someone has deliberately and falsely accused another person of being a racist in order to gain some sort of advantage.” Charles Blow who writes for the New York Times wrote an extensive article about the usages of the “race card” which included President Obama and several prominent Americans.
But it was former Attorney General Eric Holder who spoke more direct about this matter to ABC news: “I have a particular revulsion for this phrase because of all that it implies: that people often invoke race as a cynical ploy to curry favor, or sympathy, and to cast aspersions on the character of others. Maybe there are some people who do this, but I have never known a single person to admit to it or be proven to have done it. Sure, living in a society still replete with racial bias can make one hypersensitive, to the point of seeing it even when it isn’t there. But this to me isn’t evidence of malicious intent, but rather the manifestation of chronic injury.”
The phrase has been used as a defense by many Whites who don’t believe that Blacks are recipients of racial discrimination. Contrary to these beliefs, empirical research says otherwise. Holder’s reaction to the phrase is clearly understandable and his reaction is shared by most Blacks except Charles Barkley and others. The interview with Barkley is all over the place. He says that racism exist and perhaps always will, while at the same time he states: What I’m trying to do with the show is, all the racial BS is somewhere in the middle. It’s not black and white…like everything is not all what it seems…”It’s unfortunate and indeed demoralizing that many Whites embrace this term and use it to discount their behavior when it comes to Blacks. Whites created racism in this country, and they also get to decide when it exists. The great pain that is inflicted upon Blacks when they encounter racism is to have the inflictor tells us it doesn’t exist. Being forced to deny one’s reality is probably the worst form of cruel and unusual punishment. There’s simply nothing that Barkley or anyone else can contribute to a conversation that most White Americans don’t want to have. Unfortunately, the anticipated buffoonery Barkley will bring to the discussion will continue to undermine an issue that is the most divisive in this country. It’s not certain that any conversation regarding this topic will change the hearts and minds of most White Americans, but public policies and practices can at least ensure a somewhat even playing field.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Admittedly, I had the desire to write this article forty years ago, but I just didn’t want to seem self-serving. But because it’s Black History Month, and I’ve learned over the years that if you wait on others to write your history, you’ll be waiting a long time. So, I just decided to write it anyway.
During the fall of 1968, I led a group of students to Dr. Walter Langsam’s office who was the president of the University of Cincinnati. In the spring of 1967, a large group of black students had been meeting to decide whether we would establish a Black student organization to address our issues. The nation was facing race riots on and off college and university campuses. The University of Cincinnati had a reputation for being discriminatory towards Black students. Its admission policies were abhorrent toward Black students, and the rate of retention was just as bad. U.C. was like many colleges and universities around the nation regarding Black students; they weren't welcome.
The beginning of 1968, I had become the first elected president and co-founder of what was call the United Black Association (hereinafter referred to as U.B.A.). The primary goal was to established a student organization to address a whole litany of issues and problems facing Black students. We put together a list of demands to be presented to the University President addressing issues ranging from a Black faculty, administrators, students to a Black studies department.
Students were rebelling throughout this nation against the blatant racism many of the college and University campuses experienced causing the local, and even the national guards to be on campus. And now it was our turn. I remember that day very well. We marched respectfully from Tangeman Center to the administration building not knowing what would happen if we were not received and our demands not accepted. We entered the building and then to the office of the president. We presented the demands, and Dr. Lansgman’s response was brief but assured us that we would get a reply in short order.
Within a few days, he responded in writing granting the thirty or more demands, which in my opinion, changed the face of that university for generations to come. The U.B.A. became the first Black student organization recognized by the University, which gave us an office and budget. I served on the search committee for a chair for the creation of the Black Studies Department along with Dean Wiechert and Robert Merriweather, U.B.A. vice president. Robert and I alone decided that Dr. William David Smith would become the first chair of this new department. There were many changes taking place that had never existed on the campus and immediately transformed that university to become more inviting, relevant, and educational for Black students.
April 4, 2017 will be the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic speech, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." In his dramatic address in Riverside Church at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam, Dr. King argued that militarism and war abroad were undermining the struggle against poverty and racism at home.
He witnessed the anti-poverty program being "broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle plaything of a society gone mad on war." He warned that a nation continuously spending more money on the military than on social uplift, "is approaching spiritual death".
This is a powerful message of enduring value. It remains relevant today as our government considers greater American military involvement in the Middle East and the President urges "massively rebuilding" the military while cutting social programs. It is also a reminder of how much our nation has forgotten the lessons of Vietnam and of the anti-war movement and incompletely addressed the humanitarian consequences of that war.
We call on religious organizations, community groups, labor unions, universities, schools, veterans, peace activists and civil rights advocates to remember this memorable guidance of priorities for our nation.
Let us join together to re-read Dr. King's speech and reflect upon its powerful meaning for today, and let us follow Dr. King in speaking out against racism, poverty and war.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The recent email exchange between Mayors Cranley, and Emanuel of Chicago says it all. I'm astonished that the writers for the Enquirer continue to block for Cranley -- which makes it only tougher for John. Jason Williams of the Enquirer labeled Black citizens as being "detractors" and “manufacturing the outrage” when we believe it is more probable than not, that Cranley had a hand in the firing of Chief Jeffery Blackwell. Even Mayor Cranley said in those emails that the Black community was very upset about the firingdismissal [G4] of the chief. A media organization attacked Black leaders in its [G8] [G9] latest editorial by suggesting that Councilmember Young’s motion to find out the truth about Cranley’s involvement as being about an mere election year “antics.”
As soon as Cranley heard about Young’s press conference last week, he had the secret settlement released to distract the public from Young’s press conference demanding an investigation into his role in firing Blackwell. The next day, Cranley held a press conference (three hours before Young’s) trying to deflect the public from Young’s press conference rehashing how horrible the chief was and continue trying to justify the firing of him. If you wWatching the video of the mayor’s press conference, you canit is easy to see the disingenuous lack of sincerity in Black’s face and words while once again stating he states that the Mayor had nothing to do with the firing of Blackwell. Cranley's subterfuge was obvious and ineffective.
The Enquirer is truly out of touch with the Black community. To refer to Cranley's email with Mayor Emanuel as "…nothing more than friendly chit-chat…" is outrageous and clearly lacks racial sensitivity. This issue is about police-community relations regarding the firing of the Cincinnati’s second Black police chief, which embodies in many ways the historical problems that our community had with the police department. Cranley's emails don't look at all as friendly “chit-chat.” For decades, the Black community has witnessed bad police behavior by some officers, --including the murders of Black men -- and nothing was done. We get a Black chief, and overnight he becomes the most is branded as an incompetent police officer official and warrants athe kind of public dismissal that looks like a criminal hearing before City Council. If the emails were mere “chit chat,” then why did the paper publish itthem in the first place, writing several stories regarding them.? Some Blacks feel that the tone of Cranley’s emails displayed a certain attitude towards Blacks that isn’t good.
For well over a century or more; the cCity never had a chief of police towho walked our community like Chiefs Blackwell and Craig did and the Black community loved them. The loss of Blackwell and the way he was let go caused significant pain and anger in the Black community. For John the mayor and some of the media to continue to try and place the blame of the firing totally on City Manager Black is ludicrous. Of course, Johnthe mayor did not have the legal authority to fire Chief Blackwell, but the one person that reports to Cranleyhim—the ccity mmanager—did, and he did so with the approval of the mayor. Cranley has repeatedly said that he supports the firing of Chief Blackwell. Every coach, CEO, and leader takes the blame for both the good and bad that happens within their organization. It would be better for the mayor to come clean and accept that responsibility and move on
By: James Clingman,
The hue and cry from many of our people continues to be centered on “lack of access to capital” by Black owned businesses, especially start-ups and micro-businesses. The financial markets are not very favorable to our needs, thus, much of the potential among our prospective entrepreneurs is never realized. Many aspiring Black business owners, who could be successful, give up and quit because they cannot raise capital; and some businesses that could be grown to scale and employ workers never get the opportunity to do so.
Another complaint I hear is in reference to our young people. Some say we refuse to support them, and we do not encourage them to get involved and take the lead in our movements and organizations. I agree with that to some extent, but it’s not the case with THE One Million. We are always looking for conscientiously conscious young people to join us and offer their time, talent, and treasure to help our movement progress. We also reciprocate by doing what we can to support our members, not just with rah-rah lip-service but with our time, talent, and treasure in return.
To that end, I believe we have found one such “youngster” in the person of Rashaan Everett, a recent Howard University graduate of the School of Business. He joined THE One Million after contacting me regarding his investment concept, The Greenwood Project. (www.thegreenwoodproject.org) I introduced Everett to Mr. John Brown, CPA, partner in the Bedford Group, a development firm in Los Angeles where Rashaan lives. He is also a member of THE One Million.
Subsequently, Brown has taken on a “mentoring” role with Everett; they presented The Greenwood Project at our Training and Orientation meeting in Beaumont Texas, January 6-8, 2017, and I am proud to say THE One Million is highly supportive of this young brother’s project as well as participatory in his investment strategy to start and grow small Black owned businesses via crowdfunding.
The Greenwood Project is a collective fund for start-ups and micro businesses in which supporters can invest a minimum of $100.00 and will receive a contract entitling them to a share of the profits earned from their investments. To reiterate, this is an “investment” that, like other investments, carries no guarantee; it is not a donation.
Everett has assembled a team of the best and brightest Black scholars and professionals capable of managing the fund appropriately; and there is a very significant financial upside to his plan.
“Black people can control our own destiny,” Rashaan says. “We can make this part of our “Internal Reparations,” as some of our elders have suggested. If we support the innovative and creative businesses funded by the Greenwood Project, each investor can earn significant profits.”
Projected to raise a total of $1 million, which will be invested into black businesses, the profits from which will be re-cycled many times over by other Black businesses and individuals, The Greenwood Project is yet another answer to problems Black folks have been railing against. Now all we have to do, after due diligence of course, is invest (pool) our money and create more “conscientiously conscious Black millionaires,” something THE One Million has been advocating for a while now.
The Greenwood Project is based on President Obama's JOBS Act, which allows for non-accredited investors to invest in private companies for the first time since 1933. Before the law changed, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated an individual must have a net worth of $1 million, excluding real estate, to make angel investments. Obviously, this disproportionately affected Blacks, and systematically prevented us from building our own companies and our own wealth.
For the last 83 years, until May 16, 2016, this type of fund and project were illegal. It is very important for Black people to take advantage of this new law NOW before it changes again, as it could under the new administration.
The Greenwood Project is already operational, approved, and verified, taking advantage of the new law. Everett’s team has worked with lawyers, CPA's, and bankers to assure it viability and its legality, and now with John Brown aboard, a man I have known for nearly twenty years and a man who has demonstrated his expertise in finance and business strategies, I have no doubt this project will work if we work it.
The Greenwood Project has officially earned SEC and government regulatory approval and is seeking people who are willing to invest a minimum of $100.00, right now via www.wefunder.com/greenwoodproject. This is yet another “Call to Action” to those among us who are tired of being hamstrung by a lack of capital, and are ready, willing, and able to do something to change that. Get on board The Greenwood Project by investing in yourselves. And join THE One Million too. www.iamoneofthemillion.com.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
The new president is in the oval office, and our community will be the same at the end of the next four years if we don't seize power to make a change in our city. Tip O'Neil who was a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives said many decades ago that all politics is local. The speaker knew what he was talking about because he realized that even in the Congress, nothing impacts the daily lives of citizens more than their local governments.
Say what you will about President Donald Trump, but take notice of his voters who want change more than they care about his character flaws. His voters stated that both parties –Democratic and Republican—failed them and so they voted for an outsider. On the campaign trial, President Trump repeatedly said that the political system is rigged against ordinary people. It is fair to say that both political parties have failed Black voters. No another group of citizens has been more loyal to the Democratic party than Black voters. So why do Black voters continue to vote down the party line when in the end, their lives haven't improved.
So here we are folks. Cincinnati is the fifth most segregated city in the nation. It has a high rate of unemployment for Blacks, poor police-community relations, Black children in the school to prison pipeline and poor education. Our housing is the worst while gentrification continues to tear up our neighborhoods while moving Black people out of their communities so that young and well-heeled White professionals reinvent our old community with many of our tax dollars.
Next year's election is critical for the Black community. The mayor and all Council seats will be up, and, yes, the School Board will have four vacant seats as well.
Blacks make of the majority population in the city. What would happen if the Black community voted in record numbers for candidates that support their issues? The combined budgets of the city and School Board are close to two billion and a half dollars. Despite the continual loyalty of Black voters to the Democratic party, the party hasn't delivered much.
2017 is the time for a political revolution in Cincinnati. Blacks are at the bottom in almost every social indicator. If rural and blue collar whites feel let down by both political parties, then the Black community should feel outraged. It's so painful and shameful to see how the Black community has been treated well over a century. But if Black people fail to organize for social justice by voting for candidates who share the same shame and outraged, there will be no change.
The White power structure has been in place since the arrival of Blacks in the late 1700s. Black people were on the bottom then, and they are still on the bottom. The power structure—with its paternalistic attitude towards Blacks-- can tell you that Preschool Promise, childhood poverty, and every other social initiative they come up with will improve the lives of Black people, but it won’t. In the end, it will still be the same. There's one simple explanation for this. We keep letting people who are mostly responsible for our plight continue to tell us how they can fix it. The system is indeed rigged.
No vote, No power.
By James Clingman
For those of us who were blessed to see it, another year has arrived and brings with it another opportunity to start afresh with new ways to move our people closer to economic empowerment. The New Year brings a clean slate, so to speak, since we like to make resolutions and promises regarding things we would like to change. So what will we write on our 2017 slate? What will be our agenda this year? What strategy will we employ to empower our people? Will we stay on the endless circular path that has led to where we are today? Will we follow a new path? Will we adopt a new strategy?
Whatever we decide to commit ourselves to will certainly not be new; everything we need to do in 2017 has already been done by our ancestors who lived and survived in this country for centuries, under the worst treatment human beings could suffer. But 2017 is new, and it’s always good to look at our commitments in a new light, with a new resolve, and out of a renewed strength. Are you ready?
Here we go. Don’t fall for the same old tired rhetoric we hear every day from self-appointed “leaders” who do not lead by example. Don’t continue following folks that are only sending you deeper into the woods of poverty, while they relax in the lush fields of prosperity.
Don’t get hood-winked by pandering politicians and prosperity preachers who are only interested in what they can get for themselves, and how they can use you to get another pair of “gators,” a Bentley, a mansion, or elected to public office. Don’t be lulled to sleep by intellectual banter that makes you feel good but never tells you how to do good, or do well, for that matter.
Don’t succumb to celebrity claptrap, which only excites the Paparazzi rather than enlightens our people. Don’t get down in the muck with entertainers who denigrate themselves and us. And please don’t subscribe to the same old “okey-doke” that has literally and figuratively programmed our people to wait to be rescued by folks who care very little about us.
What must we do? First, raise the level of your Black consciousness by reading, by studying, by listening, and by associating with brothers and sisters who are serious about doing the work of liberation and unashamed to proclaim their Blackness. Connect with other individuals and collectively establish economic initiatives that benefit Black people; trust me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; other groups do it all the time.
Be prepared to make the sacrifices required to move the masses of Black people forward. Always define yourself, and do not accept definitions like “minority” and “person of color.” Terms like those really lose something in translation, namely, us.
Stand up against injustice and wrongdoing, no matter who the perpetrator is, white, Black, or any other color. Follow through on your commitments. Get fired up, but stay fired up long enough to get the work done. Teach your children how to navigate through this world.
Take better care of yourself. Find something physical that you can do and keep doing it for the rest of your life. Yes, it will hurt sometimes, but it’s worth it. Try not to eat so much of whatever you are eating. Just eat less of everything and get up and do something to burn some calories.
Do kind things for those less fortunate than you. It doesn’t always have to be money. It could be an encouraging word, a hug without words, some baked cookies, a small gift just because, or a few hours spent with a child who may not have a father or a mother. You don’t need a program to do this; you just need yourself.
Seek out new Black leadership, authentic leadership, or be a leader yourself. There are young folks all across this country waiting to step up to the task of leadership, many of who are leading right now. Find them, especially you old soldiers out there; you can’t hang on forever, you know. Teach the young and pass the baton to them, not to someone on the other team.
Start viable businesses, grow those businesses, and create jobs for our people. Build economic enclaves throughout this country, like our relatives did two hundred years ago. Identify industries where we have the competitive advantage because of our consumerism, and build vertically integrated businesses within those industries. Boycott prisons! Stay out of the cells and get into sales. The time is long overdue for us to take our rightful place in this country, politically, socially, educationally, and most of all economically.
I have hitched my wagon to THE One Million; you do what is right for you. Have a wonderfully blessed 2017.
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery,
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Some days I wonder why I've lived in this community for as long as I have. To see the systemic racial discrimination taking place, especially with some of our media, is enough to make a person of color want to give up. But I won't.
Recently, Councilmember Charlie Winburn spoke out strongly about some boxes belonging to him that were removed from City Hall and now rumored to be in possession of the FBI or the city police. Councilmember Winburn did a responsible thing; he told his side of the story.
Many years ago, former Mayor Maynard Jackson, the first Black mayor of Atlanta and considered to be a national figure in this country, called me from CVG in regard to a story he read about me. I won't get into the story, but he said that I needed to set the public record straight because the story about me was negative.
Suffice to say, Black politicians, get a disproportionally amount of negative news coverage by the Enquirer whether there is any truth to the story or not. Just last week, the Enquirer wrote an editorial which said to Councilmember “…Be Quiet, Winburn” about the boxes. I found this "order" to Winburn to be racially condescending and heavy-handed on the part of the press. The first amendment also allows Councilmember Winburn to speak his mind. The story goes on to say… "Given that Winburn is under investigation…" without any explanation as to what “investigation” the paper is referencing. How irresponsible on the part of the paper.
Just as Trump has refused to back down on coverage by the media (rightly or wrongly), I think Blacks should take the same position with the media, since no other group in this country has been more misrepresented and disparaged by the press than Blacks.
Since John Cranley has been mayor, he's had a series of running conflicts with Black councilmembers and leaders only to be consistently defended by the print media. However, when Blacks respond to issues at City Hall, they have to present ironclad proof, while the mayor’s veracity is never questioned.
Will the press conduct an investigation that is color blind or will the reporters know the difference? No single institution has damage the image of Black Americans and promotes the racial divide more than the news coverage by the American press.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease which affects more women than men. It is defined as a condition when the bones of an affected person become weak, brittle and prone to breaks and fractures due to the loss of bone density as well as tissue. These factors are mainly caused by the changes of hormone levels in the body, which is what women experience during menopause. It is also caused by a deficient of calcium and/or vitamin D. The meaning of the word “osteoporosis” translates directly to “porous bone,” and according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Depending on the severity, osteoporotic bones may weaken and become fractured or broken after a fall, or in chronic instances, after sneezing or bumps that may otherwise be seen as minor.
In the past, osteoporosis was not common, but rather rare among African-American considering one important factor, lots of sun exposure also known as vitamin D. Today, osteoporosis is an epidemic disease that is common among all cultural groups, and all age groups from children to the elderly. Recent articles suggest there is an unusually high number of African-Americans that are not diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis because of the belief that osteoporosis does not occur in African-Americans. Although there is no complete data and research on this topic, it is estimated that more than 40% of African-American women have either osteoporosis or low bone density and thus are prone to fractures and breaks.
Out of the entire American population, there are about 54 million Americans living with osteoporosis and low bone mass. Having low bone density increases one’s chances of developing the more serious osteoporosis, and it is important to keep track of the density rate and have regular check-ups. Breaking or fracturing a bone may not seem like a big deal to some people; however, the majority of those affected and who do experience these fractures break hips, spine, wrist, ankles and even teeth. Although other bones of the body can be broken, these are the most common and their proper function is crucial to make everyday life easier. Broken bones in older patients may cause serious complications such as presenting the inability of the patient to take care of themselves due to mobility difficulties. Along with brittle and fragile bones, osteoporosis comes with permanent pain and in a lot of cases, the pain is somewhat severe. Patients may also find that they have had a decrease in height as the disease progresses, which often leads to a stooped or hunched posture. It is projected that approximately 20% of patients who endure the breaking of a hip die within a year as a result of complication in treating the broken hip or even due to the surgery to repair it.
Research also shows that African-American women and white women have some of the same risk factors for osteoporosis; nonetheless, African-American women remain sicker longer and die earlier than any other cultural group. Osteoporosis can be prevented by consuming enough calcium, vitamin D and being involved in weight-bearing exercises throughout one’s lifetime.If you are interested in signing up for the Health Gap’s Win Against Diabetes classes call 513-585-9879. The course is open to candidates who are diabetic or pre-diabetic. The Health Gap also hosts a monthly diabetic support group every third Tuesday of the month at 5:00 p.m. Attend the Health Gap’s 14th Annual Health Expo on Saturday April 29, 2017, at Washington Park in Over the Rhine. There you can have your blood pressure checked, to find out if you have hypertension. The Center for Closing the Health Gap is dedicated to helping you and your family live healthy lifestyles. To learn
By The Honorable Dwight Tillery
Former Cincinnati Mayor
Already, there is much excitement regarding the mayor and City Council races. With the departure of Councilmembers Winburn, Flynn, and Simpson, there is a large number of candidates seeking seats on the Council. What is very critical to watch is the vacating of the of two seats held by two Black members of City Council, and if those seats are a loss, it could set back the Black community to the days of the Seventies when only two Blacks served on City Council.
Since 1995, City Council had four Blacks out of nine members and twenty years later, it hasn't picked up another seat which would give it majority representation on the council. However, unless the Black community begins to see what is at stake here, it may have only two Blacks on Council, notwithstanding a Black population of fifty percent. So far, Kelli Prather, Lesley Jones, Tamaya Dennard, Ozie Davis III, and BJ Odom are first time candidates. For the most part, these Black candidates have their work cut out, and some political watchers see very little chance for them to win a seat.
Meanwhile, Greg Landsman, Brain Garry, Laure Quinlivan, Michelle Dillingham, and Derek Bauman are Council candidates running, but are White. Landsman and Quinlivan are the greatest threat to the Black community regarding the possible loss of those seats held by Winburn and Simpson. Quinlivan’s defeat last election was by two hundred votes, and no doubt she will raise the kind of money needed to wage a successful campaign. She has substantial name recognition and will be formidable. Landsman finished right behind her and has already a boatload of money. Landsman has used Pre-School Promise as his entry into the Black community. He's made no secret about targeting the Black community with a program on Black radio for three years, and he has a well-funded campaign under way. Michelle Dillingham finished twelfth and also will be a strong competitor for the vacant seats.
Lastly, there are an unusual number of Black candidates whose names are not mentioned at this time. Of course, having such many Black candidates can deplete the resources and voting strategy that is necessary for the Black community to have fair representation on City Council. White candidates overwhelmingly raise more money than the average Black candidate, and the White community historically votes for the majority of White candidates. On the other hand, Black voters have always voted disproportionally more for White candidates. Councilmember Smitherman has spoken much about the need for bullet voting, and I agree with him. With the Black community being over fifty percent, the question remains whether we will break the glass ceiling of being a minority on the City Council to a majority, or will we lose the Winburn and Simpson seats setting the Black community back over forty years in its political progress.
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