Connect with us

New Pittsburgh Courier

Democrats need a Lincoln—and a General

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER — As Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention he was approached by a woman who asked, “What have you given us, a monarchy or a republic? Franklin replied, ”A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Every serious thinker since Plato, including the founders of the United States, have had the same reservation about popular democracy; there is a very thin line that separates democratic rule from mob rule. When democracies begin to disintegrate they produce tyrants, the rise of the Roman Empire was a result of the fall of the Roman Republic.

Published

on

By Mike Jones

As Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention he was approached by a woman who asked, “What have you given us, a monarchy or a republic? Franklin replied, ”A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

Every serious thinker since Plato, including the founders of the United States, have had the same reservation about popular democracy; there is a very thin line that separates democratic rule from mob rule. When democracies begin to disintegrate they produce tyrants, the rise of the Roman Empire was a result of the fall of the Roman Republic.

Athletes need coaches, armies need generals, and political parties need political leaders. What stands between the flawed democratic project that is the United States and a dystopian future that would make “1984” look like the Garden of Eden before the snake is an intellectually vapid baby boomer Democratic leadership class, lacking in character, whose political muscle has completely atrophied.

The sophomoric moralizing of Democratic leadership about constitutional and cultural norms is not about protecting a moral high ground, but rather an excuse for the political cowardice of not confronting an existential evil that is currently metastasizing throughout the American body politic.

Abraham Lincoln was not only arguably America’s most eloquent president but also its most prophetic. In his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before the end of the Civil War and his assassination, he gives the reason for the war and when it will end. For him the cause was unequivocally slavery. “Slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest,” Lincoln wrote. “To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war.”

Lincoln believed that the war would only end when the nation had paid the full price of the sin of slavery, and God would determine when the debt was paid. As he put it, the war would “continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.” Slavery, which was maintained by violence, would require a violent death.

Lincoln understood clearly that if the South tried to break the Union, the Union had to break the South. Political leadership like Lincoln gets you generals like William Tecumseh Sherman, the ultimate destroyer, who telegraphed Lincoln the following in 1864, “War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. They wanted war, and I say let’s give them all they want; not a word of argument, not a sign of let up, no cave in till we are whipped or they are.”

Sherman was the military expression of Lincoln’s political will, and Lincoln had the moral agency to deploy him without any reservation. What’s the relevance for us today?

Donald Trump is ignorant, lazy, incompetent and amoral, but he’s not stupid. Mitch McConnell is immoral but cunning. Like all hyenas, they have a nose for fear and weakness and the Democratic establishment smells like prey. Trump, McConnell and the dumpster fire that is the current Republican Party are political thugs. To stop political thugs requires you to be a political gangsta. Lincoln and Sherman were political gangstas; that’s why they prevailed over the Confederate political thugs. Democratic leadership can’t spell “O.G.,” let alone be one.

History is very often about the path not taken. What would have happened had Lincoln lived? Before you start hyperventilating with the possibilities, remember Lincoln was a man of his times, meaning that like most, if not all, 19th century American White men, he was a racist. His moral objection to slavery was because it stained the soul of White Americans. How he would have addressed the humanity of emancipated African Americans is an open question.

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War is an interesting analogy to put the 2020 Presidential Election into some historical context. Just about every issue riling the American political system has its root in the unrealized possibilities of Lincoln’s second term. The armed conflict ended in April 1865, but his assassination two weeks later insured the war would continue. Like then, the struggle now is between the forces of the Union versus the Confederacy. The 21st century Confederacy has its Jefferson Davis. The question is: can 21st America still produce a Lincoln?

The point is not to make Lincoln a hero to African Americans, because he was not. The point is to illustrate what effective, principled White political leadership looks like and the difference it can make when the fate of the Republic is at stake. Lincoln understood what was at stake and what was required. History will have to wait until November 2020 to make a judgment about the Democratic leadership of today.

(Mike Jones is a former senior staffer in St. Louis city and county government and current member of the Missouri State Board of Education and The St. Louis American editorial board. In 2016 and 2017, he was awarded Best Serious Columnist for all of the state’s large weeklies by the Missouri Press Association, and in 2018 he was awarded Best Serious Columnist in the nation by the National Newspapers Association.)

Reprinted from the St. Louis American.

This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier

#NNPA BlackPress

LIVESTREAM: #SaveLocalJournalism — Publishers Discuss the Need for Strategy, Innovation and Community Support in the Era of COVID-19

NNPA NEWSWIRE — On Wednesday, May 6 at 1PM ET, four publishers from across the country, including Bobby Henry of Florida’s Westside Gazette, Sonny Messiah Jiles of the Houston Defender, Hiram Jackson of Real Times Media (whose publications include the Chicago Defender and five other regional weeklies in the U.S.) and Larry Lee of the Sacramento Observer, will participate in a special livestream broadcast to discuss the status of their operations as the global COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

Published

on

Tune in to view the livestream at 1PM ET, Wednesday, May 6, over Facebook and YouTube. An archive of the stream will also be made available.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As conditions around the globe worsen because of the coronavirus pandemic, publishers of Black-owned community newspapers and media companies and their staffs are struggling to sustain business operations that enable them to deliver important news and information to their readers, listeners and viewers.

On Wednesday, May 6 at 1PM ET, four publishers from across the country, including Bobby Henry of Florida’s Westside Gazette, Sonny Messiah Jiles of the Houston Defender, Hiram Jackson of Real Times Media (whose publications include the Chicago Defender and five other regional weeklies in the U.S.) and Larry Lee of the Sacramento Observer, will participate in a special livestream broadcast to discuss the status of their operations as the global COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

All four publishers and their media companies are members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association representing America’s Black press.

The broadcast will stream live over Facebook and YouTube and will include a lively and insightful discussion on the status of local community-based journalism. In particular, the panel will discuss the state and fate of Black-owned media companies.

As small business owners, these publishers faced significant challenges even before the economy took its current downward turn. However, there’s no secret that Black-owned small businesses have been essentially ignored when it comes to providing access to stimulus funding and small business loans.

Each of the publishers will discuss the vital role that Black-owned publications have served for the nearly two centuries (193 years) of the Black Press and why their role remains essential to the communities they serve.

Since the first issue rolled off the press in 1971, Henry’s Westside Gazette has maintained a high level of professional, insightful and reader-sensitive reporting that has gained the trust and respect of South Florida’s African American community.

The Houston Defender serves a city that’s home to nearly 1 million African Americans. Houston is consistently ranked as one of the top ten cities based on median household income, households earning more than $100,000 annually, business ownership, college graduates, and homeowners. Additionally, the city has enjoyed the lowest unemployment and home loan rejection.

At the leadership helm since 1981, Jiles has ensured that the Defender’s legacy as a publication that promotes the positive, analyzing problems and sharing solutions.

Jackson’s Real Times Media is a multimedia company and conglomerate of five publications: Atlanta Daily World, Atlanta Tribune, Chicago Defender, Michigan Chronicle, and New Pittsburgh Courier.

Further west, Lee’s Sacramento Observer is a past winner of the NNPA’s John B. Russwurm Award, which recognizes the Nation’s Top Black Newspaper. During its five decades of operation, the Sacramento Observer has been honored with over 600 local and national awards for journalism excellence and outstanding community service.

Tune in to view the livestream at 1PM ET, Wednesday, May 6, over Facebook and YouTube. An archive of the stream will also be made available.

Continue Reading

New Pittsburgh Courier

Black Watergate hero made history 47 years ago

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER — It was precisely 47 years ago on Saturday, June 17, 1972 at 1:47 a.m. that Frank Wills, an unknown 24-year-old Black security guard at the posh Watergate office/apartment complex in Washington, D.C., uncovered the biggest domestic political scandal and crime in American presidential history.

Published

on

By Michael Coard

It was precisely 47 years ago on Saturday, June 17, 1972 at 1:47 a.m. that Frank Wills, an unknown 24-year-old Black security guard at the posh Watergate office/apartment complex in Washington, D.C., uncovered the biggest domestic political scandal and crime in American presidential history.

It happened when the eagle-eyed Wills discovered duct tape that had been inconspicuously placed and then replaced on a latch bolt on the basement door adjacent to a stairwell near the parking garage by burglars dispatched by Republican President Richard Nixon. Thanks to Wills, it was ultimately revealed that Nixon, through his “Committee for the Re-election of the President,” had been committing numerous crimes, including spying on political opponents, mostly Democrats.

Those basement-entering burglars, who were in the building to steal confidential documents from the sixth floor offices of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, consisted of five men, including a former CIA official. By the way, Wills wasn’t even scheduled to check the basement door a second time until about an hour after his first round of office door inspections. But, as he informed federal investigators, something he described as a “sixth sense” told him to check that door 45 minutes sooner than he was assigned to.

As an aside, I want Brother Wills to know that it wasn’t a “sixth sense” in connection with that sixth floor. It was his/our “third eye,” which is culturally/anthropologically installed by his/our melanin-producing pineal gland. In other words, it’s a Black thing, so some people reading this have no idea what I’m talking about. And I prefer it that way. But I digress, so let’s get back to our Black Watergate hero.

After Wills discovered what was going on and immediately called the Second Precinct police (as evidenced on page 48 of his actual handwritten logbook, which has been memorialized in the National Archives and can be seen at watergate.info/burglary/frank-wills-watergate-security-log), what ultimately followed was truly historic: the explosive revelation of break-ins, corruption, buggings, enemies lists, slush funds, and perjury that led to the unprecedented downfall and humiliating resignation of a president as well as to the arrest, indictment, prosecution, and jailing of several of his powerful political conspirators.

Because of Wills’ investigatory prowess, a new word, actually a new suffix, was created in the U.S. to describe any high-profile scandal. That new suffix is “-gate,” such as, for example, “Nipplegate” (2004 Super Bowl performance by Janet Jackson), “Bonusgate” (2008 Pennsylvania political campaign funding), “Bridgegate” (2013 vindictive lane closures by N.J. Governor Chris Christie), “Deflategate” (2015 footballs used by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady), and “Porngate” (2015 Pennsylvania Supreme Court pornographic, racist, and sexist emails). And it’s not used only in America but also in reference to international scandals such as those in England, Israel, Mexico, Pakistan, Ireland, Angola, and elsewhere.

Despite Wills’ essential role in exposing the most important domestic political scandal and crime in American presidential history, he received an insultingly low so-called raise from $80.00 to $82.50 in his weekly salary and never received a promotion or the type of official public acclaim he deserved.

In fact, after he resigned from his position at the Watergate building because of his employer’s racist disrespect, he sought employment at several locations, including Howard University, which refused to hire him for fear of losing federal funding. Because he couldn’t find a job, he was forced to move back to Georgia with his mother after she was debilitated by a massive stroke. Together, they struggled to survive on her meager $450 monthly Social Security stipend.

Although Nixon never went to jail and a number of his conspirators became wealthy celebrities, Wills in 1983 was sentenced to one year in jail after having been falsely accused of stealing a $12.00 pair of sneakers, even though the police admit he never left the shoe store with those items.

That bad news was followed by worse news. Brother Wills, born on February 4, 1948, died in poverty at age 52 on September 27, 2000. And shortly before his death, he told a reporter, “I got nothing for what I did and I completely lost my faith in the political system.”

But here’s some good news. Under the impressive leadership of Congresswoman Karen Bass, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and with the essential initiative of fellow member Congressman Dwight Evans, the CBC is now focused on giving Frank Wills the public recognition and honor he righteously deserves. Together, both members are working to formally enter Frank Wills’ name into the official congressional record. This permanent entry will serve as an enduring acknowledgment of the great legacy left by this great man.

We all know that Frank Wills is another “hidden figure” in our long history in this country. And we thank Chairperson Bass, Congressman Evans, and the entire CBC for celebrating him as a genuine and history-making American hero by working to enter his name in the congressional record for the entire country to see on this 47th anniversary and for the entire country to remember forever. By the way, this entry is consistent with what the chairman of the Democratic National Committee back in the fall of 1972 realized when he pointed out that Wills had played “a unique role in the history of the nation.”

After all, Frank Wills, a law enforcement hero, single-handedly lit the spark that saved America from criminality of the highest order.

This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier

Continue Reading

Family

Mothers and Daughters ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Clairton

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER — The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

Published

on

by Courier Newsroom

The jubilant faces captured the “Make A Joyful Noise” theme at the Mother-Daughter Musical Extravaganza, held June 9 at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Park Avenue, Clairton.

The concept was in the mind of the community’s Patriarch and Host Pastor, Rev. William Callaway and came to fruition with the support of the Clairton church community. The event, which featured six sets of mothers and daughters, kept the crowd on its feet, clapping and cheering, giving perfect pitch to a triumphant time of worship in song.

Dr. Bernadette Jeffrey, associate Evangelist of neighboring Gethsemane COGIC, was Mistress of Ceremony.

– Jacquelyn McDonald

Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hl

Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier

This article originally appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending