Obama: Is He Right Enough?

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[What’s Going On]


OBAMA WATCH: As I watch the presumptive Democratic Nominee Barack Obama take the ritualistic moves to the political center, a necessity on the road to the US Right, oops, I mean, the White House, I sigh with disgust at two of his recent announcements--His support to legally immunize telecommunications companies who cooperated with Bush Administration’s wiretapping program, without benefit of warrants; and, his support of  and increased federal spending on faith based initiatives.

This position alienates the separation of church and state advocates and endears him to white evangelical.  Politics is both and art and science.  I often wonder how much of the powers aggrandized by  President Bush would be renounced by his  successor and restored to the people participating in this Western democracy.  Only time will tell.  

Stories about Obama abound on the internet and elsewhere, one of which was a comparison between him and former President Clinton, both of whom are Leos, as in the zodiac wheel,  and share good traits in common. Positive Leos can be dignified, kingly, magnetic, generous, expansive;  and negative Leos can  be bossy, jealous, pompous, intolerant, and overdramatic. 

When I read that Obama and Bill Clinton spoke by phone last Monday and that Bill volunteered his support for Obama, I was ecstatic until I read  the July 1 British Daily Telegraph article by Messrs. Tim Shipman and Philip Sherwell, which states that Bill’s  anti-Obama rage is so intense that he is telling friends that Obama would  have to “kiss his ass” to win his support and that he does not believe that Obama can win in November.  Visit www.telegraph.com for full story.  I am still in shock.

Wonder if Bubba made that utterance in England last week while attending Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday party and while cavorting with prominent world leaders and A-Listers. I say shame, shame on you, Bubba! No, you were not the first Black president of the US. Ms Morrison was using a metaphor. I hope that Messrs Shipman and Sherwell got misinformation.

Last but certainly not least is the Obama Coffee Table book The HarperCollins Amistad imprint will publish “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photos” on October 28, with an initial printing of 250,000. Recounting the Obama campaign from its beginning through June, 2008 when he became the Presumptive Democratic nominee, the book is the brainchild of  MacArthur Genius Awardee,  Dr. Deborah Willis, chair and professor of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Photography and Imaging, who will select and edit its more than 150 full color and b&w photographs.  Washington Post staffer, Kevin Mirada, author of “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” will write  the book’s introductory essay

BLACK AMERICA STUDY: This is required reading for anyone interested in the Black American experience. Sponsored by Radio One, a leading media company focused on understanding African Americans, the BLACK AMERICA STUDY was conducted by Yankelovich, a leading consumer market research and analytics company. The survey’s overview statement says “The Study is committed to demonstrating the power of the  Black community – as thinkers, activists, consumers and citizens  - and to reflect the texture and diversity of our community which often gets lost in mainstream portrayals of Black Americans.” 

The Black America Study lends insights into Black Americans feelings about their future, past and present. The research generated over 300,000 pieces of data.  Segmentation and Fact Sheets are its centerpiece.  Segmentation research looks for underlying patterns in people’s attitudes, opinions and behaviors, that are revealing, differentiating, strategic, interesting and provocative. It found 11 distinct Segments among almost 30 million, 13-74 year old Blacks and African American in areas such as “Black is Better,” “Black Onliners,” “Sick and Stressed,” “New Middle Class”.   Study also includes Fact Sheets re: “Black Consumer,”  “Entertainment and Sports,” “General Media,” “Religion and Social Views,” “Seniors” and “Teens.”  

Some of the Study highlights indicate that most Blacks have a preference about how they are described and are almost equally split between Black (42%) and African American (44%) with those making $100K or more annually, preferring the Black moniker.  Regarding the future,  70% of Blacks and African Americans have a plan for their future, even teens. About 83% of Blacks describe themselves as Christian and 79% trust God to take care of things. On the New Middle Class, half prefer to shop at businesses that give back to the Black community and 10% are more likely to be Republican. Same group believes that problems in the Black community can best be solved by Blacks.

Radio One, which commissioned  the Black America Study, owns and operates 53 radio stations in 16 urban U.S. markets. It was founded by Black-American Catherine Hughes, who is also its chairperson. Start reading the results of the Study immediately. Visit www. BlackAmericaStudy.com.

LABELLE  REUNITES:  LaBelle, that  winsome trio – Patti LaBelle, Sarah Dash, and Nona Hendryx -  who was the gold standard for 70s  r&b/pop girl groups,  best known for their off the top concert outfits and edgy songs like the Grammy-winning LADY MARMALADE ( remember voulez-vous couche avez moi, ce soir) have reunited. They are in the studio working on a CD which will be released in September. They appear on July 5, at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, at the Louisiana Superdome.

FELA OFF BWAY:  FELA!, a new musical, based on the life and times of iconic world music innovator, Nigerian Fela Anikulapp Kuti, arrives off Broadway for a limited engagement, from July 29 to September 21, at 37 ARTS, at  450 West 37 Street.   Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, from a book by Jim Lewis and Jones, conceived by Bill T. Jones and Stephen Hendel.

The Fela! music will be performed by members of Antibalas, a Brooklyn-based collective, credited with introducing Afrobeat to a new worldwide generation, since its inception in 1998. The official FELA! opening is Thursday, September 4. For more info, visit www.FelaOffBroadway.com. For the uninitiated,  Paul McCartney said. “Fela Kuti’s band is the best band that  I’ve even seen. When Fela and his band eventually began to play, after a long, crazy build-up, I just couldn’t stop weeping with joy. It was a very moving experience.”

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"Speaking Truth To Power."

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