May 24, 2010

Rand Paul, John Stossel, Blacks and the Massa Complex

Subject: What Blacks Ought To Be Concerned About & The Massa Complex

Introduction: Here is what blacks need to do instead of huddling in fear in the shadows of the big house, and overreacting because of what someone white had to say!

I received an email request in my email box this morning. The author of the email requested that I consider joining in with other concerned American citizens, mostly African-Americans. He wanted me to respond to the comments made by two highly placed white Americans, one who is running for office, Rand Paul, and the other one, well known journalist and TV commentator John Stossel.

The email began like this
“Dear Rev, On Wednesday, Rand Paul, the GOP’s United States Senate candidate for the state of Kentucky repeated his claim that a central piece of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was wrong, and that businesses should be free to discriminate against whomever they please.

Rand Paul and his supporters don’t seem to care that without federal intervention, Black people might still be second-class citizens in many aspects of American life: where we eat, where we work, even where we live.

Then, on Thursday, FOX anchor John Stossel went even further, calling for the section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that applies to business to be repealed.”
My response to Rand Paul, John Stossel's and Mr. Rucker’s comments were and still are, "and so what"?
For it is my learned opinion that we, black Americans, waste too much time getting exercised about someone else’s opinion, or opinions that they are entitled to have!

This is what I refer to as 'the massa complex', blacks getting worked up into a frenzy simply because of what someone white had to say. Mr. Rucker, I believe, is a hard-working and sincere American whose heart is in the right place I’m certain, however, I answered him this way – whereby declining to join in with the group response.

I emailed Mr. Rucker back as follows:

Mr. Rucker,
“On the other hand, I believe that the current climate,
Paul, the Tea Party ..., should inspire African-Americans
to do what we should be doing, and should have
been doing a long-time ago - we should simply
stop being dependents.

Why? African-Americans, will never stop hearing
this kind of alarmist rhetoric. And so what I say?
In the final analysis, what these people say is not
our problem. Our real problem is that we still have
not figured out how to come together en masse and
become a self-reliant economic power-house, that could
care less about what third-parties and other individuals
from the dominant culture had to say.

If we could simply get our talented-tenth to come
together and build, which would be a monumental
achievement in its own right, we wouldn't have to depend
upon anyone else for jobs in the first place. We
need to stop being reactionaries, and become
revolutionaries within our right, and within our
own communities!

Paul's sentiments, and those who share it is a much
smaller problem than the one that we have in our
own communities, and that is the fact that we would
rather be dependents of the largess of others as
opposed to coming together and building together!


P.S. On many black college campuses, the feelings
of blacks pretty much mirrors that of Mr. Paul. Black
students and alum, apparently, would prefer
that whites would not attend their institutions. Eek!!

Is that what Dr. C. Erik Lincoln ..., was talking about, a
consciousness of kind?” close quote.

What inspired my virulent response? Frankly, I believe that Mr. Rucker and others are missing the forest for the trees. With respect to jobs, the majority of the jobs that are and have been provided for black Americans are provided by white American businesses, not black businesses.

In fact, I recently worked for a short period of time for a Latino organization in the area. And just as a side note, I have believed and still believe that blacks, for a long time now, should find and build synergies with not only Latino and Chicano people, but with all communities whether they are black, white or otherwise.

Is this, my position, a repudiation of the work of the Civil Rights Movement? No, in fact it is just the opposite. Here is a case in point. A few years ago, a female friend from Washington contacted me explaining her feelings about the fact that her son was exclusively dating white girls, his preferred choice, apparently.
His mom, being a black American female, felt rejected not only as a black woman but also as a black mother.

Of course her teenage son did not in any way interpret his choice to date a white girl, as being a repudiation or a rejection of his mother’s blackness. He couldn’t have, for I can tell you personally that his mom is a gorgeous, statuesque woman and desirable by any reasonable standard. Hmm baby!!

However, and in short, I asked her the following: What was the Civil Rights Movement all about? I then reminded her of Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream Speech”. and asked her, isn’t that what was fought for, the right of Americans, particularly, black and other oppressed minorities, to have the freedom of choice, equal access to the opportunity structures of this nation (including public accommodations ... At that point, she acquiesced.

I could care less what Rand Paul, or John Stossel had to say, and in fact I didn’t hear what either one of them had to say anyway. I learned years ago, by reading works from New York theologian Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, that all of us experience what he referred to as 'a consciousness of kind; and all of us includes black people.

Unconsciously, and even consciously we all apparently make judgments about the people that we encounter ..., furthermore we all discriminate, even when it comes to what we like to eat, wear, drink ... For the most part, we are more comfortable with people who are like us in one way or another; individuals who think like and who have something in common with us. In other words, there must be some common denominator or common ground between us in order to be comfortable with someone else.

In the famous best-seller entitled: I’m Okay and You’re Okay, published about 2 decades ago, the author referred to what Dr. Lincoln referred to as 'consciousness of kind' as ‘transactional-analysis’. Transactional analysis is that conscious and at times interplay that is taking place in one's subconscious. A non-verbal decision is being made, wherein either party judges whether their counterpart is okay or not okay ...

And having said that, people of the same kind, whether it be by gender, race, national origin, profession ... are often shaped by a similar value or belief system. These individuals often feel comfortable within their cohort group be it race, ethnic, gender-based or otherwise ...

Blacks often forget that the whites who hate other whites typically do so and did in the past, when they held values that differed from their own. Oftentimes, they will and would mistreat them just as badly as if they had been in a different racial group let's say.

That Stossel and Rand, whatever they said before, felt that non-public organizations should have the right to hire whomever they cared to hire, is in my opinion, their right. It doesn’t bother me one iota, the way that they feel. In fact, I wouldn’t spend a night worrying about it - you cannot legislative morality ...!

What bothers me more is the work that was done in the Civil Rights Movement, by those icons, female and male ..., who suffered and fought for a principle - a principle that is not being upheld nor sufficiently pursued by my particular ethnic group, black people!

For many blacks, it was whites who needed to and need to learn from the civil rights movement, when factually; many blacks do not and did not take what they needed to from the civil rights movement themselves! For too many their attitudes were, at the time and still are,” okay you read the law, now give me a job".

What too many minorities overlooked was their defended right to independently stand up and to pursue their own course in life, rather than assume that solving the problem of interference from other groups outside of the black race would solve the whole problem.

Too many blacks, in the aftermath of the civil rights movement failed to take exercise their own entrepreneurial spirits - even when they lacked the capital. What happened to social capital, micro-economics and working together, or simply starting from scratch? Blacks failed to realize that by simply depending on the Civil Rights Laws to solve our problem was not enough to provide them with a source of income.

There was something else that was required in order to benefit from the hard work that was done by all of those who participated in the civil rights movement, blacks, whites, Latinos, Chicanos, females...

In terms of self-owned businesses, black businesses currently lag behind Caucasian, Asian and Spanish businesses in sheer numbers.

What Rand and Stossel's comments should inspire in black Americans, in my opinion, is this, to get up and the job done, particularly, those who still need to rid themselves of the massa complex. Why? Because the majority of white Americans are not against us, if they ever were. In fact, most of the opportunities that most blacks, including myself, have enjoyed have come, arguably, due to the largess of unbiased white Americans.

These seminal figures hired us, taught us in school, financed us, died for us, encouraged us (not because of some mandate), but rather because they had compassion in their hearts and viewed us as individuals of worth, just as they would any other individuals.

We spend too much time concerning ourselves about what someone said, someone, who may truly not be a racist, as opposed to simply having an honest difference of opinion, be it referred to as interposition or nullification. They are entitled to their opinion, or should be, in the same manner that black Americans are, including choices about who to hire …

That Mr. Henry Ford Jr., former president of the Ford Motor Company often referred to his black employees as his ‘nigger employees’, the same as the former Owner of the Cincinnati referred to her best players as her ‘rich niggers’, didn’t stop anyone from working at Ford or getting a job with the Cincinnati Reds. We simply need to overcome the obstacles. I have overcome many of them myself and know of numerous other individuals in all of America's minority groups who have!

When I was at Stanford, and a member of the Executive Board for Afro-American Staff and Faculty, I served under our very capable female President, Dr. Judith Little, along with Dr. Michael Britt, Henry Organ … One of our black staff-members came to me one day to complain about the infusion of southeast Asians in America, individuals who were as he put it, ‘coming in and taking away our jobs’.

On other occasions, it was the white man, that he referred to that was inflicting injustices in the work place on black Americans, taking away our jobs... My colleague was a large black man, but frankly he was a frightened black man.
On one occasion I asked him this question in the form of a statement, "you are really afraid of the white man aren’t you, and to you he is this big giant, isn’t he"?
In my opinion, my colleague saw every white as a Goliath like figure, a figure similar to the 10 feet tall Goliath that was written about in the biblical texts. My colleague forgot that David, who was later to become the King of Israel, that was a stripling at the time, was neither afraid of Goliath's girth nor his height. In fact he killed him and garnered the respect of his fellow countrymen.

My colleague and friend took umbrage, of course, at my comments and lashed out at me. He explained that I had forgotten about our history. I pointed out that I knew more about our history than he did, but on the other hand, our history inspired me to move forward …, and I explained that he was living his life in fear, as if he were actually till living in the past.

He stopped speaking to me for 4 months, that is until he met an African nationalist who happened to be visiting the United States at the time. One day they drove past me in another car, unknown to me, and he told the visitor that I was a former misguided friend of his. She engaged him in his folly, asking him why? He explained to her, his feelings and rehearsed a couple of conversations that he and I had in the past. He was stunned when she responded, ‘well, in my opinion he is right and you are wrong”.

She pointed out to him that all that I was saying was, “yes, we all know what occurred in the past and in reality, sometimes in the present, but that we could not just sit there and complain, rather we must get us up and overcome”. How do I know this, he called me to apologize, somewhat, for his previous innocuous behavior.

This is the reason why Mr. Rucker’s email resulted in my writing back my email tome. Black Americans, in my opinion, need to look inwardly in order to determine what is it that we need (individually and collectively) to do for ourselves; what we ought to be doing to accomplish our objectives; and then ask why aren’t we doing anything to propel ourselves as a collective to where we believe that we should be in the 21st Century?

I suspect that we spend too much time wondering about what a few alarmists and perceived massas' have to say, as opposed to coming together, as we often talk about doing, in order to do what we need to do in order to help ourselves, as opposed to huddling in fear in the shadows of the big house and its past and current occupants. And what is it that we need to do in more detail?

We need to learn to cooperate among ourselves (the ones who are not - and there are many that do), and to become entrepreneurs and provide opportunities for ourselves and our children regardless of what anyone else has to do or say about it. And this should be the case whether what we perceive to be discrimination is real or not.

For, if we don’t, we will continue to have these reactionary and overblown fear responses into the next century, that feeling that massa is about to come down from the big House and hang us up by a noose. That kind of undeniable fear still lingers in the psyches of too many black Americans – it is a deeply ingrained fear.

If I could have, I would have preferred to see a letter from Mr. Rucker saying to blacks and all of those who support us, that the comments by these two icons reflects the feelings of many Americans, and that it is certainly within their right to feel and to believe as they do, and so what, all of us have a right to our feelings too!

Afterward, he should have asked this question, what are you going to do about your plight, given that one day sooner or later; the related plank in the civil rights legislation might be overturned or redacted? Perhaps, we ought to be sending emails to each other asking one simple question, "if not now, when will we support each other and pursue our joint and common destinies of success and overcome the barriers, particularly the ones that are self-imposed"?

Frankly, I have to say this; no I want to say this. In the past 2 to 3 years of my life, and there were some exceptions within my own black community, the individuals who have treated me the best (and they did so from a sincere heart have all been mostly white). On the other hand,
The individuals who have treated me the worst, with deference, slander, threats, and misrepresentations of my character, alienation, lies, and attempts to destroy my character … have all been black.
And too boot, the majority of these individuals, with few exceptions, were members of my own family and some purported friends or individuals who claimed that they wanted to help me, and worst yet, all of these individuals claims to be Christians. Frankly, I’ve never witnessed anyone of them going after a white person who in fact committed an injustice against them; they preferred rather to go after a black man who had not done anything to them. This is sadly a common practice in the black community.

Over the years, it has been mostly whites who have built me up, supported me in one way or another, welcomed me into their homes, permitted me to stay in their homes while they were away in other countries or states, bailed me out in stressful times, purchased beautiful and luxurious gifts for me, provided me with automobiles to drive, helped me to get a leg up …

I’m not so sure, historically or based upon my own experience, that anyone is or has been tougher on black people (something that you might be wondering if I’m doing now), than black people have been on themselves, before and after passage of the civil rights legislation.

It was not white people who physically attacked and robbed the late civil rights icon, Ms. Rosa Parks at her Detroit home, this beautiful icon who appeared for us at SU.

The fact of the matter is that I love being black and I love my people. I simply wish that the ones, who refuse to do so, would learn to cooperate with the rest of us who are trying to do something meaningful.

I was watching an expose on television, roughly a decade ago. In it, the interviewer listened to a young man black from New York City explain his urban plight. He said that a group of black men, who he did not know drove past his home several days before. They looked at him as if they wanted to kill him. He went on to say, I cannot understand why it is, that other black people want to kill me and I haven’t done anything to them – it was not a white person that he was referring to!

I also wish that individuals, like some that are members of my own family and others that I have encountered, and I observe and read about examples of them all over the country, would learn to deal with their own self-hatred, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem fear of their real or perceived massas' and grievances …, would stop blaming other people for their own short-comings and whereby take it out on people of their own race.

A month ago, I was walking through a parking lot with a friend, when a car being driven way to fast could have easily put both of us in the hospital, if I hadn't seen him coming in time. I looked at him, as he zipped by as to say, what are you doing? He drove down to the corner and did a u-turn. He raced back and lept from his ‘raggedy hoopty’, and confronted me face to face.

I looked him in the eye undaunted, having grown up with that kind of bullying before and said,” so you were going to run down a man and a woman crossing the parking lot, and now you want to fight. He did not back down, he said cynically and among other things, ”I will get my mama to come down here and to kick your ass”! I told him that he had better go and get his mama, because he wasn’t going to do it.

As he continued cursing and raging, I told my friend, who had backed away to "come on and let’s go". I turned my back on him and walked away as he hurled curse words and insults towards me.

My friend asked, "weren’t you afraid of him given his size"? I’m 6 foot 2, and he was bigger and wider than me? I told her, "he wasn’t going to do anything" and that "he simply came back to run his mouth". My friend was too concerned about what he said, in the same manner that too many black people are often too concerned about what someone else has to say to or about them.

I wasn’t looking for a fight, I was simply trying to show him how he simple he was, given his initial behavior, nearly running us down, and his feigned desire to fight and to carry on as he did in such an inane manner, when the only problem was that he could have run over us (had I not seen him before taking another step into the intersection. All he had to do or say was, you’re right or I was not thinking.

Black people and other minorities, it might be more prudent, I believe, for us to learn to focus less on an imagined or perceived enemy who may simply have an opinion that differs from our own, and rather to focus upon what we need to among ourselves in order to survive from enemies without and those that are within.

The strength of most communities is the result of a shared sense of consciousness and support by individuals in different cohort groups, be they ethnic or otherwise. That sense of oneness does not exist in the black community, well until it comes times to vote. When it's time to vote, we typically vote in a bloc, hoping that the person or person that we vote for will solve our perceived problem.

Most black Americans know that the individuals who are sticking it to them the most, on a daily basis, are oftentimes are own black brothers and sisters. Again, blacks need to stop being afraid of massa and shivering in fear every time a Rand Paul ....says something undesirable and to again rid themselves of ‘the massa complex’, and confront our problem that is inherent within the black community.

Black Americans need to raise us and build something so strong that even without the support of civil rights legislation or anyone or anything else, we can still thrive as a community.

In a conference at the University of California at Berkeley, I introduced the topic of a paper that I had been working on with a group of international black scholars. They were shocked at what I had written and some of them, initially expressed their hubris and displeasure at the title of my paper: The Historical Success and Failures of Black Male Leadership On the Continent of Africa, In the Land Down Under and in the Americas. however, After discussing the paper more at length, most of the scholars acquiesced and confessed that the black problem is clearly prominent on the continent of Africa, where they hailed from, just as I had written.

Somebody has to say it, black people - we have a problem - and the problem did not simply begin here in America, in fact the problem goes back to our historical roots.
For we will kill another black person who looks at us the wrong way and one who gets upset with us because he almost got run over by one of us.

On the other hand, when it comes to whites, those same blacks will quake in their boots if he makes a benign statement of the kind that Paul Rand and John Stossel apparently made. By the way, that paper that I told the scholars about earned me an invitation, in the aftermath, to come to Portugal and to participate in the next African conference with international scholars.

Point of fact, most whites don’t have anything against blacks! In the current American political and economic climate, whites and other ethnics are simply doing what we should be doing and should have been doing, figuring out to how to survive, and to provide a sustainable living for ourselves and our loved ones.

It has been my experience that once you get out of certain pockets, that still remain in America, that most whites empathize, sympathize, admire and feel bad about what their ancestors did and what some present day whites are still doing to black Americans! And oftentimes, we don't help the whites who support us to make the case with our antagonists given some of the bad behavior that takes place within in our communities.

Most white Americans, believe it or not, are very capable of making up their own minds, just as we are able to do as a people. In our case, we made up our own minds about ‘not working together’, those who won’t! Black Americans should be able to trust whites, the majority of them, for many of them did what many black Americans did recently: When exercising their franchises, they voted for our current president, Mr. Obama, a Scotch-Irishman black man.

They believed that regardless of color and ethnicity, he was the best person to perform the duties of the job of President of the United States of America. I didn’t think so. But still, I respected everyone's right share in an opinion that differed from my own. The problems that America faces, were too serious to place in the hands of a journeyman President, witness what is taking place in the Gulf region right now. Like George Bush Jr. and the Katrina Hurricane, where has Mr. Obama been when it comes to the British Petroleum spill and environmental disaster.

In conclusion, I suggest that when it comes to the comments made by the aforementioned, that all blacks should simply get a good night’s sleep, for we have bigger issues to tackle.

Black people should take responsibility for themselves now and focus on the failures that are inherent withint our communities, and rid themselves of the 'massa complex', as opposed to making too much out of what Rand Paul or John Stossel have to say! For when they are gone away, and all of the racists are gone away, at some point the black community will still have to take responsibility for the problems that are inherent within the black community.

We should have done so a long time ago. And instead of depending on a civil rights bill to accomplish for us what we need to to do ourselves, we need to get busy, learn to love each other and to work together.

Peace & Grace

Addenda: A white woman, of Italian extraction, has decided, over the past few months, that no matter what I have to say about it, that she is my girlfriend. Now, I have always explained to my friends and white girls before, that I don't date white girls. Why, because I am a racist? No, simply, because I never cared to. In fact whenever I did date, I had a preference for 'brown sugar girls'. That didn’t mean that I was prejudice, I simply liked and still do like brown sugar women– even though I am simply not interested in dating at this time, and haven't been - I have other things on my plate.

Now here is my dilemma: What do I do with an attractive white female, who is about
'5' "2", has a beautiful body and who otherwise really likes me, when on the other hand, I'm not interested, however, I believe that she would make some other fellow a fine girlfriend? Simply put, I'm not interested in dating right now. But what I have decided to do, without any animus in mind due to race, is to be kind to her and remind her of what I have always explained to her over and over again – find someone else, I’m not interested.

At the very least, the color of my skin doesn't have anything to do with my conclusion, I simply have a right to my own opinions and to do as I please, as long as I am not discriminating against her in a harmful or pejorative manner – it wouldn’t be the first time that a Caucasian female told me that I was racist because I didn’t want to date her! In like manner, Paul and Stossel are entitled to their opinions just as I am to mine.

May 21, 2010

Banks and Other American Insitutions Considered Too Big to Fail: It's Cheaper To Keep Them (I)

In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul wrote in his epistle to the Corinthians about death in these terms.
"Except a corn of wheat were to fall into the ground and die, it could not bring forth wheat ...".

Other cultures teach that death is necessary in order to engender or generate new life. Just think what would happen if we would permit some of these ‘too big too fail institutions’ to fail? New organizations, hopefully better run institutions, would simply replace them. The country didn’t curl up and die because Lehman Brothers was permitted to collapse!

Why wouldn't the Federal Government practice laissez-faire and the principle of caveat emptor this time? It is because the government concluded that what songwriter and singer Jonnie Taylor wrote and recorded, 'It's Cheaper To Keep Her', applied when it comes to banks and other mammoth American organizations?

Let's consider the lyrics of the song.

Title: It's Cheaper To Keep Her

You tied up, you better stay tied up
Cause it's cheaper to keep her, this is from T, who says
It's cheaper to keep her; it's cheaper to keep her

When your little girl makes you mad
And you get an attitude and pack your bags
Five little children that you're leaving' behind
Son, you're gonna pay some alimony or do some time

That's why it's cheaper to keep her (Help me say it, y'all)
It's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
When you get through starin' that judge in the face
You're gonna want to cuss the whole human race

That's why it's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
It's cheaper to keep her
(It's cheaper, it's cheaper, it's cheaper, it's cheaper)
(It's cheaper to keep her)

You didn't pay but two dollars to bring the little girl home
Now you're about to pay two thousand to leave her alone
You see another woman out there and you want to make a change
She ain't gonna want you 'cause you won't have a damn thing

That's why it's cheaper to keep her (Everybody Sing along with me)
It's cheaper to keep her (it's cheaper to keep her)
By the time you get through lookin' that judge in the face
You're gonna want to cuss the whole human race

That's why it's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
It's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
(It's cheaper, it's cheaper, it's cheaper, it's cheaper)
(It's cheaper to keep her)

I know you think the grass is greener
Way over on the other side
When that judge gives you that dirty look
You may as well put your money in mama's pocketbook

That's why it's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
It costs too much to leave her alone, yeah (It's cheaper to keep her)
I know it's cheaper to keep her (It's cheaper to keep her)
'Cause you're gonna pay some alimony if you leave home
I tell y'all - it's cheaper to keep her - all the fellows I know are talkin' about it
It's cheaper to keep her, I gotta tell you

The thrust of Johnnie Taylor's song is essentially this, that no matter what you're going through in your current relationship with your spouse, and no matter how bad that it gets, that it is cheaper to stay with her, than to go through a costly divorce.

The decision to stay with her had nothing to do with love. Rather, if you ended the relationship, whomever was at fault, you could end up paying spousal or a combination of spousal and child divorce payments. The erudite members of America's Federal Government, after weighing the crisis that America suddenly found itself in a year ago, decided not to pursue a divorce.

Despite the crisis that continues to linger unto this day - concluded that despite the causal factors that caused the crises in the marriage between the state, mammoth American institutions and the people (a result of greed, mismanagement and malfeasance, that it was cheaper to stay with these institutions (keep them afloat) rather than to get a divorce from them and their questionable and in some cases criminal practices, rather than to permit them to fail.

Was the writer of the letter of the epistle to the Corinthians correct in his assessment that often you have to permit a seed to die, in order to bring forth new life? If he was correct, then the government just cheated each of out of a chance for a new life, and for our corporate institutions, the American way of life and our government to be born again with new life.

Having said that, banks and other secular institutions are not the only major American institutions that are failing us. There are many other American stalwart institutions that are part and parcel of the American culture that are failing the American populace. But let's review first, before we go on.

President Obama and his administration, to include Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Security Timothy Geithner, concluded, in 2009, that these institutions had to survive despite the predicament that they got themselves into over the span of the past few years – I believe that they failed us.
The only institution that was big enough to underwrite the losses of institutions that were about to go under, despite their questionable fiduciary and business practices, was the United States Federal Government.
And the Obama Administration, following the same pattern of the Bush Administration, jumped right, pushing for a newly created program called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, (TARP), jumped in to save them.

Not even George H. Bush Jr. behaved like a true conservative. The late Syndicated columnist and journalist of ‘Deep Throat’ fame, asked, jovially on news talk show years for his demise, "what is the definition of a compassionate conservative"? He then provided the answer: A compassionate conservative he said, "witnesses a man drowning 40 feet offshore, and in order to help him – he throws him a 15 foot rope". Old Bob, rest his soul, had to laugh at that one himself.

Why? The former Terrapin, probably wouldn’t have tossed a ‘drowning man or a woman’, a 5 foot rope. But George H. Bush Jr. and current President Obama then, both behaved like so-called liberals, they bailed certain institutions, banks, automobile companies … out, with an aid package quicker than you could say, “Where’s the Money Honey”.

Famous comedian, known by most as Sinbad told a story about his college days. Like most college students living on campus, Sinbad was broke. So, he said he decided to write his dad this jovial message. He wrote: “Dad, no mon, no fun, yo son”. Upon receipt of the letter his dad wrote back. “Too bad, so sad, yo dad”.

How many of you suppose that in about another 8 or 9 years, when the Obama girls are in college, that if they misbehaved and misused their college allowances only to write home to ask dad for relief, that Mr. Obama would send a care package to his children as quickly as he did to GM, Shearson-Lehman, Citibank …. Or, on the other hand would he sit the following to his children: "Girls you behaved very badly, and as a result you are going to have to learn from this incident because daddy and mommy are not simply not going to bail you out"?

Most Americans know by now, that the selected institutions which failed or nearly failed, received nearly 1 Trillion in asset relief from the American taxpayers, ala the largesse of the United States Federal Government. On the other hand, several others organizations, by wrote or by vote, in the same manner that American people were abandoned, were simply permitted to collapse.

To wit, that in spite of questionable management practices and the poor business decisions and investments made by of many of the organizations who benefitted from TARP and the Stimulus Package, organizations that were responsible in one way or another of the near collapse of the worldwide economic system, especially the American system: TARP funds represented a bailout for them, if not an outright reward for doing a reprehensible job. The more malfeasance that you engaged in it would seem, the larger the reward these organizations received.

This is analogous, to my way of thinking, of some leader or groups of leaders in let's say, some Banana Republic or some other totalitarian nation that does a horrendous job of governing, but remains in power in order and continues engaging in corruption, being bailed out. But in America? Come on!

And who, ultimately, will foot the bill for what I will refer to as the FAP, the Financial Awards Programs for Corporations? The answer is, the American taxpayers will foot the bill, the American taxpayers, well and China, are footing the bill for now.

I was speaking with a 2-decade friend the other day, who had decided a month ago to apply for relief given his increased mortgage costs. Despite having a credit rating of near 800 and 26 years of service on the same job, when he tried to refinance his mortgage, he was summarily turned down. And who turned him down? It was one of the same financial organizations that benefitted from his portion of tax relief that was given to this major bank through TARP.

He definitely qualified, and still he was summarily turned down. Now folks, there is something wrong with that equations!

So I ask again, despite their motives for picketing and crying foul, is the TEA Party correct in their conclusions about the government's massive bailout? Should it have happened, or should all of these institutions who were bailed out with TARP, and some even as a result of the Recovery Act, been permitted to struggle. Is America more than the sum of its corporations?

Even though their motives, The Tea Party, are suspect, and they ignored the fact that the individuals that they supported on the Republican Right, who contributed mightily to this debacle, former President George H. Bush and the Republican Right, their conclusions appear to be right on about the government having done the wrong thing with the bailout funds.
As some have reported, the relief should have been given to the people, which in turn would have jumpstarted the economy.
In other words, the American citizens would have either saved or spent the money that they received back from the government, and in turn the banks would have benefited and the factories ..., would have begun churning.

As of late, they are holding individuals on the Right's feet to the fire, who voted for TARP. But what is their true motive, who knows. It is that being fiscally is the right thing to do, and then I agree with them. On the other hand, on the other hand their schizophrenic behaviors suggest that they are smoking loco weed or something? Therefore, I don't trust them either.

And if you're wondering about me, frankly, I have never smoked, injected, inhaled, shot up, imbibed. any illegal substances in my life. But I have to wonder what these and too many other Americans smokers are injecting? Were Geithner and Bernanke wrong to help create a program that would bail out the American system and therefore American bankers and financial institutions?

The real question, in my mind, is where were they and others, along with their predecessors before them and our Federal Government before them to have permitted these kinds of shenanigans to take place in the first place, with derivatives, credit default swaps … that led to this near collapse of the American economy and therefore our system in the first place. I didn't get the memo before about these questionable instruments ..., did you?

The lack of regulation, spans several decades, and includes the members of several administrations, congress, the Fed, the Treasury Department, both political parties... But are these the only culprits? Nyat! And what a cover-up?

It is time for banks and other perennial American stalwart institutions that are considered to be too big too fail to be brought into the real world!

And who would argue now, given the recent economic collapse of the worldwide, American led macroeconomic system, the phrase “too big too fail”, has entered into American parlance, if not the American lexicon, for the politicians in Washington DC are showing what they are all about and whose interests they truly have in mind.

The lack of regulation, spans several decades, and includes the members of several administrations, congress, the Fed, the Treasury Department ... But are these the only culprits? Nyat!
All I can say is, wake up and then move over Bugsy and Al Capone, your antics have been trumped by nefarious mainstream institutions and organizations that have enjoyed the full backing, support and bailouts by the American government.
And how many of the leaders of this failed e corporate institutions will go to jail? Answer, not too many so far! How many of Bernie Madoff’s regulator friends in the SEC gone to jail so far? The answer is in the question, for all of these are apparently 'above the laws that the rest of us are obliged to obey'.

And we find these truths to be evident that all men are created equal..."? Answer? I don't think so. Not only aren't all men not created equal, neither are all institutions created equal. Some are and always have been considered to be more equal than others. What is so scary about all of the malfeasance that took place which crippled the American and world economy is that what are saying might be perfectly true, NONE of these folks broke the law. In fact, they may have acted within the laws that were instituted by Congress, in spite of what all of us might consider moral failure.

For don’t these individuals have the responsibility to behave in a moral fashion, even if they can find a loophole that would permit them to do otherwise? There are also other institutions that are equally culpable, some who are also deemed to be 'fail proof' despite their performance, given the deleterious effect that their failing institutions would have on the economy and the American way of 'consume and spend way of life', that most Americans have either become accustomed to or dream of acquiring. They would be bailed out if they were to screw up tomorrow, and incite another crash of the stock market, and other world economies, and what is so bad about this is that they know that they would be bailed out by the American government, whoever the president happened to be.

Let's get back to those other American institutions that are failing, even though they are considered by some still to be 'too big to fail'.

Some of the other institutions that we need to keep an eye are as follows: Some are financial, some are governmental, some are religious, some are medical, some are industrial … and no matter what they do, or don’t do they are considered not to be expendable in their current forms. Consider Medicare, a system that endures fraud and malfeasance to the tune of hundreds of millions a year, is considered too big too fail (do without).

Huge corporations like oil, automobile, steel … are considered to be necessary for most Americans in order to continue the 'American Greed' way of life.

The number, as well as the scope of these mammoth institutions that are considered to be too big to fail transcends American financial institutions. Are we really talking about too big too fail, or too big to fix? Or how about, unable or unwilling to allow these institutions to go away or replace with something more tangible because my friends work there?

In fact, the phenomenon transcends logic. One would ask, then why doesn’t someone do something, and who was on watch when this travesty took place? Which time I ask? Was it the role of the federal government, particularly congress to create and enforce regulations? Isn’t it their role to defend the antitrust laws that they together put into place.

Why were and are certain monopolies allowed to thrive, while others are immediately shut down. Leaving it up to the federal government to regulate these mammoth institutions has proven to be an abject failure, and is the equivalent of leaving the fox to guard the hen house. In fact the federal government, for example, is an example of another institution that we refuse to allow to fail and by that I mean go out of existence, and be replaced by something better, even though at times it appears to be a complete failure as far as the American people are concerned, just as many as the afore-mentioned institutions have been.

It is apparent that the longer that we hold these and other financial and corporate institutions in place in their current form, that the more the American people will be held hostage by these institutions.
Who are some of the other major institutions that are failing us.
For example, political parties, the two main ones Republican and Democratic, are apparently too big too fail. Even though the American people are apparently dissatisfied with either of the big Two, yet the American voters, in droves, go out and vote for political party candidates instead of for individuals.

Personally, I gave up on the pressure from my peers long ago, the ones who convince that me that I was wasting my vote if I did not vote for a candidate that had been put forth by either the democratic or republican parties. Boulderash, I said!

The government continues to defer to institutions like GMAC, Chrysler, AIG and other monopolies, while explaining their failures to the American people and at the same time explaining its reasoning behind buttressing these organizations with taxpayer’s money (even though some of them have clearly failed). How about the equity stakes that the government has made into several of these huge behemoths? Aside from loans, take Citibank into consideration for example!And whose money is the government using to buttress these organizations?When will the government admit that it is a part of the problem and not the solution?
And How About The American Corporate and Cover-up Catholic Church?
And with respect to Protestantism, Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of America’s premiere protestant mega-ministers said:"The Church is a Business"! Is that all that the church is Bishop Jakes? I was there, in Washington DC, when he said it. Just check the Washington Post if you don't believe me.

And Bishop Takes, as I affectingly refer to him, like many other of his mentors and colleagues, ‘takes’, in whatever city or nation that he happens to land in to preach. He is representative of a growing problem with the American Corporate Church. There are many smaller congregations and ministers following his example to raise incredible sums of money and build huge fiefdoms to bolster their legacy. These gentlemen place an incredible weight on the members of their congregations and the churches that they preach at in order to raise incredible sums of money.

So what is wrong with these religious institutions? Who will lead or show the secular institutions the right way, particularly, if you cannot depend on corporate religious institutions to behave any differently from their secular counterparts? Has anyone noticed the lavish lifestyles that these characters are living right down to private airplanes, expensive luxury cars, personal chefs, expensive dwellings ...

Many religious institutions boast of memberships in the billions and others in the millions. Some own vast tracts of properties that are worth trillions of dollars. These institutions wield considerable influence over their parishioners (right down to who and what to vote for) and over the rest of the world including the United States Supreme Court: Five U.S. Supreme Court Justices are Roman Catholic, and two are Jews and the rest protestant.

Can a corporate religious organization have the same problem as any other human organization? It would appear so, because many of these organization that operate in the same manner as their corporate counterparts, with Tax Exempt status of course, are experiencing similar results, i.e., corruption, sexual improprieties, resignations, greed, graft, lawsuits …
Biblical eschatologists: I ask you, are the elements that were written about in the Bible, referring to institutions religious and non, that are melting away?
Many Religious organizations, the Catholic Church for example, and other mainstream protestant religious organizations appear to have clearly outlived their usefulness as well. And, guess what, they are not permitted to fail/go away either.

These organizations clearly are not having any profound effect on America's crime-riddled, hedonistic, greed-driven economy and system, other than molesting our children, and keeping their hands deeply into the pockets of the American people. Isn't it interesting that the head of the largest Church, if you will in the world, the Catholic Church, Pontifus Maximus, is actually a head of State. Many of our smaller ministries, have powerful leaders, among their parishioners. And they consider themselves, by their actions, to also be Heads of State that are concerned only about 'The Benjamins'.

Some of America’s religious organizations, are multi-million dollar fundraising religo-political organizations, even though they clearly have failed America. Consider, Focus on the Family, the 700 Club …, all supporters of neo-fascism, and supporters of the now defunct Bushtanista Party. Why have they been kept around? Some of these organizations maintain annual budgets themselves of 3 to 400 million dollars, and spend a considerable percentage of their budgets to influence policy-decisions among the American people and with the Federal Government!

Dr. Dobson decided to resign recently, having recognized the damage that his inane image was doing, as long as he remained the head of Focus on the Family. I’ve never met Dr. Dobson, however, how could anyone be so dimwitted? Dobson, along with how many other televangelists have been responsible for fomenting hatred for two decades in this nation now, if not being the spiritual heads of religio-political hate groups, having done so under the guise of calling themselves religious organization while pushing their political agendas in the name of the LAWD!

Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council are no better. And how about Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell --- all of these goons were, and are nothing more than self-centered ideologues who have made billions off of the backs of naïve and in some instances unsuspecting Christians.

Dr. Dobson is not gone, instead just like the Ku Klux Klan, a group that you don’t see or hear from them everyday, he is still around and influencing American foreign and domestic policy! Do I dislike the man. Frankly, I believe that he is brilliant, but on the other hand he should have stuck with his profession. He has done considerable damage to the conscience of America.

There are many other pastors that are too big to fail, even though they have already failed the people by putting their own agenda ahead of that of the people!
Americans have rightfully, concluded Houston, ‘that we have a problem within our economic system (given that certain institutions are being buttressed by the American government even when they have been caught with their fingers in the proverbial cookie jar).
And, although these institutions are rife with corruption and have clearly lost their moral and religious compasses, if they ever had one, they are constantly being revitalized by the American taxpayers.

Would we be better off without them? The Apostle Peter in his Epistle wrote, that in some instances, one would have been better off not to have some leaders and teachers, for the last state of those who listened would become even worse than it was before them followed them.

I had an experience recently with a well-known pastor in San Jose California that I have known for years. He is busily building a religious fiefdom himself, and has he been doing so for some years now. Having become suspicious of his changed behavior and attitude, having noticed a peculiar change in his attitude and behavior (after getting together with him after an 8 year hiatus, myself, in the nation's capital).

He was being inexplicably deferential, if not rude to me. Frankly, he no longer reflected the kind spirit that before, was always his hallmark - behavior that was consistent with the Bible that he preaches from. I decided to give him a simple test
How did I test him? I simply said to him, one day at his church, "I Love You"
. And guess what? He didn't have a reply, he simply walked on past me.

One of his assistants asked him to take me on a tour and to show me around his building: the church was in the midst of an expansion project. He refused, and told his elder to show me around eek, I thought, what happened to him and why is he behaving in such a manner?

Americans allow too many institutions and institutional leaders, be they religious or not, to stay around for too long. In some instances they stay around too long, in order to maintain the lavish life-style that they have become accustomed to in deference to the needs of the people. Also, some Americans are afraid to step outside of the box and question some of the things that the culture and religion has taught them.

It is time, I believe, for something radical to take place in the United States. And I believe that with the recent government bail out, that we may have missed our opportunity. America's star in the world has begun to settle if not diminish. Other nations are catching up intellectually, monetarily and military. Oftentimes, when something does not appear to be broken, individuals don't try to fix it. And sadly, they wake up one day and find out that it is too late to do then, what they should have done a long time ago.

I’m not finished. The American people are going to have to wake up, those who have not woke up yet and realize that it is time for a real change in America is now. This nation, a nascent nation of just over 2-decades, cannot survive on its current course without some major upheaval. America is a bi-furcated society, one with too much of the wealth being concentrated in the hands of a few.

We have politicians spending fortunes, Meg Whitman, in California is running in the gubernatorial race. She lives in an area, where there is the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Individuals are loosing their homes, cars, jobs ... Shelter programs are closing, recreational centers are closing and what are the Meg Whitman's of the world doing to help? She has spent approximately 68M trying to get elected to the office of Governor of the State of California.

And even though she is sinking in the poles, she plans to spend and nearly another 150M of her own personal wealth, valued at 1B, in order to get elected. What's wrong with that? My answer is, who needs another politician, who somehow has amassed such a fortune (Goldman Sachs money or not), at the same time that so many, perhaps, 10,000 individuals, both young and old, male and female in San Jose California alone who have host everything and living on America's streets, when at the same time other individuals like Meg enriched themselves.

If Meg looses the election, she will have to consider just how many people and how many institutions she could have helped in Santa Clara County alone, as she pursued more power and a more powerful position for herself.

America's institutions, even the family institution is failing. The American divorce rate, depending on who you believe is about half of those who get married. And in some areas of the country, that rate is at about 80%. America has an immigration problem, and on top of that a gang problems. America is engaged in wars on 2 major fronts, not to mention the war that is taking place on its southern border.

Other nations are threatening America, and America citizens are even participating in terrorist activities against the state ... And what are too many Americans, including the wealthy class concerned about? In the words of the rapper Fifty-Cents, How To Get Rich or Die Trying! .

There is an old saying that goes like this, ‘If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it’. Then the opposite of that it would seem to me would be, ‘if is broken, then we need to fix it’! Can the current administration fix a problem that it is a part of folks? I don’t think so. Can we rely on religious organizations, with leaders who are following an American Corporate Model, that are trying to enrich themselves help America. I really don't think.

The question, can Satan cast out Satan, words reportedly spoken by Jesus Christ, come to mind? Or better yet, would Satan cast out Satan? In answer to that, I don't think so, and neither do I believe that our croup of icons, political, religious and corporate will never do anything to change the current 'get rich and stay rich' trend in America. .

The American government, over 300,000 registered lobbyists, mammoth monopolies, Wall Street, the rest of the financial system (Market of the Beast), religious organizations… are all in bed together. The rest of, well let’s just say that we need to get together and to start something new before we are swallowed up in the morass of greed in a wealth-driven, I AM NOT MY BROTHER'S KEEPER society!

America and its institutions, beginning with the American form of government, requires a forklift upgrade, because Satan (whatever it is), our government officials at times and well corporate, religious and non, CEOs, are all working together. And, as a result their demonic practices will never cease if we wait for them to correct their own practices and behaviors. The question is can we find a forklift that is big enough to move the problem? And can we wait for any of these structures to police and to then sanction themselves? Haven't we seen enough of this tryst already.

I suspect that going back to a time when a single head of household would abuse his power, without consequences, and Lord it over everyone in the household, that many Americans who are experiencing the same today from our time-honored institutions.

But rather than continuing to play the role of a dependent whimpering wife citizen, who is solely dependent upon her dependent government and corporate mate, that the American people will have to create a system that works for all of the people.

Americans must disabuse themselves our typical institutions, be they religious or non (remember there are dogmatic but abusive teachers and leaders in religion too) and learn to be self-sufficient, that have been and are failing us.

And for those of you who are afraid of change, and would ask what would likely happen if we were to allow some of these bad institutions to go away that all of us in one way or another have supported? I suspect that it would be painful for awhile, but afterwards, we would regroup and rebuild new and better institutions to replace them.

I also believe that we would be better off if power, were not concentrated in the hands of a wealthy, corporate or religiously structured power elite, particularly those individuals and institutions that are in bed with our government officials. We have got to come together, strip away their power and to put in place a system that works, a system that is of, by and for the people!

For how many of the leaders of the failed corporate institutions that exist in America today should, or will go to jail? Answer, not too many so far - and I suspect that not too many of them ever will! Again, how many of Bernie Madoff’s regulator friends in the SEC, who overlooked his misdeeds, have gone to jail so far? How many child-molesting ministers and priests have gone to jail?

The answer is in the question. Will the current administration fix a problem that it is a part of folks? I don’t think so.

Americans, like the spouse who has silently experienced prolonged abuse for perhaps all of her life, all should know by now that there is an existing problem within American institutions. And the American people, like too many an abused spouse, one who can't see any other way of surviving without her abusive mate ought to be able to see now that unless we get together and do something about the problem, that the abuse will continue into perpetuity. Too many are like her, they have simply given in, when it is time for a NEW AMERICAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT!

And make no mistake, about it, the American Federal Government has been bought and sold to the highest bidders - American corporations. And the American people remain the abused spouses of the American government and its paramours that have all gone awry. Why? Because, the American government and the American people for that matter have decided, it would seem, that it is easier to keep her (Things the way hat they are and have been rather than to do anything about our the problem). It's easier, apparently, to do nothing!

On the other hand, American people, why don't we simply pay the alimony (our individual sacrifices, if we have to and get rid of these jerks, so that we can move on and live the lives that we are entitled to live. If we were to do so, at least we will be able to sleep at night, have peace and be able to live with ourselves and to build a bigger America!

Rev. C. Solomon