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The lesson for adults is to follow the ‘corporate’ policy when a situation arises

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas – The sports world is a microcosm of real life and nothing has come closer to the real thing than when Gary Sandusky was charged with several charges of sexual assault of a minor.

Reality also hit when several prominent members of the Penn State hierarchy found themselves unemployed, including legendary former head coach Joe Paterno.

Yet what is being missed by talking heads in all genres is the fact that a no tolerance policy on harassment and misconduct seems to have been either overlooked or not adhered to.

In such dramatic fashion, lives have been irreparably changed by the actions of a few adults and sadly this tragedy probably could have been handled faster and in a more professional manner had the adults in this situation adhered to whatever sexual misconduct policy Penn State had in effect during that time frame.

Even today, what should have happened was that former graduate assistant Michael McQueary should have immediately reported what he saw to appropriate authorities the moment he thought something was amiss.

Not the day after.

Not in calling his dad for ‘guidance’.

Call papa later; right now you need to find an assistant athletic director or someone with some clout to start putting into motion some type of investigation into what you saw.

Even if McQuery’s actions turned out to be a false alarm, the mere fact that had he simply acted upon a premise of reporting such an egregious act to a superior or someone who understood the compliance policies of the university during that time frame may as well could have saved other victims from their tragedies.

Yet what McQuery did is not any different than what may happen in the workforce today.

How many of us would report an act of misconduct by an employee, colleague or close friend in the work place?

Are you going to give your friend the benefit of the doubt or would you brave the repercussion of losing that friendship and doing what is right?

That’s tough to call because so many of us have turned a blind’s eye during our lifetimes.

Think about it for a minute.

The improper cat call or sexist comment said amongst friends.

A snide remark about a co-worker’s attire.

The snubbing or lack of acknowledgement of a colleague’s comment during a team meeting, that while may be very on point and productive, gets ignored because you just don’t like their mannerisms.

How many of us are guilty of these acts?

And if you are guilty of even the smallest transgression at work, you most likely would not do anything in the Penn State situation either because your make up, your life experience, your persona didn’t do the right thing in the past.

How can you do some good in the future in this regard?

In most cases, you can’t.

It’s not about you being a bad person; it is just the fact that most of us don’t get involved in that fashion.

Yet that that does not mean that we cannot all learn from this incident and get a better understanding of our own work policies in regards to what is deemed to be proper conduct and what needs to be done when such egregious acts or incidents are committed in our presence.

For me, there are five principles that help me understand my own compliance policies at my place of employment that help me understand how I should act. Those five principles are: protect the brand, protect my co-workers, protect the clients, report malfeasance promptly and, protect myself.

PROTECTING THE BRAND

Let’s face it, if you are working for someone else, do you try to protect the brand at all times?

Protecting your employer’s reputation and standing in the community isn’t about a cover up; it is about adhering to the mission statement of the company and realizing that you represent that company when you step out in public.

When you are out and about, it is imperative to make sure that you do not do anything that would come back and harm your employer’s community reputation. Right now, the reputation that Penn State now has is one that they let such incidents happen on their campus; in essence they do not condone what happened so many years ago.

And while that may not be the reality, it is definitely the perception now.

PROTECTING MY CO-WORKERS

If my actions are a reflection of my employer out in public, that same action also reflects on my co-workers’ as well.

If you go out drinking and you get drunk and while you are in your drunken state you say something inappropriate to a stranger, how do you know that the rank stranger is not an acquaintance of one of your co-workers? What if your words got back to your manager or business partner?

Multi-million dollar deals have been lost by those who have allowed alcohol to be in control of their sensibilities.

Too many business relationships have been irreparably damaged by ill-placed comments about an individual or product that was within earshot of someone who may have thought about doing business with you and/or your employer only to say no to these deals because you got diarrhea at the mouth.

If all else fails and you are out in public, you should try to be professional at all times.

When you are representing the company, remember you are representing not just yourself but also your co-workers too.

PROTECTING THE CLIENTS

This is an important principle because it is actually integral to all of these principles.

No matter what, whether you are in public or in a private setting, you should ‘protect the client’ and the client’s reputation.

In the Penn State case, the clients were the young men who were allegedly victimized by Sandusky. Nobody and I do mean NOBODY, thought about protecting these young men. Not Paterno, McQuery, the school president, board of trustees, even the grounds keeper.

Why do I say that? Because if anyone had contact with Sandusky and had an inkling that something was amiss while he was representing Penn State, they did not do anything to stop his transgressions and protect the school and these young men.

And so you are out, you need to realize that protecting your clients, in whatever capacity you may believe the category may be, is as imperative as protecting the brand and the company.

REPORT THE MALFEASANCE EXPEDITIOUSLY

As stated above, we are all guilty of not being proactive and reporting wrong doing in a work place environment; especially if that instance is being committed by a well respected colleague.

Yet by the very act of not acting promptly and reporting whatever wrongdoing we may believe has taken place, what we are doing is actually allowing the action to fester into something that could be more troubling or disturbing down the line.

The old phrase of ‘snitches get stitches’ or whatever saying there is out there about being a tattle tale is not only wrong; it is non-productive to the work community at large.

Had McQuery acted swiftly and notified proper authorities, he may have been a hero and not considered a heel.

If Paterno had listened and actually had more hands on experience in managing his program, both from the football side of things and also from the civic side, he may have been able to stop this tragedy earlier and still have a job.

The same can be said for the others who have been dismissed and who now be facing civil action from the victims and their legal representatives. Their lack of action in trying to squelch this tragedy has now added to their culpability of allowing these actions become a cancer on a proud university.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Finally, if all else fails, protect yourself from being one who has not done anything to bring attention to the problem.

All too often, so many of us worry about repercussions or backlash for saying something when a situation looks like it just isn’t right. We worry about how people perceive us and we want to be liked by our peers and bosses.

Yet if your boss or colleague has committed an act that that is against your company compliance policy or you see an act that raises red flags, you shouldn’t hesitate in notifying the right authorities in that regard.

By being proactive and reporting such instances, you may feel lousy for a minute but in the end you will actually have helped save the reputations, livelihoods and overall lives of those who were about to be victimized.

We all need to learn what our workplace policies are in regards to such instances like what is going on at Penn State and in other news events.

Harassment of any sort should not be something we tolerate as individuals and as working citizens.

The moment we stop truly caring about others and only focus on ourselves, incidents like the Penn State case will keep happening.

This may be a teachable moment but in reality, it really should have been something that was subscribed to long ago; not just now because young men have now been violated by someone who they had once respected and admired.

Gregory Moore is a former sports columnist/writer who now resides in Dallas, Texas. You can follow him via Twitter @nbascribe or email him at urbinform@yahoo.com.

Hatas’ need to re-evaluate their lives; not a 20 something multi-millionare who plays ball

By Gregory Moore

DALLAS, Texas – It’s been a while since I’ve penned something but this needed to be said: for those who continue to ‘hate’ on LeBron because of his decision; it’s time to re-evaluate your lives.

Here’s the scoop. There is a time to ‘hate’ on someone and then there is a time to let it go and move on.

LeBron, the good citizen, is hated while DeShawn, the criminal, is celebrated by many.

Sports, especially professional sports, is a business: pure and simple. There are no such things as allegiances anymore and for those players who are fortunate to be with one franchise their entire career, that only happens when titles are won during their time with the organization.

Want proof?

Look no further than Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Das German has spent thirteen seasons with that franchise and he has seen it go up and down. This year, he got his coveted title and he is now in the elite fraternity of NBA champion.

If you think Dirk would have stayed with this franchise last summer if they had not shown a sincere desire to win, you smoking the good stuff. He would have bolted as soon as he could.

Which brings me to LeBron James aka the Chosen One aka the most hated sports figure in pro sports right now.

Why is he hated? Because he allegedly bolted from his hometown and aired the now infamous ESPN one hour commercial called “The Decision”.

Let us forget that thousands of dollars in ad revenue went to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and especially to the club in Akron.

Let’s forget the fact that after 2007, Dan Gilbert handcuffed his front office by not listening to his star.

Let’s forget that despite the success the Cavaliers may have had, everybody came to see LeBron; not Daniel Boobie Gibson, Mo Williams or anyone else on that team one, two, four seasons ago.

If it weren’t for LeBron, Cleveland wouldn’t be mentioned even now; that’s how far it dropped off of the basketball world. And when the last great players anyone came come up with are Rod Williams, Craig Ehlo and Brad Daugherty, guess what? Your franchise flat out sucks eggs.

So has anyone thanked LeBron for bringing the Cavs back to the forefront for seven seasons?

Nope.

But they do hate his guts.

And for what? For going to where titles truly mean something and not just chalk talk?

But what’s so far over the edge is the fact that while so much ink, including here, is spent about LeBron, nobody talks about whether he’s a good citizen or not; both on and off the court.

I mean LeBron may not have won a title but at least he didn’t get arrested for public intoxication like DeShawn Stevenson.

Oh wait, let’s go back further to 2001 when Stevenson was in court over the rape allegations of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Yeah that may be almost a decade ago but here’s the thing: LeBron hasn’t been nowhere near a court room for anything and yet he’s being placed under a magnifying glass like he done stole the biggest chocolate chip cookie from Cookie Monster.

If we are going to be that petty about someone’s inefficiencies because he didn’t stay true to his home city, why can’t we also balance it out and say, “Well he is doing right by his family and kids”?

We can’t.

It’s not in our nature to do so.

Bashing is easy.

Making classless jokes is moronic.

But you know what’s truly sad?

That a 20 something year old man with millions and millions of dollars in the bank will have taken care of at least two generations of his kids and most of us can’t even pay the water bill or gas bill on time.

Think about it folks.

Who needs to really re-evaluate their lives here? LeBron or the hatas that are out there trying to make a buck off of his inefficiency to win in a series that he is at one year too early?

Gregory Moore is a former sports editor/columnist who is now in the Information Technology field. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Lockhart Smokehouse going to need some seasoning…..

by Gregory Moore

DALLAS – Been a while since I’ve blogged but I decided to write about a new BBQ place that has hit the Dallas metroplex.

Lockhart Smokehouse (www.lockhartsmokehouse.com) is the latest BBQ joint to hit Dallas and there are some promising trends and some not so ‘traditional’ decisions that will either make or break this new restaurant.

Lockhart Smokehouse needs a little bit of seasoning but it's not too bad if you're in a crunch.

First things first, I truly like the location. Located off of Bishop Ave. in Oakcliff, you cannot miss the eatery. Even while I trekked five miles in the snow yesterday, it was easy to find and now I don’t need navigation to get there.

Now what caught my eye wasn’t the place to order the cue; it was the fact that there is a bar in a barbecue restaurant.

Yes you read that correctly; a bar.

Now in Central Texas where my peeps are from, that may not fly (or would it) but I have to remember, this is Dallas and things are done a little bit differently up here.

And so as I walked past the flat screen TVs and nice sitting areas (much nicer than in the Luling/Lockhart/Gonzales places I know) I headed straight to the back where the food is made and ordered.

Here’s where I think things get interesting.

I don’t smell smoke and my clothes don’t reek of it.

They have a nice red Berkley smoker. They have a nice counter with a fancy computer thingamajig to rake cash or plastic. And I saw people getting orders and leaving or sitting down.

But if there is one thing you can judge barbecue meats on; it’s how long the line is to the counter and that’s not the five people who couldn’t make up their mind when I got in there.

So with that in mind, I ordered what I consider my usual order at Kruez, Luling or even Smitty’s: six rings and half a pound of brisket.

Here is the first turn off for me: $40.

Yes that was my total cost.

Rings are $5 a piece folks; that is 135% more than what is charged in Lockhart.

Now maybe they have to have the sausage shipped every day; I don’t know.

If they do, then there is trouble brewing because not even Jerry Jones would pay those prices for long.

My second turn off?

Not enough smoke.

Let me say this: the product is pretty good.

Is it on the caliber of the original Kruez/Smitty’s product in Lockhart?

No.

And that’s where the smoke comes in.

The Berkley smoker may be fancy and new but it is not like the brick pits that are used in the small towns along the Texas BBQ circuit.

Now for those who have never really had Central Texas BBQ, this place is going to rock.

But I’m a purist and while I will patronize it because it is a few miles from the house, I don’t think it will be on my favorite BBQ places of all times.

Like I said before, the product is good but it is missing that ‘seasoning’ that only years of being in business give such products.

(For the record, yes I think they are better than Dickey’s and will probably give Sonny Bryan’s a run. They definitely can give Rudy’s trouble)

In the end, it’s a restaurant that I will frequent, invite friends to, etc.

However if I want the real thing and really want to make the drive, I can gas up the SUV, point it down I-35 south and make a stop at Kruez in Lockhart.

So on my unofficial scale of great BBQ taste, I’ll say it is a 7.3 and needs some seasoning.

Bitching and moaning just typical signs of a mentally lapsed Mavs’ franchise

By Gregory Moore

Bitch. Bitch. Bitch.

Whine. Moan. And Groan.

If it isn’t Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban bitching about Danny Crawford’s officiating, it’s somebody moaning about how the Mavs are disrespected when they play defense.

But then there’s the whining and usually that comes from Eric Dampier and a few others.

In this case, it’s ‘Ericka’ (as Dirk Nowitzki once anointed him) and this time Dampier is moaning about how the Spurs got all the calls and the Mavs didn’t.

“When we play defense we’re under a magnifying glass, but when we’re on offense, there’s no magnifying glasses,” Dampier said. “You’ve got to call it both ways. Dirk Nowitzki drives, he doesn’t get fouled. They drive on the other end and they get the little ticky-tack fouls. So keep it consistent, that’s all. Don’t be one way or the other.”

Evidently Dampier isn’t really at the games he’s talking about because for anyone to say that the Mavs don’t get calls is either smoking the white stuff, snorting the brown stuff, or is simply wearing some very tinted glasses that have Bluetooth receptors beaming subliminal messages into their corneas.

In all seriousness this whining and moaning of the Dallas Mavs is really getting tired and old.

But coming from a team that isn’t mentally tough shouldn’t be that difficult to grasp.

More on in a little bit though because there are some things that need to be addressed so that even ‘Ericka’ can understand the ground he is trying to walk on.

First off, the Mavs got plenty of calls in their first game and got a hell of a lot of calls in their third game.

VIDEO: Game 3 highlights

Camping out in the lane, basically playing a zone defense and let us not forget how Nowitzki tried to do a nose surgical job on Manu Ginobili’s nose. Or maybe we should overlook how a hard foul sent a Spurs guard sprawling into the bank of camera men in front of their bench?

Yeah Dallas got plenty of calls but that wasn’t their issue last night.

Lack of mental toughness was; which isn’t a big shocker to this writer.

As one Dallas columnist put it, and I’m paraphrasing here, the Spurs’ big three delivered; the Mavs didn’t.

Well now there’s a shocker.

Yes Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan combined for 63 points last night.

Granted George Hill chipped in a playoff best 17 points.

But you know what the intangible was for the Spurs?

They didn’t panic when they were up or down in the game; they just kept their mental focus.

Can’t say the same thing for the Mavs.

At the 3:03 mark in the third quarter, the Mavs were up 68-59; a nine point lead that capped a spectacular offensive flourish by Dallas.

And that was their sole highlight moment outside of a three pointer by Jason Terry in the fourth.

From a nine point lead, the Spurs go on a run of their own; a 36-17 flurry that ends the game.

Calls?

What calls?

Defense?

What defense?

Bitching?

Stop bitching.

What happened to the Mavs is the same thing that happened to them in 2006 against the Miami Heat; they wilted under the pressure of winning a meaningful playoff game.

The same thing happening now happened then and I’m talking about the lack of mental toughness and the fact that they griped and moaned all they through their demise.

If it weren’t referee calls, it was the referees calling timeouts when players say they didn’t call them.

The sad thing is that probably the best coach that could take them to where they need to go, they let go in 2008 and brought in Rick Carlisle.

Sure, Rick’s squad has had the Spurs’ number as of late but that doesn’t mean  ish when you’re in the playoffs. How well did they fair last year after beating the Spurs? They got hammered by the Denver Nuggets.

How well did they handle the success of beating the Spurs in 2006? They got squelched in the NBA Finals?

Do you see a pattern here?

And along with the losing comes the whining

Which is typical Dallas Mavs’ flair and pompenstance when things don’t go their way.

Mentally, this team is inept at grasping the reality that if you just go out and play the game, more often times than naught the better team will win the contest.

That’s not how Dallas plays things and it shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us.

Neither should this griping, moaning, bitching and groaning from players and an owner.

Herm Edwards said it best when he was the New York Jets’ head coach: “You play to win the game.”

Not bitch.

Not gripe.

Not complain.

Play.

Maybe if Eric Dampier and his teammates spent more time playing the game and less time arguing calls during the game and bitching afterwards, they would win meaningful series.

Right now however this is what they are relegated to and for the Spurs and others, that is perfectly fine for them to do so.

Is the ‘Birther’ movement the next Joe McCarthy hearing in waiting?

Rep. John Campbell doesnt believe that president Barak Obama is American.

Rep. John Campbell doesn't believe that president Barak Obama is American.

By Gregory Moore

What do you remember or know about Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the infamous “McCarthy” hearings?

Do you know how they all started?

With fear of the unknown and conspiracy.

Sen. McCarthy used his power to investigate anyone who he thought was a Communist or communist supporter.

That included private citizens and public officials.

Now without going into great detail of that 1950s time, it is safe to say that Democrats were not safe from McCarthy’s wrath.

But can you imagine what would happen if a little known movement known as the Birthers were allowed to make solid ground in this country?

Lives and liberties would be at stake and everyone would become suspicious.

Think about this as you go through this hypothetical scenario.

Chicago assemblyman Louis Farezek has become quite affluent in his young entrepreneur career. The son of a Danish woman and South African linguist who works with the state department, Farezek has been able to save several small media networks and bring them onto a world stage that not only reaches millions but also provides jobs on a global stage.

As a junior assemblyman, Farezek helped shape several global business strategies that have empowered the government’s economy to not just be a global leader but innovator.

And so it was no surprise that him running for president of the country was on his mind.

As his popularity amongst the country grew, so did the charges of his birth.

Finally in a haphazardly hastened committee meeting, several key opponents of Farezek questioned where the young politician was born and whether or not he was a naturalized citizen.

And even when he produced a certified copy from the state department, that did not stop the rumors.

Ultimately the whole presidential campaign for the young man was irreparably derailed.

The whole scenario had Farezek asking how someone who is Caucasian be considered not an American; even when he was born in a US Embassy?

If you think that scenario is out there in left field; think again.

Replace Farazek with our president.

Replace the birth place of a US Embassy with the state of Hawaii.

Replace entrepreneur with lawyer and community organizer.

Replace the parents.

Now do you see the similarities?

That is what is happening now with this Birther movement that supposedly well respected journalists and talking heads like Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are backing.

It is the same type of witch hunt that McCarthy had that is being allowed now by such politicians like Congressman Mike Castle and Alan Keyes.

There are individuals, supposedly well educated individuals, who want to make this movement a reality.

For what?

So that we can have our birth certificates at the ready?

I don’t want to have to do that.

And neither should you.

However these ‘nut jobs’, as my friend Roland Rogers so eloquently put in his CNN commentary, are getting validity from mainstream media circles and that is just down right shameful.

Let me go back to the McCarthy era for a minute because what I see now in this ‘birther’ movement are things that I have read about in how McCarthy got his power.

McCarthy’s power came because he was an elected official; a senator.

Castle is a Republican.

Keyes is a Republican.

Rep. John Campbell is also a Republican.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sen. Joseph McCarthy was a Republican.

Need I say more about a party who has a problem with its fringe members?

What should be scaring the bejeezers out of everyone is the fact that if no one stops this movement in its tracks, these individuals who believe that the current president is not an American, is ineligible to be in office, will go after someone else who does not ‘look’ or ‘talk’ like them.

That means that if a Hispanic wants to run for office but he has parents who were from the ‘old’ country, that individual is going to be challenged on his or her legitimacy to be in this country.

If an Asian who is from parents who fled North Korea for a better life runs, he or she is going to be subjected even though they were born in the United States and speak no Korean whatsoever.

Basically ‘minorities’ are going to be ostracized and treated like second class citizens all because somebody in this movement questions their birth claim.

And this is the land of the free and home of the brave?

This is the great melting pot that immigrants almost died for decades ago so that their offspring and future generations can be Americans?

If Lou Dobbs, Limbaugh or anyone else who falling into this birther trap is reading this, do us all a favor; stop giving these people credence and hope.

No one should have to prove they are American; especially someone who has a different name, complexion or accent.

But it has already happened and it seems that guys like Dobbs and Limbaugh are not ashamed that the world sees a faction of the citizenry openly denounce our leader of the country.

We’re gonna call this what it is: the race or ethnic version of the McCarthy hearings.

Let’s don’t give birth to a foolish ideal that has been soundly rebuked and rebuffed over a year ago.

CNN’s Black in America series continues to ‘educate’ country about issues

Steve Perry is one of several influential/affluent Blacks profiled on CNNs Black in America 2

Steve Perry is one of several influential/affluent Blacks profiled on CNN's Black in America 2

By Gregory Moore

Last night CNN broadcasted the first of a two part series called “Black in America 2” and from the unofficial “World as I see it” poll, the series was met with overwhelming applause.

What was ironic last night was that there has been a couple of news items in the news cycle that actually pertain to what the series is trying to educate America on; being African American in America. The first news item, the continued discussion (or misdirect) of whether or not Barack Obama is an American citizen and the arrest of Dr. Henry Gates, Jr.

Let me tackle the last item first because it needs to be addressed in an ‘educational’ fashion.

Racial profiling does exist and we all know that. However this arrest is less about race and more about proper communication between an individual and law enforcement.

Let me address the question that everyone will ask. No, Dr. Gates should have not been arrested by Sgt. Crowley.

Sgt. Crowley could have easily wrote him a citation and been on his way.

Now Dr. Gates may think he was treated wrong but being a jackass isn’t a privilege and a right. In this case, Dr. Gates was being a jackass by NOT actually help calm the situation.

Was he in his legal right?

Sure he was but Dr. Gates was the one who forgot his keys. Surely an educated man like himself can see that when police are called and they are called for a break in, saying, “don’t you see the picture on the wall” isn’t the right response.

Dr. Gates exacerbated the incident and Sgt. Crowley escalated the ordeal with the arrest.

In essence both of these men were being jackasses.

Both owe each other an apology and Dr. Gates needs to realize that sometimes proper identification, like, “Officer my name is Dr. Gates. Please step inside and we can clear this matter up” would have been the PROPER response to the officer’s question of “Who are you?”.

Now with that said, let me address something that the CNN piece touched on and why it is relative to the birth certificate quagmire.

The Tuxedo Ball, a Washington, D.C. event for teens of prominent Black families was partially showcased in last night’s episode but more importantly it was the reasoning behind why Dr. Carlotta Miles started the event 23 years ago.

I want to really focus on Betram Lee, Jr. because his life is central to why the ball was founded and why many Blacks are having a problem with the “conservative” realm and their reasoning of bringing up President Obama’s birth.

Lee is the son of former Denver Nuggets owner Betram Lee, Sr.

His father was an entrepreneur who was influential in both business and political circles.

The younger Lee talked about the two worlds that he lives in; one in which Blacks think he’s rich because he goes to a prep school and one in which Whites thinks he’s only at the school because of either affirmative action or sports.

In both worlds, neither side understands that there are people of affluent backgrounds that come in all shapes, sizes, colors, hues and racial backgrounds.

And so the Tuxedo Ball is where teens like Lee can go to network, assimilate with people of like backgrounds and ‘cope’ with the outside world.

Is Miles’ event the right thing? Maybe. Maybe not.

But the point is that she addressed an issue that not too many people in this country even grasp; the Black upper middle class.

That is why many Blacks are highly pissed off about the birth certificate controversy surrounding President Obama.

To them, it looks like “White” America just can’t believe that a Black man who was the product of an immigrant father and American mother could not be American despite the fact that he was born in the state of Hawaii and that his mother was an American.

If it sounds dumb, it is dumb. However the stigma that a half immigrant man is our President does not sit well with a part of America that refuses to adhere to the following words from Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

To those individuals who continue to think that President Obama is not an American, they also seem to think that a person of any color isn’t fit to be President of this country.

That thought process also befuddles me because one of the main proponents of this nonsense is Alan Keyes, the perrinniel loser in politics.

As a Black man I would think Keyes would not want to be a part of this controversy but he’s as knee deep into it as Rush Limbaugh or anyone else trying to keep it alive.

If there was ever a Black person who was living up to the term, “Uncle Tom”, Keyes is fitting that bill quite nicely.

Which is why the CNN piece from last night and tonight is so powerful.

It educates this country on the successes of a people who ‘built’ this nation but who are still treated as second class citizens even when one of them is the most powerful man in the world.

We shouldn’t be having a discussion about man’s birth place but the only reason why this is being brought up is because of Obama’s race and heritage.

And that is why there are programs like CNN’s coming out now; to show just how ignorant some in this country still are about the trials, tribulations, successes and failures of the minorities in this country.

There are people who are going to say that if we continue to talk about race we are just feeding its hatred. That only one race exists and that is the human race.

That may be true but until this country accepts the fact that it has a bad history of dealing with the issue, there will be programs like Black In America, the upcoming one, Latino In America and other social programs trying to understand our vast melting pot.

Until we understand what we are as a country, we need to continue to be educated.

While adoration was merited, the shameless commercialism was tasteless

By Gregory Moore

 

Fans of the King of Pop adorned the front door area of the Apollo Theatre with cards and letters

Fans of the King of Pop adorned the front door area of the Apollo Theatre with cards and letters

RICHMOND, VA — Greetings from Richmond, VA…former capital of the Confederacy. Home of some of the best jerk chicken outside of Jamaica (or Jamaica Queens for that matter), and of course my resting spot before I jump on the big bird tomorrow back to the Alamo City.

 

I decided to actually take a vacation this year and amidst the recession, spend some money and go to New York City.

 

In one word let me say that the trip was splendid.

 

I did enjoy seeing all the sights and hearing the sounds of the Big Apple.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed jumping on the subway and going uptown to the Museum of Natural History, walking along 42nd Street, down 5th Avenue and sitting in Bryant and Greeley Parks. I even enjoyed actually driving through the city the last couple of days to go across every major bridge in the city and hitting all five boroughs in some shape form or fashion.

 

But what was probably the highlight and low light of the vacation was my trip to Harlem USA; home of the famed Apollo Theatre and where a family friend had a street named after him.

 

It was there in Harlem that I got my oxtails in a soul food restaurant but it was also there where I got what I think was also one of the biggest disappointments in my 42 years of life.

 

For the first real time in my life, I saw my own ‘people’ shamelessly exploit a tragedy for their own need and good and it was sad.

 

It was also disgusting.

 

Here is a tragedy in which even I wanted to buy a t-shirt in commemoration but something told me not to do that.

 

Don’t ask me why but it didn’t happen.

 

And even as we walked away, one vendor was like, “C’mon man this is our era”.

 

And that’s the problem.

 

MJ was sort of my generation.

 

Yeah sure he was eight years older than me but I grew up on his music.

 

I remember the cartoon series that was on ABC.

 

I remember songs like “Ben”, “I’ll Be There” and “ABC”.

 

Hell I remember his appearance on the “Dating Game”.

 

I remember how the Jacksons had their “Victory” tour in Cincinnati and I went with friends and family.

 

And of course I had my copy of “Off the Wall” which is somewhere in my parents’ home or sitting on the baby grand in the restaurant.

 

The point is that I was a MJ fan; I’m still and MJ fan and to see African Americans actually be out there making money not just off of t-shirts but off of BOOTLEG copies of his music is just sickening to my stomach.

 

Maybe I’m being overly sensitive on the issue.

 

Maybe I’m not.

 

The t-shirt selling is one thing but to sell bootleg copies of the man’s music is something totally different.

 

It’s bad enough that nobody is paying royalties to MJJ Enterprises on the likeness images but there are artists who work hard for their product and to sell bootleg copies of their ‘masterpieces’ musically is just wrong.

 

But yet there i was, standing on West 125th in front of the Apollo Theatre admiring the many shows of love from adoring fans to MJ and behind me was brotha man and his sidekick selling a bootleg copy of Thriller, the 25th Anniversary.

 

yeah sickening is the only way to describe the feeling because while I didn’t tell anyone else I was with, I was just sick to my stomach about that incident.

 

I don’t know if I can say it was greed, necessity or just being opportunistic on these ‘entrepreneurs’ parts. 

 

Maybe a combination of all three.

 

However what I do know is that across the country, scenes like I just described has been happening from the moment Jackson passed away two Thursdays ago.

 

I can’t tell you that I’m shocked that it happened; the shameless hocking of merchandise that is.

 

but what I can tell you that my reverence for the Apollo Theatre, a place where little Michael Jackson and his brothers won an amateur night when he was nine years old, certainly has dimmed a bit.

 

Maybe what I’ll have to do is come back in a year without the kiddies, take the tour of the building next door like a friend suggested, call up some friends who live in Harlem, and get the real scoop on what Harlem is like.

 

Not what was etched in my brain on a two hour excursion while waiting to get back on the subway.