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Report Card Day!

Most colleges don’t bother to look at the grades from your first report card as a high school freshman.  When measuring your potential for college success your first couple of months as a high school student don’t hold much weight.  In politics however, we tend to put a lot of weight on the Commander-in-Chief’s first 100 days in office.

If we look at past presidency’s we see a good “First 100 Days” won’t necessarily mean a good presidency, and a bad “First 100 Days” won’t necessarily signal a doomed presidency.  In the case of President Obama, will his First 100 Days be an accurate measure of what the rest of his presidency will hold?

In most classes we start with no grade.  On the first day of school, every student can work toward an A or do nothing and collect a bunch of zero’s.  You don’t start with an F, and have to work your way toward a passing grade.  Unfortunately President Obama inherited an F, and the whole world was watching to see if he could work up to an A in 100 days.

In my opinion, the way he got at those Somali pirates  was worth bumping up a full grade.  So if we agree he came in with a grade of F, the rescue mission gave him a D!

The auto bail out is a tricky situation.  He can keep pouring money into the industry, knowing it’s tantamount to throwing good money after bad, or he can force them to make aggressive changes in hopes that it will turn around.  Treading lightly now and forcing the big three to act wisely is worth another 5 points in my book.

If anyone has looked at their paycheck lately, they should see a few extra dollars.  Even though it might not be a lot of money, getting a stimulus plan approved would have taken months of wrangling in congress, but reducing my tax burden was a quick and dirty way to put a little extra cash in my pocket right now.  I think that was worth another 7 points.

President Obama has already begun to reach out to foreign countries and even opened dialogue with our so-called enemies.  We are no longer seen as the bullies on the block, but rather a super power willing to listen and use diplomacy when possible.  Republicans on the campaign trail said Obama was a novice and would fail miserably with foreign policy.  All told I give him 10 points, because he is making it happen!

With regards to the economy, there is still a long way to go, but I think we are on the right track.  We are much better off after 100 days than we would have been if McShame and Sara Who had won in November.  It might be years before the damage of the Bush years can be undone, but I think President Obama has earned 8 more points here!

So let’s do the math.  President Obama walked into the White House on January 20th with a failing grade.
•    His handling of the Somali pirates bumped him up to a solid “D”, 60 points.
•    He got another five points for his handling of the Auto Crisis, so that would give him a 65 (still a D).
•    The tax cut that benefits people in my tax bracket moved him up to a 72 (C-).
•    The diplomacy he’s exhibited and his failure to further alienate our friends and foes garnered him ten points and a B!
Add to that the overall strides he’s made with the economy and President Obama has a grade of 90, a solid A-!  I am proud of our President.  I think his first marking period was a huge success, and if this were high school he’d be collecting ten-dollar bills from all his aunties.  I’ve handed out my grades, what are yours?

April 30, 2009 Posted by | News, Obama, Politics | 2 Comments

Spare Me The Tea Party Crap!

A few days ago I started seeing posters around Atlanta about Tea Party’s on tax day.  Now I love my Teavana fix whenever I can get it, so I was a little intrigued.  I did some checking and found out there would be protests around the country against the government’s “reckless” use of taxpayer money.  Supposedly President Obama is taking all our hard earned money and running up a huge deficit.  Um…excuse me but why weren’t there any raised pinky tea parties for the past eight tax days?  I’m just saying, is it me or didn’t we have a surplus when Clinton was in office?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the deficit begin to climb when “W” got elected?  Having said that, shouldn’t there have been a tea party every year since like 2001?

The Republicans and Conservatives, and all around Obama-Haters are once again grasping at straws.  Unfortunately there are too many crazy uninformed people out there jumping on the bandwagon.  If this were truly about taxes only, this would have been an annual event since forever!  Taxes didn’t just begin in 2009.  Further, majority of the people out there protesting are benefiting from the Obama tax cuts, so they need to get a grip! While I’d love to do away with FICA and taxes in general, it’s just not a reality.  I’d also like to do away with rush hour traffic and over-priced cable, but again it’s just not a reality.

People complain that the rich pay too much in taxes.  Most of the people making this argument are poor or middle class. While the idea of people getting a free pass on their mortgages while I pay mine on time every month kinda burns me up….seventeen foreclosed houses on my block won’t help me sell my house either so let the government do whatever it takes to turn this housing market around so I can move! Blame the banks for giving mortgages to people with bootleg paystubs and bad credit.  The government didn’t get us into this mess, but they are trying to turn it around.

I had to laugh at the coverage of some of these events.  People actually held signs and made speeches about irresponsible government spending.  Where were they when Bush and Cheney were pumping all our tax dollars into Iraq?  Someone said President Obama has done more damage in 100 days that anyone else has done in the last 100 years.  Again, where were these people when George Bush was running up the deficit that President Obama inherited?

In the spirit of keeping it real, I’d like to know where you stand on the subject of taxes?  No one likes them I’m sure, but is anyone out there on board for this tea party crap?  Am I the only one that thinks this is just another attempt to throw salt on President Obama?

April 16, 2009 Posted by | Finances, News, Obama, Opinion | 8 Comments


So all day yesterday I was wondering what I should blog about, and then a gift was dropped in my lap today by way of the New York Post.  By now you have all heard that President Obama has signed the Economic Stimulus Bill.  As was to be expected he’s getting heat because the bill was passed will minimal support from Republicans.   Some are saying President Obama was elected because of his promises to foster bipartisanship blah blah blah.  Here is what I think about bipartisanship…in theory it’s a good thing.  It’s like that Coke commercial “…I’d like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love.  Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves.”  In theory it’s a cute concept, but later for furnishing someone else’s house, I want to furnish my own.  And you can keep the apple trees and turtle doves…send me my stimulus check!

All the politicians meow meowing about bipartisanship need to get over it.  There comes a point in every President’s career that he has to make a definitive decision to do what is best for the people that elected him and worry about soothing the ruffled feathers of bipartisanship later.  The people that elected President Obama needed a bill passed.  While I’d love to debate the finer points of this Stimulus Bill and how it might impact middle class people like me, that is not the purpose of this weeks blog (sidebar: if you are a first time homebuyer or in the market for a new car, the Stimulus Package has a hook up for you ☺ !!!)

Okay so here is the background story that feeds into the New York Post broo-ha-ha.  A woman in Connecticut kept a giant chimp as a pet.  The chimp went crazy a couple of days ago and attacked the woman’s friend.  Police ended up shooting and killing the chimp because they could not gain control of the situation, and I believe the woman’s friend was critically injured.  Late night stand up routines had a field day with the story, as apparently the woman treated this animal as her child, and this was not the first time he had run-a-muck in the town.

The New York Post took a different approach.  They featured a cartoon in the paper and on their website today that showed two cops and a dead chimp.  One cop is holding a smoking gun towards the chimp and the caption reads: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”  Needless to say people are up in arms as this cartoon seems to paint a not so flattering picture of President Obama.  At best it is mocking his stimulus bill as something so bad a chimp could have written it.  At worst it is insinuating that in some way President Obama and a dead chimp have a lot in common.  Things that make you go hmmm….

We can all agree the cartoon was in poor taste.  It’s like someone drawing a parody of a rape victim…you just don’t do it! Al Sharpton was Johnny on the spot demanding an apology, but The New York Post had this to say: The cartoon is a clear parody of a current event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut.  It broadly mocks Washington’s efforts to revive the economy.  Again Al Sharpton reveals himself as nothing more than a publicity opportunist.  I am no huge Sharpton fan, but I don’t think this constitutes “publicity opportunism”.  Certain things common sense should just tell you not to do, and obviously there is a little common sense missing on the New York Post editorial team.  Common sense should tell you not to make fun of or do any type of parody of abused children, victims of rape, or ANYTHING that might insinuate any type of relationship between Black men and apes/monkeys/chimps.

In my opinion, the statement by the Post is in a word: REACHING!  There is no cleaning it up, and they would have done better to just come out and say they made a joke in poor taste and offer profuse apologies.  Instead they chose to dig in their heel and stand behind a dangerous and reprehensible picture.  What’s your take on this Epiphanyblog?

February 19, 2009 Posted by | News, Obama, Opinion, Politics | 4 Comments

Things You “Shouldn’t” Do…

Before I begin, let me give the obligatory disclaimer…there is NOTHING funny about domestic violence.  I tend to err on the side of sarcasm, but please don’t think I condone a woman getting senselessly pounded on by a man that should know better.  Now having said that heeeeeeeeere we go!!!!!

This whole “Chris Brown beats Rihanna” thing has been the talk of the radio/beauty shop/nail salon/break room since the story broke on Sunday.  The only thing we know for sure is that Chris had an altercation with a female, and charges were pressed.  Because the name of the victim has not been officially released, we are all going by the pics of a busted up Rihanna on the internet, and her quick exodus to Barbados as confirmation that she was the victim.

Let’s keep this in perspective; Chris Brown is a 19-year-old boy.  He is not morally superior and he is not above doing something stupid (i.e. beating on his girlfriend).  At the same time Rihanna is an attractive woman in a grown up relationship doing grown up things, and unfortunately she has experienced something too many women go through on a daily basis.  I feel sorry for her because physical harm inflicted on you by the person that claims to love you is a horrible feeling!  I hope parents will use this situation as a teaching opportunity.   Teach our young men that if you put your hands on a woman NO MATTER WHAT SHE DID, there will be hell to pay.  Also teach them no matter how cute she is, if that little firecracker can push your buttons enough to make you haul off and slap her, then SHE IS NOT THE WOMAN FOR YOU.  At the same time, we need to teach our daughters, HANDS ARE NOT FOR HITTING.  If he loses his temper and gets to wailing on you, get out of there quickly, and CALL THE POLICE.  Tend to you injuries first and foremost, and then call your brothers to go find him.  No one wins in an abusive relationship!

So as you read this blog and ponder your personal relationships, where do you stand on the issue of “a man should never hit a woman”? Again there is nothing funny about domestic violence, and I believe a man “should” never hit a woman, but I am also woman enough to admit that there are some things I could do that might possibly warrant getting “shaken” half to death.  There is a rumor going around that Rihanna “allegedly” gave Chris Brown herpes.  This is still alleged as neither camp has made an official statement, but lets run with it for a minute.  Men, would being told you just got the gift you could NEVER give back warrant you busting a chick in her eye.  Go ahead and tell the truth, because I am not going to judge!

Let’s say it wasn’t as extreme as that.  Let’s say you are having dinner at your girlfriends place.  She sneaks a peek at your cell phone while you are in the bathroom (sloppy pimping if you left it on the table, but I digress…), and finds a bunch of naked pics from another female on your phone.  The pics are dated so she knows you just got them two days ago.  When you return to the table she gets to clowning and spits a mouth full of food in your face.  What would you do???  She SPIT IN YOUR FACE, is there anything more disrespectful?  And while we are on the subject…Ladies, if you spit in a man’s face…or better yet keyed his mama’s car do you really expect to escape that situation with no bodily harm?

The bible says thou should not kill.  I agree, killing is something you shouldn’t do, but as Biggie said…there’s gonna be a lot of slow singing and flower bringing if my burglar alarm starts ringing!  There is a segment of the population, psychotic men, that need to beat on a woman to feel superior.  They deserve to have a pot of hot grits splashed on them. No woman should live in fear of a man that claims to love her.  For the purpose of this blog, I am not talking about the Ike Turner’s of the world.  I am not defending Chris Brown, nor am I vilifying Rihanna.  I just want us to take a moment and honestly ask ourselves if there is any circumstance that would warrant knocking a woman’s block off…or at least shaking one until her weave fell out!

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Life, News, Opinion | 8 Comments

At Last!

And so I watched all the inauguration footage I could see on Tuesday, and still felt like I couldn’t get enough.  I don’t think I’ve watched that many consecutive hours of television IN MY LIFE, but this was a once in a lifetime event.  As President Barack Obama said in his speech…this is a new era!  It took 35 five words, but it’s a done deal.  Who would have thought that after all the months of campaigning, all the blogs, all the debates, all the pseudo-scandals, all the hours of camping out on CNN/Meet The Press et al, it would only take 35 words?

I remember Reagan winning in 1980 and 1984.  I remember the first Bush presidency, and of course I was able to vote for the first time when Clinton won in 1992.  At that time I was living in Maryland, and only watched inauguration footage long enough to see Maya Angelou.   Y’all know I didn’t watch one pinky toe worth of coverage when “W” won, so this was all uncharted territory for me.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I was too afraid to turn away because I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Now that President Obama is 2 days into his first hundred days as Commander-in-Chief, I will of course keep him and his family in my prayers.  I have nothing but optimistic thoughts about his presidency, and I believe in my heart that as a nation we are entering a new era.  If we all do our part we, along with President Obama, will turn this country around.  I also wanted to take a minute to reflect on my favorite moment of President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, and on a lighter note pick out a few of the more memorable moments too!

Hands down, my favorite moment was when President Obama stood there with one hand raised and one hand on the bible and said, “So help me God.”  At that moment it was official, and I clapped.

Now regarding the memorable moments, I must shout out the church ensembles.  The Obama girls in their cute church coats, and Aretha Franklin in that church hat!  I remarked on Facebook how cute the Obama girls looked with their freshly pressed hair and church coats.  Rick, my FB friend, admonished me for not mentioning Aretha Franklin….so here goes!

First I must look at Aretha in a historical context.  She’s not just the Queen of Soul.  She’s not just one that often takes fashion risks.  She is part of the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement.  Aretha sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King JR, so singing at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama was only fitting.  Now regarding that church hat….Black people love a church hat.  No matter the occasion; be it a funeral, wedding, christening, graduation or Communion Sunday, a big church hat is going to be somewhere on the premises.  So we might as well all get used to seeing more church hats paraded around political events, because so long as the Obama’s are in the White House, somebody will be wearing an ill-advised church hat…full of feathers, rhinestones, sequins, or some other tacky adornment!

Now I have been known to sacrifice comfort for fashion, so I know Michelle’s feet are probably still hurting today.  She strutted around in those pumps all day in the freezing cold DC weather.  Not only did she do the cute shoe thing, she also opted not to have on a real coat!  President Obama had his suit jacket and cashmere coat on, but Michelle was cute in her yellow ensemble.  PETA would have been mad at me, because I would have been walking that parade route with my full-length fur on!

And finally, I must give it up to Beyonce.  I am not a Beyonce fan (at all), but she did an awesome job singing “At Last”.  It was probably the most fitting song for President and Mrs. Obama’s first dance.  At Last, Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America, and I could not be more proud.  So Epiphanyblog, those are my faves…what’s yours?

January 22, 2009 Posted by | Life, News, Obama, Politics | 4 Comments

A Look Back

As we move closer to the inauguration and look forward to the changes we are about to see in our country, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2008.  There were a lot of memorable moments, and I wanted to count down my favorites: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

10. I Can See Russia From My House
If you’ve been following Epiphanyblog, you know I was not a fan of the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee.  I remember when I heard her name on CNN, my first comment was “Sara Who?”  Regardless of what you think about her qualifications, we can all agree she gave comediennes and late night talk shows countless hours of material.

9. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
This show was a train wreck that I just couldn’t look away from.  I debated its merits with so many people…but all I asked is that they watch one full episode and they too would be hooked!  Apparently someone other than me was watching because it was the highest rated show in Bravo history.

8. Historic Olympic Athletes
I am a sports chick, so I follow those people that are deemed “the greatest” in their particular area of competition.  While swimming was never really on my radar, I was glued to my seat as I watched Michael Phelps win a record breaking 8 Gold Medals during the summer games in Beijing.

7.  The Facebook Phenomenon
First let me shout out all my FB friends that might be reading today.  And those of you that aren’t “friends”…what are you waiting for?  Facebook is the ultimate in social networking sites.  You’d be amazed at who you can find, and more importantly what old pics of yourself are floating out there on Facebook.  The revolution won’t be televised…it will be on Facebook!

6.  The Giants Beat the Patriots
I hate the New England Patriots.  Belichick, Brady, and the whole crew can kick rocks for all I care.  One of the sweetest moments of 2008 came when Big Blue dethroned those smug Patriots!

5.  The Shot Heard Around The World
Even though Omar was a career criminal and pretty much made his living as a stick-up kid…he had some endearing qualities.  As I watched every episode of The Wire’s final season, I never expected to see Omar taken out by a juvenile delinquent…in a corner store no less!

4. The Democratic National Convention
I’ve long since been an Obama Mama, but the first night of the Democratic National Convention showed the world what Michelle was made of.  She inspired women, especially women of color, to strive and achieve!

3.  The Return of Maxwell
I am a Maxwell STAN!!!  I was overjoyed to see him appear out of nowhere on the BET awards, but that was nothing compared to the live show he put on in November.   If you missed his concert, I sure hate it for you!

2.  The Election Booth
On November 4, 2008, I was able to cast my vote for the first African American President of the United States.  I was so excited; I even took a picture of my electronic ballot with my iPhone!

And of course the most memorable moment of 2008 was seeing Barack Obama elected as the 44th President of the United States of America.  That’s my Top 10 and I’m sticking to it.  Did I miss anything?

January 15, 2009 Posted by | Celebrity, Entertainment, Fun, News, Opinion, Society | 8 Comments

The Mic Is HOT…..

As I was writing last weeks blog, the news about Jesse Jackson’s slip of the tongue was just making headlines.  He was apologizing (translation: back pedaling).  His son was heated (translation: letting Jesse HAVE IT), and the anti Obama talk radio pundits were foaming at the mouth.  I decided not the blog about it only because I wanted to see how it played out.  For the record I think there is a little bit of haterade in Jesse’s glass these days.  It has to burn him up a little bit to see a man take the country by storm in a way that he never could. I heard him on the radio talking about how it was an unfortunate situation and how he apologized blah blah blah.  Barack accepted the apology, but wouldn’t you just love to get Michelle in a Hot Mic situation!!!!!  I know behind closed doors she was calling the good Reverend everything BUT a child of God, but I digress….    

I think we can all agree that behind closed doors we say some things that we would never want other people to hear.  It’s not that we don’t mean them, it’s just that we would hate for people to judge us by some of the things we really think!  When the microphone is off, and it’s just you and your boo, or you and your sister/brother/best friend you say things you’d never say to the masses.  If you’ve ever been on a three way call and forgot to disconnect the third party before saying “she is so phony, I can’t stand her” you know the horror of a hot mic!

Epiphany, lets take time out today to remove the horror of the hot mic.  Say those things you would never say in the team meeting, or those things you are even too embarrassed to admit in the barber shop.  I had a very rough week, and for real for real, I don’t care who judges me today!

I am sick and tired of people blaming the “system” for everything that goes wrong in our community.  Yes in some neighborhoods schools are bad, which is why we need to VOTE, and force our elected officials to be accountable.  Jesse said Obama goes into the Black Churches and talks down to the people.  Really?  What exactly is talking down JJ?  Telling men they need to be fathers is talking down?  Telling us to take more responsibility for ourselves and our community is talking down?  I guess a man that crept out on his wife, and got another chick knocked up would have a problem with a man talking about responsibility. 

We finally have a black man ready to speak truth to power and Jesse et al want to hate!  Obama is telling the truth.  We need to stop waiting for the government to save us (because it’s not gonna happen), and take advantage of everything out there to save ourselves!  Once Obama gets in office I am confident he will do everything in his power to make this a better America for ALL people, but everyone has to do their part.

As I continue on this Hot Mic, I want to say I am real sick and tired of people having/wanting to reject and repudiate other people’s comments.  Who started that trend?  Why are we flaunting our S.A.T. words….and since when did “I disagree” become passé?  Let me tell you what I reject and repudiate:

  • Girls in low rise jeans and granny panties…..I’d rather see your crack than the seams of your Hanes cotton briefs!
  • Poor Customer Service….if one more person in a name tag shrugs and tells me “I don’t know” as they walk away from me, there is gonna be some smoke in the city!
  • I categorically reject the notion of hard work being its own reward…..that’s some crap! 
  • Married men trying to holler……what part of the game is that?  I know there is segment of the female population that has no shame and will tap dance all over the sanctity of marriage, but that is not necessarily the norm.  Stop going up into the club spending your daycare and diaper money buying drinks!  And definitely stop trying to be Casanova on the email….that lameness wholly repudiated!
  • I reject, renounce AND repudiate all this mess passing as music today…..where is Maxwell when I need him?  “Sexy Can I” (Ray J) NO YOU CAN NOT!!!!!!  Can somebody hit D’Angelo and tell him to get in the studio QUICK!  The American Dream…not really!  Will Prince please come out and dance on this fools head in 5 inch heels and a do-rag!

So in spite of the hot mic, I said it, I meant it, and I’m here to represent it!  There will be no back pedal, and there will be no apology.  Your turn…..


July 16, 2008 Posted by | News, Opinion, Politics | 8 Comments

The Road Less Traveled

It seems like only yesterday when I wrote my last article on the BET awards…my  how time flies!  One thing I can say about the BET awards….they will dig in the crates and dust off an old school group.  Did you see En Vogue and SWV?  I don’t know where they found Lisa Lisa, but obviously Cult Jam did not make the flight!  I initially was going to blog about the BET Awards 08 because while a lot of the performances were good (the aforementioned En Vogue/SWV dust off for starters), there was a lot of foolishness sprinkled in there too.  I was pleased with the Al Green tribute (and not just because my other Boo, Maxwell, came out and performed my favorite Al Green song).  I decided against a full BET blog when I realized that I’ve pretty much outgrown BET.  I hate to admit it, especially because I love hip hop, but I think I am a little mature for the likes of Lil Wayne, and Souljah Boy.    Rather than go through a blow by blow of last nights show (which by most accounts was not that memorable), I’ve decided to post about something a little more age appropriate and relevant.  The road less traveled……

If you read my post last week, you know I am a sports fan.  With the NBA draft fast approaching, and SAT scores looming for high school graduates the quandary of Brandon Jennings is interesting to me.  Basically he graduated from high school this year ranked as one of the top five basketball players in the country, but NBA rules prohibit him from entering the draft (you must be out of high school for one year before you can be in the NBA).  With my love of March Madness, I’d love to see him take a team to the final four, but first he has to qualify for NCAA sports…..hence the quandary.

From what I hear, Jennings is no scholastic prodigy.  Knowing that, he’s considering playing in Europe for a year, or sitting out all together and working with trainers.  (Either way he’d be eligible for the draft next year.) Why waste a year “pretending” to go to class, when you can be making money doing what you really want to do? I have long said college athletes should be paid.  These schools rake in millions from televised games and alumni.  Yes the kids get scholarships, but they aren’t allowed to work.  Some say they get money under the table blah blah blah, but when you compare that to what the schools earn…..it seems a little lopsided.  Is the road less traveled a better option?

Most college bound athlete’s dream of going to the pro’s.  They attend schools that have programs that will boost their chances of a professional career.  Many star college athletes don’t even plan to finish….it’s just a waiting game until the right agent comes along and tells them a pro team is interested.  As a parent, do you encourage your child to take the road less traveled, or do you pump up the virtues of a good education.  Let me re-phrase that…..if you knew your child was capable of making millions starting in a couple of months, would you tell him to get an education first?  Hold that thought…..

Apparently Jennings has discussed this with his mom and they are weighing their options.  He told The New York Times “For a person that plays ball, our dream is to get to the NBA. Our real mind-set is that we’re trying to get to the league, take care of our families. They’re making us do college … I told my mom that (going to Europe) was something we should look into.  So let’s say you have a child with talent and a dream.  Do you encourage him to follow his dream or get an education?  If his dream was building the worlds tallest popsicle stick tower do you encourage that, or drop him off at State U?  If his dream could put you in a mansion and pay off your credit card debt, do you send him to Europe and pray he doesn’t get injured?

If you want to be a doctor, or a Human Resources Administrator a college degree is kind of important, but does a degree equal longevity in professional sports?  I don’t know if the NBA was looking out for the kids when they enacted this one year rule, but I guess a year of college is better than no college at all.  I’m sure David Stern (whom I can’t stand), was not expecting a crafty Brandon Jennings to come along and create an alternate route, but if this was your kid, or your situation what would you do? Is the road less traveled worth it if big money is waiting at the end of that road?


June 25, 2008 Posted by | News, Opinion, Sports | 3 Comments

Timing Is Everything.

Sweet Jesus be a concession speech because I am about tired of the 2008 Democratic Primary.  I feel like I’m living in a 1978 trailer for JAWS 2 (just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water….DUNH DUNH DUNH DUNH tiny tears is still holding on)! I had my fingers crossed that Obama would pull off an upset in Pennsylvania but I knew it was a long shot.  He finished much better than originally forecasted, but still the media is acting like he is the candidate that won’t go away.  If I hear one more reporter say “why can’t he win the big states” I think I might try to slit my wrists with a spatula.  Is it just me, or has this misery dragged on for far too long?  Sweet Jesus be a time machine to transport me to November 5th.  SOMEBODY new will be the President, and “W” will be on his way OUT!

At any rate, not only am I tired of the Democratic Primary process as I whole, I am really tired of this Reverend Wright scandal.  Don’t get me wrong, I heard the ENTIRE sermon he delivered back in 2001, and took NO ISSUE with his comments.  I feel that the media took the snippets they wanted and tried to spin this man as un-patriotic, and get Obama on guilt by association.  Even without hearing the entire speech, most of us would agree with what he said, but once you hear the entire speech (and understand part of it was based on someone else’s quote, and biblical scripture) you realize it was a set up.  Let’s be honest, how many of us haven’t heard similar things in our own churches?

Obama was in a lose-lose situation.  He could say nothing, and slip in the polls or he could say something.  I do not think his speech in Philly last month was him posturing, nor do I think he was selling out.  He touched on many valid points without throwing his beloved Pastor under the bus. Some would say he should have gone hard and backed Reverend Wright 100% no matter what.  To them I say: you obviously want four more years of the Republicans in office.

I know Reverend Wright took a lot of unfair heat for his past speeches and maybe he justifiably has sour grapes.  For the life of me I can’t figure out why he would chose now to come out in defense of himself pretty much at the expense of Obama.  Granted he is right in his views, but wouldn’t he still be right after the election? 

This is a free country and we all have the right to say whatever we want (so long as it’s not about bootleg movies J ), but there is something to be said for discretion.  What part of the game is this?  If Wright truly supported this man, truly cared about him or ever called him a friend why would he take a national stage and play him out like that.  To say Obama was being a “politician” implies he was less than honest/sincere.  Why would he come out now to take center stage, when it’s obvious the very last thing the Obama campaign needs is to rehash this mess!

Again, Reverend Wright may have been justifiably upset with the media.  People that know nothing of his service to the community all of a sudden come out to call him unpatriotic.  How can you do six years in the military and be unpatriotic (especially when the current administration managed to shirk their military responsibilities)?  His most recent speeches had valid points which deserved to be mentioned….but did they have to be mentioned right after tiny tears won Pennsylvania?  What about the whole “on November 5th and January 21st I’ll still be a pastor” comment…..did he really have to play Obama out like that?  People that never heard the first speech were in no position to judge the man, but he has given us all a new batch of ammunition one way or the other!

On the flip side what if this was all a part of Wright’s bigger plan?  What if he really does want Obama to succeed and knew the only way to truly put distance between himself and Obama was to come out in such a way that would force Obama’s hand?  Maybe he knew the Senator needed to come out in front of the country and separate himself for once and for all if he wanted to win.  As it stands now, all those people that were “concerned” about Obama’s relationship to Reverend Wright can rest easy.  Those two are through….. the only thing missing is a dis record on Hot 97 (with a Jay-Z verse and a Diddy remix).

So Epiphany Blog, timing is everything.  Do you think the most recent speeches of Reverend Wright are the beginning of the end of Obama’s quest for the White House?  On the other hand, was this just the thing Obama needed to separate himself from the controversial Pastor and ease the fears of white America?  Will the timing of all this ultimately help or hurt the Obama campaign?




PS: Happy Birthday Leanda!

April 30, 2008 Posted by | News, Opinion, Politics, Race | 6 Comments

Turn The Other Cheek?

In 2002 the country was riveted by the disappearance of Laci Peterson. She was pregnant and missing on Christmas Eve. I remember watching the news as her family pleaded for her return. Initially her husband was not a suspect, but eventually her body, and the body of her unborn child were found and his alibi unraveled. He was found to be a liar, a cheater, and a murderer. When the jury returned a verdict of guilty and sentenced him to death, I wasn’t surprised and I certainly didn’t feel bad.

In 2005 when I saw reports of Brian Nichols’s courthouse shooting, I thought for sure he’d fry. It’s 2008 and he hasn’t even gone to trial yet, but if they do eventually give him the death penalty I probably won’t feel bad. It’s odd because I have always been a bit of a racial profiler when it comes to the death penalty. I never wanted to see a black man be sentenced to death (unless of course there was irrefutable proof that he committed a heinous crime against a child), but Mr. Nichols never inspired me to feel any compassion.

Last year Jessie Davis went missing in Ohio. She was about nine months pregnant, and we later learned that her two year old son witnessed her murder. Her boyfriend, an ex-cop, murdered her, and dumped her body. He was black, she was white, and I figured he would certainly get the chair! Shockingly the jury spared his life today. Even more shockingly HER mother took the stand during the penalty phase of the trial and asked the jury not to sentence him to death.

Like I said before I have never been a proponent of the death penalty per se especially as it relates to black men, but Bobby Cutts in my opinion was someone that deserved to die. He killed his pregnant girlfriend; in front of their two year old child. He rolled her body in a rug; in front of their two year old child. He left their son home alone in a dirty diaper while he went to dispose of her body. He took his homegirl from high school with him to dispose of the body. Not only is he a murderer. Not only is he a bad parent, he’s a JERK who knowingly ruined so many lives…and the homegirl is an IDIOT (If he will roll his baby momma up in a rug trust and believe a neck chopping is in your future if you EVER get out of line)! Her eleven year old child is now left without a mother while she serves out her sentence for helping Bobby’s dumb behind!

So here is my question: Where do you stand on the Death Penalty? In an effort to have the jury spare Bobby Cutts’s life, Jessie’s mom said, “I serve an amazing God, Bobby. A God that forgives and heals and restores people.” I believe God restores, and I believe God heals, but I also believe that if someone did to my loved one what Bobby did to Jessie, I could not so willingly turn the other cheek. Do you think it is ever okay to sentence someone to death, or is life in prison penalty enough? How capable are you of turning the other cheek?




I released my third book, “One Finger Left”, on Valentines Day. If you are in the Atlanta area I will be having a book signing on Sunday (March 2nd) at Vino Libro. If you are not local, the book is available on Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com. It is actually on back order on Amazon but they should have it back in stock soon. Also you can go to my website: www.vikkibell.com. Send me a comment with your email address and mailing address. I will send you a paypal invoice and you can pay via any major credit card. I will send you an autographed copy, and there will be no charge for shipping!!!





February 28, 2008 Posted by | Life, News, Opinion, Society | 4 Comments

Where WE Stand

Many of you have probably heard about the series being done on NBC Nightly News this week.  The title is African American Women: Where They Stand, and it attempts to highlight some of the issues facing African American Women. *sighs*  I guess I applaud NBC for their efforts, as it’s nice to see someone in mainstream media addressing my demographic, but on the other hand I wish those four minutes a night could have talked about something most of us didn’t already know!

The title of Monday’s segment was, More Black Women Taking Care of Business.  A major stat that stuck out was 64% of black college students are women, and black women outnumber black men on some campuses 7 to 1.  As staggering as the stat was, it’s no surprise.  I was in college in the early to mid 90’s and there were definitely more women on the yard than men.  It was nice to know that the number of black businesses owned by women is up 75%, but again I would have preferred that they use those broadcast minutes to let the world know about Dunbar Village.

Tuesday’s segment was about Black women and breast cancer.  While technically black women are less likely to get breast cancer; when we do we are younger, the cancer is more aggressive and we are more likely to die from it.  Again, I appreciate NBC News highlighting such an important issue.  Because black women are so busy taking care of everyone else, we tend to put our own healthcare on the back burner.  Ladies (and men who know and love ladies) monthly self-breast exams and annual clinical breast exams are critical.  Women with no history of breast disease are getting diagnosed in their thirties.  We gotta stay on top of our own health!

Wednesday’s segment was about redefining black relationships.  I don’t know how I feel about NBC putting us on blast with regards to being single in the city, but I digress…..  70% of African American children are born to single women.  We all know this is a touchy subject in the black community, but I am not about to judge single mothers or predispose children born to single mothers to having a bleak future. Ideally a two parent household filled with love and balance is probably best, but we all know it’s not the only way.  I am not sure of the titles for the segments on Thursday and Friday, but I suspect they will include topics that are common knowledge to “us”.  Rather than regurgitate more facts that are no brainers, I’ll dedicate the rest of this blog to two topics that deserve recognition, but probably won’t make the nightly news. 

For those that don’t know, Dunbar Village has to be one of the most deplorable acts of violence I’ve heard of in my lifetime.  Please google it or go to www.whataboutourdaughters.org for specific details but the short story is this:  A black woman in Florida was terrorized by armed burglars when they broke into her apartment.  She was violently raped and sodomized while her son watched.  The assailants forced her to perform oral sex on her son during the ordeal.  The crime took place in a low income housing project and national media attention has been slow coming.  With all the attention our “leaders” gave to the Jena 6, you would think they would be up in arms about something so vile as Dunbar Village!  Why is it that a black woman victimized by the system (at one point there was talk about throwing out this poor woman’s case because of lack of evidence) doesn’t warrant the same attention as young black men unfairly prosecuted?  No offense to the Jena 6, and I fully support all the efforts undertaken on their behalf, but the fact of the matter is they did assault someone.  Granted the prosecution of their case was more about race than justice, but what about justice for a woman who is mentally and physically scarred for life? 

I would have LOVED to see NBC Nightly News cover the disparity in media attention given to black women that are victims of crime.  I would have loved to hear someone ask Reverend Al or Reverend Jesse why they didn’t rush to the aid of this black woman that was blatantly being victimized by the criminal justice system.   Where do you stand when it comes to crimes committed against black women?  Is it going to take another Chester Turner (Southside Murders in Louisiana) or a repeat of The Boston Murders to garner national attention for black women?

Finally, with World AIDS Day only two days away, I wanted to take a moment to discuss where “we” stand with regards to the AIDS epidemic.  If you didn’t already know, heterosexual black women are pretty much the new face of AIDS.  We are the fastest growing group of newly diagnosed cases and unfortunately majority of those women (about 65%) were infected through heterosexual contact.  Black women are being infected at alarming rates because they are not taking proper precautions to protect themselves.  Many of us saw the Oprah episode about men on the “Down Low”, so we know the deal.  I doubt if you’ll hear about it on the NBC News this week, but according to the statistics published last year, black women accounted for 67% of all AIDS cases in the United States.  (It should also be mentioned that we only make up 12-13% of the population!)  Why can’t we make up 67% of all new millionaires in the United States?  Why can’t we make up 67% of Nobel Prize winners or 67% of all CEO’s?  Ladies, and men who know and love ladies, AIDS is real and it can kill you.  Stop faking and be safe! 

We’ve all heard the expression “Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything”. Where do you stand on the issues that effect black women in America, or are you okay to let plight of black women fall by the wayside!


November 29, 2007 Posted by | Health, HIV, Life, News, Race, Society, Women | 5 Comments

“Hidden” Message?

I guess I didn’t get the memo, but when did the “noose” become the modern day symbol of racism?  It seems as though every time I turn on the news or pull up my internet browser there is a new noose sighting.  What’s really going on?  Are “they” so threatened by “our” potential and our achieved successes that they have resorted to sending nooses?  Are we getting too big for our britches and thus need to be brought back to reality???            

News flash, we didn’t need a noose to know how they really felt about us!  Anyone that has ever had even the most minor confrontation at work knows when someone is giving you the who does she think she is stare.  Most of us will stare right back and take the I double dog dare you to call me out of my name so that I can kick your behind all up and through this camp, and then drag you to Human Resources to tell them what I did stance.   I guess our refusal to cower and shuck and jive has made some of us targets.              

There are still a few people cooning it up at our jobs (you know the type, always making jokes at the wrong time and doing something to embarrass the rest of “us”).  There are the “Renegades” (the ones that buck the system…come in when they want, leave when they want, and dare someone to say something).  Then there are the “Rabble-rouser”, we ain’t goin for this crap no more types.  I am going to guess that the renegades and the rabble rousers have somebody shaking in their boots.  These crazy fools are really sending nooses in the mail.  *shaking head*            

Historically the noose was a tool used to kill us. We could see our people swinging from trees so that there would be no mistaking the fact that the powers that be meant business. The empty noose hanging from a tree was a reminder of what would be done to us if we “got out of line” or disobeyed.  Now that it is 2007, does the noose hold the same meaning?  If, God forbid, someone sent a noose to your inter-office mailbox, would you be afraid?  Do you think the dude in the cube across from you might try to hang you up from a light fixture?  Chances are he wouldn’t, but the people sending these nooses are trying to send some type of message.            

If we look at the Jena 6, they lived in a racist town, and decided to sit under  a whites only tree.  Subsequently a noose was hung to send them a message.  At first glance you might think, Jena is in the south, and there is still a huge racial divide, but this noose nonsense is much more widespread.  A black professor of a racial justice class in New York had a noose hung on her door.  Someone was trying to send her a message.  A principal in Brooklyn received a noose in her mail, accompanied by a letter full of racial slurs.  New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, yet people are still hiding behind nooses.  Someone hung a noose at the Nyumburu Cultural Center at the University of Maryland last month.  What is that all about?            

The reality is this: Racism is real.  While we are some of the richest black people on the planet, and most of us will achieve successes our grandparents only dreamed of, we are still thought of by some as second class citizens. We can march all day and all night, they can pass legislation up the yin yang, but you can not take hate out of someone’s heart.  There will always be a segment of the population that will despise us, and while they know they can’t destroy us, they will try to “beat” us into submission with scare tactics like this noose nonsense.                         

As offensive as the noose is, we need to seize the opportunity to turn it right back around on them.  I do not know your personal stance on the “N” word, but many in my generation believe that by changing the spelling and using it as a term of endearment we took the sting out of the word.  They could no longer “own” it as a means to degrade us, because we flipped it into what we wanted it to be.    While I support the notion of legislation against the noose, I’m not holding my breath.  I’d rather look at the noose as a reminder of what all we as a people survived.  They hung us from trees, but at the end of the day, America would not be what it is today if not for the blood, sweat, and tears of those same people that the nooses were used to kill.   

I am not condoning fighting, but the Jena 6 were determined not to go out like Emmett Till.  I think it was a simple case of you wanna hang a noose, we got a trick for you! (Only my opinion, I was not there.)  I am not saying we go beat up everyone that we think is responsible for sending the noose, but the fact of the matter is, only a coward sends a noose in the mail.  Only a coward hangs a noose when no one is looking.  A noose couldn’t break us then, and it won’t break us now.  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but a noose in the mail makes me LAUGH AT YOU!


October 25, 2007 Posted by | Life, News, Opinion, Race, Society | 4 Comments

Here’s what I think….

            For those that are not aware, the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is upon us.  Is it just me or did the second anniversary of our nations greatest natural disaster seemingly creep up out of nowhere?  You would think that the travesty that is the aftermath of Katrina would still be headline news…I guess that’s what we get for thinking!  

            I’m not trying to compare apples and oranges but I would think the people of the lower 9th ward that are still displaced would be more important to the moral majority than making sure Michael Vick is ruined.  Not that I condone dog fighting.  (I can still love dogs and be a Michael Vick fan can’t I)?  I just think the plight of people who still have not recovered from Katrina’s devastation is more important than dogs in a basement.

I would think the fact that 4 Newark students missed the first day of classes at Delaware State, and the fact that the murder rate in New Orleans is at 140 and it’s not ever September yet, would be of greater concern than rap lyrics.  Again, you might say “apples and oranges”, but where are our priorities?  You don’t like the music, don’t buy it.  Turn the station when you hear it on the radio…..but protest the fact that less than 50% of the hospitals in New Orleans have been re-opened.  Protest the fact that insurance companies are refusing to pay claims over a technicality (Was it flood damage or wind damage that caused people to lose their homes?  Who cares?  They’re homeless and trying to rebuild, so pay them)!     

I’ve watched a few presidential debates in the last few weeks, and can count on one hand the number of times I heard mention of the Katrina recovery effort.  At the same time I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I heard the candidates mention rebuilding Iraq.  I feel bad for the Iraqi’s, I really do, but I feel worse for the thousands of people scattered across this country because of Katrina.       

$20.9 Billion has been spent on rebuilding the Iraq infrastructure, which is 42% more than our government has spent on the post Katrina Gulf region.  At the very least, I would think our government would have awarded majority of the clean up projects to local businesses…you know, in an effort to jump start that economy.  Nope!  That money went straight to Halliburton et al!  When you add up the contributions of time, talent and money, regular citizens have probably done more to rebuild the Gulf Coast than our government will ever do.   

In a few days, Katrina will disappear from the headlines again.  We will go back to stories of scandalous politicians, and panty-less pop stars.  The President will resume his duty as poster boy for a new Iraq and the candidates will continue to make promises they can’t keep.  Life will go back to normal for most of us, but for those Katrina survivors there is no “back to normal”.    The people of the Gulf Coast were victimized by a storm and the incompetence of our political leaders.  This victimization continues, yet we see more about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s abbreviated jail sentences on the news than we see about St. Bernard Parish.  I would think the fact that three firefighters in New Orleans are living in a two room trailer behind their old station is more newsworthy than the rich and shameless!  It is what it is, and I can’t change it.  I just wanted you to know what I think!


August 29, 2007 Posted by | Life, News, Politics, Society | 9 Comments

How did we get here?

I am sure you have all heard about the four young people that were victims of unspeakable violence in Newark, NJ last week.  Unspeakable because these babies were gunned down execution style.  Three were killed and one lived to tell the story. I know we see things like this far too often, but at what point do we say enough is enough?

When I think of this incident it makes me sick.  At that age, I used to go to the playground to watch summer league basketball games.  Many nights found me and my friends sitting on the bleachers, or walking down dark streets long after the games had ended. When I think of the number of times I heard my mother give me the people out here are crazy speech….  Back then our biggest worry was the stick up kids or maybe getting jumped by somebody else’s crew.  Kids weren’t carrying guns and machetes.  Every now and then you heard the story of the girl that got her face sliced with a blade, or the guy that got jumped and got his chain/sneakers/ bomber jacket/bike stolen.  How did we get here? 

Two of the alleged perpetrators are fifteen years old?  At fifteen, what makes a person want to take another life? Dashon Harvey, Terrance Aerial, Natasha Aerial, and Iofemi Hightower were four innocent victims of the apparent lapse in morality that the perpetrators displayed.  They were approached, violated, victimized and murdered.  While one of them did survive, imagine the horror of witnessing the murder of your brother and two friends?  When they can’t take your life, they certainly try to take your spirit.  How did we get here?  How did we get to a place where young people can have no value for human life? 

In a time where the crime rate is rising, gang violence is mounting, and the drug game is far too prevalent, there were four trying to do the right thing.  It deserves to be mentioned that in spite of (or maybe because of) all the negativity they had to witness while growing up in Newark, they chose to want more.  They made conscious decisions to pursue education.  A relative was quoted as saying one of the victims was “beautiful inside and out”, and that she tried to elevate herself “beyond what we all see around us”.  Even in your attempt to elevate, someone will try to take you down!  How did we get here?   

A father of one of the victims was quoted as saying: “We need to raise our children”.  Sadly the parents of these four victims did raise their children. A young minister, a potential social worker, a person that listed “The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost” as heroes on her MySpace page; yes I would say these babies were “raised”.   How did we get to a place where you can raise your children, but need to be more worried about the ones around the corner that are not being raised?  As a parent what do you do?

For those that know the area, did you ever think we would experience this type of violence in our lifetime?  Whether you matriculated through Vailsburg High, Arts High, Central, Immaculate Conception, Essex Catholic, Weequahic, Shabazz, or West Side did you ever think our neighborhoods would progress from stealing cars to stealing lives?   I know people that got their sneakers stolen at Twin City skating rink.  I know people that got jumped for their bikes in East Orange and over by Weequahic Park.  Now sadly some of us know people that got shot and killed while they tried to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  How did we get here? 

I do not know the answer to the question, but I do believe somewhere our society took a wrong turn.  Was it the babies having babies?  Did crack get us here?  Did it start when they removed prayer from the schools?  Do we blame big government or overcrowded classrooms?   As a child I believed by 2007 we’d be living like the Jetson’s, but we are all on our way to living in a police state.  How did we get here?  Can someone PLEASE let me know!


August 16, 2007 Posted by | Life, News, Opinion, Society | 6 Comments