Wednesday Open Thread | Gone But Not Forgotten Week: Nat King Cole

When people say that music lives forever, and that long after someone has passed on, the music – good music, will last, these artists are examples.

Today, we remember Nat King Cole, who is considered the first Negro ‘ crossover’ star.


Photo of Nat King Cole 3

nat king cole3

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125 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Gone But Not Forgotten Week: Nat King Cole

  1. Juanita Moore, Oscar-Nominated Actress in Imitation of Life, Dies at 99
    Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner’s black friend in the classic weeper “Imitation of Life,” has died.

    Actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said that Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years.

    Moore was only the fifth black performer to be nominated for an Oscar, receiving the nod for the glossy Douglas Sirk film that became a big hit and later gained a cult following. The 1959 tearjerker, based on a Fannie Hurst novel and a remake of a 1934 film, tells the story of a struggling white actress’ rise to stardom, her friendship with a black woman and how they team up to raise their daughters as single mothers.

    It brought supporting actress nominations for both Moore and Susan Kohner, who played Moore’s daughter as a young adult attempting to pass as a white woman. Kohner’s own background is Czech and Mexican. By the end, Turner’s character is a star and her friend is essentially a servant. The death of Moore’s character sets up the sentimental ending.

    “The Oscar prestige was fine, but I worked more before I was nominated,” Moore told the Los Angeles Times in 1967. “Casting directors think an Oscar nominee is suddenly in another category. They couldn’t possibly ask you to do one or two days’ work. You wouldn’t accept it. And I’m sure I would.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Slideshow: The 20 best black sitcoms of all time

    Since television’s inception, African-Americans have been woefully underrepresented. Nevertheless, some shows have been able to break through and find a loyal black audience. Several others crossed over and became influential successes with viewers regardless of race. These sitcoms have had a big impact on pop culture and the black community.

  3. Yahtc says:

    Hawaii All State Marching Band – 2014 Rose Parade

  4. Yahtc says:

    I pray that this New Year finds our hearts guided to change our society to create an atmosphere where our children will be safe.
    May bullying end.
    May stereotyping and profiling end.
    May only responsible people have guns.
    May our gun laws not be so vague that people feel that there is no alternative to shooting a gun.
    May no one ever feel free to commit a hate crime with no consequences.

    Too many people have lost their loved ones.

  5. rikyrah says:

    “Imitaition of Life” actress Juanita Moore died.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner’s black friend in the classic film “Imitation of Life,” has died.

    Actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said that Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years.

    Moore was only the fifth black performer to be nominated for an Oscar, receiving the nod for the glossy Douglas Sirk film that became a big hit and later gained a cult following. The 1959 tearjerker, based on a Fannie Hurst novel and a remake of a 1934 film, tells the story of a struggling white actress’ rise to stardom, her friendship with a black woman and how they team up to raise their daughters as single mothers.

    It brought supporting actress nominations for both Moore and Susan Kohner, who played Moore’s daughter as a young adult attempting to pass as a white woman. Kohner’s own background is Czech and Mexican. By the end, Turner’s character is a star and her friend is essentially a servant. The death of Moore’s character sets up the sentimental ending.

    “The Oscar prestige was fine, but I worked more before I was nominated,” Moore told the Los Angeles Times in 1967. “Casting directors think an Oscar nominee is suddenly in another category. They couldn’t possibly ask you to do one or two days’ work. You wouldn’t accept it. And I’m sure I would.”

    Moore also had an active career in the theater, starting at Los Angeles’ Ebony Showcase Theatre in the early 1950s, a leading black-run theater. She also was a member of the celebrated Cambridge Players, with other performers including Esther Rolle and Helen Martin.

  6. Ametia says:

    One of my all time favorite Nat King Cole songs. SMOOTH, SUAVE, SENSATIONAL.

    • Yahtc says:

      I so love his style!

      • Ametia says:

        Mona Lisa Mona Lisa, men have named you
        You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
        Is it only ’cause you’re lonely, they have blamed you
        For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

        Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
        Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
        Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
        They just lie there and they die there
        Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
        Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?

        musical interlude

        Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
        Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
        Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
        They just lie there and they die there
        Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
        Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?

        Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa

      • Yahtc says:

        Oh, yeah!


  7. rikyrah says:

    he Obamacare success stories you haven’t been hearing about

    By Michael Hiltzik

    November 25, 2013, 3:45 p.m.

    Last summer Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, a married gay couple in San Diego County, got kicked off their long-term Kaiser health plan, for which they’d been paying more than $1,300 a month. The cause wasn’t the Affordable Care Act, as far as they knew. They’d been living outside Kaiser’s service area, and the health plan had decided to tighten its rules.

    That’s when they discovered the chilly hazards of dependence on the individual health insurance market. When they applied for a replacement policy with Anthem Blue Cross of California, Ellen, 59, disclosed that she might have carpal tunnel syndrome. She wasn’t sure–her condition was still being diagnosed by Kaiser when her coverage ended. But the possibility was enough to scare Anthem. “They said, ‘We will not insure you because you have a pre-existing condition,'” Holzman recalls.

    But they were lucky, thanks to Obamacare. Through Covered California, the state’s individual insurance marketplace, they’ve found a plan through Sharp Healthcare that will cover them both for a total premium of $142 a month, after a government subsidy based on their income. They’ll have a higher deductible than Kaiser’s but lower co-pays. But their possible savings will be impressive.

    More important than that was knowing that they couldn’t be turned down for coverage come Jan. 1. “We felt we didn’t have to panic, or worry,” Holzman says. “If not for the Affordable Care Act, our ability to get insurance would be very limited, if we could get it at all.”

    Holzman and Vezina are exactly the type of people Obamacare is designed to help–indeed, rescue from the cold, hard world of individual health insurance of the past. That was a world where even an undiagnosed condition might render you uninsurable. Where your insurance could be canceled after you got sick or had an accident. Where your financial health was at risk as much as your physical well-being.

    These are the stories you’re not hearing amid the pumped-up panic over canceled individual policies and premium shocks–many of which stories are certainly true, but the noise being made about them leads people to think they’re more common than they are.

    We’ve compiled several alternative examples for this post. They’re anecdotes, sure, just like the anecdotes you’ve been seeing and reading about people learning they’ll be paying more for coverage next year.,0,1801769.story#ixzz2pBZrcr9J

  8. rikyrah says:


    Politico Defends Mike Allen on the Grounds That People Are Allowed to Read Mike Allen

    By Jonathan Chait

    After initially refusing to address Erik Wemple’s exhaustive documentation of Mike Allen’s pattern of parroting the editorial line of his advertisers, Politico editor John Harris appeared on Howard Kurtz’s Fox News show to rebut the charges. Well, “rebut” may be too strong a term. He acknowledged the charges and then strung together a series of words in response to them. But the words do not make a great deal of sense:

    So the idea — and it really wasn’t an argument what I read; it was more of a suggestion, insinuation, innuendo in a really unfair way — that the product is somehow compromised by advertisers was (a) not supported and (b) horribly, horribly unfair to what really is one of the most transparent journalistic products in the city. Anyone can read it any given day and sort of take their best guess as to why this is in there, why it’s not, who Mike had lunch with, who was giving him this, who he had dinner with, who was feeding him that. Totally transparent.

    Harris seems to be claiming that we should have no issue with Allen editorializing on behalf of his paid sponsors because it’s “transparent.” Harris defines transparency to mean that “anyone can read it” and therefore guess at the ulterior motives behind any individual item. That seems like a pretty low bar. What would a nontransparent publication be? A tip sheet that people are not allowed to read?

    It’s possible that Harris actually means something different from what he actually said when he’s thinking of transparency. The ads are transparent, and any reader can look at them and then match them up with Allen’s editorial slant. This is precisely what Wemple did. But, again, what is the alternative? Ads are always public. That’s what an ad is. If the advertiser were giving Politico money, and Politico was not publishing the advertiser’s message, then it wouldn’t be an ad at all. It would be a bribe.

    It’s hard to think of any definition of transparency by which Playbook ranks especially high. When you read, say, a story on the front page of the New York Times about bombings in Russia, you don’t have to guess why the story is there. It’s because there were bombings in Russia. There’s no netherworld of friends and/or sources and/or paid sponsors lurking behind every word. If transparency simply means that the motives are hidden but the product itself is open, then yes, Playbook is tied for first place as the most transparent publication in the city. It’s also tied for last place.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Kennett Area Dems @KennettDems

    Correction: Those 5 million who were going to lose their insurance under #Obamacare? Make it 10,000. #GOPfail
    9:37 AM – 1 Jan 2014

  10. rikyrah says:

    comments about Obamacare and real life repercussions from a commenter:

    My cost went from 740 down to 201. My wife’s went from 680 down to 160. She was supplying her brother in law (don’t ask) at 600, he is now 100. A person I autocross with went from 1400 a month to 450. A person I work with got parkinson last year and had no coverage and now does. Even the conservative coocoo birds I know are signing up. I live in California and it all worked from day one (my wife was looking through options 2 hours after the California site went live).

    So when republicans talk about ‘ending Obamacare’ they are actually saying they want to take thousands of dollars out of our pockets. And there are MILLIONS scattered all over the country saving money.

    The politics are simple… in 2016 the republicans will never nominate a candidate for president who does not have to stridently advocate taking thousands of dollars out of hundreds of thousands of peoples pockets in all sorts of different states. Races for the Senate will play out the same, but on a smaller scale. The House, not so much, but at least a few seats will be lost by republicans in the south on this.
    by nalbar (nalbarsatgmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 1st, 2014 at 02:11:06 PM EST

  11. rikyrah says:

    ‘Fresh Prince’ Star James Avery Died at 65
    Jan. 1, 2014

    James Avery, the actor who played Uncle Phil on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” died on Tuesday, his publicist confirmed to ABC News.

    The actor, 65, died from complications of open heart surgery.

    Born James La Rue Avery in Virginia, Avery was raised in Atlantic City. After high school, he served in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969 as a member of the U.S. Navy. After returning home, Avery moved to San Diego, where he wrote poetry and TV scripts for PBS, including the Emmy Award-winning production, “Ameda Speaks: Poet James Avery.”

    However, Avery perhaps was most beloved for his acting. In addition to his most famous role on the sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” he also lent his voice to several animated TV series, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Iron Man.” He also appeared on the big screen in films including “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “License to Drive,” and hosted the travel series “Going Places” on PBS. Most recently, Avery worked on Zach Braff’s film, “Wish I Was Here,” which will premiere at the Sundance film festival.

    ” I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away,” his “Fresh Prince” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro tweeted. “He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly.”

    Avery is survived by his wife of 26 years, Barbara, his stepson, Kevin Waters, and his mother, Florence.

  12. Yahtc says:

    Father-Daughter Duet: “Unforgettable”

    I loved when Natalie Cole sang with her Dad’s video of him singing:

  13. RIP James Avery! I loved and admired Uncle Phil.

    No one could throw a person out of their home like Uncle Phil. He didn’t have time for the nonsense.

  14. rikyrah says:

    How are black people saying black people with unusual names won’t go anywhere in life when the president of the US is Barack Obama?

    • Ametia says:

      If it’s not a name, or class status, or color, it would be whatever the oppressor wills on one.
      There are NO LIMITATIONS, except for the limitations we have made for ourselves.

  15. vitaminlover says:

    Happy and blessed and terrific and prosperous and awesome and fortunate and healthy New Year to 3chics and everyone and me too!

  16. Liza says:

    Happy New Year, 3Chics and everyone!
    Nat King Cole is a lifetime favorite of mine, and my favorite NKC recording is “Ramblin’ Rose” that has to be one of the saddest love songs ever. But that’s why I like it.

    • Liza, I love it too. Good and sweet memories!

    • Yahtc says:

      Liza, I love “Ramblin’ Rose” too!!

      It came out when I really started listening to the radio!
      It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade when I was 12.

      • @Yahtc…I remember it playing on the radio when I was growing up. Liza brought back some memories for me. It was good times in our house. *tears*

      • Yahtc says:

        Oh, those nostalgia tears…feeling for you, SG2

      • Yahtc says:

        What grade were you in when it came out, SG2?

      • Liza says:

        It’s good to hear that ya’ll love this song too.

        I think that “Ramblin’ Rose” as performed by NKC is one of those rare songs that are just flawlessly beautiful. When I was really young I remember thinking about the lyrics, a man in love with a woman who couldn’t settle down, so he was letting her go. In my own context I came of age during that era when women were just beginning to compete with men for careers. There were times when I wondered if this would be the story of my own life because I moved around quite a lot back then. “Who will love you with a love true when your ramblin’ days are through?” It’s a good question about the life choices that we make when we do, in fact, have choices.

        So here is this song, with these deceptively simple, timeless lyrics and Nat King Cole’s beautiful voice. Music just won’t get better than this.

      • @Yahtc

        I’m not sure what grade I was in. I just remember it being such a happy time.

      • Yahtc says:

        Liza, what a beautiful comment…and how mature you were at that young age to consider the meaning of the lyrics!

        SG2, so wonderful that you have warm memories of that good time!

  17. rikyrah says:

    Happy New Year, Everyone

  18. BREAKING NEWS: Building explodes in downtown Minneapolis; injuries reported. Developing…

    As many as a dozen people have been injured in a building explosion in Minneapolis, NBC affiliate KARE reported.

    First responders are on the scene of 514 Cedar Avenue South, near Interstate 94 in in the city’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

    KARE is reporting that injuries include burns and trauma suffered by people falling or jumping from windows.


    Tyren and Ametia… you guys alright up there?

  19. Yahtc says:

    For Renisha McBride… A Poem
    Published on Nov 15, 2013 by Nicole Newman

  20. Yahtc says:

    “Trayvon Martin And 2013 Revealed Harsh Reality Of Racism In America”

    WASHINGTON — For Verdis Daniels Jr., the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer in 2013 showed that maybe America hasn’t come so far since Daniels was an academic star at Texas’ Nacogdoches High School in 1976.

    That year, Daniels scored so well on the PSAT that the local newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, featured him in a photo with his counselor and an assistant principal. A few weeks later, police ended Daniels’ educational hopes by arresting him on charges of robbing an elderly woman. The teenager happened to share one characteristic with the actual mugger, who was described as several inches taller and wearing different clothing: skin color.

    Daniels, who was walking home from his dishwasher job at the upscale Hotel Fredonia near Nacogdoches City Hall, was not physically harmed like Martin, but he was targeted for the same reasons — he was a young, black man who looked suspicious to a white man. The acquittal of Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Martin’s killing reminded many African-Americans that those reasons endure.

    And 2013 — the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington to declare his dream — brought with it other reminders of the nation’s ongoing struggle with racial inequality. Besides the Martin case, the Supreme Court nullified a key provision of 1965’s Voting Rights Act — one of King’s landmark victories. The decision added fuel to a surge of voter identification laws that generally suppress minority voting.

    After the Zimmerman verdict, President Barack Obama reflected on the discrimination that many African-Americans still feel. Martin, Obama said, could have been his son. The president recalled how when he was younger and not famous, people sitting in cars would lock their doors at the sight of a young black man walking down the street. The people in their automobiles may not have thought their actions betrayed racism or prejudice, yet the youthful Obama knew he posed no threat, so their instincts to seal themselves behind steel and glass stemmed from baseless fear.

    Supporters of George Zimmerman chose to deny the truth of that experience, and said the shooting of Trayvon Martin had nothing to do with race, although the teen was black. Supporters of voter I.D. laws — nearly all Republican-backed — say such legislation has nothing to do with race, although they admit it is partisan and the people in the other party are disproportionately Latino and black.

    Supporters of both insist racism is mostly over in America, pointing to that Supreme Court decision. Their advice was “Get over it.”

    So, The Huffington Post reached out to black Americans like Verdis Daniels (also the congressmen in the above video), and asked them to share daily experiences on the wrong side of racial interactions, from casual, unthinking slights to more deliberate discrimination.

    In Daniels’ case, the racism appears to be of the more deliberate, pre-Civil Rights Act variety that was common in Texas in 1976.

    The police chief, M.C. Roebuck, had lost civil rights cases in federal court by then and was looked on with fear in the black community. The “colored” jail had only recently been closed. People still knew whose office in the stationhouse used to be the colored bathroom.

    Daniels recalled how he was ensnared in the legal system, walking home from the dishwasher job he had landed recently to put a little spending money in his pocket. It was just two weeks after his picture ran in the Daily Sentinel for being named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, a feat that flagged him as an academic up-and-comer in the East Texas community. He still has the newspaper photo of him smiling with his mentors. But that night, someone who didn’t resemble Daniels knocked down an elderly white woman and snatched her purse. An officer arrested the then-17-year-old, and threw him in jail, despite the different description.

    “Nothing matched at all,” said Daniels, who instead of capitalizing on his high test score and preparing to apply for college, had to prepare a criminal defense. “During the time when applications were supposed to come in, I was in limbo,” Daniels said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”

    A civil rights lawyer recently arrived from the Northeast, Martha McCabe, championed his case.

    “The police were ridiculous,” McCabe recalled, singling out the chief, Roebuck. “He thought that his mission from the merchants of Nacogdoches was to suppress and oppress the black population,” she said. “Really, the black population lived under a certain kind of martial law.”

    The district attorney at the time, David Adams, decided to prosecute the case, putting it in the hands of a deputy who McCabe recalled as “snarly and straight-up racist.”

    Daniels had the good fortune of facing his charges at the end of an era. Roebuck was near retirement and Adams did not run for reelection. The new DA, Herb Hancock, took over in 1977, and didn’t think much of the case. McCabe remembered a reaction she got from him several times when she represented clients who didn’t merit prosecution.

    “He used to say, ‘Oh it’s just another case of felony dumb-ass and the young stupids, and I’m not gonna pursue it.’ That was music to my ears,” McCabe said.

    Daniels isn’t bitter about the derailment. He went on to the Air Force instead of college, and said life has turned out well for him. “My story turned out a whole lot better than it could have done,” he said.

    But he still tries to stay away from Nacogdoches, even though his mother lives there. And he still feels the daily sting of unthinking prejudice, which college and higher degrees would not have fixed.

    About two years before Daniels achieved his high test scores, a young woman from Youngstown, Ohio, named Kim Akins did similarly well. She won scholarships and was accepted to nearly every college where she applied. Now 55, Akins went on to become a lawyer, and for several years, an assistant prosecutor in Youngstown Municipal Court.

    She never ran afoul of the law, but her experience of prejudice is no less constant. When she served as a prosecutor in family court cases, court officers would mistake her for a defendant’s girlfriend. Riding in her Jaguar with her husband, who is white, she’s been pulled over repeatedly by police, who suspected her of being a prostitute.

    “For whatever reason, they have not figured out that there are interracial marriages allowed in this state, so the only reason a black woman can be in a car with a white man is because she’s a hooker,” Akins said.

    Even when the car registration had Akins’ name on it, and she was sitting there in the passenger seat of her own vehicle, an officer would ask her husband, “Does your wife know where her car is?” Akins said.

    HuffPost’s request for comments brought many submissions detailing interactions with police and other security professionals, or just suspicious white people in stores and neighborhoods. But the answers also highlight how the suspicion on one side fuels the divide, leaving African-Americans distrustful of white people and in fear of the police or anyone, such as George Zimmerman, who may have the power to take life or freedom.

    Renee Taylor, of Fort Washington, Md., signed her submission “Mother Living In Fear.” Her tale concerned her son, David, who was her nephew until she adopted him after his father was shot to death on David’s fourth birthday in an act of street violence.

    Taylor said her son was 25 when his outlook on police changed. Officers on a burglary patrol decided to stop him and a friend while they were walking to a store, based on no descriptions at all.

    “He and his friend were made to sit on the ground, subject to interrogation, and had to justify their presence in their own community,” Taylor said. “They were demeaned and treated as of they were criminal. Just their mere presence made them suspect, as with Trayvon Martin.

    “Something in my son died that day. He tried to remain calm and respectful, to contain himself while still asserting his rights, as he knows too well how the police label anything as resistance,” she said.

    Afterwards, David vowed that he would not sit passively if his rights were similarly abused again, Taylor said.

    “I saw the look in his eyes, felt the sadness in his heart and spirit. I saw irreparable damage to his manhood,” she said. “I worry every time he leaves home. I have an unfair burden of the unknown and the anxiety of what might be. I want my black son to live. I want our black sons to live. I feel as if his death warrant was signed that day with an execution date to be determined.”

    Of course, most people do not walk around in fear, and Akins and Daniels figure that things are better now than when they were teenagers. But if you’re black in America, you’re seldom just a human walking around minding your own business.

    “It’s nothing that you want to run around the room screaming, ‘Oh that’s racist.’ But it’s there every day, and that burns in your psyche,” Akins said. “Every day there’s something. If you can get through the day without being reminded that you’re black, you’ve had a good day.”

    What Akins hopes comes out of 2013, if not change, then at least the realization among more white Americans that discrimination remains and more change needs to happen.

    “If you don’t have to deal with it and you never see it, then clearly it’s not happening,” Akins said. “I think the hard part for white people is that you have to acknowledge that people who look like you go through the day and do things to people who look like me. So you’ve got to justify not feeling any guilt. No black people I know want anyone to feel guilt, they just want them to stop doing what they’re doing.

    “It’s like air. It’s better now. Don’t get me wrong — it’s definitely better. I might go through a couple of days where nobody has to remind me that I’m black.”

    “Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

    “If you have a story about discrimination to tell, send it to:

    “Read more stories of Americans’ experiences with discrimination below, from calls and emails to HuffPost. They are lightly edited for clarity.”

    Delroy Cornick
    I can’t tell you how many times someone has tried to hand me their car keys in a downtown D.C. parking garage — while I’m wearing a suit. One lady, incredulous that I didn’t know where Dollar Car Rental was at the airport, screamed ‘DON’T YOU WORK HERE!?’ at me as we cleaned out the car we were returning.
    When I was a college in North Carolina, I had to wait on the side of the dark country road because the girl who was driving was also picking up her best friend, and her best friend’s father would never let her get in the car with a black guy, so we had to wait in the woods a few miles back for her to come and pick us back up.
    When my younger son was 15, he walked from our apartment to the 7-Eleven store two blocks away in the evening to buy snacks. He was stopped by a white police officer who asked him where he was going and why he was ‘walking with that pimp walk?’ My son explained that he was going to the store for snacks and that he had cerebral palsy and could not walk any other way, which was indeed the case. This is only one example of my mixed-race children’s reality. Anyone who believes that racism does not exist today need only read the online comments on almost any news story. These comments present a frightening view into the anonymous American mindset. (Please do not publish my name.)
    Cynthia White
    The white parent of one of my students called me. I always answer, ‘This is Dr. White, how may I help you?’ He responded by calling me Miss White. I politely said, ‘Sir, it is Dr. White.’ He responded back, ‘No, you are Miss White.’ I finally told him the conversation would not proceed until he got it right. He begrudgingly addressed me as Dr. White. His attitude was one of me not having earned or being worthy of the title. This is just one incident out of the thousands I could relate throughout my 61 years of life.
    Sandra Barnes
    365 days a year discrimination occurs in every aspect of black life. If I go into a shoe store, the white salesman ignores me, but jumps to serve a white woman if she comes in. I could go on and on and on, but one of the most egregious incidents occurred on the National Mall some years ago right in front of the Washington monument. I thought to myself, ‘And this is America and here I stand in the seat of our government, which is supposed to represent equal justice for all.’ There were two lines at a concession stand and I stood in one of them to get a snow cone because it was very hot. I was next in line to be served and what does the clerk do, but hop over to the other line to serve the white person behind the one currently being served by the other clerk. It was like I was invisible, and I was not in the mood for this behavior that particular day, so I just said as I have on many occasions, ‘Excuse me, but I was next.’ They returned and waited on me with an ‘Oh.’ On another occasion, a white man was entering Macy’s. He held the door for a white woman to enter first, then entered himself, letting the door shut in my face. I thought how rude, but just assumed I wasn’t valued enough to have the door held open for me. So it’s just the constant devaluation of black life and the aura of privilege and entitlement on the part of many whites who refuse to see you as equal and worthy of proper treatment. You’re not supposed to be or to have anything equally to them.
    Janell Zubrinsky
    I am an African-American woman, 69 years old, a mother and grandmother. Yesterday, after a day of shopping, I stopped by the mailroom to pick up my mail and encountered an elderly caucasian woman doing the same. It is a woman I have seen around the apartment complex frequently. What I noticed was that she kept her back turned toward me, but kept peeking over her shoulder in my direction. I got my mail and proceeded to the elevator. The woman was a few steps behind me. I got on the elevator and held the door so that she could enter. She did not enter the elevator. Instead, she said that she would take the next one. I smiled and left her standing there waiting.
    Another incident occurred recently involving a woman who appeared to be East Indian and middled-aged. She and two younger women were coming to the elevator at the same time as myself. I was closer, so I got on first and was holding the door open. The elder woman got to the elevator first. She walked in and saw me standing there. With a look of fear on her face, she turned and rushed back out into the hallway. At the same time, the two younger women walked up and entered the elevator. They motioned for her to get in, to which she refused. Her head nodded in my direction. They were speaking in a language I did not understand, but it was clear they were convincing her that it was okay. She finally came on board, but stood in the far corner. Being embarrassed, the younger women tried to engage in a conversation with me.

    I was born and raised in a very rural area in southern Alabama during the Jim Crow era. My parent could not vote. The knight riders were very active. When walking down the street and whites approached, a black person had to step off into the street to allow the whites to pass. We entered the movie theater through a side door, sat in the balcony and ordered popcorn through a small opening on the side of the building. When the fair came to town, Thursday night was reserved for black folks. We had to use a side window toward the back of the building at the Dairy Queen. The list could go on and on. Today, just because blacks can walk through the front door, demand their half of the sidewalk or go to a fair or amusement park on any given day or night, it does not mean things have changed. It’s just a different manifestation (cowering in the corner of an elevator, clutching a purse, exiting a room/area when blacks come around, etc.) and more covert.

    It is whites in America that need to have a ‘come to Jesus’ and ‘soul searching’ conversation about how their attitudes and behaviors contribute to the problem of race in America. Unless whites come to the table in an honest and open manner the problem will persist. And, other minority groups need to be included as this is not just a ‘black’ issue.

    A Black Man from California
    I was on my way to a business meeting with a suit and tie on. I had to stop in the store to pick up a few items. An elderly white lady had her purse sitting in the buggy, and she had walked a few steps down the aisle to look at something else. There were other people in the aisle (all white). She looked back and saw me coming down the aisle. She tripped over several people to get back to her purse. No move was to get to that purse as long as there were white people in the aisle. It was really funny if it wasn’t so sad.
    Allene Swienckowski
    I am 65 years old. Most people consider me a petite woman, being less than 5-foot-3, and yet when I shopped in Southern California it was a common experience for ‘white’ women to grab their purses as I passed them in an aisle.
    The most insulting thing for me as a black mother and grandmother is that my son and grandsons are judged differently by the police and the communities they occupy than their white counterparts. My son was stopped and questioned often by local police because he was sitting in front of our home on the grass. The policemen that questioned my son couldn’t afford to buy a home in our area, yet many policemen could not conceive that a black family could.
    Timothy Carney
    Here are my thoughts on the racism I, as an African-American male. still endure. While I get the typical responses your column described in terms of a look of fear, shifting of the purse, clutching the shopping cart where the purse is sitting, re-locking the car two or three times, etc., all as I walk by. The one that gets me the most is actually the ‘non’ action. Ralph Ellison talked about the ‘invisible man’ syndrome. I now understand fully what he meant by this concept. Ellison talked about how black men are simply ignored. White women and even men may not even make eye contact or look our way as we walk on by, enter a room, or at times are engaged in conversation with a third party (where to speak to him/her and ignore us standing right there). I had to call out a rep at Home Depot for doing that to me when I was in the store talking to a white gentleman about a lawnmower (a customer like me) when the white Home Depot rep walked up and looked him squarely in the eye and said, “Sir, can I help you by answering any questions about the mower?” He never once looked at me or treated me like I was there to purchase the item. I did purchase the item, but from another store entirely.
    I am an African-American assistant professor on a predominantly white Southern campus, and I see young and/or old white men and women all the time, every day walk past me as if I was invisible. I then at times will turn around to see if their interactions with other white men or women are the same, and typically, if they see another white person approaching, they make eye contact, smile, and offer a greeting, even when they don’t know the person. And attire means nothing. I am always either wearing a suit or business casual. I often get told I carry the Obama look, so appearance is not the issue (close-cropped hair, light-skinned professional). The typical M.O. of white people when it comes to black people is to (1) non-engage, (2) don’t encourage, (3) don’t confront, and (4) don’t acknowledge, and in their mind, this perceived ‘potential’ threat or mere disdain for our existence will likely pass by unnoticed.

    The problem for me is I am a person that generally speaks to everyone. It’s just my Christian nature. This sort of environment can easily turn a person inside and harden them up to speaking, appearing unfriendly and downright mean to the next innocent white person. We are not. It’s just a constant battle to have to figure out if this is a good and friendly white person or a white person who would rather I not be on ‘their’ planet!

    Ralph Ellison called this one out for what it was. This white M.O. is ingrained in white people from early on when they get warnings as little children not to look at, talk to, or take anything from that bad ‘black’ man. Their responses as adults to us display the same level of indifference to our existence as their parents taught them years ago.
    I grew up in Philadelphia. It was very racially charged in my younger years. My mother is Puerto Rican and my biological father is Angolan-African. My mother remarried when I was young. We moved to an all-white neighborhood. We were greeted with our windows being broken. And groups of children whose ages ranged from 7 to mid-teens. I remembered one of the kids saying, ‘My mother said why did you niggers have to move around here?!’ I was assaulted by groups of white kids on the way to and from school on a regular basis. I ran so much, I thought I was gonna grow up to be a track star. I cut my teeth as my stepfather forced me to defend myself, and those days are just a vivid memory. In my teen years we moved to a ‘better neighborhood.’ I walked through a park to catch the El to my college. As I walked through once, a white guy I knew from the neighborhood uttered, ‘Look at this nigger.’ He’s a Philadelphia police officer now. And after my wife and I bought our starter home, she became pregnant with our first daughter. I was ever the so-proud doting father! I lugged the brand new overpriced baby car seat and diaper bag equipped with everything! The only other thing I remember from that day is the group of white women who entered the elevator I was on, and how the one next to me zippered her purse, moved it to her other arm and took a step sideways. I couldn’t help but just utter the words, ‘Really?! You see me with all of this baby stuff and you think I might steal your purse?!’ Now for argument’s sake, I dress fairly well. No, I don’t wear my pants off my rear-end. I’m cleanshaven. I work for a very large international company. These are just the few incidents that come to mind, and I could go on. And for the record, I have friends of all ethnicities! I have changed elderly white peoples’ tires in the snow when it was obvious no one would help. I have bought groceries for African-Americans and whites from my church who fell on hard times. I have bought Christmas trees and gifts for families who otherwise would have none. I have helped whites, Hispanics and African-Americans get jobs. I am college-educated and do not have a criminal record. I am a father and a husband and a good-hearted person, and these are the values I instill in my children. I work with people from all walks of life. A good number of whom are African-American who are also college-educated. And all of them want the same thing, regardless of the color of their skin — a good job, a home, a better future for their children and relatively normal lives.
    Kenneth Milam
    Fourteen years ago, I visited an aunt who was homebound due to a very crippling degree of arthritis. She lived in the projects in my hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., where I resided from 1998 until 2005. I went by her house to take her lunch, which my mother had prepared for her, and did so daily. Upon arriving at her house, I noticed a police car parked two blocks away with an officer sitting in the car. I got out of my car and entered my aunt’s home, and stayed about 20 to 25 minutes. As I departed and got into my car and drove off, I noticed the police car pulling out and following me as I exited the projects to drive down the highway. Exactly two minutes later, I noticed the police flashing lights signaling me to pull over. The officer exited her car and approached me with her hands on her gun holster. I did not react or make any sudden moves as a precaution to protect my life. She motioned to me to roll down my window and asked me to show her my driver’s license and registration. I complied and then asked her why I was being detained because I was not speeding, nor had I run a stop. She gave me some cock and bull story that she noticed that I was driving erratically back and forward down the highway. I then calmly responded by informing her that I noticed her parked a few blocks from my aunt’s home, where I just delivered lunch to my disabled aunt. I Also let her know that I watched her as I pulled off and as she followed me for the last three minutes. I surprised her, and could tell by her facial expression that she did not like my statement. Nor did I really care. I was very angry, but was able to mask my anger so that my actions would not escalate the situation. The police officer was a white female. I, of course, am an African-American male. From slavery to being a target of social suppression is very humiliating and demoralizing. When will it stop?
    Debra Rowlett
    I want to tell you about what happened to my coworker. He has been with our college for over 20 years. He was standing in front of the college, wearing a maintenance uniform and his ID badge around his neck. Two undercover officers stopped and made him go up against the fence, and they searched him for no apparent reason. He told him he worked here and they ignored him completely. I will never forget looking at his eyes, swollen with tears, and being horrified that he was targeted like that. I could see some of his manhood slipping away as he told me his story. As I’m writing this, I can’t help but cry because this is doing so much damage to our brothers or anyone who is targeted because of the color of their skin.
    Anna Orbe
    I was born in 1974 in NYC. When I was 2, my family moved to a suburb of Scranton, Pa., a mere 12 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. My father was a programmer who worked for a major insurance company (think Snoopy). I was called the N word, my family was harassed in many and various ways as we moved into an upper-middle class neighborhood full of doctors and lawyers. One time, I was even punched in the stomach for being an ‘N.’ In 1987, my father was promoted and we moved to New Jersey. As my father registered me and my sister into our new private parochial high school with a fine reputation, the girl who was touring us around the school asked me if my father was a drug dealer because how else could he afford to place us in such a school, especially since we wouldn’t be needing any financial help, and he paid for the entire year’s tuition for both my sister and myself up front.
    Seventeen years ago, my parents moved into a nice New York City suburb — a town right next to Scarsdale, N.Y. Every single person who lives in this house has been pulled over by the police for walking in our own neighborhood while black. We were forced to prove who we are, where we lived and then to explain where we were going.

    The most recent experience was about three years ago. My sister, who went to USC film school, had one of her student films shown in a New York film festival. Together we went to the presentation and attended the after-party, and eventually caught the last MTA train home. As we arrived at the platform, there was a pair of ladies, one white, one black, who were from out of town visiting a friend, but who were unaware that they would have to walk home, since after a certain hour the taxis in our area cease to run. I offered to drive them home if they would walk to my house, as their destination was not really within walking distance. Along the way, my sister’s shoes started hurting her, so I and the white lady worked on unlacing her elaborate shoes. As we were doing this, a police officer pulled over and addressed the white woman, asking her if everything was all right. He then proceeded to ask the rest of us where we were going, what we were doing, etc. In the end, the police officer took the other two ladies home, and left me and my sister to walk. Only later after talking about the incident did my sister and I realize that the police officer thought the three brown ladies were mugging the white one. It is evident from his only asking the white lady about the status of the situation, and from his leaving my sister and I to walk home while making sure the white woman got home.

    My experiences are so common among black people. I have yet to meet one who doesn’t have something similar to relate. Most black people let these incidences go, but I think it is time for us to tell our stories, especially ‘successful’ black people, because white people seem to think that ‘unsuccessful’ black people are just complaining about the racism they experience as an excuse for their ‘failure.’ I think white people need to realize that these stories are the RULE, not the exception, and the fact that they continue to deny its existence — thus refusing to do anything about it — allows it to persist.
    Bryan Murphy
    At one time, I lived in Florida, I’m from NYC. I used to drive back and forth. I had a Florida plate. I lost count, but it was in the teens. I would be stopped after crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge into New Jersey. Or coming in from Pennsylvania on the west side of Jersey. Or coming onto the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 4 from Pennsylvania.

    And the story was always the same:
    You were speeding.
    You were going too slow.
    You were weaving.
    You were in the left lane.
    Your trunk was hanging too low, etc.
    And then it was:
    Where are you going?
    Do you have any firearms?
    Any drugs?
    Any cigarettes?
    Any alcohol?
    Who does the car belong to?

    Search the car. Nothing found. EVER.

    I wrote the governor, who wrote me back and said the NJ Police DO NOT PROFILE!!!

    I have yet to ever be stopped by a black officer.

    At the time, I was a very grown man!!! But they saw a black man in a car with a Florida plate. This has also happened in Ohio, and North Carolina. (N.C. several times) The same M.O. and questions. AND RESULTS.

    I live in Europe now. I drive, and no problems. I go to stores. No problems.

    I have been followed in New York department stores. Once, in a 57th Street store, after a while of his following me, I turned to the store dick and asked his opinion on a sweater. HEWASTHISCLOSETOME.

    I went to visit an out-of-town friend at a hotel by Grand Central Station, and was followed by a hotel dick to his floor. I got in the elevator first. He waited for me to push MY floor. And he got off with me and followed me to the friend’s room. Ahh yes, to be black in America!
    Tim Curry
    I am a 52-year-old African-American man who happens to be a program manager at Cisco Systems. I have a teaching credential, a B.S., an A.S. and credit towards my MBA. By all accounts, I am not threatening-looking. My brothers both have advanced degrees — one a PhD and the other has his MSW. Here in the Bay Area, while I was shopping at the local sports store, EVERY TIME I entered that store they seemed to scramble in order to track and follow me around. The first time I thought I was being paranoid, until a friend of mine who was there asked me if I was aware that I was being followed. That has happened to me there three times. Needless to say, I don’t shop there anymore. Another instance was in the local Walmart as I was waiting for my oil to be changed. I noticed the various calls for security for the areas of the store I happened to be in. ‘Security to the shoe department.’ ‘Security to automotive.’ It happens all the time. Once people meet and interact with me, most times they are cool. But it seems I am often viewed as a suspect until I prove differently.
    Justin J.
    I would first like to thank you for giving me and others the opportunity to share their stories. My experience with discrimination is sadly quite vast, but I will keep it to one case. When I was 11 years old, I moved from Trinidad and Tobago to a small town outside of Pittsburgh.
    My parents swiftly enrolled my brother and me in a religious class at a church. While there, the organizer of the course took us out of the class on numerous occasions to wash the church windows and doors. This continued to happen until I told my parents and they left the church.
    John Thomas
    I am a black man who was born in the late 1950s, raised in Pennsylvania, and currently makes over $100,000 a year. I have a bachelors degree in mathematics, and a masters degree in management. I have encountered discrimination a number of times in my adult life, and I will list three incidents below.

    1. In college, I can remember being told by a white mathematics professor that black people didn’t know anything about math or science, and that I was wasting my time. He told me I should pursue something different, and he specifically mentioned that I should try social work, because he felt that this was a better discipline for me to pursue.

    2. As a young man in my early 30s, I was on travel for business in Kentucky and staying at the Hyatt Regency. I had just checked in and I was on an elevator with my luggage when an elderly white woman asked me if the hotel had functioning service elevators, because she couldn’t understand why porters like me had to use the main elevators reserved for guests.

    3. About 15 years ago, I was at an exquisite restaurant in North Carolina. I had made reservations for two earlier that day, and when I arrived at the restaurant, I was told that my table would be ready soon. In the meantime, four white couples were seated before we were, and after about 15 minutes, I asked the maitre d’ why we weren’t being seated. He whispered something to one of the other employees, and we were escorted past several empty tables to a table in the very back of the restaurant, right next to the kitchen. When I told the employee that this table was not acceptable, I was told that the other tables were reserved. I asked to speak to the manager, and I was told that he was unavailable, and I was told that if I didn’t like this table I was free to eat at another restaurant. It was only after I threatened to let the local newspaper and my lawyer know about this indignity was I seated at one of the tables in the front.

  21. Yahtc says:

    Supreme Court Justice Halts Birth Control Mandate in Health Care Law for Catholic Group
    WASHINGTON January 1, 2014 (AP)
    Justice Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns
    Published: December 31, 2013

    WASHINGTON — Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing some religious-affiliated groups to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    Acting at the request of an order of nuns in Colorado, Justice Sotomayor issued the stay just hours before the requirement was to go into effect on New Year’s Day. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

    Justice Sotomayor’s order applies to the nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic nonprofit groups that use the same health plan, known as the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust. The groups’ lawsuit is one of many challenging the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage, but a decision on the merits of that case by the full Supreme Court could have broader implications.

    “We are delighted with the ruling,” said Mark L. Rienzi, a lawyer at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who represented the nuns in the lawsuit. “We are delighted that the Supreme Court will require the government to file briefs in the court on this matter.” The Little Sisters of the Poor operate nursing homes for low-income people in the United States and around the world.

    Without Justice Sotomayor’s order, the nuns “would have been forced to comply with the contraceptive mandate on Wednesday or face large fines,” Mr. Rienzi said late Tuesday.

    The contraception requirement has been one of the most controversial aspects of the health law since the Obama administration first announced it in mid-2011, along with other requirements it characterized as preventive care. Religious opponents of abortion have objected especially strongly to the requirement to provide emergency contraception pills, like Plan B, although most studies show that the drug works by preventing fertilization, not by inducing abortion.

    In an effort to compromise, the administration said that women who work for nonprofit religious groups that object to birth control could receive separate coverage not paid for by the employers. It refused, however, to offer accommodations to secular businesses whose owners have religious objections to contraception.

    That has led to a separate group of lawsuits. And last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a pair of cases on whether corporations may refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception.

    Justice Sotomayor — who later was to lead the countdown for the Times Square ball drop — issued her order after the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, earlier on New Year’s Eve denied the nuns’ request for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the new health care law.

    The Obama administration had argued that the Little Sisters of the Poor could opt out of the contraceptive coverage requirement by completing “a self-certification form” and providing it to the entity that administers their health benefits. Therefore, the Justice Department said, the contraceptive mandate imposes “no substantial burden on their exercise of religion.”

    “To opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, Little Sisters need only certify that they are nonprofit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and that, because of religious objections, they are opposed to providing coverage for some or all contraceptive services,” the Justice Department told the appeals court on Monday.

    The administration says it has exempted churches from the contraceptive coverage requirement and offered an accommodation to certain religious nonprofit groups. But the Becket Fund argued that “the ‘accommodation’ still forces the Little Sisters to find an insurer who will cover sterilization, contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.”

    “The Sisters would also be required to sign a form that triggers the start of that coverage,” it said. “In good conscience, they cannot do that. So the ‘accommodation’ still violates their religious beliefs.”

    The Obama administration has repeatedly defended the birth control requirement. “The president believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said last month.

    One of the pending Supreme Court cases was filed by Hobby Lobby, a corporation owned by a family whose members have said they try to run the business on Christian principles. The company, which operates a chain of arts-and-crafts stores and has more than 15,000 full-time employees of many faiths. Hobby Lobby has said it has no problem with offering coverage for many forms of contraception, including condoms, diaphragms, sponges, several kinds of birth control pills and sterilization surgery. But drugs and devices that can prevent embryos from implanting in the womb are another matter, and make it complicit in a form of abortion, the company said.

    The other case was filed by the Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, which makes wood cabinets and is owned by a Mennonite family that had similar objections to the law.

    • Yahtc says:

      Supreme Court halts contraception mandate for religious groups

      Mike Theiler / Reuters file

      Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the emergency stay Tuesday night, hours before the health care mandate was to have gone into effect.

      By M. Alex Johnson and Winston Wilde, NBC News
      Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a last-ditch plea from Catholic groups Tuesday night to block a birth control mandate in the new health care law for religious organizations, just hours before it was to have gone into effect.
      Sotomayor issued the stay at the request of an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, part of a larger effort by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation to halt provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require companies — regardless of religious beliefs — to provide contraceptives and other abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.
      The groups wanted the mandate halted while the court considers a legal challenge, brought by the for-profit company Hobby Lobby, arguing that the requirement violates their religious liberties.
      In June, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver waived millions of dollars of fines against Hobby Lobby and a subsidiary, Mardel Christian Stores, which refused to comply with the mandate, writing that the companies were likely to win their claim that requiring for-profit companies to pay for birth control was a violation of religious protections.

      The motion for a stay went to Sotomayor as the justice with oversight for the 10th Circuit. She gave the government until Friday to respond.
      “Tomorrow, a regulatory mandate will expose numerous Catholic organizations to draconian fines unless they abandon their religious convictions and take actions that facilitate access to abortion-inducing products, contraceptives, sterilization, and related education and counseling for their employees,” the groups said in their request for a stay Tuesday.

  22. Yahtc says:

    I love how Nat King Cole imitated Sammy Davis’s attempt to imitate Nat :)

  23. Mother sets up funding website to move Jahi McMath from hospital

    Jahi McMath’s mother has set up a funding website to raise money, so that she can move her daughter from Children’s Hospital Oakland.

  24. California Department of Public Health Investigating Jahi McMath Case
    The California Department of Public Health has opened an investigation into Children’s Hospital Oakland and its handling of a 13-year-old girl declared brain dead after suffering complications from a routine tonsillectomy.

    Anita Gore, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health, on Tuesday told NBC Bay Area the investigation was launched two weeks ago and could not get into the details of the investigation.

    The investigations comes as the family of Jahi McMath work to transfer the Oakland girl to a center on New York’s Long Island that specializes in traumatic brain injuries.

    Chris Dolan, an attorney representing the McMath family, told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that he planned to “confirm today” the Medford, N.Y. center was still accepting the girl. The New York facility — founded by a former beauty salon owner — is willing to keep Jahi on life support, according to the family.

    Dolan also said the family “is looking to find a place closer to home.” Court filings state the alternate facility is in Arizona.

  25. Nat King Cole!!!!!!!!!

    That’s what you are,
    Tho’ near or far…

  26. Happy New Year, everyone!

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