Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Carol Cain, Special to the Michigan Chronicle
Cliff Russell, Tom Jordan , Mike Duggan, Carol Cain, Benny Napoleon, Bankole Thompson on the "Michigan Matters" set. Photo credit: CBS 62's Sheri Kowalski
It was months in the making and the first televised debate Sunday between Mike Duggan and Sheriff Benny Napoleon didn’t disappoint as the two men vying to become Detroit’s next mayor shared thoughts on important issues and exchanged words with the passion and precision of two heavyweight boxers.
Duggan, the former CEO of Detroit Medical Center, and Napoleon, threw down the gauntlet as they traded thoughts on crime, the Emergency Manager, neighborhoods, race relations, and much more.
“I have done more in one day as a police officer in this city than he’s done in his lifetime,” Napoleon said of Duggan.
Duggan said: “Where is your crime fighting plan, sheriff? Feel free to start. You’ve been there four years. When you ran for sheriff you said you’d make us safer. Yet, there hasn’t been a single initiative.”
The hour long debate aired as a “Michigan Matters” special and was sponsored by CBS 62, the Michigan Chronicle and WWJ Newsradio 950.
CBS62 Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain moderated and was joined in the questioning by Michigan Chronicle Senior Editor Bankole Thompson, political pundit Cliff Russell, and WWJ Newsradio 950 Morning Anchor Tom Jordan.
Duggan and Napoleon were the top two vote getters in August’s primary and are vying for votes in the Nov 5 general election.
Talk focused on Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who was put in place under a state law supported by Gov. Rick Snyder and the GOP led legislature to address the financial woes of the Motor City. Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July under Orr’s watch.
“I campaigned vigorously against the EM as I did against Right To Work (which also went into effect the same day as the EM law in March). I am a history major, I know the struggle of the civil rights movement,” said Napoleon. “This is the most offensive assault on democracy since the American Revolution.”
“I have no plan to work with Kevyn Orr. My goal is to get rid of Kevyn Orr,” Napoleon added.
Napoleon also said that Duggan sent emails (to Lansing) in support of the EM, which Duggan disputed.
“Did you read those emails? If you had then you’d know I lobbied against the EM. I talked with Dennis Muchmore (Gov. Snyder’s Chief of Staff) , (former state treasurer) Andy Dillon, and Rich Baird (Snyder’s chief strategist) and told them ‘you can’t do this and disenfranchise the voters of Detroit.’I was against the EM.”
When asked about working with the EM, Duggan said: “Kevyn Orr (who by state law will be around at least six months after the new mayor takes over in January) is going to take away the pension rights of retirees, selling off assets like the water department. I will try to engage with him or go right to bankruptcy to say we do not have to sell off our assets or take away retiree rights.
“If (Orr does not engage back) then it be an adversarial relationship,” Duggan added.
Napoleon talked up his $3.5 billion neighborhood revitalization plan which includes police stations and shopping malls.
Duggan questioned where the funding would come from.
“The last time he (Napoleon) had a vision – it was when he went before the Wayne County Commission to talk about a new jail and how it would save money,” said Duggan. “It was senseless and he didn’t do his homework. The jail is $100 million over budget...”
SUBHEAD: Déjà vu on CBS debate.. and more:
The CBS 62/Michigan Chronicle/WWJ Newsradio 950 debate will be rebroadcast on WKBD-TV CW50 at 5 p.m. on Sunday Oct 27. It will also be re-aired on WWJ Newsradio 950 at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct 22.
You can attend the next meeting between mayoral candidates Mike Duggan and Sheriff Benny Napoleon at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon on Wednesday, Oct 23 at Cobo Center.
Carol Cain will moderate the conversation and Judge Damon Keith will be the DEC presiding officer. For more: 313-963-8547 or econclub.org)
You can hear what the two candidates said at the Detroit Economic Club event on a special “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 am Sunday, Oct 27, on CBS 62.
Bankole Thompson, Cliff Russell and Tom Jordan will join Cain on that show’s roundtable.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 09:21
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by by Aubrey Lynch
Racism as the old folks knew it, from Jim Crow through the desegregation of schools in 1954 to the present has been buried under mounds of Affirmative Action, political correctness, a burgeoning economy fueling corporate need and demographic pressure stemming from minority birth rates and immigration. For black people, we must give Dr. King immense credit for breaking the back of southern racism, a most vicious form of day to day terrorism. The overt racism of the time prior to 1954 that included physical brutality against blacks, confinement to heavily guarded ghettoes, societally enforced rules against participation in the economy and other practices which blacks knew well, have been ameliorated to a great extent, although not eliminated.
Affirmative Action was a very effective tool in ensuring that at least a few highly qualified black people had a chance to make an impact on the closed, stultified atmosphere of corporate America that existed prior to Dr. King. The black pioneers hired in major corporations as a part of Affirmative Action had a very difficult time, as pioneers usually do. Part of the difficulty stemmed from the fact that, no matter how qualified an individual happened to be, their white counterparts could discount the quality and assure themselves that, after all, the person was black and got in through the unfair-to-white-people Affirmative Action initiative. Such black pioneers experienced first-hand what it meant to be "The Spook Who Sat By the Door," (Sam Greenlee, 1969). Clearly, Dr. King, the Black Panthers, Rap Brown and Malcolm X had a profound effect on the US corporations. Otherwise, black people would not have been hired for even token positions.
The apparent advantage of Affirmative Action could have turned out to be fool's gold except for the fact that the experience of navigating the treacherous waters of corporate America was highly rewarding and provided excellent training. That allowed many of the pioneers to take full advantage of the opportunities provided in an expanding economy. Since the traditional media rarely focused on successful black people, the black middle class became strong and confident under the radar. In the early years, a proud, competent, no nonsense black would have been called "uppity," a fool who has the nerve to thinks he is equal to a white man. But the success of the pioneers meant that highly capable, well-trained black people ceased being called uppity. They are now so visible, even without the media, that they have become a true threat to the facade that a segment of white people prefer to wear...the segment that desperately wants to believe that they are superior to all people of color.
When the brilliant and persuasive Barack Obama came out of the senate with an uplifting message, the nation was ready to listen and hope after eight years of the disastrous Bush administration. The young man clearly benefited from the lessons that the pioneers had learned and the path that they had blazed through the minefields of pervasive racism. The practices historically used to disenfranchise blacks, the open, wanton brutality were no longer visible. Whites adopted new, subtle attacks most of which are known only to the black target and the white practitioner. Since there is no forum for blacks to talk about their experiences, they remain hidden. Consequently, whites who chose to do so could gladly accept the proclamation that the election of Barack Obama in 2008 had ushered in a post-racial society.
The exuberance could not be sustained for long. The facade of superiority, worn so comfortably by whites for so long, could no longer be maintained without somehow showing that this man in the White House was dreadfully incompetent. Clearly, so the shocked bigots thought, the election of a black man had to have been the result of mass hysteria. Since the margin of victory was such that any charges of theft could not be supported, (unlike the elections of both 2000 and 2004 which are still dubious at best), the only recourse was to undermine the presidency so as to demonstrate to the world that blacks truly are incompetent and all is right with the world after all.
The woeful result has been that long hidden and camouflaged racism has returned to visibility with a vengeance. It is as if that segment of the white population that cannot tolerate the thought that the white race is no longer viewed as the undisputed master race now know that time is running out. The curtain has been pulled back. Their gloves have come off. Survival for these people has become bare knuckle, tooth and nail. As soon as the president was sworn in, Republican politicians and their constituents began to unload a veritable barrage of attacks. Mitch McConnell, minority leader in the US Senate declared that the Republicans would vote "no" on every initiative the president dared to take, regardless of value to the citizenry. He assured his presumably terrified base that the black man in the White House would be "a one-term president."
The unprecedented behavior of the Republicans since then has been a history-making lesson in the extent to which white supremacists will go to prevent a black person from succeeding. They have shown that they are quite willing to bring down not only the US, but also the world economy before they will tolerate a successful black president. They have gone to absurd lengths in a futile, quixotic and self-defeating effort to prevent his signature achievement, The Affordable Care Act, from reaching the Americans who desperately need it. They have blocked every Obama initiative to provide jobs for a shrinking middle class and the rapidly growing ranks of the poor. They continue to make every effort to prevent help, even food, to get to the poorest Americans.
The modern variety of racism as a result of the election of Barack Obama has grown so much in intensity and scale that it has reached the point of insanity. The world watches in alternating bouts of wonderment, hilarity and grave concern.
The fallout from this Republican tantrum is that black people, as well as gays and women, are targets as much or more now than they were in the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, instead of the KKK, an ordinary white vigilante feels empowered to stalk, confront and murder an unarmed black youth on sight and, reminiscent of Billie Holiday's "strange fruit," to be acquitted by an almost all white jury. It is a testament to the patience, forbearance and maturity of the black population that they have felt no need to riot, as many racists had predicted, in the face of such an outrageous display of blatant, institutionalized and blood curdling racism.
Yes, modern racism is much in evidence since the election of President Obama. But, thankfully for the US, an effective counter has appeared almost instantaneously. Not only blacks, but apparently most non-white citizens as well as an encouraging number of white people have all shown a willingness to let the insanity play itself out. The excesses have been far too visible, just as had happened when Dr. King marched. The sane portion of the US citizenry seem to realize that the madness can not long sustain itself. Even now senior Republican senators have begun to show signs that they have had enough. The task of recovery will be extraordinarily difficult since they have let it go on far too long. But, at least there is reason to hope...again.
President Barack Obama promised hope and change. No one, including the president, could possibly have foreseen what those words portended. But, now we can dare to hope that a change is on the way, a change that will, if we get lucky, leave the insanity behind and let history record it as the waking nightmare that almost destroyed this once-great nation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 13 October 2013 17:04
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by by Dr. Jason Johnson
There are some days when I just love #BLACKTWITTER. Only via this creative hodgepodge of bloggers, reporters and internet Benita Butrells can you find out who Whiz Kalifah is dating, what the Obama’s had for dinner and which political celebrities just got called out. In this case it’s the third category that caught my attention, as Mo’Kelly, author of the omnipresent Mo’Kelly Report wrote an article ‘exposing’ Crystal Wright aka ConservativeBlackChick.com, an occasional political commentator for Fox, CNN and HLN who’s statements during the Zimmerman trial have earned her plenty of side eye from the African American community. Kelly proves that Wright is not a true card carrying Republican, but only plays the Black Ann Coulter on television to cash in on the lucrative business of GOP tokenism in the Tea Party age. And while his take down and subsequent online battles haven’t always been pretty; this whole affair does say a lot about the state of public discourse on black politics in the internet age.
In the interest of full disclosure I have met Crystal Wright in person exactly one time, and have been on radio or television with her a total of four times. In most of those interactions she’s been perfectly nice even if we disagree and I find some of her rhetoric to be unnecessarily inflammatory. Wright raised her profile in the last few months during the Zimmerman trial with a few particularly explosive appearances on HLN’s "Dr. Drew," and for provocative tweets on everything from the number of black lawyers analyzing the trial on the cable networks to Sybrina Fulton’s fitness as a mother. People got angry, she got a ton of nasty tweets and new followers, and that’s likely what brought her to the attention of Kelly.
The Mo’Kelly report entitled Nouveau Black Republicans (Like Crystal Wright) Ruining RNC Minority Outreach outlines that despite Crystal Wright’s present day fire-brand Tea Party rhetoric, for years she gave money to Democratic candidates, and voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Ultimately he states that Crystal isn’t really a conservative at all, but a political opportunist who knew the fastest route to fame and notoriety was to be a conservative token in the post Tea-Party era. Kelly goes on to point out that it’s Republicans like Wright that keep the GOP from attracting and recruiting African Americans. Crystal angrily defended herself on Twitter, the whole thing went viral pretty quickly and provided hours of entertainment for those who could keep up with the hashtags.
Kudos to Mo’Kelly for doing some legitimate research, all too often disagreements with African American GOP’ers degenerate into slinging insults and calling each other racist names. But this wasn’t really an exposure along the lines of Armstrong Williams back in 2005. Armstrong was a long time conservative, from TV and radio and he got busted when USA Today wrote a story revealing that Williams was taking money from the Bush Administration to promote No Child Left Behind in his syndicated column. Like him or not, Armstrong Williams was a credible conservative, who probably would’ve supported NCLB anyway, but finding out that he was taking checks from Bush while promoting himself as an independent conservative thinker destroyed his brand. Crystal is no Armstrong Williams. Her brand is to be a political shock-jock, not a credible discerning political thought leader. Finding out that Crystal Wright might be an ideological fraud is like finding out that A-Rod is on steroids. You’re kind of taken aback that it’s finally OUT there, but you sort of suspected it all along. There are plenty of hardcore conservative African American Republicans out there like Ron Christie, Robert Traynum, Juan Williams or even Lenny McAllister who promote the party without playing the Black Ann Coulter Role that Crystal often does. The behavior of political pundits like Crystal Wright or Jesse Lee Peterson would be a charade if anyone ever thought their intention was to expand the base of the Republican Party or really advocate a specific set of policies. However, think tanks and PACS aside, their rhetoric suggests that has never been high on their agenda. Which isn’t in and of itself wrong, but simply reinforces the idea that you can’t expose somebody who’s game has been on front street since day one to anyone willing to walk by and take a look.
This story will be buried under a mountain of new Twitter news by next week, and no one’s opinion of Wright or Kelly will be fundamentally changed by these new revelations. However, what was made clear was this: In this age of opensecrets.org and easily traced money and email paths it pays (literally) to stay ideologically honest and consistent in the public sphere. What little credibility you can build can be ripped up in no time if #BLACKTWITTER catches you sleeping.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:28
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy is expected to endorse Benny N. Napoleon’s Five-Point Crime Reduction Plan and his candidacy for mayor of the city of Detroit tomorrow afternoon. She joins other law enforcement supporters of Napoleon’s plan that include Mark Young, president of the Detroit Police Lieutenant and Sergeants Association; Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association; Kal Sabbagh, president of Wayne County Police Lieutenant, Sergeants and Corporals Association; and Brian Earl of the Wayne County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
Worthy, and the law enforcement leaders representing thousands of police officers and deputies, all share Napoleon's common view that until Detroit is affirmed as a safe city no transformation will be sustainable. During the announcement, Worthy and other law enforcement leaders will speak to why Napoleon's plan will be effective at reducing crime 50 percent.
The endorsement announcement will be on the front steps of Detroit's former police headquarters at 1300 Beaubien on Tuesday, October 1 at 1:30 p.m.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:30
Category: Prime Politics - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Detroit mayoral candidate, Lisa Howze, has agreed to debate Mike Duggan Monday evening at Union Grace Conference Center located 2550 W. Grand Blvd. at 7pm. The debate entitled, "Restore Detroit: Pre-Primary Mayoral Debate" is sponsored by The Urban Progressive Fund. The debate will last approximately 60 minutes. Rev. Angelo Henderson of WCHB AM 1200 will moderate the discussion.
"With the election being just over 48 hours away, voters need to be able to clearly decide which candidate is best able to lead Detroit and restore financial stability, broken neighborhoods and hope to the residents of the City of Detroit. For months, Mike Duggan has touted having a plan to get rid of Detroit's Emergency Manager who he helped bring to the city. The emails that came from Gov. Snyder's team proves this," says Howze.
"When it comes to the issues," Howze says, "I'm the only candidate that has discussed a jobs plan for the city of Detroit and shared specifically how to address the city's financial challenges. The way we expand our tax base and fix the finances of the city, we have to put people back to work because the city can't get better until life gets better for the people who live here. In fact, it is this message that resonates with some Detroiters who have actually converted from Duggan supporters to now becoming Howze supporters. For this reason, I feel Detroiters need one more opportunity to decide who is best suited to serve them as Mayor. And, I hope Mr. Duggan does not give an excuse to avoid me in this debate as he has in the last three debates," concludes Howze.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2013 10:42
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