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Friday, September 19, 2014

Black community needs legal education and decent representation

Attorney Shirley Allen Cunningham, Jr., star of American Greed, was convicted in fen-phen scam.  Cunningham wrote an article for my first magazine in 1981.
After what happened to Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Jr., many people are finding new reasons to distrust the U.S. criminal justice system. They increasingly lack trust in the police, who are changing their motto from "To protect and serve" to "Duty, Honor, Community."

We also lack trust in lawyers. Attorneys are business people who get paid whether you win or lose your case, and according to one friend who is a lawyer, attorneys working pro bono (free) are rare. Attorneys are not like plumbers you hire to fix your toilet. If it backs up again, they rarely offer you a refund.

Julian Bond once told me that the legal profession is second to prostitution, and lawyers are best depending on how much money is involved!

Who can you trust? Are blacks suckers because they don't know how the Justice System works, or are all of us headed to jail, which is what author Neely Fuller, Jr. predicts?

According to the NAACP, here is one alarming fact about African Americans and the Justice system:
Blacks are 14.2% of the US population, or 43 million people. ( http://blackdemographics.com/), Can enough jails be built to house all of us in a system which uses prisoners for slave labor? Some crooks do need to be behind bars, but black incarceration rates are suspect...and all this while we have a Black President and Attorney General!

Corrupt lawyers
I have reverence for the legal profession and used to love watching Perry Mason. Two of my most beloved friends are lawyers living in California, but check this out...

In 1981, Attorney Shirley Cunningham, Jr. wrote an article for my premiere magazine, Reality World, entitled, "The Black Lawyer/Client Relationship."

In the article, Cunningham wrote, "Past experience has shown that some Blacks will take valuable time of Black lawyers to discuss problems. If Black lawyers do not charge fees for such discussions, they might lose money needed to support their own businesses."

Unfortunately, I handed over a small retainer to Cunningham to represent me in a discrimination case, and he didn't even show up for the hearing. Today, Cunningham is spending his time in federal prison in Mississippi after receiving a 20-year sentence for stealing $90 million from clients.

I also gave a $1000 retainer to a lawyer, and he left the state with my money and my file. Another lawyer was hired on a $2000 retainer, and after he did no work on my case, I demanded a refund and got it only after contacting the Georgia Bar. I fought the case in court pro se and won, but by then the defendant had gotten rid of all his assets, and I have not been able to collect my judgment. His lawyer was disbarred for insurance fraud.

Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama, and Former Secretary General Hillary Clinton are all lawyers.
From past experience, I know you have to take your time and be careful when choosing an attorney. "Buyer beware" should be your motto should you decide to hire ANY lawyer. No lawyer can guarantee you will get justice - it's a crap shoot. You may not win your case or be treated fairly, and the Code of Professional Conduct and Bar Associations can do little when it comes to complaints except revoke a license after damages have already been done.

(Holder's video message to citizens addressing racial bias in criminal justice system:   http://www.justice.gov/agwa.php?id=10)

We need to ask the question, "How can we guarantee that justice will prevail on our side?" Maybe the answer is that justice will never be a part of our legal system, so we have to look elsewhere for its attainment.

(Photo of Holder - This image was originally posted to Flickr by Obama-Biden Transition Project at http://flickr.com/photos/32284207@N05/3074325345. It was reviewed on 06:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC) by FlickreviewR, who found it to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0, which is compatible with the Commons.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Time's up! A new book on how Black people can survive

Guess what?

Take it from firsthand experience. If you are a black person living in the United States, chances against you receiving equal treatment in the courtroom, hospital room, or bedroom room are high. More than likely, the score in this real game of life will come up eleven against, one of no consequence.

Time's up! African American's Guide to Surviving the 21st Century is now available for pre-orders. It will include the latest facts on how people of color will be able to excel in the areas of education, economics, religion, judicial, relationship and healthcare systems.

Books will cost $19.95. Pre-order by emailing Tomi Johnson at tomimot@gmail.com.

This life is a terrible thing to waste!
 ©2014 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sirleaf, Ebola, and corruption in Liberia


Will Ellen Johnson Sirleaf save Liberia?
Once again, the United States is receiving calls for aid and assistance from a country spiraling out of control - Liberia.

News sources, including Reuters, are reporting that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fired almost a dozen high government officials for refusing to reenter Liberia since the recent Ebola epidemic has been deemed "out of control" by the World Health Organization (WHO).


Kilby
Possibly the thing Liberia needs most is a functioning health care system, including doctors, facilities, vaccines, and education.

The next thing is an anti-corruption campaign. According to former Liberian Auditor General Robert L. Kilby, who was also fired by Sirleaf, the present government still is corrupt and nepotism-laced. Kilby said that contrary to other reports, Liberia's illiteracy rate is 90%.

In a recent book, Kilby states that Sirleaf brought up graft charges against him when he didn't sell his firm, ISCI, to Sirleaf's relative. Kilby published a book to help clear his name.

To learn more, read the book which can be ordered online: http://www.amazon.com/Institutionalized-Corruption-Government-President-Johnson-Sirleaf-Dismisses/dp/1495112799

(Photos by Kurk D. Johnson)
 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today's question...Quote for today...


"Who represents Black people, and how are they really doing in the world?"
---Tomi Johnson

"The Negro genius is imprisoned in the Negro problem."
---Gunnar Myrdal

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gutsy Obama speaks to world about plans for ISIL

Obama has been trying to negotiate from the White House and in Europe with U.S. Allies.. (official White House photo)
President Barack Obama gave an emboldened speech to the world tonight in front of a window lit up by helicopter lights, a view that put me on edge because of the stage. His speech fueled fears that something evil would come through the White House drapes. Thank God nothing bad happened.

This is the fear of terror we live in 13 years after an horrific homeland attack.

So much so was my fear that the worst would happen that I didn't concentrate on Obama's words.

One thing that came through was his idealism and resolve to live up to his responsibility of protecting citizens at home and friends in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. This is happening while protesters are being arrested for trying to close Interstate 70 in Missouri, U.S.A..

At the end, we should still remember 911 and continue to investigate what really happened, an event that resulted in the death of 3,000 plus innocents, the advent of two wars and an economic collapse.

May God help us and have mercy on our attempts to control the world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rice vs Smith: a tale of love and combat

Love ain't like it used to be because of million dollar relationships and professional sporting lifestyles, but  now everyone has an opinion because cameras are everywhere.
The recent Ray Rice/Janay Palmer Rice domestic violence case is similar to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, now Mr. And Mrs. Pitt, acting out in Mr. And Mrs. Smith, a blockbuster movie that started their romantic, enduring relationship.

Perhaps if you've ever been in love, you can remember bad times amidst good times. I remember my brother-in-law commenting that sometimes good sex results in a few bruises. I recall an ex-boyfriend giving me a spanking after a fight and how we made up afterwards, only to end it all later when I found someone who treated me better. Yes, Virginia, humans do fight in the bedroom and the war room and sometimes they shake hands, live to tell the story, kiss and makeup. It all depends if another significant love interest, lawyer or employer gets involved...

No, I don't like violence, but I do like football games which can be violent. I don't like war games, and I don't like mind games. I don't like feminists trying to tell me how to run my marriage or how I should be mad at my husband if he doesn't come home on time. I try to set insects outside if I can instead of swatting them because they've come into MY house! I know when to throw out the trash although some think I'm too emotional, too na├»ve, too infantile to separate garbage from recyclables. I can make the right decisions although sometimes I make the wrong ones which is part of being human.

My mom's advice was to make a decision and live with it! She was widowed at 39, remarried at 41, and divorced and living single when she died.

What is not cool is the way the NFL, the media, and some relationship counselors are judging Ray Rice and his wife, Janay, which could end up destroying the young family's livelihood and future happiness.  Even though the couple made up after the elevator incident, Ray's career and wallet have been hit hard, a severe punch to their bank account. How hard a hit has the NFL made?

What troubles me most is a white female, "relationship expert" response to this travesty in the Huffington Post. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taylor-marsh/janay-palmers-instagram-a_b_5790770.html) In a blog, Taylor Marsh says that Janay's Instagram defending her husband is  "alarming and so tragically sad." She claims Janay and women like her are "grasping for love by trying to protect a man whose violence threatens her life every day she stays within his orbit."

She claims that Janay Palmer Rice is "dangerously delusional." Wonder if Janay had called Taylor for help the night she was punched by Ray would she have come to her aid? Would she provide a shoulder to cry on? Would she offer Janay and her daughter a room?  After working for the Huffington Post myself and being paid peanuts, I kinda know where this is going, and it doesn't look pretty for the woman faced with divorce, single parenthood, ostracism, and foreclosure.

Ray could end up in jail with other black men. Janay could prostitute herself to pay the rent. Too often, this is the scenario young black families are finding themselves playing out. Black men are demonized by the media (entertainment) and are daily targets. Obama is called a poor leader. Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Jr. should not have walked on neighborhood streets and roadways. Ray Nagin should not have stolen the people's trust -  etc., etc., etc.

Taylor, next time try doing something which will truly help the Rice Family instead of calling victims names. I guess you are just taking the lead of Arianna Huffington who also targets saving the world while feathering her own nest!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thought for today...

"What has no effects can hardly terrify."
---Helen Schueman, A Course in Miracles