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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Run, hide, or fight?

Make sure you have adequate shoes if you decide to run...
"...self-defense is a moral thing, and perhaps a responsibility, rather than cowering in a corner hoping that some madman, gang banger or religious fanatic isn’t going to put one through your forehead." Dave Workman, Seattle
http://www.examiner.com/article/lesson-from-san-diego-non-shooting-run-hide-or-fight

"Each person is responsible for their own safety!"... Officer Fowler, Cobb County Police
Photo by Tomi Johnson

Monday, January 25, 2016

Thought for today...

Photo by Tomi Johnson
"Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment and merging of races, and we are still far from this blissful realization, because few indeed, will admit the reality that "God made man in His image"  in which case all earth men are alike. There is in fact but one race, of many colors. Christ is but one person, yet he is of all people, so why do some people think themselves better than some other people?"---Nikola Tesler
http://philosophiesofmen.blogspot.com/2012/08/nikola-tesla-on-religion.html

Friday, January 22, 2016

Lockheed's Shan Cooper resigns post in Georgia


Photo by Ilea Johnson
According to a news report from the Marietta Daily Journal, Shan Cooper, general manager and vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Ga., has resigned.  Cooper was responsible for 6,300 employees. It is unclear what Cooper's next assignment will be. 

Cooper's last public appearance was noted Monday by the Watchdog at Turner Chapel AME Church during the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday celebration. Lockheed Martin, the local NAACP, and Cobb County Government cosponsored the event. Cooper was a "Living the Dream" award recipient in 2013.


According to her company profile, Cooper joined Lockheed Martin in 2002 and prior to that, she held leadership positions with Lucent Technologies and consulted with other Fortune 500 companies. Cooper holds an MBA from Emory University and is a graduate of Rutgers.

Formerly Lockheed’s VP of Human Resources, Cooper is a wife and mother of one daughter. "I tell my employees to pray, and then get back to work," she told women at a conference in 2014. 

To learn more about Cooper and her work ethic, go to: http://wingcomwatchdog.blogspot.com/2014/04/shan-cooper-woman-of-integrity.html .

Dehydrated Ignorance: dumbing down the poor using H2O and untruth as weapons

Do not use without permission.
Water wars
Photo ©2016 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved. 

In the preface to his book The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South, the late author Kenneth M. Stampp wrote, "I have simply found no convincing evidence that there are any significant differences between the innate emotional traits and intellectual capacities of Negroes and whites."

Poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, however, has turned this theory on its head because scientists and doctors are now saying lead-laced water will affect the "natural" intelligence and behavior of some 8,000 children living there who have ingested and bathed in poisoned water as well as the health of residents with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and pregnant women.

What is the simplest way to exterminate people? Give them contaminated water.  It's almost like giving blankets laced with chicken pox virus to indigenous peoples and smells like the syphilis tragedy known as the Tuskegee Experiment.

Flint's water poses an environmental emergency, and citizens should be evacuated just as they should be moved from any unsafe place.

According to the Census Bureau, Flint's Black population is 53%, the median income for a household in the city was $28,015, and the median income for a family was $31,424. The U.S. estimated real median household income was $53,657 in 2014 and $54,462 in 2013. 

What are private companies doing to help citizens in Flint?
I reached out to the top private U.S. companies according to Forbes' - Cargill, Koch Industries, and Mars - to see if they were going to help citizens in Flint... only got a response from Cargill, a global food processing corporation based outside Minneapolis, Minnesota that operates a living sea salt business in St. Clair, 68 miles from Flint.

At press time, Cargill Spokesman Mark Klein said he had not heard of anything his company was doing to help in Flint, but they recently had helped folks after "the recent flooding along the Mississippi River." 

I received no response from Koch (I wasn't surprised!) or Mars.
Do not use without permission.
Photo ©2016 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

Jesus and water
Looking back at biblical times, while on the cross, Jesus stated, "I thirst." He was given vinegar to drink, and soon expired.

"Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:29-30) http://www.housetohouse.com/BibleQuestions.aspx?Letter=all&Question=4197

Before, in Samaria, Jesus asked a woman at the well, "Will you give me a drink?" He informed her that man becomes thirsty after drinking potable water but the water of truth he was about to give her would quench her thirst forever. That is the two-pronged catastrophe residents of Flint have been denied - water and truth - and they will find themselves suffering from dehydration and cognitive maladjustment for a lifetime.


Just deny them water
When I was a substitute teacher in the Cobb County public school system, I could count on one hand the number of times I saw students get a drink from the water fountain or buy bottled water instead of a soft drink. School officials told us not to let kids out of the classrooms for a drink of water when they raised their hands and said they were thirsty. If they got a drink, then they would have to go to the bathroom and may not come back to class!  Kids on reduced (paid) school lunch chowed down each day on a bottled Coke and French Fries.  Wonder how their PURE water intake compared to students in private or charter schools...

The children of Flint have been denied clean water and truth, and they could live in dehydrated ignorance for life.

According to some nutritionists,  if you do not supply enough water to your body, your brain cannot function well, and you could develop headaches, migraines, become fatigued and develop joint pain. Time will tell the list of ailments the citizens of Flint will endure.

The body is 55-78% water. Tissues and organs are mainly made up of water.  
Brain- 90%
Blood - 83%
Muscle -75%
Bone - 22%

According to the Mayo Clinic, lead poisoning in adults can cause abdominal pain, constipation, high blood pressure, kidney failure, seizures, nervousness, muscle and joint pain, and mental functioning decline. It can also result in a medical emergency causing vomiting and toxic metabolic encephalopathy, a syndrome of overall brain dysfunction.
(http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/basics/symptoms/con-20035487)

Just giving out bottled in Flint will not solve the problem. "Treatment for lead poisoning involves removing exposure threats and sources of contamination," notes Mayo Clinic. "Chelation therapy, which involves taking medication that binds to the lead and allows it to pass during urination, is standard in treating the condition. EDTA therapy using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid is another treatment reserved for people with higher levels of lead. Even with therapy, damage caused by lead poisoning is not always reversible." 

Do not use without permission.
Photo ©2016 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved.

The big "water is good" lie
Have you ever had a big glass of cool water on a hot summer day? There's nothing like it if the water is free from contaminants. But poor children are not being raised on clean water. Even though bottled water sales have increased, many people are forced to bath in it instead of drinking it. On the news, I saw a Flint mother bathing her one year old with room temperature (cold) bottled water in the kitchen sink. "I feel like I'm living in a Third World country," she explained.

Lead based water negates the melanin advantage
Despite a theorized melanin advantage, Black children in Flint are now intellectually inferior to whites who have also ingested the water there.  Dr. Francis Cress Welsing stated that blacks were genetically dominate and superior to whites because of melanin, but her Theory has been set upon its head by Flint's unclean water system. Two weeks after Welsing's  death, scientists have proclaimed that folks who drank and/or bathed in Flint's water over the past two years could have lower intelligence and social problems going forward. Guess that trumps (bad word choice) the melanin advantage.  

Dehydrated ignorance is a term coined by Tomi Johnson on 1/22/2016.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thought for today...

Photo by Kurk Johnson
H2O.  
Life on Earth starts and ends with water. Disease and death come from poisoned water. Water is life! "Water is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms. Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms." When you poison the water, you poison life on Earth. 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water)

Proverbs 5:15 - Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gary Brown of Kentucky to advise Civil Rights Commission


Gary Brown, committee member
Update: This information was originally released through the Civil Rights press office on September 16, 2013 (http://www.usccr.gov/press/2013/KY-SAC-final_PR.pdf) by Peter Minarik, Director of the Southern Regional Office.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced the appointment of 13 members to its Kentucky Advisory Committee. Gary Brown of Versailles, Ky. will serve along with
Dr. Betty Griffin of Danville, chairwoman. Other members of the Committee include Richard Clay of Danville,  Rosa Alvarado of Louisville, Dr. Christia Brown of Lexington, Dr. John Chowning of Campbellsville, Christopher Hunt of Lexington, Dr. Lee Look of Louisville, Samuel Marcosson of Louisville, Dr. Patricia Murrell of Louisville, Alice Wadell of Bowling Green, Mitchell Payne of Louisville and Christopher Hunt of Lexington.


Brown is a graduate of Lincoln Institute, studied at Colombia University, and is retired from IBM Corporation. He also is a Navy veteran.

Dr. Betty Griffin, committee chairman

Congress mandates the appointment of members to advisory committees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Appointees to the advisory committees serve four-year terms and are unremunerated. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters, studying civil rights issues, and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report. For information about Commission’s reports and meetings, visit http://www.usccr.gov/

Monday, January 18, 2016

When will we stop singing/dreaming about overcoming injustice and truly end racism?



"How long, not long," MLK refrains,
but only if Black Lives Truly Matter and political and economic systems are completely transformed! (Turner Chapel church ceiling where I looked up, hoping an image of Prophet King would appear...all I could see were shades of grey which reminded me of King's speech, "A Knock at Midnight.")



Cobb County, Georgia's 30th annual celebration honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was held at Turner Chapel AME Church this morning in Marietta, Ga. The event was sponsored by County Government, the local NAACP, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

In the opening prayer, it was stated,  "The worst is over, and the best is yet to come." Nice idea, but where is the reality? The event itself could be billed as entertaining and inspirational, but did not give strategies to further King's agenda of non-violence, war and poverty cessation, and blanket justice.

County Commission Chairman Tim Lee said he hoped the event would help promote the theme "Pursuing LIBERTIES in the face of Injustice."

The best "Star Spangled Banner" I have ever heard was a duet performed by Princess and Juanita Brigman. The lighting in the church whitened everyone. Even my cellphone pics at the event were whitewashed, and the feel good messages were lukewarm. The temperature outside was chilly, and the mood inside intense.

Cobb NAACP President Deane Bonner said the community is battling the police department. Her family owns a bail-bond business, yet she pulled several stats out of her bag of concerns.

* Of 2,200 inmates in county lockup, the majority are black. They are not getting speedy trials, are not being visited by families, and are being convicted of felonies while public defenders are convincing them to plead guilty instead of fighting in court.
* Too many black elementary students are being expelled from school. Ninety percent of the complaints the NAACP gets are against the school system.
*  Community leaders are not participating in public or private events involving the black community.
* Police are rude, need to practice community policing, and need to be held accountable for not doing their jobs. 

Bonner's remarks flecked with broken English were followed by a recording which blared,  "War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!"

Kennedy Williams' powerful performance of "Strange Fruit" made me think of a recent, modern-day lynching last year in Cobb: the killing of Nicholas Thomas by police after a customer's luxury car he was driving was chased by dogs and bullets at a discount tire store. And nothing has been done about it...

What will happen next while we continue to sing of overcoming someday, while we are still pursuing a dream sponsored by governments we fund and organizations who trifle away our donations?

What a beloved community of actors! We can do better than this. In order to eradicate racism, we must confirm that it exists, fight it individually on our own doorsteps, and be all in for a win.

Let's set a date and see if we can overcome today!

MLK's birthday: why celebrate?


President Ronald Regan's Remarks on Signing the Bill Making the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a National Holiday, November 2, 1983

The President: Mrs. King, members of the King family, distinguished Members of the Congress, ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, I'm very pleased to welcome you to the White House, the home that belongs to all of us, the American people.

When I was thinking of the contributions to our country of the man that we're honoring today, a passage attributed to the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier comes to mind. ``Each crisis brings its word and deed.'' In America, in the fifties and sixties, one of the important crises we faced was racial discrimination. The man whose words and deeds in that crisis stirred our nation to the very depths of its soul was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King was born in 1929 in an America where, because of the color of their skin, nearly 1 in 10 lived lives that were separate and unequal. Most black Americans were taught in segregated schools. Across the country, too many could find only poor jobs, toiling for low wages. They were refused entry into hotels and restaurants, made to use separate facilities. In a nation that proclaimed liberty and justice for all, too many black Americans were living with neither.

In one city, a rule required all blacks to sit in the rear of public buses. But in 1955, when a brave woman named Rosa Parks was told to move to the back of the bus, she said, ``No.'' A young minister in a local Baptist church, Martin Luther King, then organized a boycott of the bus company -- a boycott that stunned the country. Within 6 months the courts had ruled the segregation of public transportation unconstitutional.

Dr. King had awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be colorblind, and that among white and black Americans, as he put it, ``Their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom; we cannot walk alone.''

In the years after the bus boycott, Dr. King made equality of rights his life's work. Across the country, he organized boycotts, rallies, and marches. Often he was beaten, imprisoned, but he never stopped teaching nonviolence. ``Work with the faith'', he told his followers, ``that unearned suffering is redemptive.'' In 1964 Dr. King became the youngest man in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. King's work brought him to this city often. And in one sweltering August day in 1963, he addressed a quarter of a million people at the Lincoln Memorial. If American history grows from two centuries to twenty, his words that day will never be forgotten. ``I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.''

In 1968 Martin Luther King was gunned down by a brutal assassin, his life cut short at the age of 39. But those 39 short years had changed America forever. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had guaranteed all Americans equal use of public accommodations, equal access to programs financed by Federal funds, and the right to compete for employment on the sole basis of individual merit. 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 had made certain that from then on black Americans would get to vote. But most important, there was not just a change of law; there was a change of heart. The conscience of America had been touched. Across the land, people had begun to treat each other not as blacks and whites, but as fellow Americans.

And since Dr. King's death, his father, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and his wife, Coretta King, have eloquently and forcefully carried on his work. Also his family have joined in that cause.

Now our nation has decided to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by setting aside a day each year to remember him and the just cause he stood for. We've made historic strides since Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus. As a democratic people, we can take pride in the knowledge that we Americans recognized a grave injustice and took action to correct it. And we should remember that in far too many countries, people like Dr. King never have the opportunity to speak out at all.

But traces of bigotry still mar America. So, each year on Martin Luther King Day, let us not only recall Dr. King, but rededicate ourselves to the Commandments he believed in and sought to live every day: Thou shall love thy God with all thy heart, and thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. And I just have to believe that all of us -- if all of us, young and old, Republicans and Democrats, do all we can to live up to those Commandments, then we will see the day when Dr. King's dream comes true, and in his words, ``All of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, `. . . land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'''

Thank you, God bless you, and I will sign it.

Mrs. King: Thank you, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Majority Leader Baker and the distinguished congressional and senatorial delegations, and other representatives who've gathered here, and friends.

All right-thinking people, all right-thinking Americans are joined in spirit with us this day as the highest recognition which this nation gives is bestowed upon Martin Luther King, Jr., one who also was the recipient of the highest recognition which the world bestows, the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his own life's example, he symbolized what was right about America, what was noblest and best, what human beings have pursued since the beginning of history. He loved unconditionally. He was in constant pursuit of truth, and when he discovered it, he embraced it. His nonviolent campaigns brought about redemption, reconciliation, and justice. He taught us that only peaceful means can bring about peaceful ends, that our goal was to create the love community.

America is a more democratic nation, a more just nation, a more peaceful nation because Martin Luther King, Jr., became her preeminent nonviolent commander.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and his spirit live within all of us. Thank God for the blessing of his life and his leadership and his commitment. What manner of man was this? May we make ourselves worthy to carry on his dream and create the love community.

Thank you.
 
Note: The President spoke at 11:06 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.
As enacted, H.R. 3706 is Public Law 98 - 144, approved November 2.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thought for today...

"Only when it's dark enough can you see the stars."  
--- MLK's last speech

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wake up on MLK's birthday!


"Truth is beauty; beauty truth... Peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold." ---MLK
As I prepare to celebrate the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s real birthday tomorrow, I revisited his 1964 Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway to hear a new message.
( http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=1853 )

Viewing the video, around 11 minutes into a 12 minute speech, I noticed one Negro (which is what African Americans were called back then) dozing off in the audience while others sat attentive.  Growing up in the black church, I often noticed that congregants would fall asleep during the morning sermon. Why?

Possibly because they were tired from a hard week's work of protesting for justice all night long, or planning strategies to register more folks to vote, or protecting their property from arson, or nursing their wounds from dog bites. Maybe they slept in church because they were bored at hearing the same message and quotes from the bible. Perhaps they had sleep apnea and couldn't sleep at night but dozed off while sitting on hard pews early Sunday morning.

It may be noted that sleep apnea can be treated by changing behavior - by losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and breathing right. It also can be treated by not sleeping on your back!


We cannot sleep now. We must be awake.  Be mindful of King's message.

Yesterday, I found the courage to go by myself to talk to the Cobb County police precinct captain about community policing. We had a nice discussion, but time for talk is over. And no, I don't want to sign up to be in a program that will teach me how trained killers organize their system. I want armed servants to become real protectors, not aggressors. A moral agenda must be holstered beside the gun and Taser. A right relationship between the served and armed must exist.

The best way we can honor Dr. King is to foster living in peace and become more civilized by not resorting to violence, self-doubt, hopelessness, injustice, and poverty.

Hey, if we can wait in line for hours to buy Powerball tickets, we can stand up for justice and protest against oppression.

Find a new sense of dignity, one person at a time!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obama's take away message inspiration of hope, challenge for future

Obama's words are ground cover protecting our land.
Lead without quitting, move forward without compromising although tears and dangers are in your midst. Those were the messages I gleaned from U.S. President Barack Obama's final major speech to a weary nation, words citizens can chew on while struggling against forces trying to destroy us from within.

Let me digress...A few moments ago I awoke from what could have turned into a nightmare. In my dream, I was tutoring a child who's father was rich and acknowledged that he preferred a previous teacher. His daughter was spoiled, ambivalent, and mouthy, showing her underpants as she talked to me. She was more focused on staying off task than doing her assignment. She squirmed and talked back in a confrontational tone and was not interested in learning her lesson.


When I threatened to quit which was where this was all leading, she challenged me. When I walked away to talk to my supervisor (a higher power) I was informed that WE couldn't afford to quit because WE were needed for an important task - saving out kids (future)!


When I woke up, I compared this to what President Barack Obama and many leaders in history have faced through the ages.  In his remarks last night, Obama related back to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech of December 10, 1964 - that "unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." Truth has to have the final word!


Truth be told, many thought an African American (former slave) could never become President of the United States. Many thought CONGRESS would never pass the Affordable Health Act, that gas prices would dip to under $2 a gallon, that homeowners threatened with foreclosure would be able to keep their homes and lower their interest rates. 

No one would have believed that unemployment would be at 5% and people would be working towards a raise in the minimum wage. That automobiles would make a comeback and companies be transformed. That bin Laden would be punished and El Chappo put back behind bars.

That a lawyer could convince politicians and economists to come to terms and save us from financial disaster. That a used car salesman-like businessman/entertainer would be moving in the polls towards the presidency, and a woman just might become commander-in-chief. That water would be undrinkable in Flint, Mich. That racism would be talked about with vigor again and black lives could matter in jails across the country. 

That the largest illegal immigrant population would be coming from India. That we would be on the verge of WW III, fighting a religious ideology. That a savior, worshiped by Christians and Muslims, would be awaited again.

This is the truth we face. There is no compromising what we must do.

Thank you, Obama, for letting your words ring true. Even though you may have had help from a speechwriter, that doesn't change the course we must take into the future.

As we move forward and remember the sacrifices of Obama near the King Holiday, may we take strength from those who suffered for this nation and continue on the course of making the world a better place.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dr. Welsing was a race woman!

Dr. Francis Cress Welsing's legacy is striving to bring justice to a world rife with racism/white supremacy, of trying to understand the "why" of white domination and control so it can be eliminated through scientific approach and evaluation. She fought the stress of being black until age 80 when she succumbed to a stoke and was taken off life support by her family after a ritual asking deities to receive her from Earth. (photo:goblackcentral)
Makeda
Queen Nzinga
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Yaa Asantewa
Ida B. Wells
Mary Mcleod Bethune
Rosa Parks
Coretta Scott King
Dorothy Height
Amelia Boynton Robinson
Frances Cress Welsing

Will you or should you be added to this list when you go to meet your ancestors?

All of these women are now deceased but had one thing in common - fighting racism and domination by white society.  This is not just a roll call but a call to action. How will you follow in their footsteps and learn from their legacies? Learn how they brought a message of problem identification and sought to bring justice to their people.

Do your research, and ACT!