Congratulations Shelby. You inspired a whole new award. 


“White Americans have made more moral progress in the last forty years than any people in the history of the human conditions.”

                                                                          –Shelby Steele

I’d just like to add that white folks’ sweat tastes like Sierra Mist and that inhaling their farts can cure cancer, but only if you keep your mouth open.

cross-posted to

I am an ambassador for OneWebDay, an annual effort to:

focus attention on a key internet value (this year, online participation in democracy)

focus attention on local internet concerns (connectivity, censorship, individual skills)

create a global constituency that cares about protecting and defending the internet

I got online in 1994 because a parent at my high school worked for UUNet and donated a connection to our school. We had one computer in the corner of the lab with access, not to the “web” (cause that didn’t quite exist), but to the “Internet.”

There were no graphics, just amber text on a black background. The browser, as it was, was a piece of software called Lynx. You launched it by typing the word “lynx” at the prompt and pressing “carriage return.” Remember carriage return yall? That’s from typewriter days!

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For Mama

2 Jul 2008

BoysIIMen, A Song for Mama


I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as the days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I have done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
That I’m bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

By Edgar A. Guest

This was Mama’s favorite poem. My mother has passed away, and I’ll be stepping back from blogging for a bit. I’ll do what I can. I had prepared myself mentally for her death to be as a result of the diabetes that was slowly breaking down her body. I learned all I could about ‘complications’ from diabetes and what to be on the lookout for, as I helped Mama manage her diabetes. So when the doctor told us in January that she had inoperable lung cancer, we were both stunned. After all, Mama hadn’t touched a cigarette or been around cigarettes in over 25 years. It was swift, brutal and unforgiving.

I will not lie; my heart is broken.

Wednesday Open Thread

2 Jul 2008

Good Morning.

The discussion has maintained its excellence even after the move.


So, let’s continue to drop those links; have those debates; give us a little bit of trivia too.

Share…share..share with your fellow JJP readers.

And always, have a peaceful day.

Obama has upset some people with his remarks about Faith Based Initiatives.

From Obama’s speech today:

Now, I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious household. But my experience in Chicago showed me how faith and values could be an anchor in my life. And in time, I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community; that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work.

There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith, who feel they have an obligation to help others. And they’re making a difference in communities all across this country – through initiatives like Ready4Work, which is helping ensure that ex-offenders don’t return to a life of crime; or Catholic Charities, which is feeding the hungry and making sure we don’t have homeless veterans sleeping on the streets of Chicago; or the good work that’s being done by a coalition of religious groups to rebuild New Orleans.

You see, while these groups are often made up of folks who’ve come together around a common faith, they’re usually working to help people of all faiths or of no faith at all. And they’re particularly well-placed to offer help. As I’ve said many times, I believe that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques.

That’s why Washington needs to draw on them. The fact is, the challenges we face today – from saving our planet to ending poverty – are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck.

I’m not saying that faith-based groups are an alternative to government or secular nonprofits. And I’m not saying that they’re somehow better at lifting people up. What I’m saying is that we all have to work together – Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim; believer and non-believer alike – to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

I have written several posts about Obama courting the religious vote. I have no problem with this, mainly because I’m not a secularist. I’m a Christian who has been pissed at the Democrats completely ceding the ‘religious’ vote and the ‘religious’ voice to the GOP. Allowing them to narrowly define Christianity on two issues: abortion and homosexuality.

I spent many a Sunday in church, and the pastor I listened to, HIS Jesus was about helping those less fortunate. Helping those in need. Helping those least amongst us. THIS is what I was taught in Sunday school, and in those sermons. Jesus helps not the rich and mighty, but those who need help. I KNOW this is the Christianity that Obama was taught in Trinity UCC. I’m glad to hear him speaking up about this. Is this political? Everything is political, but it’s also an important point in taking back the religious discourse of this country. For those of you who are secularists and don’t grasp how angry many of us have been about hardcore rightwing evangelicalism being THE face of religion in this country for going on 2 decades, I’m here to tell you that it DOES anger us.

I’ve waited for a long time for a Democrat to be able to discuss faith with sincerity and believability, and not shirking away from it, as if believing in Jesus was a crime of some sort. I’m glad Obama stepped up to the plate. This isn’t a flip-flop. This isn’t going ‘ centrist’; because he has spoken of religion and his support for faith-based institutions for years.

Related Articles:

Obama Will Launch Joshua Generation Project

Religious Right: Leaning Towards Obama

All About Religion; Not Really About Race

This month’s Black Blog Rankings are now available courtesy of Wayne Hicks at Electronic Village. Thanks for the shoutout, Wayne and just so you know, we’re proud to have Electronic Village on our blogroll. Jack and Jill Politics is holding firm in the top ten African-American targeted blogs online today…I am re-posting the list below though you can find out more about Wayne’s methodology over at his blog.

Today, we are proud to share with you Villager’s Black Blog Rankings (BBR) for July 2008 with 1,269 blogs in the mix! Have you seen the growth over the past few months?

Anyhow, with no further ado, here are the Top Ten Black Blogs for July 2008:

  1. Pam Spaulding: Pam’s House Blend (Authority: 1,117 / Rank: 2,303) – [Politics] I told you last month that Pam would be in the #1 slot as a result of being credentialed to blog on the floor of the Democratic National Convention. Pam’s blog should continue to rise over the coming weeks as we move towards that historic event in Denver. As an aside, Pam is celebrating her 4th anniversary today! I’m told that Pam visits with us every once in awhile … so feel free to send her some Village-love in the ‘comments’ section.
  2. The Bossip: (Authority: 1,037 / Rank: 2,650) – [Entertainment] is BBR #2 for the first time in five months. The Bossip works hard to say on top of new trends. They are currently encouraging their blog readers to get the most current information by telephone. I remain hopeful that we will get some ‘link-love’ from The Bossip to support our efforts here on da Village!
  3. ESKAY: Nah Right (Authority: 955 / Rank: 2,909) – [Entertainment] ESKAY is doing some powerful things with the blog he created in May 2005. This blog moves into the BBR #3 slot for the first time ever. I know that I have nothing but props for Nah Right because they provided me with an update on Gil Scott-Heron. ESKAY provided this blog with our highest ‘hit’ days when he provided a link on his blog back in May 2008.
  4. Angel Laws: Concrete Loop (Authority: 954 / Rank: 2,946) – [Entertainment] Angel Laws, a 23-year-old college student in Jacksonville, NC, started this blog as a hobby. I’m going to spend some time this month to ensure that all of the blogs on Angel’s Dope Sites & Blogs that are Black-owned are included on our Black Blog Rankings. At some point, perhaps our Electronic Village will get some play on her blogroll as well!
  5. Oliver Willis: Oliver Willis (Authority: 715 / Rank: 4,502) – [Politics] Oliver began his blog in April 2005. Oliver is a credentialed blogger at the Democratic National Convention in Denver CO later this year. Oliver wants a one-on-one interview with former vice president Al Gore. If anyone can make it happen … I’m sure that Oliver will get it done!
  6. Natasha Eubanks: Young, Black & Fabulous (Authority: 686 / Rank: 4,781) – [Entertainment] Natasha is a 25-year old law student in Washington DC. Her blog has been at or near the top of all Black celebrity gossip sites since she created it back in June 2005. Sis. Eubanks ish is so good that she has her own vocabulary. For example, ‘CGU: (n.) Acronym for Curvy Girls Unite. An organization started by myself that is composed of the fabulous chicks who are thicker than your average Jan.’
  7. Sandra Rose: Sandra Rose (Authority: 490 / Rank: 7,902) – [Entertainment] Sandra Rose is Atlanta’s go-to-photographer when it comes to all things celebrity. I will be in Atlanta for the Blogging While Brown Conference later this month. I hope that Sis. Rose is able to stop by and take some photos of these powerful Black bloggers seeking to educate and support one another. I understand she only gives link-love to blogs that she follows or posts that she links to. Hopefully, we will make the cut this month!
  8. Fresh Crunkjuice: Crunk & Disorderly* (Authority: 452 / Rank: 8,585) – [Entertainment] This gossip blog, created in August 2004, is in the middle of a transition to a new domain. The new domain is rising fast on the BBR. I anticipate that his other blog will crack the Top 10 shortly … it is currently sitting at BBR #18.
  9. Jack Turner and Jill Tubman: Jack and Jill Politics* (Authority: 444 / Rank: 8,800) – [Politics] JJP is another Black political blog credentialed to be on the floor of the 2008 National Democratic Convention in Denver later this summer. JJP made a major move this past weekend to their own domain. More and more we see that the influential Black blogs are taking control of their own destiny by having their own domain names. That fine sista in the phot is Jill Tubman.
  10. Tempest: The Angry Black Woman (Authority: 425 / Rank: 9,312) – [Social Commentary] Tempest focuses her blog on issues related to sexism and racism. Her blog provides a safe space for talking about these and other related issues. As the sister says, “We can’t stop being angry until the fight is over. And the fight is far from over, kids.” I encourage all villagers to support the Clarion West Write-a-Thon!

HONORABLE MENTION (11-25): The Field Negro*, How To Split An Atom, Real Talk NY Provides The Latest Hip Hop News, What About Our Daughters*, AfroBella, La Shawn Barber’s Corner, Necole Bitchie, Crunk & Disorderly, Angry Black Bitch, Entre mes Lignes, Love B. Scott, Raw Dawg Buffalo, Too Sense, Keith Boykin and Ill Doctrine

The National Black Republican Association has unveiled a new set of “ads”.

The logic in these ads by the National Black Republican Association is difficult to parse, and requires a willful ignorance of the history of party politics as well as a complete disregard for context. It’s also literally made up of googled images, including a photoshopped image of Obama with a cigarette in his mouth that came from Wonkette. 

More after the jump

I’ve read where the healing of the rift in the Democratic Party has to start with Senator Barack Obama, but after reading this, I’d have to say the healing of the rift is a two-way street.  Especially if your wife, with your encouragement, was responsible for said rift, through innuendo, slander, sliming and race-baiting.

The Telegraph has learned that the former president’s rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence.

A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could “kiss my ass” in return for his support.

There’s losing with grace, and then there’s sore losing.  If Vanity Fair wants to blame Bill Clinton’s rants on being on or off his meds (depending on whom you talk to these days), that’s one thing, but to state that the Democratic Presidential Candidate has to “kiss your ass” in order for you to support him is going way beyond the pale.

I guess the Big Dog is mad that his honorary Negro Card got revoked.  Well, if he hadn’t been so desperate for a de-facto third term in the White House (I don’t care what y’all think Hillary would have done as POTUS, I know you don’t think the Big Dog was going to be content with holding teas and National Book Festivals on the Mall, did you?) and started playing the race card down in South Carolina, he wouldn’t have lost it.

As Tim Wise would say, “His whiteness is showing.”

I honestly didn’t plan to do another post like this one, but seriously, if the Democratic Party is going to start healing from the division caused by a turned-bitter Democratic Primary, telling the Democratic Nominee to “kiss your ass” really isn’t the way to go.

My colleague, dNA, is of the opinion that this is nothing more than another ploy to get our attention off the things that really matter.  Normally, I’d agree with him, but after reading the article discussing whether or not this actually happened, is more than just mere speculation.  Additionally, since the article ran, I understand Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton have met, but this point of contention was already in the street before their meeting.

What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall during that meeting…

Tuesday Open Thread

1 Jul 2008

Patriotism, POW years, faith based funding… oh my!

Get at us.

An interesting take on Senator Obama, Telecom Immunity and the potential for criminal prosecution. Keith’s advice to Obama:

“The Republicans are going to call you the names any which way, Senator. They’re going to cry regardless, Senator. And, as the old line goes, give them something to cry about!”

This morning, Senator Barack Obama gave a powerful speech outlining his definition of “patriotism.”

The speech challenged conservative and liberal orthodoxy alike:

“Most Americans never bought into these simplistic world views; these caricatures of ‘left’ and of ‘right.’  Most Americans understood that dissent does not make one unpatriotic.  And most Americans understand that there’s nothing smart or sophisticated about a cynical disregard for America’s traditions and institutions.”

Drawing his biggest line of applause, Obama quoted Mark Twain to remind his listeners that,

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

And, amidst tensions from his base on issues of FISA and the 4th Amendment, Obama delivered this interesting bit of irony:

“Recognizing a wrong being committed in this country’s name, insisting that we deliver on the promise of our Constitution; these are the acts of patriots. . . And we should never forget that . . . especially when they make us uncomfortable with their words.”

Lastly, Obama made a veiled reference to comments made by Gen. Wesley Clark (seen here at TPM), distancing himself from any perceived intention to “devalue” McCain’s military service.

Take a look for yourself:

Monday Open Thread

30 Jun 2008

Obama and Clinton in Unity, NH

Photo courtesy of sskennel via Flickr

Alright. Enough talk about the new site. Back to work. What’s good? What did we miss over the weekend? Drop it like it’s hot!

Welcome to your new home.

It’s been 48 hours and we are back online with a shmancy pants new webhost, blog system and blog design! Jill and I spent mad hours on Saturday night and most of Sunday, so you better dig it. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

I want to introduce the major changes, and let you know what’s up. Here’s a video overview.

There’s a text explanation after the jump. Oh yeah, we will be splitting our posts now so  you don’t have mad encyclopedic posts taking up the entire front page!

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Hey hey fam,

I’ve been silent on the blog front but busy on the back end. This weekend we’re going to try three things

  1. moving our domain to a real webhost in Media Temple and off the blogger servers
  2. moving the blog over to the WordPress platform
  3. installing a new commenting system

Note what’s not a part of this weekend’s shift: swanky new design; some of the other features we’re planning on such as chat rooms, pages, etc. We think the above three is enough for one weekend.

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Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, says we need them. My question is “why do we need them?” I know Hillary needs to stick around on the scene for a lil’ while, but she always brings Bill with her, and their “brand” of politics exposed they had been on the scene long past their shelf life.

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Who We Are

Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell

Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris

Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats


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Ain’t Like All The Rest

Jack and Jill Politics is not affiliated with Jack and Jill of America, Jack and Jill Magazine, "Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Water" nor any of the other Jack and Jills out there on the Google. Just so's you know.