A news article in last Friday's New York Times sets out to explore why the United States waited until November 2013 to designate Nigeria's Boko Haram as a "foreign terrorist organization." In light of the group's latest atrocity – the kidnapping and enslaving of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria's Borno state last month – this is a very good question.
The article makes the point that the terrorist designation was made after Hillary Clinton resigned as secretary of state, and confirms reporting that it came after a two-year debate in which "the Justice Department, the F.B.I., American intelligence officials and counterterrorism officials in the State Department" all called for the designation but State ultimately opposed it.
Clinton's then–assistant secretary for African affairs, Johnny Carson, tells the Times that State opposed the designation for "for six or seven different reasons," which boil down to an equal measure of fear of the affect on Boko Haram, possibly making it seem more important and popular, and wariness of legitimizing a Nigerian government crackdown. State counterterrorism official Daniel Benjamin essentially gives a "what difference does it make?" shrug, stating: "Designation was one of many tools and not the most urgently needed one in dealing with the Nigerians. " more >>
Much is being made of HGTV's decision to cancel a previously announced new series, "Flip it Forward," because its stars, twin brothers David and Jason Benham, had expressed their faith-based, pro-life values and belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Many in the media have called their beliefs anti-gay and similar to race-based bigotry.
Look… HGTV is a private entity that can make whatever decision it chooses regarding its network and business operations, however, it has become extremely disturbing to me that media personalities and social groups have equated the Benham brother's support for traditional marriage to racism. more >>
What's all the crowing about regarding North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis' victory in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary this week? I'm talking about the crowing that this is some kind of defeat for the Tea Party.
Sure, Greg Brannon was the Tea Party candidate and endorsed by Rand Paul. And, yes, the Republican establishment big names – including, of course, Mr. Establishment, Karl Rove - came out and backed Tillis with endorsements and lots of money.
But let's not get carried away, folks. Tillis is an experienced politician with solid limited government, pro-family, pro-life credentials. And Rand Paul immediately threw his support behind him after the election. more >>
This past weekend I was blessed to spend 3 days with 3,000 students, leaders and pastors in Duluth, MN for District Blitz 2014, where God did some amazing work.
Upon my arrival back home in Atlanta I began to hear grumblings about Donald Sterling's heinous comments and after receiving a few texts from people asking me to weigh in on Sterling, I figured I'd read through the media coverage over that past few days to get a better grasp on what's been unraveling. After taking time this morning doing just that I've arrived at one conclusion, Sterling's comments and the media's response don't surprise me but the church's selective response to our own racial issues does.
Christian's Should Deal with Christians Before Dissin' the Clippers more >>
The United States currently has over 2.3 million prisoners incarcerated in federal, state, and local jails around the country. According to an April report by the Sentencing Project, that number presents a 500 percent increase in incarcerations over the past 40 years. This increase produces "prison overcrowding and fiscal burdens on states to accommodate a rapidly expanding penal system" despite the evidence that incarceration is not working. How did this happen? The culprit is usually identified as the failed policies associated with the War on Drugs. Because blacks are disproportionately swept up in the campaign against drugs, some scholars refer to the results of mass incarceration as the new "The New Jim Crow." While the original intentions may have been well-meaning the long-term consequences may be worse: The War on Drugs may actually be class-based eugenics by another name.
In her groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander hypothesized that given the similarity between the "law and order" appeals between the creation of Jim Crow Laws and similar appeals in the War on Drugs, and the resultant economic marginalization of felons after release from prison, today's mass incarceration is "The New Jim Crow." The drug war is simply a new way to control the futures of African Americans. As hip hop artist Sho Baraka says, "The war on drugs is the war on us." Does the racialized narrative work?
Based on the most recent government data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it is true that drug offenses comprise 51 percent of prison inmate presence and that black males comprise a higher percentage, per capita, of drug prosecutions than any other group. What is even more important, however, is that overall 37 percent of the federal prison population is black, 32 percent is Hispanic, and 28 percent is white. If mass incarceration was simply the New Jim Crow we would expect a greater racial disparity between whites and blacks in prison overall. Moreover, in 1964, at the height of the Jim Crow era, only 34 percent of US prisoners were black while 65 percent were white. Alexander's race narrative is misguided and misses the fact that mass incarceration might be just another historic example of elites using government power to control the country's "degenerates" -- namely, the lower classes -- and to create and control social outcomes that benefit the interests of those in power. more >>
A $2.5 million fine, a lifetime ban from the NBA and potential confiscation of his personal property through the forced sale of the L.A. Clippers? Are you kidding? That's it? Donald Sterling is a racist pig. "First stone" first shmone. This thing ain't over by a long shot.
As CBS reports, "Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA isn't enough, NAACP says." Al Sharpton agrees, adding, "No one should be allowed to own a team if they have in fact engaged in this kind of racial language." Sharpton warns that he is "prepared … to rally in front of the NBA headquarters if this matter is not immediately dealt with."
Sharpton says that a racist bigot like Sterling shouldn't "be allowed to own a team." Let's take Sharpton's demand to its reasonable and logical end. Should anyone with any unpopular or otherwise politically incorrect opinion whatsoever be allowed to own anything? more >>