Angry Baltimore Mom: Right or Wrong?

By now you've seen the video of the Baltimore mother physically disciplining her son for participating in the riots. Praise has been heaped upon the mother for the beating and profanity-laced tongue lashing of her son…in broad daylight…in the presence of television cameras and others. The unidentified woman has been given the unofficial title of "Mother of the Year."

So what I want to know is where are the folks that typically would condemn the parent for corporal punishment and for the psychological trauma of humiliating the young man in public? Where are the folks who say the mother is teaching her son to respond to violence with violence?

I'll wait.

Are Republican Senators more sexist than racist?

Today is Day Number 160 and President Barack Obama's nomination of Loretta Lynch for United States Attorney General has yet to be voted on. Republican Senators have stalled the vote by entwining Lynch's nomination with legislation on human trafficking and abortion. These issues have nothing to do with Lynch's nomination. Stop the shenanigans. Current AG Eric Holder is a black male and his confirmation took eight days. Are Republican Senators more sexist than they are racist?

‪#‎confirmlynch‬ ‪#‎becauseofthemwecan‬


Happy MLK Weekend: The Dream Continues

Today we honor the Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shamefully, in this Year of 2015, his DREAM of FREEDOM, JUSTICE and EQUALITY remains unfulfilled.

The masses of people in America are uneducated and undereducated, in most instances not due to lack of opportunity but due to intentional distractions and misdirection to keep them ill-prepared, hopeless, helpless, disengaged and confused. To keep Americans fearful of one another because race, religious practices and sexual orientation ensures a nation that will not reach its full potential.

On this day, we must truly reclaim the dream. Now is not the time to succumb to the brief dash of energy brought about through repeated clichés. Now is the time to do what is right, understanding, correction --- knowing, that we have the ability and responsibility to help each other and especially those in need.

May Dr. King's Dream be fulfilled soon.

Before "Hands Up, Don't Shoot", there was the Black Power Salute

St. Louis Rams players assume the hands up, don't shoot position.

Shout out to St. Louis Rams players Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt for peacefully protesting the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr.

The grand jury's decision sparked days of rioting in Ferguson and protests throughout the United States. The Rams players assumed the 'hands up, don't shoot' pose when entering the field of Edward Jones Dome before their match up against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, November 30.

These young men are to be commended for their courage in making a social and political statement during these precariousp times in this nation. Rarely does one see athletes and other celebrities making such statements in recent times.

The St. Louis players' actions are reminiscent of the Miami Heat's hoodies up in solidarity with supporters of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, FL in February 2012. But no action would have the impact of the black power salute and downward stare of Tommie Smith John Carlos during the national anthem at the1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City during the medal ceremony. Smith and Carlos were awarded the gold and bronze medals.

Miami HEAT basketball players don hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin supporters.

USA track & field athletes, Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right), raise gloved fists in protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Contrary to the belief of some professional team 'owners' and others, athletes have the right to peacefully express their personal beliefs. I do believe it fair and accurate to offer the position that all law enforcement are not racist however those offended by the actions of these football players have called on NFL officials to discipline, even financially penalize the players.

It is sad and amazing that sixty after Brown v. Board of Education, the United States has progressed very little in eradicating racism. After decades of racial integration, it is obvious that we have not been able to conquer the hearts and minds of Americans who still do not believe in racial equality.






Florida Gubernatorial Debate 2014: To Fan or Not to Fan?

It's really sad that last night's gubernatorial debate at Broward College between current Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will be remembered for a delayed start because of Gov. Crist's use of a fan at the podium. With so many important issues affecting residents of and visitors to Florida, it is amazing that a small fan would become such an issue.

It's no secret that Gov. Crist uses a small fan at the podium, if Gov. Scott wanted the use of said fan to be prohibited, the rule should have been explicit rather then vague. A reasonable person would think that the rule regarding the use of electronic devices references the use of electronic gadgets that might serve as a prompt for a candidate, not a fan.

It will be interesting to see how each campaign uses last night's awkward beginning in their campaign ads. Even if Gov. Rick Scott disagreed with former Gov. Charlie Crist being able to use that fan, Scott came off as a bratty child throwing a temper tantrum. Scott supporters might assert that Crist didn't follow the rules. However, Crist came across as cool, calm, collected and personable. It also did not help Scott's campaign to allow Crist those moments alone onstage before Scott decided to participate in the debate.

Scott's protracted absence from the stage also allowed Crist this smoothly delivered zinger, “Are we really gonna debate about a fan? Or are we going to talk about education, and the environment and the future of our state. I mean, really.”

Were it not for the drama of Fangate, the rest of the debate was largely a snoozer. Neither candidate disclosed anything not already known as they traded barbs back and forth and forth and back.

It has been reported that the Florida Governor's race is too close to call. That doesn't speak well of the incumbent considering the Rick Scott Campaign is outspending the Charlie Crist Campaign. Unless the Democratic turnout improves over the General Election, Gov. Scott will be victorious again.

It must be a challenge for the GOP to rally around Rick Scott. Even with almost completing one term in office, he still comes across uncomfortable and therefore not trustworthy. Like Charlie Crist or not, he is a people person. He just has that charisma and you can't take that from him. Were it not for that infamous welcome by hugging Pres. Barack Obama, Crist would be a potential GOP VEEP or presidential candidate. Such is the game of politics and prayerfully voters understand that.

The response from the Rick Scott Campaign after last night's debate…“Charlie Crist can bring his fan, microwave and toaster to the debates – none of that will cover up how sad his record as governor was compared to the success of Rick Scott,” said Scott campaign manager Melissa Sellers. Sorry, Melissa, snarky is also not a good look from a campaign. That type of message should be delivered by a surrogate, if at all.

Question: If Gov. Crist's fan was battery-operated would there still have been an issue?

Wish List: Clear Touch Interactive Board

I love this board!


Because of my job, I attended the FAMIS (Florida Association of Management Information Systems) Conference in Tallahassee in June of this year. At this conference, information is shared regarding information technology and issues affecting K-12 public schools throughout the State of Florida. The conference agenda included the typical informational sessions spearheaded by Florida Department of Education staff and offerings by several vendor of technology products. Since I embrace being a technology gadget geek, I was immediately drawn to the Clear Touch Interactive Board prominently staged at the entrance to the hospitality area. 

On the upper left portion of the screen was the MC Hammer video “Don’t Touch This”. The rest of the space was available to write… draw…and do a number of creative things. It was awesome. When the MC Hammer video was followed by a full screen video of scenes from Australia and other countries, the potential for out-of-the-box teaching and learning was apparent and overwhelming. I could envision children in some of the most economically challenged areas in my community being exposed to virtual travel around the world as well as an array of cultural activities. Education liberates minds and transforms lives. One of the things I liked most about this board was that it was self-contained; there was no separate projector as in other interactive boards I’ve used. 

Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture or record a video of the presentation. Quite frankly, the videos of the unit I’ve seen on the web, even the company’s website, don’t do it any justice. Unless the technology improves significantly over the next two years, when I retire, I will definitely purchase a Clear Touch for use with my non-profit organizations and community activities.

If you have any questions about the Clear Touch Interactive Board, contact Keone Trask at 




I Have Too Much Stuff: Declaring My Transition to Minimalism


On this second day of the eight month in the year 2014, I declare my lifestyle change to minimalism. I experienced this epiphany as I was continuing my seemingly never-ending purging/organizing project at home. I have truly had enough of this. I need to purge way more than I had planned.

I have been blessed to have accumulated many things during my lifetime. Some things have been acquired via gifting but most are of my own doing. My friends know I’m a Barbie doll collector but most of my collection is in storage so that’s not the culprit in the issue of my personal space. I will pare that collection down a try to limit it to 50 dolls. I am spending way too much money on storage but that’s another issue. I have multiples of things that I like. I’m not wealthy but I tended to live by the mantra that if I really liked an item and wanted it (and my disposable income could cover it), go ahead and buy it. Life is short and you can’t take those things with you when die, right?

Well, I have too many things. How do I know? Well, because I’m not ‘enjoying’ those ‘things’ as much as I used to. I will enjoy my Barbies and amateur photography and a few other diversions but I want to spend more of my time connecting with and helping people. Most of my things are just in the way and interfering with my quest for a tranquil personal space. I also know that if I were to die unexpectedly, my family would likely sell my Kelly Moore camera bags and Timbuktu messenger bags and designer handbags and Barbies for a $1 a piece. 

Anywhoo, thèse bottles of Coca-Cola commemorating the 1978 Florida A&M University NCAA Division IAA Football Championship are an example of excess soon to be eliminated in my life. There are three remaining FAMU alums in my immediate household, we only need one of these bottles, not six. Can you say dustcatchers? My excess items will be included in a mega yard sale in a couple of months to raise funds for the foundation in my parents name and the items that do not sell will be donated to charity.  

I’ll dedicate a few posts of my journey to minimalism. I already feel liberated from just acknowledging my current situation. In the meantime, enjoy this abbreviated version of the classic George Carlin routine about “Stuff.”



- vb


It's Okay to Taunt Immigrant Children [VIDEO]

This is really horrible. Some people are heartless. Taunting a bus of unaccompanied minors from Central America is just difficult to fathom. There was a mistaken identification of the children as immigrant children. The children were actually campers at a local YMCA. So, I guess, if they were immigrant children from Central America, that makes the taunting acceptable? Really? How sad. 



Everyone has a right to their opinion. Taunting children, immigrant or not, is unconscionable. The candidate in this video eventually tried to clean up his response but that didn’t work. God Bless America. 


How One Woman Took Corporate America to Task for Promoting and Profiting from Black Family Dysfunction


“We don’t use the tools and technology that we have today, to effect change the way we can, and to do it in short order.” - Ermina Hill


Father's Day card for single mothers
This Hallmark Father's Day card for single mothers has been around at least since 2011.


I don’t know if you are aware of the tremendous controversy surrounding the Father’s Day card sold through the Mahogany line of cards by Hallmark. Well, there was coverage by Roland Martin, the Huffington Post, Dr. Boyce Watkins and others. I confess that I read the headlines…agreed with spotlighting the dysfunction the card promoted but didn’t follow in detail. 

Well, little did I know, my sorority sister and friend, Ermina Hill, out of the Atlanta area, took her dissatisfaction beyond just venting on social media and organized a protest. If more people took this kind of action, just think of how great our communities would be. 

Please take the time to watch this interview and realize the power we have as individuals to mobilize others and effect needed change. Also note that Roland Martin's coverage of this issue goes back to June 2011 so the success of Ermina's leadership in this protest is all the more laudable.

Congratulations to Ermina Hill and everyone who participated in the action against Hallmark. Thank you to Dr. Watkins for the interview and the shout out to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Thank you to Hallmark for finally pulling that Father's Day card for single mothers from the Mahogany line.


Now, if we could get television networks to pull those ratchet reality shows...



Weekly Address: The First Lady Marks Mother’s Day and Speaks Out on the Tragic Kidnapping in Nigeria


First Lady Michelle Obama has joined the movement calling for the release of the more than 200 school girls from the Chibok School in Nigeria. The leader of the terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed to have the girls and will sell them. This weekend that we celebrate mothers in the United States, the kidnapping and human trafficking of the Nigerian schoolgirls is all the more painful.

In this week’s address, First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.




Remarks of First Lady Michelle Obama

Weekly Address

May 10, 2014

Hello everyone, I’m Michelle Obama, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, I want to take a moment to honor all the mothers out there and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. 

I also want to speak to you about an issue of great significance to me as a First Lady, and more importantly, as the mother of two young daughters.

Like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night. 

This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education – grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls. 

And I want you to know that Barack has directed our government to do everything possible to support the Nigerian government’s efforts to find these girls and bring them home. 

In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams – and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.

Many of them may have been hesitant to send their daughters off to school, fearing that harm might come their way. 

But they took that risk because they believed in their daughters’ promise and wanted to give them every opportunity to succeed. 

The girls themselves also knew full well the dangers they might encounter. 

Their school had recently been closed due to terrorist threats…but these girls still insisted on returning to take their exams. 

They were so determined to move to the next level of their education…so determined to one day build careers of their own and make their families and communities proud.   

And what happened in Nigeria was not an isolated incident…it’s a story we see every day as girls around the world risk their lives to pursue their ambitions. 

It’s the story of girls like Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan.

Malala spoke out for girls’ education in her community…and as a result, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while on a school bus with her classmates. 

But fortunately Malala survived…and when I met her last year, I could feel her passion and determination as she told me that girls’ education is still her life’s mission. 

As Malala said in her address to the United Nations, she said “The terrorists thought that they would change our aims and stop our ambitions but nothing changed in my life except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

The courage and hope embodied by Malala and girls like her around the world should serve as a call to action. 

Because right now, more than 65 million girls worldwide are not in school. 

Yet, we know that girls who are educated make higher wages, lead healthier lives, and have healthier families. 

And when more girls attend secondary school, that boosts their country’s entire economy. 

So education is truly a girl’s best chance for a bright future, not just for herself, but for her family and her nation. 

And that’s true right here in the U.S. as well…so I hope the story of these Nigerian girls will serve as an inspiration for every girl – and boy – in this country. 

I hope that any young people in America who take school for granted – any young people who are slacking off or thinking of dropping out – I hope they will learn the story of these girls and recommit themselves to their education.

These girls embody the best hope for the future of our world…and we are committed to standing up for them not just in times of tragedy or crisis, but for the long haul.

We are committed to giving them the opportunities they deserve to fulfill every last bit of their God-given potential. 

So today, let us all pray for their safe return... let us hold their families in our hearts during this very difficult time…and let us show just a fraction of their courage in fighting to give every girl on this planet the education that is her birthright.  Thank you.


The audio of the address and video of the address is available online at