Flag on the Play: Premature Excessive Celebration about the New Harriet Tubman $20 Bill


Harriet Tubman 20
Newly redesigned $20 bill will feature Harriet Tubman on its face and Andrew Jackson on the reverse side.


Yesterday, Black folk in the US went absolutely crazy celebrating the announcement that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the United States $20 bill. However, Andrew Jackson is not “off” the $20 as has been widely reported. Andrew Jackson will be on the reverse side of the new $20 bill along with a depiction of the White House. Any logical thinker and realist would know that the United States is not about to allow a woman, especially a black woman, to totally displace a white male on currency. Let’s just keep it real.

Also know that the $5 and $10 bills have also been redesigned. The concept for the newly redesigned bills will not be unveiled until 2020 and there is no firm date of when a decision on the final design for the bills will be made and the when the bills will be placed in circulation. Let that sink in. It will be four years before the “concept” will be unveiled. Also note that the U.S. Treasury website indicates that the $10 bill, honoring women’s suffrage leaders —Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, will be released first. 

Black folk, as a people group, have yet to rise to the level of actually earning the respect of the power brokers in this country because Black folk still don’t know, and therefore use, their actual power. So Black folk are frequently placated by superficial actions such as this redesign of United States currency. 

Don't get it twisted, Harriet Tubman on United States currency is a good thing. Sharing her depiction on currency with Andrew Jackson who was a slaveholder and lead in the genocide of Native Americans? Waiting at least four years for the bill to even be released into circulation? Not so much. Only in America are Blacks expected to be happy while they are being insulted. 


Related Links:

Introducing the New $20, $10 and $5!

Modern Money - Frequently Asked Questions


 Voting shenanigans at precinct in Florida [VIDEO]

Voting shenanigans

At least three Democratic voters were told there were only ballots available for the Republican race at Precinct 321 in Winter Haven, Florida. The voters, including Teresa Wibert, showed up to participate in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 15, 2016. Wibert was initially given a Republican ballot. When she questioned that, she was told there were only Republican ballots. Wibert persisted and knew her rights as a voter. A call was made to the Polk County Elections Department. The clerk at Precinct 321 was told the ballots for the Democratic race were located in a closet. Wibert, her husband, and the other Democrat voted using the correct ballot.

The Polk County elections supervisor, Lori Edwards, and other elections officials in Polk County are trying to minimize this serious incident but it should be reported to the Department of Justice. How many other voters were given the wrong ballot? How many other voters were turned away? Has this happened during previous elections at this precinct? Did this happen at other precincts in Florida?

This incident highlights why it is important to know your voting rights in this country and that you exercise those rights. When you hear citizens say voting is not important, or their vote doesn't matter, they need to understand that voting is so critical that some folks will try to stop you from doing it.




American Nightmare: The Trump Campaign for President of the United States


It’s apparent that Donald Trump will say, and likely, do anything in his quest to become president of the United States. He led the failed birther movement in questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama, who is an American. He has referred to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as a communist when Sanders is not. He said he’s going to make Mexico pay to build a wall along the southern border of the United States to keep illegal immigrants out. Mexico's president balked at the statement. Trump has encouraged his supporters to attack protesters at his campaign rallies and offered to pay the attackers' legal fees. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump's campaign isn't staging some of the protests at his rallies just to distract his supporters (and the media) so he won't have to expose his ignorance of domestic and international policy issues.

Trump's dog whistle politics deliberately lacks the typical subtlety GOP candidates, and their surrogates are known for. He has tapped into the anger and fear of "poorly-educated" white Americans. He used that term, and the number of his supporters seems to continue to increase. Go figure. 

Let me translate Trump's slogan Let's Make America Great Again. The message...Let's make America White Again. Let's make America segregated again and put those minorities (and women) in their place. Please see MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's segment as she beautifully and skillfully exposes Donald Trump's Race War. 


In spite of this madness, Donald Trump's Republican opponents have indicated they will support him if he is their party’s nominee. What does that say about them? There is an epic leadership fail in the Republican Party. They choose to destroy the United States of America. They choose politics over people even if the people are the "poorly educated" Republican voters or other men, women and children in the United States. Including you.

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt



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 kt@getcleartouch.com. 




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