Archive | July 2011

Back On The Northside Again!

Good Morning, North Omaha! It is good to be back on the Northside again. Native Omaha weekend is back and 24th street was filled to capacity with so many people, and Saturday’s parade will be more of the same.

No matter where in the world I am, I’ve always stated my hometown as North Omaha, Nebraska. It is the place where I grew up and in a lot of ways shaped who I am today.

Yeah, my ‘hood faces the second decade of the 21st century with issues to face. Infrastructure. Education. Jobs. Crime. Economic opportunity. Indifference within the community. Indifference toward the community from outside of the community from the mayor’s office and city council, to the Unicameral, to a Washington racing to default. The North Omahas of our nation face each day with a lot of structual stresses in its foundations.

Yet we keep on keepin’ on. Through all the many dangers, toils and snare we’ve already come. North Omaha is still standing. Its lifeblood among its people still get up every day fights for something better. Those the community have helped to grow tall still give respect and love. They still come back and give back.

To me, that is what we celebrate this weekend and that is what set our challenge for the times to come.

It is easy to fall into thoughts of what we don’t have and where we fall short as a community. But let us not forget where we shine.

North Omaha is the small stores and business start each day early to rise and they haven’t left. North Omaha is the Great Plains Black Museum. The museum is NOT closed, even if the edifice temporarily is.

North Omaha is a Preston Love jazz composition with all the twists and turns of a good Gale Sayers run. North Omaha is the bold example of trailblazers from Eugene Skinner (who the Omaha Black Sports Hall of Fame honors on Saturday), to Dr. Don Benning, who has a son who I think will be remembered someday much like his dad is.

North Omaha is 11am Sunday morning and the renewed vigor of our church communities who are working to get our civic focus back in shape, just like a group of souls who meet at Benson High every Saturday to try and get our physical focus back in shape.

North Omaha is two old men lifting mental and physical weight at corner barber shop. One is more known. One is less known. Both are intellectual giants. Much love to you Dan Goodwin and Ernie Chambers.

North Omaha is Tech High, the Boys Club, Kellom League basketball in a sweaty bandbox on a January Saturday.

North Omaha is Charlie Washington boldly challenging, “Omaha can you do? Omaha will you do? Omaha you must do!”

North Omaha is a rough but proud past, present and still pushing to the future.

North Omaha may have its issues, but its our home to continue to build and nurture.

North Omaha is us.

Yes! It is great to be back!


President Obama and Speaker Boehner: WHO ARE YOU FOOLING?

It’s been more than a month since I wrote something. My life has gotten a little busy, but what’s gone on over the last few days has me wanting to get busy writing so here I am.

The National Football League owners and players came together and inked a deal. GOOD! But why do I get the feeling DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goddell just aren’t vibing together right now?

With the lockout over, its Washington’s turn. The country is threatened by a lot more than going without some touchdowns and big hits for a few weeks. If we don’t get a deal on the debt ceiling by Tuesday August 2nd, the United States of America could go into default.

Based on what I heard coming from both sides on this night, I think default will get some good odds in any betting house.

Firstly, to the President: You’ve given the GOP a lot already. You’ve bent on a lot of issues. You’ve seriously looked at bending on Social Security cuts, social service cuts, education cuts, housing cuts. In short, if it helps people, you’ll cut it. A Democratic President running the Republican program. And now all of a sudden because Harry Reid’s looking at doing the same thing, you all of sudden find you inner Harry Truman? C’MON MAN!

President Obama tonight struck a tone that in my mind tried playing both sides of the street. Embracing John Boehner on one hand and then saying “NO DEAL” on the other.

Mr. President, you’ve given the Republicans the idea that they can strike a deal on their terms, and they are going to push for the terms. Right now sir, you are in a corner. You have to make a deal with people who’ve made it clear since the 2010 elections that they have one objective, “Make Barack Obama a one-term President”  And they are willing to drop an economic nuclear bomb in the country for that to happen. Make no mistake about it. How far are you and congressional Democrats willing to go, given that on many issues since 2009, you’ve shown as a unit that you aren’t prepared to go very far.

Speaker Boehner, I understand the deal with you sir. You and your party are trying to win an election. I can respect that. You guys showed the nation your hand last November, and you believe that you have another winning hand for 2012. You seek to institute Grover Norquist’s dream of a “Government so small that I can drown it in a bathtub.”

I find your call asking the President to “partner with us for America” as highly disingenuous. I’m thinking of the scorpion and the frog here. President Obama may yet carry your program to the other side of the river, and then you will sting him and the country. But after all, you are a scorpion, sir. It’s your nature.

The country needs real solutions right now. What we got tonight wasn’t solutions, it was naked 2012 politics. It’s another same we can believe in.

Mr. President and Mr. Speaker….WHO ARE YOU FOOLING?

For tonight’s performance by both you, President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner each receive a Northside Chip “YOU IGNANT” Award.

Both of you needed to save your speeches tonight. The time would be better spent fixing this mess.