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In his “black agenda,” Glover states that the 2006 elected officials

“ought be real serious, succinct, and clear about creating some new black millionaires.”



The State of Black Journalism

What Cost Blackness in Maryland

An Editorial by Rudolph Lewis


I have been convinced for a long time now that, with a few dazzling exceptions, print and visual media have thrown away their freedom and chosen jail instead—have willingly locked themselves into a ratings-driven, money-based prison of their own making. Toni Morrison, “Clinton as the First Black President” New Yorker, October 1998

We’re still in the first month of winter. But hot vacuous winds, “cloaked in deception and secrecy,” now stir Old Glory.  Self-congratulatory pundits with their rhetoric of blackness sift history “for nuggets of dubious relevancy.” These black media specialists assert their authenticity by calling themselves  “community journalists” and with great pretense that they speak for the majority of the black and working poor utter such words as “what I hear being asked on the streets.” We find this journalistic approach in an editorial “I Choose My Blackness” by D. Morton Glover (

This year 2006 Maryland will choose a Governor and a U.S. Senator. In the gubernatorial election, the odds are that Baltimore City Mayor Martin O’Malley, who has chosen his black running mate, Delegate Anthony G. Brown (of Prince George County and an Iraq War veteran), will be the Democratic Party’s choice to run against Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Jr., a Republican. The odds makers are betting that Ehrlich will choose another black as his running mate. In Maryland, Mr. Glover happily concludes, “multiculturalism is not bunk.”

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, a Black Republican, has been chosen already to challenge the Democrats for the vacant U.S. Senate seat, occupied now by retiring Paul S. Sarbanes. President Bush has made a couple of visits to Maryland to support Steele’s run. The Democratic Party’s choice is yet undecided. The two main candidates are Kweisi Mfume, former CEO and President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Rep. Ben Cardin, as pointed out by Mr. Glover, “the first to be ‘interviewed’ by Associated Black Charities in a seemingly weird and unprecedented forum at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

Blacks make up a quarter of Maryland’s population, usually viewed as one of the blue states in presidential elections. Thus, in close elections, as in the 1996 election between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party’s loyal core are needed but anemic. In that election, according to Ronald Walters in his White Nationalism, Black Interests  (2003), “the votes that clinched his [Clinton’s] victory came from Blacks (84%), Hispanics (73%) and Liberals (78%); these voters constituted 40% of his base” (109).

What secured Clinton’s victory was his attraction of Reagan Democrats by his anti-government rhetoric and his “punitive crime measures, more draconian death penalty laws and drug sentencing programs, cuts in social service benefits, adoption of enterprise zones, reduction in welfare . . . and the funding of school choice.” These were Reagan policies “implemented under a Democratic president with little opposition from members of his own party” (115).

As Professor Floyd Hayes has pointed out “Bill Clinton's neo-liberalism was very much like Reagan conservatism, especially in the area of social policy." That is, the “New Democratic Politics” have converged with those of the Conservative and White Nationalist movements of the last three decades, not only in the national arena but also on the state and local levels. So only a microscopic few, especially of the black working poor, have any confidence in the lot of the present black or white politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, to solve their more pressing needs.

With respect to the interests of the working class poor, all now seem conditioned to “trickle down” politics, whether Democrat or Republican, White Nationalist or Black Nationalist. In the present state of racial opportunism, where then should a black “community journalist” stand?

First, we have little notion from Mr. Glover’s article “I Choose My Blackness” what a "community journalist” is, other than a person who lives within the black community. He seems to live in Sandtown, near the Pennsylvania Avenue area. Yet we are unclear from his article or his website what is the proper conduct of a journalist. Generally, a journalist is thought to be a critical watchdog ardently in search of truth for the greater public good. Can this be said to be true for Mr. Glover, his website and his other “journalistic” activities as hosts of radio programs at Radio One and WEAA?

Despite his mantra, “Give me Mfume or give me Steele,” Mr. Glover seems a stout supporter of the candidacy of Mr. Mfume, whom he claims “embody the poor and minority struggle with his sultry words.” From Glover’s article we have no sense what Mfume or Steele proposes to do with poor and minority problems in Baltimore sketched out in the Abell Report  (2005): 200,000 residents 16 and older without jobs; a students drop out rate of nearly 50%.

In this article Mr. Glover has placed his emphasis rather on political appointments and minority business contracts. He speaks of a “need for blacks in every and all statewide campaigns.” He speaks glowingly of the Republican Party’s raising “the bar of political inclusion,” which is a reference to Steele’s position as lieutenant governor and his hope that Ehrlich will choose Wayne Curry, former Prince George’s County Executive, as his next black running mate. Elsewhere Glover expresses the “distinct need for black procurement officers and heads of key agencies.”

Based on past behavior, Mr. Glover seems confident that “an O’Malley Administration would continue this effort to expand and increase black business opportunities.” He goes on to state “deliverables for black business owners is key in this upcoming election.” In his “black agenda,” Glover states that the 2006 elected officials “ought be real serious, succinct, and clear about creating some new black millionaires.” Nowhere in his “black agenda” are there proposals to deal with the 60% black male unemployment in Baltimore nor remedies for the high drop out rate of black high school students, nor the payment of living wages by black businesses.

Mr. Glover thus seems to have a black middle-class agenda with an expansive emphasis on symbolical black politics, that is, black faces in high places. Is Glover then an independent journalist or is he an advocate?  We can conclude from his site that he is a Democrat in that he is running ads for Wesley Wood for State Legislature, Bobby Zirkin for State Senate,  Kweisi Mfume for the U.S. Senate. Clearly, Mr. Glover is not an independent journalist. He seems to be caught up in what Toni Morrison calls a “moneybased prison of [his] own making.”

One might say as was said about Southern politicians in the mid-90s, Mr. Glover is a “blue dog Democrat.” His loyalty is to color. He is for that party that satisfies his two political needs: black millionaires and blacks in high places. Not hard-hearted, Mr. Glover probably stands for a few crumbs trickling down to those poor blacks he passes on his way to his Sandtown home.

posted 10 January 2006 

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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update 25 February 2012




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