Many of us have become acquainted with something or someone that deals with race relations.

We celebrate Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation that declared freedom for slaves

We recall the moment Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and shared his ‘Dream’ for an united America.

We acknowledge Rosa Parks’ courage to defy racial hatred and demand equal rights for all.

But racial relations have seen progress take a back seat in light of events such as Ferguson and Eric Garner.

But according to one particular person, if there is improvements in race relations, it can be accredited to music.

Jay-Z, the billionaire hip-hop mogul, salutes hip-hop music as serving to bridge the racial divide:

“Before, people partied in separate clubs. There were hip-hop clubs and there were techno clubs. Now people party together, and once you have people partying, dancing, and singing along to the same music, then conversations naturally happen after that.”

The rapper went on to explain that musical artists have a way of making others forget about cultural differences.

It’s very difficult to teach racism when your kid looks up to Snoop Doggy Dogg.”

Jay-Z argues that with the exception of MLK and President Obama, hip-hop has contributed more to racial harmony than most cultural icons.

While one can understand the perception that dancing and enjoying a club-like atmosphere can be appealing to many ethnic groups, it behooves us to give this a thorough evaluation.

It’s doubtful that President Lyndon Baines Johnson was persuaded by hip-hop when he tapped Thurgood Marshall to be the first black Supreme Court justice.

It’s highly unlikely President George W. Bush relied on the influence of hip-hop when he appointed Gen. Colin Powell as the first black Secretary of State.

In terms of immigration and what it means for the Latino community, can one really turn to hip-hop to determine if one can gain access to the United States?

In general, hip-hop is a conduit to entertainment and lifestyles, but it will take more than a beat and lyrics to make historic gains and meeting the challenges to today’s complex racial issues.


Stacey Dash, the “Clueless” actress, made national news with her endorsement of presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

Due to her conservative beliefs, the actress has expressed that she has faced backlash from her own family members.

From The Daily Caller:

“My cousin Damon and my brother Darien were role models to me because they were great capitalists. Now we’re not really talking because they were the ones who told me to keep my mouth shut.”

The 47-year old went on to say that even though many assume that she is inclined to think a certain way simply because of the color of her skin, many have voiced their support for her courage.

“Certain friends don’t speak to me any more either. But you know what? In the street I get approached by so many people of every color saying: ‘Thank you so much for standing up and being so brave.’’

Dash, who is also a Fox News Contributor, was named as one of Google’s Top-Trending Black Actresses in 2014. EBONY magazine downplayed the acknowledgement with a vicious swipe.

“Her conservative, clueless political slant sparked controversy time after time this year, making Dash notoriously trendy for all the wrong reasons.”

It is still very unfortunate that black conservatives are still being ostracized for their beliefs. I wonder if Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton will feel compelled to run to Stacey’s defense.

Don’t count on it.


It is no secret that George W. Bush has embraced painting since his exodus from the presidency. At his presidential library in Dallas, there is an art exhibit that displays some of the former president’s masterpieces, such as paintings of former British Minister Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin to name a few.

This time, Bush has expressed a new level of affection with his paintings with a more intimate and personal masterpiece: a painting of himself and his father, former president George H.W. Bush.


Bush unveiled his latest portrait during an interview with Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show, on his forthcoming book that gives an account of his father’s life. Ironically, Bush was more concerned with getting the features of the nose correct during the painting session.

Bush shows a great deal of candor when it comes to the relationship he has with his father. In an April 2013 interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, he expressed his heartfelt appreciation for him. Bush stated that “in spite of his business, he took time to let us know how much he loved us, so my relationship with my dad is one based upon love and admiration.”

Bush’s new book, 41: A Portrait of My Father, is described by the 43rd president as “a love story.” At a time when partisan politics often serve to divide Americans, it might do our world some good to be reminded that family and relationships are still a vital part to our very existence.


The recent events that have occurred in Ferguson, MO, have caused the moral compass in our country to go in reverse. Various arrests, demonstrations, clashes with law enforcement and a grieving community have captured the headline news and inserted itself as the dominating story in our news cycles.

“Moral Monday”, which was on Oct 13th,  consisted of religious leaders calling for unity. But in the midst of their rallying cry was a strong assertion of a particular divide: racism.


Bishop Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri articulated his thoughts about the racially-tensed event surrounding the killing of Michael Brown, a black teenager. “My faith compels me to be here,” he said outside Ferguson police headquarters. “I want to show solidarity, and call attention to the structural racism of St. Louis.”

Faith has indeed been an acclaimed component of the demonstrations in Ferguson. While the cities has hosted the visits of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, it has caused many to think that selfish ambitions, not faith, are the main reasons for their visit.  This claim is validated by the annoyance displayed by a protester in Ferguson.

From The Blaze

“We ain’t seen you!” the first protester said. “When you going to stop selling us out, Jesse? We don’t want you here in St. Louis! When you gonna stop selling us out, Jesse?”

This is an obvious call for the activation of faith-based ideals and not just sound rhetoric or a chance for a photo opportunity.

In these dark times, faith should be used as an asset, not a liability.  The local community should be able to rely on the local church to serve as a beacon of hope and common sense. A good example of this is how faith played an integral part in wake of the Boston bombings in April 2013. The president, along with other political and religious leaders, were able to put politics aside and invoke faith as means of a concept of healing and unity.

For example, a local Methodist church in Ferguson served as an host center for protesters to showcase civil disobedience and to learn how to get arrested.

While emotions and tensions are definitely high, would it be more useful if the church called for obedience of the laws and the respect of law enforcement?

Social and cultural issues lie at the doorstep of the church, but it still requires civility.

The forgotten reality is that a life was lost. Whether it’s a white man or black man that is the recipient of death’s visit, it’s a sober reminder that faith can comfort and heal.

The community of Ferguson is looking for real faith—faith that collaborates with a desire to bring healing to a chaotic and disturbed society. That can only come with those who are willing to follow the principles of faith—love and kindness—and not just merely talk about it.


Sex sells. We get it. It’s hard to go to the supermarket without seeing a billboard with a woman scantly dressed or to watch a “family” show on ABC without seeing a television ad featuring a guy in Hanes boxers.

Not only does sex serve as a means of advertisement, but it diminishes the value of family and ethics when lust-craved pleasures take its course. When black America becomes fascinated with the release of sex tapes amongst black actors, it shows that the mind and conscious is being diminished by the amount of filth that it is being exposed to on a continual basis.

Let’s take a look at the dichotemy of black America.


According to Don Lemon of CNN, roughly 72% of children are born out of wedlock in the African-American community. This informs us that there is an high percentage of blacks who resist the moral notion of waiting until marriage to participate in sexual activity. While sex outside of marriage is rampant amongst many cultures, it is having an huge effect among blacks. Many are eager to have sex, but aren’t thinking of the consequences that follow. If impregnated, are the expenses available to provide for a child? If marriage is an eventual goal, how many sex partners will he or she have had before the vows are exchanged? Is sex the only thing a person believes they have going for themselves? Sex, while appealing, is highly complexing.

A bigger question that is looming over us: What is attributing to the high percentage of children born out of wedlock, which in essence is an high percentage of sex outside of marriage? One specific angle to address is entertainment.

The entertainment industry is serving as an cultural disease in the black community. The message is pretty much “Embrace sex.” Let’s look at a recent movie, entitled “Addiction,” that promotes erotic sexual behavior.


It’s a film that focuses in on betrayal, lust, corruption and deceit. It’s about a married woman who finds life is a little less adventurous when it comes to sexual gratification, so she ventures into an adulterous affair. It’s not like we haven’t heard enough of this already. Whether it’s a politician that cheats on his wife, or a pastor that resigns form his church due to infidelity, or a TV showed named Scandal, sex is a visible beast that is destroying black families and it’s doing it rapidly.

Crystal Shaw King from EBONY provides additional information on the sex-laced film: “There’s sex… lots of sex. And in this era of #LessClassicallyBeautiful, it sure does feel good to see some very classically beautiful men and women doing the grown-up all over the place. And that’s no exaggeration: We’re talking countertops, showers, car hoods, bathroom stalls… Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.”

Movies, in their entirety, cannot assume all the blame for the sexual appetite. The music industry has had its fair share of influence.


Music, especially rap, that degrades women and showcases explicit sexual material, encourages young people to engage in sexual acts sooner rather than later. Many songs are known to mention private parts and this sends a message that it is acceptable to degrade your body and sleep around with merely anyone.

From Daily Mail“Those who frequently listened to songs by artists such as rapper 50 Cent and the Ying Yang twins were more than twice as likely to have had sex compared to those with the least exposure.”

While the desire for a sexual utopia looms large over today’s black generation, the cultural and moral deterioration is looming much larger.

If the black community is looking for inspiration, there’s plenty of options. Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Ben Carson, Bill Cosby, and last but not least , President Barack Obama.

Black americans should look to morality, not sexual degradation, as a source of upward mobility.

gov deal 2

It is no secret at all that the key to the growth of the Republican Party is to engage minorities. With shifting demographics and a growing minority population, the GOP is pressed to make changes in their outreach efforts or simply become a party of isolation.

While the thought of many on the right may have been “Well they’re not going to vote for us anyway,” there have been some who sought to eradicate this foolish notion.

I can personally testify to the fact that Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) gets what minority engagement is all about. He received my church’s invitation to come and participate in our “Community Day” on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

It is pretty obvious that this event was planned months in advance in order to make preparations for the occasion. When it was first announced to the congregation that the Governor was paying a visit, there was a combination of awe and disbelief. Quite frankly, there were several who thought there was no way the governor was going to come to our small, but growing church.

But to the surprise of some, the governor came, along with his wife, Mrs. Sandra Deal. The First Lady of Georgia read to the children’s Sunday School class and later joined her husband in the main worship service.

Towards the conclusion of the service, Gov. Deal spoke of the importance of criminal justice reform. The topic of how to continually prevent African-American men and women from living life within the confines of a jail cell resonated very well amongst the predominately black audience.
The main point is not Deal’s willingness to talk about criminal justice reform, even though that was good and beneficial. The simple fact is that he showed up. The GOP must realize that their mere presence speaks volumes.

Minorities want candidates and politicians to know that they do not want pandering or special treatment, but to simply be acknowledged. Do not get me wrong. There are heavy issues that effect the minority community such as unemployment,jobs, education, and others, but these issues cannot be conveyed unless there are people who are willing to listen. In order to listen, you must be present.

Gov. Deal understands minority engagement. He knows that engaging is simply not making a campaign promise or acknowledging minorities in a speech, but that it requires for you to go to where they are.

I cannot predict how many of our church members will vote for Gov. Deal. That’ll be decided in the voting booth. What I can say confidently is that the governor taking time out of his schedule to engage our church was the genesis of a fruitful relationship, and there were quite a few who were willing to lend a listening ear. If Gov. Deal can do this, so can any other conservative.



Because of the hyper-sensitivity our world has succumbed to, the issue of race is a subject of taboo or insecurity to many. The truth is, we should all talk about it.
It’s really hard to label anyone an expert of race. Many of us have been exposed to various cultural practices and living conditions, but there is a world out there that transcends our experiences or academic knowledge.

We should discuss race for the simple matter of being educated. All of us are unlearned in some area of life. It would do us good to step outside our comfort level and become aware of issues surrounding us.

When discussing race, it is important to realize the emotions and experiences that accompany the topic. A white person, even with good intentions, will never be black and, therefore, cannot speak as a black person. A black person will never be white and, therefore, cannot possess the feelings of a white person. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just the different components of genetics and behavior.

The purpose of discussing race is to garner a better understanding and appreciation for others’ lives. Just because one may say, “My best friend is black,” doesn’t necessarily mean they have taken the time to understand the diverse areas of black culture. The racial makeup of our circle of friends will give a great indication of how we perceive race. If our friends look just like we do, that signals we are afraid of stepping outside of normalcy and comfort. It doesn’t make us evil people. Just unlearned.
When we seek to educate ourselves, we may find our perceptions in error. When discussing race, it’s beneficial to keep an open mind and a respectful dialogue.
One of the biggest barriers to bridging the racial divide is assumption.

We cannot assume that all black people and all white people think alike. I vividly remember some whites in 2008 assuming I was going to vote for Obama solely based on the fact I have brown skin. I know some blacks who are cautious and weary of engaging with whites because they assume they are out to manipulate them. Assumptions are not healthy. They only cause us to be apprehensive and regressive when it comes to communication.
We must be willing to find what we have in common, instead of what separates us. Black and whites alike cherish family, friends, cultural activities, education, sports and such. When we become more focused on the individual, we will find ourselves embracing not only diversity, but humanity.

Nobody should have to fear repercussions due to voicing their opinions on race. But for their views to be valid, they must listen, engage and educate themselves. If we do not discuss race, we limit ourselves and become citizens of an isolated world.
Race is a beautiful thing. It’s a human thing. It should be embraced, not feared.