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BOTTOMLINE: “Change is Occurring…and Hope is Alive!”

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Publishers commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Dr. King’s Birthday requires us to annually measure the amount of successful change that has occurred since his death. Our friend Celes King IV was quick to say, “Perception is reality.” I think we can agree that the election of Barrack Obama to President of the United States boosted the image of Black men across the planet. It must be considered that if “Black lives matter” is a truer statement today than when Dr. King was alive, that Barrack Obama being President adds to that truth!   In several years, by 2016, people aged ten years and younger will represent members of an exclusive group. The only President of the United States that they will have experienced is a Black Man.  They, having witnessed such proof, will grow up expecting that Blacks can and will excel. That is a major long term benefit of Mr. Obama being President.  He is an inspiration. He inspires young Black children to want to be like him, to become important and influential members of society. He also shows the non-Blacks who harbor the false impression that “Blacks can’t” to understand that “Blacks can” and that society benefits when “Blacks do!  We know that low expectations generally come true.  Increased expectations allow room for increased participation and performance.

Increased expectations will cause among other things, a greater competition for participation and an expectation that winning is for the well prepared. Just because the world is more willing to accept that a Black man can do, does not mean that it will be easier for him to do; however, easy is not a requirement!

As we measure successful change, access to opportunity for those who have been deliberately denied that access, is an issue. The imagery of success is great for perception, but reality requires a job count and a measurement of education and quality of life. Access to education, jobs and quality of life for most Americans, Blacks in particular, has diminished since Dr. King’s death. The image of the most prestigious office holder on the planet, being racially disrespected under the guise of politics has been a reminder to “old school” witnesses, that racism is alive and that to some Republicans, greed and or “white privilege” is more important than the welfare of the Country.

So, in closing, I will say that the fresh sheets and pillow cases of opportunity make the American bed look better, but the mattress is still lumpy with racism, making a peaceful night hard to come by. Change is occurring but the need for hope is very alive!

 

 

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE: When The Police Let Them Live, Where Will They Work?

BOB Could Help, But BOB Can’t Breathe!

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

The issue of police conduct regarding interaction with Black men is being negotiated across the nation with a variety of scenarios that are offering some degree of change.  If something would occur that actually stopped police violence against Black men, there would still be problems left to deal with. One of the problems is Black-on-Black violence, the other is jobs; however, if we solve the jobs problem, we may also slow the Black-on-Black violence problem.

Supporting Black Owned Businesses (BOB) can be a big help in the jobs department.  Increasing business directed to BOB will allow, and in many cases, require BOB to hire additional help.  There are business owners in your community, even your church that should be getting your support! Find out who they are and give them your business. Your money is important and could be used to express your community concerns as well as consumer desires.Black-Woman-Business-Owner-378x401

Where you spend your money is possibly a more important vote than the one for president! It can have much more effect on the quality of life that your community experiences.  There are over 10,000 Black elected officials, which include City council members, school boards, County Supervisors, State legislators, Congress Members, Senators, and the President of the United States. Despite our political successes, Black men are unemployed at the highest rates in America.  You could force BOB to put many of our unemployed to work by simply giving BOB your business.

Many of you say that BOB has problems. That may be true, but so does the bank that you so faithfully put your money in.  It probably needed to be bailed out during the past five or six years.  Many of BOB’s problems will be solved when you extend your financial support and commit to providing a business stimulus that supports your community. Your support of BOB may provide the job that actually prevents you from having to bail out one of your friends or family members from jail or financial need.

As we continue the struggle for fair treatment from the world remember that the world is paying attention to how we treat each other. Your enthusiastic

BOTTOM LINE: “You Can ‘Cool Out’ with Jazz

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

I woke up Tuesday morning listening to accounts of the protest against police shootings/attitudes/actions regarding Blacks in specific, and minorities in general. I have had my share of bad experiences with police, as well as participating in marches and protest. So, I must confess, my morning being shaped by “news” that was in fact an “old story” and was starting to give me the blues.

I fed and was sharing my blue feelings with my dog Sherman, when ignoring my pity party and grateful for his food, he gave me that “you the man” look.  “Thanks Sherm” was my thought as I instantly felt better.  Returning inside the house and into the atmosphere of my radio I was caressed by the sound of Jazz…Herbie Hancock! “Wow, KJAZZ is kicking this morning,” was my thought, but my baseline thought was,”you know you can’t get KJAZZ on this radio.” I was right, it was KUCR 88.3 FM effecting “Jazz Tuesday.”  I listened to 30 seconds of Jazz and my whole attitude changed!  I felt cool, empowered, like a person who has loved to lean on. I felt in touch with myself and the power of being one of God’s children. The free flowing music was like taking a “Wind Bath!”

The sounds and feeling reminded me of the medicinal value of Jazz Music. I decided that it was time to publicly thank Jim Palmer, founder of the Jazz and Art Exchange, for his commitment to keeping jazz alive in the Inland Empire. Jazz is a soother for most male anxieties. Jazz can make men forget what they were arguing about. Jim Palmer has been providing “a place to play” for Jazz and Blues musicians for over ten years. Jim‘s home base is the “Jazz and Art Exchange” located in the Adreson Building in Downtown San Bernardino.  Thanks Jim!

Every Monday evening at 1073 N. Mt Vernon Avenue at the Elks lodge, musicians gather for the “Blue Monday” Jazz Jam. A small donation provides access to hours of good music, food and drinks under the direction and hospitality of Jim Palmer and his partner Amos ”The Chef” Wallace.

Jim and Amos are now providing management services for the Elks Lodge, and on Sunday, December 28 they will bring a Grammy Nominee to the Inland Empire. The legendary Blues and Jazz singer, Barbara Morrison, will perform at the same Elks Lodge, at 1073 N. Mt Vernon for a 4 p.m. show.  This is the first of the Route 66 Jazz Series Produced by Westside Story Newspaper and Empire Talks Back radio.  Attending this show will not solve all of your problems, but you will definitely feel better about your chances. Jazz will allow and encourage you to “be cool!”

For ticket information and reservations to witness the great Barbara Morrison perform and entertain at a world class level, see the ad on page 8 or call (310) 462-1439.