Danny Cardwell's picture

    Striving Over Surviving

    Striving Over Surviving

    Danny Cardwell

    By Simba Sana

    Agate Publishing, 260 pp.,

    It would be easy to categorize “Never Stop” as a postmodern Horatio Alger novel set in an urban community. This memoir has all the ingredients of a rag to riches story. But such a reading has the potential to render all of the pain, failure, and life lessons chronicled throughout its 260 pages invisible. This isn’t fiction. Each shattered life and every violent death can be traced to an easily locatable time in place in our not too distant past.

    Simba Sana’s childhood could be described as catastrophic. His father was a no show. He was raised by a single mother with mental health issues. He grew up in Washington, D.C., at a time when crack was replacing PCP as the drug of choice, and guns were replacing fistfights as the preferred method for settling disputes. He survived a gauntlet of racial and socioeconomic pitfalls that consumed many of his peers. Any of these obstacles could have derailed or ended his life before he attended Gonzaga College High School and then Mount Saint Mary’s University. 

    Simba’s escape from inner-city violence and poverty is inspiring. If the book had ended with him getting a college degree it would have been a story worth telling, but it didn’t. Simba shares the mistakes he made during his time in corporate America, his successes and failures as co-owner of Karibu Books: the largest independent Black owned chain of book stores in America, and his mostly negative experiences managing boxers.

    The money and prestige that came with entrepreneurship couldn’t fill the gaping holes in his life. At no point during his socioeconomic ascension did Simba “have it all”. His professional endeavors were periodically hindered by his militant Pan-African ideology and inability to maintain meaningful relationships with the opposite sex. He was driven to succeed, but at times unable to enjoy his success.

    Simba had to lose everything in order to rebuild his life around love. He made a conscious effort to critically think about and challenge his personal philosophy and spirituality. When he finally found his place in the world, he chose to, In the words of John Hope franklin, “Use his history and ingenuity, his resources and talents, to combat the forces that isolate[d] him and…contribute to the solution of the problems that all Americans face in common.”

    “Never Stop” belongs on a shelf beside the Black existentialists works that helped foster its creation. Alex Haley’s “Autobiography of Malcolm X” guided a young Simba Sana through his undergraduate years at Mount Saint Mary’s University, but it was close readings of James Baldwin that forced him to cultivate a self instead of replicating one. Near the end of the book Sana writes:

    Contemplating the life and work of Malcolm X helped me understand the risks of trying to emulate someone else, no matter how great that person may be. If discovering who I am is the way to fulfillment, then by continuing to follow Malcolm, I ran the risk of making my hero’s issues my own.

    “Never Stop” is about self-actualization, love, and inner-peace. There are times when it meanders, but not enough to distract from its narrative thrust. Sana shares all of the pain and shame it took for him to recognize and ultimately address his personal shortcomings. If Nathan McCall’s “Makes Me Wanna Holler” resonated with you in your teens or twenties, then “Never Stop” will speak to you in your thirties and forties.


    Thanks. Do you have a Baldwin favorite?  Does Simba mention any one (s) in particular that had an especially transformative effect on him?

    I love the "Fire Next Time" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain".

    I felt the need to re-read these in the age of Trump, not during Obama.

    Has either of you read The Fire This Time?  If so, what did you think of it?

    It was exciting to see that a new generation was able to make historical connections to the current situation in the US. It is sad to realize that we are still in a society where race impacts everything. I think in an interview the editor noted how exhausting it was to be black in America. There are young people ready to continue the fight. They will do things their way.

    No wonder Baldwin spent so much of his time in France.

    Are there differences you are observing in how young people are doing things?

    Younger blacks are responding in a variety of ways. BlackLivesMatter doesn’t trust either party, similar to Malcolm X. Color of Change is more active in GOTV. However BLM and CoC are able to work together. There are multiple other examples.



    One thing that Trump has done is make some Conservatives come to grips with the pervasive racism in the county.

    In Foreign Policy magazine Max Boot acknowledged his white privilege, something that he scoffed at in the past


    Jennifer Rubin writes about the enablers of the racist in the White House in her column in the Washington Post


    ​There are some bright spots shining from the darkness.

    For the first time that I can recall George Will wrote a favorable column about a black person (albeit one long gone according to most excepting Donald Trump), Frederick Douglass, in today's Washington Post.

    I find it difficult to imagine Will, had he been alive when Douglass was, doing anything other than conceding nothing in the face of Douglass and others' demands.


    I think that some Conservatives realize the terror that is upon us.

    It is fictional, but the scene where Kunte Kinte’s father holds the newborn up to the sky and says “Behold the only thing in the universe greater than you” was beautiful. Finding “self” and realizing our own greatness is a difficult journey. We can have role models, but ultimately we have to model ourselves. Thinks for pointing out this book.

    It was an easy read.

    I just read your piece right after I read this Michelle Obama to frightened Americans: 'All we have is hope' which is currently the #1 story @ The Hill. And it struck me that there are these very similar messages in each.


    "I would just encourage your viewers, the country, to do the things we do every day: to love each other, to take care of each other, to show empathy — and you can’t do that only when people make you feel good or safe," the 54-year-old Obama said, without mentioning President Trump. "We’ve got to do it all across the board."


    Simba had to lose everything in order to rebuild his life around love. He made a conscious effort to critically think about and challenge his personal philosophy and spirituality. When he finally found his place in the world, he chose to, In the words of John Hope franklin, “Use his history and ingenuity, his resources and talents, to combat the forces that isolate[d] him and…contribute to the solution of the problems that all Americans face in common.” 

    It strikes me that the message he's expressing is one that can resonate with all ethnicities and generally, all people. I certainly don't mean to take anything away from his lived experience as a black man, one I will never relate to, nor do I mean any disrespect. Hmm.  I need to pause here.

    Can I not say that everyone needs to understand what he's saying?  Is it offensive if I say that many white Americans feel many of the same emotions and go through much of the same turmoil as he?  Asian Americans?  Mexican Americans?  Indian Americans?  Struggles are individual, but obstacles are too often determined by larger parameters - I understand that.  Yet I believe that the issues faced by a few are ultimately faced by all ... so is it wrong for a white woman to take a black man's voyage to heart?

    The story can resonate with all ethnicities. The problem becomes when we pretend that there aren’t obstacles that are directly related to skin color. Ability to obtain bank loans can be different. Housing loans are different. It is a universal story with some specific challenges.

    There are problems related to skin color, and there are problems related to overall ethnicity as well as different religions, etc..  The list seems to unfortunately grow longer every day.  You are obviously right when you point out the specific problems that specific people face - doesn't the idea of promoting personal stories like this among different communities help with the broader range of understanding?  

    Understanding isn't enough when it comes to the law, however.  More specifically, the application of it in daily life.  Yet again, the list grows longer.  Just as one example, gay people can still be fired from their jobs even if they can marry.  That's obviously not morally right, yet it's legal.  There is discrimination to be found in every corner, rm.  We have to fight them all if we hope to win even a few.

    Who said that we don’t have to fight them all?

    There is an ongoing fight about homophobia in the black community 


    There is a fight about misogyny in the black community 


    I think these fights have to be led by members of the black community. The fight will not end swiftly, but the fight must happen.

    The fight against white racism has to be led from within that community. Silence is not an option on black homophobia or black misogyny. Whites cannot be silent in the face of obvious white supremacy.

    We'll never find even the slightest answer if we look for it in different places.  How in the world can the disparate communities achieve a cohesive solution if they're all going at it individually?  Fighting homophobia, misogyny, racism ... it's not just a "community" necessity.

    There are trust issues between white homosexuals and black homosexuals. The initial fight needs to occur between moral blacks and the black homophones in their midst. Them the fight can be taken outside. White women who come out against black misogynists will find themselves under attack from black women protecting black men from an oppressor.

    Whites have to be openly vocal about racist Trump and his enablers. Show that you can stand up to your problems, then come to the black community.

    Are you aware that there concerns that racism exists within the white Gay community?

    Edited to add link


    I am not Gay. My responses are based on articles not actual experience. The underlying question is why would black Gays trust white Gays anymore than straight blacks trust straight whites?

    Edit to add:

    You may not like hearing about lack of trust, but it is the truth. Think about something as mundane as entertainment awards shows. There are the Grammys and the are the BET Awards. There are the Academy Awards and there are the NAACP Image Awards. Why separate awards shows, because blacks do not trust whites to properly judge black performances. 

    When it comes to issues like misogyny. blacks will not take kindly to white people taking on the task of criticizing black men. Look at the initial responses to Bill Cosby. There was initial support for a white attack on an icon Bill Cosby. Google Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Cosby for verification.

    Why should whites trust blacks? What is it that makes whites inherently untrustworthy and blacks inherently trustworthy? You're working hard to create a divide between whites and blacks. Why should anyone here even trust you as a representative voice of black people? I really couldn't give a shit what you post anymore.

    Then don’t read the posts. I point out that there are different award shows because the awards have had a white bias for decades and you again are butt hurt. 

    Here is an article about the farce of the Grammys when it comes to black artists.


    ​Here is a link to the OscarSoWhite campaign


    There are more Oscar nominees of color after pressure was placed on the nominating organization.

    You can attack me but you can’t deny that there are fairness that arose.

    Are you aware that most humans have two arms, two legs and a head?  Honestly, rm, let's be real.

    You do not see that there are trust issues?

    If we are attacking homophobia and misogyny. Why is there an argument to be silent about the enablers of the racist.President? Even Conservatives are realizing that we need to speak out. Blacks should obviously attack misogynists and homophobes. What are whites required to do about white supramacists?

    Why is there an argument to be silent about the enablers of the racist.President?

    I have yet to see that anywhere on this website. I believe many just find it tiresome to shout about it all the time, that's not what many of us come here for. To me it's very clear most are against racism here, do not deny there are racists in the U.S., just feel we don't have to belabor it all the time; many it seems would rather see how it exhibits itself in other cultures as compared to our own to gain a bigger perspective about human behavior.

    Blacks should obviously attack misogynists and homophobes. 

    Misogyny and homophobia comes in many degrees, it is rarely a black and white situation, no pun intended. So I don't think "attack" is the right word, so it's not obvious to me that black people should "attack" anyone. Read Danny's essay again, is it about "attacking"? Or is it about backing away from that kind of approach?

    What are whites required to do about white supramacists?

    This one is easy:  If I am to take your rhetoric  using the word "required: seriously: NOTHING! 

    White people are not a tribe!  Not only are they not required to do anything about them, they are not responsible for all other white people! 

    And black people are not responsible for all black people!

    We have freedom of thought and even of hate speech in this country and supremacist thought, whether black, white or green is allowed. There are no thought crimes in the U.S. Criminal action as regards the same is what is not allowed.

    Extra added hot news flash: there aren't really any such thing as white people, except for albino's, what you call white people, they actually come in a lot of colors, heritages and backgrounds.

    Black people come in a lot of colors, too, and they also come gay, straight and inbetween.

    Then there's that: they are not all Christians!  You often write as if they are. They might be like: Muslim!  And the latter might be offended to read rmrd saying he and the black Christian churches speak for them! Do you realize you are insulting them by saying "the black community" supports such churches? So are black Muslims part of your "black community?"

    How about someone like the 20-something Barry Obama, the son of a white woman and an African, raised by white Americans in mixed race environments overseas and in Hawaii. Not a drop of American slave history in his blood, nor any inner city experience, rather he saw the poverty of Indonesia growing up. Does he qualify?

    Then there's things like: African immigrants do not always choose to partake of Afro-American culture. Yet they have "black" skin. And even some Afro-Americans do not choose to partake of Afro-American culture, but will rmrd admit to their existence? Nope, they are nobody, they don't exist, he knows all blacks and know what they think.

    I you want to deal in stereotypes, and then pit those stereotypes against each other in a war of agitprop, just seems to me you are doing that at the wrong website. Because people here seem to be into nuance.

    It's your rhetoric, rmrd, that's really all it is. You pound out declarative sentences like you are god himself speaking the truth. About all black people. Rarely a smitten of nuance, and insulting the intelligence of the readers here by pronouncing declarative statements with huge generalizations. And then when someone has the temerity to say: that generalization is not the whole truth , you turn that person into the strawman racist that you clearly imagine you'd like to argue with. 

    All you'd have to do to avoid this is to add a qualifier or two now and then, i.e. I think most black people resent this instead of the black community resents this. But you never do. Always with the inflammatory declarative sentences and generalizations that purport to be the truth.  Which insults the intelligence of the readers here and makes everyone suspect you just want to create racist straw men to argue with. One might almost think you secretly love having Trump around in order to spar with.

    White women who come out against black misogynists will find themselves under attack from black women protecting black men from an oppressor.

    If that's true, then those black women are wrong.  But if, as I suspect, most black women stand for - and protect - the truth, then it's you who are wrong.

    Here is Whoopi Goldberg responding to critics after defending Bill Cosby.


    Part of what goes on is that a decision has to be made if black women want to be a part of a system that criminalizes black men. That suspicion about the legal system has to be balanced against rape charges. Think about the gymnastics black women have to do with rap music. Many songs attack black womanhood. The fight over misogynistic rap is alive and well in the black community. You may be unaware of the conflict.


    White critics of rap are criticized by black women.


    ​This is where we are. Black women are targets of, and defenders of misogynistic black men. The tide may be turning but whites who attack black men, will be attacked. I report facts. You may not like them.

    Most of Cosby's accusers were black women. So apparently black women can't trust Whoppi Goldberg. Here's Goldberg defending Polanski, " I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape." Goldberg is just a rape apologist, doesn't matter if the rapist is black or white. She'd be just as much a dumb ass if she was white.

    But you, who are obsessed with race, see it as a black white issue.

    Once again, you are wrong most of Cosby’s accusers were white women


    Here is an article from VICE noting that Cosby got sympathy because of distrust of the legal system in the black community. That analyst was made by one of his black survivors.


    There is a website that has pictures of 55 Cosby accusers. I am not going to post the link to the pictures here. By my count over 40 of the women are white, just to address your initial statement. You may not like what I am saying, but Cosby did get support because of distrust of the legal system and the skin color of his initial accusers. We can pretend racial bias doesn’t exist, but that would make us liars.

    Ok, so I'm wrong about the number of black victims of Cosby. That doesn't change Goldberg's defense of rapists. It doesn't matter if I like what you say or not. I don't like what a lot of people say here. I just happen to think you are full of shit. Most of what you say are opinions not facts. Just as most of what everyone posts here are opinions. The difference is I know it and you seem to think your opinions are facts. You know exactly what I think of you and your opinions since I've been very clear about it.

    No one here is pretending racism doesn't exist. That's a strawman, your preferred method of argument. But you seem to think everything is about racism and I think that's a lie too. You attempt to add weight to your opinions by claiming status by speaking for the black community. I don't think you are a representative voice of the black community. Nor do I believe every black person thinks alike. Nor does every black woman agree with Goldberg, many disagreed with her rape apology tour and many spoke forcefully against Cosby long history of rape. You are one person, with one set of opinions, just because you're the only black person posting here doesn't mean you speak for all black people nor does it mean you're always right.

    Wow. I’m expressing my opinion. Thanks for letting me know.

    There is little evidence of voter fraud. Several states have used voter ID to suppress votes. Voter ID is the law of the land. Are those laws racist? 

    That question has nothing to do with anything I posted. Why are you trying to change the subject? Why are you unwilling to address the points I make in my posts? This is your modus operandi, to attempt to change the subject when you are confronted on your bullshit. Changing every conversation to a discussion of voter suppression is your favorite diversion topic. There's really no use in answering that question since I've answered it a dozen times already and you never chose to address my comments. You don't really want to discuss it. You only want to lecture us on it.

    I stand by the statement that those who supported Trump were willing to support a racist. I take the same stand for those who cast votes for Roy Moore. From a historical standpoint, I posted a quote from MLK Jr that said that a man of good conscience could not for Barry Goldwater. Goldwater gave aid and comfort to the racists. Trump and Moore make similar appeals.

    The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism...On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represents a philosophy that is morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I have no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that does not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.”


    ​Malcolm X said the same thing about Goldwater

    “Well if Goldwater ever becomes president one thing his presence in the White House will do, it will make black people in America have to face up the facts probably for the first time in many many years,” Malcolm X said. 

    “This in itself is good in that Goldwater is a man who’s not capable of hiding his racist tendencies,” he added. “And at the same time he’s not even capable of pretending to Negroes that he’s their friend.” 

    The Civil Rights icon concluded that should Goldwater be elected, he would inspire black people to fully reckon with “whites who pose as liberals only for the purpose of getting the support of the Negro.” 

    “So in one sense Goldwater’s coming in will awaken the Negro and will probably awaken the entire world more so than the world has been awakened since Hitler,” he said.


    ​Do you think that the comments of these two men would differ about Trump. Don’t you think that King would say that Trump voters were not people of good conscience?

    What does this have to do with anything I posted? Again why are you trying to change the topic? More diversionary tactics. I've already answered the question about whether I think those who voted for Trump were willing to vote for a racist. You should know what I think because I've posted on it a dozen times. But you keep asking it as if it's some winning argument. You never pay attention to what anyone posts here because your only purpose is to look for hooks to attach your agenda items to.

    I read your argument as you saying that I was calling everyone a racist.

    Actually, King and Malcolm on at least one point were disagreeing with one another.  King avers that Goldwater is not himself a racist.  Malcolm, on the other hand, says Goldwater cannot hide his racist tendencies.  I have the sense that you are keen on placing people into one or the other box--they either are, or are not, a racist.  So I would have thought you might have attended to that nuance.  

    I find exchanges that focus on who is and is not a racist generally not helpful.  They mainly serve to increase the likelihood that participants will get their defenses up and either shut down or lash out.

    Institutional or structural racism--or, if you prefer, institutional or structural realities that systematically saddle some, in this case black, people with unjust disadvantages--seems to me a possibly more promising way to talk about race.  One of the books I mentioned on my list of history and current affairs stuff I feel I've benefited from is Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law.  That is what he is writing about and documenting.  

    One of the other books I mentioned is Daria Roithmayr's (also relatively light-skinned) Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock in White Advantage.  Her book is also about institutional or structural racism.  I found it helpful in explaining part of the disjuncture in which blacks report experiencing vastly higher incidence of racism and discriminatory behavior than whites report such treatment towards blacks.  

    In general I'm pretty strongly anti-essentialist when it comes to understanding and trying to make sense of how people construct and experience their identities.  The extent of variation within any particular chosen or self-ascribed identity is large, in part because, in my experiences at any rate, people are multi-faceted and complex and have multiple identities even if they might rather not. 

    The David Hollinger book I mentioned, Postethnic America, IIRC, was making a related point, that the sort of identity freedom many seek, and mean, by multiculturalism in our society is maximum ability to create the identity one wants to create, unhindered or relatively unhindered by the consequences of stereotypes or biases tied to their immutable external features.  Kwame Anthony Appiah is a person of color who has written in a similar vein if I am recalling correctly.  I am eager to read another person of color, Tommie Shelby, whose 2007 We Who are Dark appears to dig into what I think of as related themes of group and individual identity and the relationship between the two for people of color.     

    I cannot see a reason why, say, a white woman who has been sexually assaulted should feel as though she is somehow obliged to elevate attention to racial injustice over attention to the injustices she experiences.  And I think that if you are a black person heard as trying to tell her that your racial issue is more important and deserving of attention than her issue, you might not get the result you are hoping for.  And if you lash out in frustration on that account you may find that you've made the matter worse.  That, too, is reality.

    One might hope that those experiencing injustices might, more often, be more empathetic and sympathetic, and more likely to act, in ways that are responsive to injustices experienced by others.  Of course it doesn't always work out that way, and can work the other way.  Some of the progressive intersectionality people write of the importance of avoiding the Victim Olympics.  Indeed.  Those who are indifferent to or support a continuation of injustices regularly count on being able to divide and conquer by feeding resentments and animosities among those who otherwise might unite to press concerns upon them.

    Bravo!  yes

    So did O.J. Simpson.  His attorneys milked it.  So what are white Americans supposed to do when black Americans attempt to subvert justice?

    Object, like black people do when a man is choke on video by an NYPD officer, or a man caring a toy gun in a Walmart is killed, or when a kid playing with a toy gun in Cleveland is killed, and no police officer is found guilty. The jurors in the OJ case had no trust in law enforcement.

    So, okay, you say you report facts that I may not like.  You also say that I may be unaware of various things.  Fair enough.  But I'll counter that you might just be surprised by what I know.

    I'm putting aside Whoopi because other than her astounding performance in The Color Purple she's no more or less quotable than anyone else.  But what I'm trying to put front and center, rm, is that many of the issues you address as touchstones in the black community are also felt by everyone else in this great big world.  Before you yell - yes, I know.  At least as much as I can know as a white woman.  No, I will never truly understand.  But as a man, can you walk in my woman's uncomfortable shoes?  Must I expect you to in order to ask for your support and understanding?

    And you don't speak for black women ... I'm surprised that I need to tell you that.

    We tiptoe around issues of race. Cosby is a scumbag. I loved the Cosby Show and his comedy skits but I can’t watch the 8 seasons of Cosby in my video library anymore. Cosby got initial sympathy because racism in the legal system made people doubt his accusers. It may be that it would be less likely to happen now after Weinstein, et al. Whoopi did change her position on Cosby (under pressure)

    If you want to really turn your stomach use the Google on R. Kelly and add in harem. The Handmaiden’s is allegedly happening in 2018. I like the beat to much of his music, but I can’t listen anymore. Fortunately, I can’t name a Chris Brown song.

    My point has been that because of suspicion and lack of trust, when Gloria Allred shows up to accuse a black man of rape, there may be some push back. There is a lack of trust that justice will be served. Blacks need to go after the misogynists and homophobes. When Gospel star Kim Burrell preached a homophobic sermon, she quickly was dropped by music impresario Pharrell, and lost a radio show. Whites need to be leading the charge in calling out the white supremacist in the White House. Silence is not an option for either of us. Blacks are going to be more effective going after the crappy people in their midst. Whites are going to be more effective challenging the white racists in their areas.

    Kim Burrell link


    Regarding black women, I did provide links to black women’s voices.

    Regarding black women, I did provide links to black women’s voices.

    No, it's okay ... wait.  I'll be there in a minute ...  What the f-ck did he say??

    rmrd0000, there is no such thing as a link to anyone's voice.


    Lol, links to articles written by black women. 

     I report facts

    hah, ridiculous, not here you're not. Those links are all opinions of individual blacks. You are reporting opinions that support the narrative you want to tell right now. There's plenty of other opinions out there that support a much more complex and complicated attitude towards Bill Cosby as part of Afro-American culture, like this LA. Times piece rounding up a bunch of opinions Just for one example, you're conveniently leaving out all the old stuff where he was seen as an oreo suck up to ruling white culture, a scold of the black underclass to hit the books. How old are you? It seems from what you say that you are young enough to have been a big fan of the Cosby show. I was too busy to watch TV when it was popular, but I do very much remember many politically active blacks despising him being a sell out to mainstream culture by the time he was doing that show. A lot of lefty whites wouldn't be caught dead watching him by that time, either. Since "I Spy" he was no longer considered 100% "black". 

    But forget all that.

    i believe your real problem is the rhetoric you use: you think declarative sentences that sound like angry protest chants make something the truth. You could benefit a lot from studying Danny Cardwell's writing style more carefully for tips on how to win friends and influence people. Do you see people challenging him like they challenge you?

    Most of the members here are into nuance and most of us appreciate it when someone brings more nuance to something we are commenting on.  But with you, when they try to introduce nuance, you immediately turn them into an adversary. Because you want call and response, or argument, nothing inbetween.

    What you don't seem to realize is that these facts, opinions really that you represent as facts, that you are bringing to the table are presented in a way that is insulting to the intelligence of the members here. All members here are extremely well read people, most know most of this stuff you mistakenly think we don't, and your commentary surrounding the links you provide treat the readers here like idiots in from like a district in Appalachia that voted 90%. I'm not an Appalachian, I've lived in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop, for over 30 years. Furthermore I have Afro-American, African immigrant, and mixed race family members. I'd venture a guess most of the members here have black friends or acquaintances who would not agree that you speak for them.

     No one is supporting racism or racists here, so you have to make a straw man to fight with. If you're looking for an adversary, you need to go to a white supremacist website, they are not here. Even the lone Trump supporter, the unregistered Peter, doesn't defend the racist angle.

    Here's some fact,a real genuine facts: you are one person and as far as I know an election was not held for you to represent  all blacks nor the "Afro-American community".  Heck, we do not know what you look like, we have no verification that you even have black skin. Your words are all we got. You could be a sock puppet white suprematist trying to make blacks look bad. You sometimes seem on the verge of that. 

    It's just my opinion as someone with decades of experience with sites like this, but I think you would run into a heck of a lot less discord if in your commenting you tried something like this: I feel that most blacks are offended by ***** instead of Blacks are offended by. It's mainly your rhetoric, the way you present everything as a declarative statement to either be opposed or supported, that's just not what most members are into here. They are for the most part very respectful of opinions. But you don't present things as opinions.


    Is saying that there shouldn’t be outreach to unenthusiastic voters nuanced?

    I've never seen you explain exactly what you mean by outreach. At times it seems as if you want all the white people you imagine run the Dem party come and beg blacks in inner cities to vote.  If that's the case, there's several problems with that. Because of gerrymandering, and with presidential electoral college , inner city votes in national races aren't likely to help the Dem party that much and they only have so much money to spend. More voters in the Bronx where I live would not have helped defeat Trump, doesn't matter what color they are. My vote didn't make a difference, I voted for the local races.

    If on the other hand it's the case that you think that the Dem party is not addressing the special interest concerns of urban blacks, I've got one answer: more of them should join the party, work in it and run for office. They can win, it's proven, we've all cited examples.

    I come from an Independent perspective,the Dems don't represent me any more than the GOP does,  I give a shit about the parties, but if you care about the makeup of a political party, join it and work at changing it.

    That's the way it's supposed to work! They are not the elected government, for crying out loud, they are a political party. They don't owe anybody but the card carrying active members a single thing. Yeah, they are out to sell people on voting for them. But getting votes that won't help them win according to the rules is an exercise in futility. I guarantee you that black candidates care mostly about swing districts, too.

    The way you have worded your complaints in the past without any specifics, just sounds like whining to me. Nobody is preventing blacks from working in the Dem party to change it.

    The Dem party panders to swing districts because that is the reality of our country's politics, you need to win those districts to win national offices.

    While it may not have helped in the Bronx. GOTV could have helped defeat Trump in other states

    While I hate to participate in the hijacking of Danny's fine book review I have to ask RMRD my favorite question for him here:

    RMRD - when reaching out to African American communities, what policies should Democratic politicians embrace in order to persuade a higher percentage blacks to vote for them?

    Note: It is not a sufficient answer to refer to the 2016 Democratic National Platform. That was a purely political document designed to placate as many constituencies as possible without hamstringing Clinton in any meaningful way. Again, what should Democrats running for office say to blacks about jobs, housing, health care, education, policing, foreign policy, the environment?

    HSG - Are you familiar with the phrase "no taxation without representation?"

    I am far more interested in Ben Jealous' stand. Have you inquired with him about campaigning and his outreach in black communities in Maryland?

    HSG - do you feel any camaraderie with the black citizens of Maryland? Are there needs for representation valid?


    The Cosmopolitan's Handbook - for the nuanced racist. Ocean-Kat said that being called a racist is a compliment these days...so your welcome.

    AA - your that relative that Afro- American family members love the most. Are they allowed at the main table?

    I never said that. Are you a liar or are you incapable of understanding what you read? I said that rmrd calls everyone and everything racist so when rmrd calls someone a racist it has almost become a compliment. So once again I ask, Are you a liar or is your reading comprehension extremely low?

    there's a story that WaPo's editors are promoting right now that might interest you:

    Made from the same clay: How Marion Barry’s wife bonded with the white artist honoring him

    At first, the former D.C. mayor’s widow was uncertain about the city’s selection of Steven Weitzman to create a bronze statue of her husband: “You’re doing a statue of Marion Barry and you can’t find a person of color to do it?” Then she began working with him, and her attitude changed.

    Apologies, Danny, for my part in steering the conversation away from your wonderful dissemination of "Never Stop".  You've done an impressive job of presenting it here, and it's appreciated.

    Thanks Danny. Great essay. Edit to add: Very inspiring too. I will be heading to my library this afternoon.

    Simba Sana was inspired by Alex Haley and James Baldwin. His life is a celebration. Can we celebrate a black survivor. Do we diminish his story by saying it is universal, or do we enhance his life by making it universal? Sana has a great story and adds to the culture. It recognizes inspirations from others but the need to define self. 

    Zinfandel vineyards in Napa actually contain a variety of grapes. There’s is often Petite Sirah, Carignan, and Mourvèdre. The blend has universal appeal.


    The individual grapes tell their own story in the wine. The grapes are also able hold their own.



    Petit Sirah


     Mataro (Mourvèdre)


    The blend is good and universal. The individual grapes tell there own beautiful story. It takes more time to savor the three wines as opposed to the one. But we would miss the message sent by the individual grapes.

    Sana ‘s story can be appreciated on its own as a beautiful story. There are other stories we could miss by labeling Sana universal and moving on. We miss the individual expression. It is a beautiful stand alone story. 

    In a melting pot we need to hear the stories of Latinos, Asians, males, females, Gays, etc. to appreciate what makes the blend in the culture.


    Inspiring read. Thanks Danny.

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