When I read and see folks like Sheriff David Clark (Minnesota), the cop in Brooklyn and Peggy Hubbard taking a stand against the Black Lives Matter movement it saddens me. This is another case of black men and women who have no clue about their own history! Clark, Hubbard, the Brooklyn cop and others like them claim “Black Lives Don’t Matter”. I can only pray for them.
These are the kind of black folks that Russ Limbaugh, CNN, Fox News and the GOP prey on to spread the ignorance to our children who have no clue as it relates to Black History. And these idiots become their teachers in this important Game Called Life.
There is no one to tell them that their ancestors were Kings and Queens and not hoodlums and thugs like the ones that they see us portrayed as on the internet, in the nation’s newspapers and on national television.
I have been on both sides of the fence. 2015 marked 50 years I have been working in the war zones of DC, Maryland and Virginia with youth gangs and at-risk children (Kids In Trouble, Inc.). My two brothers were cops (U. S. Marshall and DC). My mentor was DC Superior Court Judge, Luke Moore. He was the first modern day U. S. Marshall in-charge appointed by the President of the United States of America. My dear and close friend Andrew Johnson was a top DC Homicide detective in the 60s and retired as supervisor with the DEA (we were teammates in high school and in the community). Former Detroit FBI Director Wayne Davis and I worked together in the streets of DC during the 1968 riots. This brother knew Black Lives Mattered before today’s organization, he tried to save DC Mayor Marion Barry, if he had listened “The Bitch would have never set him up”!
I have seen the GOOD, BAD and UGLY up close and personal. During the riots I worked side by side with DC cops and military personnel with only a DC police badge and God to protect me.
Deputy Chief Timon O’Byrant was only one of two black administrators in the DCPD in the 60s. He swore me in roll-call in what is now known as the 3rd District HQ. He thought that since I was a high profile personality in the community I might be able to save some child’s life. I was not a happy camper with a police badge, but could not say “No”. I knew he cared about the community and he had proved to me “That Black Lives Matter”.
My two brothers were good cops, but the cowards and bullies they worked with did not want “Good Cops” in their work place. They had to face the “Them against us mentality”. My brothers had to fight for their careers because of ‘The Thin Blue Line and the Code of Silence’. There were also a bunch of cowards from DC in the line of command who lacked balls to take a stand and went along to get along.
The CODE and LINE was established by members of the KKK who infiltrated the departments in the early years to protect and cover up the brutality committed by white policemen against black people across America.
The FOP is the modern day affiliate of the KKK. My question to all black men and women who oppose Black Lives Matter, when was the last time you heard a President of any FOP chapter admit in the murder of a black man and say ‘That was a bad shooting’? Never in the history of the department!
I am a native Washingtonian (4th Generation) now living in adjoining Prince Georges County, Maryland for the past 40 years. When it comes to police brutality PG County is one the most brutal police departments in the country ranking closely with LA and NY City. They were under FBI watch for decades.
I have yet to see a member of the PG County Police Department pull over and give a white person a ticket. The proof is in the pudding, on any given morning you can attend the Upper Marlboro Courthouse and take a seat in traffic court and there you will find 10 black faces to every one white face. I have yet to encounter a cop in DC or PG County make a group of whites sit on the ground in handcuffs and I am not one just sitting around watching the news.
A law-enforcement Alert; you were not DRAFTED into this job—you volunteered–the exact same message I passed on to my late brothers. I lost my younger brother Earl two years ago as a result of The Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence.
I will bet you a dollar to a donut that 90% of today’s active cops have no clue to who Patrick Murphy was or Frank Serpico (I worked with Mr. Murphy in DC). Evidently, Sheriff Clark, Ms. Hubbard and the Brooklyn cop are not aware in 1968 the Kerner Report was established by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate unrest in America among blacks and whites—their findings, “We are headed for two Americas, one black and one white, separate and unequal”! This was almost 50 years ago we were given “A heads-up”.
My brothers and sisters who don’t think Black Lives Matter, you need to do your HOME WORK, because it is best to be thought a fool then to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt! Furthermore, members of our police departments are ranked No. 1 when it comes to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AMERICA! Silence is sometimes golden–Wake Up Everybody.
In a recent published column NBA legend Michael Jordan stated “I can no longer stay silent as men of color are shot down in streets across American and cowards ambush police officers who sacrifice their lives everyday”. Evidently, Jordan’s conscience won out, his father was the victim of gun violence. His decision to cross The Thin Blue Line and break his Code of Silence is nothing new for the black athlete. He is finally catching up with today’s out spoken Cleveland Cavalier star Labron James. Jordan donated one-million dollars to the NAACP Defense Fund and another million to the newly found Police Institute. The donation to the NAACP maybe a waste of money, this has not been my wife Hattie father’s NAACP for decades (President Orangeburg,S.C. chapter), the Police Institute remains to be seen. The best way to describe Jordan’s donation “Safe bet”!
The names Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens, Paul Roberson, Jackie Robinson and the list goes on and on when it comes to athletes taking a stand. Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight Champion of the world. He won the title in 1908 and he was free in every sense of the word. He thumped his nose at the KKK and openly dated white women. Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens won four Gold Medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in spite of the cry of white supremacy by Adolph Hitler. He single handedly crushed the myth in Berlin, Germany with Hitler watching in a private box. Paul Roberson is considered one of the greatest all-around athletes in American history. He starred in football at Rutgers University. He was also a star in both stage and film versions of the Emperor Jones and Show Boat, and established himself as a popular screen and singing superstar. Paul spoke out against racism and became a world activist and was blacklisted during the paranoia of McCarthyism created by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. The harsh reality of racism took a toll on the great Jackie Robinson after he crossed the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. In 2016 you need a “Search Warrant” to find an African-American in uniform and there are still no black owners.
The uproar caused by the five NFL St. Louis players supporting Michael Brown in Ferguson again was nothing new when it comes to the black athlete in modern day history. They were not re-inventing the wheel. In the late 50s NFL legendary running back Jim Brown founded the Black Economic Union to encourage black athletes to give back to the black community and establish their own businesses. He was the leading force of the black athlete’s involvement in support of Muhammad Ali’s stand against the Vietnam War. According to former NFL coach and Cleveland Brown front office administrator Mike Holmgren , Jim was nothing but a “Hustler!”
In the 1968 Olympic Games sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos won the Gold and Bronze medals respectively. But their actions during the award ceremonies made the world take notice. They both raised their hands with Black Gloves opposing racism in America. Dr. Harry Edwards of San Jose State is the author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete and was the architect of the 1968 Olympic Project for Human Rights. Smith and Carlos were student/athletes at San Jose State. They were both banished from the Olympic Games and until this day The Olympic Committee has yet to issue an apology for this wrong.
Dr. Edwards was once an outstanding athlete on the San Jose State track and field team. He has been a contributor to The Original Inside Sports for over four decades.
When former NBA great and ESPN analyst Charles Barkley’s interview on CNN went viral as it related to his opinion on black men in America/Michael Brown and Ferguson. I contacted Dr. Edwards to make sense of the uproar. I also spoke to Michael Wilbon of ESPN to get his take on his friend Barkley’s views on racism and black men in America. Wilbon has agreed that we can disagree!
He has written two books on Charles Barkley. He said “Harold I didn’t hear the interview but I will see Charles tomorrow and I will get a response!” I turned to ESPN’s PTI to watch Wilbon and his partner Tony Kornheiser, but during that segment of the show there was no mention of Kenny Smith’s Open Letter to Barkley chastising him for his stand so I moved on.
This was Dr. Harry Edwards’ take on Barkley and Wilbon: “I love Charles Barkley– as long as he is sitting on the sports desk at TNT trying to explain why the Clippers will never win a championship as long as their toughest, most consistently competitive player is a 6’1″ point guard. But when he begins to offer jaw-dropping ignorant and uninformed opinions on issues from Obama’s Syria/ISIS policy to the “criminal” predispositions and proclivities of the Black community, I find something more productive to do like taking out the garbage or cleaning up my lawn. And the saddest part of it all is that he apparently doesn’t realize that the networks and interviewers are just flat out CLOWNING HIM!!! It’s a “What crazy crap can we prompt Barkley to say. And all the better if it is an attack on Black people!”
The “guess what Charles Barkley said on CNN” is incentive enough for the networks to persist in presenting and promoting this clown show– long past the time when it is either funny or even remotely engaging. Now both Barkley and the interviewers look like clowns– and justifiably so.”
Forget Michael Wilbon – he is as sick and confused as Barkley. He is the guy who while sitting on a major cable network anchor desk said ” I call my Black friends “Nigger” all the time – and there is nothing wrong with that.” This is a sentiment that Barkley agrees with– until the White boy sitting next to them calls somebody “Nigger” and then they want him fired! So don’t hold your breath for Wilbon to exercise either the balls or the intellectual integrity to challenge Barkley on his bull shit.
Dr. Harry Edwards
Jeff Roorda business manager of a white St. Louis Police Association called for disciplinary action against the five NFL St. Louis players whose “Hands Up” gesture was an expression of their Freedom of Speech as they ran on to the field of play. He demanded that the players be punished and that the team issue an “public apology.” Roorda has a history of corruption as a St. Louis police officer.
In the meantime, the black Ethical Society of Police (220 members strong) said, “We completely supports the actions of the St. Louis Rams football players in which they showed support for the family of Michael Brown by entering the stadium with their hands up.”
I had the opportunity to listen to the videotaped debate between Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith on Inside the NBA held on Thursday night. The topic, Kenny’s Open Letter to Barkley as it related to Michael Brown and Ferguson. I was further confused by Barkley’s response to Smith for adding the word “Slavery” to the dialogue in his Open Letter, but he found nothing wrong with his friend Michael Wilbon using the word ‘Nigger’ as his word of choice while addressing his everyday buddies? What ever happen to common sense?
My opinion, Kenny had every right to bring slavery into the conversation. There is an old saying “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it.” It is evident to me that Barkley does not know his black history. Shaq O’Neal made a valid observation when he said, “I don’t believe all the evidence is in the Ferguson case” but he was smart enough to leave the debate in the hands of Smith and Barkley. Shaq is a big supporter of law enforcement.
Any objective person no matter the color of one’s skin could easily see that black folks in the town of Ferguson were set-up to fail—they were in a no win situation. Still burning and looting should not have been an option.
First, it does not take a Grand Jury 100 days to reach a decision on whether Officer Darren Wilson should be send to trial. Second, why would the Governor of the state of Missouri put 400 National Guardsmen on standby before the decision is handed down and why is the decision read at 9:00 pm? Why would a responsible leader put the town in danger by giving the looters an opportunity to seek and destroy under a cover of darkness? Where were the 400 National Guardsmen that the Governor put on alert once the burning and looting started—nowhere to be found? Why were there no arrest made on the first night of the looting and burning? Smells like a set-up to me. The same set-up I was an eye/witness to in DC in 1968 when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.
I was working in the U Street corridor when the orders were send down to the police to only moderate the looting and burning on the first day. The next day there were wholesale arrest, much too late for many businesses and residents of the inner-city—they had lost everything! A piece of Black History Charles Barkley knows absolutely nothing about because of his hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil mentality.
Charles Barkley claims without the police many black communities would be like “The Wild, Wild West!” And his most ridiculous observation ‘I don’t think the death of Eric Garner was a homicide.”
Garner was the black man choked to death on a New York street corner while selling loose cigarettes. He died while six white cops wrestled him to the ground, one had an illegal choke hold barred by the NYPD. He said several times to his attackers, “I can’t breathe.” But no one was listening. The Grand Jury freed the white cop.
But there are still claims that body cameras are the solution to police brutality but when the crime was caught on camera the guilty cop still gets a free pass. Something is wrong with this picture!
I have spent 50 years working in the schools, streets, playgrounds and courts here in the DMV. I have seen the Good, Bad and the Ugly in law enforcement. There are some goods cops but they are outnumbered by the bad and ugly. The bad and ugly are usually the cowards who hide behind their guns and badges. In today’s world it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish the thugs from the cops. Some people say, “They are one of the same.”
For some reason beyond me the Powers-To-Be can’t see the Big Picture when it comes to police brutality in this country. No amount of body cameras are going to solve the Ebola like disease of racism embedded in police departments throughout this country. “The Code of Silence and The Blue Wall” was established to protect crooked and corrupt cops are the real problems. Plus, the criminal justice system is overrun with judges who go along to get along with the corrupt cops (Baltimore). Until we can find a way to change the plantation mentality thinking of Charles Barkley and the “Us against Them” attitudes of cops around the country, we are going to continue going in circles while the Jim Browns, Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons are allowed to keep hustling the black community pretending to keep hope alive while our children and men of color die in our streets.
THE THIN BLUE LINE AND CODE OF SILENCE RULES THE ROOST!
Robert Alfred Bell (U. S. Marshall 20 years) and Sgt. Earl k. Bell (DC Cop 14 years) were 4th generation Washingtonians and were raised in Mt. Airy Baptist Church in NW Washington, DC. Their Great-Grand Father Alfred Johnson Tyler laid the first brick to built the church in 1893.
The Tyler House built for low income senior residents is located two blocks north of the church and is named after their Great-Uncle, the Rev. Earl Tyler.
“Serpico” the movie was based on the non-fictional book by Peter Maas, the film follows about twelve years (1959-1971) in the life of Frank Serpico, a NYPD officer who wanted to do the best that he could as a policeman. Working as a uniform patrolman, Serpico completed every assignment.
He moves to plain clothes assignments, where he slowly uncovers cops doing drugs, taking paybacks and other criminal actions that fall under corruption. Serpico decides to tell others the truth about this, but other officers make it hard for him to tell the truth and threaten him with termination and other kinds of punishment.
The struggle leads to fights in his unit, problems in his personal relationships, a near death experience, and the final meeting with the Knapp Commission, which met to investigate police corruption between 1970 and 1972: it disbanded before the release of the film.
Frank Serpico’s struggle with corruption in the New York City Police Department brings mirrors a DC cop, his name, Sgt. Earl K. Bell.
The movie made its debut in 1973 and Earl K. Bell joined the DC Metropolitan Police Department in 1974.
If I did not know my brother I would swear he copied his style of policing from the movie, but I know better because he was raised by his heroes to be an independent thinker. His heroes were his mother Mattie Bell and grandmother and the family matriarch, Amy Tyler Bell affectionately known as “Grandma Bell.”
Earl and I were raised in a NE housing project call Parkside in the 40s and 50s by a single mom and a devoted grandmother. My older brother Robert was raised by Grandma Bell. Our father Alfred Bell was a “Dead Beat Dad” right out of the box. The singing group the Temptations described him best with their chart busting Number One hit “Poppy Was a Rolling Stone.”
Too long there has been a myth that a black woman needed a black man to properly raise black children—Mattie Bell and Grand Ma Bell proved that was a lie many decades ago.
The lessons of integrity and honesty taught by our mother Mattie and Grandma Bell would later surface during our adulthood, Earl as a U. S. Military Policeman and DC cop and Robert as a tire salesman and grocery store owner.
In Germany Earl led a group of black enlisted men in a boycott to downtown nightclubs that discriminated against blacks.
In the July 1969 July issue of Jet Magazine it chronicled his trials and tribulations in the military as he fought for his and other enlisted men’s civil and human rights. The story also insinuated that I was visiting the White House with Richard M. Nixon and playing footsy with the President while his little brother was fighting racism in the U. S. Army.
The truth was his big brother was visiting the White House because during his youth he caddied at the Burning Tree Golf Club in Bethesda, Maryland on the weekends. It was there the Vice-President and his brother became mentor and mentee which led me to a Presidential appointment.
During our youth my brother Earl and I carried bags of food at the Safeway and I caddied on the weekends to help our mother make ends meet.
Our introduction to cops will never be forgotten. We watched while cops conducted weekend raids on our house in the wee hours of the morning. My welfare mother held card games and cut a dime on every dollar won. She also sold dinners and bootleg liquor to help make ends meet.
My brother Earl and I would sit on the steps and watch as the cops carried my mother out in handcuffs, the charge selling liquor and gambling without a license. We would sit there crying our eyes out, but she would look back and promise us “I will be back in time to get you to church in the morning” and she always was.
There were other encounters with the police. I remember there was a time when no food was in the house. Earl and I decided to travel to the other side of the tracks to the Safeway to earn enough money to buy some food. This was a weekday and there were few shoppers in the store. We decided to shoplift for our food and we left the store with lunch meats, hotdogs and cheese stuffed in our shorts and jackets.
Earl and I were about to cross the tracks to our housing project when a police car cut us off and two white cops threw us in the back seat of the car and sped off. They were calling us all kinds of niggers and the like. We thought someone had snitched on us and we were in big trouble caught red-handed with the stolen goods.
In the meantime, we were taking our new found meal and hiding it under the seat of the car. We arrived at the 14th Police Precinct District on Benning Road NE and were hustled and pushed into a room where there was a little old white lady who claimed she had been robbed by two niggers. Without hesitation she jumped straight up out of her seat and said “Those are not the niggers.” The word nigger never sounded so good!
The cops then took us to the back door and told us to stay out of trouble and to walk our black asses’ home. We walked about 50 yards and looked at each other and headed back to the police car and got our food from under the car seat. We laughed all the way home.
In 1958 we became homeless after our mother suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized. Earl was sent to Cedar Knoll (a reform school for juveniles) and I wandered the streets sleeping in park cars. I never missed a day of school because of my coach Dave Brown and a school of dedicated teachers led our Principal Dr. Purvis Williams.
One year later my older brother was on his way to college and Earl was released from custody of the juvenile court system. In 1959 coach Dave Brown convinced Winston-Salem State College coach Clarence Bighouse Gaines to give me a football and basketball scholarship.
In 1960 Earl hitched hiked all the way to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to watch his big brother play his second year of college football. I was a rising star under the critical eyes of “Bighouse”.
It was homecoming when Earl arrived on campus out of nowhere only to witness his big brother never get off the bench. Winston-Salem State beat Elizabeth City like they had stole something. He later discovered his brother’s smart mouth had him in “Bighouse’s Dog House.” He caught a ride back to DC with friends. Earl graduated from Spingarn in 1961 and the next thing anyone knew; he had made the smartest move of his life—he joined the U. S. Army.
Earl ended his Army career after 8 years plus and returned home to DC, but not before leaving his mark as a heavyweight boxing champion, table tennis champion, outstanding softball umpire and leader of a boycott of a downtown night club that discriminated against black enlisted men.
It became apparent the Army had no use for an outspoken black man who refused to walk with his back bent and head down.
In 1970 he told his brother that he was interested in a career as a DC Metropolitan Policeman. The brother had been working in the streets with youth gangs and at-risk children since 1965 (United Planning Organization and DC Recreation Department) had mixed emotions about his brother’s career choice, but reluctantly gave him his blessings.
The turn-around of his life was impressive. As a youth Earl was definitely a juvenile delinquent going to hell in a hurry. His crew included a petty thief by the name of Dave Bing who is now in the NBA Hall of Fame and was the Mayor of Detroit. His pursue of a career in law enforcement puzzled many of his former “Boys in the hood.” He suddenly would become ‘The Man’ on their turf with the power to lock them up.
Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Bill Raspberry picks up the story from here:
REJECT WINS APPEARL
July 18, 1970
Becoming a Washington policeman is not a new idea with Earl Bell. The 230-pound six-footer has been thinking about it for a long time.
But he almost didn’t make it.
“I’ve been interested in police work for years,” he said. “That’s really what I had in mind when I took those courses (at the University of Maryland’s overseas branch) in Germany.” The courses included criminology (in which he made an “A”), juvenile delinquency (“B”) and sociology and psychology (both “C”).
But until yesterday, Bell was wondering whether he would ever wear that policeman’s uniform.
He has a juvenile record. Bell who took his college courses as a solder, got out of the Army in December after 81/2 years. His idea was to return to his native Washington and join the police force.
I didn’t think I’d have any trouble,” he said. My Army record looks good; in fact, I have two good conduct citations. I don’t have any adult record at all; the only thing in my background that looks bad is my juvenile record and they’re not even supposed to take that into consideration.”
He is right on that score. Juveniles are not found guilty or innocent in the District. Rather, they are adjudicated to have been involved or not involved in offenses against the law, but as the DC Code points out:
An Adjudication is not deemed a conviction of crime ……(and) does not operate to disqualify a child in any future civil-service examination, appointment, or application for public service under either the government of the United States or of the District of Columbia.”
That seems pretty plain. But Jim Murray, the personnel director who has been one of the bright spots in the administration of Police Chief Jerry V. Wilson, thinks the framers of that law “probably didn’t have the police department in mind.”
He intimated that it is not particular unusual for police applicant to be denied an appointment on account of his juvenile record, in apparent contravention of the law.
Murray did say, however that Bell’s rejection was premature, the result of a mix-up. He explained it this way; Bell, who has been working as a correctional officer at the DC jail, passed both the written and physical examinations for the police force. His application then went to a sergeants’ review board for study, a routine step.
But the three-man sergeants’ panel, apparently re-acted to Bell’s juvenile record, refused to recommend him, and the case was forwarded —again routinely—-to Lt. Maurice Turner, chief of the recruiting section.
Turner said the next step should have been a conference between himself and Murray. Instead, “Some clerk in my office” sent Bell a form letter telling him that he had been rejected. A check mark appeared next to a paragraph that said: “Our character investigation reveals sufficient adverse material to disqualify you.”
The “adverse material” according to Bell, consists of two petty larceny charges and a disorderly conduct when he was 14 and charges of yoke robbery and assault on a police officer when he was 16.
“They say it is because one of the crimes involved a crime of violence, that’s the reason they disqualified me,” he said. “But the juvenile court judge ruled that I was ‘not involved’ in the robbery or the police assault. I was found ‘involved’ in the one of the petty larcenies and the disorderly conduct.”
What it boils down to, then, is that Bell was in danger or being denied appointment on the basic of a juvenile offense of which he was in essence, found innocent.
Fortunately, the case was brought to Murray’s personal attention and the “mix-up” has been straightened out. Bell will become a rookie officer next week, Murray said yesterday.
Still unresolved, however, is the question of turning down applicants—-because they have juvenile records. That’s one Murray might want to look into.
Footnote: If you believe Lt. Maurice Turner (later Chief) and Jim Murray’s version of this charade I have some property I would like to sell you located around the White House!
I never forget where I was and what I was doing on the morning when I got the news of the accident. My alarm had just gone off in my apartment in Prince Georges County, Maryland and the telephone rang. It was my nephew Kenny with the bad news that my brother had been in a bad accident on the way to work.
The accident took place 10 minutes from my resident off of the Suitland Parkway. My route to SE Community Hospital took me directly to Southern Avenue where the accident occurred. Southern Avenue crosses over the parkway. The bridge had ice on it and my brother’s car went airborne head on into a 16 wheel truck.
Earl’s car looked like a crushed can of soup I don’t know how they managed to cut him out of that car. When I arrived at the hospital I was told by the doctors it didn’t look good. Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam picks up the story from there.
MONDAY APRIL 2, 1984
”I’m coming up on the rough side of the mountain,” declares a popular gospel song. That theme of the struggle and survival could well be the motto of a veteran Metropolitan Police Department sergeant named Earl K. Bell. His career has been punctuated by ups and downs:
First his superiors’ commendations, and then what he saw as their unofficial censure. “His only problem,” said one of his friends on the force, “he was too honest.”
But three weeks ago the vicissitudes of his career were put on hold—-perhaps forever. Sgt. Bell, 44, had a new fight: a struggle for his life. Driving to work March 14, his car hit an ice patch on the Southern Avenue and Suitland Parkway SE over pass bridge and his vehicle careened into a sixteen wheeler cargo truck traveling in the opposite direction. They cut him out of the car and rushed him to Greater SE Hospital. His entire chest was smashed, his legs were lifeless and he was suffering from internal bleeding with a clot on his brain. Surgeons operated for six hours and one called it the most traumatized case he had seen.
While Bell lay fighting for his life, the corridor outside his hospital was decked with so much brass that it looked like a top level meeting of the city’s police force. Police Chief Maurice Turner visited half times; Assistant Chief Marty Tapscott and Deputy Chief Rodell M. Catoe and dozens of police officers also came. They thronged the visitor’s lounge and brought food to Bell’s family.
“It was unbelievable,” said Bell’s Brother Harold, host of radio station WYCB’s ‘Inside Sports.’
“The people at the hospital were trying to figure out who he was. The top brass might not have always liked him but they respected him. It was a heck of a time to rally around. I appreciated it, but I said to one, where you when he needed you?”
Where was Bell’s superiors when he needed them seems to be a matter of interpretation. Bell’s friends feel he was penalized for not “playing the game.” Police officials disagree.
Bell started out in his own neighborhood in far North east then worked in upper northwest where he was promoted to sergeant. It was at 6001 Georgia Avenue (the Fourth District) that he got involved in a celebrated local case. In 1978, Bell was one of two officers who complained to their superiors that fellow officer Tommy C. Musgrove allegedly had beaten a man while he was in custody at the police station on a disorderly conduct charge. The man reported the alleged beating; a grand jury returned an indictment against the officers who was sentenced to a year in jail—only Musgrove served time the white officer never served a day.
In a retrial, however, Musgrove was found innocent. In the months that followed the deaths of several men in police custody have brought increased scrutiny to the use of force by police officers. But in 1978 the indictments and conviction of a city police officer as a result of brutality was unusual.
“Ever since that incident they turned Bell up one side and down the other,” said Goldie Johnson, President of the Metropolitan Washington Wives Association. “When he saw officers abusing citizens’ rights, he began to report it.”
Sgt. Irving Downs of the Sixth District recalls that Bell once blew the whistle on a group of officers assigned to apprehend stolen autos and bogus license tags who were harassing people by taking legitimate tags off cars.
“He didn’t go along with it…..he got the foot beat and was told to keep quiet but he wouldn’t. His principles was stronger than the job,” said downs.
Police spokesmen say they don’t know of Bell getting any assignment that was not one sergeant are normally required to perform. The spokesmen added that there are many police officers who stop bad things from happening.
Bell’s 14 years on the force have been marked by continued fighting for his beliefs. At the time of the accident, he had been transferred again after an alleged dispute with a lieutenant.
Doctors are guardedly optimistic about Bell’s recovery but whether he will ever return to police work is in question. His friends and family say the sergeant is still climbing up the rough side of the mountain. Only now, they add, he has broadened his motto to include another line from the song. It goes: “I’m holding onto God’s unchanging hand.”
Note Worthy: My brother Robert faced the same Code of Silence and Thin Blue Line as a U. S. Marshall, but unlike DC brass and homeboys Maurice Turner, Issac Fulwood and Marty Tapscott, former U. S. Marshall in Charge, Luke C. Moore had his back. I slept in the visitor’s lounge of the SE Community Hospital for two weeks straight until my brother Earl came out of the ICU. His wife and children seldom visited. He finally succumbed to his injuries August 2014 alone in a Bethesda Hospital.
FREDRICK DOUGLAS MEETS BEYONCE AND JESSE WILLIAMS!
“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” was presented in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852. It has come down to us as a classic in rhetoric, oratory and literature.
Douglass had moved to Rochester 1847 and almost immediately began publishing a weekly newspaper called The North Star. In 1852, he was invited by the local Anti-Slavery Society to address the “meaning” of America’s “Independence Day” as it applied specifically to black people. In attendance were between 500 and 600 mostly white people, each paying 12½ cents to hear him and he gave them their money’s worth and more.
Frederick Douglas’s Independence Day Speech 1852.
“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”
– Frederick Douglass, July 5, 1852
On this July 5, 2016 morning after, Beyonce and Jesse’s acts of defiance are a distant second and third when compared to Frederick Douglas, but never the less the recognition was deserved.
Beyonce Knowles and Jesse Williams are Black America’s latest and newest entertainment heroes.
She caught white America completely off guard with her Super Bowl performance in January 2016 when she honored Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. The problem, the 1% had no control because she didn’t ask for their permission.
Ditto: Jesse Williams won the Bet Humanitarian Award. He is an actor on Grey’s Anatomy television show. His acceptance speech was not scrutinized and edited by the white own Viacom before the fact.
Dr. Boyce Watkins’ Face Book post reads “Jesse Williams proves he is not scared of white folks”
I wonder why an intelligent man like Dr. Boyce Watkins makes it sound like Jesse Williams is the only black man who is not scared of white folks! Dr. Watkins is another one of those “Educated Fools” in our community who should be thought a fool and not open his mouth and remove all doubt.
It looks like he is watching too much Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Charles Barkley, and the other paid for hire clowns who perform for the major media outlets on America’s television screens.
Let us not forget Paul Roberson, Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Harry Belafonte, Michael Jackson, and Prince, they were not afraid of white folks and neither is Dick Gregory. But still in 2016 the VIACOM/BET Awards are still being exclusive instead of inclusive.
I stopped watching BET the popular awards show for black folks for the simple reason, they kept recycling the same old black folks every year. They made it seem like they were the only ones doing good things and making sacrifices in the black community of approximately 13 million people.
But I guess the bottom-line was “Star Power” which meant actors, athletes, musicians, and politicians were the only ones eligible for recognition.
The bottom-line is we still don’t own any major media outlets to control the image of black folks in America, could that be the reason why Dr. Watkins thinks the rest of us are scare of white folks?
For example; Washington, DC native Furman Marshall’s impact and contributions in Black America is second to no living actor, athlete, musician or politician.
His 50+ years of work in the inner-city of DC with youth gangs and at-risk children is legendary. Through the martial arts the benefactors from his good works can now be found in cities all over America. They are now, doctors, lawyers, politicians and professional athletes. The teacher taught and he taught well.
Mr. Marshall and his partner Phil Cunningham are the founders of the oldest black martial arts organization in the world, Simba Dajang. The organization has touched thousands of young people all over America.
Mr. Marshall later found Black Ski the oldest black ski organization in the world. Members learn to sky dive, scuba dive, mountain climbing and other death defying activities where black folks seldom if ever ventured.
As the history of the martial arts over the last half century is recorded and documented, the name of Furman Marshall has attained iconic status. A former Marine and Action Hall of Famer, Supreme Grand Master Furman Marshall is a 10th degree black belt, who along with Fulbright Scholar Phil Cunningham, founded Simba DoJang in 1963. A student of legendary Ki Whang Kim and Soo Wong Lee, Furman has either personally promoted or sanctioned over 1,000 black belts in 20 Simba affiliated schools.
Prior to his retirement from the ring at the youthful age of 65, he was a fierce competitor with the likes of Joe Lewis, television action actor Chuck Norris and Joe Hayes. Furman stood only 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 168 pounds, he won hundreds of trophies and his mentees have amassed thousand of tournament wins. In 1977, Black Belt Magazine published an article proclaiming “Simba DoJang of Washington, DC is the winningest Karate Studio in the World.” His students have competed in Afghanistan, Canada, Russia and Spain.
It is hard to believe that Simba began in a basement in an area riddled with crime, you name the crime and it was found in Ward 8 in Southeast( S.E.), D.C.. Furman is credited with not only saving countless youth from drugs, violence, death and jail, but he transformed entire communities. He empowered neighborhoods. Prior to 1980 over 5,000 students had trained in Simba along with 30 black belts.
Furman’s business model was unique. It was “not for profit” meaning it was free to all. Kids who wished to participate in tournaments were sponsored by the group, who pooled their resources. Tournament winnings were reinvested so others could participate in future events. He made sure that Simba’s primary mission was to serve underprivileged students in the inner-city.
In a recent interview he recalled a story written in Black Belt Magazine he said, “I teach in the ghetto where I prefer to stay because of the need to help young boys and girls stay out of trouble.” For the next 45 years under Furman’s leadership, Simba‘s schools would start in no-less than 10 inner-city recreation centers. The centers were located in the most crime ridden areas of the Nation’s Capital. The crimes of rape, murder, muggings and robbery were a part of the landscape.
Simba was not left unscathed, on several occasions Simba was challenged by the hoodlums and thugs of The Hood to co-exist in the same space. Intimidation and attempts at disrupting classes occurred. Furman bravely standing alone ‘invited the intruders to meet with him ‘Outside.’ What occurred afterwards is the substance of ‘Urban Legends.’ It is safe to say, no one interfered with Furman’s mission to teach the under-served again.
As Furman Marshall fought his way around the world to become a legendary martial arts icon, he gained that iconic status by meeting and beating other Black Belts along the highways and byways of the World. On one occasion he would encounter movie and television action star, Chuck Norris (Texas Ranger). The two would meet in the finals of one tournament with Furman coming away as the victor.
BET thanks for honoring Jesse Williams who’s timely acceptance speech pointed out the continued police brutality in the black community and how they continue to stand-down white folks while using black folks for target practice.
After Beyonce’s performance at the 2016 Super Bowl honoring Black History. The Fraternity Order of Police called her performance “Anti-Police” and called for a
nation wide boycott of her upcoming tour in the United States–too late. On June 12th on the first leg of her U. S. tour she sold out Hersey Park in Pennsylvania. After her BET performance she immediately left for Europe and a sold out Wimberly Stadium performance. The U. S. tour picks up again in October 2016.
Instead of worrying about groups like ISIS, the Fraternity Order of Police in America are more concerned about keeping black folks silent and in their place (dead or alive). Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech was a reminder that the most important game being played in Black America is not football, basketball or baseball, its the Game Called Life!
It is brothers like Grand Master Furman Marshall and other black men and women who are beyond the spotlight of national television and movie theaters who are keeping hope alive. They are the men and women who quietly paved the way for Beyonce and Jesse in the 21st century.
WE NEVER COULD HAVE MADE IT WITHOUT HIM———HE HAD OUR BACKS
Two weeks ago thousands of people visited the city of Louisville, Kentucky. Friday June 10, was the home-going services and celebration of the life of Muhammad Ali. All eyes were on the speakers and celebrities in attendance.
The celebrities included former President Bill Clinton, television broadcaster Bryant Gumble, comedian Billy Crystal, former Heavyweight Champions Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and actor Will Smith among others.
But the most important man in the champion’s life was paid little or no attention, his only brother and sibling Rahman aka Rudy. He had Ali’s back and was his brother’s confidant during the height of his boxing career. Muhammad Ali never could have made it without him and neither could I.
I am one of the benefactors of Rahman’s kindness and good deeds. I met Ali first on the campus of Howard University in 1967. He was holding court with hundreds of students on the steps of one of the administrations buildings. The topic would be his refusal to be drafted into the United States Army.
Shortly after the rally he said to no one in particular “I want to see DC” and I volunteered to be his tour guild. During the walk down the Georgia Avenue corridor we talked about my work with youth in the inner-city.
I reminded him that he had taken a courageous stand against The Powers-To-Be and he reminded me of the stands taken by Jack Johnson, Paul Roberson and Jackie Robinson. They had faced similar racist acts in America. Boxing never came into the conversation until we arrived at 7th & T Streets around the corner from the legendary Howard Theater.
Harvey Cooper known as DC’s oldest teenager because of his bubbling personality suddenly came of Sam K’s Record store with hands up challenging the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ali didn’t miss a beat and joined in the act.
It was a great day for me, Harvey and the hundreds of students Ali met that day on the campus of Howard University. I cannot imagine how many students on the campus (some only in their minds)are now telling their children and grandchildren, the day they met Muhammad Ali.
Three years later in 1970 I would meet Rahman in Cleveland, Ohio.
DC Attorney Harry Barnett and the late Washington Star newspaper columnist J. D. Beathea would invite me to ride with them to Cleveland for a boxing exhibition for charity. A Children’s Hospital in the city was in financial straits and Muhammad Ali had agreed to help the city raise money to save the hospital.
The trip would enhance my career in sports talk radio and television beyond my wildest dreams.
I could hardly get my bearings when we walked into the hotel lobby and there stood Muhammad Ali holding court with the media. He looked over and saw me and yelled, “Harold Bell what are you doing this far away from home?”
The rest is community and sports media history.
It was here I met a man who would go on to become the most popular man in boxing, second only to Muhammad Ali—Don King. Stay tune that is another story.
When news reached me over two weeks ago of the passing of my friend, I was relieved because I knew he was in a better place. Three decades he fought the dreaded Parkinson disease but in the end the disease did what George Foreman, and Joe Frazier could not do, it counted him out!
I know his brother Rahman is really in a bad place right now, but he knows his brother loved him, despite the tough times and obstacles placed in his path to keep them apart in the twilight of their lives. Sometimes family can be a bitch and then you die—I have been there and done that!
The last time I saw The Greatest in person was at the Verizon Center in 2005. His daughter Laila was fighting on the undercard of Mike Tyson when he refused to come out of his corner for the 7th round against journeyman Kevin McBride.
I had no clue that the champion was even in the building until I accidentally bumped into Rahman heading toward the limo Ali was riding in. He grabbed me and pointed toward the limo and said, “Go stand over there, he wants to see you.”
The next thing I knew I, The Greatest was coming toward me with what looked like the entire Verizon Center crowd following him (Georgia Avenue corridor 1967).
In the meantime, I took some photos of out my brief case that I had planned to show to Laila his daughter. The photos were of Veronica, me and him at a DC Chamber of Commerce Dinner in 1974 at the Sheraton-Park Hotel.
Rahman brought him straight to me. It was rather awkward when I tried showing the photos to Veronica and the champ tried to sign them, but his hands were trembling so bad I backed off.
Rahman insisted that I let him sign the photos, because he was making every effort to autograph them for me.
I left the hectic scene thinking how thoughtful and kind he was to me despite his health problems. Evidently, he and Rahman had not forgotten who I was and what I meant too them.
As I look back I pray that The Greatest did not forget his only brother and sibling when his will is read. Rahman deserves better than what he has received because there were times when he had to carry the champion. I hope The Greatest remembered he was not heavy—he was Rahman’s brother!
It does not take a genius to count from zero to two or to understand pro sports and major media outlets are the last plantations in America.
For example; in 2016 the NHL has zero ownership, MBL has zero ownership, NFL has zero ownership, NBA has one black owner and many in the black community thinks he should be designated as “Other”. It is not about jobs in the black community it’s about ownership.
The NHL is led by a racist by the name of Gary Bettman and this is not based on he say, she say. I was up close and personal with Bettman (NBA Counselor), Ron Thorn (NBA VP) and Horace Balmer (Head of Security) at NBA headquarters in New York City in 1978.
In 1978 I was hired by Nike as a Sports and Marketing rep to cover the eastern region of the U. S. John Phillips was the Director of Basketball and Marketing for Nike Shoes. He asked me to join him in New York City to meet with the NBA brain trust of Bettman, Thorn and Balmer.
In 1977 Nike sponsored a trip to the Bahamas, the home of NBA star Mychal Thompson of the L. A. Lakers (son Clay Thompson). The trip was in conjunction with a charity All-Star Game with other members of the NBA that included Magic Johnson. The league balked at the 1978 game and John was called to New York City for the meeting.
The meeting got off to a cordial beginning with everyone smiling and shaking hands, but once the discussion started, Bettman claimed the game could not be played. When John asked the question why? Bettman’s response was, “Because we own the players!”
I jumped up from the table and said “I beg your pardon, are you saying the players are slaves”? All hell broke loose and the meeting had to be adjourned to a later time and place. We never met again and that is how I remember Bettman. He showed his true colors. It was then I understood why Irving Johnson was named “Magic” he disappeared like a puff of smoke leaving me and John Phillips holding the bag.
In 2016 there are no “Major Media” outlets own by black folks (newspapers, radio and television). The 1% who control all the wealth can be found in their Ivory Towers and luxury box suites on any given Sunday in sports arenas throughout America enjoying combat between the lions and their slaves. If you have any doubts that the plantation mentality is a figment of my imagination, look no further then Washington, DC, the Nation’s Capitol—once called “Chocolate City”, there its taxation without representation!
According to ESPN First Take’s Stephen A. Smith, Wilbon, is “One of the most respected sports journalist in America and a pioneer”??? Wilbon would have us to believe, that the reason behind this country’s racist charade are ‘Analytics’? Come on man!
For example; was it analytics that got winning coaches Tony Dungee, Mark Jackson and Lionel Hollins fired. Sonny Hill got kicked to the curb by CBS back in the day?
Remember, this is the same Michael Wilbon who as a sports columnist while at the Washington Post, claimed his sports editor George Solomon looked over his shoulder and told him what to write and what not to write. Why should we think anything has changed?
Remember, this is the same Michael Wilbon who volunteered and told me in the NBA Wizards’ press room, “ESPN wants me to appear on a segment of “Outside the Lines” to discuss the “N word,” but I have decided not to appear because the white host has no horse in the race”!
I was impressed, because he was finally taking a stand. He had been “A go along to get along Negro his entire media career.”
The following Sunday, who do I see sitting on the set of “Outside the Lines,” with the white host who had no horse in the race discussing the “N-word? Michael Wilbon.
Major media outlets like “The Undefeated,” are still trying to dictate to us who our heroes are and who they are not. Our heroes are definitely not “Go along to get along Negroes.”
Nine out of ten barber shops in the inner-city will say “No” to Michael Wilbon and his partner in deceit, Stephan A. Smith, because they speak with ‘Fork Tongues’.
I remember when Washington Post sports columnist Donald Huff wrote a column on me in the 70s as it related to my impact on sports talk radio. He went to the street corners, playgrounds, pool halls and barber shops in the Shaw/Cardozo to see how I rated. Glenn Harris a sports talk show host on WHUR Radio on the campus of Howard University, said, “The folks in the streets love Harold Bell, I can’t figure that one out yet!” The Common denominator—I am from the streets.
Several years ago Stephan A. Smith was participating in a panel discussion on racism in America for Essence Magazine. He flat out said, “I cannot talk about racism on my radio show because my white audiences who pay my salary don’t want to hear it.”
He spoke several months later at his alma mater Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. During his Commencement speech, he chastised the graduating class to stand for something and don’t just fall for anything! Now if that is not talking out of both sides of your mouth, I don’t know what is.
According to USA Today writer Jason Lisk, “Wilbon didn’t find any cross-examples of black people who embrace analytics. Since the article posted, others have pointed out that he didn’t ask them. It would require some analytical interest in finding the truth, but if you want to say that race matters when it comes to those small groups interested in analytics, you could maybe do a poll, and ask questions that isolate hardcore sports fans, race and income and age, and knowledge of certain stats. This piece is not persuasive at all that it matters. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t”. So who is to say, this is not something Wilbon made up?
I like USA Today writer Lisk’s assumption, “It would require some ANALYTICAL interest in finding the TRUTH”. I refer back to actor Jack Nicholson’s courtroom statement in the movie A Few Good Men, ‘Some folks cannot handle the TRUTH’—-meet Michael Wilbon.
ESPN just launched a new website titled “Undefeated” aimed at discussing and focusing on black issues in America. Man, give me a break!
Washington Post columnist and former radio talk show host Mike Wise on 107 FM in DC The Fan is a contributor and I find him more trustworthy then Wilbon when it comes to trying to get the story right as it relates to the black community.
They are the only two names that I recognize so far as contributors. I thought cheerleader Jason Whitlock was on board but I understand ESPN fired him before the site launch.
I was critical of Wise when he wrote for the Washington Post, but I also gave him credit when credit was due (same with Wilbon). Wise is not a bad guy but for some reason like most in sports media they become full of themselves.
For example in a Washington Post column in January 2013 he called out RG3 shortly after Rod Parker was fired from ESPN for asking “Is RG 3 a “Cornhead Brother?” Stephan A. Smith and Wilbon were so quiet you could hear a mouse piss on cotton (see summary of column below).
WASHINGTON POST SPORTS COLUMNIST MIKE WISE CLEARS ESPN’S ROB PARKER
On Sunday January 12, 2013 there was a column titled “Why won’t Washington Redskin QB RG lll talk about his team’s name?” The story appears in the Outlook section of the Washington Post. The commentary was written by Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise.
He was knowingly or unknowingly asking the same question former ESPN analyst Rob Parker was asking his colleagues on ESPN’s “First Take” and a national television audience on Wed December 12, 2012. Rob wanted to know if RG lll was a real brother or a Cornhead brother and if he was down with the cause (where was his loyalty)?
Wise said (summary), “The one person who could make Redskin owner Daniel Snyder come to his senses and realize it is time to stop demeaning Native Americans. But I fear that Griffin is not that guy, and not just because he’ll be focused for the next few months on physical therapy on his knee. No young, dynamic leader of an NFL team is that guy (or old dynamic leader). Pro players (or blacks in sports media at ESPN) who take on controversial social debates are gone, replaced by athletes (or sports media personalities similar to Stephen A. Smith) whose goal is not to offend-because that would mean fewer commercials, a loss of sponsors and, God forbid, a Q rating lower than Michael Jordan’s.”
The bottom-line as Wise pointed out in his column, there are no more Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Arthur Ashe, or Curt Floods “who were down with the causes!”
That was all Rob Parker was asking on ESPN’s “First Take.” The question if you re-call, ‘Is he a brother or a Cornhead brother and is he down with the cause?’ The answer according to Wise’s column is YES to both questions.
First, ESPN suspended Rob Parker for 30 days before waiting two weeks into his suspension before firing him.
Wise, I am sure can relate to Rob Parker’s fate at ESPN he was recently fired from his sports talk show at 107 FM “The Fan” in DC which I am sure he thought was unfair (welcome to the black side of town).
We must remember as we move forward (or backwards depending on where you are sitting) professional sports in America are still the highest form of exploitation. The plantation mentality is alive and well (a media press room is a close second).
Whether Mike Wise wanted to or not he cleared Rob Parker’s name with the blessings of the Washington Post! He revealed RG III’s real identity!
I have not forgotten when Wise invited me to be a guest on his radio talk show the “Fan” after my blog on the Bleacher Report titled “Will the Real John Thompson Stand Up For Jayson Whitlock” went viral with over 30, 000 hits in three days.
http://bleacherreport.com/users/121596-harold-bell / See Jason Whitlock loud and wrong on John Thompson
Wise and his cheer leading co-host tried to ambush me by defending John Thompson against my allegations of him being a corrupt college basketball coach and a worthless human being. The show burned up the air waves and former City Paper columnist Dave McKenna gave me high marks for sticking to my guns as it related to Thompson. I am always going to get high marks—you cannot go wrong when you tell the truth.
John Thompson, Jr. continues to be the worthless human being I said he was. Recently he refuses to allow his son Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III to be his own man. This past season Big John stormed into a press conference being conducted by his son. He demanded that his son stop answering questions and when he continue to answer the questions, he told him to “Shut the F—K up!”
It gets worst, last month Bob Grier once one of his best friends and assistant coach for the Georgetown basketball team died. Bob along with Sandy Freeman use to keep me off of John’s sorry ass on the DC NE playgrounds, he was as soft as cotton. Big John attended the funeral with his girlfriend and former mistress Mary Ann Finley (academic coach for the team). Finley was once engaged to marry Bob Grier until John stole her away and fired Bob.
James Wiggins was Big John’s “Bag Man.” Wiggins ran the Urban Coalition Summer Basketball League for Big John until the gate receipts came up missing.
He said, “I sat right next to him at Bob’s funeral and he would not even speak to me.” I forgot to tell Wiggins, ‘John was just being John, he wanted you to show him the money!’
In one of his e-mail responses, Wise said, “Harold you belong in the Hall of Fame, but you have probably pissed all the judges off!” Mike Wise, ‘You might be on to something!’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfKQOH5_iiw / the Original Inside Sports
The benefactors who came through Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame speaks volumes; Dave Aldridge (TNT) James Brown (CBS) Dave Bing (NBA) Tim Baylor (NFL) Kevin Blackistone (ESPN) Jamie Foster Brown (Sister 2 Sister) Adrian Branch (NBA) Adrian Dantley (NBA) Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. (Minn. Spokesman) Bobby Gardner (NFL) Glenn Harris (WHUR) Darryl Hill (ACC) Jo Jo Hunter (NBA) Cathy Hughes (Radio and TV One) Dave Jacobs (Boxing) Jair Lynch (Olympian) Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing) Tony Paige (NFL) Butch McAdams (Radio One) Vasti McKinzie (AME Church) Oden Polyniece (NBA) Aaron Pryor (Boxing) Bill Rhoden (NY Times) Chris Thomas (BET) John Thompson, Jr. (Georgetown) Cecil Turner (NFL) Omar Tyree (author) Michael Wilbon (ESPN) Michelle Wright (Radio One). Liabilities and benefactors after the fact; Jim Brown (NFL) Don King (Boxing) Earl Lloyd (NBA) Doug Williams (NFL) Willie Wood (NFL)
If Wilbon thinks because there is a black President, Barack Obama, one media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, and one NBA owner, Michael Jordan, if they are his best examples of black progress in America, he is dead wrong.
We just got through celebrating Brown vs Board of Education’s landmark decision on April 16, 1954 banishing school segregation in America. Would you believe sixty-two years later in Cleveland, Mississippi blacks are still not allowed to attend schools with whites. Alabama leads the nation (200+) when it comes to Civil Rights cases on the court docket. Racism is alive and well and thriving in America.
On May 27, 2016 Judge Debra M. Brown ordered the town of Cleveland, Mississippi to confront its segregated past, insisting the town had been violating children’s civil rights, and that it is the school district’s duty “to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.” Analytics had nothing to do with this kind of racism.
In 1954 my Spingarn high school basketball teammate Spotswood Bolling was the lead plaintiff for the DC Public Schools (Bolling vs DC Board of Education) and I lived through that landmark decision. I was a freshman student/athlete at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC in 1960 when students from North Carolina A and T University kicked off the first ever sit-in at the segregated Woolworth lunch counter stores. The sit-ins spread 30 miles up the road to Winston-Salem and me and student/athletes Al Mayor (DC), Luther Wiley (Lynchburg, Va.) and Barney Hood (Decatur, Illinois) against the wishes of our coach, Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines join the boycott. The historical March on Washington in 1963 led by the Rev. Martin Luther King I was there.
In 1968 I was standing on the corner of 9th and U Streets aka Black Broadway when riots broke out after the shooting death of Rev. Martin Luther King in Memphis. I was working for the DC recreation Department as a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force). On that April 4th bright sun shiny day, my co-worker Green Bay Packer safety, Willie Wood was standing with me. During the riots Willie and I were joined on the U Street corridor by Luke C. Moore, the first black modern day U. S. Marshall in-charge in America, appointed by the President of the United States. The three of us walked arm in arm in the streets while buildings burned around us.
The web site claims, “The Undefeated is the premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture. We enlighten and entertain with innovative storytelling, original reporting and provocative commentary.” My question, how can you be ORIGINAL when there is no-one on staff ORIGINAL when comes to black history? They can only tell stories from he say, she say, there is nothing ORIGINAL about that! The Undefeated will be similar to The Bleacher Report (own by CBS), it will be about control—been there and done that.
For example; there can never be an ORIGINAL INSIDE SPORTS, copied but never duplicated!
How many of us remember when our parents had to decide when it was the proper time and age to teach us about the Birds and the Bees? Today our kids can teach us about the Birds and the Bees and everything else they can GOOGLE on the internet, AKA The Undefeated.
In 2016 we have to teach them about the Cops and the Thugs, who sometimes are one of the same. Police shootings of unarmed black men in America are off the charts.
I have spent five decades working in the DC streets with youth gangs and at-risk children. I have seen the Good, Bad and Ugly of law-enforcement up close and personal.
I am not anti-cop; two of my three brothers were law-enforcement officers encouraged by me to join the force to try to make a difference. I am anti-bully cop. There are some good cops, but they are overrun by the bullies and cowards on the force controlled by the KKK known as the Fraternity Order of Police.
The KKK infiltrated police departments all over this country in the 1800s with strict orders to keep “Niggers in their place by any means necessary”! Some now sit in courtrooms in robes all over America, several in black face. The fix is on in Baltimore!
In 2016 those KKK members now run the Fraternity Order of Police and are Chief of Police in departments all over this country. The 1800s’ mentality is alive and well.
When was the last time you heard a President of the Fraternity Order of Police admit, “That was a bad shooting”? Let me tell you when—never.
All shootings “Are Good” as long as the victim is black.
Now the Fraternity Order of Police want to boycott Beyounce’s Concert in Philadelphia claiming she is anti-cop. The reason; her Super Bowl performance celebrating Malcomb X and the Black Panthers. The real problem, she didn’t ask for their permission—they had no control. The Undefeated, I bet was found on the same mentality.
My brothers Earl (DC Cop) and Alfred (U. S. Marshall) experienced “The Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence” while trying to be Good Cops.
The first modern day U. S. Marshall in Charge and DC Superior Court Judge, the late Luke C. Moore stepped in to save Alfred’s job and a black DC Assistant Chief Isaac Fullwood sold my brother Earl out by honoring and condoning the Code of Silence and Thin Blue Line. Earl turned in a white and black cop who targeted and brutally abused black prisoners only in their cells on the weekends.
The problem, there are too many making excuses as it relates to how dangerous it is for policemen on the streets of America. We forget this is an occupation that they signed up for—they had a choice and were not drafted into the job.
On the flip said of the coin—we were born black and had no choice. As long as the 1% control the politicians and they force us to live in these Section 8 Housing/Ghettos all over America with no-way out, black on black murder will continue to spiral out of control.
Our problem, we don’t know our history and when you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it.
How can we claim progress or success when we leave our brothers and sisters behind in Mississippi and Alabama or in any inner-city neighborhood? We travel to Third World countries to help them solve their problems before solving our very own!
I understand I am a tough act to follow in sports talk radio and in the community; The Original Inside Sports was Outside the Lines before ESPN and Real Sports on HBO. The Original Inside Sports cared long before the NBA, NHL, MLB and the NFL when it comes to community service.
NFL Films (CBS) videotaped the first ever NFL promo for national television at the Kids In Trouble Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program in DC in 1972. Washington NFL players RB Larry Brown and LB Harold McLinton were shown teaching inner-city children water safety. Dave Bing (NBA) and Willie Wood (NFL) were the first pro athletes to give back to the community (via Kids In Trouble, Inc.)
How many sports talk show host are responsible for successfully campaigning and getting pro athletes into the Hall of Fame? Meet Willie Wood, he was one of the greatest defensive back to ever play in the NFL and Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in the NBA, they both were ignored despite their contributions. Willie was finally inducted in 1989 (via Dick Heller) and Earl in 2003 (via Red Auerbach) thanks to my media blitz campaigns for them.
Ask me how many athletes have I gotten out of jail using my political contacts and media outlets; the first was DC’s playground basketball legend, Spingarn High School’s Bernard Levi, the next was a man considered to be the greatest NFL player of all-time, Jim Brown (NFL Captain of Domestic Abuse) and Jo Jo Hunter rated in my top 5 when you mention DC playground basketball legends (Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Willie Jones, Adrian Dantley and Jo Jo Hunter). Jo Jo is a former confidant and salesman for: James Brown (CBS), Eddie Jordan (NBA) and the list goes on and on—stay tune.
I am the only man on the planet who has broken bread with two of the most controversial personalities in American History, President Richard M. Nixon and the Greatest, Muhammad Ali.
This new websites like “The Undefeated” is another ploy to use black folks like Wilbon, Smith and Whitlock. They keep falling for just anything and not standing for something. The Undefeated and similar websites will be the blind leading the blind. There is nothing analytical about racism in America.
Note Worthy: Horace Balmer died last year and my sincere condolences go out to his family. I remember at the NBA All-Star game in Houston in the 80s and NBA legend Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe was without a ticket to get in, but too proud to let anyone know. I told Horace of Earl’s problem and he got him in through a side door. Horace was a good guy away from the NBA office (RIP).
As family and friends prepare for the home going services for a son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, athlete, and pioneer, we will be remember Kevin Tatum as a MAN who stood for something and didn’t fall for just anything.
Kevin Tatum led by example as the point guard on the City Championship 1969 McKinley Tech High School basketball team in Washington, DC and as sportswriter for three decades. He covered sports for newspapers in St. Louis, DC and in Philadelphia. It was never easy, it never is, when you are honest and a man of integrity in today’s dog eat dog media circus.
Kevin discovered as I did, folks always want to hear the truth as long as it is about someone else, but never about themselves.
After college Kevin sport’s writing career started out in St. Louis, but after a short stay there he came home to work in his “Dream Job” the sports department of the Washington Star newspaper, but that was also short-lived. The paper filed for bankruptcy in 1981. He applied for a job in the sports department of the Washington Post without any success. This was really a blessing in disguise, the paper already had on board the just arrived Michael Wilbon, Dave Dupree and a couple of other go-along-to -get along Negroes. Kevin never fit the profile required to work for the Washington Post.
We had several conversations about his future in the business as he mailed out his resumes to newspapers around the country looking for his next job. His next assignment would carry him to the City of Brotherly Love. I discovered by chance through his late uncle Craig that he had landed in Philly. I immediately called Sonny Hill (Mr. Basketball in Philadelphia) and Philadelphia Inquirer sports writer Elmer Smith asking them to keep an eye on him. He was highly respected by his peers despite assignments by his editors to keep him away from the juicy assignments of covering basketball mainstays like Penn State, Temple, La Salle, Villanova and the NBA.
Despite the assignments to the high school and Division II basketball beats, he made sure their stories were accurately told and went eyeball to eyeball with editors who tried to put a different spin on his stories.
The media in all forms is one of the most insecure professions known to mankind, especially for blacks. The reason, the opportunities are far, few and in-between. Black folks will step on each other, stab you in the back trying to get that ONE opening.
I applaud Kevin for being able to last in this cut-throat business for three-decades and leaving on his own terms–without the label of “Designated Tom!”
Radio talk show host Sonny Hill remembers Kevin as a brother who was a frequent guest on his Sunday morning talk show “The Living Room” heard on WIP All Sports Radio in Philly. He said, “Kevin walked with his shoulders back and his head held high. There were a lot of trials and tribulations, but he manage to weather all the storms.”
Former basketball All-Met at Eastern High School in DC and Villanova basketball standout Bernie Chavis says, “I didn’t know Kevin, but I read his columns in the Inquirer. He was an excellent writer and all I heard was good things about him in the community.”
The overseer of the Washington sports department was my old friend George Solomon. He ran a Gestapo type sports department, according to highly respected veteran high school sports reporter and native Washingtonian, Donald Huff. George often looked over the shoulders of his reporters which was not a bad idea sometimes, but he too often looked over the shoulders of his columnist who were suppose to have some independence over the written word in their columns.
George allowed me to write several free-lance columns for the sports department and I have written several “Opinion” columns for the Editorial Page. I have seen the Good, Bad and Ugly of the Washington Post. In the 70s and 80s I was in and out of the Washington Post sports department so often folks thought I worked there.
George Solomon and his writers were frequent guest on Inside Sports.
I will never forget how Michael Wilbon cried on my shoulder in the Green Room of the Howard University TV station before we were scheduled to be a guest on the Kojo Knamdi Show. His complaint, George often looked over his shoulder and changed his columns to his dismay.
My advice, “You are a talented writer and I am sure you could find a better position with your credentials. Why not send your resume to the NY Times or LA Times?”
Famous last words, shortly after that advice, Wilbon would become a star columnist, a ESPN television co-host with Tony CORN-HISNER. This is one guy who should get down on his knees every night and thank God he was born Jewish and white (no talent).
Wilbon has co-authored books with NBA Hall of Fame player Charles Barkley, played golf with Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. He is a millionaire and has been elected to several media halls of fame. Here it is 40 years later, the question to myself should be, “What did I know and when did I know it?” It looks like George knew best or did he?
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I love Wilbon like a little brother and when my younger brothers the late Sgt. Earl “Bull” Bell and my younger brother Puddin aka Billy, Tyrik, or William, stepped out of line as grown men, I stepped to them! It is no different with those who came through Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports before their 15 minutes of fame.
My next question, what price did Wilbon pay for all those accolades? He had a heart attack that almost took him out of here and lost a lot of credit and trust in the community, especially, when he went on National television saying, “It’s okay to use the N word among family and friends!” This was after telling me in the Wizards (NBA) media press room, “I have been asked to be a part of the discussion on the N word on “ESPN’s Out Side the Lines but I am not going to participate because the white host has no horse in the race.” The next Sunday I turn on the TV and who do I see sitting in on that same discussion saying, ‘Its okay to use the N word?’
Kevin Tatum would never have gone back on his word because of the pride he had in himself of being black and proud. He was a product of a home that thrived on integrity and honesty.
In a recent e-mail I said, I would jump over a one-hundred, Michael Wilbons, Stephen A. Smiths, and Kevin Blackistones to get to one Kevin Tatum. There is no common denominator as it relates to Kevin, Wilbon, Stephen A and Blackistone, accept all four were sports writers and black to some extend.
Remember, Kevin was an outstanding impact athlete in high school and on the playgrounds of DC. Wilbon, Stephen A. and Blackistone could not play dead while in high school or college. Stephen A. claimed he played for Bighouse Gaines at Winston-Salem State my al-mater. In a conversation with Coach Gaines during homecoming several years before he died, he said, “Stephen A. Smith never got off the bench”–I rest my case!
In the meantime, for those of us who knew the real Kevin Tatum should not be alarmed by the story that appeared in his old newspaper the Philadelphia Inquirer obituary reporting his passing. The story claimed he plagiarized a story he had written during his tenure??? The obituary was written by some sports department go-fer by the name of Sofiya Ballin whose boss is evidently the one who tried to set Kevin up from the very beginning.
D. C. have no fear, Garry “G” Cobb is here. Garry is a classic case of a former NFL star who transitioned successfully to a radio and television career. Garry played linebacker in the National Football League for 11 years. He spent 6 seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he was a team captain for three years and led them to the playoffs in two of those years. Garry then played three years along side Hall-Of-Fame player Reggie White as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He finished his career with two years in Dallas playing for head coaches Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson. Some of Garry teammates in Dallas were Hall-Of-Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. As an outside linebacker in Buddy Ryan’s vaunted 46 Defense, Garry had his best day as a pro when he registered 4 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in a single game against the Atlanta Falcons and was named the Sports Illustrated NFL Defensive Player Of The Week. He held the Eagles single game sack until Clyde Simmons surpassed him with a 4.5 sack game. Garry was traded by the Lions to the Eagles in 1985 for one of the Birds All-Time greats Wilbert Montgomery. Cobb played on some outstanding defenses while playing for the Lions. He led NFL linebackers in interceptions with five during one of his years in Detroit. Garry also led the Cowboys with 7 1/2 sacks during one of his two seasons in Dallas. After his football career, Garry became a popular sports radio talk show host on Sports radio 610-WIP in 1991. He became known as G. Cobb and has developed quite a following among sports fans and especially Eagles fans in the area. In addition, Garry was a sports anchor and reporter on CBS-3 television in Philadelphia for eight years.
This is what Garry wrote on his blog page SPORTS 24×7.com in May of 2012 relating to the false accusation by the writer on the Dead Spin blog site. He said, “We have learned this week that the plagerism accusation against Kevin Tatum that was posted by Dead Spin in November, which had Tatum stealing a blog regarding Villanova basketball and claiming the information enclosed as his own, was at the very least a miscommunication between Tatum and his immediate supervisor” (see link below for complete story).
When Kevin was contacted about this story, he said “No comment I have moved on!” I am sure that is exactly what he would want family and friends here in DC to do—move on. Rest in peace little brother.
As we head for the polls on Tuesday April 26th the poor and down trodden, especially, those of us in Black America we should be aware of “The Free Loaders” among us who want our vote. The GOP 1% is pissed-off about front-runner Donald Trump one of their very own. He is exactly what they have been wishing for, but the problem, they have no control. It is hilarious watching them scramble from pillar to post trying to come up with a workable solution to stop “The Donald.”
The Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has her detractors but nothing is as scary as Donald Trump as President of the United States, but even that is debatable according to supporters of Bernie Sanders.
In the black community nothing is as scary as Donna Edwards, Glenn Ivey and Anthony Brown three of the biggest do-nothings politicians in Prince Georges County, Maryland. All are running for public office. The best way to describe them is “Political Free Loaders” who don’t want to work for anyone!
I have admired and respected former United States Attorney General Eric Holder for his stand-up attitude during the President Barack Obama administration. His stand-up attitude against White House bully and former Obama Chief of staff, Raul Emanuel was one of a kind. Emanuel is now the Mayor and leader of “Black Lives Don’t Matter” undercover campaign in Chicago, Illinois. It’s here young black men’s blood is flowing in the streets like nowhere else in this country as Emanuel and his gangster cops hide videos proving ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter’ to him.
Holder’s support of Ivey is understandable because Ivey once worked as an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Justice Department in 1990-1994, Holder was then U. S. Attorney General. Its one of those things where “I scratched your back and now I need for you to scratch mine”. This vote of confidence/endorsement was unwarranted, Glenn Ivey is a loser in every sense of the Word.
Ivey was twice elected as State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County, Maryland (2002-2006). He served from December 2002 to January 2011. In 2003 there was a shooting at Suitland High School(known as the Black Board Jungle of PG County). The shooting was thought to be gang relate, total chaos erupted in the school among, teachers, students and parents. It was the blind leading the blind.
The County Executive Jack Johnson (now an ex-con), the Police Chief Melvin High and the State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey sat on their hands waiting for things to return to “Business as Usual” while little children died.
In the meantime, I wrote a column in the OPINION section of the Washington Post calling leadership in the county out for their “Do Nothing Attitudes”. Glenn Ivey’s name was mentioned in the column as not having a clue. One month later I was attending a church community prayer breakfast on Central Avenue in the county and Ivey was on the panel. Evidently, someone told him I was in the audience and he sent one his aides to get me, I had never met the man before.
There was a brief discussion about me citing him in my column, I explained my position. We agreed to meet in his office to discuss solutions at a later date.
A month would pass before he could clear his calendar for me to meet with him and his staff. Joining me in that meeting would be members of the Board of Directors of Kids In Trouble, Inc., Andrew Johnson (former DC Cop/DEA), Rev. John Edwards, Sidney Davis (ex-offender and youth advocate), Rev. Salim Edwards (youth minister), Furman Marshall (youth advocate and martial arts grand master), the late Calvin Woodland (youth advocate and founder of the Woodland Raiders).
The meeting lasted for two hours with Ivey staying for the first hour and handing the baton over to his staff to figure out what we brought to the table and how we could work together to make things better for our children. When the meeting finally convened, his staff agreed we would meet again after they reviewed the minutes of the meeting with their boss. Those were what we call “Famous Last Words” we never heard from Glenn Ivey or his staff again.
I later discovered half of his staff were “Double Dipping” working other jobs while working full time for the State’s Attorney’s Office. Ivey didn’t have a clue.
My next encounter with his office would be in 2007 when I was attacked on a Friday evening by a delusional white man with a club in the parking lot of my residence in Bowie, Maryland. After I fought him off I discovered he was a new neighbor who lived in my building and on my same floor but I never knew or met him.
Growing up in the streets of DC and in a NE housing project, I learned street law, when you defend yourself one on one and the best man won you moved on to live another day. It was brought to my attention by several Bowie residents that this was Prince Georges County and not DC. And I had just finished doing battle with a white man and the white man looked like he got the worst of it. I was advised to call the police and report the incident to protect my ass.
I waited in the community room of the complex with several residents waiting for the arrival of the police when my attacker appeared in the lobby waving the club in the air. We sit there stunned and in amazement as blood dripped from his face before he disappeared on the elevator.
The PG County Police arrived shortly after and questioned me on what had happen. I explained to them I thought that the attack was unprovoked because I didn’t know my attacker. They left me to find the other man. When they returned to the community room they brought the club that was used in the scuffle with them. I was told by the officers if I wanted to bring charges I would have to go down to the Upper Marlboro Courthouse and fill out the paper work. On Monday morning I filed charges against my neighbor as he did against me. I had been forewarned and beat him to courthouse.
In his statement justifying the attack, he said “I heard voices coming from under Mr. Bell’s door talking about me.” The attorney going over the statement with me said, “This man is not operating with a full deck. He has a big problem.” The man’s wife later confessed to residents he was bipolar and had not been taking his medicine. Despite the evidence Glenn Ivey tried to throw me under the bus. But a white judge who saw how the cased was being processed threw the case out against me. Eric Holder’s ringing endorsement of Ivey has fallen on deaf ears.
In 2003 a man who had a history of domestic abuse was allowed to walk out of State Attorney Glenn Ivey’s courtroom a free man. He had promised to stay away from his wife. Twenty-four hours later his wife was dead and he had committed suicide. All in a day’s work for Glenn Ivey (see link below).
Donna Edwards comes from the same cloth as Ivey, her constituency says almost to a man and woman, “The office of Donna Edwards is one of the worst run in the county. There was hardly anyone ever found in her Constituency Service Office on Silver Hill Road in Suitland. Her office staff located on Capitol Hill was just as incompetent. For years I tried to get her to address the nursing home issue (death traps for senior citizens) in Prince Georges County leading up to my brother’s death in August 2014. There was a recent column in the Washington Post touting Donna Edwards say, “If she is elected to the Senate we all would have a seat!” Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am familiar with the name Chris Van Hollen her political opponent, but I am not well versed in his political background but there is no way in hell, he can be worst then Donna Edwards as a politician.
Anthony Brown is a disaster, he is from the cloth of former Governor Martin O’Malley who paraded around the country pretending to be a Presidential candidate. O’Malley the state of Maryland in complete chaos. Nursing homes are some of the worst in the country, racism ran rampant in the Baltimore Police Department and he allowed the Baltimore City jail to be taken over and run by the inmates right under his nose. He could not even run the state of Maryland, but he wanted to be President?
Anthony Brown was no more then O’Malley’s caddy though out his term in office. He was left naked when he tried to run for Governor against Larry Hogan. He had nothing to run on except that he was black and that was a question mark?
Remember When that young/criminal was hung in his Upper Marlboro jail cell after he was responsible for the hit and run death of a Prince Georges County Police Officer in 2007? That horrific act was carried out by the KKK of the PG County Police Department, it happen on “The Watch” of Edwards, Ivey and Brown.
I warned the late Mayor for Life, Marion Berry “The Bitch Was Going To Sit Him Up” and I warned Jack Johnson that law-enforcement was on to him, but like most politicians who think they know it all–they didn’t listen and both went to jail.
In a recent column in the Washington Post Jack Johnson wants his conviction set aside because of police corruption (see link below), another case of “The kettle calling the pot black.”
2015 marked 50 years of my working in the streets, playgrounds, schools and courthouses here in the DMV. I was a pioneering awarding winning sports talk radio radio personality for over 3 decades. I have been named Washingtonian of The Year by Washingtonian Magazine, honored at the White House by the President, cited in the Congressional Record on 4 different occasions for my work with at-risk children and youth gangs here in the DMV. I have seen the GOOD, BAD and UGLY when it comes to politics in America and Prince Georges County, but it does not get any worst then Edwards, Ivey and Brown. When it comes to these 3 politicians you can delete, the word GOOD!
“The world is not a dangerous place because of all the evil that is done—it is a dangerous place because of the people who say and do nothing.” Meet Donna Edwards, Glenn Ivey and Anthony Brown.
NETWORKING—-this is what the key should be to success in our community, but somewhere along the way we lost our way! I thought about the e-mail I received from my dear friend Rodney Coleman titled “Money problems and no-name acts—Howard Theater struggling again!” DC’s last jazz club the Bohemian Caverns closed for good and has anyone seen our old friend, Walter Fauntroy?
I watched as superstar comedian/actor Kevin Hart’s recent visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl. A group of 40+ young people from Kentucky was scheduled to have lunch at the in the World famous Chili Bowl but they had to be moved to Ben’s Next Door because of the visit by Kevin Hart.
The diverse group of Black, White and Hispanic kids hailed from a Community Center in Kentucky. You could easily see they came from backgrounds similar to our very own.
Kevin Hart and the youth from Kentucky entered Ben’s Chili Bowl and Ben’s Next Door at about the same time. The cameras lined-up on the sidewalk alerted the kids that someone important was in the Chili Bowl. In fact, one could have easily assumed that it was President Obama and Michelle, because of the number of SUV’s parked in front and Kevin’s entourage was nothing to sneeze at.
While I am trying to get the Kentucky youth into Ben’s Next Door away from the cameras their curiosity got the best of them. Someone leaked that Kevin Hart was the visiting celebrity (I didn’t have clue), I was just as surprised as they were.
I finally get them all into Ben’s Next Door but as they are taking their seats another group is crowded at a door that leads to the Chili Bowl but the door is locked. The door has a see through window and Kevin Hart is seated on the other side of the door in plain sight.
It took me several minutes to get the group looking at Kevin to take their seats. It was then the pleas from the kids and the chaperons started. They begin asking me if I could get Kevin to come over and say “Hello.” I explained to them I was nothing but a ‘Worker’ for the restaurant and had no say so.
The matriarch and founder Ms. Virginia Ali stops by to see if everything is okay next door. This provides one the chaperons an opportunity to introduce herself and ask Ms. Virginia if it would be possible if she could get Kevin to stop by and say “Hello” to the kids. The matriarch uses all her charm and diplomacy and explains that Kevin is on a tight schedule and it would be almost impossible. I breathe a sigh of relief at least I got that responsibility off of me.
To watch the look of disappointment on the faces of those young children as Carmalo (chaperon) broke the bad news to them. I also felt and understood their pain.
I had already explained to Ms. Ali, that these are the young folks who are going to pay to see his movies (It would have been a great PR move for him).
When I had excess to the superstars to include, Ali, Jim Brown, Red Auerbach, Sugar Ray Leonard, Doug Williams, Don King, etc. it was a must that they meet and talk with my young people and they never said “No!”
Who would have thought that when these young people left Kentucky headed for DC they would be sitting in a restaurant with superstar comedian/actor Kevin Hart two feet away next door?
I met Kevin long before he became a superstar. On a visit to DC He was a guest at one of my Kids In Trouble Celebrity Fashion Shows.
My wife Hattie had already gotten his attention when he entered the restaurant. She told him I was next door (he winked). As I checked the arrangements for the kids next door I had to pass through where he was holding court in the other restaurant our eyes met and he winked (recognition). I kept moving, I have been a lot of things in my life, but never star-struck.
In the meantime, I had to make sure that the kids from Kentucky had my undivided attention.
When you have sat on a Mountain Top with Muhammad Ali, it does not get any better than that. Still I am thinking, how can I get Kevin to stop by and say a few words to these kids? I know I would not want to be a kid and have to ride all the back to Kentucky, thinking Kevin Hart was right next door and he didn’t have time to stop by to say hello!
My break came when one of the security detail came through the kitchen. I told him that Kevin and I went back and I needed for him to stop on the way out and say hello to the kids. He in turn sent another member of the team out to meet with me and he said okay.
There was another video shoot to execute out in front of the restaurant. A team member came back and told me that Kevin would make his exit through the kitchen and to keep my eyes on the front.
I all most missed him trying to get the kids back into their seats, by the time I got back to the kitchen Kevin was headed up the steps to the exit. I called out “Kevin where are you going, come back here and holler at the kids?” He put his hand up to his mouth and said, ‘I am hollering at the kids Harold!’
I said, “No way Kevin, come on man and say hello to the children.” He said ‘okay’ and he came back down and went into Ben’s Next Door and waved to the children.
During these difficult times we should always make children first, whether they are ours or someone else’s child.
Ali was a different kind of fellow if a child or baby was in his space the child had his undivided attention.
Many times it is not the celebrity at fault it is “The Yes Men” who are suppose to have his best interest at heart. Kevin probably has changed and success does that to some. Some folks handle success and other let success handle them. I am thinking in the end Kevin is going to handle success because his heart is in the right place. He could have blown me and the kids off but he didn’t.
After Kevin and his entourage had cleared the restaurant, the kids from Kentucky were still waiting outside to get into see the original Chili Bowl where Kevin Hart had just eaten. I took them on a walk through and they seem to have left happy.
When I took Sugar Ray Leonard under my wing as his mentor Robert Hooks was there and a host of others that I brought into help me support this kid in trouble. Ray did not have a bucket to piss-in or a window to throw it out. But when the dust had cleared, he had become the first pro boxer to earn over 100 million dollars (not Muhammad Ali)!
Folks often wonder how I came up with the phrase that I closed my sports talk show INSIDE SPORTS, use to close with, “Every black face you see is not your brother and every white face you see is not your enemy?”
The phrase was inspired by the likes of Sugar Ray, John Thompson, Don King, Adrian Dantley, Adrian Branch, Tony Paige, James Brown, Cathy Hughes, and the list goes on and on, but on the flip side of the coin there were the white faces that inspired me to be all that I could be, to include, Richard Nixon, Red Auerbach, Bert Sugar, Angelo Dundee, Hymie Perlo, etc.
April 4, 2016 marked 48 years to the day when our Prince of Peace Dr. Martin Luther gave his life trying to help the poor and down trodden in Memphis, Tennessee.
On Tuesday April 5th a group of young white middle school kids from Montana came in to the Chili Bowl and blew the top off the place. They had all competed in an essay contest on Black History and their reward was a trip to Washington, DC during spring break.
One the young ladies who won the contest closed out the evening by standing next to the matriarch and founder, Ms. Virginia Ali. She recited the winning essay, it was Dr. King’s speech the night before he was killed in Memphis. It was breath taking. She and fellow students are another reason why we should make all kids first.
On April 4, 1968 when Dr. King was shot and killed in Memphis,Tennessee, I know exactly where I was.
I was with my co-worker Willie Wood (Green Bay Packer NFL Hall of Fame) and we were standing on the corner of 9th and U Street NW DC. We were both working for the DC Rec Department’s Roving Leader Program (Youth Gang Task Force). We had just left Chez Maurice Restaurant’s Happy Hour, a popular hangout for the so-called black in-crowd in DC.
It was a beautiful spring day and we were enjoying the sunshine when someone rode by in a car and shouted, “Hey Harold, they just shot and killed Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee.”
Now here we are almost 50 years later and the theme song in the Black community is still “We Shall Over Come?” The newly renovated Howard Theater is struggling with a bunch of no-names on the marquee and the historic Bohemian Caverns has shut its door for good. And we are still trying to figure out what went wrong, the answer is in your closest mirrow.
In 2016 a racist billionaire is leading the polls to become the President of the United States and his counter-parts have come out of their holes to support him (keeping hope alive). Donald Trump is exactly what the Republicans wanted, but they had not planned on a member of their own 1% club whom they could not control! Now they are crying “Foul.” You reap what you sow.
President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle are getting the last laugh. I would love to be a fly on the wall while they are lying in bed laughing their asses off at this charade while the 2016 Presidential Campaign being spoofed on Saturday Night Live!
Our children’s blood flows in our streets while we pretend there has been progress has been made in human and civil rights in America.
To understand our problem we have to look no further then the black politicians, pimping ministers and black judges sitting on the bench seeing no evil, hearing no evil and sentencing no evil.
In the meantime, cops have become paid assassins in the black community. Their guns have taken the place of a rope. The real problem lies at the top of the law-enforcement community. The problem is the message of “Us against them” mentality.
This message was placed in the minds of racist cops decades ago by the KKK who infiltrated police departments around this country. They were hoping that the message would protect them and it has.
The Code of Silence and The Thin Blue Line were designed to protect white police officers against charges of murder and brutality in the black community. Black police officers unknowing would join forces and become card carrying members of the KKK by being members of the Fraternity Order of Police.
The keepers of this code are the Presidents of the Fraternity Order of Police Departments around America. This behavior is controlled by the 1% and condone by 90% of Police Administrators (to include Police Chiefs). The Godfather of Police Community Relations was the late New York City Police Chief Patrick Murphy. Mr. Murphy was hired by the late Mayor Walter Washington in the late 60s as the Director of the DC Police and Fire Departments. He tried his best to implement a Police/Community Relations Program in the Nation’s Capitol. He met with the staff of the Roving Leader Program once a month at police headquarters to get our input. The police union tried to stand in his path but he refused to give-in and there was progress made, but has since disappeared.
When was the last time you heard one of the Presidents of the Fraternity Order of Police where there was an unarmed black man or woman shot down in our community and a he said, “That was a bad shooting.” Never in the history of law-enforcement has one Fraternity own up to a bad shooting–similar to the KKK owning up to a bad lynching. All fatal shootings in the black community are considered “Good Shootings.”
You will not read or hear of this issue being discussed in Courtland Milloy, Coby King, Eugene Robinson’s columns in the Washington Post, or read about the issue in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NY or LA Times. Talking heads like radio talk show host Kojo Knnamdi, Sam Ford or Bruce Johnson on WUSA TV 9 or Maureen Bunyan on TV 7 would dare not broach the topic. The reason, they don’t have a clue?
2015 marked 50 years I have spent working in the streets of the inner-city taking me from the courthouses, playgrounds and schools in our community. I have seen the Good, Bad and Ugly when it comes to Justice & Just-Us, by no means am I anti-cop, my two brothers were in law-enforcement.
My older brother Bobby was a U. S. Marshall for 25 years, my young brother Earl was a DC cop for 14 years (both deceased). I was responsible for both entering the field of law-enforcement (thanks to an assist from former U. S. Marshall-in-charge, Luke C. Moore and columnist Bill Raspberry). My brothers both faced the Thin Blue Line and the Code of Silence trying to stand-up and be good and honest cop serving the people of our community. But Bad Cops like Chief Issac Fullwood proved that white folks didn’t have a patent on racism. His kind still exist in police departments all over this country.
My mentors were the late DC Superior Court Judge, Luke C. Moore and the late Assistant DC Police Chief Timon O’Brant (he was a cop’s cop) both were stand- up Black Men.
My best friend is Andy Johnson (Top DC Homicide Detective). He retired as a DEA Supervisor. And last but by no means least, FBI undercover agent and later the FBI Director of the Detroit Field Office, Wayne Davis. I met Wayne during the 1968 riots after Assistant Chief O’ Brant issue me a DC Police Department badge to get me through the police and military barricades. Wayne would later tip me off to warn our “Mayor for Life” Marion Barry there was a FBI sting in the works to sit him up. Marion did not heed my warning and “The Bitch Set Him Up!’
There are not just bad cops, but there are bad judges and politicians who are perpetrating a fraud in our black communities. Hats off to the black female Mayor and Prosecutor in Baltimore, please keep them in your prayers.
I recently went back into my archives and found one of my Inside Sports talk shows with DC Police Department Commander Jimmy Wilson and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Alex Williams (a regular) discussing Police Brutality in our community. There is the e-mail from one of the leading Prince Georges County ministers discussing his hidden agenda when it comes to police brutality and how he is locked into the Chief and State’s Attorney? And then there is the homeboy Congressman who I volunteered my resources (media and community), when I first met him at last year’s 2015 Congressional Black Caucus Weekend in DC, he said, after I introduced myself “Man you just f–ked my day up!” He later invited me, my wife and several Kids In Trouble advocates to his office trying to clear up his blunder. It was there he told me, “Man I have never had folks come into my office without asking me for something!” He even called his mother and introduced us by speaker phone. But he turned out to be a ‘Cutie on Duty.’ Stay tune.
When it comes to politicians, The Congressional Black Caucus has been a waste of time for the past several decades.
Trump is not the only loser running for office, my Voter Alert includes, Prince Georges County, Donna Edwards, Glenn Ivy and Anthony Brown. Vote for their opponents whom ever they may be. In DC in Ward 7 Vote for the lesser of the two evils, there is little or no choice between Yvette Alexander and Vincent Reed. My best advice, vote for the unknown because the known is scary. Best bets: Chris Van Hollen and David Trone.
My heroes were not black athletes growing up as a kid in NE Washington, DC. My heroes could not shoot a jump shot, throw a football 75 yards in the air or hit a baseball out of the park. My heroes were black women with names like, Grandma Bell and Mommy B. They were my grandmother and mother.