Friday, November 6, 2009



We are the 3 Musketeers, African-American journalist-style. We took from the rich and gave to the poor, mirroring Joseph Pulitzer's dictum to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
We did it with a commitment to Black Folks, poor folks, all folks who wanted and needed the truth told.
Now us 3 Musketeers are again challenged, this time by "The Big C." It took Topp, our dear friend Ron Topping at age 42. It threatened me nine years ago, when a surgeon awakened me to say that what we thought was kidney cancer indeed was. Now Greg.

Lord, give us peace and strength and courage and wisdom and freedom from pain and.....

Lord, take us when you're ready to start a GREAT! newspaper in Heaven.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Michael Jackson powered the world on his artistry, and now that his drug-corroded battery has given out, his fans are left to their hearts and pocketbooks.

While they grieve for his soul, they seethe for those sycophants and bloodsuckers who snared his earthly being. Throughout life, Michael Jackson just wanted to give -- because he was deprived of such gifts from those closest to him.

He was left to fend for himself, a genius in search of his soul. The irony is that while his fans found him, Michael never found himself. His was a pale skeleton shadowing a childhood never obtained. His was a life mistaken by tabloid innuendo but nonetheless an existence of pain and much sorrow.

So pray now for Michael, and continue to joyfully pay when you buy his masterpieces. New generations have joined their grandparents in hearing pop classics crooned by a once and future king.

That Michael's music is once again atop the charts is a singular achievement likely never again to be achieved. "Billy Jean," "Thriller," "Man in the Mirror," "Lady in My Life," "Off the Wall" -- no, I never will say goodbye, Michael.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


What gives with today's collegian? Entitlement is their new merit badge. No work, no sweat. Don't show up to class. No sweat. Take a mere passing grade. No problem.

In years of teaching, never have I witnessed such a passive group of individuals who expect nothing from themselves, yet they expect the world will be their oyster.

And these are future journalists of color, who care less about AP Style than they do about learning the "stinky leg."

For my part, it is time to cut the professorial cord. No problem.


Comes the horsemen of the Somali apocalypse, in dinghy and dhow in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, lethal weaponry at hand after hijacking an American freighter and taking its captain as hostage.

Comes the U.S. Navy, FBI, CIA, State Department and goodness knows who else, while foreign navies watch the world's lone superpower held at bay for days by four paltry buccaneers.

They are from a Third World mess. but as close to a Fourth World catastrophe. Still, these are a people bent on providing a learning experience for the U.S. We are experts at war, much less so whenever we're in the middle of Mideast or African cat-and-mouse drama.

Now Navy warships and drones monitor every breath. That's a lot of technology for an ancient people.

We went into Somalia a few years ago to keep the peace. When that didn't work, we had a shot, a real deadly shot at the Somali brass and lost it primarily because we lost a few GIs. Their heroim saluted, we should have gone into Somali like the gangbusters we were in Iraq, then unleashed our own brand of nation building on the Horn of Africa.

Would have worked, too. For sure, we would have stood a better shot than that tribal curse of Sunni, Shiite and Kurd in Iraq.

Now we have only ourselves to blame. Because no matter how the hijackers of the Maersk Alabama fare against the American Navy, the United States will have a stern challenge in dealing with the poorest of the poor, a growing population who have no saner choice than to resort to piracy -- or terrorism -- to survive.