My Bondage, My Freedom: Bringing Out the Historian in Chicagoans

As an avid historian, I am often confused by people who read about history and only memorize dates and names without analyzing it. History is a living thing, linking what’s happening now to what has happened in our past. The perfect example of this connection between past and present is represented by a book now included in the rare book collection of Chicago State University.

Last year, I donated an original 1855 first edition of Frederick Douglass’ My Bondage, My Freedom to the Chicago State University from my collection of Civil War-era documents and Americana. I am fascinated by this intense episode of American history and how it shaped the world.

However, I did not begin my collection with the intention of keeping rare books for my own research. Rather, I want to preserve and make history available to everyone, as it was intended, without alteration or editing, and let the readers decide for themselves the meaning and context of these true and accurate historical documents.

The introduction to My Bondage, My Freedom, written by James McCune Smith, an African-American physician, abolitionist, and friend of Frederick Douglass, was published with the work in 1855, but John Stauffer’s foreword, included in more current editions, is written in the past tense. This separates readers from the events, making the history feel finished. But Frederick Douglass’ story is not over. The activism he helped put in motion 158 years ago is still playing out, and we are a part of it.

To Chicago State University, a university with a population that is almost 78% African-American, Douglass’ book is much more than an artifact from the past. The oppression of certain classes, the racism, the lack of available education, and the demand for change that Douglass experienced in America are not gone. It has been 158 years since My Bondage, My Freedom was published, and Americans, Chicagoans in particular, are still experiencing similar problems differently.

As a Harvard University professor of English and American Literature and African American Studies, Chair of the History of American Civilization program at Harvard and a leading authority on antislavery, social protest movements and interracial friendship, Stauffer’s interpretation is undoubtedly insightful; however, it may unintentionally limit another reader’s willingness to further analyze Douglass’ work.

Stauffer tells us, “My Bondage, My Freedom represents Douglass’ declaration of black independence from slavery and racism. It announces the presence of a confident black intellectual who shapes his black aesthetic, and insists on having his book read alongside all literature.”

I agree with Stauffer’s analysis, but now I challenge everyone to think further. Read My Bondage, My Freedom. See the 1855 version at Chicago State University. Look at the documents on, a free online resource containing visuals of original historical documents. Read Stauffer’s foreword—after. What does it mean to you right now? What does it mean to Americans? To Chicago? What can we learn?

I am hoping the donation has sparked an interest in history in a way that not all textbooks and museums can. I have other books and documents from the time period, which I plan to give away over the next ten years, making unaltered history more widely available, and hopefully creating more active historians across the country because history can repeat itself if we are not careful.

October 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Unwed father’s rights need safeguarding

by Jeffery Leving

Unwed biological fathers are often told they have no rights when it comes to their infant children when placed for adoption. The fact they fathered their child is not considered important when the mother decides, on her own, to give the infant child up for adoption in certain circumstances.

But, this gender disparity in equal protection and due process in parental rights is changing.

Recently, the State of Utah adopted House Bill 308 that is designed to safeguard unwed paternal rights in regards to children six months or younger from being adopted. This law would require unwed fathers to be issued official notification of the mother’s intention to give their infant child up for adoption in certain circumstances. Once received, the father would then have 30 days to assert his rights as a parent and petition the court for custody. This closes a loophole which had allowed mothers to circumvent notifying the biological father and thus committing the ultimate act of parental alienation – terminating the father-child relationship forever.

Common sense and fair play would argue that if an unwed mother decides to give up her rights to a child, then the biological father would automatically be given the opportunity to take custody of his child. Instead, a stranger can be given the right to adopt the child, often without the father even knowing he will never see his child again.

All too often these points are treated unreasonably in many states because too many jurisdictions have rejected the rights of fathers regarding infant children born outside of marriage.

The mother, it is aggressively argued, bears the burden of child birth and therefore should be the sole parent overseeing the child’s well-being and future relationship with the birth father. This not only doesn’t make sense, but can strip children of someone who has a natural biological drive to protect them – their own father.

Utah isn’t the only state that has begun to tear down these antiquated attitudes against biological fathers.

Recently, a legislative initiative evolved in the State of Michigan to adopt a similar law involving putative fathers. This House Bill (HB 4067), which, among other things, would allow biological fathers the right to seek to establish paternity even if the child’s mother was married to another man between the time the child was conceived and born.

The new Michigan legislation would provide a detailed mechanism to establish paternity for a biological father as previous statues automatically granted paternity to the marital father.

Again, common sense would dictate that the biological father, the one who conceived the child with the mother, would have rights to establish paternity and custody, but this is not always the case. Existing laws in many states not only ignore the rights of the father, but ignore the rights of the child.

Who better to enjoy the legal right to defend a child’s health, education, and welfare than their biological, natural father when mom walks away?

The rights of fathers should be balanced against the rights of mothers when it comes to safeguarding the well-being of their children. Equal protection and due process should exist in every state regardless of gender and marital status. Unwed fathers should not be wrongfully excluded from making decisions that are necessary in raising their children, including education, religious training, and health care. This is critical in this nation where approximately 33.1% of children are born out of wedlock.

However, if there is a child placement disagreement, the child’s future is too often decided based on parental gender and marital status.

Unwed fathers’ rights legislation will hopefully be enacted into law in both Utah and also in Michigan and spread throughout the nation. These are steps in the right direction to correct this unfair imbalance. Constitutional rights must apply to unwed fathers and their children too.

[Originally Published here:]

May 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

How To Avoid Divorce Denial – It’s a Messy World: Here’s How to Avoid Getting Screwed

By Jeffery Leving

Deniers simply are unable to face the fact that their marriage is over, even when the signs are unmistakable: Their spouse is cheating, siphoning money out of their accounts or making plans to move out. Still, deniers hope their marriage can be saved. Jack and Ellen’s story is an excellent example of divorce denial and of the mistakes men make in divorce.

A Loyal Man

Jack refused to believe his wife Ellen was going to divorce him. They had been married for seven years, and though he knew their marriage had problems, he was certain they could work them out. Some of the problems were related to Ellen’s bipolar disorder, for which she was being treated.

Unfortunately, Ellen sometimes refused to take the prescribed medications that helped keep the condition under control. In her manic phase, she drove recklessly, and though she had never done so with their two young children in the car, Jack always worried about this possibility.

In her “down” phase, Ellen talked about “running away and starting over.” But Jack, loyal to mistakes men make in divorce, was certain that no matter how many arguments he and Ellen had, she would never file for divorce.

Sleeping in

He was wrong. Not only had she hired a lawyer and started the process, but she also had followed the lawyer’s instructions regarding her medical condition. Her lawyer, anticipating that Jack might use this condition to try to gain sole custody, had instructed Ellen to persuade Jack to sign a document attesting to her mental fitness; he helped Ellen create a cover story that she needed this document for health insurance purposes.

By the divorce, he was hopelessly behind. It took him weeks to find a lawyer, and even then he remained unconvinced that she was serious about sole custody; he insisted to his lawyer that this was just a negotiating ploy.

Jack, realizing he was falling victim to mistakes men make in divorce, finally emerged from his divorce denial.

Denial Signs To Be Aware Of

To prevent this from happening, be aware of the following signs that you’re in divorce denial:

  • Your spouse informs you she wants a divorce, but you insist to both her and yourself that she’s not serious.
  • The marriage is dead and your spouse moves out and makes a down payment on a new house, but you convince yourself that the separation is temporary.
  • You note that your spouse is taking money out of your joint accounts, that your relationship has experienced serious problems and that she is having an affair, but you refuse to put two and two together.
  • Your spouse has threatened to take the kids and leave, but even as you’re consulting your lawyer, you refuse to believe she would ever do such a thing.
  • When your spouse informs you that she’s filing for divorce, you refuse to hire an lawyer, convinced that things will work out if you avoid “playing her game.”
  • You tell your friends that your spouse is only using the possibility of divorce as a bargaining chip to buy a new house or change your bad habits, but that when push comes to shove, she’ll never follow through on the threat.
  • You hire a lawyer in response to your spouse filing for divorce, but you argue with him that your spouse has no intention of limiting your visitation, asking for sole custody, refusing to give you certain monies, or share property fairly; based on your certainty that your spouse would never treat you unfairly, you don’t follow your lawyer’s advice.

Done Deal

Divorce denial is dangerous, especially if you have children at risk. Recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to protect your rights and the rights of your children.


October 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Fathers Hold Key to Communicating with Troubled Teens

by: Jeffery M. Leving

Hilda Franco and the Chicago Freedom School have developed a program promoting outreach to children and teens caught in the crossfire of violence plaguing Chicago Public Schools. I applaud her initiative and agree that active communication with these children is a positive move in the right direction, but I would like to challenge Herald News readers to take this idea one step further.

As Chairman of the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood (ICRF-, I believe the best way to reach these teens is to teach their fathers how to communicate with their children. In the Riverdale neighborhood where Derrion Albert grew up, nearly 80% of households with children do not have a father present. Research shows that fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school, consistently score lower than average in reading and math, and are eleven times more likely to exhibit violent behavior. There are gender and economic barriers that must be overcome or these fathers will continue to be kicked to the curb. We need to go into this community to empower and educate these men on the importance of being actively involved in their children’s lives. We need to make sure that all fathers in all communities know that they have the legal right to request custody and visitation of their children regardless of their financial situation.

Incarcerated fathers are also victimized by the denial of equal protection. We need to go into the prison systems and give incarcerated fathers the same resources available to incarcerated mothers to help them parent their children both in and out of prison. While Illinois has a program in place giving incarcerated mothers access to their children through virtual visitation (ie: video conferencing), the same option is not provided to fathers. I co-authored the Illinois law giving judges the ability to award virtual visitation to non-custodial parents. Now that this law is in place, let’s implement a virtual visitation program for fathers through the Illinois Department of Corrections focused on the best interest of the child. As the goal, incarcerated fathers remain in contact with their children. Furthermore, during my visit to the Decatur Correctional Center, I learned that incarcerated mothers not only have access to virtual visitation with their children, but are also allowed to live with their babies in prison. The lack of similar programs for fathers is nothing short of institutionalized gender preference showing what little value our society places on the importance of paternal love and bonding.  This bias being perpetuated in our prisons not only illustrates the obstacles in place for fathers wanting relationships with their children, it tramples equal protection safeguards.

Until fathers and children everywhere engage in positive relationships, other proposed remedies to safeguard children from violence are just a band-aid on a gaping wound. As a community, we all need to actively search for a solution to this ongoing violence. I agree that giving teens a forum to express themselves to caring adults is invaluable and ICRF is committed to ensuring that every father in Illinois has the knowledge and resources to be there for their kids when they are needed most. But, we must never forget that any man’s loss of his child is a loss for us all.

Jeffery M. Leving


Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood

November 18, 2009 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Childless Men Jailed for Non-payment of Child Support

By Jeffery M. Leving

Frank Hatley spent the past year in Cook County jail in South Georgia for falling behind in child support payments. However, as the court was aware, he had no children according to court documents. A DNA test even confirmed that there was no chance he was the father.

Walter Sharpe, from Philadelphia, was forced to pay more than $12,000 in child support for another man’s daughter. He spent two years in jail for falling behind in child support payments. Sharpe’s Petitions filed for DNA testing were denied by the judge. However, the paternity order against him was finally overturned after the girl’s mother failed to show up to a court hearing.

Paternity Fraud victims need justice. Our system is broken.

A report issued by the American Association of Blood Banks found that nearly 30 percent of paternity tests conducted in the U.S. reveal that the man being tested is not the biological father. Partially as a result of the availability of DNA paternity testing, thousands of fathers are discovering that “their” child is someone else’s. But, many of these “duped dads” continue to be responsible for the payment of child support or suffer the consequences of jail.

Too many states adhere to an archaic 500-year-old English common-law doctrine that a married man is always legally presumed the father of a child born of the marriage, even if he is not the biological father. Unmarried men can be court ordered to pay child support for children they did not father through default paternity and child support judgments. Such judgments can be court ordered without the alleged father’s knowledge.

Ignoring paternity fraud is not different than ignoring DNA testing showing a convicted murderer wasn’t guilty. It’s time to correct this injustice. Paternity fraud is just as reprehensible as any other kind of fraud from which the public needs protection.

Tony Jackson is a California father who had to work two jobs to pay back approximately $13,000 in back child support for a child proven by DNA testing not to be his. It’s time to release men like Jackson from this blatant injustice.

Opponents of paternity fraud legislation needed to correct this problem say we must prevent “duped dads” from abandoning children that are not theirs biologically. In many cases I’ve seen, the “duped dad” does not want to abandon the child he has come to love as his own. It was the system that drove him off as well as the biological father. For example, in one outrageous case in Texas, the judge ordered a man to pay child support for another man’s three children and cut off his visitation with all of the children.

Who is really hurting the children in cases such as this?

To those who say children will be left unsupported if men are not forced to pay support, I say that the men who should support the children should be the biological fathers. Making men pay child support for children proven by DNA testing not to be theirs is not in the best interests of children and families. It can also deprive children of ever knowing their true biological fathers.

The real fear underlying the arguments of many of the dwindling number of opponents of this legislation is losing a cash cow for agencies and institutions that benefit financially by preserving the status quo. In reality, it has little to do with protecting the interests of children.

States benefit by collecting financial incentive payments from the federal government for child support collected. It is easier for child support agencies to financially squeeze the “duped dad” than to find the biological dad, who may not even know he has a child and would welcome the opportunity to step up to the plate and be Dad.

I encourage all state legislatures to pass fair paternity fraud bills requiring courts to order DNA testing when requested. I also encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the next Paternity Fraud case that comes before it. A correct ruling by the high court would speed justice along for everyone. This is clearly what is right.

Jeffery M. Leving is one of America’s leading family law attorneys. He is the founder of

July 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm 1 comment

Danny Glover Interview with Jeffery Leving – part 1

Part 1 of 2 –

JML: Can you tell us about your father, your family and how you grew up?

If I’m a good father, it’s because I try to be half the father as my father was. I had a father who I thought was a prince. Even though at times we disappointed him in terms of what we did as teenagers, as kids with all that energy. But for the most part, I just thought when I sit down and analyze what he gave me – the sense of comfort, the sense of safety that he gave me.

I knew that he wasn’t a big man, I’m a foot taller than my father but the sense of presence, and the way he took on his responsibilities of caring for the family – all those things I was able to take into fatherhood. And hopefully, even though some things I think I could have done differently, hopefully those had some sort of impact on my daughter.  And our relationship is a testimony that it’s had an impact on her.

That’s only because my father was there in the household and my mother was there. We had a unit as a family with 5 children and mother and father and we did things as a family. We traveled on vacation as a family. There was the concept that the family took precedence over me the individual. So we all had and took on responsibility whether it was the upkeep of the house or whether it’s the cooking of the meals and all the other kind of things and I think what it did was give me another sensibility.

So since there were 4 boys and 1 girl, there was no gender preference given to the boys in terms of responsibility. The boys washed dishes, the boys ironed clothes, the boys cooked – every one of them knew how to do all of that. I think those were important because in a sense that’s the images I saw in my parents. My father cooked, he washed clothes, he ironed, he did all those things – he took on that. My mother was a Cub Scout Mother. When we lived in the projects when I was a little boy, my father was my youngest brother’s Boy Scout Den Father when we lived in a house. So I applaud them in creating the sense of normalcy and the consistency in which they maintained that.

You’re fortunate because you grew up in a stable family where your parents were together and they raised you as a teen and you had a great dad. You had an excellent father.

I had a great mom and a great dad and I think they made each other the best that they could be. I had one of those mothers who had the most glorious smile that you ever want to see and yet she was a woman of magnitude. She was the president of the local chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, she knew Dr. Dorothy Hite well, she was the first in her family in rural Georgia to graduate from college. So she was a woman going somewhere. And she happened to pick one of the most gentle men, one of the most beautiful men I ever met in my life – my dad.

I mean that’s great, as a divorce lawyer and as a fathers’ rights attorney, I’m a big supporter of children having two parents. And when we were growing up, a lot of children had two parents.

Absolutely, absolutely.

Unfortunately it’s changed a lot and a lot of fathers get kicked to the curb and children suffer. And I’ve represented a lot of good dads struggling to be there for their children and the system kicks them out. But fortunately for us we grew up in a different time.

Yeah!  I’m 62 years old so I grew up in a time when it meant something to get in the car and the family go on a Sunday drive down the coast – I grew up in San Francisco – so we’d go an hour down the coast as a family and stop by a little, local hamburger/French fry place – that’s a cravat right there, there was the real thing about that. We’d have some hamburgers and French fries as a family and I loved that and I remember that so vividly in my mind, you know, with my parents. And it could be a way in which they were saying, “Okay, let’s as a family do something.”

We don’t have a lot of money; we weren’t blessed with a lot of money. My parents went from paycheck to paycheck all their entire time that I lived with them. And after I moved out of the house. But there was this sense of doing something that felt so and remarkably wonderful as a family. And I lost a sister, lost a brother to rheumatory arthritis, colon cancer to my sister. But I tell you – my younger brothers that are much younger that I am and I are very very close.

Oh, that’s great. I wrote this book, Fathers’ Rights and in it on pages 46 and 47, I listed a lot of statistics on how father absence effects in children and the most reliable predictor of crime in America is father absence. It says right here, 72% of all teenage murderers grew up without fathers. The absence of a biological father increases by 900% a daughter’s vulnerability to rape and sexual abuse. And these assaults are not often committed by the dads, it’s committed by boyfriends of the custodial parents. These are the statistics that are somewhat new to our society.

I agree with you to some extent, but there are other factors that happen within a family, within the communal structure than just those particular statistics which apply to the individual. What are the social conditions? What is the stress level of the mother? What other kind of support mechanism does she have around? Where are the uncles around there to help raise those children? Where are the aunts around to help raise those girls? A lot of other factors that go into that. To say that the numbers, of course, when we take the fact that 2 million men and women incarcerated in this country. Those numbers who suggest that, but I think that there are a lot of other dynamics around the maintenance of a family. The laws and regulations and communities are family-friendly that create the kind of atmosphere as well in support.
The fact is they say that if you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with. We found that in most cases, when those single boys – and I’ve been in those situations – and those boys in those relationships where there’s someone who cares, where there’s someone there. He may be a father figure; he may be a father himself. But there’s someone who cares. And those girls are with people who care about them and care about who they are. Amazing things happening.

And sometimes in the 21st century, given all the kinds of dynamics that happen. In the last part of the 20th century, people were very mobile. They moved from place to place. They went from job to job as opposed to the first part of the 20th century. The last part of the 20th century, people become mobile and that has an impact on whatever the social dynamics among the family and the community itself. And also, the structures that employ us, remember – you take a place like Detroit. Detroit was one of the first places in this country as black people after the invention of the cotton picking machine in 1944 – black people were free from the land. 100% of the cotton was picked by hand in 1944, within 25 years 100% of the cotton was picked my machine. So black people moved, migrated. 5 million black people moved out of the South, to the North. All kinds of family disruptions. So almost a quarter of the black population moved in transit to find work.

They came to places like Detroit, got jobs – good jobs. Low skill jobs, good paying jobs. They built homes, raised families all over the country. Then those cities became de-industrialized. Those jobs went over seas to cheaper labor. Continued, we see it today. They went to some other place, for cheaper labor. Therefore are many losses: tax based. They lost a sense of self. They lost their sense of identity. Upon losing that sense of identity you have what you have now. Those are the kind of ideas that we cannot simply; we must incorporate any analysis of those things that have happened. That’s real history. That’s real history that’s right in front of my eyes.

My dad had a job, he retired from a job after 31 years. My mother when she passed away was still working. They had a job and everything else. They were able to build a family. We moved from the projects, I lived in the projects, the housing projects until I was 11 years old. We moved from there, we bought a home.

Every one of us got into problems; yes we did things as kids. But I remember when my dad came down into that police station and said after I had done something and came in and picked me up and said, “Son, I am disappointed in you.”

I’m towering over him now, I’m 6’2”, I am towering over him. “Son, I am so disappointed in you.”

That has meaning to me. That had meaning to me because of their life. That had meaning to me because of all the things that have happened. And that was the last time I had been involved in anything like that. I’ve been arrested for doing other things like for protesting something or sitting in or something like that. But it’s the last thing. Those are the kind of things I think of enforcedly. I know that now. I got a 5 year old grandson whose father is not there. I know that I have to tell him everyday that he is the most important person in my life. I have to tell him every day that I love him. I have to tell him that everyday, the best job that I have, the best job in the world for me is to being your grandfather – and everything else. Your dad may not be here, but you know what, I’m here. That kind of infrastructure, that kind of support will give him a shot! Give him a chance, you know. Somebody loves me. And maybe it’s nice that I love myself as well.

I see.


May 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm 1 comment

Danny Glover Interview with Jeffery Leving – part 2

PART 2 –

JML: There are grandfathers out there that are father figures, there are uncles who are father figures when there are no biological fathers.

Yes – absolutely! Absolutely!

One of the reasons there are so few father figures out there in certain situations is because if you trace back what happened before we were even born, you go back to the 1940s, a lot of fathers were kicked out and pushed out of the family through the government. Look at public aid, public aid was a means to keep mothers and children fed by kicking fathers out of the home and that is why there are so many problems in a lot of major cities. And a lot of people believe that was based on racial prejudices and discrimination against African-American fathers. And I believe that. A lot of people disagree with me. But I believe that. And right now we are seeing a lot of children are father absent. And if you look at the media, the media glorifies father absence.

How does a male basically rate himself based on what he is taught as a child? Based on how cool he is, group sex, recreational sex, what kind of car he drives. It’s not based on education and fatherhood. And the media has a lot to do with that.

But it can change.

I think it takes a long time. I think it’s a process that we are talking about is a long standing process. We can go back to the 1930s just before and during the Depression, how white families were encouraged by incentives to move out of the inner cities and move into suburbs. That’s how suburbia started. Being in suburbia is a concept that comes pre and post the Depression (and everything else). There are so many elements in terms of regulations that the government put in place. Whether designed or not, whether they are economic imperatives that brought about this. Whether it’s economic expansion that brought about this. In their design, they may have had good benefits, positive benefits. But in any design there are both positives and negatives.

So it becomes a private industry even in the midst of calling itself “public education.”  Because, what happens? The schools, the districts, the neighborhoods with the best tax bases, the wealthiest neighborhoods, they have the best schools. They have the best schools. These are the types of dynamics we don’t look at. We’re sitting right now in the preface of all this stuff falling about. This image of this… this whole thing of what a friend of mine calls, “Phantom Wealth” collapsing on us – not Real Wealth.

What is Real Wealth? What is Real Wealth in a sane society? Real Wealth lies in what we produce. And Real Wealth lies in what we produce in human beings. Real Wealth lies in us. We’re not simply a commodity, we’re a composite of wealth. We add real value to our lives. Real value to our communities. Real value to our families. That’s Real Wealth. Not the Phantom Wealth that is taken out in terms of the way we envision the deception of money.

We’re in a state now where all this stuff has collapsed on us. You have guys walking around with Phantom Wealth who are now pushing carts down the street now. You have people who were worth so much money on paper now who are worth nothing. These are the kind of dynamics we have to watch. Not where we had been, because we will never have back what we had been. Who cares if we want to go back? Who cares if where we had been meant something? Because the past does mean something. But who we are as a fourth grade teacher. And I’m gonna end it there. Fourth grade teacher asked his fourth grade class, “What does it mean to be a human being.”

You know what is real wealth to me? My daughter.

My daughter, my grandson. “What does it mean to be a human being.” Thank you.

Thank you. And it was really an honor to talk to you.

So on the one hand, I understand that. And somewhat in a lay way, it’s restoring that movement. One of the major crises in this country is that the last effective legislation that labor won was the right to organize move than 75 years ago. So at every point in time, labor, the right to organize, the right to demand – I think the best citizens we have are people who belong to unions because not only do they fight on their behalf of their workplace but they fight on behalf of their community as well. They get decent jobs, I mean decent wages, respectable jobs, retirement, healthcare – all those particular things fall in that so you can’t section out a portion of what happened without knowing the other dynamics of it.

Everything from Taft-Hartley 1947/1948 onward – labor has been pounded, pounded, pounded. The number of people who are not unionized in this country is dramatic. It’s only 8 to 10% of people outside of the federal workforce who are not union. And everything is happening in terms of that. That’s had a major impact on the climate of labor. Plus what I talked about earlier about the de-industrialization of labor – sending jobs to cheaper markets where the labor is cheaper there. That is a major part.

That’s killing us.

But that’s been happening in the black community since the 1950s.

I agree with you 100%.

Detroit is a prime example. Why the riot? Nobody looks at the social, economic and political dynamics around the riot in Detroit in 1967.

Because nobody cares.

Nobody cares.

But they need to.

People need to understand that all these dynamics have a role in the play in a sense. So on one hand, what do you have? In the midst of all this, we this propaganda that says, “This is the best country in the world! You can do anything, you can buy anything you want.”

You show all this stuff to people and kids on TV who have nothing. All these people have nothing. What do you expect the people to do? If they can’t immerse themselves in it. And they can’t gravitate towards that. It’s impossible to something in which is considered to be illegal. Do they end up in jail? They end up in jail. But not the people who rip off who they are. Not the people who gain their wealth through thievery – legitimate legal thievery and everything else. So the whole is that when we look at this we have to understand that what happened. I’m not apologizing. It’s not a witch-hunt.

I grew up in California, I was raised in San Francisco, California. I grew up when California had one of the five best public schools, public education systems in the country. I grew up in that system right there. And what happened because of that? You talk about Proposition 13 that has passed which limited the amount of property taxes that can be levied against property, the percentages of that. All of a sudden, where did they take the hit? The took in education, the took the hit in social services, and they took the hit in terms of social services provided to senior citizens. Right then, boom! Proposition 13. And what it did was it saved the property owners a lot of money but they lost the tax base for school education and the federal government does not have a federal plan to fund education. The federal government has never been a federal plan for education in this whole country. All of that is designed for the state – and the state does what it does.

And the state mishandles it.

Well I think it takes a long time to whither away at values that people have.

May 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

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