MY FRIEND THE PRESIDENT!
I remember reading somewhere that on Jan 20th of 2021, Joe Biden will become officially the president of the United States. And after the inaugural balls are over, he will take off his tuxedo, put on orange jumpsuit and check into a prison where the wardens will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham. These guys are two of the Proud Boys and Good Old Boys on “Plantation Hill” aka Capitol Hill!
With them in control of the senate a ‘Change Ain’t Coming’ no matter who sings the song, Sam Cooke or Jennifer Hudson.
While we waited beyond November 3rd for the decision on who will be the President for our Thanksgiving, our wedding anniversary, 46th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle, Christmas and the New Year 2021, these two politicians were the most dangerous men in DC. They were in Washington as I write planning to wreak havoc on black folks and whom ever else gets in their way to keep America from going color blind. Trump claimed voter fraud when it looked like the end was near, Graham donated $500, 000 for his going away party to keep the confusion going.
With Graham and Mitchell in charge of the Senate, the country will be more dangerously divided then ever–keeping it real!
It will make no difference whether Donald Trump or Joe Binden is declared the winner. McConnell and Graham will be giving each other high fives as soon as the winner is declared.
These two are what is wrong with America, when it comes to talking out of both sides of their mouths no one does it better. They will tell a lie and look you or any television camera straight in their lens/eyes and deny they ever said it despite the video tape rolling—much like the cops in America!
McConnell and Graham will be front and center in their efforts to make America white again and they will be there to derail any efforts by the Democrats to provide an “Even Playing Field” that has yet to be achieved by either party since 1865. This was the year when the Emancipation Proclamation was written to free the slaves!
For Democrats and Republicans who might want to cross the aisle, you will have a better chance to get Trump and Obama to double date.
When everyday folks and politicians start a conversation as to what President has done more to help black America, it often starts with Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or was it Donald Trump as he claims.
Let us start with Trump’s hero, Abraham Lincoln. His position was not about freeing the slave. He made that clear during his 1858 run for senate in Charleston, lll. Much like McConnell and Graham he made it perfectly clear how he felt about a free slave. He said, “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making or bringing about in any way the social and politically equality of the white and black races.”
He was trying to be politically correct, but 9 years later in 1865 as President of the United States, he was singing a different tune as it related to the Emancipation Proclamation that made the slave a free man and woman. He cleaned up his act for his run during his Presidency, but he didn’t fool the great abolitionist Frederick Douglas. Douglas knew he was playing both sides of the fence.
Clinton did absolutely nothing, there is no legislation that can be found where he signed into law that enhanced or improved life in the black community. He owns the 30 billion dollar 1994 Crime Bill that he signed into law. The bill locked up thousands of black men. Blacks were impressed with his playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show and how he would show at Sylvia’s Restaurant for soul food. There are some black folks who still call him “The first black President!”
Trump, he helped save black colleges (half-truth), he granted executive clemency for 25 individuals charged or convicted of federal criminal offenses. He allowed NFL legend Jim Brown to con him out of 50 million dollars disguised as prison reform. Trump pardon the first black heavyweight champion of the World, Jack Johnson.
Obama is the officially the first black President. He looked good being President for eight years. The First Lady was the best First Lady ever. She found her way into the hearts of the black community. Their two daughters despite the pressure and spotlight of growing up in the White House made us proud. They gave the tabloids no dark moments. I am deliriously happy they got out of there alive.
Obama’s biggest failure to me was in his hometown of Chicago, for eight years he did little or nothing to curb the gun violence that claimed the lives of some of the city’s youngest and brightest. He could make a jump shot from the corner, but he did little to stop the shots being fired in drive-by shootings in Chicago. There was no safe heaven or “Even Playing field to be found in the Chicago Hood. Obama ignored the pleas of the late Senator John McCain and other boxing historians to pardon the great Jack Johnson. Trump jumped at the opportuniy.
Richard Nixon started his quest for civil rights in 1957 as Vice-President in the Eisenhower administration. We met in the summer of 1957, I was a caddy at the exclusive Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Md. I was trying to help my mother make ends meet.
He did more to support and uplift Black Americans than, Lincoln, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama, and Trump.
Nixon would later become the 37th President of the United States
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. He signed the Civil Rights Act into law on july 2, 1964 prohibiting discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools. The law made employment discrimination illegal, this document was the most sweeping Civil Rights legistration since reconstruction.
The man behind this sweeping legislation was Richard Nixon. He is credited for having a strong record on foreign policy, but his record on domestic policy, especially civil rights is often overlooked. During his years as Vice-President under President Dwight Eisenhower he sought to ensure minorities especially, Black Americans were not discriminated against in federal contracts (The Philadelphia Plan/Arthur Fletcher). He also worked with Congress to spearhead the Civil rights act of 1957, sweeping legistlation was a precursor to the landmark Civil Rights act of 1865 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
When he reached the Presidency he sought to expand economic opportunities for Black Americans by ending discrimination in the work place, through the endowment of black colleges with federal funds, and help them to find meaningful employment through job assistance programs, and promotion of entrepreurship an initiative called “Black Capitism.” In 1970, was perhaps the hall mark of the Nixon administration Civil Rights policies. He sought to end decades of old and traditional segregated schools for black and white children throughout the nation, predominantly in the southern states.
During his second term as Vice-President, he shepherd through Congress the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The civil rights legislation empowered the Justice Department to prosecute the civil rights cases through a newly established Civil Rights Division. It allowed prosecutors to obtain court injunctions when a citizen’s rights to vote were violated.
Nixon’s role proved to be crucial in Congress. He was vocal about about the administration’s civil rights goals and while serving in his Constitutional role as President of the U. S. Senate. He help lead the effort to get the bill to the senate floor, southern Democrats opposed and blocked provisions that would allow the justice department authority to protect broad constitutional rights including school desegregation and voting rights violations.
In August 1957 in a constituent letter, he expressed disappointment that the Senate had watered down the original version of the civil rights bill, however, he did express hope, writing, “I am convinced that we will continue to make progress toward our goal of guaranteeing rights for every American.” There is little doubt, he was the political Godfather of Civil Rights.
Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King in a meeting with Vice-President Nixon said, “It was much better than no bill at all. We can at least be sure that we are moving steadily ahead.“
Racism in America has been a foregone conclusion for over 400+ years and counting. The problem, black folks keep looking for love in all the wrong places! For example; Hip-Hop icons /Ice Cube-50 Cents-Cardi B-Little Wayne and Kanye West all jumped into the Presidential 2020 sweepstakes making their voices heard, some were loud and wrong, but remember this is America and we can be loud and wrong. We paid the price with our blood sweat and tears.
Why is it so difficult to cross over the aisle from Democrat to Republican to help the folks who put you in office? The answer is GREED. 90% of the politicians are chasing the almighty dollar!
America has a systemic embedded racial problem, but this is my home. I remember my first home was a one room shack and a outhouse on Douglas street in NE DC—it burned to the ground when I was three years old. Motown legend Smokey Robinson says it best during a guest appearance on Def Comedy Jam see link and what it means to be black: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfYMgZekMo
I literally went from a outhouse to a White House, to have lunch with the President of the United States. I sat on a mountain top with the Greatest, Muhammad Ali! I did it all with no boots or bootstraps.
There have been poems written about me. In 1972 INSIDE SPORTS was out of Compton long before Ice Cube and NWA. While they had to go underground to call out the cops and crooked politicians—I was calling them out above ground without the profanity on AM Radio-WOOK & WUST while the FCC was watching me closely.
My theme music on my sports talk show came from my homeboy and friend Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott, Bob Marley, the Staple singers and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes “Wake Up Everybody”. Inside Sports was the Breakfast Club and Dinner Club long before Charlamgne the God, DJ Envy and Angela Yee, most likely before they were born. I followed in the footstep of the legendary radio and television personality Petey Greene my mentor.
INTRO AMERICAN POLITICS 101: HOW TO PLAY THE GAME WITHOUT SELLING OUT!
Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble, Inc. became barometers for similar programs that followed. I was able to cross the isle because I had the ear of one President, four Republicans and twelve Democrats and I stayed in my lane. I am going to try describe my up close and personal experieces with the politicians below in as few words as possible:
*President Richard Nixon (R-Cali) In our early years (57-58) as Vice-President I knew he cared because he would listen-like most human beings he was flawed., but that does not wipe out his good works for Black America.
Strom Thurmond (R-SC) He was a man of his word.
*Bob Dole (R-Kan) wishy-washy
Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) My hero-the utmost respect. He kept his word and kept it real. He was the first politician to honor me in the Congressional Record.
*Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) I love and respect him-but he would not listen.
*Perrin Mitchell (D-Baltimore) Integrity and honest.
*J. C. Watts (R-Oklahoma) He knew when to hold them and he knew when to fold them. The proverbial “Glass Ceiling” was a little too high and expensive for him. He left the Republic Party in 2003. In Februay 2019 he found the Black News Channel.
*William Clay (D-Missouri) Lou Stokes’ partner these two kept me in the mix.
*Steny Hoyer (D-Md) his word you can carry to the bank.
*Hank Johnson (D-Ga) I still have questions about this brother?
*John Lewis (D-Ga) A Prince of a man, unpretentious-but still flawed.
*Elija Cummings (D-Baltimore) I would walk down any dark alley with him.
*Decatur Trotter (D-Md) my mentor and dear friend I miss him dearly. He made it possible for me to become the first independent media personality to receive sponsorship with Md. State Lottery for my Inside Sports talk radio show. He knew how to reach back and make it count.
Mayor Marion Barry (D-DC) he meant well, but he would not listen either. He was forewarned. Famous last words, “The bitch set me up.”
Dr. Claude Anderson knew how to play “The Game. ” When he was with the Jimmy Carter White House he was able to get three Federal Judges appointed to the bench without approval from Congress. He crossed over the aisle when Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) of the Senate Judicial Committee called him asking for a favor.
Thurmond was alledgely to be one of the so-called biggest racist on the Hill. He needed some heavy equitment for his district in South Carolina including trailers and several bulldozers.
Dr. Anderson, fullfilled the Senator’s request, but before he hung up he reminded him one good deed deserves another. He also needed a favor. His request, he needed three judges that included Alcee Hastings in Jacksonville, Fla. Senator Thurmond’s response-DONE!
Dr. Anderson’s “Playing the Game” brings me back to December 1974, J. D. Bethea, a sports columnist for the Wasington Star-News wrote, “Harold Bell may be the only black guy living who ever grew up in a ghetto, in real poverty , but never learned to “Play the Game,” that great American pastime. Everybody plays the game to some degree. That’s what success is all about. playing the game. Being alternately malleable and assertive with the right people at the right time. Bell never learned. If he had given his drive and single-miness of purpose, he would probably be dangeous.”
A chance meeting on a golf course open doors I thought were never possible. In our last conversation as he was heading out of the country, Nixon said, “Harold I want you to finish your education!” I came up short, but common sense-street sense-a little book sense was sufficient.
Highlights of a life lived:
*1960 I traveled down Tobbaco Road to Winston-Salem, NC to meet and play for the legendary Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines. He stopped me from going to hell in a hurry. In 2007 I received the first Bighouse Gaines Community Service Award.
April 4, 1968 I walked arm and arm with my co-worker NFL legend Willie Wood and the first modern day U. S. Marshall in-Charge Luke Moore during the riots. I was armed with a DC Police Department badge to assist me while crossing military and police barricades. Thanks to Community Police advocate Ass’t Chief Tilmon O’Bryant.
November 1968 Hattie and I were married in her hometown of Orangeburg, SC.
December 1968 Hattie and I officially found our non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. We were the host for toys for needy children for 45 straight years without grants or loans. Thousands of kids in the DMV benefited.
It was 1969 I saw an old friend touring the riot area in the Cardozo/Shaw neighborhood. I knew him as the former Vice-President, but now he was the President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
*1969 I received a Presidential appointment. In 1971 I found the first ever half-way house on a military installation on Bolling AFB. I had a little help from my friends, DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore and DC Mayor Walter Washington.
*In 1972 I became the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. The Inside Sports format changed the way we talk and report sports in America and around the globe.
*1974 Muhammad Ali shocked the world when he knocked out the undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, George Foreman. The fight is now known as the Rumble in the Jungle.
On his return home, Ali shocked the sports media world. His first call was not to Ed Bradley (60 Minutes CBS)), Bryant Gumble (NBC), or Howard Cosell (ABC), he called a little unknown sports talk radio show host, Harold Bell in Washington, DC. He gave me an exclusive one on one interview. He had made me a promise in Chicago before leaving for Zaire, I would be the first one to interview him on his return to the United States after he knocked out George Foreman. He kept his word–unheard of in today’s black community.
*June 1975 the DC Chamber of Commerce honored Muhammad Ali as the Athlete of the Century. The President James Denson asked me to pick-up the champion from National Airport. During the dinner at the Sheraton-Park Hotel before a standing room only crowd, he was being honored by DC Mayor Walter Washington, Ali called me out and asked me to stand up–I had no clue. Hattie and Varonica were looking at me as if to ask, “What is going on?”
The champ’s next words were, “Mr. Mayor do you know Harold Bell? The Mayor hesitated and Ali repeated his question, Mr. Mayor do you know Harold Bell? Mayor Washington responded, “Of course I know Harold Bell who does not know Harold Bell?” Ali’s response would bring the house down, “Mr. Mayor you are not as dumb as you look. Harold Bell is my friend and I don’t want anything to happen to him on your watch, do you understand? The Mayor nodded his head that he understood and the tribute continued. This was a Priceless moment!
November 1975 I became the first black to host and produce his own television special in prime time on NBC afilliate WRC TV 4. My special guest, Muhammad Ali.
In 1980 I was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. The honor made me the first sports media personality ever honored.
There was and is more than one way to “Play the Game.” You don’t have to hurt the people you love. Remember, your WORD is the only thing you own in America. they can take your car, your house and your bank account, but they cannot take your WORD. In 2023 we are still looking for love in all the wrong places!