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Essential Presence Blog Holding Government Officials in Florida Accountable for Dunbar Village

Go over to Essential Presence to keep up with her first hand accounts of the foolishness that is the local and state government involved with Dunbar Village, the site of a horrific gang rape. This crime was predictable. HUD even had surveys indicating that the residents, the vast majority felt unsafe for years. Mayor Lois Frankel has the audacity to try to lead a conference on municipal government and she can't run her own city and prevent anarchy.

Symphony over at Essential Presence has actually been talking with local officials. Check it out. This isn't going away.

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the De-Thuggification of the American Mainstream- "Keeping it Real", "Stop Snitching", and Black WOmen Could Learn Alot from PETA

(source). Folks, this stuff ain't cute anymore. So you folks in Philly need to get your placards together and roll on over to Miller Dodge. Pimps are sex traffickers and abusers of women and girls. Why would Daimler Chrysler let their products be associated with this foolishness. We let this mess happen..... But on to the post.

Is our long national nightmare over? Are we watching the De-Thuggification of the American Mainstream? A girl can dream can’t she?

Folks, the “keeping it real” invitation issued by the NBA and the NFL has officially been rescinded. You can expect more clamping down from these behemoths dominated by rich folks who, unlike Black America, aren’t willing to let “thug culture” take them down with it. The NFL and NBA no longer want to be “down” and all those grown men who play a game for a living had better get a clue really soon. “keeping it real” has gotten REALLY OLD. If you don’t get a reality check real fast, you might end up real broke!

“No Snitching” - Apparently Vick’s Boys Didn’t Get the Memo
First, we’ve seen clear evidence that the “STOP SNITCHING” phenomenon can be crushed like a bug if prosecutors get creative. *POOF* went the “stop snitching” when every single one of Michael Vick‘s “boys” started talking. (Looking at you Carmelo Anthony) It wasn’t the dog fighting charges that got Vick to cop a plea, it was the imminent threat that they were going to throw in some RICO charges on top of what he was already facing and perhaps the idea that even after serving time in federal prison, he’ll still have some years left on his professional football career. Plus do you really want to sit through a trial where live witnesses are describing all the vicious way you could torture and kill our furry friends? Who the hell would cheer for you after what you did to Lassie and Old Yella. Ray Lewis could recover from being "involved" in a murder, but violating our family friends, what little kid with a pet at home is going to want to wear your jersey? Did I mention he might have to give back a $20 Million signing bonus if he get suspended form the league. OUCH. But We’re keeping it real. One year will do little to change his perspective. When he gets out somebody will want to sign him, if the NFL will let 'em.

As much money as hip hop culture might have brought in by expanding the audience, the NBA and NFL finally seem to have realized that Thug Culture and “keeping it real” ain’t the best image when you trying to sell expensive tickets and boxes to mainstream America. Being antisocial, anti authority, anti woman, pro pimp, pro prison, pro drugs, pro violence really ain’t marketable beyond those truly embracing the “lifestyle.” So stay tuned . You can expect the corn rows and the ubiquitous visible tattoos to go next once the folks with the endorsement deals decide they want to “go another way.” Hopefully someone will tap them on the shoulder and indicate that that might want to marry one of their Baby's Mamas as well ( Looking at you Labron)

“Keeping it Real” is messing with the NFL and the NBA’s paper and they ain’t having it. Maybe we should take a hint from them and start imposing more economic sanctions on folks acting a dayum fool. Shut our pocketbooks closed and WATCH what happens. Don’t worry about Michael Vick, his agent is already scripting his redemption story, I wonder if Vick will walk out of prison wearing a crocheted poncho a la Martha Stewart? It better not be made out of animal products or PETA is going to get at cha' boy again.

Believe you me, if “keeping it real” gets kicked out of professional sports, you can bet that “Keeping it real” could soon go the way of bell bottoms, high topped fades and Hammer pants. A girl can dream can’t she?

What Black Women Might Learn From People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Speaking of PETA, can they adopt us or something? The next time I get criticized for speaking in defense of Black women and girls I am going to ask, What Would PETA Do? You see PETA is unapologetic in it’s defense of animals. It doesn’t appear to worry about hurting carnivores’ feelings. Its not really concerned with charges of racism or worry about being divisive, it doesn’t back down and it is not afraid to act a fool if necessary.

They want to add clauses to the personal conduct policy of the NFL regarding animal cruelty. Um PETA, can y’all add a clause in there for women as well, our advocacy organizations are busy having brunches and conventions and throwing awards to honor themselves, they can’t really be bothered to think of something ingenious such as altering the contracts of all professional athletes to basically say that if you keep engaging in violent acts against God’s creatures off the field, we are going to gank yo’ check.

"PETA is again calling on the NFL to add cruelty to animals - in all its forms - to its personal conduct policy. This case has clearly shown that NFL fans are just as outraged by cruelty to animals as they are by any of the other anti-social behaviors outlined in the policy."(Source)

Viva la PETA! Sisters are y’all taking notes? Money talks. Stop Funding Foolishness!

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National "End Mayor Lois Frankel's Foolishness" Day - Her performance in the Aftermath of Dunbar Village Way Past Poor

Read this timely editorial pointing out the vast differences in how two mayors and two governors reacted to different two brutal attacks; Newark and Dunbar Village. Then pick of the phone and call these folks. If you want to know what to ask the Governor of Florida, you can read this post, or go to this letter.

Contact: Governor Charlie Crist, 850-488-7146
Contact: Lois Frankel, Mayor of West Palm Beach. 561-822-7146

Lois Frankel, the Mayor of West Palm Beach has an agenda and that agenda is not helping the residents of Dunbar Village, the home of a vicious gang rape of a 35 year old Black woman and her 12 year old son culminating in the mother being forced to perform a sex act on her own child at gun point. They both screamed for 3 hours and not a single neighbor came to their aid or called 911. Two weeks later another African American woman was attacked outside in the open mere steps from her apartment less than a mile from Dunbar Village. Did I mention that the police in this case didn't bother to alert the media of the attack on the 42 year-old woman for two weeks while the six teens involved roamed free?

Immediately following the news reports of the Dunbar Village gang rape, the POLICE of West Palm Beach didn't notify the media to alert the public that ten gang rapists were roaming around, it was a scared neighbor at Dunbar Village that called. The Mayor didn't go on the air in an attempt to apprehend the 10 rapists. OH NO, because actually getting ten violent rapists off the street is just too boring for Lois Frankel. NO, she used the Dunbar Village gang rape to attack the federal government for turning down a $165,000 grant to the City of West Palm Beach. So instead of asking for assistance a la Corey Booker or most other Mayors faced with a group of dangerous criminals at large, Mayor Frankel decides to use her brief national platform to attack the feds for not giving her enough money and waging war in Iraq, now we can all fight about the War and spending and all that jazz, but with so many other critics and platforms speaking about THAT, wouldn't it have been a more judicious use of her platform to try to aid the victim, by highlighting the victim's assistance fund?

After the hideous gang rape and assault at Dunbar Village, Mayor Frankel appeared on CNN and blamed the Iraq expenditures for the problems at Dunbar Village. The conditions at Dunbar did not develop overnight. They took many years to take shape. Why has the public never heard from Mayor Frankel on the conditions at Dunbar during her term as mayor? (SOURCE)

Wouldn't it have been a good time to ask for assistance in hunting down the ten brutal rapists roaming West Palm Beach?

Folks this is what I would call the makings of a disturbing pattern. But you wouldn't know that based on the way the governmental leadership in Florida was behaving. Mind you ten people participated in the gang rape at Dunbar Village.... hmmm ten roaming rapists in one city, I would think that that would be cause for a big ole' press conference to warn residents. But alas, this is West Palm Beach, Florida and they have the misfortune of having Lois Frankel as their mayor.

Now I remind you that while Dunbar Village was descending into chaos, Mayor Frankel sunk $164 MILLION on building a state of the art office tower and filling it with fine furnishings.
Among other things, Mayor Lois Frankel will be remembered for her pet project, the $154 million City Center complex that will stand as a monument to bureaucrat furnishings and parking-garage design.(SOURCE)

This is during a period of time that she is lamenting that the federal government wasn't giving her $165,000 for a security guard. Perhaps as one editorial suggested, Mayor Frankel and the city leadership could have considered modest salary decreases to make sure that the residents of Dunbar Village didn't live in a self-described Hell on Earth. Read my take on Lois Frankel's lack of initiative and creativity in coming up with a measley $165,000 when in my own city, a local animal shelter managed to raise $200,000 in three weeks when the air conditioning went out in the middle of summer. All the money was raised through private donations.

Now that the federal government appears more than willing to hand over money to improve the lives of the people who live in that area of West Palm Beach, Florida:

With public pressure, it finally may be possible to win millions of dollars from the federal government or find city or private money to tear down the entire public housing project at once, city leaders said. After the rape, calls and e-mails from across the country came into the city, asking what was being done to help the victims.

"Dunbar Village is in the news, and people want to help, so maybe we can do it quicker," Mayor Lois Frankel said. "If we can figure out where to move 300 people, then we can do something quicker than a row at a time."(SOURCE)

However, this is Lois Frankel we are dealing with. Now, Lois Frankel is balking at paying to have the grant application prepared.

Will the city help the housing authority with $100,000 to hire a consultant and apply by November for a federal grant of more than $20''million to overhaul Dunbar? Mayor Frankel's open to "discussing" it, but, she said, it's "a lot of money."(SOURCE)

"I have a deep, passionate belief that Dunbar Village should be razed and something much safer, more decent should be put in its place," Frankel said. But, she added, this crime could have happened anywhere. SOURCE

First you run around blaming the federal government for lack of funding, now they seem prepared to hand over tens of millions of dollars and you are too cheap to pay a consultant or lack the initiative to appeal to a professional to donate their time or ask the Governor to lend you a state grant writer for a month?See what more important items West Palm beach is spending their money on.

But let us get back to the original point, the apprehension of the all of the gang rapists, atleast a half dozen remain at large.
Frankel says she's had Dunbar on her radar ever since she took office in 2003 and applied for a $30 million grant to tear it down and build a mixed community with both public and work-force housing. The grant was turned down and then the program was cut, she said. SOURCE

That should scare the crap out of you if you. It was on her RADAR since 2003? Well how did all this crime happen?

Now mind you almost 650 calls to police came from Dunbar Village alone in one year. Tt was home to 15 murders and numerous assaults and property crimes, but even with this wonderful track record from law enforcement, Mayor Frankel says this:
Said Mayor Lois Frankel through a spokesman: "We have a great police force ... and we plan to keep it that way." (Source)

Oh really? a great police force for whom? Certainly not the residents of Dunbar Village.

In my sole interaction with Mayor Frankel after she allegedly fired the police spokesperson for the bad press she had recieved from the Dunbar Village case, she completely all my concerns other than making sure I knew the police spokesperson was fired due to budget cuts.

I said....

I recently saw an article that indicated that you fired Ted White
because of bad press your city received as a result of the Dunbar
Village gang rape. I also read that while those citizens in Dunbar
Village were living in Hell on Earth, you spearheaded the construction
of a 164 Million Dollar office building and parking garage, yet you
blame the federal government for a lack of funding to protect the
citizens of your city.

When do you plan to take responsibility for what happened on your
watch as Mayor of West Palm Beach and stop blaming others because you
elected to spend money on office furniture instead of human beings?

Mayor Frankel responded......
Pleased be informed that Mr. Ted White was not fired because of "bad" publicity. His position was cut from the city budget due to restrictions put on us by the state legislature. That decision was made prior to the awful crime at Dunbar Village.

You can e-mail her at

Mayor Frankel, this wasn't just an "awful crime", it was a hate crime, a crime against humanity, a crime that violated a sacred bond between a mother and child, a brutal vicious attack, during which the neighbors ignored 3 hours of screaming from both of the victims and then failed to render aid when the attack was over. Then to be swiftly followed by a very similar crime involving a gang attack on a 42-year old woman OUTSIDE in the open? At which point to do start to take seriously that you have a serious problem, worth of serious leadership?

Let's pause for a moment to consider the fact that there is a city in this country where gangs of teens have raped two middle-aged Black women within a mile of each other only weeks apart. Now due to the horrifying militaristic nature of the crimes, both because of the actual crimes committed, the ages and behavior of the assailants during and the community's response after, most sane political subdivisions would think "Perhaps we have a problem?"

Well apparently West Palm Beach, Florida isn't one of those political subdivisions. It is now time for the State of Florida and step in to protect the residents of West Palm Beach, Florida as their local elected leadership appears unwilling or unable to perform a fundamental function of local and state government, protect the public.

Charlie Crist needs to step in, Lois Frankel, Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida. She is overwhelmed and under skilled to address the anarchy that ensued on her watch.

Please take time to contact the Governor and ask him to intervene in West Palm Beach, its poor Black residents are also citizens of the State of Florida. Read my letter to the Governor

Governor Crist's Office

(850) 488-7146

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What's The Problem?

At first my post was simply going to state the fact that black women advocating for black women should do nothing but garner respect from black men. That it doesn’t have to be one or the other as far as fighting for black women or fighting against racism.

But I was in the car and heard Fabolous and Ne-Yo’s “Make Me Better” I was nodding my head to the beat and then I heard this line that says: Beside every great man, you can find a woman like a soldier holdin' him down


You always hear songs about being “down” for your man, and men singing about needing a good woman to support him. Everything in the black community is about supporting the black man. Well, I could ask, “What exactly am I supporting you in?” You’re not running households. Almost 70% of black children are born to single mothers. 35% of all women killed are black. We have some dammit issues too. Where is our support? Hold me down. I’m dying right along with you. But I guess I shouldn't acknowledge thats its black men who are doing it.

And if we are getting that support (because maybe its just me who isn’t) how so? I’ve learned from a past relationship love isn’t the same as support.

In Prince’s “Future Baby Mama” (cute) he says “Gotta bend in the wind but don't break, 2 keep yo man” (thats from some lyrics site). Au contraire my little man. I need to bend but not break for me.

There are too many black “leaders” to accept them only making a fuss when we are wronged by white people. The Dunbar gang rape hits home for me because she is me. I am a single mother of a young boy and it was painful for me to truly, truly realize that if anything were to ever happen to me no one would be there for me, no one would fight for me, no one would speak for me.

And we’ve all received the “Why aren’t you doing anything instead of calling on the leaders?” We have and we get blasted for that too. Before I ask why we’re receiving the flack I have to make something clear. Leaders aren’t just Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the NAACP (though if you give them your money--and I have never--you should expect them to advocate for the black community even when those bringing it down are black).

The leaders are politicians who have constituents living in the poorest of poor neighborhoods. For all the criticism he has received, Newark mayor Cory Booker was up front, we saw his face. Mayor Frankel hasn’t done a damn thing. You’re telling me this mayor couldn’t go to the MSNBC Miami Bureau and make some noise? Every politician knows you don’t wait for the media to come to you, you go to them. If she were up for reelection I bet she would find a way to get some attention. After all, she’s a Democrat and isn’t the “mainstream” media liberal? And doesn’t the media like sex and violence? She could have received some airtime.

I don't understand people who don't hold people accountable for their actions while sitting back and saying, "Oh well thats just the way things are." Where would black people be if those who came before us said that? Probably still in the back of the bus.

Where is Florida governor Charlie Crist? As Elisa Cramer stated in the West Palm Beach Post, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine visited the victim. Has Governor Crist made any inquiries into the gang rape and the two other rapes? Because lets not forget, a 15 year-old was raped one month later. And a 42 year-old woman was raped days before that.

But back to the flack for speaking out. Why? Does it somehow emasculate black men? Do they think our speaking up means we’re saying they can’t do the job of protecting us? I just don’t get it. All our problems are not racial ones no matter how conspiracy theorist you want to get. We can all admit that. Even the hardest believers of racial injustice and discrimination know that is not all that’s going on here. We victimize ourselves…a lot.

  • In 2005 there were 36,620 black sexual assault victims. 100% of those were by black offenders. 0% by white offenders (meaning fewer than 10 nationwide).
  • The overwhelming majority of black women who are sexually assaulted do not report it. And by overwhelming I mean for every one that does, 15 don't.
Okay, but look, a Black person would have to be a fool to think racism isn’t an issue in this country but on the other end of the spectrum you have the other half of the fools--who believe the only issue in Black America is racism.

There is a reason Bruce Gordon left the NAACP. Could it be he felt there was more the organization needed to do besides talk about white people? At least that’s what I got from him when he said in an interview that yes, we need to get fair pay but once we get that pay what are we doing with it? In other words, there needs to be some educating of how this world, in which Black America exists, operates and how to succeed in this game. For all the talk about Black dollars and Black buying power there isn’t a whole lot of catering to us, now is there?

I don’t know why black women calling out the old guard organizations and “leaders” is a problem but the fact that it is a problem for some speaks volumes. I just don't get why there are some Black people who don't think Black organizations should concentrate on the problems that don't involve white people. And since I have a feeling I will never get it, I won't bother to give it much thought as to why you only hold white people to a certain standard of expectation.

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Your Thoughts on the "American Girl" Slave Doll

A reader sent me this link for Addy, an American Girl doll. Addy is a slave and like all American Girl dolls she has a backstory. Addy also has her own line of stories and toys including this. The reader is upset about Addy, I'm torn on this one. Meet Addy's family. Meet Addy's friends.

They also have a Mexican American historical doll and a Native American historical doll

The Lucious Librarian wonders if she is just sensitive, or if the doll is racist. She and Jovan Miles have points about the unseemliness of accessorizing slavery

Jovan wants to stop production. I actually think it would be a great thing to teach children about slavery.

I used to imagine I was Harriet Tubman when I was little and I had a doll that looked like Addy, her name was Rachel and her plastic eyes kept falling off We didn’t’ have toy recalls back in the day. All we had was something called commonsense that said don’t swallow the eye. I also ripped a hole in Rachel's neck and stuffed all my birthday and Christmas money inside her and sewed her back up.

I admired Harriet Tubman and my Mama used to purchase these books called the Value Books and she was one of the biographies as well as Jackie Robinson. I always saw her as brave and adventurous and resourceful. Did I fully comprehend the horror of what she probably went through at 8 or 9? No, nor should I have. As I got older and continued to learn, I figured that out.

I've never been embarrassed or ashamed of my heritage as a descendant of slaves and all of the things that are part of our culture that are a result of the resourcefulness of our ancestors. So when I see something like Gone With the Wind, I see Mammy as being wise and industrious while the other characters act a plum natural fool.

This is part of American history and if you are going to place a doll several hundred years ago in this country chances were that if she was a young Black girl, she would have been a slave.

So Jovan, is there any way that the doll in your mind can be salvaged? Either by killing some of the accessories or altering the back story. I actually thought it was poignant that Addy had to leave her baby sister behind because her cries would give the family away and the fact that Addy's older siblings were sold down river and her family escapes to avoid the same fate and try to keep the family intact. I think it conveyed the fact that as a matter of course families were ripped to shreds during slavery and the decision to head North was a tough perilous one.

So is the option to have no African American historical dolls at all or try to salvage Addy in some way? I might add that the stories about the family and friends probably teach more Black history than a certain television network ever did.

When I first learned about Sojourner Truth, the story didn't include that she was the victim of violent sexual abuse at the hands of her masters, that didn't make her any less heroic in my young mind. I used to play with toy soldiers long before I knew the horrors of war.

I can see where Jovan and the Luscious Librarian are coming from though. I would interested in knowing what part of the country they both grew up in to see if the geographic differences might affect how we view Addy. If I had a daughter, I'd probably buy Addy. Just like My mama purchased all those stories about John Henry and Harriet Tubman.

Also, if y'all know of a Black-owned company that produces historical dolls with a back story, send me a link. I would be happy to post it. Part of what makes this unseemly is the idea that someone else is telling the story.

Weigh in Folks!

P.S. If I am offended by anything, its those dayum prices! WTH My doll Rachel probably cost $7. I can't buy a handkerchief for Addy for that much.

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