Monday, December 31, 2007

Barack: an old friend with a new vision for America

Hi Black Vegas:

Well, 2008 is finally here! I just wanted to send a shout out to you all as your prepare for your historic caucuses. I went to law school with Barack “back in the day.” From the first day I met him I was impressed … no I should say dazzled by his intellect, his sincerity, his acute sense of politics, his ability to connect with folks, and his commitment to issues impacting Black folks. As a former president of the Black Law Students Association at Harvard Law School, it has pained me to hear the fodder of some of our so-called leaders questioning Barack’s authenticity regarding race. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could be further from the truth. The truth is that Barack is an amazing man, who also happens to be an amazing Black man, who can and should be the democratic nominee for President.

Most recently, my work has revolved around children. As a mother, the author of 2 children’s books, a co-founder of a support group for African-American moms, and a senior officer of an action-oriented think tank focusing families, communities and democracy, I spend my days focusing on children. When I read, hear, or see something, it is always through this “motherhood” lens. This election is no exception. My support for Barack goes beyond old allegiances from friendships long ago. My support is also based on his stance on issues impacting American children and families, which are issues about which I care deeply, and upon which I believe our democracy rests.

Toward that end, I call your attention to an innovative and multi-faceted proposal put forth by Senator Obama which focuses on "Changing the Odds for Urban America." A dear friend of mine called this proposal “a creative and informed approach to the many issues arising from poverty that limit choices and suppress hope in so many urban areas in the United States.” Take a minute and review this proposal by simply clicking here:

Also, please read and comment on my blog, which is highlighted right now on the Covenant with Black America’s website entitled "Giving Thanks for Our Covenant Children."

Happy New Year to you all,

Charisse Carney-Nunes
Author of Nappy and I Dream for You a World (the Children’s Companion to the Covenant with Black America)

On Meet the Press, Obama clearly made his case.

Barack Obama sat with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday and clearly demonstrated why he is the right man to lead our nation into the next phase of history. First, he addressed the issue of his experience and his response was right on the money. He may not have been in Congress for 20 years, but in the time he has been in the Senate, he has proven himself to be the only one to consistently make decisions that are in the best interests of the American people, as demonstrated by his vote against the Iraq War and his disavowal of special interest support. In fact, I see his limited tenure as an advantage. It makes him less beholden to lobbyist and old-guard Washington players, who at this point hold too much sway over how this country operates. The current experienced Washington politicians often owes on old political debts. Unfortunately, when these debts get called in, these “experienced” politicians must make concessions that too often are detrimental to the interests of the American people. Barack Obama is in the unique position of having established himself as a free thinking leader, making decisions because they are the right ones to make. At the same time, he is unencumbered with Washington baggage that could hinder his ability to exercise that free thinking fortitude in the days ahead.

The next part of his “Meet the Press” interview demonstrated that Barack Obama has the knowledge and intelligence to handle complex foreign policy issues. He adroitly discussed the current foreign policy situation in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and at the same time navigated the minefield of questions that Tim Russert tried to set. He addressed the need to allow enough time to elapse in order to ensure that the opposition candidates are included in free and fair elections, but at the same time prevent the current government from using her death as an excuse for putting off elections indefinitely. Furthermore, he correctly identify our greatest ally in the region to be a Pakistani government the represents the interest of vast majority of Pakistani people—an overwhelmingly moderate electorate who believes in the rule of law. While possessing this understanding and the need to support this electorate as it seeks to gain control over the country, he simultaneously recognizes that supporting Pakistan in the fight against terrorist does not mean giving them a blank check of unlimited funds. All one has to do is really listen to Baraka Obama and it becomes clear that he is the choice we need for the future.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Save the Lost" KKVV Radio Show Today at 3 pm

On Sunday, December 30th at 3:00 p.m. PT on KKVV 1060 AM, Sister Nina Griffen will be hosting an radio show with Yvette Williams on her "Save the Lost at all Cost" show. The call in number is (702) 650-5588. This show will also broadcast live via the web at, and is rebroadcast at under "RED SEA RADIO." Sister Nina Griffen and Yvette Williams will talk about the importance of the Caucus, and why they believe Barack Obama is the best president to put America on the right track.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Piece of Las Vegas Black History and Culture

Check-out the pioneering efforts of black dancers, fashion designers and musical talent in the West Las Vegas community starting January 12, 2008 at the West Las Vegas Arts Center.  The exhibit titled "Black Extravaganza: A Cultural Awakening!" by John T. Stephens II will highlight the important roles that African-Americans have made in Las Vegas history.  The West Las Vegas Arts Center is located at 947 West Lake Mead Blvd.  For more information call (702) 229-4800.    

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Don't Believe the Hype

Susan Rice over at Huffington Post reveals that the "Hillary Clinton ready to lead from Day One" campaign is largely media spin. It consists of Hillary Clinton invoking her status as "First Lady" and Bill Clinton spewing rhetoric characterizing Obama as a "roll of the dice." But Rice explains that these moves distract from the fact that Hillary Clinton has failed to provide a detailed national security plan. In contrast, Obama has provided a detailed national security plan (Susan lists and links to the specifics).

Check out the post here.

We need a change!

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today for being a voice of opposition to an increasingly undemocratic government. On days like this (which are becoming all too frequent), I can not help but be thankful that I live in America where (generally speaking) all voices can be heard without the constant threat of violence. This brave woman came back to her country, despite the threat to her own physical safety, in order to be an agent for change in her increasingly silenced nation and so her countrymen would have an opportunity to elect someone who would speak for them and not the status quo. Bhutto's violent death further illustrates that we are living in times that are increasingly dangerous and hostile. Our political situation abroad has not gotten better over the last 7 years, but instead has gotten so much worse due to the failed policies of this administration. We need something new. Here in the US, we have an opportunity to vote for a man who is seeking to be an agent of change. It is time to elect someone who will approach the world and its problems in a different way. The presidential field is cluttered with a bunch of individuals steeped in Washington tradition and the established ways of doing things. We need someone who is willing, able, strong and smart enough to see that those old strategies and tactics for dealing with these crucial international problems may not work any more. As far as I can tell, there is only one person who fits this description. Barack Obama!!! Let's stop being so concerned about "electibility" and focus on what is important—who among the group of potential candidates has the fortitude, ability and chutzpah to intelligently lead us out of this mess. Barack Obama!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kwanzaa Play on Saturday

From the Review Journal

“All ages are welcome to celebrate the fourth day of Kwanzaa on Dec. 29, at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. The program, which is dedicated to community elder Zak Mokae, begins at 2 p.m. with the production of ‘Loving the Lonely,’ a Kwanzaa tale written by Keith Antar Mason and directed by Ellis Rice.’”

The play is free, and more info is here.

Backlash Over Clinton Racial Messages

From the Washington Post:

"But an important development in the 2008 Democratic battle may be the building backlash among African Americans over comments from associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that could be construed as jabs at Sen. Barack Obama's race. These officials, including Clinton aides and prominent surrogates, have raised questions or dropped references about Obama's position on sentencing guidelines for crack vs. powder cocaine offenses; on his handgun control record; and on his admitted use of drugs as a youth. The context was always Obama's "electability." But the Illinois senator's campaign advisers said some African American leaders detect a pattern, and they believe it could erode Clinton's strong base of black support."

The post includes quotes from Tom Joyner, Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson, and the Black Star News of New York.

The full story is here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! A video of Beyonce singing "Silent Night" is below. (Beyonce is at Mandalay Bay on Sunday, Dec. 30, and ticket info is here).

Hat Tip: Evibe

Monday, December 24, 2007

Myths of my People

The Nation has a new article entitled, “Inside the Black Primary.”

I think you should read the article not because I agree with it, but because it chronicles some of the “thinking” we need to confront and counter. In particular, we need to dispel three myths:




All three myths appear in the Nation article—straight from the mouths of black folks in South Carolina (although some of our folks from Vegas probably think this). It is tempting for those of us who support Barack to overlook this chatter and hope that it fades away, either because we’re reluctant to criticize other Black folks or because we’re afraid that acknowledging the talk only fuels it. But we shouldn’t ignore it. We should confront it head on. In this first in a series of posts, I’ll respond to Myth #1.

MYTH #1: WHITE FOLKS WON’T ELECT BARACK: From The Nation article: “”I’ve heard a lot of black people saying they don’t want to vote for Barack,” Barton’s daughter Michelle told me, “because they don’t believe it would make a difference. They feel that even if a lot of white people voted for him, somebody in a higher-up position would still find a way for him not to win.” Her sister and a friend, both fellow Obama volunteers, nodded their heads, “Yeah. Yeah.” . . . Even less comfortable was State Representative Harold Mitchell, an early Obama supporter who’d defected to Clinton . . . . “She is the candidate we know we can win the general election with.” Because a black man can’t win? “I–what?” Mitchell stammered. “Let’s not even talk about the fact that he’s an articulate, sharp African-American. Hey, one day. But right now, we don’t have time for experimentation.”. . . . [P]rominent State Senator Robert Ford explained why he’d opted for Clinton over Obama. “Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose because he’s black and he’s on top of the ticket,” Ford told the AP. “We’d lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything.””


a) Americans of all races will vote for Barack—he’s much less polarizing than HRC. He’s ahead in the polls in Iowa. He’s raised slightly more money ($78 million+) for the primaries than she has, and most of it has come from people other than African Americans. In the 2004 U.S. Senate race, Barack won 70% of the vote (a landslide) in a state that is 79% white.

b) Skeptical Black folks, all we’re asking is that you have enough faith to get Barack through the early state caucus in NV. After that, he’ll have the momentum to win the Democratic nomination on Feb. 5, and the majority of electoral votes across the country in the general election.

Chris Rock commented on the embarrassment of Black folks who refuse to support the best qualified candidate simply because he's Black. I’m including the video (the first 45 seconds of the clip).

TRANSLATION: “I can’t call him now, I had that white lady. What was I thinking?” seems coarse to some ears--some will interpret it just as Chris Rock focused on race. But here's what it means in context, and the reason it was funny to folks in the audience. It means “I’m embarrassed. I supported her simply because she was White, and I abandoned the guy who eventually won because he was Black. I didn't have faith that a Black guy could win.” In other words, if Barack does not win, Black folks who supported him will have no regrets. He was the best candidate and we tried. If Barack wins, however, Black folks who abandoned Barack simply because they didn't have confidence that a Black candidate could win will (or should) feel seedy, timid, and embarrassed.

I look forward to your additional thoughts, and stay tuned for the next installment. . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Grambling State is Nevada Season Opener

"Nevada football will open the 2008 season against traditional Black College power Grambling State Aug. 31 in MacKay Stadium." Hat tip: Pahrump Valley Times.

The Grambling band is no joke. See below.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

144 Las Vegas Families Face Homelessness

According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun yesterday, 144 families from Las Vegas' Buena Vista Springs, many of whom are African-American, may end up on the streets. The problem began this summer when the housing complex failed several inspections. To deal with the issue, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department and the Clark County Housing Authority gave the families Section 8 vouchers; however, they failed to complete required background checks. As it turns out, 144 families (out of the complexe's 212 families) have criminal backgrounds which may disqualify them from participation in the Section 8 program.

What should be done for these families and for so many others in our community that have criminal pasts? Should these pasts prevent them from being able to get good jobs and decent housing? Should others be forced to live in communities with them, simply because they are poor? These are tough questions facing our community. As LoBene and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly noted, "There are not many programs that can respond to these families and their struggles with unemployment, lack of transportation and poverty. What do we do?"

Vegas African Americans "Killed by the Cops"

From ColorLines: The national newsmagazine on race and politics . . .

"This summer ColorLines and The Chicago Reporter conducted a joint national investigation of fatal police shootings in America’s 10 largest cities, each of which had more than 1 million people in 2000. . . . African Americans were overrepresented among police shooting victims in every city the publications investigated.

The contrast was particularly noticeable in New York, San Diego and Las Vegas. In each of these cities, the percentage of black people killed by police was at least double that of their share of the city’s total population."

Much more here.

Hat Tip: Crimes and Corruption Blog

Friday, December 21, 2007

Open Mic Poetry Tonight

The Poet's Corner
Friday December 21, 7 PM
A forum for established poets
and open mic participants.
Hosted by Keith Brantley
West Las Vegas Arts Center
947 W. Lake Mead.
Info – 229-4800
Hat Tip: EVibe

Below find a 2 minute video that combines the paintings of Joseph Watson and the poetry of Keith Brantley.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sweet Louie Smith of the Checkmates, has passed

Sweet Louie Smith, a Las Vegas icon, has died.

Sweet Louie Smith, who was half of the R&B duo the Checkmates, died on Saturday aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean on which he and his partner, Sonny Charles, were performing. Mr. Smith was 68 and lived in Las Vegas, where the two were a long-running music act...

Marvin Smith, known as Sweet Louie, and Mr. Charles were friends since childhood in Fort Wayne, Ind. They served in the Army together in the 1950s, touring in the entertainment division of the Army Special Services, after which they set their sights on Las Vegas.

The act took off in 1964 when the Checkmates started performing at the Pussycat à Go-Go, on the site of what is now the Wynn Las Vegas Resort. The group went on to perform at the Sands and Caesars Palace.

The duo’s best-known recordings include “Love Is All I Have to Give” and a remake of “Proud Mary.” Their most successful single, a Top 10 hit, was “Black Pearl,” a 1969 recording produced by Phil Spector.

Some of their career highlights included performing with Frank Sinatra at the Oakland Coliseum, a concert at Madison Square Garden with Herb Alpert, and singing the national anthem for the “Thrilla in Manila,” the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship boxing match in the Philippines in 1975.

The Checkmates were inducted into the Las Vegas Hall of Fame in 2000.

For the complete article, click here .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brown and Black Presidential Debate

On January 15, MSNBC will televise Nevada's Brown and Black Presidential Debate. Below, please find the full three hour Brown and Black Debate in Iowa from early December.

Johnny Mathis Holiday Show

Johnny is at the Hilton on Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22. For more information, go here.

Foreclosure Tax Relief for Nevadans

Congress has passed an amended version of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act :

The bill will enable foreclosed homeowners to avoid owing federal income taxes on any debt that was forgiven when their home was seized and sold this year -- if President Bush signs it into law. Congress was expected to recess later Tuesday or today. The Senate unanimously approved the bill Friday.

"By eliminating the foreclosure tax, we can eliminate one more concern faced by families already struggling to keep a roof over their heads," said Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where the bill originated.

"By forgiving this tax liability, we will be helping those Americans who are suffering the most as a result of the downturn in the housing market and higher loan costs," Berkley said in a statement.

Dennis Meservy, a certified public accountant and board member of the Nevada Society of Certified Public Accountants, had predicted a "nightmare" if the law had not been changed. The bill appears to be "a great fix," Meservy said. "That's great. That will help."

It is a particularly important piece of legislation for Nevada, which leads the nation in foreclosures. At the end of the third quarter, 2.15 percent of home mortgages in Nevada were in foreclosure, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The percentage of loans for which foreclosure started during the quarter climbed to 1.15 percent.

The new legislation will head off further problems for Americans who have been forced into foreclosure and had their credit rating damaged. The Internal Revenue Service can tax borrowers when lenders forgive some of their debt.

See Foreclosure Relief for more info...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity Play

Fri, Dec 21, 7pm
Sat, Dec 22, 2pm
Sat, Dec 22, 7pm
Cashman Theatre
850 Las Vegas Blvd.
N Las Vegas, NV

”This soulful rendition of the Christmas Story will fill the theatre with thrilling voices, magnificent dance and glorious Gospel music. Black Nativity is an African-American telling of the Nativity story that starts on the eve of the birth of Christ and ends in the modern day church full of testifying deacons, sanctified ladies, and down home preaching and singing.”

Much more information is here.

Why are "we" the ones questioning Obama's electability?

Should Black people still be questioning whether Barack is electable? He has even gotten 660 Nevada Republicans to commit to caucusing for him. And by the way, if you are registered as a Republican and would like to support a democratic candidate at the caucuses, its not too late. The Democratic Party allows people to register to vote or to change party affiliation when they go to their caucus on January 19th.

Important Caucus Details and Links...

Here's some information about Caucus Day, taken from Where Will You Caucus in Nevada on January 19th?

The Nevada Democratic Party has finalized 545 caucus locations statewide to host Nevada’s historic presidential caucus on January 19th. That is more caucus locations in 2008 than there were polling locations in 2006!

Find your caucus location by clicking here:

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Road Less Traveled

So they say lawyers tend to be greedy and chase the big dollars? Well not all of them, at least not all of the time. I was impressed to learn that among many prominent appeals court judges, Barack is knows as "the one that got away" because after being the first Black editor of the Harvard Law Review, instead of following the traditional road to a prestigious law clerkship followed by a prestigious and high-paying corporate law firm (starting salaries tend to be about $160K with large bonuses for the most prestigious clerkships), Barack went to Chicago to do community and civil rights work. Perhaps we as a community would be better served if more of our so-called "talented tenth" made similar selfless choices...

Clinton Campaign Should Stop Spreading Fear

First Clinton Campaign Chair Bill Shaheen suggested that the GOP would characterize Barack as a drug dealer in the general. Shaheen resigned and Hillary apologized.

And then Hillary appeared on “Iowa Press” a couple of days later, and suggested the same thing:

"I’ve been tested, I’ve been vetted. . . . There are no surprises. There’s not going to be anybody saying, 'I didn’t think of that, my goodness, what’s that going to mean? . . . Whoever we nominate will be subjected to the full force of the Republican attack machine, and I know that they know I know that and I have no illusions about what this race will entail."

When she was asked what she was “suggesting about Obama,” Hillary Clinton responded: "I’m only talking about myself."

Find the full account on the Politico. Granted, Hillary didn’t explicitly suggest that Barack would be dismissed as a Black stereotype as her campaign chair did. But her “wink and nod” rhetoric continues her campaign’s party line of spreading fear rather than a compelling vision for America. Voters who buy that rhetoric because they think they are being “political realists” walk right into the trap set by Washington-insiders.

Below are some of the reader comments on the Politico in response to the story:

“Yes Hillary, you have been vetted, that's why you have such high negatives and why practically half of this country wouldn't vote for you. You want us to vote for you because you have already been shown to be untrustworthy and dishonest? You want us to vote you based on your hollow theory that there MIGHT be some dirt on Obama that MIGHT cost him the general election? Are we supposed to just TRUST you on this. This type of argument is essentially equivalent to waving the white flag for the Clinton campaign. The Obama camp has run a nearly flawless campaign these last two months, whereas the Clinton campaign has been chaotic and self-imploding. They've written their own case for Clinton's un-electability. She's choked in the primaries, one only knows what will happen to her in the general election.”

Posted by Dave

“[T]his whole idea of the Republican attack machine ready to go on Obama is completely false. A dear friend of mine is a researcher at the RNC and he is told me many times that the opposite is true. They have an arsenal ready to go against Hillary, and next to nothing on Obama and Edwards. Ironically, this RNC staffer spent months on Obama oppo research and recently told me that if Obama were the Dem nominee, he would vote for him. Republicans know that they will get crushed by Obama or Edwards. They think they have a 50-50 shot with Hillary though.”

Posted by Jon

“If he hasn't been vetted, then start bringing up what you've found on him, Hillary! If you want it bad enough, then do it yourself! Oh wait, you've only found a kindergarten essay and a PAC fund that donated to you and your congressional supporters. If anything, YOU are the one who has not been vetted this election cycle.”

Posted by IndieFE

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I can't begin to express the frustration that I feel when I hear statements like, "Obama isn't black enough." Someone has even taken up the cause to field the issue in a comparative note on YouTube. The funny thing is that it's so ironic how Obama's blackness continues to be an issue in America when this country created, codified, and legalized the one drop rule. Up until recent times did anyone dare question the lineage of a person as long as there was a significant amount of melanin in their skin tone. And yet, here is a man that is obviously black and identifies himself as such but people still feel the need to question his authenticity. Maybe it's the fact that as a black man with a white mother he had the audacity to marry a black woman? Hmmh! One has to wonder where this fodder is coming from and why black America keeps eating it. Would it a make a difference if he was raised by a single black woman in the projects and his father was white? I doubt if anyone would question his blackness then.

Black Americans must be mindful of the garbage that is thrust at them to get sidetracked from the issue. Barack Obama, who happens to be black and married to a black woman, is the best democratic candidate running for president. His color should not be of issue here but the results that he can bring to this country. I am more concerned about ending this war and universal health care than I am about the type of comb Obama uses. I feel that he is the only one who can honestly make an effort to provide these things and that's why I support Obama. His blackness is just a plus for me and as an African American I am proud.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Andrew Young and “The Haterade Syndrome”

Khesha Duncan at Black Women for Obama responds to Andrew Young’s comments, complete with the satirical image above:

"I’m SOOOOOOOO heated right now – still, after reading an article in the Redding News Review a couple days ago, titled “Andrew Young explains why he is not supporting Obama,” forwarded to me by one of my many fellow Obama-ers. So heated, in fact, I’ve just decided to coin a new phrase called “The Haterade Syndrome!” . . . .

. . .[I]t is difficult and painful to even dignify Young’s last remark with a response:
“Bill is every bit as black as Barack,” he said. “He has probably gone out with more black women than Barack.”

First of all, what the hell does dating black women have to do with running the country effectively?!? . . . .That’s just what we need, a black man in Andrew Young’s position bragging about how his white homey friend has probably dated more black women than a real brotha, and issuing him a “black card” with a lifetime membership as a reward to boot!"

Granted, Andrew Young said he was "just kidding" about Bill Clinton. But Khesha's frustration is understandable. The full post is here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Don't be Scared!

I had a very interesting (read: FRUSTRATING!) conversation with a taxi cab driver yesterday on my way to the airport. We just finished listening to the tail-end of an NPR show in which someone suggested that although it appears that people support Barack Obama, when these same people go into the voting booth and are all alone, they will vote for who they think "will really win." My Nigerian taxi cab driver immediately agreed: "Come on, now! We all know that 'America' is not ready for a woman president, and certainly is not ready for a black president," he exclaimed. The driver continued by stating that although he liked Obama and wished Obama could win, he wouldn't "waste his vote" on a "lost cause."

I couldn't let the comment go unanswered...

I don't remember all that I said, but I do remember trying to let him know that if he doesn't vote the way he wants just because he is so concerned about how everyone else is going to vote, then he is just as bad as them! I must admit, it's a bit frustrating to hear friends and family who say they like Obama on the one hand, but don't think he can win, and therefore plan to cast their vote for someone else. America won't be "ready" for anything until people start being honest with themselves and their desires...Do people really want change? Are they dissatisfied with the status quo? Do they really see a candidate who is offering a new perspective on government and politics? If they can honestly answer yes to these questions, then I can't imagine how they can go against their "gut" because it seems "too good to be true." Or is the answer really "No" for many, and they are just too scared to admit it?

Maybe it's just me, but I just wish people would stop being scared and stop waiting for "America" to get ready for something they want right now!

What do you think?

Black and Brown Debate in Nevada

On January 15, MSNBC will air a Nevada Black and Brown presidential debate in Las Vegas. The debate will be sponsored by the Nevada Democratic Party, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and IMPACTO, 100 Black Men of America, and the College of Southern Nevada.

vette58 has more here.

A Place at the Table: Diversity and the LV Gaming Industry

From In Business Las Vegas:

“[R]epresentatives Las Vegas' black community attended November's Nevada Gaming Commission meeting in Las Vegas and asked commissioners and members of the Control Board to take a close look at Harrah's diversity record. . . .

The message delivered was clear: If Harrah's said it would establish an endowment for Pittsburgh's minority community, why can't it do that here in Las Vegas?
. . .

The testimony presented by the community activists was written by Louis Overstreet, executive director of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. The key points were that in 2000 the gaming industry made a commitment to diversity, and companies were asked to make a public accounting of their diversity initiatives and provide regular updates to the community. Overstreet said so far, only MGM Mirage is following through on that commitment.”

In Business Las Vegas has much more here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who Am I?

Last night, I listened to the Republican debate on NPR and was left wondering who am I? Not because I suffer from an indentity crisis but because of all the rhetoric that I heard. Fiscal conservative. Social conservative. Conservative. If I define myself by the republicans standards, am I liberal?

I feel like I am fiscal conservative. I don't feel that we should spend money without accountability yet I would like to see all Americans with healthcare at whatever the cost. That would be costly and its more of a social issue.

I believe in the hand-up, by the boot straps, give a helping hand mentality but I also believe in letting those individuals go when they don't seem to be able to help themselves. Where that starts and begins, I'm not sure. Is that a republican sentiment or a demorcratic one?

Its all very confusing for me, but I do know this as I vote for the next president it will be because I know where he stands on issues. I will know how he feels about social issues; his thoughts on the war; how he plans to bring America back to our standing as a world leader that is not based on how many countries we can bully and invade but how many dialougues we can start; and his stance on the environment.
So while I may struggle with labels that don't really apply to me, I will know who the President I vote for is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yesterday's Shooting

I don’t know what happened. But this has got to stop. We can't just accept this as status quo. From the LVRJ:

Suspects at large
Two victims remain hospitalized;
dispute over girl suspected

Two assailants opened fire Tuesday afternoon at a school bus stop in northeast Las Vegas, sending six people to the hospital in what might have been a dispute over a girl, police said.
. . .

The two assailants were waiting at the bus stop about 2 p.m., and they began firing shortly after students exited two buses, police said.

. . . Police think the shooting was in response to an altercation between students at Mojave High School earlier in the day. Three students were arrested by school district police in the morning after the fight. Police suspect the youngsters were fighting over a girlfriend. . . .

The 14-year-old witness said a fight had occurred at the bus stop Monday between black and Hispanic teens who he thinks are gang members. . . .

He said that shortly after stepping off the bus Tuesday afternoon, he saw a group of Hispanic teens walking toward a smaller group of black teens.

He figured the Hispanics were there to protect their friend who had been beaten up Monday at the bus stop. The groups had not reached each other when he saw one of the black teens started shooting. . . . . "

The full story is here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chamber Holiday Mixer is Thursday

The 4th Annual Joint Holiday Mixer sponsored by the Asian, Latin, and Urban Chambers is on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 from 5:15-9 pm at the Venetian--Bellini Room (3355 Las Vegas Blvd South, 89109). The cost is $20 per person, and they are asking you to bring an upwrapped toy for Child Haven. RSVP by Dec. 11 to the Urban Chamber at 702-648-6222, or

Obama Hosts Las Vegas Round Table

The post to the video is here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Carolyn’s Grassroots Work

See this profile of the grassroots work Carolyn Essex on the Nevada African Americans for Obama blog. Well-deserved recognition, and a good model of how we can all use our creativity and commitment to restore our nation.

Economic Issues Weigh on Minds of Las Vegas Voters

Interesting article here on the status of the economy in Vegas. No mention of how the Vegas economy has effected Blacks in Vegas and I'm sure we were part of the "building" of Vegas and how it is now one of the World's top places to visit.

What's our perspective? Are we part of the boom, even though the housing market has fallen? Or have our unemployment rates increased?

I will investigate this a bit further but would to hear some real life examples of living Black in Vegas. Again, the link is here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Black Images, OJ and Pacman

Sometimes I look through the newspaper and the most prominent African-American images I see are football players Adam (Pacman) Jones and OJ Simpson. Pacman pleaded no contest yesterday to a reduced charge, and OJ will go to trial here in April. The dominance of these images is frustrating.

Granted, the events are byproducts of the tourist industry. When people across the country read the news, they don’t necessarily assume that Black folks who live in Vegas fall into these roles. But you do have to wonder—do Nevadans (whether they be White, Black, Latino or other) see Pacman and OJ primarily as celebrity tourists with poor judgment, or as Black?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Steven Horsford at Mock Caucus

This past Saturday Senator Steven Horsford spoke at the Mega Mock Caucus . . . . Homemade video, but I'm grateful it is available for those of us who were not able to make it.

Barack at Cheyenne HS

It is only about 2 minutes, but it illustrates that Barack understands the problems that face all Americans.


Welcome to–the newest online community space for exchange on real issues in Nevada.

In these pages, we hope to bring a fresh perspective on issues affecting Black folks in Nevada, and provide a platform for us to exchange ideas and post information about community gatherings. At the same time, we hope to honor and build upon the longstanding institutions that have formed the core of Black Vegas for decades and have sustained us.

In some ways, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign inspired the creation of this site. We were moved by his ideas for political change to mobilize an online community of Nevadans who shared Barack’s dedication to inclusion, opportunity, and action.

But this isn’t just about one campaign or one candidate. Our effort is about using new tools to provide a space so that we can exchange ideas, strategize, take action, and ultimately improve the quality of life of many within our community for decades to come.