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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Zimmerman Murder Trial

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, when all the rhetoric, noise and distraction have settled, George Zimmerman profiled, hunted down, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, and justified it by saying: “It was God’s plan.” His guilt was evident from the moment he left his vehicle with a loaded weapon to follow an unharmed Mr. Martin on foot with murder on his mind.  I trust our justice system will seek fairness for Trayvon Martin and send a strong message to all who would commit bias-motivated crimes and those who cowardly use a merciful God as an excuse to do heinous things.

Horacio Lewis 7/11/13

2:59 pm edt 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Puppets and Puppeteers
Puppets and the Puppeteers (Is it me or is it you who lives in a pretend world?)

Men and women were sent to Congress under the guise of doing the people’s business.  They were all dressed up with ties and suits; the ladies in stylish dresses and pantsuits.  As they arrived at their designated offices, they sat at their desks, opened their lunch boxes and saw the following note: “You will now take directions only from Grover Norquist, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, for we are the ones who paid for your trip.  You are in a make-believe world where the people’s wishes are irrelevant and the other side just lost the elections.  You are not allowed to use your own minds, if any, under any circumstances; and your main objective will be to prevent the other side from getting anything done, especially if what they try to do will make the country work for everyone. Moreover, the ‘president’ is not a real American, and furthermore, he is Black!  Hence, what he says doesn’t count.  You will halt government progress by cutting all programs, especially if they pertain to helping the needy and the deserving; but don’t touch the rich or any legal loopholes designed to get them richer.  Take this message to its ultimate conclusion and make government smaller to the point where your jobs are eliminated, no longer needed, and therefore, those who are really there for the people who elected them, will have an opportunity to do great things for this country, for after all, your absence will automatically shrink the government, saving much needed dollars which can be directed to help the least of us, promote economic growth and pay off our debts.  Mission accomplished.”  3/16/13 by Horacio Lewis
4:25 pm edt 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We Should Respect Our Commander-in-Chief
Those citizens and other conservative groups who are treating President Barack Obama with outrageous disrespect due to the color of his skin, and that is exactly the reason, should pause for a moment and remember how we as Americans should view our Commander in Chief; and consider the future when perhaps a white Republican may win the White House.  I venture to think that if Mr. Romney had won, we would be having a more respectful conversation about the serious and important issues impacting our nation.  As an American citizen by choice, I am embarrassed and pained by the depth of hatred toward our president.  1/16/13Horacio Lewis
9:13 am est 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Mitt Romney, Master Chameleon
Master chameleon Mitt Romney is at it again with his turn-around praise for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Or maybe he is just trying to keep up with President Obama’s brilliant handling of Sandy’s wrath.  Working with FEMA, Governor Chris Christie and others, our President has demonstrated empathy and leadership where it counts, regardless of partisanship, petty campaign issues and camera angles, while Governor Romney was relegated to irrelevancy, wallowing in constantly changing make-believe realities. When I proudly cast my vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6 as an unaffiliated voter, I will be voting for those with character, documented ethics and trust worthiness consistent with U.S. and global past, present and future state of affairs.   11/2/12 by Horacio D. Lewis
3:35 pm est 

Sandy Hook

Last Friday, our Almighty God welcomed back 20 little angels and seven not so little angels to heaven.  The Devil greeted one of his own.  We pray for them all including the demonic predator that cowardly preyed on the helpless innocent children.  While at the end of the day, God loves us all; I do not believe He is pleased with the forced return of His children by way of gun violence or similar abuse.As a young child, settling disagreements with words (and sometimes with fists) seemed to work for me and my community. Our society has since graduated to AK-47s and other assault type weapons best left in the hands of law enforcement and military personnel.If we are to curtail the type of wanton evil visited more recently on Sandy Hook Elementary School, we may begin by making it at least as difficult to own a firearm as it is to obtain a secure driver’s license coupled with more rigorous background checks for buyers with penal and psychiatric histories.  Discontinue the use of names/images of perpetrators of these types of massacres in the media and elsewhere.  Eliminate so called “reality shows,” since like mass murderers, there seems to be a desire for notoriety or some distorted type of fame. And finally, minimize entertainment and reports which glorify gratuitous violence and instead, reward/publicize acts of kindness, fairness and justifiable redress behaviors. Also, we need to structurally reinforce existing schools and build better schools that can withstand forced entries and contain safe/panic rooms and bullet proofed windows. Moreover, all teachers, staff, including security personnel, and students should be trained in methods to protect themselves when acts of violence are present in their school or place of employment.  Indeed, our most precious resources—our children—ought to be protected at least as well as we protect our President!Let us pray for all victims of violence/abuse and prayerfully stand up against the evil in people who kill, and employ the criminal justice and mental health systems as appropriate.  We can minimally act immediately by picking random days and standing outside of selected schools with placards announcing:  “We Stand against Violence.”I often wonder why perpetrators of violence don’t pick on people their own size with equivalent protective armaments.  And I ask: is there some correlation between hurricane Sandy and the selection of the school attacked?  10/12 by Horacio D. Lewis
3:31 pm est 

Monday, June 20, 2011

letters@ebony.comDear Editor,Thank you for your delightful and defining piece on race (May 2011 issue).  As a young Panamanian, I would often look to Ebony as an uplifting respite from what I saw as the proliferation of white supremacy depicted in local and international media.  I got the feeling that Ebony, while doing a tremendous job of profiling the positive accomplishments of Blacks, was a bit apologetic given the context of a predominantly white U.S. society which cared little about the important contributions of African-Americans.  With your discussion on Mixed-Race America, I am convinced that you have matured as a fearless leader of the Black voice.  Your well articulated article demonstrates that you understand the identity issues confronting Black folks in the world, including Latin American Blacks who are often mixed.  Please note that Halle Berry (interviewed in your earlier cover story which prompted your piece) had no choice but to employ the one-drop rule defense in speaking to a Black magazine/audience, for only in a more diverse environment would she be comfortable enough to elaborate on the racial/ethnic history of her bi-racial daughter Nahla, with less condemnation and guilt.  In fact, Nahla would be viewed as “white,” hands down, in much of Latin America—no explanation necessary, no questions asked given her light complexion, straight hair texture and Caucasian features.Indeed, Black folks have helped to stifle the discussion (and have been complicit) on race bias by forcing mixed-race individuals to cower and use this white-concocted one-drop (black blood, African ancestry=black) explanation.  Being a Black Latin American immigrant and now a U.S. citizen, I have had to grapple with this issue for decades in the United States of America.  I believe the “other” designation was provided on forms and documents because of people like me—I was incredulously classified as White at a U.S university when I first came to this country!?—the admissions application had only two racial categories then: Caucasian/White and Negro, I crossed-out Negro and wrote-in Black, the English translation for Negro, at a time when Black was used pejoratively.  Go figure.  Now with all the designations available on forms, I am apt to check-off as many as ten categories, including Latino, non-white Hispanic, West Indian, multicultural and European; despite my subjection to the “n” word, among others designed to assure me of how I am actually viewed in a racist society.I enjoyed reading this well overdue article on the real dynamics of race in America, an issue that continues to matter as long as we remain ignorant of the silent Mixed-Race majority in the U.S., a group, including my grown children, which helped to propel Barack Obama to the presidency. 6/20/11Horacio D. Lewis, PhD, ThD
11:31 am edt 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Christina School District's Race to the Top Issue
I ask the Christina School District, et al, to stop bickering over the dynamics of its Race to the Top “transformation model” (NJ, 4/24/11) and find a way to resolve the procedural issues for the benefit of our children. The millions of dollars at stake can do much to improve the education of students in the, so called, “Partnership Zone.” Maybe the process should be redone with all the agreed upon pieces in place to assure a fair resolution the next time around. Politics and “who’s on first” aside, let us all behave like adults even while disagreeing on the particulars, for it is the future of Delaware education that is on the line. I too have consternation with some aspects of "Race to the Top," however, this is not the time to look a gift horse in the mouth. 4/25/11
9:59 pm edt 

Monday, September 27, 2010

STICKS AND STONES...
Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will always hurt you.  Has a person who often uses words as my defense weapon of choice when doing battle, I can report to you that I prefer to be physically harmed than be perennially damaged by hurtful words; particularly when I let my guard down around family, friends and people I generally trust, people I expect to have-my-back, support me and be verbally gentler.  Indeed, harsh words are more painful when spoken by people who are close to you and are supposed to “feel your pain.”  Unlike the temporary wound inflicted by a stick or stone, painful words have the tendency to live with you forever eventually growing into your entire personality and outlook-- a negative self-fulfilling effect.  Damaging words tend to arrange themselves as tapes in your head which play over and over again, resulting at times in psychosis or even violence.   To fight against this, one must respond immediately to injurious words and not let them take root in your brain, making you live to regret the lost opportunity to have retaliated back then-and-there, to lessen the long-lasting detrimental impact of verbal abuse.  hdl 9/26/10
4:36 pm edt 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning?!
The Christina School District just hired a Deputy Superintendent for teaching and learning???!!!  Shouldn’t the entire district administration be responsible for this?  What in the hell are the other administrators doing?  I think we have again been hoodwinked by the district’s recent referendum.  I’m glad I didn’t support this farce.
Horacio D. Lewis (retired DOE administrator, professor, teacher and unsuccessful candidate for the Christina School board) 6/10/10
12:47 pm edt 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Latinos and Pediatric Pedophile Dr. Earl Bradley
I have been told that Attorney General Beau Biden’s office has sent out inquiry letters written in Spanish to the Latino community who may have received “medical” services from Pediatric Pedophile Dr. Earl Bradley.  If true and it’s a good start, some of us would be interested in learning what else Delaware officials may have done to allay the fear of authority, and encourage non-English proficient potential victims to come forward with their complaints.  Has there been a coordinated effort to send bilingual personnel (e.g. Social Workers) into the Latino community?  Has there been counsel sought from the National Council of La Raza?  It would help to understand that as a result of cultural differences/practices and perhaps compounded by immigration status, Latinos would be less apt to approach State officials even if they have been victimized. 3/20/10
Horacio D. Lewis, PhD
Newark DE
Former Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Child Protective Services, Former Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs, Former Chairman of the Delaware Advisory Commission to the US Commission on Civil Rights and Former Chairman of the Latino Task Force
1:26 pm edt 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Widespread Firing of Teachers
Two major personal laws governed my behavior during my 10+ year tenure teaching in four Delaware public high schools:  1. Treat students with utmost respect/courtesy and 2. Follow through with sanctions without engagement, when a disciplinary instruction/command is given.  The first part is easy if you are generally a polite person who believes in the sanctity of human beings and their capacity to learn and improve their lot.  The second part takes more time and patience.  For example (during an interaction with a disruptive student at the beginning of class): Teacher--“You need to sit in your assigned seat.”  Student—“Why? Johnny is not sitting in his.” Teacher—“Right now I am talking to you and I am asking you to sit in your assigned seat!”  If student continues to argue or ignore command, then the teacher needs to act with a disciplinary measure which may include extracting the student from the classroom, with administrative assistance, to minimize further class delay/distraction.  That said, with the recent widespread firing of teachers because of “budget constraints,” I trust school superintendents, et al., are also considering the expulsion/firing of disruptive students and redundant administrators in order to keep public school education alive with effective teachers. 3/18/10
3:13 pm edt 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A New Political Party
I hereby propose yet another political party to address the real needs of our American people; neither Democratic nor Republican or even Independent.  In fact, not even a Tea, Coffee or milk and cookies party.  I am thinking of a Fairness Party!  Or rather, a non-party built on fairness; one that would answer simple questions having to do with applied US constitutional issues and what’s in the best interest of the people; and would support informed candidates who can thoughtfully articulate and justify their fair approach to solving our American dilemma.  The time has come to truly help our country and our people, and to discontinue support for established political parties.  People needs come before party needs.  Let us endorse/elect individuals with the correct ideas for resolving our issues as a people and country even if we have to draft them. 3/16/10
12:17 pm edt 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Communicate More Truthfully

One of the things that irks me the most with our public political discourse is the dearth of verbal transparency when criticizing the other side.  I say, let us enhance communication and credibility, and attract more discerning listeners by first owning up to our own known misdeeds.  (“He who is without sin…”) 3/5/10
7:46 pm est 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More on Baybeesgate
I have already called for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the ”Baybeesgate” pediatric rape case (Blog, 1/10/10).  Today’s Grand Jury indictment of Dr. Earl B. Bradley (“…471 counts of rape and abuse,” The News Journal) makes this request all the more urgent; particularly when it appears that a few intimidated victims (including Latinos) are not coming forward to tell their stories, some are revising their earlier comments, and others have given up on a system that failed them when the story was uncovered over ten years ago.  For Delawareans, this is a clear example of:  Justice delayed is justice denied. 2/23/10
11:44 am est 

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way"
While I did not participate in your recent poll (NYT, 2/12/10), I strongly agree with the majority responding “not favorable” to its “opinion of the Republican Party.”  Indeed, I have noticed a rightist campaign, fueled by a tint of prejudice, to distort, disengage and destroy when it comes to issues supported by the President of the United States.  Consistent with Thomas Paine’s dictum: “Lead follow or get out of the way,” it would be very helpful to see a mass resignation of those who would rather not move forward, or even participate in the discussion, for the benefit of our great country.  To regain favor, Republicans need to reverse the prevailing public perception of their bullying, mediocrity, disingenuousness and negativity.  Better yet, Congress, in general, could use more open minded individuals, divested of party affiliations, whose sole concern is the welfare of the American people!  2/12/10
10:48 pm est 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Radiation Pellets Procedure

Thank you for perhaps the first in-depth look at the disaster that is the Brachytherapy procedure (NYT, Sunday, 6/21/09).  My brother Sgt. Clarence E. Lewis, an army veteran, underwent such a procedure over ten years ago in a V.A. hospital in Texas.  He has since been riddled with pain and incapable of using the bathroom.  He ended up disabled with a colostomy, and diapers.  One doctor called the aftermath a nuclear disaster.  He now lives in Old Soldiers Home, Washington, DC.

I wrote in the 1990's about his experience in our local News Journal newspapers (Wilmington, DE) and was attacked by local hospital doctors and a newspaper editor, who had successfully undergone the procedure, for “misinforming the community and raising fear.”  Should you do a follow-up story on this most challenging prostate cancer approach, please do not forget my brother who has not even received an apology for this terrible mistake.  Who knows how many other veterans have been used as a guinea pig! 6/21/09

 
12:45 pm est 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Youth Service
It is not surprising that the major findings of the “Assessing the Long-Term Effects of Youth Service: The Puzzling Case of Teach for America” study (NY Times, Jan. 4, 2010) were “burnout,” “exhaustion” and “disillusionment” among those choosing to serve, and that only 31% of the program’s 17,000 alumni continued in the teaching profession. This five-year study should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers and those who have no idea of the extreme stress involved in a career plagued with up to 15-hour work days, persistent classroom disciplinary issues, little, if any, parental/community assistance and obtrusive administrative meddling; not to mention insulting wages.   Unless our education system is radically changed, particularly at the middle and high school levels, our society will continue to lose the type of expertise, creativity and dedication required for successful teaching and learning. 1/4/10
12:37 am est 

Friday, January 15, 2010

US Dept. of Justice Action Required to Prosecute "BayBeesgate"
I continue to believe that an investigation by the US Dept. of Justice is required to prosecute and put to rest any cover-up of wrong-doing by Delaware officials in the outrageous Bradley BayBeesgate case (1/10/10 letter herein).  The appointment of Law School Dean Linda Ammons by Governor Jack Markell to review and make recommendations regarding systemic failures is a step in the right direction as we seek impartial and responsible adjudication. 1/15/10
8:46 am est 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti
Toussaint L’Ouverture started the recovery in Haiti in 1791; let us continue that effort by creating a safe haven for earthquake surviving Haitians in a specific geographical area in the United States or in South America.  History has shown that Haiti has, regrettably, not progressed much in the last 200+ years hence; a relocated Haiti, not unlike Liberia or Jonestown (for different reasons), may be in order at this desperate time since the cost of rebuilding and saving lives is prohibitive.  In the end, the U.S. may have to take possession of Haiti, if we so choose, like we did with Puerto Rico. 1/14/10
7:27 pm est 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Will the Real Harold Ford Stand Up!
Harold E. Ford Jr. seems to be a real chameleon, a Republican wannabe, with uncommitted, changeable positions to suit his environment.  He had Tennesseans fooled.  Will his hat trick work in New York? Your article (NY Times Jan. 13) reads like a fairy tale.  Does he even believe he is Black or will he change his position on that as well!  This man cannot be trusted to lead anyone!  New Yorkers would be better off without him. 1/13/10
11:05 am est 

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