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David L. Horne, PH.D.

Stories by David L.

Practical Politics

The politics of race and republican values

Along with the usual pablum trying to dissect the reasons why and who to blame for another Democratic Party ‘shellacking’ in the 2014 midterm elections—an ultimately unsatisfying bit of penis paddling, there is another story of interest underneath—the election and coming of political age of Congresswoman Mia Love, the former mayor of Sarotoga Springs, Utah. Love is African American, married to a Caucasian gentleman, the mother of three bi-racial children, and a member of the Mormon Church. She is also a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, and not a shrinking violet. She intends to be heard in Congress, but hopefully not like former congressman Allen West of Florida, nor like current congresswoman Michelle Bachman. Political dignity and circumspection would become her.

Practical Politics

The politics of diversity

Encouragements and inducements toward diversity are indeed upon us as a society. TV shows like “Modern Family,” and many more, trumpet that theme—the USA is an ethnically and otherwise diverse society.

The Politics of Ebola

Practical Politics

Lost amid the current relentless media buildup of the Ebola=Africa, Africa=Ebola mindset, are several important bits of information. The first is that the CDC and other Western health systems (e.g., Canadian Health Ministry) have been studying various strains of Ebola in Africa for more than 20 years, and the CDC even established a Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Laboratory in Uganda in 2010-2011 to act as a major research and strategy center for the disease. Russia also established its own lab and in two instances—1996, 2004—lab personnel contracted Ebola through accidental needle contamination.

Is Hip Hop a culture?

Practical Politics

My students recently had a debate over an issue that has troubled them. It is repeated below.

The politics of one step forward

Practical Politics

Like a well-appointed suitor who is totally used to controlling the relationship he established for himself, American racism knows how to give a little hope now and then to keep us hanging on. So, the Florida man who argued with Black teenagers over the loud volume of the music coming out of the youths’ van, then shot into the van numerous times, killing Jordan Davis and wounding one other passenger, just got convicted of first-degree murder. Boo Yow!! Mr. Michael Dunn is to get a mandatory 25 years to life for his murderous act.

The politics of pimping victimhood

Practical Politics

Let me wade into the gator-filled waters here. Why haven’t we heard the voice of Janay Palmer Rice through all this sound and fury over the horror of her husband hitting her? Wasn’t she the victim? Didn’t she take the blow?

Practical Politics

The politics of doing something wrong

State Senator Rod Wright is going to jail. At least, that was the sentence meted out to him by L.A. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy this week. Wright is to begin a three-month term in the county jail on Oct. 31, although he is appealing again.

Practical politics

The politics of stealing intellectual property

Within this musical and literary generation, one of the most persistent challenges is in coping with the habit of millennials to “sample” virtually everything, yet still call it their original creativity. Several much noted artists—like Diddy, Jay-Z and Pharrell Williams—owe their careers to the fine art of using earlier creative efforts of others as a base upon which to lay different lyrics and notes. An entirely new emphasis in law has grown out of monitoring and protecting prior musical compositions from plagiarism without compensation. It is connected to copyright infringement and called clearances and licensing.

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The Politics of Lessons From History

Practical Politics

In 1965-66, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the single most significant civil rights youth group of the 1960’s, created the first all-Black political party, the Lowndes County Freedom Party, to showcase SNCC’s belief that where Black folk were in the population majority, they should be the majority of the elected representatives. Numbers count in politics. However, according to SNCC’s calculation, organized numbers count even more.

The politics of Africa on the world stage

Practical Politics

The obvious theme of this week’s column could be and maybe should be the vicissitudes of the Michael Brown killing. But I’m not an obvious kind of writer.

The politics of judging the character of a man

Practical Politics

Daily we are assaulted in the media with opinionated judgements regarding President Barack Obama and other political leaders, ostensibly offering up evaluations of some aspect of the president’s character. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those evaluations are nothing more than vapid vituperations based on hot air and gusty emotions. Messy and relevant facts controverting these blowheart opinions are readily ignored or merely denied in passing.

The politics of media name-calling

Practical Politics

We are all aware that once the media, in one form or another, labels something or someone, and that label sticks, it’s relatively impossible to uncork that particular genie. Truth and facts have nothing to do with it.

The politics of blind-eye focus

Practical Politics

Many of us have friends or acquaintances who say and/or do things that eventually ensnare us in trouble they caused. Often our defenses against the ensuing criticisms and controversies just deepen the hole we find ourselves in, and we stand or sit stalled in place trying to figure out what the hell happened.

The politics of representing a constituency

Practical Politics

One of the most cherished and distinctive ingredients of American democracy is the right of constituents to expect their elected representatives to have a residency among them. That has been part of a belief from the outset that in order to properly represent citizens and residents of an electoral district or territory, one must know the issues and challenges of that geographical area. The best way to do that is to live, or at least have a legal residency, in the territory one runs to represent.

The Politics of State Mitosis

Practical Politics

Since California became a state in 1849, there have been attempts to divide its territory into smaller areas: In those days, the major issue was to have a non-slave state North California, and a slave state South California. That battle was lost by the slave staters. Since then, there have been at least 219 more proposals to divide California into smaller states.

The Politics of Troubling African Waters: Part II

Practical Politics

’m usually a strong supporter of President Barack Obama. I’m sure when all is said and done, he will go down in history as one of America’s best presidents. Of course, how well the Democrats organize their base to get out for the November 2014 Congressional elections will have a big influence on the president’s legacy, one way or the other.

The Politics of Getting Africa Out of Trouble

Practical Politics

This is a hard column for me to write this week. Africa is in trouble. That’s not a comment that is hard to believe or one that is new to make.

The Politics of Public Integrity and Ethics in Office

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This is not the first time this column has discussed public integrity and ethics in elective office in California, and it probably won’t be the last. But, gosh, another California State Senator indicted on federal charges of corruption, fraud, and even gun-running? And another democrat, too? Is it raining California political crooks now? Water, we certainly do need, but this is more like hot, moldy lard streaming greasily down onto our heads. Is this one of the pitfalls of living in the California paradise? You can’t trust the folks who take an oath to promote your best interests?

The Politics of Easters Past and Presen

Practical Politics

Okay, I’ve got a bone or two to pick. Given that Easter Sunday is the quintessential Christian holiday/commemoration, why is it designated on different Sundays every year? In other words, which actual Sunday did Jesus arise? Isn’t that important? The Resurrection on floating Sundays? That’s simply not logical. Where is the hew and cry about this apparent anomaly? I can’t be the only poor pew-sitter who sees this as an issue?

The Politics of Claiming Residency and Crying Foul When Caught

Practical Politics

State Senator Rod Wright, a former staffer for Congresswoman Maxine Waters and a veteran California lawmaker, has this February been convicted of being a law breaker. That’s relatively old news. The new news is that California State NAACP president, Alice Huffman, is convinced Wright has been selectively targeted and wrongly convicted. As such, she feels, we, the public, should continue to stand behind and support Senator Wright and agitate for his conviction to be overturned.

The Politics of Points of Order

Practical Politics

As more and more of the Black Arts generation abruptly slips into the grave, the issue of the readiness of the Millennials for the next generation of leadership forces itself forward.

The Politics of Recognizing Black Genius

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With today’s cell phones, you can talk to virtually anyone on the planet. Inside every cell phone you have a compact speaker, microphone, keyboard, display screen, and a powerful circuit board with microprocessors that make every phone a miniature computer. When connected to a wireless network, this bundle of modern-day technologies allows you to make phone calls or exchange data with other phones and computers around the world.

The Politics of Snow Flying

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Dressed in white, shaded in black against all that snow and ice, Shani Davis looks good again. Without the most recognizable name of Lindsey Vonn in the Sochi Olympics, and with Apolo Ohno’s retirement, the most likely prominent face of the American Winter Olympics presence will be Mr. Shani Davis, Chicago native and repeat world champion. Imagine that—a Black snowman, and a fast one too.

A Pan African Step Forward

Practical Politics

From January 14-16, in Johannesburg, South Africa, approximately 160 attendees from 20 countries crowded into a series of rooms in the Jubilee conference hall at the University of Witswatersrand—the higher education pride of South Africa—to convene what the organizers called the 8th Pan African Congress.

Mr. Mandela: Once More, with Feeling

Practical Politics

On Dec. 5, 2013, the day Mr. Mandela transitioned, the last and probably the best, movie made about his life and significant legacy premiered in Toronto, Canada. The movie was and is, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” and it is based on Mr. Mandela’s autobiography published in 1995.

The anachronistic politics of at-large voting

Practical Politics

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District School board was considering whether to hold a special election or appoint someone, like a superbly qualified George McKenna, Ed.D., to serve out the term of the recently departed and very effective board member, Marguerite LaMotte.

The politics of building legacies and sleeping in peace

Practical Politics

On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the Xhosa son of South Africa, rested his head one final time. His personal struggles and his championing of those agitations of his countrymen for dignity and justice came to a close. Certainly the symbol and longevity of his well-lived life spent so lavishly on the quest to raise the best in mankind to an honored place in human engagement had not ended.

The politics of a new Pan African Congress

Practical Politics

On Jan. 14-16, the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, will be the site at which a group of Pan Africanists will meet at the eighth installment of the Pan African Congress Movement begun in 1900 with the gathering of Africanists at the first Pan African Conference in Trinidad.

The politics of real social change

Practical Politics

There are some of us who worry that President Barack Obama’s positive legacy is being tarnished right before our eyes—that this fumbling of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will devastate the significance and accomplishments of his presidency.

The politics of student and youth activism . . . finally

Practical Politics

In February 1960, four students, after a few days of planning and discussing the issue, took a mighty risk. They sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., and asked for service. They knew the law would not protect their rights to do just that, and that there was a significant chance that all, or some of them, would be seriously hurt by the White occupants already at the lunch counter that day.

Black politics and Veteran’s Day

Practical Politics

Veteran’s Day 2013, was more than merely a few more hours away from money-related work. The U.S.A., collectively, paid a proper tribute this past Monday to its military men and women who have continued to defend the country and to keep many of us safe from foreign harm. The day was also very important to the African American community. It was a day to reflect once again on the consistently significant role Blacks have played in the development of this country, in spite of the too-frequent underappreciation of that fact.

The politics of history

Practical Politics

Last years’ smash film hit, “Lincoln,” was a great piece of cinematic work. It deserved all of the accolades it received. However, based as it was on the intensive research and documentation that director Spielberg said was done in preparation for shooting the film, it was rather amazing that some very fundamental aspects of President Lincoln’s character and signature executive order were not included anywhere in the film.

The politics of delusion

Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, (R-Texas) will not go away. Unlike a House Republican who only has a two-year term and has to constantly rerun for office, the good Senator Mr. Cruz, who was one of the primary architects of the recent government shutdown and the attempt to irreversibly damage the ‘full faith and credit’ of the U.S. government, was elected to a six-year term in November 2012.

The Politics of Street Lit

Practical Politics

Since the creation of Black American (African American) culture, every generation of Black folks in the U.S. has produced its own creative literature, music, dance, etc. That is because part of the consistent core and character of Black culture is its continuing liveliness, quest to “tell the truth about what it is” and its ability to “snatch whatever good got left in the shadows and corners of life.”

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A gilded gift

Practical Politics

Giving further compelling evidence that Black culture is waning steadily and speedily into oblivion, ushered there by this generation of Black folk, recently Dr. Dre (Andre Young), in collaboration with Interscope Records mogul Jimmy Lovine, announced a $70 million donation to the University of Southern California, a school Dr. Dre could not have gained admission to ‘straight outta Compton.’ He went to Centennial High and transferred to Fremont, before attending Chester Adult School.

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What’s up with African American literacy rates?

In the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other quick strike information processes, why is there a definite lack of evidence of a steady upward progression of reading and writing skills among African American contributors?

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The politics of a consumer-friendly eminent domain

Even though, according to a recent evaluation report by Barclays Bank, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights—which became official on Jan. 1, 2013—is having a definite impact on slowing bank foreclosures in the state, some municipalities still end up with far too many blighted areas within their borders, as underwater homes get seized by banks or simply abandoned by distraught homeowners unable to make their mortgage payments.

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The politics of paying for the N-word

In Lee Daniels’ new movie, “The Butler,” the first part of the story gives one of the most compelling arguments in any modern media for African Americans to cease and desist from calling each other the N-word.

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Whither Arthur Ashe?

Practical Politics

This week during the 2013 version of the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, James Blake, a perennial top player since 1999, is retiring from the sport.

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Trayvon Martin case may not have the legal legs to stand on

Emotions still are running very high regarding George Zimmerman’s acquittal for killing Trayvon Martin. While frequently the federal government has stepped in when a state court has freed suspects in cases that seemed to be hate-crime-based, much more often, it has decided not to do so, and all of the emotions and sense of injustice connected to the situation have not done any good.

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Getting us out of the war on small-time drugs

President Barack Obama has already made history. Twice. He can rest on his laurels and just ride out the remainder of his second term without shooting for any more stars. After all, the stormy petrels of Washington will beat their wings in the wind, no matter what he does—positive or negative.

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The reparations issue is not dead

In the USA, with the election of Barack Obama, the Republican control of chairships in the current—and maybe future—Congress, the Black Farmers’ settlement, and numerous other small but significant adjustments in time, the reparations movement seems moribund, if not totally dead and buried.

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Leaving Blacks out of immigration reform

A few years ago, when immigration reform activity was hot and heavy, a U.S. Senate version of reform legislation included a path to citizenship and other reasonable proposals. A House version was draconian.

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The value of Black men? just north of zero

OK. It has been done and won’t be undone. An American took another young American’s life and was acquitted of any criminal responsibility for it. A lot has already been said on the issue, maybe too much. My two cents is very, very short.

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Obama’s Africa trip was more than what it seems

As measured by quantity and depth of media coverage, President Obama’s recent trip to three African countries—June 26-July 2—did not amount to much.

Standing against the falsification of African history

In Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, a professor Zimmerman, from an East Coast institution, wrote a rather startling article. In it, he said homosexuality “was endemic in Africa” before European colonialism bedeviled it. Endemic means constantly present and widespread.

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In dealing with the courts, go to the source

There are two issues in this week’s column: one local and one national. The first, briefly stated, is where are the trees they promised? Has anyone paid much attention to the Crenshaw/King corridor lately? It was promised by the city authorities that the permanent trees along the right-of-way for the movement of the space shuttle to Exposition Park would be replaced.

Blacks once rode athletics to political credibility

Throughout American history, military valor and athletic showmanship have been utilized by African Americans as weapons for cultural respect.

Could Republicans be contemplating impeachment?

In 1998, two years into his second term, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives voted articles of impeachment against then-president Bill Clinton. He was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice, in connection with the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal in the White House.

All the continent moves to achieve a Pan African education

Colonial education in Africa was fundamentally aimed at teaching Africans that Europeans were superior in everything, and that the purpose of African life was to follow whatever Europeans said and go wherever they led. Africans were to stay divided and quarreling among themselves, and the only unity they were to achieve was in their agreement to allow Europeans to do whatever they wanted in Africa and to Africans. Colonial education was aimed at teaching Africans to stay dependent on White outsiders.

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