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David L. Horne, PH.D.

Stories by David L.

Practical Politics

The politics of Field Order 15

As Union soldiers advanced through the South, tens of thousands of hopeful former slaves..

The politics of Field Order 15

Practical Politics

As Union soldiers advanced through the South, tens of thousands of...

Practical Politics

The politics of semantic arrogance

‘Opinions are opinions, and facts are just that. Anybody and everybody are entitled to their own opinions, but nobody is entitled to make up their own facts.’

Practical Politics

The politics of our two-faced, divisive president

Love him or loathe him as president, we had all hoped by now that Donald Trump would have understood and accepted the cold...

Practical Politics

The politics of boxing with nature

Recently, humankind in this part of the globe got dragged into an unwanted war with nature and got pummeled, thrice over.

Practical Politics

The politics of eviscerating government support for arts and humanities

Unless the art of lying is considered a special skill, our current POTUS seems not to have any notable artistic talent. It should therefore not have come as a surprise to many of us that in his first national budget proposal, Mr. Trump called for the elimination of all public funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This horrified many artists and performers in this country, and in the world community. No other U.S. president has ever done that, though there have been numerous times that budget reductions in those agencies have been requested.

Practical Politics

The politics of recruiting for hate

We can call last Saturday in Virginia what we want: the latest example of domestic terrorism, a current scenario displaying the present state of the U.S.A., or just an American protest gone bad. We can also see it for what it really was: a recruitment event for the Renaissance of White Nationalism. Clearly, it was an answer to the questions: Why haven’t they just died off? Isn’t this the era of the money-oriented, smartphone millennials?

Practical Politics

Politics of killing American diplomacy

This is a multi-national world. That is, there are currently 195 countries officially recognized by the United Nations, each with its own government, economy, domestic issues and international interests. In order to enjoy relative peace and the opportunities for prosperity, each country must engage in regular negotiations, debate, mediations, etc., also called diplomacy. The latter is the art and skill of engaging with neighboring countries and the world in discussions aimed at non-confrontation and achieving one’s national interests to the degree realizable within the circumstances of the time.

Practical Politics

The politics of the new-old War on Drugs

America’s War on Drugs (WOD) (aka War on Black People) has been an ongoing messy affair for nearly 50 years. It has not stopped drug trafficking, it has not stopped drug addiction, and it has not made the USA safer. In fact, most analysts agree that, instead, the WOD has at best only propelled the incarceration of massive numbers of Americans (especially Black Americans), driven millions of families further into permanent poverty, and perpetuated the cycle of drug abuse in the country. The WOD has not been able to “arrest and incarcerate addiction out of the American people.”

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Practical Politics

The politics of never downplaying Black folk

In 2017, too many world civilization histories and success stories still focus almost exclusively on what Europeans or neo-Europeans have done or contributed. The big lie continues being taught and re-taught. Whatever Black folk have chosen to participate in throughthe ages, we have excelled in, be it music, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, ice sports, soccer, American football, golf, tennis, etc. Whatever; we have not been slackers on the world stage, but our contributions have very often been ignored or downplayed.

Practical Politics

The Politics of Declining the U.S.A.

In an apparent, though perhaps unintended, attempt to drive the U.S.A.’s reputation downwards, the Donald Trump administration is doing spectacularly well. A few weeks ago, this column identified the rapid decline of this country’s international reputation viz-a-viz the recent Pew International Survey. This week, another reliable international study, continued reporting on that trend.

Practical Politics

The politics of 21st century Pan African education

As is very well known by now, the African Union, the preeminent continental African organization dedicated to African unification into a Union of African States, is very deeply involved in its drive to succeed.

Practical Politics

The politics of bridling a mustang

In a new, quiet move that may indicate that all congressional Republicans have not become dope fiends to the Trump kool-aid, Rep. Barbara J. Lee’s long-introduced amendment to nullify the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, was passed by the House Appropriations Committee a few days ago. The move surprised many, many people, including the redoubtable Rep. Lee.

Practical Politics

The politics of peeving the world off

Barack Obama brought cool, intellectual flair and ‘steady-hand” integrity to the office of POTUS. Donald Trump, in his quixotic quest to undo much of Mr. Obama’s successful legacy, has brought a reputation as a relentless liar who is incompetent to be the POTUS. (The New York Times just published a collected list of every public lie President Trump told during his first 40 days in office—averaging three lies per day.) One wonders about the model he is presenting to the impressionable young people of this country as they seek to emulate the president.

Practical Politics

The politics of taking care of Black folks’ business

The business of being Black in America, and in this world, has always been difficult. Too much of it has continued to be based, quite simply, on the fact that merely being born Black made one dangerous, an outsider, the “other,” or a problem. To protect their own ‘bizness,’ whatever that was, White folks and others have spent an inordinate amount of time consistently passing anti-Black legislation, routinely directing police departments to cull and kill, and maintaining education systems that promoted the belief that White folks’ ‘bizness’ and Black folks’ ‘bizness,’ while they might sometimes intertwine, were, fundamentally different.

Practical Politics

Trump, Black Folks and the Russian Investigation

Try as we might, it is increasingly harder to look at the daily shenanigans of President Trump and his team of strange bedfellows as merely “White folks’ troubles.” After all, as the saying goes, when White folks sneeze, Black folks get pneumonia. But really, how is all this craziness really affecting our lives? Does it help or hurt us in the job market? Is it negatively affecting us in high school graduation rates and university education? Is it really affecting the quality of Black lives one way or the other? The best answer to those questions is probably in the short run, no. The longer the craziness lasts, however, the more in danger Black folks will be. And that’s a fact.

Practical Politics

The politics of good recognitions

Amid the teasing camaraderies about who has the best bar-be-que sauce, and other family discussions around May’s last holiday a few days ago, and the solemnity of celebrations for this country’s war dead, it would have been nice for once to hear ANY commentators mention the fact that Memorial Day (not to be confused with Veterans’ Day), is an invention of the African American population.

The politics of supporting immigration rights

As part of the recent commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin L. King Jr., Dr. Ben Chavis, the long-time civil rights activist and current president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, penned an opinion piece focused on re-affirming the continuing struggle for fairness, justice and equal treatment for all. In that article, he stressed the need to hold accountable a number of groups which were allowing the surreptitious funding of hate groups, including anti-immigrant activists. Though his article was broader than the issue of supporting expanded immigration rights in the U.S., he was taken to task, respectfully, by Mr. Tom Broadwater, the head of the Americans4Work group.

Practical Politics

The politics of fewer Black players in Major League Baseball

Last month, as we commemorated the 1992 Rodney King riots (insurrection), it was easy to overlook the continued annual celebration of Jackie Robinson’s major league baseball career, and all the players in the league wearing number 42 on April 15th in his memory.

Practical Politics

African Americans in the U.S. Congress; A quick glance

In 2017, in the 115th Congress, counting the recent election of South Carolina’s Tim Scott, there are 50 African Americans collectively serving in the House and U.S. Senate. Starting in 1870 during Reconstruction, to date there have been 140 African American members of Congress, including 130 members of the House of Representatives, and 10 U.S. Senators, six of whom were elected. Of that number, there have been 106 Democrats, including 101 in the House and six in the Senate; and 30 Republicans, including 26 in the House and four in the U.S. Senate. Those 140 members have represented 27 states. (See Figure 1-A)

Practical Politics

The politics of the social contract

From the millions protesting on Jan. 21, in the Women’s March, which was the largest single-day protest in the history of the United States, to the smaller but fervent March 8 protests on the “Day Without A Woman,” the political constituency—the we, the people—has been voicing its considerable displeasure at its new leadership.

Practical Politics

The politics of consequences for bad behavior

With them just coming back to take up a new private residency in Washington, D.C., from vacationing in the Caribbean, it is interesting to imagine a morning conversation this week between Michelle Obama and her husband. Michelle: Now Barack, I’ve lived every minute of the joys and heartaches of your being president. But that’s over now…

Practical Politics

The politics of ranking presidents

Although it is far too soon to do a definitive assessment of where former President Barack Obama ranks among the 43 presidents that came before him, the assessments have begun nevertheless. Most usually, such rankings need time, like fine wine and aged liquor, to season and mellow. Based on a C-SPAN survey just completed from 93 American historians and presidential biographers, President Obama, overall, ranked number 12 among the U.S. presidents, three spaces above Bill Clinton, who ranked number 15. The only modern president ranked above Obama’s number 12 was Ronald Reagan at number 9.

Practical Politics

Gender politics and Black History Month

During annual Black History Month celebrations, we usually focus on African Americans who have come before and who have done things, or said things that moved the quality of Black life forward. Mostly, as the name says (his-story), we have not often enough focused on what African American women have done. That is not intrinsically bad, but it is a fact. This column this week will focus on Sarah Breedlove, a.k.a. Madame C.J. Walker, America’s first Black female millionaire. We’ve long praised her financial and entrepreneurial genius, but we have only rarely talked about her Black activism.

Practical Politics

The politics of female leadership ascending

Colonialism is supposed to be dead in the 21st century. Countries are not supposed to have direct control of governments, resources, outputs, banking and educational facilities of other countries. Well, lo and behold, that’s not the case. The islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are still colonies of France. The Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. Johns) are still owned by the USA. And England still owns several Caribbean islands, including the sea resort set of islands called Turks and Caicos, population about 35,000.

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A look at the legacy of Barack Obama

In a lot of ways, it is too early to properly evaluate the presidency of Barack Obama. Such a process regularly needs to marinate for a while, and let more facts of a particular presidency come out. That truism has not stopped the mad rush to get evaluations and comparisons done, however. In 2010, a Siena College Research Institute survey ranked Mr. Obama number 15 of 43 previous U.S. presidents. A 2012 NewsWeek survey ranked Mr. Obama as number 10 among the 43 previous presidents. Nate Silver’s 2013 survey, based on an amalgamation of various rankings, put Mr. Obama at number 17 among previous presidents.

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A look at the legacy of Barack Obama

In a lot of ways, it is too early to properly evaluate the presidency of Barack Obama.

Practical Politics

The politics of fighting for reparations for African Americans

On the day the 115th Congress convened, Jan. 3, long-serving Rep. John Conyers, the author since 1989 of a bill dubbed H.R. 40 (in memory of the 40 acres and a mule concept) re-introduced a new version of his legislation. This new version, officially entitled a “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” more explicitly cited the legislative goal of the proposed bill as the creation and funding (up to $12 million) to create a federal commission to study and consider a national apology and proposals for reparations for the institution of slavery in the USA.

The politics of bad-mouthing everything

Practical Politics

Reports recently have decried how bad things are in the USA because of the Obama administration. That description flies in the face of obvious facts. Let’s count some of the ways.

Practical Politics

The politics of giving a relevant gift

In public school education, Ethnic Studies courses are the new rage, particularly in California. While the rest of the country seems to be content with its stunning lack of cultural literacy, given we’ve had a successful POTUS for the past eight years who is decidedly African American with a distinctly African American family, California, as it is known to do, has leaped out front.

Practical Politics

The celebration of Kwanzaa

On October 1, 2016 (American Heritage Day), in Charleston, S.C., in a little-noticed ceremony, the U.S. Postal Service dedicated its sixth and most permanent celebration of the African American holiday called Kwanzaa. Hosted by the MOJA Art Festival at Marion Square, U.S. Deputy Postmaster, Ronald Stroman, dedicated the U.S. Post Office’s Kwanzaa Forever stamp. Forever stamps remain equal in value to the current first-class mail, 1-ounce price.

Practical Politics

The politics of incompetence, cheek

Those of us still paying attention have already gasped aloud several times upon viewing or hearing about Mr. Trump’s first “transition team” picks for White House service. Virtually all of them are either wholly inexperienced in any prior work close to what their new government job will be, or they are generally incompetent, or both. Some are artful racist-instigators, skilled in semantic chicanery, while others have amassed reputations for being firebrand reactionaries rather than cool-hand Lukes.

Practical Politics

The politics of the ‘faithless’ voters

For those among us who are hard core “never count us out until the last bell sounds,” or “the last second ticks off,” here’s something to chew on. Even though Mr. Trump has already had a first transition-of-power meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama, and has already started picking his new presidential staff, officially, it ain’t over yet.

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Election Watch 2016

In some ways, it will be very good for President Barack Obama to step away from the White House in January 2017, after this month’s election of a new POTUS. He will have been in office for eight years and will have brought humor, intelligence, statesmanship, responsibility and grace to his time as president of the USA. There were no TMZ-level scandals, no bizarre failures of fortune, no lapse in attention to doing the job well. For the African American population, the rest of the USA populace, and the always-watching, listening world, he did not embarrass us or his family.

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Election Watch 2016

In some ways, it will be very good for President Barack Obama to step away from the White House in January 2017, after this month’s election of a new POTUS. He will have been in office for eight years and will have brought humor, intelligence, statesmanship, responsibility and grace to his time as president of the USA. There were no TMZ-level scandals, no bizarre failures of fortune, no lapse in attention to doing the job well. For the African American population, the rest of the USA populace, and the always-watching, listening world, he did not embarrass us or his family.

Practical Politics

The politics of dirty pool

In this election issue, as usual during a presidential contest, there are tons of issues to sort through, all important for some constituency or another. For the California ballot, there are more than 17 initiatives, plus the regular election of a bunch of people. Kamala Harris stands alone as the best candidate for the U.S. Senate seat.

Practical Politics

The politics of trying to move the ball forward

Earlier this week, in San Diego, at the 2016 national conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, an organization listing more than 23, 000 police officials in the U.S., an astounding thing happened.

Practical Politics

Another Columbus Day come wrong

In another tall tale, we were, and many school children still are, taught that Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer sponsored by the Spanish crown, discovered America (what eventually became the United States and Canada). More accurate history for the last 40 years, however, has made it abundantly clear that, in fact, Columbus did not do that.

Practical Politics

Donald Trump and the African American vote in 2016

Recently, Mr. Donald Trump has asked, “What do you have to lose?” aimed, he says, at Black American voters. In speeches mainly to Anglo audiences, he has said he is offering a real change to Black voters.

Practical Politics

The politics of know-nothings redux

Last week, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gave an incisive report on the Know Nothing Political Party in American political history, as a way of explaining the current popularity of anti-immigrationism in our political discourse.

An aspect of 21st century Pan-Africanism

Practical Politics

The AEC (African Economic Community) and its two major corollaries, the African Union (AU) and the African Regional Economic Communities, have embarked on an enormous paradigm altering mission for the 21st century

Practical Politics

The politics of winning the Olympics bid-who wants it?

The 2024 Summer Olympics may be headed for Los Angeles. The first phase of the application process has been completed, and L.A. is still in it. In fact, it is now the front runner to be awarded the Games.

Practical Politics

The politics of negotiating a better police-community relationship

Lately, there’s been a rush of conferences, meetings and celebrity-studded get-togethers to try and identify some common-sense steps to improve police-community relations in the USA.

Practical Politics

The politics of naming and claiming the infraction

The journalism profession generally considers plagiarism a cardinal sin. There are many, many examples of those previously punished for journalistic plagiarism by suspension, termination or other means.

Practical Politics

The politics of keeping the facts straight

It is certain that within the next few months the American public will be overfed the Republican Party’s view of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail situation. She will be accused of all sorts of criminal behavior and lack of sound judgement.

Practical Politics

The politics of sand, surf and sun

As the summer sun in Los Angeles makes its very intense and vibrant entrance this June, it is interesting to reflect on things before and things now.

Practical Politics

The politics of slavery and the Ivy League

By now current research has clearly demonstrated that many of the U.S. Ivy League schools were partially or largely financed in their early history by profits and labor from American slave trading.

Practical Politics

The politics of abortion

Interestingly, as the rate and actual incidence of abortion are steadily decreasing in the U.S.A., overt violence aimed at stopping the practice altogether has increased

Practical Politics

The politics of musical threes

Okay, here it is—the idea again that death comes in threes, a belief common in both the Black community and others.

Evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement

Practical Politics

In Los Angeles in 2014-2016, the Black Lives Matter Movement folks we’ve come to know and love seem hell-bent on disruption of municipal and county meetings as a strategy (although at best, disruption can only be a tactic, not a strategy).

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