False Prophets

Joe narrows the 2008 campaign playing field.

John Newton

Hey Joe: I am a recent graduate from Texas Southern, and I've received my degree in criminal justice. I would like to pursue my graduate studies and enter law school and maybe even run for president one day. What do you think about Bush and these presidential candidates?

Bianca M. Edwards, Houston, Texas

If anybody wants to know how Christian America really is, check its political history. John Newton, former slave-trade captain, evangelical minister and author of "Amazing Grace," set the standard for Christianity in the late 1700s. Though his song carries on, the history of this angelic man has been kicked by the wayside. Had his ideals been practiced, the way of America's bright and shining star Dr. King would have been made easier. As it was, despite the difficulty King encountered trying to open the eyes of people regarding Christianity, his concerns regarding the Vietnam War were the means of his demise.

With all the selfish motives of presidential candidates — both Democratic and Republican — one should wonder if there's no honor in speaking truth. The only bright spots evident among this group of opportunists are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whose interests have been enhanced by the American public. According to history, never has such an event been witnessed. Starting from the Founding Fathers, presidential campaigns have been dominated by white males. White females were assigned to "womanly chores" and blacks were subservient. These laws were written into the Constitution. Although there have been amendments to it, Congress operates from the original.

I think the public has caught up with the fact that the people running for the presidency are no more than a bunch of game-players cashing in politically at the expense of innocent lives, beginning with 9/11. This sad occasion was seemingly welcomed for the purpose of fulfilling other aims. In this respect, Bush could be the best thing that ever happened to America regarding lying. The irony of the whole situation is that he professes to be a compassionate Christian.

By now it should be clear that in order to win the presidency one has to almost be a pathological liar. The presidency can't be won by telling the truth. At one time it might have been possible, but things are too complex now.

The voice of the people spoke when several Republican incumbents were knocked from their thrones. Even behind this reality, Democratic presidential contenders have played it safe by not stepping up to the plate and saying that Bush lied about WMD, even as his "ace boon coon" Tony Blair has been pushed out of office by his people. Since Bush has made a habit of calling his Democratic opponents who disagree with him unpatriotic, obviously they feel that there is no honor in losing. But when a person stands up for righteousness, that is patriotic. One person is a majority. The country is begging for change. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are prime examples. Now we should know that these candidates that claim Christian backgrounds are no more than players.

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn?t know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry?s most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they?d arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to [email protected]. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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