Photo by Sean Ferigan on Unsplash

This article was published in December of 2017. With the Confederate statues now coming down, I want to take a look back at what the nation was facing on this issue with the former occupant of the White House.

Not long after the violence over Robert E. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, Donald Trump went to great lengths to declare the beauty and importance of Confederate monuments strewn across the former slave holding states.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he tweeted. …

This was first published in October 2017

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It is not easy to admit when you are wrong. But the mark of the character of a man is when he can do so. A man who cannot, or will not, apologize when he is in the wrong is not a real man no matter how many ribbons are pinned to his chest.

On Oct. 19, Gen. John Kelly, Donald Trump’s chief of staff, publicly made an erroneous statement about U.S. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. The statement was meant to show her in a poor light and to damage her credibility. …

This Commentary was published in August of 2019

Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash

There is a sickening stench about Ken Cuccinelli.

Ken Cuccinelli is Donald Trump’s newly appointed acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and his type of stench is not one that assaults the nose, rather it is a noxious affront that assaults one’s dignity.

Cuccinelli’s main function in his new position is to act as Donald Trump’s gatekeeper to bar America’s doors to people of color. …

This commentary was published in August of 2017

Photo by Dean Hinnant on Unsplash

In response to the hue and cry of white supremacists who claim to be patriots celebrating their Confederate heritage, I would like to present these few simple facts.

Robert E. Lee, as an officer in the United States military, took an oath to protect the Constitution of this country.

He broke that oath. He broke it by waging war against the United States of America, the country whose Constitution he swore to support.

There are those who would argue that he had a higher obligation to his native state of Virginia than…

This Commentary was published in May of 2017

Photo by Max Letek on Unsplash

White evangelicals in America responded to Donald Trump’s presidential bid like the faithful welcoming “Jubilee.”

His campaign victory was their “Palm Sunday.” He was their savior, their “Messiah,” if you will. They had thronged to the places where he spoke, cheering. They chanted his liturgies of hate and division in unison, while the most zealous among them styled themselves as Christian soldiers and physically attacked those who disputed the Trump orthodoxy.

Those of us to whom the clay feet of this false God were clearly visible were dumbfounded by the…

This Commentary was published in February of 2017

Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji on Unsplash

In 1960, Blacks in Virginia watched as the state changed the laws against trespass to make it a more serious crime, and the penalty was raised from a $100.00 fine to $1,000.00. This action was taken by the then all-white legislature in an attempt to combat the Civil Rights Movement and more severely punish the activists that were engaging in the sit-ins that were taking place.

During that time, we read the unhinged rantings of segregationists, such as James J. Kilpatrick, who wrote lies, to stoke fear and hatred in the hearts…

Photo by Joe Lavigne on Unsplash

This commentary was originally published in February of 2016.

How tone deaf can MSNBC possibly be?

Twitter “blew up” Friday night with the hashtag #Nerdland after word got around that Melissa Harris Perry was being “dogged out” by MSNBC, the network that tries to position itself as the antidote to Fox News.

In an email to her staff at the MHP show that afternoon, the talented scholar described the abusive snubbing she received and how her abilities and value were being disrespected by a gang of “good ol’ boys” in the top echelons of the network.

Perry, who is eminently…

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Initially published November 25, 2015

These times feel very familiar to me.

My grandfather was born enslaved near the Arkansas — Louisiana line in 1854.

In 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street was destroyed; and the following summer, my father had to work in that city to earn enough money to get to Howard University, at a time when Washington, D.C. was still segregated. (It wasn’t until 1953 that the Supreme Court decided that segregation in the Nation’s Capital was unconstitutional.)

I was born into the segregated South 70 years ago.

During my entire life, I have viewed America through…

May 21, 2017

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

This commentary was written shortly after May 18, 2017, when a jury found Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby “not guilty” of a crime, after she shot and killed Terence Crutcher even though he was unarmed and had his hands in the air.

And again, a white police officer has killed a person of color with impunity.

On Sept. 16, 2016 Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher even though he was unarmed and had his hands in the air. On May 18, 2017, a jury found Shelby “not guilty” of a crime.

July 31, 2017

Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

It is time for some honest talk about gender politics in Black America.

With the rise of “Trumpism,” our community needs all hands on deck to engage in the struggle. And using all available human resources requires that we not push women to the background in order to maintain male dominance as the preferred social order.

Very few Black men can truthfully deny that they have witnessed and participated in a culture and a social order that normalizes male privilege in a way that devalues women. This social order is called “patriarchy.”

Patriarchy promotes the belief that…

Oscar Blayton

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