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By Belliah K Theise

Response to Shelby Steele Opinion : Marking Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and  Tiger Woods as “bargainers” a huge mistake.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01112008/watch2.html

Here is what  conservative republicans have to say:

The irony inherent in Mr. Steele’s remarks is that he himself is arguably the best example of a “bargainer” one could find in American society.  He is a self-styled “black conservative.”  He uses his race to set himself apart from other conservative writers because his race makes him stand out.  I have read most of what he has written over the years.  It is nothing terribly unique or cutting edge.  In fact, if a white conservative writer offered the same analysis, he would likely never be published simply because Mr. Steele states little more than the obvious.  But Mr. Steele is America’s bargainer-in-chief and has consistently used his race as a means of acheiving success beyond his plebian talents.  Steele’s bargaining mask is the conservative agenda he pushes, an agenda that leads whites to pat him on the back and show him off as an example of what a “good negro” should be.

Mr. Steele’s analysis of Barack Obama is intellectually dishonest at its core because he remains trapped in his generation’s limited conception of how a black man in America is to be defined.  To Steele, there is no difference between Obama and Al Sharpton because, rather than attempt to nuance the ever-evolving nature of black manhood, he is content to deal in extreme caricatures thereof — the black liberal radical and the Uncle Tom.  His inability to grasp the reality that in 2008 a black American can rise to prominence based on his own merits is best illustrated by invoking the names of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey.  The common thread between these objectively remarkable people is that they are the best at what they do — nothing more, nothing less.  Excellence does not have a color. It justifies its own success on its own merits.  Sadly, it appears that Mr. Steele would be more comfortable with Mr. Obama if he went out and robbed a bank at gunpoint with a group of gang bangers.

Barack Obama is, without question, the most intelligent of all the presidential candidates.  He not only graduated from Harvard Law School, but acheived the highest honor possible by being named Editor of the Harvard Law Review.  He was also a successful attorney and devoted community organizer, offering countless hours of personal service to advance his Christian commitment to be his brother’s keeper.  And, yes, he is also a gifted speaker and politician. If there is any psychological theory at play here, it is Mr. Steele’s rather distasteful inability to acknowledge the fact that another black man has far superceded his own accomplishments.  This psychological phenomenon is most commonly referred to as jealousy.

The Obama’s of the world threaten every assumption upon which Mr. Steele has based his career. This is why he is forced by a toxic combination of ego, self-loathing and ignorance to dismiss Barack Obama as a “bargainer” rather than what he really is — a bridge to the kind of desperately needed racial reconciliation that would render Mr. Steel’s particular brand of race-baiting tripe obsolete.

By a white conservative Christian Republican married to an amazing African woman.

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Conservative columnist George Will penned an op-ed disagreeing with Steele for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Steele has brilliantly dissected the intellectual perversities that present blacks as dependent victims, reduced to trading on their moral blackmail of whites who are eager to be blackmailed in exchange for absolution. But Steele radically misreads Obama, missing his emancipation from those perversities. Obama seems to understand America’s race fatigue, the unbearable boredom occasioned by today’s stale politics generally and by the perfunctory theatrics of race especially.

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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2007-05-16-zambia-3_200.jpgFollowing our last memo on Maureen Mwanawasa As Zambia’s First Female President  a lot of interest was generated as to what the qualifications for the CEO of the Zambian Enterprise should be. 

First of all, we wish we could say it was all about the academic and or professional qualifications that should dictate one’s ascension to the highest office in the land. Unfortunately that’s just not the case … 

flag.gifThere are a lot of variables in play that make up the right mix to that ascension, however, and we would like to explore some of those in this week’s memo.

There are only two primary qualifications; one being one’s age and the other one’s nationality as dictated by our current constitution.  Others are predicated upon a fundamental concept of systems theory, a way of thinking about the world, a model that is followed wherever party politics are practiced.

With the above in mind the rest are up for the grabs and whoever can work the system to the fullest extent apparently ends up being the president of the Zambian Enterprise. We say working the system because that’s exactly what it is. A system is a set of interacting or interdependent entities, real or abstract, forming an integrated whole.

Being man-made systems, democracies normally have certain purposes and or objectives. They are designed to work as a coherent entity and whoever aspires to the office has to have a good understanding of their operational capacities. 

Systems are determined by choosing the relevant interactions we want to consider, plus choosing the system boundary and or, equivalently, providing membership criteria to determine which entities are part of the system, and which entities are outside of the system and are therefore part of the environment of the system. 

There are also closed systems and open systems but in a political environment one has to work within a closed system called a political party. It is no wonder no one wakes up and says he would be president tomorrow because a system has to be in place for one to achieve such an objective. 

Now, within a closed system are also other variables to consider such as membership, name recognition, positioning, timing, synergy and a whole lot others. While membership and name recognition are  the basic requirements, positioning and timing feed on each other to be functional. 

Synergy on the other hand is group determined, in other words the people within the system decide to choose leadership based on the maximum good for the collective. It is at this stage that they look at one’s qualifications; academic, professional and or otherwise as the best sale for their franchise. 

What we see in the first lady is her ability to work the system if she wants to be the next CEO of the Zambian Enterprise and with all operational capacities in place, the MMD as a  franchise can provide her the nomination which is hers for the taking unless of course she is not interested. 

classy-daddy-3.gifSo, with all the bluff and fluff about qualifications, it is all back to the basics otherwise we could have had the most educated and or professionally qualified person as the president of the Zambian Enterprise by now. 

Lastly, any such person wanting to make the grade can only be successful if they realized the importance of working within a system and that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.  

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Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa

Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa hands out condoms in Lusaka

Zambian first Lady Maureen Mwanawasa is encouraging women  to demand safer sex from their partners, not negotiate for it. Mrs Mwanawasa recently made the statement at the launch of the FC2 female condom campaign at the Lusaka City Market, handing out condoms to the public.

“Negotiating for safer sex is a term that has become accepted world wide, yet, it puts a woman at the mercy of a man,” Mrs Mwanawasa told the Lusaka market crowd. “I do not believe that a woman should negotiate for safer sex, but demand safer sex.”

Mrs Mwanawasa added that safer sex is achievable if leaders, and women themselves, take up the challenge. Mrs Mwanawasa’s statements point out how important women’s empowerment and gender equality is to reducing the escalating numbers of women living with HIV.

With World AIDS Day just less than a month away, the new product is a welcome addition to the market in the country. Zambia, like other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa, is struggling to cope with the impact of HIV/AIDS. Women are the hardest hit.

At the end of 2005, UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation estimated that in Zambia 17 percent of people aged 15-49 years old were living with HIV or AIDS. Of these million adults, 57 percent were women. Young women aged 15-19 are around six times more likely to be living with HIV than are males of the same age.

One of the reasons for greater vulnerability is gender inequality. Women disproportionately bear the burden of poverty and continue to be victims of widespread and persistent discrimination in all areas of life. They are also the primary agents of child welfare and put their lives at risk every time they become pregnant.

Zambian gender activists hold that women also play an indispensable role in the management of natural resources, economic development, and education. They have the right to gain as much as men from the benefits brought by globalisation. If not addressed, HIV/AIDS will make it even harder for women to play their role in the development of the country.

The first lady took time hand out free samples of the female condom and talk to the pressing market crowd, made of mostly women, to explain the advantages of using protective measures during sex. Her actions should be an example in the country, and the region as a whole, to inspire both individuals and leaders to ensure protection of women.

“Our first lady must be commended for the job well done, it is the first to happen in Zambia where the first lady goes to mix with women from the densely populated areas and distribute the condoms herself, women must emulate her,” said one of the recipients of condoms at the market.

In Zambia, women often have very limited opportunities to demand safer sex, due to unequal power relationships within relationships. Interventions are rarely designed to be more user-friendly, accessible and available to them. Designing products made for women is one way to assist women to demand safer sex.

Producers of the newly launched FC2 condom say that it is a better version of the other female condoms currently on the market and urge women to take advantage of the product.

The UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA) resident representative Deji Popoola, who was present at the launch and distribution of female condoms, said the condoms would be available on the market. Mr Popoola called on men to support women’s rights and gender equality, especially when it come reproductive health.

Two hundred thousands condoms are available for free distribution. Yet, urban women are at a greater advantage, as such things as condoms are much more easily found in the cities and towns. For rural women, these condoms are unlikely to be within easy reach.

Ms Mwanawasa, who is also the president of the Organisation of African First Ladies (OAFLA) against HIV/AIDS, has taken the lead in empowering women to stand up for their rights. OAFLA’s key strategy is to promote the development of effective strategies to empower women and address issues of gender inequality, as well as challenge gender norms that predisposed women to infection.

Unless governments and service providers address these gender inequalities, it will be difficult for women to protect themselves. First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa has pointed out that it is time for women “to demand the protection and equality that is their right.”

By Violet Mengo. Ms Mengo writes for the Daily Mail in Zambia and is a member of the Gender and Media Southern African (GEMSA) Network.

Obamamania continues … US presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (IL) did not only heave record dollars ever raised by a black candidate last quarter amounting to $32.5 million (in just three months) outpacing every body including his closest rival former First Lady Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) by nearly $5 million, he also attracted what is now known as “A Crush On Obama”. Watch the video clip by clicking on it … American primaries are some of the most interesting times and this one is also proving to be yet another interesting crimson tide to watch as well as ride. The Senator is a formidable candidate but it is our view at the Zambian Chronicle that given the dynamics of the American Dynasty, Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) will be the nominee for the Democratic Party and will go ahead to win the presidency. 

A Harvard Law School graduate, Senator Obama (IL) will be the first black Vice President should he be chosen as the running mate and as things look right now, that bridge seems narrower by each day to cross given the financial pull and gravitas his campaign would add to Senator Clinton’s who would be the first Woman President … thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr. 

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle 

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle.  All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc. 

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.