The Unraveling of Occupy Wall Street

On December 1st, 1955 Sister Rosa Parks, a seamstress and secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, had a real long day and just like many who got off work, decided to wait for the bus to go home. When the bus approached, many of the white patrons of the mass transit system entered the bus to find a seat. Mrs. Parks took a seat in the first row for the colored section when some of the other white patrons tried to find a seat. The bus driver took the sign indicating that blacks move to the back of the bus to accommodate them. To Mrs. Park’s chagrin, there were no other seats left for her to move to and she was tired. As a brave and angry person who was tired of the racist Jim Crow segregation laws that divided blacks from whites, she refused to move. The bus driver asked her to move and she declined. Mrs. Parks was then arrested and booked for disorderly conduct. Just days before her courageous act, she reflected on teenager Emmett Till’s murder as well as the senseless murders of brave civil rights leaders like Lamar Smith, Gus Courts, and George W. Lee.

The Woman’s Political Council organized all night, a boycott that would eventually lead to a movement that ended the Jim-Crow era in the south. The WPC printed up over 35,000 handbills and distributed them throughout Montgomery. By that Sunday, all of the black churches in Montgomery decided to walk to work and not take the bus on Monday. It was a success. A new group would form called the Montgomery Improvement Association that would be headed by a new civil rights leader that changed the whole outlook on how blacks in the south and the country would organize freedom marches and protests. Dr. Martin Luther King was appointed to lead this association in order to protest the rights against desegregation and to hire blacks as drivers for the mass transit system in Montgomery. 

Mrs. Parks was booked and charged with disorderly conduct paying a $10.00 fine and $4.00 in court costs. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days crippling the bus transit finances leaving some buses idle for months. Blacks took cabs, walked to work, and some even carpooled to work as the expense of equality and better rights.

Over the last two months the ‘so-called’ Occupy Wall Street movement has taken a crazy and unexpected turn over the last week. The movement was started by the Adbusters Foundation, whose anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, decided to organize a friendly protest on the act of the latest travesties on Wall Street, the banking industry, and the unrest of corporate America as a whole as they treat the American worker. With the American people paying for the corporate corruption that’s transpired at Lehman Brothers and UBS, the Occupy Movement has developed and given the platform for “The 99%” political slogan that taken to the streets here in New York City as well as abroad. And to much success, the movement took off bringing together blacks, whites, democrats, republicans, libertarians, rich, poor, employed, and unemployed. Zuccotti Park, here in New York City, was the ideal place to begin this movement because of the location near Wall Street. 

As weeks turned into months, health issues and being orderly became a issue as Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week as he evacuated the park last week. Protestors built makeshift tents and living quarters that provided them with 24 hour food service as well as heat and other amenities that made the event into a big media spectacle. While the protestors forgot that they were on private property and they violated many health codes and put some of our policeman in harms way.

Then last week, Brandon, a 19-year old Romanian-American protestor made the news headlines as he’s shown whisked way by New York’s finest. His head bloodied from the police who where instructed by the police and Mayor to arrest those who were disorderly. Many of these stories Brandon and others are sprouting out in the media from all over the U.S. Some have been documented by other protestors captured either on their smart phones or by video camera. Also, what the press isn’t covering is that, the county prosecutors here in New York City have over 4,000 cases of protesters that have been arrested, that they don’t have the manpower or staff to properly prosecute the protestors. Brandon, who had been arrested a month earlier for disorderly conduct at Zucotti Park, threw batteries at law enforcement officers while trying to maintain peace and protect law abiding Wall Street Protestors. Something the media tends to leave out!

Whether the police force has been excessive, that’s a matter of between the person(s) and the law. I’ll write about that in another weekly column. But. what I have a issue with is how this Occupy Wall Street Movement is missing the boat! I know, your probably thinking, why are for the one percent their protesting about? No, the bigger issue is what Dr. King and the civil rights movement took to break the Montgomery Bus Boycott. At 381 days strong, blacks in Montgomery sought to break the white business owners on how they survive. MONEY! Blacks of all the socio-economic sectors of the City of Montgomery took the militant stance of not supporting the mass transit until they were treated with respect and dignity. Also, at the expense of those willing to lose their jobs and livelihoods to make the Montgomery Mass Transit boycott bend on their knees.

Much of the black struggle during the Civil Rights Movement was made through the efforts of the black church, organizations like CORE and the NAACP, and support from the community who were on the same page. Yes, there was a price. Sister Rosa Parks lost her job and could never work in the Montgomery because the white employers instructed her to never mention or encourage blacks to organize. In fact, whites ran the Parks out of the city and even fell out with the NAACP. Blacks were bombed, lynched, spat on, and even humiliated; but through major triumphs like “Bloody Sunday” where Birmingham’s public safety commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor allowed the police department to turn police dogs on innocent black citizens as well as use fire hoses against the freedom fighters and peaceful demonstrators. Even when they used negative force against us, we never fought back and we respected the law. It was Dr. King’s method of ‘non-violence’ that got things done. Even up till his death when he fought for the sanitation workers rights in Memphis, Tennessee.

My solution to the Wall Street Movement is this. Do what 15,000 protestors did in Denver, Colorado. They withdrew their money from Bank of America due to the fact they were about add fees for withdrawing money from their banks! Those 15,000 people accounted for BOA for losing almost 100 million dollars in one city. They took their money to smaller banks and the people made a difference. 

I refuse to support Wal Mart and Sam’s Club due to their decades of labor abuse accounts and how they’ve driven smaller businesses out of business. Wal Mart has had many discriminatory class-action lawsuits against them for lack of promoting women and minorities. I continue to not eat at Denny’s due their repeated actions for not hiring minorities. This is years later after they lost a multi-million dollar law suit for not serving people of color at many of their restaurants. 

If the organizers of the Wall Street Movement would give a blueprint to the protestors of who they should boycott with our dollar, we wouldn’t have the Brandons’ acting out of anger for something we can do quietly like the Bank of America protestors in Denver. I agree along with many Americans that the one percent has gotten away with murder at our expense. But the tactics that are being used by the WSM isn’t as effective as those used by Dr. King and the many fearless civil rights leaders of the past. Take you money where it’s appreciated and respected. The problem is partially Wall Street’s but it is also how you’ve been suckered into spending money with them.


The Revolution Will Be Televised

Brian Pace

The Pace Report


Missing Heavy…..

One of the best rap concerts I’ve ever attended was at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana during the summer of 1990. On the bill was L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy, Heavy D and the Boyz, Slick Rick, and Poor Righteous Teachers. Believe me, this was when rap music was in its glory days and the music was simpler and hip-hop had an identity regionally all over the country. What really stuck out about that show was rapper Heavy D’s performance. Hev came out in a all-white suit with a black fedora hat. Upon his entrance, he stepped out on a high platform that had steps that came down to the stage. Overhead blaring out in white lightbulbs shined “The Overweight Lover’s In The House.” Granted, Heavy had some stiff competition that night. I mean, Public Enemy was riding high with their back to back hits “Fight the Power,” “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out,” 911 is a Joke,” and “Welcome to the Terrordome.” Also, L.L. was riding high on “Boomin’ System,” and “Momma Said Knock You Out!” But it was Heavy’s swagger and finesse that stoled the whole show. He and Boyz were stylish and clean-cut and performed their asses off. It was also on that night on July 15th, 1990 that Trouble T Roy of The Boyz was killed due to a freak accident where he lost his balance on a raised exit ramp and fell two stories and landed on his head.

As I reflect on that concert, I’m also sadden that last week that we lost one of the most original and most innovative emcees that hip-hop produced during my generation. Dwight Arrington Myers, better known as Heavy D, died On November 8th, 2011 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 44. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed later this week and police say no foul play was involved. According to New York Daily News, Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office told the press Hev weighed 344 pounds and “had gone to the doctor the day before.” Winter added: “he had what appeared to be flu-like symptoms. 

Born on May 24th, 1967 in Mandville, Jamaica to Clifford and Eulahlee Myers, his family moved to Mount Vernon, New York, where he grew up.

It was in 1987 when Heavy D gained his rise on the record charts with his debut album “Livin’ Large” which produced the colossal hits “Mr. Big Stuff” and “The Overweight Lover’s In The House.” Taking slick R&B produced and sampled beats, Hev would be a intricate part of Uptown Records, founded by record mogul Andre Harrell. Harrell would not only produce and help develop new talent label, but the artists would etch their way into the music world and never look back. Artists like Guy, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Christopher Williams, Jeff Redd, Father MC, Lost Boyz, and Soul for Real would dominate the record charts during the 1990’s. The label would also take credit for a new music style pioneered by producer Teddy Riley called “New Jack City.” Harrell arranged a distribution deal with what was formally MCA, now Universal Music, but allowed Riley to produce music for other artists on other labels. Artists who recorded this new music were Al B. Sure, Keith Sweat, and Wrecks-N-Effect. 

Heavy recorded and released his second disc “Big Tyme” produced by legendary producers Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Teddy Riley, and DJ Eddie F. The video for the debut single “We Got Our Own Thang” was number #10 on the Billboard R & B charts. Other hit singles included “Somebody For Me” and “Girlz, They Love Me.” Other commercially successful records released during the 1990’s were “Peaceful Journey,” “Blue Funk,” “Nuttin’ But Love,” and “Waterbed Hev.”

What made Heavy D so important in hip-hop is he made music that crossed all areas of rap music. He could make club records like “We Got Out Own Thang” and “Black Coffee” and music fans from kids to adults could dance to his music. Even his ‘hardcore” street records like “You Can’t See What I Can See” and “Who’s The Man” appealed to the real hip-hop heads collaborating with iconic producers like DJ Premier and Pete Rock. Also, Heavy never used any profanity in his music. Both on and off stage and screen he always presented and carried himself in a way that was always positive and representable. His level of positivity is what helped him to succeed as a emcee and has kept him in the upper echelon of the influential pioneers of hip-hop.

Funeral services are schedule for Friday, November 18th at Grace Baptist Church in Heavy’s hometown of Mount Vernon, New York. A scheduled viewing for fans is this Thursday at the church from noon until 7:00pm and a wake following immediately afterwards.

As a fan of hip-hop I can say he’ll be sorely missed by his fans as well as the music industry. Thanks for your gift and may you never be forgotten.


The Revolution Will Be Televised

Brian Pace

The Pace Report


The Cain Express Departs

And as far as the Tea Party people and candidates they support being extreme, I suppose wanting fiscal discipline in Washington, wanting reduced regulations on the free-market system, passing laws that adhere to the Constitution of the USA and listening to the voting public must be what the liberals call extreme and scary.

Herman Cain from “It’s Weird that these Racist Right-Wing Tea Party Wackos Seem to Like Me So Much”

Over the last couple of weeks the Republican party has continued to show American, also the world, that candidates that plan on running on the G.O.P ticket are running on empty. At a time when President Obama’s ratings are tanking, the G.O.P’s credibility continues to become the sequel of comedic actor Jim Carrey’s “Dumb and Dumber part # 2.” Especially with the latest faux pas with candidate Herman Cain who in many African-Americans and many Latinos believe is the next coming of Gomer Pyle!

Last week reports of Mr. Cain’s alleged sexual harassment allegations surfaced with detailed reports from the New York Times on Monday. According to a October 31st Politico article “Cain Accused by Two Women of Inappropriate Behavior,” states while Cain was acting head of the National Restaurant Association, two unidentified females complained of his aggressive behavior while working under him. According to the latest reports as of Friday, another female has come out of the woodwork making the same accusations. Now, under duress and a bit of a public relations nightmare, Cain, who’s neck and neck with G.O.P candidate Mitt Romney, now blames and is considering suing Texas governor Rick Perry for allegedly putting this bit of news out to the press for his political gain.

For those who aren’t familiar with Herman, here’s a brief and unbiased bio of the candidate. Mr. Cain was the former Chief Executive Officer and President of Digital Restaurant Solutions beginning in early July 1999. As the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. from 1988 to December 1996, Cain became the company’s President since 1986. His other accolades include serving as Chief Executive Officer and President of National Restaurant Association. In 1977 he joined the Pillsbury Company and was its Vice President of Corporate Systems and Services. When Pillsbury merged with Burger King Division in 1982, Nine Cain managed over 400 Burger King affiliates in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania region.

Throughout his ride in corporate America Mr. Cain tends to forget that while he was living high on that one percent hog called “wall street,” the American people have lost jobs due to the labor movement going overseas. The United States education system has faltered to the tune of being ranked as 23rd in the world. Also, many people feel the pinch of what the corrupt powers that be that have raped and pimped the government for funds for their blatant goof ups! Under Cain’s new tax plan (9-9-9), many economists and investors believe this could send the economy in a tail spin due to his lack of research and unfounded theories.Under his plan the country see the decrease of small businesses and the unemployment rate skyrocket. Also, force the Federal Reserve to increase their interest rates higher so you’ll never see big businesses increase their payroll nor the housing market ever regain its real value.

I dislike how the Republicans and some members of the Tea Party have used a candidate like Herman Cain to try to use the race ‘hoe’ card as a means to secure voters. First, no more than two days after President Barak Obama was been elected, the Republican National Committee appointed former Governor Michael Steele to run the damaged party. Over the last two and and half years the press and now G.O.P have witnessed Steele’s lack of confidence as well as lackluster comments he’s made. Over the last couple of months the press has been building Cain’s credibility via his hard work while climbing up corporate America. Also, he’s been gaining points with his New York Times best-seller as well as highly successful radio show he hosts in Atlanta. But really, why has the G.O.P been putting an emphasis recruiting people of color or Latinos now that we have elected the first black president? Why is the party of ‘no’ raising the stature of candidates like Herman Cain or Senator Mark Rubio of the state of Florida? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the new party of ‘no’ has been out of touch with the way the America demographic has changed. The religious right who dominated the Republicans in their financial support in electing Presidents Reagan and the first Bush have seemed to vanish. The new party of ‘no’ seem to have dropped their platform of excluding gay and lesbian couples now that other conservative organizations have flourished like The Log Cabin Republicans. Now the Republicans, since they took over the House, haven’t brought any bills to the table in the last two years on how to effectively present a jobs bill in Washington. Yet, Steele and Cain are puppets in the G.O.P’s game! As I see it, the G.O.P isn’t slick in trying to place a black candidate in the White House to regain their power. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Fox News Sunday (July 9th, 2011) that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.” Nuff said!

The last ten days have been in part Governor Perry or Mitt Romney’s way to take out Cain to further secure their nomination via negative campaigning. Cain realized that the severity of these harassment claims have put him in his place. Over the last week he’s had to defend himself while further diminishing his chances to become the nominee. This again proves what the G.O.P has done to kill a voice that could be a serious contender for the highest seat in the White House. The Republicans have proven time and time again that they have no love for people of color. Cain’s threat to other members seeking the seat have again shown the brutal reality that the Republicans have no desire to allow someone like him to succeed and try to unite their party. The irony behind all this back stabbing is the majority of blacks see Cain for what he is, an opportunist. The G.O.P sees him as puppet who’s strings are very close to be cut off.

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Brian Pace
The Pace Report