Let's Do It Again!

An Open Letter to the Voters of District 105 2

Posted on April 29, 2014 by bwfo

Black Women for Obama CommentaryAll,

District voters are receiving automated calls from someone asking truly offensive questions regarding the candidates running for the Democratic seat for State House Representative in 105.

The calls are reported to have asked if voters would rather vote for “an Asian businessman”, or “An African American swim team mom”, an obvious attempt to contrast the two candidates in the race, Tim Hur and Renita Hamilton in a way that is incredibly racist, misogynistic and downright demeaning.

Although we cannot confirm the origin of the calls, there is no doubt that this kind of hateful, irresponsible rhetoric is not what we want out of the politicians in this district. Whoever arranged for these calls to be placed seems to be unaware that the most active demographic in both the 2008 and 2012 elections were black women. That hundreds of thousands of black women hold graduate degrees, own businesses, and yes are loving, engaged moms to the children of this district. Whoever arranged for these calls devalue us as black women, and have to be sent a message.

There are those out there who want to believe that as African Americans we are not paying attention to the upcoming primary race, and that we won’t show up to make our voices heard – here’s our chance to prove them wrong. In the face of the kind of racism and sexism being displayed by whoever is responsible for these calls, we have an opportunity to show our support for Renita Hamilton, a businesswoman and community leader who has worked tirelessly to become your representative so that issues important to us – family, education, jobs, the safety of our children – can be front and center in the minds of Georgia legislators.

The Black Women’s Empowerment League, formerly known as Black Women for Obama will be holding a press conference this Thursday, May 1st at Rhodes Jordan Park at noon, and we need your help.

Here’s what we need you to do:

1. Forward this information to everyone you know who will support this fight – it doesn’t matter whether or not they’re from District 105, we need them to show up for the press conference on Thursday.
2. Call everyone you know from District 105 and remind them that early voting is in progress right now, and that we need them to get out and vote.
3. Come to the press conference and show your support for Renita Hamilton and the black women of this district.

Those responsible for the hateful message that went out to District 105 voters are counting on you to do nothing – prove them wrong. Get engaged. For more information on how you can help, go to http://www.blackwomenforobama.com, or call me directly at 770-596-1252.


Patricia Wilson-Smith
Executive Director
Black Women’s Empowerment League
P: 770.596.1252
E: patsmith@blackwomenforobama.org
Twitter: @patwilsonsmith, @blkwomen4obama
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blackwomenforobama

Be It George Zimmerman or OJ Simpson: Nothing To Celebrate 0

Posted on July 14, 2013 by bwfo

http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/lt/lt_cache/thumbnail/615/img/photos/2012/03/27/40/0a/TRAYVON_MARTIN_NEW_PHOTO_1.jpgThere’s no doubt that emotions are running high this morning now that the not guilty verdict has come down in the case of George Zimmerman, who was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. As they were last night when the verdict was read sometime around 10pm, sending a shock wave of reaction through the Internet, with Martin supporters expressing deep outrage on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, and Zimmerman supporters giving each other virtual high-fives via the same outlets.

It was in this context that I stumbled across a Facebook posting from a white acquaintance, that said simply “Yes! Yes! Yes! Not Guilty!”.  That one posting erupted into an exchange that’s convinced me more than ever that our problems are much deeper than just a flawed justice system, and states who enact laws that are intended to support the kind of vigilante justice against innocent blacks that this case is so famous for – these are problems, no doubt about it. But our real problems are that there are simply not enough of us, black or white, who are willing to stand up for justice, whatever the racial dynamic, and well, call a spade a spade.

I responded openly and passionately to my white friend’s glee over the verdict, and was immediately excoriated by her Facebook friends as being, “emotional”, which I found strange. One poster even went so far as to remind me that Trayvon Martin, far from innocent child, was nothing more than a “punk, thug, druggie”, suggesting that he’d lived his life in such a way leading up to the events of that fateful night, that he somehow deserved what he got. Astonishing. There is, of course, no evidence of that whatsoever, unless recreational drug use, and being a braggadocios teenager warrants the death penalty. But it was during my exchange with the folks who piled on me as I responded to his remarks with cries of racism, that I realized why those in America – white America, Hispanic America, heck, BLACK America – that run to any extreme in these kinds of issues are actually the larger problem. Let’s face it – our laws can be, and clearly in the case of the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida, should be changed. But the natural tendency we have to jump to racial extremes, especially in cases like this, are what perpetuate racial division, and more importantly, what make me frightened for my 16-year old son and the millions of young black men like him in America.

The sad fact is that, even before the verdict was read last night, Martin supporters were threatening bodily harm not only to George Zimmerman if he was found not guilty, but to any white person within reach. The same threats were made when it was still a question whether or not Zimmerman would be arrested at all. One racial extreme. By the same token, those who were all too eager to believe my Caucasian Facebook buddy’s description of Trayvon Martin as a “thug druggie”, and people like him have been guilty of ranting on the Internet about buying guns and protecting themselves from the likes of him, and the coming race riots. Another racial extreme. And these people, these idiots all, are the ones the news media love to report on, love to give oxygen to, while those of us with cooler heads and apparently superior intellects go unheard – so let’s just give this horrible tragedy the context that it needs, right here, right now.

Remember the O.J. Simpson trial? Of course you do. Everyone remembers how it gripped the country, and cast us all into a conversation about race and the justice system for so many, many months. Back then, people were quick to run to the same racial extremes, causing noise in a public debate that eventually drowned out any opportunity for us as a nation to learn collectively from what had transpired, and advance our understanding of the flaws in our justice system. No – you had Simpson supporters celebrating, even though there were two dead people whose killer had gone unpunished, and you had Simpson detractors swearing that the jury in the case were idiots and decrying the downfall of the American justice system. Sound familiar?

The fact of the matter is, there’s nothing here to celebrate. Nothing. Even if current Florida law is written in such a way that that jury felt it had no choice but to acquit George Zimmerman, how could the outcome possibly take on a celebratory tone for anyone, even Zimmerman’s family? An innocent kid is dead, and Zimmerman will likely spend the rest of his life under the scrutiny of those who believe he should have been convicted, or worse, that he deserves to be harmed for not being convicted. And there’s a mother, who will never get to steal another hug from her teenage son, or a kiss, who will never hear his voice again, never see him graduate from college, get married, have children, nothing. And the only way we can think to react as Americans is to go “whoo-hoo” on a social network, or threaten to burn down entire neighborhoods in frustration. Something’s got to change.

What needs to be known, is that there are those of us who are the same kind of dumbfounded over this verdict as we were over the OJ Simpson verdict. We did not jump in the air and go “whoo-hoo” when OJ Simpson was acquitted. We didn’t post messages online or anywhere else for that matter about Nicole Brown-Simpson or Ron Goldman being somehow deserving of what they got, we did none of that. We simply shook our heads at how flawed the justice system really is, and yes, marveled over the idea that it could in fact fall down on the side of an African American defendant. But in the eyes of many like me, there absolutely was nothing to celebrate, because to have done so would have been racist, pure and simple, and that’s what I couldn’t get the folks who attacked me on Facebook last night to understand.

My 16-year old son, who is about 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 240 pounds is a hugger. He hugs everybody he meets, and loves everyone he encounters, without exception. The problem is, he looks like a linebacker; he’s the quintessential gentle giant, and most frighteningly for me, as naive to the racism that exists in this country as he could possibly be. One night recently, during a sleep over with friends (both of which were white, if you’re curious), he snuck out of the house once I was asleep to “walk around the neighborhood”. When I discovered what he’d done, I exploded, trying to explain to him how dangerous it is for someone who looks like him to walk through neighbors yards at night. I’d seen the emails from my ignorant neighbors, warning fellow association members to “keep our kids off their lawns”, and how they would “shoot first and ask questions later”. And I knew what many others may not know – that the same “Stand Your Ground” law that (introduced as part of his defense or not) may have made Zimmerman’s current freedom possible is also on the books here in Georgia. What happened to Trayvon Martin could just as easily happen to my son. And knowing this sends chills down my spine, and strikes fear in my heart every time he walks out the door.

It’s this Trayvon-as-thug-deserving-to-die idea. If there is anyone out there who honestly believes that if it had been a blonde haired blue-eyed kid that had been cut down in his youth that night that these same folks would be all over the Internet accusing him of being a punk that deserved to die, please identify yourselves. Because if you’re out there, you’re probably standing next to a Unicorn and having dinner with Elvis and Tupac. No matter what your politics, your feeling about race, or your feeling about the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, at the heart of this story, there is a boy, a minor, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time by no fault of his own, who encountered someone who by his own words was eager to declare him a threat, a blight on society that needed to be eradicated. And there’s a mother and father who lost that boy, and so many broken hearts they’re too numerous to count – Trayvon’s friends, family, and all of those mothers like me, who are raising our own Trayvon Martins, and terrified to let them walk the streets. What is there to celebrate about that?

Running to either racial extreme in these kinds of cases only makes matters worse. We have to see our justice system for what it is – the best in the world, but flawed. And we have to work, always work to change the laws that make it possible for the Zimmerman’s of the world to prey on our children. We also have to change those aspects of our system that make it possible for someone with enough money to buy the most clever attorneys that money can buy to get away with murder. But what we must not do, cannot do ever, is celebrate any outcome, no matter who it favors, when a life has been taken.

That’s depraved, inhumane. Is that who we want to be?

ATTENTION: No Call Tonight 0

Posted on January 08, 2013 by bwfo


Please be advised that we have decided to suspend all BWFO weekly calls until further notice. It was a difficult decision, but in the end, doing so will help us continue to focus on BWEL, and what comes next for the organization.

State Chapter Directors: We encourage you to continue to engage with your members at the state level and stay involved in the upcoming local races and issues that are important to the President, and important to the causes supported by BWFO. Transitioning the organization, especially part-time, is a much more difficult exercise than it may seem, but please know that as soon as possible, we will provide communications to every member about how you can get involved with BWEL, and continue some of the great work we started with Black Women for Obama!


President Obama is Time’s Person of the Year 0

Posted on December 19, 2012 by bwfo

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2012.

“We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America,” Time Editor Rick Stengel told NBC’s “Today” show, where he announced the selection on Wednesday.

The short list for the honor included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head for advocating for girls’ education, as well as Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Italian physicist Fabiola Giannati.

Obama also received the honor in 2008, when he was President-elect.

In an interview with Time, Obama said his re-election “may have been more satisfying a win than 2008.”

“We’ve gone through a very difficult time,” Obama told the magazine. “The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this president we elected is imperfect, and yet, despite all that, this is who we want to be. That’s a good thing.”

Last year, Time honored “The Protester,” citing dissent across the Middle East that spread to Europe and the United States, saying the protesters reshaped global politics.

Time’s “Person of the Year” is the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill. In 2010, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg received the honor.

Other previous winners have included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Bono and President George W. Bush.

ATTENTION: No Call Tonight!!! December 18, 2012 0

Posted on December 11, 2012 by bwfo

Black Women for Obama Weekly Strategy CallThere will be NO weekly strategy call tonight. Please take the time this week to fill out the survey we distributed and join us next week to review the results and to learn about our plans for the inauguration!

Fox News Election Night Meltdown 0

Posted on November 08, 2012 by bwfo

Because this is Jon Stewart, it is of course high comedy. Unless you chose to watch the election results come in with the toxic waste dump of a news network Fox News, you may not have seen Karl Rove’s meltdown, and Megan Kelly’s pathetic attempt to convince Fox News’ OWN electoral vote watchers that what they had just seen was not what they had just seen. Enjoy, and you’re welcomed.

Donna McLeod, National Director of Voter Reach – All Fired Up! 0

Posted on November 05, 2012 by bwfo

Romney Endorses Obama 0

Posted on October 23, 2012 by bwfo

Romney Endorses Obama

(Source: LA Times)

Monday’s presidential debate, the third and last between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, featured a forceful and articulate defense of Obama’s foreign policy. That was no surprise. What was surprising was that it came from Romney.

That seemed to annoy the president — who was prepared to rebut his opponent’s previous, more bellicose pronouncements. But the ever-shifting Republican nominee tacked even closer to the moderate middle than he did in the debate devoted to economic policy.

Read the rest of this entry →

BWFO Georgia GOTV Rally! 0

Posted on October 23, 2012 by bwfo

On Saturday, October 20th, the Georgia State Chapter of Black Women for Obama led by State Chapter Director Christine Williams, in conjunction with the Georgia GOTV Coalition, Rallies & 10 City Bus Tour and the Georgia Democratic Party held a FANTASTIC rally in Gwinnett County at Rhodes Jordan Park!

Speakers at the event included Georgia House Representative Tyrone Brooks, Donna McLeod, BWFO National Director of Voter Outreach, Patricia Wilson-Smith, Executive Director for BWFO, Judy Jones, BWFO National Director of Membership Outreach, as well as a number of local candidates for office, including Renita Hamilton, State House Candidate for District 105, Jennah Es-Sudan, Candidate for School Board District I, and many others. The rally was inspirational and exciting, and ALL of Gwinnett County is now FIRED UP AND READY TO GO on November 6th!!!!

President Obama at the Al Smith Dinner 0

Posted on October 21, 2012 by bwfo

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