Wednesday, October 29, 2014


By Charles Meyer

From Baby Doe to gerontology, medical decision making the area of the withholding, refusing or withdrawing life support has become increasingly difficult.

New technology has had the most obvious impact as patients, families and physicians are offered more and ever new diagnostic and life-prolonging equipment.

CAT scanners are being supplanted by Magnetic Resonance Imagery using no radiation. Lasers are treating everything from eyes to arteries.

Twenty week fetuses that were considered untreatable are now kept alive with new respiratory equipment.

But even though technology has increased our treatment options for trauma and long-term illnesses, it is usually not the determining factor in making decisions. Rather, there exist a set of subtle, extremely powerful myths about death which inform and direct our choices regarding life support. These myths are indicative of the collective beliefs about life and death in U.S. culture.

They are frequently used as impediments to decision making. Whether based on medical tradition, social obligation or religious teaching, the death myths influencing our decisions are indelibly embedded within the collective psyche.

They flash through our minds when the doctor tells us the patient’s condition is poor. They are the screens through which we hear the diagnosis of serious illness. They are standards against which we weigh our response to a terminal prognosis. The death myths most prominent in our culture are:
  1. Only old people die.
Conversely stated, “Young people should not die.” Neither assumption is true. Anyone who has experience in hospitals knows that death is no respecter of age, and there is no guarantee of lifespan given with conception.

Further, it is ageism at its worst to think an old person has “lived his/her life” and is more accepting or more deserving of death than a younger counterpart. In fact, it is entirely possible for the situation to be quite the reverse; the aged person may be more vital and have more to live for than the youth.

This myth can result in young person’s being subjected to extraordinary efforts from intubation to chemotherapy just because they are young or old persons prematurely being denied further treatment because they are old. The myth also serves to reinforce our own wish for a long life, and to defend against our fear of our own death coming “prematurely.” Whether we like it or not, people of all ages die.

Each death is sad, tragic, and acceptable or a relief based on the quality of the person’s life and the kinds of relationships s/he had. Each situation, therefore, needs to be evaluated on those criteria, not on myth that presumes it is “okay” for old persons to die, perhaps intimidating that the elderly want to die or even ought to die.

2. Medicine can cure everything.

Even in the face of long-term illness when the patient is finally about to die, panicked family members frequently ask, “Can’t you do something?” This reflects a strong expectation that medicine can find and cure all illness and physicians are or should be omniscient. Most physicians do not act to reinforce this image.

The myth persists because we want to believe that drugs, medical technology, and their physician purveyors can prevent or cure the effects of disease, aging and self-inflicted injury (smoking, diet, lifestyle). In addition, the medical community has frequently oversold the efficacy or advisability of a particular technical or therapeutic “breakthrough.”

Thus, particularly Western culture have acquired unrealistically high expectations of what technology can do. The current promotion of the artificial heart is the latest example of such a media event. Heedless of the availability, advisability and ruinous financial cost of such a devise, the heart is proffered as another example of medical technology’s ability to cheat death-and so this myth is reinforced. It is more honest to be realistic with patients and ourselves about the limits of tests, treatments, medications, and prognoses.

3. Life is always the highest value.

The initial presumption in nearly any accident or illness is always in favor of preserving life. But once the patient is stabilized and the prognosis is clear, other considerations take effect. It is at this point that the meaning and quality of life as the patient experiences them are of the highest value in making the hard decisions of treatment and life support. However, most family members or friends do not know what the patient values because they’ve never talked about what the patient wants done in terms of life support, organ donations, or experimental treatments. It is almost as though people hear this myth as a religious command-an injunction from God to keep breathing. In fact, in nearly every religious system, while longevity is highly value supports our own refusal to see death as an acceptable outcome for the patient-and for ourselves.

4. Money should not be consideration.

Many people believe it is crass and insensitive to give the cost of treatment any weight in medical decision making. In our “bottom line” society they emotionally recoil at the prospect of finances determining treatment, preferring to spend “whatever is necessary” to save the life of a loved one. But what of the young couple whose baby is dying, yet can be kept alive a few more hours or days in our high tech Intensive Care Nurseries?

Or the elderly woman maintained by a respirator in ICU whose husband is barely subsisting on Social Security? And what of the use of medical resources devoted to these dying patients (not just for comfort but for continuing active treatment that is much more than palliative) that could be used for taking care of other, curable patients, for research, or for reducing hospital costs for everyone? The honest, if uncomfortable, truth is that money is already a consideration. It will continue to play an even greater role as healthcare rationing becomes a reality given a limited amount of resources and a virtually unlimited demand.

Yet, sensitively done, consideration of the family’s or patient’s financial situation is a very caring gesture, as is weighing the effect of treatment on the cost of healthcare to the entire community, indeed to the nation.

5. Death is evil.

Death means failure.

While the church is responsible for promoting the former myth, the medical/healthcare profession is responsible for the persistence of the latter. Many people, desperately attempting to make some kind of logical sense out of their illness, have been told by the religious community that good is always rewarded and evil is always punished. They then extrapolate that since they are sick or dying, they must have done something bad to incur the punishment of a wrathful God. In fact, the sickness and death are amoral occurrences. They have nothing to do with good/bad, right/wrong, punishment/reward.

We get sick.

We die.

Welcome to Earth.

The death rate here is 100%.

One out of one dies.

The only thing “good” or “bad” about death is the manner in which one responds to it. Death, like about death is the manner in which one responds to it. Death, like any other amoral occurrence is merely an occasion for good or evil to become manifest. That manifestation is shown in our response to the event, not in the event itself. Likewise death has nothing to do with failure. Assuming one has done everything necessary (not possible, but compatible with life,” it is understandable that the person dies.”
The death has nothing to do with good/bad, right/wrong, punishment/reward.

We get sick. We die. Welcome to Earth. The death rate is 100%. One out of one dies. The only thing “good” or “bad” about death is the manner in which one responds to it.

Death, like any other amoral occurrence is merely an occasion for good or evil to become manifest. That manifestation is shown in our response to the event, not in the event itself. Likewise death has nothing to do with failure.

Assuming one has done everything necessary (not possible, but necessary) and the patient’s condition is said to be “incompatible with life, “it is understandable that the person dies. The death has nothing to do with the ability of the physician or nursing staff. In fact, it seems the height of arrogance to assume that we (patient, family or physician) have “failed” when death, a natural process, has followed its normal route.

This does not imply that death is not often sad, angering, relieving, unfair, or crushing. It is all this and more in emotional terms. The problem arises in treating death as though it should not happen, denying it as a logical, even acceptable outcome of the patient’s illness.

Death might more easily be tolerated if we saw it as a form a healing. Death as healing transposes its symbolic meaning from that of evil enemy to that of an acceptable, and at times even welcomed, friend.

6. Where there’s life there’s hope.

The myth is patently untrue.

Where there’s life there is quite often the opposite of hope-agony, fear, excruciating pain, anger, frustration, loneliness and despair. The sentiment really expressed here is that where there is biological activity there is reason for optimism that the person may recover, even against all odds.

The questions to be asked are: “What is life?” and “What is hope?”

Is life merely the exchange of air being forced into stiffening lungs, or blood being pumped inside a human cavity? Is it biological activity mechanically produced or substantially supported? Again, the quality of life standard (as judged by the patient if competent or by the patient’s significant others if incompetent) applies.

Increasing numbers of people believe that life is not life if there is no quality of relating, of experiencing and enjoying, of being. “Hope,” also, is quite often confused with “optimism.” Optimism demands the patients get well (not just better) and return to the former state of health. The meaning of hope, on the other hand, was expressed by a cancer patient who commented: “It’s okay with me if I live and it’s okay with me if I die.

Because either place I’m loved.” Hope implies that death is as acceptable an outcome to one’s condition as life. Hope embraces and affirms both life and death as parts of a greater whole of existence.

Hope sees life not as parts of a greater whole of existence.

Hope sees life not a problem to be solved but as a mystery to be lived, and death as a part of that mystery.

7. Suffering is redemptive.

Some people will refuse pain medication, withholding the palliative measures needed to they see the suffering as cleansing, deserved, or redemptive.

Usually based on a conservative theological or philosophical tradition, followers of this myth conquer their own helplessness in the face of illness and death by assuming discomfort and pain are spiritually or psychologically helpful to the patient.

It is sometimes true that suffering can be an occasion for redemption, for the healing of memories, relationships, hurts, fears, or guilts. Pain and illness often are the precipitators of change in behavior or perspective on the person’s lifestyle. But suffering is also quite often the occasion for unquenchable bitterness, debilitating despair, collapse of faith and disintegration of personhood.

Once again, in an attempt to make sense of an illness, people want to believe there is some purpose, some plan, some reason for the horrible suffering they or their loved ones are enduring, But suffering as related to illness in the hospital is as amoral as the virus, bacteria or bodily condition that is the cause.

8. You don't lie until your number comes up.

This myth reduces God to the clerk in the deli section of the local supermarket. The implication, of course, is that God personally decides the time of death for each individual based on some unknown formula having something vaguely to do with guilt, suffering, retribution and, only occasionally, with mercy. Thus it is thought to be inappropriate to make life support decisions because the person will die when God is ready. The truth is that people largely choose their time of death. People die around anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and meaningful days for them: and they often wait to die until their loved ones leave the room. To believe this myth is to posit an all-controlling, capricious God, and to avoid responsibility for life support decisions.

9. It is God's will.

This myth covers everything from birth defects to hemorrhoids. It assumes powerlessness and futility on the part of patients and families to decide life support issues. Yet people would rather believe it than to accept personal responsibility for illness or the capriciousness of disease. This myth is not only a convenient method of avoiding the life support issues, but also reinforces a system of healthcare that leaves all decisions in the hands of the medical practitioners. In fact, it is theologically inconsistent to believe that a loving compassionate God wants people sick or dead. Probably the best discussion of this myth is found in Leslie Weatherhead's book entitled, appropriately enough, "The Will of God."

10. Pulling the plug is suicide/murder.

Many people refuse to make a decision to withdraw hydration, nutrition or respiratory maintenance because they believe such an act constitutes murder. Likewise, to designate a personal directive such as a Living Will may seem tantamount to suicide. The underlying presupposition is that it is improper to take any control one's own death. To do so is to usurp the power and prerogative of all-controlling God.
In fact, not to decide is to decide.

Not to make a Living Will or withdraw artificial support mechanisms is to decide to abdicate responsibility. It is to relegate the burden of decision making to someone (physician, hospital, committee, court) less qualified to make it, and refuse to accept our ability and responsibility as "co-creators with God" to share in the rational determination of our destiny.

One could just as easily argue that not to "pull the plug" or make a Living Will designation is to stand in the way of Nature, God or the normal procession of life to death.

11. To die of hydration or starvation in a hospital is inhumane, cruel and immortal.

When many people think of food and drink they imagine sitting down at a table with barbecue and beer (at least in Texas we do.) But that image is vastly different from the reality of the dying patient, or even the vegetative non-dying patient, who is maintained by artificial nutrition and artificial hydration. Instead, picture blue humming boxes sucking high calorie pastel liquid from bags and bottles and forcing it through clear plastic tubing into patient's nose or directly into the stomach or intestine. This artificial support is parallel to the use of a respirator that artificially pumps air in and out of failing lungs.

For increasing numbers of people, to dehydration or starvation while being kept comfortable with the large array of palliative drugs is far preferable and much more humane than the prolonged dying by incessant medical intervention that is demanded of patients by misinformed relatives and practitioners. It is clear that these death myths at one time served a proper and meaningful role in medical decision making.

As a part of our previous presuppositions about life, death and medicine, these myths stood to call all the available resources to the service of life at any cost.

 At a time when the technological armamentarium was minimal and the major courses of treatment were palliative, the myth prescribed and underscored the medical/legal/theological ethical system of their day. But current technology has changed the perspective about and meaning of the concepts of life, death and medicine.

At these concepts are revised in light of even newer treatment options, we will need to develop a different, more flexible set of "death myths" to guide our decisions. Different from the old, the following guidelines facilitate, rather than impede, decision making in the area of withdrawing, withholding, or refusing life support.

Aggressively seek information.

Good decisions begin good facts.

Patients and families need to talk to the physician, and listen actively, critically when s/he answers. Many families complain that their physician did not tell them everything, when in fact they themselves did not want to hear and did not listen.

They need to ask as many questions as necessary. The physician works for them and they have a right to know all of the information gathered. They are also free to get a second opinion, or even a third given the time constraints. Many physicians will request or encourage another opinion anyway. Having heard their best experienced conclusions as to diagnosis and prognosis, the decision regarding treatment and life support is then up to the patient/family. Aim for a balance. If the patient is competent, one ought to consider first what s/he wants done. If the patient is incompetent it will be up to the significant other to determine what the patient would want done. In every situation the wishes of the patient should be given priority and honored wherever possible. Next, balance off the wants and needs of the patient with those of the family.

It is important that no unilateral decision be made. Both the desires of the patient and the desires of the family/significant other needs to be considered and a consensus carefully reached. Sometimes it is appropriate to consider the needs of the larger community as well:e.g.

Will this expenditure of healthcare (respirator, neonatal or ICU bed space, dialysis, heart surgery) limit the available resources for less catastrophically ill patients? Consider the ethnic of love and the ethnic of need. Jesus suggestion that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves implies putting ourselves in the position of the person whom life support is about to be withdrawn.

What is the most loving thing to do (for the patient, family, community) this situation? Another major ethical premise of the Old and New Testaments is always to come down on the side of the needy, dispossessed and helpless.

It may, of course, be difficult to determine who is the most needy in the particular situation. (Is it the dying infant, the grieving family, the respirator-bound adult, the anguishing spouse?) But, combined with the ethnic of love, the ethnic of need can be a helpful tool for clarifying decisions. Can does not imply ought. This clearly revolutionary maxim is nearly anti-Western. The West was built on "can implies ought." If we could build a railroad across the country, we ought to do so. If we can put a person on the moon, in a space station, on another planet, we ought to do it. Our new medical technology, however, is permitting us to do things that in some cases we ought not to do. Boundaries will have to be carefully drawn using this statement as a guide, particularly in the realm of life support decision making.

When faced at the bedside with a decision about withdrawing, withholding or refusing machines, I.V's or CPR, this maxim may assist many persons in allowing death to take its natural course. Be there. Continuity and support are viral. Whether you are the caregiver or the significant other, don't just make the decision and leave. Often families decide to withdraw treatment and then quickly absent themselves from the scene.

Likewise caregivers participate as helpers in the high drama of the decision making and then find other things to do. While the decision is itself important, it is of equal import to support that decision with contact and constant support. Be by the bedside of the dying patient, or the patient who has made withdrawal or withholding of treatment decision. Agonize with them, cry with them, remember with them as they lay dying. Of course it is difficult to be present as the wishes of the patient or family are carried out, respirators removed, dialysis stopped. But for all involved-patient, family and staff-it will help preserve the dignity and love with which the decision was made. What is medically or legally right may not be ethically right. Just because a procedure is medically "indicated" or legally "propitious" does not mean it is the procedure or action of ethical choice.

Such decisions are frequently relegated by default to medical and legal personnel on the assumption that these persons have some expertise in determining the appropriateness of a particular action. Patients and families, especially in a crisis, may turn first to external guidelines from physicians or attorneys hoping to find some solid ground on which to base their opinion of what is "right."

Often it is only after some confusing, disappointing or conflicting medico-legal advice that they begin to ask what is "right" for this person, given who s/he is and what s/he wanted. It seems clear that the basis for moral decision making must be primarily other than legal and medical, though those disciplines may offer helpful information. The place to start is with the desire of the patient. Death is a form of healing.

As stated earlier, rather than the evil enemy to be battled at any cost, death can be seen as a form of healing: a logical, even welcome alternative to a debilitating life. To view death in this manner requires a broader perspective on life, and assumes an attitude of acceptance of both life and death as a part of a larger existence. The more we will treat our terminally ill patients with the respect and dignity that their dying demands. The Bible is not a model for morality. It is a mirror for identity.

There is not much information about respirators in Genesis, Leviticus, or Revelation. It is clearly inappropriate to look to the Bible to tell us specifically what to do. It is, however, important to look into the Bible to tell us specifically what to do. It is, however, important to look into the Bible as a mirror to see who we are, to determine what kind of covenant people we are with our peculiar God, to watch how we interact with God and one another, and to use that information to make our ethical decisions more in line with the historical tradition and reality. Examine your own death.

How many people reading this article have: a legal, binding will? A durable power of attorney? A Living Will? Made their funeral arrangements and paid for them? Made a decision regarding organ donation? Are registered with an organ bank or procurement agency so that donation is likely to happen? Often those persons who claim to be on the forefront of assisting others in ethical decision making have done little regarding their own death. Studies have shown that if people have not faced these issues in their own lives, they are much less likely to even hear persons who are in crisis or dying allude to them.

If we are to be truly helpful to others in exploring the ethical implications of life support decision making, it would be well for each of us to make our own decisions first. The issues discussed here are not theoretical or rhetorical.

The question is not "if" we will have to make decisions, especially about life support, but "when?"

Some 70% of American deaths now occur in healthcare institutions. That means that death is frequently medically assisted and decisional, rather than spontaneous or "natural."

As this medicalization of death continues to grow, we will be forced to make life support decisions more often, either at the time of the dying, or in an advanced directive such as a Living Will. Preparation, especially at the parish level, through education, dialogue, and decision making now will facilitate our decision. If we do not make our choices and preferences known now, then others will make the decisions for us, and we will deserve the kind of technocratic terminal healthcare we will get.

The Rev.Charles Meyer is Assistant Vice President, Patient Services, St. David’s Community Hospital in Austin,Tex.

Friday, October 17, 2014

BOBBEE BEE VS. JASON: Raeding Si Fundermtil

This Friday, Bobbee Bee celebrates (JASON)
J. uly A. ugust S.eptember O.ctober N. ovember by slashing the price of his books. You can get all three books, which include the "classic" In the Mind of Bobee Bee," Larry Longs Legs and A SAD DAY JOSE for only $50

So if your child is having problems reading DON'T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN with TRICK OR TREAT candy. Put some books in his or her GOODIE bag! Get our 3 book series "In the Mind of Bobbee Bee and improve your child's reading skills and attitude.

JASON can you read the following?

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghitt pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlhoe.
Amzanig huh?

This is why Bobbee Bee's literacy program as well as his series of children's books are so important.

Although most children learn to read, there are a significant number of children who do not read as welll as they must to function in a society that has increasing demands for literacy. Only about 70 percent of students earn their high school diplomas.

Among minority students, only 57.8 percent of Hispanic, 53.4 percent of African American and 49.3 percent of American Indian and Alaska native students in the U.S. graduate with a regular diploma, compared to 76.2 percent of white students and 80.2 percent of Asian Americans.High school students ability to read complex texts is strongly predictive of their performance in college math and science courses. At the nation's four-years colleges, nearly 8 percent of all entering students are required to take at least one remedial reading course. Only about one-third of such students are likely to graduate within eight years.

Poor readers are also more likely to be unemployed or in prison. Fifty-five percent of below-basic readers are unemployed, compared to only 22 percent of proficient readers. Within the prison population, 56 percent of adult prisoners read at or below the basic level, compared to only three percent who read at the proficient level.

To get all the books in the series of In the Mind of Bobbee Bee send money orders $50 money order to PO BOX 172 Magnolia, North Carolina 28453 or e-mail us at

Bobbee Bee Helped Jason Learn to Read in J.uly A. ugust S.eptember O. ctober and N.ovember.
If you have any questions, send them to 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BOBBEE BEE: “The Role and Influence of Environmental and Cultural Factors on the Academic Performance of African American Males"

" 76% of black boys in the Baltimore public schools never make it to high school graduation"

By Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University

In many school districts throughout the United States, Black males are more likely than any other group to be
suspended and expelled from school. From 1973 to 1977 there was a steady increase in African-American enrollment in college.

However, since 1977 there has been a sharp and continuous decline, especially among males.

Black males are more likely to be classified as mentally retarded or suffering from a learning disability and placed in special education and more likely to be absent from advanced placement and honors courses.

In contrast to other groups where males commonly perform at
higher levels in math and science related courses, the reverse is true for Black males.

Even class privilege and the material benefits that accompany it fail to inoculate Black males from low academic performance.

When compared to their White peers, middleclass African American males lag significantly behind in both grade point average and on standardized tests. It is not surprising that there is a connection between the educational performance of African American males and the hardships they endure within the larger society.

In fact, it would be more surprising if Black males were doing well academically in spite of the broad array of difficulties that confront them.
Scholars and researchers commonly understand that environmental and cultural factors have a profound influence upon human behavior, including academic performance.

What is less understood is how environmenta
l and cultural forces influence the way in which Black males come to perceive schooling and how those perceptions influence their behavior and performance in school.

There is considerable evidence that the ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds of students have bearing upon how students are perceived and treated by the adults who work with them within schools.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Early childhood is the most critical and vulnerable time in any child's development. Research has demonstrated that in the first few years, the ingredients for intellectual, emotional, and moral growth are laid down.

If they are not, it is true that a developing child can still aquire them, but the price rises and the chances of success decrease with each subsequent years. We can't fail our children in these early years.

That's why we developed a series of children's books with the help of our cartoon character "BoBBEE BEE" to improve our children's attitudes at home and in the public school system, because................

"..holding a child in your lap while reading a story is crucial to their learning and emotional development. Reading does not only strengths the relationship between parent and child but literally helps your child brain grow.

Unfortunately, too many children still miss, this early stimulation, because only half of all infants and toddlers in our country are routinely read to by their parents.

I've meet parents who thought that they couldn't read well enough themselves to read to a child.

We must help parents understand that, no matter their educational level or reading ability, they can still stimulate their children's cognitive and emotional development by talking to and reading to them, even if they stumble over a few words here and there" statement by Senator Hilitary Clinton.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

BOBBEE BEE: The 10 Point Plan of the Black Panther Party

We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.


We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.


We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.


We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.


We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.


We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival.

We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.


We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States.

We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.


We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.


We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration.

We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment.

We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.


When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Monday, October 06, 2014


In this world of Beats & Rhymes,, many music lovers are still trying to figure-out why Eric Graham, the creative mind behind the controversy cartoon character Bobbee Bee "The Hater," is making a rap album slash mix-tape entitled "Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems," especially at this point of his "so-called" career.

But, with the release of his latest single Revolutionary Suicide, people are starting to listen a little closer to what this self-proclaimed Black poetry writer has to say.

"This isn't American Idol." said the Managing Editor of Black Athlete Sports Network.

"I am not seeking validation from anyone spinning around in a red chair. Plus, I don't have any blind ambition of obtaining commercial success from some white record executive, who wants to market my music as if I was Justin Bieber. This is real Hip-Hop." he explained.

"I, however, find it foolish to put an age-limit on Hip-Hop. Plus, I think it is insane for the music industry, what is left of it, to place the entire history of a culture in the hands of a few adolescences, who, unfortunately, are often too young to "fully" understand its importance and significance to the world as a whole."
"Why? Because, in the Art of War, this would be equivalent to sending young soldiers straight out of boot camp into battle without the assistance of military intelligence or expertise coming from veteran generals."
While many may disagree with Graham's premise as well as his motives for making music, he does make some great points about the ageism in the art form of Hip-Hop, in general.
Seriously, who determines when a person can no longer sing, rap, paint, play a musical instrument, write a book, or write some poetry.

If that was the case, we wouldn't have had Ray Charles playing the piano and B.B.King playing the guitar.

Or, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni or Amari Baraka writing mind-bending poetry.

Or, even KRS-ONE rocking the MIC. Or, Kid Capri, cutting and scratching, for that matter.

Yes, this would really be hard to imagine.

But, Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, made it plain and simple, when he said, "40 is the new 30....."

And the "mature" MC with a African-American History background, admitted that he agrees with Hov's philosophy, as well as, with old-time rocker Tim Petty, who said "Pop music isn't very good, and it's not designed for anybody over 12.'"

Fortunately, for Graham, it is a historical point in the music industry, due to the rise of the Internet, which allows independent artists, like himself, to let his voice be heard, without worrying about trying to fit into the cookie-cutter standard being promoted by record companies.
While Graham is excited about his ability to create music at this moment in his life, he, however, understands the power that the youth possess and their ability to create new trends and styles. But, he still feels Hip-Hop suffers a form of "Arrested Development," especially when it doesn't allow "mature material" to be infused into the conversation as well as on the radio.

With Graham's mix-tape project underway and nearly completed, he confesses he can't wait to hear the finished product.

"I am like a kid at Christmas, ready to unwrap a big gift. Why? Because, I love Hip-Hop!!!...ever since I heard Afrika Bambaataa Planet Rock. I was hooked. It's in my DNA.....and Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems will display that."


Sunday, October 05, 2014

BOBBEE BEE: 10 Revolutionary Women

We all know male revolutionaries like Che Guevara, but history often tends to gloss over the contributions of female revolutionaries that have sacrificed their time, efforts, and lives to work towards burgeoning systems and ideologies.
Despite misconceptions, there are tons of women that have participated in revolutions throughout history, with many of them playing crucial roles.
They may come from different points on the political spectrum, with some armed with weapons and some armed with nothing but a pen, but all fought hard for something that they believed in.
Let’s take a look at 10 of these female revolutionaries from all over the world that you probably won’t ever see plastered across a college student’s T-shirt.

Nadezhda Krupskaya

Many people know Nadezhda Krupskaya simply as Vladimir Lenin’s wife, but Nadezhda was a Bolshevik revolutionary and politician in her own right. She was heavily involved in a variety of political activities, including serving as the Soviet Union’s Deputy Minister of Education from 1929 until her death in 1939, and a number of educational pursuits.
Prior to the revolution, she served as secretary of the Iskra group, managing continent-wide correspondence, much of which had to be decoded.
After the revolution, she dedicated her life to improving education opportunities for workers and peasants, for example by striving to make libraries available to everyone.

Constance Markievicz

Constance Markievicz (née Gore-Booth) was an Anglo-Irish Countess, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist. She participated in many Irish independence efforts, including the Easter Rising of 1916, in which she had a leadership role. During the Rising, she wounded a British sniper before being forced to retreat and surrender.
 After, she was the only woman out of 70 to be put into solitary confinement. She was sentenced to death, but was pardoned based on her gender. Interestingly, the prosecuting counsel claimed that she begged “I am only a woman, you cannot shoot a woman”, while court records show she said “I do wish your lot had the decency to shoot me”.

Constance was one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position (Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922), and she was also the first woman elected to the British House of Commons (December 1918)—a position which she rejected due to the Sinn Féin abstentionist policy.

Petra Herrera

During the Mexican Revolution, female soldiers known as soldaderas went into combat along with the men although they often faced abuse. One of the most well-known of the soldaderas was Petra Herrera, who disguised her gender and went by the name “Pedro Herrera”.

As Pedro, she established her reputation by demonstrating exemplary leadership (and blowing up bridges) and was able to reveal her gender in time.

She participated in the second battle of Torreón on May 30, 1914 along with about 400 other women, even being named by some as being deserving of full credit for the battle.

Unfortunately, Pancho Villa was likely unwilling to give credit to a woman and did not promote her to General.

In response, Petra left Villa’s forces and formed her own all-woman brigade.


Nwanyeruwa, an Igbo woman in Nigeria, sparked a short war that is often called the first major challenge to British authority in West Africa during the colonial period.
On November 18, 1929, an argument between Nwanyeruwa and a census man named Mark Emereuwa broke out after he told her to “count her goats, sheep and people.”
Understanding this to mean she would be taxed (traditionally, women were not charged taxes), she discussed the situation with the other women and protests, deemed the Women’s War, began to occur over the course of two months.
About 25,000 women all over the region were involved, protesting both the looming tax changes and the unrestricted power of the Warrant Chiefs.
In the end, women’s position were greatly improved, with the British dropping their tax plans, as well as the forced resignation of many Warrant Chiefs.

Lakshmi Sehgal

Lakshmi Sahgal, colloquially known as “Captain Lakshmi”, was a revolutionary of the Indian independence movement, an officer of the Indian National Army, and later, the Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Azad Hind government.

In the 40s, she commanded the Rani of Jhansi Regiment, an all-women regiment that aimed to overthrow British Raj in colonial India.
The regiment was one of the very few all-female combat regiments of WWII on any side, and was named after another renowned female revolutionary in Indian history, Rani Lakshmibai, who was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Sophie Scholl

German revolutionary Sophie Scholl was a founding member of the non-violent Nazi resistance group The White Rose, which advocated for active resistance to Hitler’s regime through an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign.

In February of 1943, she and other members were arrested for handing out leaflets at the University of Munich and sentenced to death by guillotine. Copies of the leaflet, retitled The Manifesto of the Students of Munich, were smuggled out of the country and millions were air-dropped over Germany by Allied forces later that year.

Blanca Canales

Blanca Canales was a Puerto Rican Nationalist who helped organize the Daughters of Freedom, the women’s branch of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

She was one of the few women in history to have led a revolt against the United States, known as the Jayuya Uprising.
In 1948, a severely restricting bill known as the Gag Bill, or Law 53, was introduced that made it a crime to print, publish, sell, or exhibit any material intended to paralyze or destroy the insular government. In response, the Nationalists starting planning armed revolution. On October 30, 1950, Blanca and others took up arms which she had stored in her home and marched into the town of Jayuya, taking over the police station, burning down the post office, cutting the telephone wires, and raising the Puerto Rican flag in defiance of the Gag Law. As a result, the US President declared martial law and ordered Army and Air Force attacks on the town.

The Nationalists held on for awhile, but were arrested and sentenced to life in prison after 3 days. Much of Jayuya was destroyed, and the incident was not fairly covered by US media, with the US President even saying it was “an incident between Puerto Ricans.”

Celia Sanchez

Most people know Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, but fewer people have heard of Celia Sanchez, the woman at the heart of the Cuban Revolution who has even been rumored to be the main decision-maker.
After the March 10, 1952 coup, Celia joined the struggle against the Batista government.

She was a founder of the 26th of July Movement, leader of combat squads throughout the revolution, controlled group resources, and even made the arrangements for the Granma landing, which transported 82 fighters from Mexico to Cuba in order to overthrow Batista.

After the revolution, Celia remained with Castro until her death.

Kathleen Neal Cleaver

Kathleen Neal Cleaver was a member of the Black Panther Party and the first female member of the Party’s decision-making body.
She served as spokesperson and press secretary and organized the national campaign to free the Party’s minister of defense, Huey Newton, who had been jailed.
She and other women, such as Angela Davis, made up around 2/3 of the Party at one point, despite the notion that the BPP was overwhelmingly masculine.
Asmaa Mahfouz

Asmaa Mahfouz is a modern-day revolutionary who is credited with sparking the January 2011 uprising in Egypt through a video blog post encouraging others to join her in protest in Tahrir Square.

She is considered one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution and is a prominent member of Egypt’s Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution.
These 10 women are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to female revolutionaries. Let us know who you’d like to see in a list of female revolutionaries.