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Never Forsake Yourself for Others

(The below is a post that I made on my blog.)

I decided to make this post because oftentimes I hear people--mostly women that go to school with me--that want to do something nonprofit related once they finish with all of their schooling. Now, this would not be an issue, except for the fact that I am a business major, so nonprofit is the exact opposite of business since

business is all about making money. (By the way, I am aware of philanthropy, but for the sake of this post I am not talking in regards to philanthropy.) Now, whenever I hear these women tell me that they want to start a nonprofit organization, I lose a little respect for them. I lose respect for them because it does not make any sense to go through the rigors of secondary schooling and spend the money necessary for secondary schooling just to go and make an impoverished living. I know that their reasoning is that they want to help the community and children at-risk, but what I do not understand is why do they not try to help the children and families in need while also helping themselves. Whenever I hear women state this--because it’s only really women that I hear state this--I think to myself that they are trying to create a more positive image for themselves and adhere to the old adage of striving for the greater good. So, to this old adage, I counter with my own new adage; the greatest good of all is the good that serves those in need while also benefiting you as well.

Now, black folks are taught to go to school to get a good job. However, I am going to take this a step further and talk to my people within the game, in case you happen to think like what I just described. Those of us within the game are leaders and the future leaders of society, so we absolutely cannot forsake ourselves for the greater good, and instead need to strive for the greatest good. I know some of my readers are not religious in any way, shape, or form, so I will relate this next statement to you as well as my religious readers. We all have a duty to leave this planet in a better state than when we arrived before we depart. To my religious readers, we also have a duty to the divine one to leave this world in a better state before we depart. All of this means that we have an obligation to help those in need while also helping ourselves. I’m going to recount a few stories to you within the next paragraph.

I recall once, while in grad school, where I helped a teammate with an assignment and she thanked me for helping her. I told her that she was welcome, but I also let her know that I did not just help her simply for her benefit. I told her that I also helped her for my own benefit because her grade affects mine as well. When I told her this she asked me would I’ve driven out to a library to assist her had I not been in her group; I told her “no.” I told her that I would have helped her but not to this extent because me driving out to this library inconveniences me because it costs me gas money. When I said this, she tried to give me a morality spiel to make me feel bad about what I had just said, but it did not work. Personally, I viewed her weak counter-argument as an ulterior motive. I’ve often noticed that those that forsake themselves on behalf of others usually end up getting used. To go further, the people that they help come up usually use, abuse, and forget about them; this is why I am all for selfishness. I know that we are taught that it is wrong to be selfish, but we live in a very selfish world, and in order not to be used, we must develop a “me-first mentality.” We have to hold our needs and wants above those of others. We have to ensure always to fulfill our needs and wants, even at the behest of others.

I’m going to give another example of what I mean. In wars you have troops, and you have supreme commanders. The troops are the ones that are on the battlefield doing all of the fighting, while the supreme commanders remain at camp and oversee and direct the movement of the troops. The reasoning of this dynamic is simple; the troops are more expendable than the supreme commander is. This is why the supreme

commander has to be more protected. Although, no militia wants to lose its people, in wars there will be casualties. The casualties are the ones that forsook themselves on behalf of the greater good. Those of us in the game are the supreme commanders. The people in secondary schooling are the troop commanders. We have a duty to press on because if we fall, then all is over. Now, everyone is expendable to a certain extent; the supreme commanders within a war are even expendable to a certain extent, but if you lose too many of them, then all is over. This is why we cannot forsake ourselves. This world is chaotic enough; imagine if the noble world leaders decided to start forsaking themselves, the world would be even more chaotic.


This desire to get others to forsake themselves comes from indoctrination. A mentor of mine, Tariq Nasheed, is often asked to forsake himself in regards to allowing people to bootleg his Hidden Colors DVDs and in regards to people asking him to give free lectures. It is an oxymoron to go through the time and effort necessary to acquire the knowledge, skills, and wisdom to share with others simply to give it away for free. This is why he requires people to pay top dollar for his items. This is what others should do. Upgrading yourself to the point that you are now prominent should be profitable, not charitable. You can do many great things while also fattening your pockets, remember that. –Derrick Mills (June 1, 2015)


The reason why Black women be forsaking themselves is that they allow themselves to be manipulated by society into forsaking themselves. Once you go to graduate school you automatically set yourself up to be viewed as a potential leader in society--especially if you’re Black--and a lot of Black folks will begin subtly suggesting that you give back to the community once you finish your schooling; forsake yourself. These Black women fall for that ruse and end up worse than the people that they're helping. –Derrick Mills (June 6, 2015)


You are the company that you keep.

Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from others' mistakes. Stupid people don't learn from anyone's mistakes including their own.

You get what you deserve.

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Democrats are preparing a mad-dash confirmation for President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick, fearful that with an evenly divided Senate, the door to act could close at any moment.

Now, they just need Biden to do something he’s historically struggled with: move fast and send them a name.

Just hours after the retirement announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer, the president was already facing increased pressure to get the gears of the nomination and confirmation processes moving. While Biden has said he intends to make his choice by the end of February, his history of missing major deadlines is causing concern. And some Democrats concede they’re already worried that a single illness, death or retirement could throw it all into chaos.

Dems to Joe Biden: Move fast on SCOTUS a tragedy would ensue

“You don’t know what the circumstances may bring, whether it’s the loss of a member or somebody crossing over to the other party,” said former Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who led the last evenly-split upper chamber. “That’s something that ought to be very much on their minds right now.”

Daschle is acutely familiar with how tenuous a majority can be. Two decades ago, the Senate was split 50-50 when then-Sen. Jim Jeffords left the Republican party, throwing control of the chamber to Democrats and thrusting Daschle into the post of majority leader.

Nobody is predicting such a dramatic change this go-round, at least not before Breyer’s seat is filled. But Jeffords’ switch has been cited since news of the justice’s pending retirement broke as a means of underscoring the sheer unpredictability of such a closely-divided government in an election year. More recently, Democrats saw how delicate their majority was, when, earlier this month, plans to vote on election reform changed at the last minute after Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) tested positive for Covid.

“He should get the person confirmed right away,” said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. “Somebody in the Senate could resign, somebody in the Senate could die. The makeup of the Senate 50-50 could be altered by one career decision or tragedy. You can’t wait.”

He should get the person confirmed right away. Somebody in the Senate could resign, somebody in the Senate could die. The makeup of the Senate 50-50 could be altered by one career decision or tragedy. You can’t wait.

Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League

For Biden, who repeated his pledge to nominate a Black woman to the post, the next month presents risks and opportunities. A well-executed Supreme Court confirmation depends on due diligence from the nominee and her team. But the call to move fast is not merely driven by the realities of the slimmest possible Senate majority. There is also a sense of political urgency in Biden’s orbit as his standing has been on a downward trajectory since last fall.

Democrats on and off the Hill see the coming confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court as an opportunity for Biden to rebound among the rank and file.

“Absolutely!” said House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) when asked if the first Black woman justice could reinvigorate the party’s base.

Hanging over it all is a deep consternation on the left after experiencing so many setbacks on the Supreme Court in recent years — from the GOP blockage that stopped them from filling a vacant seat under former President Barack Obama to the scandal-marred confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the GOP rush to replace her in the waning days of Donald Trump’s tenure.

“This is a priority for him,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday.

Psaki said that Biden has been reviewing bios of potential candidates since last year. And while she noted that Republicans have some power to complicate the confirmation, the White House also plans to engage with GOP lawmakers and hear their point of view throughout. Biden has shown eagerness to ensure that both his selection and the Senate’s consideration is seen as solemn, serious and deliberate

hat desire has led to busted timelines and unmet expectations in the past. Recently, it was in choosing nominees to fill vacancies at the Federal Reserve, which Biden finally did on Jan. 14, following months of speculation and waiting. Two summers ago, Biden missed at least two self-imposed deadlines before choosing Kamala Harris as his vice president, allowing so much time to pass that allies for several of the other prospective candidates were able to circulate negative stories designed to tarnish the image of their rivals.

“My concern is if he takes too long to make a decision the lobbying from the different camps over who they want to be nominated will spiral out of control,” said Jim Manley, a former top aide to the late Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid.

My concern is if he takes too long to make a decision the lobbying from the different camps over who they want to be nominated will spiral out of control.

Jim Manley, a former top aide to the late Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid.

While the White House will ultimately appoint a congressional sherpa for whoever is nominated, current preparations are being led by White House chief of staff Ron Klain and White House counsel Dana Remus. It’s a familiar role for Biden and Klain dating back to their time on the Senate Judiciary committee, where they were deeply involved in past confirmation fights. Biden also noted he would be closely consulting with Harris, a former attorney general of California and a district attorney who is the first Black woman to serve in the role.

Names of possible nominees under consideration include Ketanji Brown Jackson of the D.C. Circuit court, Leondra Kruger of the California Supreme Court, J. Michelle Childs of the South Carolina district court and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Wilhelmina Wright, a district court judge and former Minnesota Supreme Court justice, as well as New York University law professor Melissa Murray, are also under consideration, said a source familiar with White House deliberations.

The historic confirmation of the first Black woman to the highest court in the country could also be a catalyst for Democratic voters who have questioned Biden’s commitment to their priorities. A January Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that Biden’s approval rating in Georgia — a state he won in 2020 — had dropped from 51 percent in May of last year to 34 percent. Among Black voters in the state, Biden’s disapproval rating has increased by 28 points since last May.

Though the White House continues to work on Biden’s social spending plan, some White House advisers view the confirmation process as a potential moment to give Democrats breathing room on the bill, which Congress needs more time on to find consensus.

For others in the party, the nomination provides Biden with something he’s lacked as president: a chance to manage events around him.

“This is an example of something that is totally within the president’s control. Who gets nominated,” said Leah Daughtry, a longtime Democratic official and former CEO of two DNC conventions. “It's a political moment for the people in the base to say here's a man who kept his promise to us, and so we can count on him keeping his word for the rest of his promises.”

Daughtry said she grew “a little emotional” watching Biden’s remarks on Thursday announcing Breyer’s retirement. “It's almost like a Barack Obama moment for me, as a Black woman, to contemplate that there will be a black woman on the court,” said Daughtry.

Cornell Belcher, a veteran Democratic pollster who worked for Obama, said the confirmation fight could be more than just a boost for Biden but also a “trap” for Republicans.

“Does Mitch McConnell and Republicans want to spend the next couple of months attacking a Black woman awakening this giant that usually usually sleeps through midterms?” said Belcher, referring to young voters, Black voters and women voters. “This is a fight that I think frankly, would be a gift for our ability to mobilize and organize these voters who are the most problematic for us during midterms.”


The early response from conservatives has been to engage the debate along the lines that Belcher outlined. Activists and media figures on the right accused Biden of engaging in a reverse form of racism by limiting his search to a Black woman. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, warned Biden against “outsourcing” his first Supreme Court pick to the “radical left.”

But early expectations in conservative circles is that Republicans have only a slim chance of actually stopping Biden from getting his pick approved. On the Hill, Senate Democrats are gearing up for a swift confirmation, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer considering a timeline similar to the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett was confirmed roughly a month after former President Donald Trump announced her nomination. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), former chair of the Judiciary Committee and a current panel member, urged Biden Thursday to make his selection “very quickly.”

“Fortunately they have a number of people that have already done some pre-clearance,” Leahy said. “After seeing the just outrageous and total violation of custody and rules we saw with Merrick Garland, we don’t want to see that again.”

The Judiciary Committee is already preparing for hearings. Democrats on the panel met Thursday afternoon to discuss the next steps. A committee spokesperson said that chair, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), “is committed to working with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure fair and timely consideration of” the pick.

Durbin said Thursday that Klain called him at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, hours before the news broke of Breyer’s retirement.

“And I asked Mr. Klain, ‘do you have a nominee?,’” Durbin told reporters. “He said, ‘we’re in the process. No one’s been chosen yet.’ So it’s a little early to predict the timetable for this hearing.”

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President Joe Biden, who ran on his deep relationships in Senate and ability to build bridges, will cap off his first year in office with his legislative agenda at a standstill – unable to get his Democratic Party fully united and facing steep opposition from Republicans.

Biden's major legislative priorities are in limbo after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona didn't cave to Biden's pressure and refused to roll back the filibuster to pass legislation without GOP support.

Joe Biden legislative agenda going nowhere 1 year into presidency

Biden will mark the one-year anniversary of his Jan. 20 inauguration with no clear path forward on passing high-priority voting rights legislation and his Build Back Better social spending plan. He candidly acknowledged his struggles Thursday after a meeting with Senate Democrats at the Capitol.

"The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done," Biden said of his voting rights agenda.

"I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure," he added.

Biden is grappling with razor-thin Democratic majorities in the House and Senate which have proved problematic to passing some sweeping reforms the Democratic base wants. Just one Democratic senator has the power to scuttle his plans in the 50-50 split Senate.

A group of Republicans was willing to go along with Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill that he signed into law in November to rebuild the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, ports and more. It was a major legislative win and realization of his promise to bring the two parties together.

But the comradery was short-lived.

Now Republicans say Biden's agenda is out of touch and too extreme to garner their support.

"It is really telling that there were Americans that voted for President Biden hoping that he could somehow emerge as a leader," Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Fox News Digital. "And he has proven that he does not have the capabilities to be a strong leader."

Ernst blames Biden for rising inflation, the deadly and hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan and a surge of migrants at the Southern border. She says Biden's priorities are out of step with what Iowans want.

Asked how his legislative agenda was faring, Ernst replied: "I'm glad that you reminded me that President Biden has an agenda, because I have forgotten he had one. It really has gone out the window."

Biden further alienated himself from Republicans with a heated speech in Atlanta this week when he urged the Senate to get rid of the long-standing filibuster to pass voting rights bills and implied those who didn't support the legislation were on the side of racists like Bull Connor and George Wallace.

A fuming Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blasted Biden's speech as "profoundly unpresidential" and "deliberately divisive."

"I have known, liked, and personally respected Joe Biden for many years," McConnell said Wednesday. "I did not recognize the man at that podium yesterday."

Aside from the bipartisan infrastructure package, Biden's other major legislative win last year was the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill he signed into law in March without any GOP support.

The package included a $1,400 check for many Americans, an extension of a $300 weekly unemployment aid supplement through Sept. 6, as well as a one-year expansion of the child tax credit. It also provided hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for state and local governments, vaccine distribution efforts and small businesses still reeling from the pandemic.

Ten months later, the pandemic is far from over. And Biden's other main legislative vehicle to boost the economy and expand the social safety net is on ice.

The $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending and climate change bill has effectively died in the Senate with Manchin announcing in December that he couldn't support it.

Biden had a history of working productively with Manchin and affectionately called him Jo-Jo. Biden even appointed his wife, Gayle Manchin, to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The job pays roughly $163,000, according to a federal database.

Unable to convince Manchin to support his agenda, Democrats Friday turned to touting the benefits of the previously passed infrastructure bill as a way to move on.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he thinks Biden has been working very hard to pass the voting rights and Build Back Better bills, but he faults Republicans for the setbacks.

"In order to get things done … you need two parties," Hoyer said when asked about the Biden agenda by Fox News Digital. "It takes two to tango."

He said Republicans are trying to deny Biden any more victories for political reasons, which he says is "sad."

"No matter how hard the President of the United States works, if one party is determined, for political reasons, to oppose something because it would give a success or a victory to the President of the United States, that is very shortsighted and harms the country," Hoyer said. "You're not harming Joe Biden personally. What you're harming is the country."

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Biden's inauguration. Republicans are planning to mark the occasion by highlighting Biden’s first year of "failure" and arguing the GOP is better equipped to lead.


NOTE: Is Biden's presidency doomed?
President Joe Biden is struggling politically. Recent polls have shown that his approval ratings continue to fall. According to CNN's Poll of Polls, the President stands at 42%, while Quinnipiac's January poll placed him at 33%. Those are the kinds of numbers that would leave any White House unsettled.

The fate of the Build Back Better legislation remains precarious, while the President's emboldened words about the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act were tougher than ever. On Tuesday, he asked elected officials, "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?" in what appeared to be a question implicitly targeting Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who still refuse to accept the filibuster carve-out that would allow the voting rights legislation to overcome Republican opposition. Even worse, Omicron has driven up hospitalizations and left huge swaths of the population despondent about when the pandemic will come to an end. "It's déjà vu all over again," as the baseball legend Yogi Berra liked to say.

Others complain that the President isn't even doing a good job showcasing his many accomplishments. "Jobs, jabs, infrastructure, prosperity and peace," one columnist urged in a piece criticizing Biden for failing to boast enough about what his administration has done.

Then there is inflation. Rising prices are overwhelming all good economic news in recent days, including low unemployment and a buoyant economy. Although initially many economists thought that the price increases would be "transitory," the widely accepted outlook is that inflation will remain high for a while. One Nevada voter, Laura Godinez, who told CNN she used to lean Republican but had shifted toward the Democrats in recent elections, commented: "I don't want to say this, but when Donald Trump was here, it was nothing like this."

Does this all add up to a doomed presidency? That question will naturally enter into the minds of Democrats as they speculate about where this is heading, particularly with the distinct possibility that Trump could run again in 2024.
Those who are worried should find some solace in the fact that contemporary presidents have been able to come back from difficult moments like these. Challenging first terms don't inevitably put a commander in chief on path toward a one-term presidency. It's possible to struggle in the polls, deal with difficult economic challenges and criticism from different factions of one's own party and still go on to be considered a successful two-term president.

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