Just out. Listen to the audio from the 911 call on Henry Louis Gates’ Arrest by clicking here.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University spoke with TV and radio show host Montel Williams on Monday. The conversation focused on race and racial profiling. They are going to also speak on financial advice in the future.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Sarah Palin's resignation from her role as governor of Alaska has prompted new questions about the GOP's leadership and future. While Michael Steele made history by becoming the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee, where do African Americans stand in helping to redefine the party?
TheGrio sat down with a group of black Republicans to discuss their feeling on their political party and its future.
"What does it mean to be a black man that agrees with the Republican party's agenda, the Republican party's message?" said hiphoprepublican.com's Brandon Brice. "That is, reducing the size of government, giving people real opportunities to excel from any circumstance or situation."
According to a report released in May by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Africans Americans make up two percent of the nation's Republican party, compared to 22 percent of the democratic party. The study also found that during the 2008 election, 95 percent of blacks voted for Barack Obama, while just four percent voted for Republican candidate John McCain.
I've written extensively about the NCAA and what I perceive to be their consistent efforts to exploit the black community. They spend millions on public service announcements to protect their deception, but eventually the athletes and the public are going to wise up to what they are doing. The truth is that college athletes should be paid for the same reasons that any actor in a Hollywood blockbuster film would expect to receive compensation. The problem is that the families of athletes don't quite know how to organize and fight for their power. So, when I read about the recentlawsuit against the NCAA for allegedly misusing the images of athletes for videogames, I was a very happy man.
Let me break it down for you:
Based on my 16-years of experience as a college professor (I currently teach atSyracuse University, a school that earns millions off black families every year), collegiate athletics is not, in my opinion, about amateurism and it's not about education. It's about making money. Period. Many athletes are admitted to college every year and they would not be granted admission were it not for their ability to play sports and make money for the campus. Making money is not a problem, but the problem comes with the fact that universities do not share this revenue with the families of the players.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are infected with a disease. The disease that has infected you is called racism. The disease is a silent killer, not of our bodies, but of our society. It also deteriorates the brain and makes us delusional, as we sometimes see things that are not really there or refuse to see things that are actually right in front of us. What’s worse is that we know the disease is in the fabric of our institutions, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location. This leads to sloppy missteps, embarrassments and damaging accusations.
Henry Louis Gates, the Prominent Harvard University Professor who was arrested this week at his home by Cambridge Police Officer James Crawley, may have been a victim of the disease of racism. Even he has gotten to the point of stating that this story is no longer about race and his buddy, President Obama, has been back-peddling faster than a free safety in the NFL. In the midst of letting go of his allegations of racism against Sgt. Crawley (which I thought was a very good idea) Professor Gates has stated that we should use this situation as a “teaching moment.” It is also my hope that Dr. Gates understands that the first step toward being a good professor is to learn how to be a good student. As a professor myself, I am hopeful that he will allow me to teach the first class.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley says that he's not racist for arresting Henry Louis Gates, citing the CPR he gave the Celtics star Reggie Lewis (below) as proof.
Take our Poll
Racist or not?
Do you think the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was racially motivated?
- Police union supports arrest of Gates Jr.
- Obama: Police acted 'stupidly' in arrest of Harvard professor
- Charges dropped against Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
- Harvard prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrested outside his home, calls police 'racist'
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
10:00 PM on 07/22/2009
Obama responds to questions during a news conference Wednesday, July 22, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
I found myself enjoying President Obama's Healthcare pitch to the nation on prime time television, as he explained (as most politicians do) why the world will come to an end if we don't adopt his policies. His arguments were strong and valid, and he made it clear that he was out to help the middle class by letting rich folks pay the bill. I'm all for that.
I noticed how the president used the words "middle class" about 20 times through the night, and allowed nine different reporters to ask questions, none of them African American. But then again, it might have been tough for President Obama to find black people in the room, since there sure as heck didn't seem to be very many around.
Less predictable was the racial bombshell that President Obama saved for last on Wednesday night. After being asked about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, a prominent Harvard University professor, Obama spent just a few minutes reminding the world that he was not only a black man, but that that he was also an alumnus of Harvard University.
The man who some feel embodies the essence of a post-racial America was suddenly willing to candidly discuss race on behalf of his wealthy Harvard associate. What is incredibly ironic is that these were probably the most post-racial comments Obama has ever made, since they further opened the door to class warfare in America.
I am not Al Sharpton. In fact, I never could be and I don't want to try. I am also not Henry Louis Gates, a man with an undeniable contribution to the legacy of Black Scholarship in America. I am simply Boyce Watkins, the son of a 17-year-old mother and a father who happened to be a high-ranking police official for the past 28 years. I've argued with my father for decades, as his Bill Cosby-like views of the world have often made my face twist with confusion. But I listen to my father, because there is value in seeing other points of view.
When I hear about a Black man being mistreated by police, I take a moment of pause. I think about the horrific statistics on Black males in the criminal justice system, in which we are more likely to be arrested for the same crimes, more likely to be convicted, more likely to be incarcerated and expected to get more prison time than our White counterparts.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Millions of American workers are about to get a federally-mandated raise, but the recession has left many wondering if and how the economy will benefit.
The raise, which will go into effect on July 24, represents the final wage hike in a three-step boost to the federal minimum wage increase passed by Congress two years ago. The minimum wage will rise 70 cents — or about 11% — to $7.25 per hour from $6.55. (Last summer, it went up 70 cents from $5.85.)
Whether Congress would have approved the wage hike had legislators known how dismal the economy would look two years later is an open question. But there's no doubt the timing is awkward.
"There's low inflation, high unemployment and this is when teens are looking for summer jobs," says Mike Gibbs, a professor of economics and human resources at the University of Chicago.
Michael Vick is finally out of prison. He is not just being transferred from one prison to another, but actually free. I am happy for Michael, but I worry. I never agreed with the way the world treated Michael Vick, and I stated this fact everywhere people would listen. At the same time, I never thought that Michael Vick was innocent, and I actually thought he was a knuckle-head. The truth, however, is that treating him like a mass murderer over his youthful indiscretion was simply uncalled for.
Vick's treatment by the media is nothing new: Every year, there is at least one black male athlete chosen as public enemy number one. This person is villified as if they'd stabbed the pope and shot a newborn baby. Before Vick, there was Randy Moss, Ron Artest, Latrell Sprewell, Barry Bonds, OJ Simpson, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson and others. The funny thing about it is that white athletes also commit crimes, but we are somehow convinced that most of the perpetrators of bad behavior are African American. What you see through the camera lens is largely a function of where the camera is pointed, since the media can only report about .1% of everything that happens at any given time. The camera is usually aimed away from black athletes doing good things, like Myron Rolle, the former Florida State Seminol who passed up on the NFL draft to study at Oxford. Instead, it tends to be pointed toward athletes who do things that embarrass their families. Simultaneously, the 2006 exposure of the drunken chaos at places like Duke University reveals that athletes of all ethnicities get themselves into ridiculous situations.
Harvard University’s Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African & African American Studies, was arrested July 16 on a charge of disorderly conduct.
Gates, 58, a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Harvard’s main campus is located, was arrested after “exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior,” according to a report on the Cambridge Police Department’s Web site. Cambridge police officials declined to comment and said the case was under investigation by Office of the Middlesex District Attorney. A call to the DA’s office wasn’t immediately returned.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
AFP – US President Barack Obama has called on Congress to pass his health care reform, arguing that the stability …
Finally, we’re starting to see him sweat.
President Barack Obama made his personal icy cool the trademark of his campaign, the tenor of his White House and the hallmark of an early run of successes at home and abroad. But as the glamour wears off and a long, frustrating summer wears on, he is being forced to improvise — stooping to respond to political foes and adjusting his tactics and demeanor for the trench warfare of a legislative agenda.
The root of the change is one that faces every president: Economic and international realities that resist political charm. Iran and North Korea have shown no interest in the president’s outstretched hand. The economy has delivered a double-whammy, with rising unemployment stirring voters’ concerns while sluggish growth deprives the government of tax revenues Obama would like to spend on new programs.
Health care reform, which once appeared flush with momentum from earlier congressional victories, is now on a slog through no less than five committees, which include Democrats who either aren’t sold on Obama’s expansive vision or can’t figure out how to convince voters to pay for it.
President Barack Obama nominated an Alabama country doctor who has three times resurrected her clinic in a fishing village after disasters to be U.S. Surgeon General on Monday and help him advocate for healthcare reform.
Dr. Regina Benjamin promised to advocate for Obama’s healthcare agenda as “America’s doctor” if she gets the job as chief public spokesperson on health issues, saying her own family and patients have been victims of the failing U.S. system.
“Through floods and fire and severe want, Regina Benjamin has refused to give up. Her patients have refused to give up,” Obama said in a White House Rose Garden announcement.
U.S. surgeons general in the past have issued influential reports on topics including smoking, AIDS and mental health. Benjamin said she not only wanted to serve in the traditional role of surgeon general, encouraging healthy habits, but press to make medical care more easily available.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
7:50 AM on 07/13/2009
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Partisan politics aside, Judge Sonia Sotomayor and President Barack Obama present themselves to the world as middle-aged poster children for everything that can be right in Black and Latino America. I'm not talking about their political achievements...
8:41 AM on 07/09/2009
Obama looks on during the G8 Summit (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari) In a recent interview with AllAfrica.com, President Obama said: "I'd say I'm probably as knowledgeable about African history as anybody who's occupied my office. And I can give you...
8:22 AM on 07/08/2009
One of my favorite magazines is "The Economist." A recent issue of the magazine had an intriguing article about American kids and how we've essentially prepared them to destroy our nation. National productivity is a grave concern for the U.S.,...
9:03 AM on 07/02/2009
I write this article at the risk of offending my daughters, who are all in the "We think Lil Wayne and Chris Brown were sent by God" age group.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
A suburban Philadelphia swim club has invited children from a largely minority day-care center to come back after a June reversal that fueled allegations of racism against the club, a spokeswoman said Sunday.
Some kids from the Creative Steps Day Care center say club members made racial remarks.
The development came during a hastily called Sunday afternoon meeting of the Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. Club members voted overwhelmingly to try to work things out with the day-care center, which accused some swim club members of making racist comments to black and Hispanic children contracted to use the pool, said Bernice Duesler, the club director's wife.
Duesler said the club canceled its contract with the Creative Steps day-care because of safety, crowding and noise concerns, not racism.
"As long as we can work out safety issues, we'd like to have them back," she told CNN.
She said the club has been subpoenaed by the state Human Rights Commission, which has begun a fact-finding investigation, "and the legal advice was to try to get together with these camps, " Duesler added.
Alethea Wright, Creative Steps' director, said, "They should have done that before."Click to read.
Marion Barry, Washington's embattled city council member and former mayor, dodged another bullet last week when a District prosecutor declined to prosecute him on charges of stalking his ex-girlfriend. Barry was arrested and briefly detained by U.S. Park Service police July 4th after the woman, 40-year-old Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, complained that he was "bothering" her.
But Mr. Barry may not be completely out of the woods yet. The controversy kicked up by his arrest led reporters to dig out the fact that Mr. Barry had put Ms. Watts-Brighthaupt on his payroll by awarding her a $60,000 contract to study "poverty reduction," to be paid out of taxpayer dollars. That proved too much for current D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and others, who demanded the city council open an ethics probe of Mr. Barry. On Friday, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray announced the council would hire an independent law firm to look into the matter.