Monday, December 28, 2009

Commentatary from – 12/28/09

  • Lola Adesioye

    Lola Adesioye

    Deputy Editor

    Terror plot is bad news for Nigerians

    10:04 AM on 12/28/2009

    OPINION - Hearing that a terrorist suspect had been found attempting to detonate a device on a plane was bad news. Finding out that the suspect was Nigerian was, for me and many other Nigerians, even worse......

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  • Ronda Racha Penrice

    Ronda Racha Penrice

    Author of African American History For Dummies

    Ten stories of the decade that have changed black America

    9:36 AM on 12/28/2009

    OPINION - As we close out the decade and await the imminent arrival of 2010, here are the ten stories that have shaken us up and changed the way we see this country, the world and ourselves......

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  • Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University

    Holder should stop patronizing black dads for political points

    9:20 AM on 12/28/2009

    OPINION - Mr. President, if you cannot also address the good things that black men do, then please do not address the negatives. Both you and Eric Holder are more intelligent than that......

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  • Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.

    Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.

    Religion Contributor

    Remember others at "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

    9:16 AM on 12/25/2009

    OPINION - One of the favorite songs of this holiday season is "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." But this may not be the most wonderful time for everyone......

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  • M.K. Asante Jr

    M.K. Asante Jr

    Author, Filmmaker, Professor at Morgan State University

    Five things you didn't know about Kwanzaa (but should)

    7:23 AM on 12/25/2009

    OPINION - There's a lot of misinformation about Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is really the story of a people; where we were, where we are, and where we are going....

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  • Rani G Whitfield

    Rani G Whitfield

    The Hip Hop Doctor

    Senate health care overhaul is far from the perfect Christmas gift

    8:24 AM on 12/24/2009

    OPINION - In November, former President Bill Clinton gave Senate Democrats some no-nonsense political advice in regards to health care reform: just pass something......

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  • Michael E. Ross

    Michael E. Ross

    Culture Critic

    Baseball great Curt Flood gave us a remarkable Christmas gift

    8:18 AM on 12/24/2009

    OPINION -- It wasn't the usual kind of Christmas present you'd expect an employee to give his boss at the end of a productive year....

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  • Cheo Tyehimba

    Cheo Tyehimba

    Author & Activist

    The 10 most important black films of the decade

    10:20 AM on 12/23/2009

    OPINION - For most readers, every "best of" list has a few near misses and at least one curious "WTF?" item that suggests the reviewer......

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  • Milton Kent

    Milton Kent

    Media & women's basketball writer for

    NFL finally comes to on impact of head trauma

    9:36 AM on 12/23/2009

    OPINION - On October 28, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was slammed about a House Judiciary Committee hearing room like a quarterback facing a blitz....

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  • Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Black Commentators Have something to Say - 12/23/09

    The Black News Breakdown – 12/23/09

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Black News: Is the Celebration of Kwanzaa on the Decline?

    Four years ago, Evita Broughton celebrated Kwanzaa for the first time with her family — lighting a candle each night and discussing the respective principle.

    But she hasn't celebrated the holiday since.

    "It felt like a school project that lasted seven nights," said Broughton, 27, of Marietta, Ga. "I didn't feel like I had that connection. I tried to share my experiences with others but no one else was celebrating it."

    Kwanzaa, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, may be a mainstream holiday with greeting cards, postage stamps and public celebrations, but experts say its popularity is receding.

    It will not be getting a boost from the first family. The Obamas do not personally celebrate Kwanzaa, according to White House aides, though a written message from the president is likely, in keeping with the practice of his most recent predecessors, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga, a professor at California State University, Long Beach, who is also executive director of the African American Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

    Click to read.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Black Scholar News: Dr Boyce Watkins Gives Obama a Grade

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

    The other night on the Oprah Winfrey Christmas special, President Barack Obama made an unwise move. When asked what grade he deserves as president, Obama gave himself a B+. Giving himself a grade was not necessarily the best decision, since there are over 300 million Americans who then realized that they should be giving him grades as well.
    So, allow me to be the first to provide our president with a grade for his performance. I've been giving grades to college students for the last 16 years, and one thing my students will tell you is that I am fair. My other argument is that I never actually GIVE you a grade; I simply report the grade that you've earned.
    1) Handling of the Economy (B-): President Obama is better than John McCain ever could have been when it comes to managing our economic downturn. The problem is that while the president has spiraled our deficit out of control, our nation has yet to see any concrete evidence that the economy's fundamental strength has returned. He has made an enemy out of Wall Street by grandstanding around executive pay issues, but he has lost the backing of Main Street because job losses continue to mount. That's the problem with always reaching across the isle: Sometimes, you don't have firm support on either side of it. The president's inability to translate massive spending into real jobs is going to cost him big time.
    2) Management of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (B): On one hand, the president must face the stern reality that you can't just walk out of a war in the middle of it. We all know that Bush got us into these messes, and Obama must get us out. At the same time, Obama pledged to get us out of the wars faster than he is actually doing it, and it is incredibly awkward for a man to accept a Nobel Peace Prize while simultaneously escalating the troop presence in an occupied country. Sure Obama didn't give himself the Nobel Prize, but he still must be held accountable.


    Click to read.

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Tiger Woods and Race: Are there any racial complexities here?

    Dr. Boyce Watkins is on CNN with Don Lemon wondering if Tiger Woods will be "OJ Simpsonized" by the recent events in his personal life.

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Your News: Is Obama Losing His Black Supporters?

    Obama's Black Support Eroding

    From AOL Black Voices 

    It has taken less than one full year, but it seems that President Barack Obama's massive support among black mainstream leaders is starting to show some cracks.

    Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have voiced concerns in recent weeks that Obama needs to spend less time worrying about bailouts of massive industry and more time thinking about black folks, who are his most ardent supporters and have been hit hardest by the economic downturn.

    Now the Rev. Jesse Jackson is adding his voice to those who believe Obama isn't doing enough to help the base of his support.

    Jackson, a civil rights giant who has seen his influence wane in recent years, told a crowd at a California rally this week that Obama has misplaced his priorities in spending for the bailout of banks and sending additional soldiers to Afghanistan while poor people struggle here.

    Click to read.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    The CBC Vs. Obama – What to Make of It

    Last week members of the Congressional Black Caucus took President Obama to task for his inattention to the high rate of black unemployment - a rate much higher than the overall rate. By Friday, some progress on the unemployment front had been reported - the rate was down to 10 percent in November, from the October high of 10.2 percent. African American unemployment, though, was at the astounding level of 15.6 percent. Why don't the high levels of African American unemployment deserve special attention?

    President Obama says he is working for our entire nation, and that when unemployment rates drop, they will drop for everyone. Perhaps that is what he has to say. But even Ray Charles can see the disproportionate unemployment burden that the African American community is carrying. Targeted public policy is the only way to close the unemployment rate gap.

    Our nation has a history of targeting public policy. When it appeared that banks were especially imperiled, we bailed banks, but not other industries out. Indeed, there was much debate about why bankers should get $700 billion when others also faced challenges. The faulty logic that applied was that banks had special challenges at the beginning of the recession, and that the money spent bailing out banks would have ripple effects throughout our economy. Next, there were special provisions made for the housing industry, with bailouts and concessions made to those who had mortgages they could not pay. Again, the logic was that these citizens have special roles in our society and economy. Renters were left out of these special financial provisions. We targeted homeowners.

    Why, then, is it such an anathema to target African Americans? Believe me, if it were Wall Street brokers with an unemployment rate of 15.6 percent, one and a half times the overall rate, there would be some special program developed for those brokers! Someone would take to the floor of Congress to speak of the special plight of those brokers and to wax eloquent about why they deserve a break. The logic that when the overall rate drops, the broker rate will also drop, would be scoffed at! Can't you envision the special pleading that would go to save the brokers?

    Click to read more.