Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
When a white mayoral candidate in St. Petersburg, FL referred to the city's black deputy mayor as an "H.N.I.C" on an Oct. 13 radio show, she was quoting Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West. "The time is past for black political and intellectual leaders to pose as the voice for black America....The days of brokering for the black turf--of posing as the Head Negro in Charge (H.N.I.C.) are over," West wrote in his seminal book on American race relations, 'Race Matters.'
Racial injustice rears its ugly head again, this time in rural Missouri, where heavy-handed prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff is threatening to impose a lengthy prison sentence on a woman after an altercation at a local Wal-Mart almost three years ago.
In January 2007, 20-year-old Heather Ellis, then a student at Xavier University, and her cousin David went to a Wal-Mart in Kennett, Missouri, near the Tennessee border, in an area commonly known as the Missouri Bootheel. Kennett, in rural and conservative Dunklin County, which boasts that it seceded from the Union during the Civil War, is overwhelmingly white.
At the check-out line, the pair split up in order to find the shortest line. When Ellis left her line to join her cousin at a shorter line, customers complained and a store employee accused her of cutting, at which point an argument ensued and a manager notified a security guard, an off-duty Kennett Police officer. The situation escalated from there:
In the Ellis version, she was shoved by another customer, had her items pushed aside by the clerk and then was short-changed when she finally was checked out. The police affidavit contends, at numerous times, Ellis became belligerent, loud, abusive and cursing when she was told to leave by the store's assistant manager. Summoned by a frantic phone call from her son, as the pair walked out to the parking lot, [Ellis' aunt] Blackmon says she arrived in time to witness her niece being brutalized by police during attempts to place her in a squad car.
Ellis was charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing, resisting arrest and two counts of assaulting a police officer. Yet, curiously after being described in the police affidavit as "completely out of control" during her arrest, she was released to the custody of her parents to receive medical attention only 45 minutes after being jailed. However, her arrest triggered a whole series of problems. Although she returned to school in Louisiana, two months later, an attorney hired by the family tried to talk Heather into taking a plea deal offered by powerful Dunklin County Prosecutor, Stephen Sokoloff.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.
"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.
"Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."
The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday.
Calling the emergency declaration "an important tool in our kit going forward," one administration official called Obama's action
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I have no idea why FOX News political commentator Juan Williams is defendingRush Limbaugh, perhaps the most divisive, hateful person in American media today. I'm not sure why Williams is letting FOX News use him in the same way Armstrong Williams has always trotted out to defend conservative issues. (It's hard out there for a journalist.)
However, I do know that he does not deserve to be told to "go back to the porch," as radio talk show host Warren Ballentine said during a debate about Limbaugh last week.
The comments were made by Ballentine during a discussion with Williams on the 'O'Reilly Factor' about Limbaugh being dropped from a bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams football team. Williams and Ballentine disagreed about whether the 'Barack the Magic Negro' song that Rush Limbaugh played was "racial."
BILL O'REILLY: The reason that Limbaugh is not going to be able to buy in to the NFL is because a bunch of made-up stuff became legend, and he got hammered.
WARREN BALLANTINE: Okay, we won't look at the made-up stuff. Let's look at him playing 'Barack the Magic Negro,' and we're going to say that's just funny, that's just a joke, that's not racial either. It is racial to real black people.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Martin Luther King is rolling in his grave. Yes, I said it. So sue me.
Well, you might actually do that if you were one of Martin Luther King's children. In fact, yesterday Martin Luther King III and Rev. Bernice King - who were suing their brother Dexter for mismanaging the funds in their parents' estates - avoided a jury trial and settled their longstanding feud. The three children had been the only shareholders in King Inc, the corporation created to control their father's valuable legacy. Dexter is still the president and CEO of the estate, and had been, until late last night, its administrator.
Martin and Bernice had accused Dexter of wrongfully taking money from the family, alleging that he took "substantial funds" out of their mother's estate and "wrongfully appropriated" money from their father's. I am not sure what the difference between "wrongfully appropriating" money and good old fashioned stealing is, assuming that there is one, but perhaps I am not wealthy enough to know the distinction. Of course Dexter denied the accusations.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Marvin Lynn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction
Faculty Affiliate, African American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago
I think he deserves the award because, as they said, he has established a different tone in the world. Two years ago, America was despised around the world. This is not the case today. Of course people still have criticisms of our policies etc but our global neighbors hated Bush so much that it was making global travel a frightening experience for Americans. There has been a shift in how people see us. That is directly tied to President Obama's diplomatic stance on a variety of issues.
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon
Political Science Professor at Howard University
Host of “On with Leon” – Sirius/XM Satellite
This is an incredible personal accomplishment for the Obama's, a wonderful international recognition of the shift in American foreign policy, and a compliment to the intelligence of the American electorate The Nobel committee is acknowledging the positive shift away from the unilateral exclusionary foreign policy of the Bush 43' administration to the multilateral inclusionary foreign policy direction of the Obama administration. The illegal invasions of sovereign nations, torture, and the ignoring of ecological issues of the Bush 43' administration only brought instability and insecurity for America and the rest of the world. President Obama offers hope through honest diplomacy and open dialog. This is the true path towards peace and security for all.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
from Yahoo News
In the past it's been almost a tradition for America's first ladies to catch flack from their husbands' political opponents over the size of their staffs, and Michelle Obama certainly hasn't been exempt from that. Criticism of her "massive" staff has popped up on email chains, blogs, and chat rooms. But what are the facts regarding how many people are under her employ, and how does the size of her staff compare to that of past first ladies?
On July 1st of this year, the Obama White House posted the Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff on its official blog. A minor uproar over the first lady's staff size ensued. One critic atCanadianFreePress.com accused the president's wife of employing an "unprecedented number of staffers" for someone who "doesn’t perform any official duties," while a widely circulated chain email reported that "there has never been anyone in the White House at any time that has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life." Many other critics of the Obama administration expressed similar sentiments.
Visit Your Black World
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
According to 2008 US Census Bureau data, approximately 47 million, or 15.8 percent of the US population, were without health insurance during 2006 - a 4.9 percent increase. In 2005, census figures showed that 44.8 million people, or about 15.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance coverage. According to a report released by the Institute on Medicine, the average cost of family health care coverage more than doubled from 1999 to 2008, from $1,543 to $3,354.
Based upon these realities, presidential candidate Obama made health care reform a central theme of his campaign. He promised to achieve universal health care in his first term and to cut the average family's health care health care costs by $2,500. In the on-going health care reform debate, it is very important to remember that as a result of this and other campaign promises, President Obama won the 2008 presidential election with 53 percent of the popular vote to Senator McCain's 46 percent and 68 percent of the Electoral College vote to McCain's 36 percent.
According to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken in June, 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt. According to a June poll conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 83 percent of respondents favored and only 14 percent opposed "creating a new public health insurance plan that anyone can purchase." These numbers indicate that health care reform is very important to the American people.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Dick's Sporting Goods recently made a decision that is bad for business. Taking one of the boldest, and perhaps silliest, stands of any corporation in recent memory, Dick's decided not to sell Michael Vick jerseys in any of their stores.
Perhaps they earned a few dog-loving customers, but they lost the support of any shareholder who cares about making money. It's one thing for lynch mobs to embrace vigilantism, but another for a corporation to engage in the same irrational behavior. Vick paid his debt to society; it's time to move on with our lives.
The top brass at the Nike Corporation are smarter than the management at Dick's Sporting Goods, but they too understand the need to stay away from Michael Vick, at least for right now. When asked to respond to rumors that Vick had signed a deal with Nike, the company gave an immediate and resounding "no." After the Nike denial, Michael Vick's agent, Joel Segal, had to backpedal faster than an NFL defensive back to kill any indication that his client has re-signed with the "big swoosh." However, the confidence with which the signing was announced indicates that the relationship might be deeper than we think.
The truth is that I don't believe a single word of the Nike dismissal. Like the big egos in Beyonce's song, Nike's swoosh is " too big, too wide, too strong" for them to sit idly by as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL makes his return to the game. Nike executives have seen Vick grace the cover of Xbox games and sports magazines and often refer to him as the man who "revolutionized the quarterback position." They know that Vick is not washed up, and that some of his best years may still be ahead of him.
Sunday, October 4, 2009