Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Why Tupac Wouldn’t Want to Be Alive Right Now

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The recent spoof claiming that the late Tupac Shakur was killed by Suge Knight got my mind racing back to 1996, the year that Tupac was murdered. Some might say that Tupac was the greatest rapper in history. I don't agree, but then again, my pick for "the greatest" changes with my mood. I can say that I listened to Tupac every morning and found his energy to be contagious. He represented a type of fearlessness, creativity and (most of the time) intelligence that led him to sell 75 million albums worldwide (he makes more money as a dead man than most of us will ever make in life). I am not here to pretend that Tupac was perfect, for he was flawed in quite a few significant ways. But he was certainly a legend and well-ahead of his time.
As we approach 2011, the year that most of us thought would never arrive, I thought I would list some quick reasons that Tupac wouldn't necessarily enjoy being here with us. Sure he would probably rather be alive, but he might be a bit disappointed with what he saw. Let's start from the beginning, shall we?

 

Click to read.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pastor Gets Accused of Robbing Her Parishioner

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

A Dallas pastor was arrested after she was accused of breaking into the home of one of her parishioners. The woman under suspicion is Sandra McGriff, a prominent pastor at The Church of the Living God. McGriff was held on suspicion that she burglarized the home of Serita Agnew, one of the members of her church.
McGriff was seen coming out of the house with fur coats after the kitchen window had been broken. A neighbor also claims that they saw a laptop and three purses in her blue Jaguar. When police called the owner of the home, it was determined that she had not given McGriff permission to enter. Adding to the suspicion was that Agnew spoke with McGriff shortly before the alleged robbery, telling her that she was going to be out of the house visiting her daughter.

 

Click to read.

Fox News Says that Michael Vick Should Have Been Given the Death Penalty

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson followed the company's interesting tradition the other day by making one of the most distasteful and egregious comments in recent media history. Filling in for Sean Hannity, Carlson said that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed for dogfighting.


"I'm a Christian, I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances," Carlson said. "But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."

 

Click to read.

 

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

President Obama Defends Michael Vick: What Does That Mean?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Anyone following the worlds of sports and politics heard about President Barack Obama's decision to congratulate the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles for giving the embattled Michael Vick another chance to shine. The president called Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to tell him that he condemns the crimes for which Vick has been convicted, but believes that those who've paid debts for their crimes deserve a second chance to contribute to society.


The symbolism of this moment can't be missed. Here we have an African American male going out of his way to express support for another black male coming out of the criminal justice system. While none of us knows Obama's true intentions, his public support for Michael Vick reminds us of the intricate connections that exist between many black males from all walks of life (Al Sharpton and I discussed thisvery same issue yesterday with regard to the arrest of the father of NBA star OJ Mayo): educated black politicians/doctors/lawyers who love sports have a great deal in common with athletes, who in turn have something in common with men in the criminal justice system, hip hop, etc. It's all connected at the end of the day (notice the close friendships between men like LeBron James and the rapper Jay-Z and the fact that many artists have friends who deal drugs).

 

Click to read.

 

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Study: Rich Keep Getting Richer

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It turns out that the gap between the rich and the middle class is larger than it's been in recorded American history. Much of the growth in the gap is due to the recent housing crisis taking place over the past three years.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest 1% had an average net worth that was 225 greater than the average American. That's higher than the previous record, which was 190 times in 2004.
An intriguing aspect of the divide is that it occurred while the wealth of all Americans declined on average. The richest households lost 27% of their wealth between 2007 and 2009, while middle class Americans lost 47% of their wealth during the same time period. So, the growth in the gap was mainly due to the fact that the middle class and poor suffered more during the recent recession than the wealthy.

 

Click to read.

 

 

 

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cornell Student Busted with $150,000 Worth of Heroin

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Keri Blakinger, a senior at Cornell University, was arrested this week with $150,000 worth of heroin in her possession. The arrest represents the second largest drug bust in the history of the Ithaca, NY police department. Blakinger was carrying the drugs in a tupperware bowl and immediately admitted that the drugs belonged to her.


According to her Facebook page, Blakinger was an English major. There is no word on what sentence could be, but given the magnitude of New York drug laws, she may be in prison for a very long time.
The Blakinger case at Cornell is a telling reminder that drug abuse occurs on quite a few campuses across the country and not just in urban communities. This is not the first Ivy League drug ring to be brought to light. Others have been found at Harvard, Columbia and other well-regarded campuses. But while bad behavior knows few boundaries, there is a stark disparity in the way that drug possession and use is prosecuted, and much of that variation runs along racial lines.

Click to read.

 

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dr. Julianne Malveaux Writes about Surviving Economically During the Holidays

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by Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President – Bennett College

When I look at the data that define the reality for African Americans in the economy, I am often alarmed and discouraged. One in four African American lives in poverty. Nearly one in three is out of work, according to unofficial data (official data says one in six). African Americans have lost billions of dollars worth of wealth in the foreclosure crisis. We aren't alone in our pain - our nation is hurting. But our pain is more pronounced, more acute, more debilitating.
This is hardly the first time African Americans have experienced disproportionate pain. Indeed, the story of our presence in this nation has been a story of us shouldering more than our share of economic pain. When people ask me about the wealth gap, I remind them that black folks used to be the wealth white folks accumulated. Under those circumstances, it is difficult to imagine that the wealth gap will ever be closed.

And yet we rise. I wrote my latest book, Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History, to remind me, to remind all of us, that even in harsh times African Americans have been more than survivors, we have been thrivers. We have made it despite horrible conditions, despite unfairness, despite racism. The playing field has never been level, and yet we have played on the slanted field, returning, returning, and sometimes winning. In the middle of a week of running around, talking about the book in Detroit and in Chicago, I had to smile at myself with air of satisfaction and acknowledge a job well done.

 

Click to read.

 

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Did BET Just Forget to Air their 30th Anniversary Show?

BET's 30 years of missed opportunities

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

If you happened to watch BET this past Sunday evening and planned to see their 30-year anniversary show, you might have been in for a rude awakening. To the surprise of fans across the nation, the show simply didn't air at the time it was scheduled. Well, it actually didn't air at all. When the Washington Post asked what happened,BET's representatives didn't give an explanation other than the obvious: "It appears that we will not be airing theBET special this evening."

The statement that BET sent to me in response to their very public snafu was a bit more informative but still cryptic:

"Unfortunately, BET 30: Moments and Movements experienced some unforeseen technical difficulties and a solution could not be reached before air time. We sincerely apologize to our viewers and will announce the new air date shortly."

This, my friends, is what some might call an 'SMH' moment. Well, Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks, might call it another kind of moment, but I'll refrain from using foul language. It is ironic that the 30th anniversary ofBET would be celebrated by an incredibly public, highly embarrassing mistake of this magnitude. Like the baby's daddy who can't afford to pay child support, BET was nowhere to be found when it was time to air one of the most important shows in the network's history. Yes my friends, that was "ghetto."

Click to read.

 

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tiger's Brother Says He Cut off the Family

Tiger's Brother says that Tiger thinks his family "doesn't measure up." ;

Bishop Eddie Long Break-in: Video Says It Was About Evidence, not Money

Bishop Eddie Long's accusers explain why they broke into his house. ;

Hip Hop Artists Speak Up on Georgia Prison Strike

The rapper Vigalantee speaks up out on the Georgia prison strike and human rights for inmates around the country. ;

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Georgia Prison Strike: Inmates Finally Stand Down

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The heroic prison strike that took place in Georgia this month has finally come to an end. Other than the inmates who are still holding out, most of the others have been released from the massive lock down and agreed to go back to work. Progress was made during the strike, and negotiations are still underway.

I was scheduled to meet with Elaine Brown, one of the leaders of the movement last night. For some reason, we weren't able to find her. But I'm sure that whatever she was doing was more important than talking to me. Tomorrow morning I'll be speaking with Rev. Jesse Jackson on the matter, and then Monday, I speak with Rev. Al Sharpton. In fact, I'll be speaking to everyone I know about this issue for as long as I possibly can.

Click to read.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scholarship in Action: Analyzing the Public Image of Kobe Bryant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This week it was announced that Kobe Bryant, star of the Los Angeles Lakers, is leading the nation in All-Star votes. Bryant has over 722,000 votes thus far and is on his way toward once again being America's favorite basketball player (well, he might already be there). He is more popular than his nemesis, LeBron James, who lost a bulk of his popularity after improperly orchestrating his move to Miami. At the same time, the criticism of James was inherently unfair.


What's interesting about LeBron vs. Kobe is that one guy has always been a team player and stayed out of trouble. The other one was being accused of rape just a few years ago and was also once known as a prima donna who wouldn't pass the ball to anyone other than himself. My oh my how times have changed.

Click to read. 

 

 

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: CBC Remains Silent about GA Prison Protest

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

In case you haven't seen it much in the media, history is being made in Georgia. Prison inmates in the state have come together for the largest prison strike in United States history. The event is significant, since the prison system is one of the last remnants of slavery in our nation. Among other things, the inmates are demanding access to education, decent heathcare, the ability to see their families, just parole decisions and an escape from cruel and unusual punishment. In other words, they are asking to be treated as human beings.


I've spoken to as many people as I could about what the inmates in Georgia are doing and I've also reported on the activities that I've begun in conjunction with the Your Black World Coalition. But as I was working with my team to figure out how we could help the inmates, one question came to mind: Where are the black folks in Washington?

 

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton Support the GA Prison Strike

Why we should support the biggest prison strike in US history

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The other day, I was inspired. I was also shocked, amazed and uplifted by the courage being shown by the individuals who helped to pull off the largest prison strike in United States history. The effort evolved by sneaking cell phones into the facilities, leading to inmate communication and virtually unprecedented coordination between six different prisons. I wanted to help them.

The inmates are protesting against slavery, which is actually still legal in the United States. The 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution abolishes slavery for most of us, but it deliberately leaves one gaping loophole: Being convicted of a crime. In that regard, the Constitution makes it clear that enslaving another human being is OK as long as you've found a way to label them as being a bad person.

To that end, corporations now earn millions of dollars from prison labor. The participants in this labor pool are not given a choice, they are forced into corporate servitude. Given that black and brown people are more likely to be searched, arrested and incarcerated, we have a prison system that is filled with black men. Justice requires money, and public defenders are only wired to offer plea deals. So many of the men and women in prison are either innocent of the crimes for which they've been convicted or are less guilty than others who were able to walk free.

 

Click to read.

 

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

73 Year Old Black Woman in Amazing Physical Shape

Check out this 73-year old woman - it will amaze you. ;

Elaine Brown discusses GA Prison Strike

Prisoners are on strike in GA - Elaine Brown speaks on it. ;

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gunman Opens Fire at a School Board Meeting

After finding out that his wife had been fired, this man decided to take the law into his own hands. ;

HS Basketball Player Attacks Ref for Calling Foul

Watch this high school basketball player fight the referee after he called a foul on him. ;

HBCUs Go Up for Accreditation Again: Fisk and Tenn State Have Trouble

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Ten Historically Black Colleges in the south had their accreditation renewed last week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Two HBCUs, Fisk University and Tennessee State, were placed on "warning" status, with their accreditation pending their commitment to resolving some issues brought up by the evaluation committee. The warning status is one step away from probation, which can lead to the loss of accreditation.


The universities approved for accreditation included Alabama State, Bethune Cookman, Grambling, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View, South Carolina State, Southern University-Baton Rouge, Xavier of New Orleans, Virginia Union and Winston Salem State University in North Carolina.


Universities must seek out accreditation once every 10 years. There are over 80 different standards that campuses must meet to be reaffirmed. Accreditation is important for every university, with some HBCUs struggling to make the mark. The struggle can be linked directly to a lack of resources, leading to many HBCUs hiring professors from other countries to fulfill research requirements. In fact, in business and the sciences, many HBCUs don't have more than one or two African American professors, which seems to defeat the purpose of attending an HBCU in the first place.

 

Click to read.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Prison Inmates in Georgia Begin Massive Protest

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Inmates at six major prisons in the state of Georgia have begun a strong peaceful protest against inhumane conditions in the facilities in which they live. The protest is unique because it represents a coalition of black, brown and white inmates, jumping the line of racial segregation so prominent in prisons across America.
While the wardens at the prisons are not speaking to the public, the public is certainly speaking to the system. Across the nation, supporters of the movement are making calls to various officials to request that they help with the problem (you can see who to call by clicking here).
Thousands of inmates stayed in their cells Thursday, leading to strong and swift retaliation by the prison guards. According to those familiar with recent events, inmates have been beaten and had their personal items destroyed. Inmates also say that the authorities have cut off their hot water and shut off the heat when outside temperatures were in their 30s.

 

Click to read.

 

 

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Auburn’s Cam Newton Wins Heisman In the Middle of Controversy

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton became the 76th winner of the Heisman Trophy, considered to be the most prestigious award in all of college football. Newton won the award this week, making him the third player in Auburn University history to win the trophy. His stellar play on the field led to Auburn having a 13-0 record and playing for the BCS Championship.

Quite simply, Newton is an absolute beast. He led the SEC in rushing with 1,409 yards. He was simultaneously the nation's top-rated passer with 2,589 yards passing and 28 touchdown tosses. He also scored another 21 touchdowns rushing.

Click to read.

Black News: Congressional Black Caucus Shows Disgust Toward Obama Over Tax Cuts

Congressional Black Caucus Bashes Obama on Tax Cuts

1:23 PMDec 11

Source: BV on Money

The Congressional Black Caucus has joined the chorus of Democrats currently at war with President Barack Obama. The feud was built on the recent tax cut compromise the president made with Republicans. President Obama and the Democrats were pushing to ... Read More

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why Obama May Not Even Be Allowed to Run for President in 2012

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It appears to be the case that the Democratic anger about President Barack Obama's tax deal has come to a head. Suggesting the unthinkable, there are Democratic rumblings about the possibility that someone could challenge President Obama in the primary heading into the 2012 presidential elections.
Those on the far left, from Keith Olbermann to James Carville, have gone as far as suggesting that President Obama has sold out a long list of Democratic principles. The recent tax deal with the Republicans may be the straw threatening to break the camel's back, but there has been a consistent irritation that Obama isn't strong enough, and that he hasn't fought very hard to end the war in Afghanistan. In addition, liberals have always seemed to feel that Obama comes up short on many of the issues they hold near and dear.

 

Click to read.

Respected Gynecologist Operated on Slaves with No Anesthesia

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

University of Illinois Professor Deborah McGregor has helped to shed an important piece of history to the American public. Dr. McGregor has noted that Dr. James Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, developed many of his techniques by operating on slaves, many of whom were not given anesthesia.
Professor McGregor, the author of 'From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology," said "There is no doubt that he carried out experiments on women, and that he was only able to do so because they were slaves."


Part of the controversy regarding Sims centers around a statue placed near Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street in New York City. The statue is located next to the New York Academy of Medicine, in a neighborhood that is majority Black and Puerto-Rican. EastHarlemPreservation.org put a poll on it's website that asks: "Should the NYC Parks Department remove the statue of Dr. Marion Sims from its East Harlem location considering his experiments on female and infant slaves?"

 

Click to read.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wesley Snipes Should Not Be Going to Prison

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I've been sitting on the sidelines during the tax trial of actor Wesley Snipes, primarily because I didn't quite know what was going on. I wasn't sure if Snipes was guilty or innocent, since I've seen a lot of wealthy folks who've lived as if they were above the law. Part of me wants to believe that the justice system works if you're rich, so I figured that nature would simply take its course.
I took the time to watch Wesley appear on CNN to plead his case to the public. I was honestly skeptical, since I've rarely met a man on his way to prison who didn't try to convince me that he was innocent. In fact, I've received countless letters from prison inmates, many of whom want me to believe that they didn't do it. In most cases, I choose not to judge, but I know the game quite well.

 

Click to read.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos: Star Wide Receiver for U. Iowa Arrested for Selling Dope

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is the star wide receiver for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Well, he was the star receiver until this weekend. Iowa City police just arrested Johnson-Koulianos on a long list of drug charges, including: possession of a controlled substance, keeping a drug house and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Police allegedly found cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs in his home, along with $3,000 in cash.
Johnson-Koulianos is currently in the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City, being held on $8,000 bail. His first court appearance was set to occur Wednesday morning. Clearly, the city and coaching staff are in shock over recent events.

Click to read.

Black News - Trial Begins for Derrion Albert, 16-Yr Old Honor Student Who was Killed

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The trial is about to begin for a 14-year old boy who was one of five suspects accused of beating Derrion Albert, a 16-year old honor student, to death last year. The beating occurred in September 2009 as Albert was on his way home from school. It was captured on cell phone video and seen around the world.
The teen on trial isn't being identified because he is a juvenile. But there are four other suspects awaiting trial as adults. The prosecutor portrays the young men as part of a mob who attacked Albert and eventually killed him. The video shows the men kicking and punching Albert and eventually slamming a board onto his head. He died from the injuries to his skull.
The defense attorney for the boy claims that the suspect was caught up in a fight that he didn't initiate. He did acknowledge that the boy hit Albert when he stood up, but says that his client didn't cause Albert's death.

Click to read.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Leads to Witch Hunt Murders

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Since the start of a cholera outbreak in Haiti, there are reports of witch hunts taking place to stop those accused of using "black magic" to infect other people. So far, up to 12 people have been killed by mobs, according to police.
The outbreak has led to widespread destabilization in a country that was already struggling. So far, over 1,900 Haitians have died from cholera, and another 84,000 have been infected. Rumors started to spread about the outbreak in the Grand Anse region that vodou practitioners had created a black magic powder to spread the disease. Since then, mobs with machetes have sought to kill those believed to be connected with the outbreak.

 

Click to read.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Al Sharpton: The Black Unemployment Situation– 12/7/10

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton discuss the black unemployment crisis in America.

 

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Diamond The College Student Has a lot to say about Black Men

 

This student has a lot to say about black men in America.

Black Athlete Graduation Gap is Growing in the NCAA

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in sport issued a report this week claiming that the gap in graduation rates between white and black college athletes has grown. Among the 70 teams playing in bowl games this month, graduation rate for black athletes grew slightly, from 58 percent to 60 percent. For white players, the rate went from 77 percent to 80 percent. Therefore, the gap in graduation rates between white and black players is 20 percent.
"That the gap increased rather than decreased is particularly disappointing," said Richard Lapchick, who conducted the study. "The fact that the disparity is bigger now than 2009 is cause for trying to figure out what we eed to do to narrow the gap."
Lapchick argues that much of the gap in graduation rates between white and black players can be attributed to many of them coming from underfunded inner city schools. He found that roughly one-quarter of all schools participating in bowl games graduated less than half their African American players, and that one-fifth of the schools have graduation rates for black players that are at least 30 percentage points lower than the rate for white players.

 

Click to read.

 

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Group Protests Lack of black media ownership

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The National Coalition of African American Owned Media has a serious concern about the lack of black ownership in American media. The group expressed its discontent by running a full page ad in the Washington Post today speaking to President Obama about his decision not to challenge the pending merger between NBC and Comcast.
The group is arguing that the NBC/Comcast merger should not be allowed to proceed without Comcast agreeing to allocate 10 percent of its channel capacity and 10 percent of its programming budget to African American owned networks.

According to the group's website,
two of the men behind the move are Stanley Washington, a former media executive, and Kevin Martin, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Martin has gone as far as filing a lawsuit challenging the pending merger between NBC and Comcast, and has even pushed for a Comcast boycott.

Click to read.

 

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What’s Going on with Black Unemployment? Dr. Boyce and Jesse Jackson Talk about It

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Juan Williams Insults the Poor….Again

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Fox News commentator Juan Williams made news again this week by stating that extending unemployment benefits for America's jobless would weaken their value systems. In Williams' words:
"Because employers, potential employers, will look and see that gee, they've been out forever, it doesn't make sense. And I think that's partly playing in to this cycle. And at some point then it becomes a matter of you lose your work ethic, your values are impacted, you know, getting up, showing up, dressing well, all that good stuff. So I don't know that that's smart."
I would say that Williams' comments are shocking, but they are certainly to be expected from the man who publicly sold himself to the most racist television network in the history of our country. I'm not sure why Williams felt the need to jump in on this issue in such an insensitive way, but it appears that he's working hard to earn the two million that Fox is paying him.

 

Click to read.

Burger King Commercial: Very strange Black Man

Does this commercial remind you of black women dating black men on the downlow? ;

Juan Williams Says that Extending Jobless Benefits Hurts People's Values

Fox News commentator Juan Williams says that extending jobless benefits hurts American values. ;

Friday, December 3, 2010

CBC Says Black Farmers Won’t Be Able to Get Money Because of Complicated Claims Process

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are complaining that legislation funding a settlement for discrimination against black farmers sets too high a bar for claimants.

The lawmakers argue language added by the Senate, which is meant to prevent fraud in the program, sets higher standards for proving a claim than were required for other groups trying to prove loan discrimination by the Department of Agriculture.

“There's no question. The bar is much higher,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a CBC member and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

The legislation to be sent to the president would provide $4.55 billion to settle longstanding discrimination claims with the Department of Agriculture from black and Native American farmers.

The additional steps added to the claims process include an audit by an inspector general and oversight by the attorney general's office, as well as a review by the secretary of Agriculture, who must sign off on a farmer’s claim.

Attorneys involved in cases must swear in writing that the claims are legitimate, and a special federal “adjudicator” must also take an oath that the claim is legitimate and may request additional information and documentation. At the end of the process is another round of oversight and review from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice at the top levels.

Thompson argues the additional standards are unfair, and that black farmers are being treated differently from other groups.

“Even when black people are about to receive a settlement, just because they raised the issue they are being treated differently. There should be a uniform standard for everybody,” Thompson added.

Click to read.

Black Unemployment Numbers Don’t Look Good for November

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Today's release of November unemployment data is not good news for President Obama. Unemployment rose nationally to 9.8 percent, after holding steady at 9.6 percent for the previous three months. The jobless rate jumped for nearly every racial/gender demographic. White women still have the lowest unemployment rate of both genders, when comparing African Americans and whites. Black males have the highest.

Black unemployment rose again from 15.7 percent to 16 percent. This number is slightly lower than the high of 16.3 percent experienced back in August. When scaled with the white unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, the black unemployment rate is 79.8 percent higher than that of white Americans.

 

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Black Coach Insulted Before Being Hired by Colorado

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jon Embree is a former tight end for The University of Colorado. He is currently an assistant coach for the Washington Redskins. The rumor mill has it that Embree may soon take the next step of becoming head coach at his alma mater.
Typically, such a bold move by a university to give an African American coach a chance might be applauded. In this case, heads are turning because of confusing remarks made by former Colorado coach Bill McCartney.
McCartney, who was one of three finalists for the job as of Wednesday night, shut down speculation by stating that the university had informally offered the job to Embree. He also went as far as stating that Embree was offered the job because he is African American.
"It was never about me doing it again," McCartney told the Denver Post. "It was about setting the table for a black man to come in (as head coach). And he (athletic director Mike Bohn) hired one. Now, give him a chance."

 

Click to read.

Tynielle Silvera: Killed by Drunk Driver – The High Cost of Alcohol in America

tynielle

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Tynielle Silvera was the kind of person we all want our children to be. She was making good grades, on her way to college and even tutoring other kids in the neighborhood. She was planning on becoming an attorney, and had become her mother's pride and joy.
Silvera's dreams for the future came to a screeching halt this week, as she was run down by a drunk driver as she was crossing the street.
The perpetrator of the crime, Kenneth Serwan, is a 46-year old married father of three who'd been convicted of drunk driving in the past. He is being held on $100,000 bail. At the time of her death, Tynielle was crossing the highway to take the train back home after heading to Bedford-Stuyvesant, where she'd been tutoring 13-year old Leanora Genus.

 

Click to read.