Sunday, January 30, 2011

President Obama is First President Since Truman to Not Mention the Poor in the State of the Union Address

by Charles M. Blow, New York Times

President Obama made history on Tuesday.

It was only the second time since Harry S. Truman’s State of the Union address in 1948 that such a speech by a Democratic president did not include a single mention of poverty or the plight of the poor.

The closest Obama got to a mention was his confirmation for “Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear” that, indeed, “the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real.” I’m sure they appreciated that.

The only other Democrat not to mention poverty in the speech was Jimmy Carter in 1980, but even he was able to squeeze in one reference to at least a portion of the poor and disenfranchised, stressing the continuation of jobs programs to “provide training and work for our young people, especially minority youth.” (Carter did mention the poor in a written version that he submitted to Congress.)

Click to read.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr. Boyce: TNT, Tracy Morgan and Embarrassing Black Men

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Turner Network Television took the interesting step of apologizing for lewd remarks on the network made by comedian/actor Tracy Morgan.  During an interesting back and forth with Charles Barkley in which they were debating the “hotness” of Sarah Palin, Morgan said the following:

"Now let me tell you something about Sarah Palin man, she's good masturbation material. The glasses and all that? Great masturbation material."

Of course my own jaw dropped when I heard what Morgan said, and you could see the white guy on the scene, Ernie Johnson, rushing to get Morgan off-camera.  Everyone was clearly nervous after Morgan’s remarks, for good reason.  A lot of jobs were on the line as the words leaked out of his mouth.

Click to read.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kelly Williams-Bolar Case on AC360: Boyce Watkins, Soledad O’Brien Analyze

Click to watch Dr. Watkins on AC360 discussing the case of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the black mother sent to jail for sending her kids to the wrong school district.  The case continues to move on.  To read more about the case against Kelley Williams-Bolar, please click here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

National Media Gets Involved in the Kelley Williams-Bolar Case

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most of us at Black Voices are familiar with the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother of two who was sent to jail for sending her children to the "wrong" school district. Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in jail, three years probation and community service for using her father's address in order to avoid sending her kids to the school she considered to be dangerous and inadequate. At AOL Black Voices, we were one of the first to hit the issue nationally, and fortunately, other media outlets are starting to take notice.

In addition to being sent to jail, Williams-Bolar and her father are being charged with fourth degree grand theft of school services. As a consequence of her conviction, Williams-Bolar can never use the teaching degree that she is working on right now. The judge also made it clear that she was sending Williams-Bolar to jail as an example to be shared with any other parents thinking about doing the same thing.
The case sparked a firestorm of national controversy and conversation about educational inequality and the notion that a mother had to break the law in order to give her daughters access to a quality education. Millions of parents around the nation expressed support for Williams-Bolar, for they too could recall their own parents making the same sacrifices for them. There have been Facebook groups created to support Williams-Bolar and has created a petition on her behalf to have her record expunged. The petition drew nearly 20,000 signatures over a three day period, and is growing by the second.

Click to read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What to think of Obama’s State of the Union Address? Dr. Wilmer Leon Analyzes

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon

President Barack Obama was under pressure to satisfy many different constituencies in his second State of the Union address last night. Some liberals wanted the president to support government-matching 401(k) contributions in order to promote saving; others wanted him to address gay-rights legislation; still others urged a ban on large gun clips, or deep cuts in the defense budget.

Instead the president chose to set a tone rather than an agenda. Other presidents have been able to unveil sweeping policy initiatives in the annual address. But President Obama is faced with an ideologically driven opposition that has made clear its intention to oppose him at every turn. At the same time, the president is also facing a historic shift in technological and global economic realities that is remaking the world as we have come to know it.

Click to read.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Terry Harrington: Former High School Standout Does 25 Years for a Crime He Didn’t Commit

Click to watch the video about the case of Terry Harrington, a former highschool football standout who served 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.



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Joan Rivers Refers to Michelle Obama as “Blackie O”

Click here to listen

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dr Boyce Watkins Spotlight: Black Scholars in Computer Science

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

While many of us know who the leading black basketball and football players happen to be, we are rarely exposed to the leading Computer Scientists, Mathematicians and Physicists. Most importantly, most of us don't know that there is an entire organization of African American male PhDs called "Brothers of the Academy" who do scholarly work in a multitude of important fields. The media would be quick to feature these men if they were committing crimes, busting rhymes or dunking basketballs, but black males should be more readily celebrated when we are hitting the books, working our butts off and establishing sustainable institutions within the black community.
Ladies and gentleman, meet Professor Juan Gilbert. I've observed Juan as President of Brothers of the Academy for the past several years, and I can say with complete certainty that he is one of the most focused, dedicated, reliable and capable leaders in black America today. Juan not only runs BOTA, but he has also raised millions to fund his own computer science lab at Clemson University and at even before the age of 40, has served as the "academic father" for a large number of black Computer Science PhDs. It is for that reason that Professor Juan Gilbert is today's Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight on AOL Black Voices:

Click to read.

Update: Rahm Emanuel Taken Off the Ballot for Chicago Mayor

News update

A state appeals court has ruled that President Obama's former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, cannot run for mayor in the city of Chicago because he was not a resident of the city for a full year before running. The decision is shocking and significantly changes the mayor's race, where Emanuel had more than a 2-to-1 advantage over his closest competitor, Carol Moseley Braun.
Emanuel's exit from the race will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, but until then, there are a lot of questions to be answered. According to a recent poll, over 54 percent of Chicago's white residents supported Emanuel, with only 7 percent supporting Braun. Another candidate, Gery Chico, had 25 percent of the support from likely white voters.

Another question in the election will be how Obama and Clinton administration officials will respond to Emanuel's exit. Former President Bill Clinton engaged in an act that some considered to be a betrayal of the black community of Chicago by coming to town to campaign for Emanuel. President Obama has not openly endorsed Emanuel but has stated that he would be an excellent mayor.
It turns out that the drama of the Chicago mayoral race won't ever come to an end. Last month, there was an agreement for Danny Davis to drop out of the race so that Chicago's black community could rally their support behind a consensus black candidate. Mosley Braun, by proving that she could pull together the funding necessary for a serious run, took the lead as the only black candidate.

At this point, it seems abundantly clear that Emanuel was not a resident of Chicago. He rented a house in the city, but lived in Washington DC during the time he spent working for President Obama. The Supreme Court doesn't have to hear his case, but some are hoping that they will make a political decision that reflects the favor that Emanuel has from the current Chicago Mayor, Richard Daley (whose son has taken over Emanuel's position in Washington) and President Obama. But the truth is the truth and we can't let politics override that which is legally and ethically correct. But then again, we are talking about Chicago politics, where the rules are bent all the time.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action Resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Dr. Boyce: Mike Tomlin’s Big Win is a Huge Win for Diversity in the NFL

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Anyone watching with pride as the Pittsburgh Steelers fought their way to yet another Super Bowl likely heard a few interesting facts about their general on the field, Mike Tomlin. Tomlin, at the age of 38, is the youngest head coach to ever lead two teams to the Super Bowl. Before that, he was the youngest head coach to win a Superbowl. He does this while sitting at the helm of a storied franchise that has more Super Bowl wins than any team in NFL history. In other words, the man is a serious beast.
Tomlin's feats are not just impressive for a black coach, they stand above nearly any coach in NFL history. It is equally ironic that he is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose owner was responsible for opening the door for black coaches to get a chance in the league. Steelers owner Dan Rooney helped to create the Rooney rule, requiring NFL teams to interview African Americans for head coaching and senior administrative positions.


Click to read.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kelly Williams-Bolar: Should This Mother Be Sent to Jail for Sending Kids to Wrong School District?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

An Ohio mother of two was sentenced to 10 days in jail and placed on three years probation after sending her kids to a school district in which they did not live.  Kelly Williams-Bolar was sentenced by Judge Patricia Cosgrove on Tuesday and will begin serving her sentence immediately.

The jury deliberated for seven hours and the courtroom was packed as the sentence was handed down.  She was convicted on two counts of tampering with court records after registering her two girls as living with their father when they actually lived with her.  The family lived in the housing projects in Akron, Ohio, and the father’s address was in nearby Copley Township.

Additionally, Williams-Bolar’s father, Edward L. Williams, was charged with a fourth-degree felony of grand theft, in which he and his daughter are charged with defrauding the school system for two years of educational services for their girls.  The court determined that sending their children to the wrong school was worth $30,500 in tuition. 


Click to read.

Mother Accused of Kidnapping Newborn 23 Years Ago Turns Herself in to Authorities

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The search is over for the woman who allegedly raised a child for 23 years after she was kidnapped as an infant. Ann Pettway turned herself in to authorities in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is due to appear in court in New York to face kidnapping charges.
Pettway is being accused in the kidnapping of Carlina White (pictured above) when she was only 19 days old. White found her birth mother after finding out that she was listed on a missing persons website. She also found it suspicious that her "mother" could not produce a copy of her birth certificate.
White was taken from a hospital in Harlem as a newborn after her real mother took her to the doctor for a fever. After being kidnapped, she was raised as Nejdra Nance in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
White was excited about reuniting with her family back in New York.
"I'm so happy," she said. "At the same time, it's a funny feeling because everything's brand new. It's like being born again."


Click to read.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dr. Boyce Watkins Spotlight: Fathers Have Rights To Their Children Too

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the most difficult, stunning and defining experiences of my entire life was when I went through the child support system. My daughter was born when I was an 18-year old freshman in college, and although I didn't want her mother to leave me for another man, I still knew that I had a responsibility when it came to taking care of my kids. So, I did what I was supposed to do, signed the papers where necessary and paid tens of thousands of dollars in child support over the next 18 years, even when it emptied out my bank account.

What surprised the heck out of me was that while the courts were always quick to threaten me with jail time if I'd chosen not to pay my child support, they showed almost no concern regarding whether or not I had the right to see my daughter. There was also no accountability regarding where my money was going and if those funds were being used to manage the needs of my child. I found myself increasingly frustrated by both my experience and also the broader perception of all black male non-custodial parents as dead beat dads. The truth is that while there are far too many dead beats, there are also fathers who've been victimized by parental alienation or an overzealous mother who feels that she can dictate every dimension of the father/child relationship. The mere implication that black males love their children any less than other people is a clear and stereotypical insult to our humanity.

Click to read.

Can MSNBC Even Consider a Black Replacement for Keith Olbermann?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Apparently, eight years has been enough for both MSNBC and Keith Olbermann. The network announced Friday that this is the end of Olbermann's tenure with the network and that he is moving on immediately:
"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract," according to a statement issued by the network. "The last broadcast of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."
Olbermann addressed his departure from the network on air, starting off with a story about his time with ESPN many years ago:


Click to read.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Senator Feels that Being Black Means Obama Must be Pro-Life



by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is a principled and ambitious man.  His career took off during the 1990s with a far Right Wing platform and his constituents seemed to love him.  In spite of his staunchly conservative disposition, Santorum seemed like the kind of guy who could one day (unsuccessfully) tap at the door of the White House, assuming that he didn’t make any major mistakes.   But then again, we all know what they say about assumptions.

In a recent interview with CNS News, Santorum made the latest of a series of serious political errors by invoking race into the debate over abortion.  In reference to President Barack Obama, Santorum said the following: “The question is, and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the constitution?  And Barack Obama says no. Well if that human life is not a person then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”

So, it appears that Santorum thinks that because Barack Obama is black, he should automatically be pro-life.  I’ve seen this sort of argument on billboards and in private conversations, when pro-lifers drum up conspiracy theories about how Planned Parenthood is strategically located to abort as many black babies as possible.  In his version of the racialized abortion argument, Santorum seems to be implying that because blacks were once considered to be three-fifths of a human being, we should be concerned about an undeveloped fetus not having rights to citizenship.  

To be clear, I am not a fan of abortion, and I also do not buy into the “It’s my body so I can abort when it’s convenient” argument frequently used by some pro-choice Americans.  I find it ironic that killing a newborn baby is considered to be a heinous crime, but aborting one fetus after another barely gets a second thought.  At the same time, pounding us over the head with the bible and using Jedi mind tricks to get black people to support their cause makes some in the pro-life camp look silly.  Those of us in the middle of the two extremes on abortion find ourselves both confused and manipulated on a regular basis.


Click to read.

Frederick Jermaine Carter and the Questionable Suicide


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 


The black community in Greenwood, Mississippi is on edge and angry after the death of Frederick Jermaine Carter. Carter, who was 26 years old, was found hanging from a tree in what authorities have labeled to be a suicide. But the community isn't buying the police's story and claim that he was actually murdered.
The Final Call is reporting on the death of Carter, and even Michael Pimbleton Jr., the mayor of Sunflower, Mississippi has said that there was more going on than meets the eye.
"This is 2010 and we still have Black people hanging from trees? They're saying he hung himself but I have doubt in my mind that he actually did that. That wasn't his character. This wasn't a suicide, this was a homicide," Mayor Pembleton said to The Final Call.
Carter was found on December 3, with his body hanging from an oak tree in North Greenwood, which is a predominantly white section of Leflore County. He actually lived in nearby Sunflower County, and North Greenwood is known as an area that black people are sometimes afraid to visit. Carter was with his stepfather, who said that he wandered off from an area in which they were both working.


Click to read.


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Michael Steele Says Republicans “Need a Few More Brothers”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has continued to be outspoken in the name of the Republican Party. On a recent appearance on MSNBC, Steele went out of his way to note that he feels that he's helped to increase diversity within the ranks of the Republicans.
"What I tried to do [as chairman] was to broaden the landscape over which we could play, go into neighborhoods where we needed to be in, but hadn't been in generations, and I think it made a difference," he said. "I'm very happy with what we got done."
Matthews noted that he rarely sees African Americans gathering together at Republican conventions, and Steele responded by saying, "We could have used a few more brothers in the house, there's no doubt about that."
Steele was not reelected as the chairman of the RNC this week, being replaced by Reince Priebus after seven rounds of balloting. Steele believes that his fellow Republicans will work with President Obama if he leaves the door open to do so. "I really believe they will run with him on certain issues," Steele said.

Click to read.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Republicans Vote to Repeal Obama’s Health Care Law

Dr. Laura Won’t Stop Talking about the N-word- She Needs a Reality Check


Diagnosing Dr. Laura: Host has 'silver spoon' sickness

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is at it again. Appearing on The Today Show this morning to promote a book about revenge, she dug up her infamous n-word controversy from last August. For those of your who don't remember, Dr. Laura repeatedly hurled the n-word several times at a black caller who was clearly offended by what she was saying. She then told Today Show host Matt Lauer that the controversy was a "blessing", because she is now on Sirius/XM, where she can use the word all day long and not be sanctioned for it. Good for her.

Adding further insult to injury, Dr. Laura seized an opportunity in a later segment to irrationally compare herself to the comedian Bill Cosby. She claims an unnamed "they" (presumably progressive African-Americans) "Uncle Tom'ed" Cosby because he spoke out in favor of traditional values.

I watched the interviews on The Today Show and again listened to her n-word rant on the radio to get a take on Dr. Laura and her concept of a double standard. During the rant, Dr. Laura seemed angry about the fact that black people can use the word and she cannot. She also comes off as a self-righteous, incredibly arrogant demagogue who believes she possesses a degree of moral authority that trumps everyone else. Maybe that's why her network likes her, but I certainly do not.


Click to read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shocking: Martin Luther King Facebook Page Vandalized by Racists

mlk page

These images were taken off the Facebook page.  Most

of them were put up on King day.   It appears that America has a long way to go when it comes to race.  Also, someone should be moderating the page to ensure that images like these can’t be posted.





Sunday, January 16, 2011

Boyce Watkins - MLK’s Adultery: Does It Change His Legacy?


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Every year on the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there are some people who raise questions about Dr. King's sex life. They openly ask if the legendary pastor and civil rights leader ever deceived his wife, and some have even gone as far as referring to him as a "sexual degenerate". Conversations about King's alleged adultery tend to be built on three interesting and ultimately incorrect, assumptions: 1) That Dr. King's legacy is somehow impacted by his infidelity, 2) that he is less likely than other men to cheat on his wife, and 3) that it is somehow sacrilegious to discuss his flaws in public.

First and foremost, the idea that King's memory as a great American patriot is tarnished by his infidelity is both illogical and problematic. A great man is not defined by his weaknesses, but by his strengths. Regardless of what Dr. King may have done during the course of his marriage, those actions are almost completely disconnected from the manner through which he inspired billions with his courage and led people of color to the life we share today. It is our fault, not his, that Dr. King has been placed on a pedestal so high that we've forgotten that he was human.

Nearly every single week, I am asked to comment on the financial implications of a celebrity divorce. In nearly every single case, adultery is cited as one of the reasons for the break-up. Dr. and Mrs. King were, in many ways, just another celebrity couple. With Dr. King hitting the road most days out of the year, he sacrificed time to the world that he much rather would have spent with his wife (I've always felt that neither Dr. King, nor Malcolm X, should have ever gotten married, since it put their wives and children in danger). Mix this with the fact that women were likely throwing themselves at King on a regular basis, and you've got the recipe for scandal.


click to read.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Is College Always a Good Investment?


Click here to listen to Dr. Boyce Watkins discuss whether or not college is a good investment during a recession.

One out of 10 Girls Pregnant at the same School in Memphis

90 Girls Pregnant at Memphis Middle/High School

from AOL Black Voices

What in the world is going on at Frayser Middle/High School in Memphis, Tenn.? More girls are carrying babies than backpacks!
There are a reported 90 teen girls who are pregnant now or who have had a baby this school year. Eleven percent of the school's female population is already in the throes of parenthood.
Now an all-out campaign is being launched to deter teen pregnancy at the school.

Teen pregnancy is a big problem in Memphis and Shelby County, where the population is predominantly black and poor.
Sixteen-year-old Terrika Sutton (pictured above) is one of the Frayser students who became pregnant. Sutton, who has a 2-month old daughter, says she was in her fifth month when she found out she was expecting a child. The teen Mom surprised her parents and classmates alike when she broke the news to them about her situation:

Click to read.

Wilmer Leon: The Role of Hate-Filled Diatribe

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

While conducting a town hall meeting in Tucson, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head Saturday.  She struggles for her life in an Arizona hospital.  Giffords was among 13 people wounded in the melee that killed six, including Arizona's chief federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and an aide for the Democratic lawmaker. The country prays for the recovery of the individuals who were wounded and morns the loss of those who have died.

It has been reported that the attack was carried out by 22 year old Jared Loughner.  His motivations are unclear at this time.  Officials are looking at his MySpace page, YouTube videos, and other web postings looking for a motive.  Some postings indicate Loughner is a very troubled individual.  He posted the following on YouTube, "I know who's listening: Government Officials, and the People…Nearly all the people, who don't know this accurate information of a new currency, aren't aware of mind control and brainwash methods ..."


Click to read.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Delta Sigma Theta Has Big Money on Founders Day

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

I never joined a fraternity during college. My sister and brother pledged, but I was too broke to afford the expense of joining any organization other than the "Broke Negroes of America" club. Also, I was concerned that spending six weeks being mistreated, awakened in the middle of the night and yelled at would cause two unfortunate outcomes: 1) My GPA would drop, and 2) I'd end up going to jail for issuing a couple of beat downs.

But even though I chose not to pledge during college, I gained a degree of respect for many of those who decided to do so. Quite a few members of the African American community are proud of the black greek tradition and find it to be one of the cornerstones of cultural, economic and political power within our society. While the college students get a bad rap for using their greek identity as an excuse to wear matching clothes and have more parties, there are more mature members who see their involvement as an avenue for political and social engagement.
Black America is in consistent need of organizations designed to pursue our collective purpose. Our community lacks the economic and political infrastructure necessary to lift us from the bottom of America's racial caste system. Delta Sigma Theta is part of that tradition, as are other African American sororities and fraternities.

click to read.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dr. Boyce on NPR: What Obama Needs to do For Black People

Dr. Boyce Watkins is on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" discussing President Obama and what he needs to do for the African American community in the year 2011. ;

Monday, January 10, 2011

Three Things President Obama Can Do for Black People

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was shaking my head over and over again in preparation for a conversation we are going to have on NPR tomorrow about President Obama. The show is called "Talk of the Nation," and I had the esteemed honor of being the resident black guy, as the other two guests are set to discuss various elements of foreign and domestic policy. I'm just joking about the "black guy" thing, since I'm just happy they didn't choose someone like Juan Williams.

At any rate, my brain started spinning on how President Obama can best use the remainder of his first term as it pertains to people of color. I thought carefully about what he's done, what he's doing, what he's up against and what matters to us. In my course of thought, I came to a few conclusions.


click to read.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Scott Sisters Case Was Nice, but Broader Reform is Necessary

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I spent some time this week with NAACP officials analyzing the Georgia Prison Strike that occurred last month.  The fallout has been unbelievable, as some of the inmates were reportedly beaten with hammers for choosing to participate in the work stoppage.  One of the inmates allegedly has brain damage and is in a wheelchair as a result of the beatings.  Perhaps that’s what happens when you simply ask for basic human rights, which we’ve denied prison inmates for far too long.

Seeing what happened to these brothers and sisters after this incident was a cold, stern reminder that there is an infinite amount of work that needs to be done to clean up our criminal justice system.  Most of us think that prison has nothing to do with us, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  One out of every three black boys born this decade is expected to spend time in state prison, federal prison or local jails.  Also, the United States puts more people in prison than any country in the world, and most of us are only God’s grace or one bad situation away from ending up in the big house.  Additionally, there are millions of black folks who’ve seen their fathers, brothers, sisters or cousins negatively impacted and traumatized by this system, even when they were innocent.  The experience of prison is bad enough and only made worse by not being able to get a job for life, losing the right to vote, and not having access to housing or education.

Click to read.

Republican Congresswoman in Racy Lesbian Photos

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack has been caught on camera in a lurid scandal where another woman is apparently licking her breast. – this is why you don’t need to let random people take your picture when you’re drunk.  But hey, you’re drunk, so why would you care?

The Shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Appears to be Linked to Racism



Short note from Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says anger, hatred and bigotry are getting out of hand in this country.  If you read between the lines, you can see that the sheriff is trying to say that racism may have been part of the reason that Giffords was shot.  Perhaps the Republicans will reconsider their rhetoric, since lives are being put in danger by their consistent commitment to capitalizing off the racial hatred of our country.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kenyatta Kendrick: Six-Year Old Girl Murdered in a Drive-By Shooting While Sleeping



by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Kenyatta Kendrick was just 6-years old and sleeping in her bed when she died. She was the victim of a drive-by shooting. Two teenagers and a 25-year old were charged and may face the death penalty for their offenses.

The three young men being charged are 18-year-old Aaron McDowell, 17-year-old Bernard Nix, and 25-year-old Stalandus Slaughter. The incident occurred in Eclectic County, just 30 miles from Montgomery. Kenyatta was a first grader at Eclectic Elementary School.

"She was asleep in her bed when she was struck by a bullet in her side," Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin told the Associated Press. "Any homicide is bad, but you're dealing with a 6-year-old here."


Click to read.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top ten for 2010: America’s Most Intriguing Black Americans


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

No, my list is not official, but I had to lay it out there. Also, it's not in any kind of numerical order, except for the guy who stands at #1. For my friends who are not on the list, I apologize, and I admit that the list is biased. Finally, I am sure most of us can agree that, even if we don't admire some of the people on this list, there's no denying that all of them made a significant impact on black America during the year 2010. So, as we move into the "one-one," let's pay a quick tribute to those who kept our heads turning during the year 2010.

1) Barack Obama: Hail to the Chief. President Obama, whether you love him or hate him, has positioned himself as one of the most significant Americans in the history of our nation. This is going to be an interesting year for Obama, as the economy will likely rebound, improving his chances at reelection. At the same time, the growth in Republican power can be a thorn in his side. Obama must be given credit for the fact that he has remained cool under pressure, and has become as much of a social icon as a leading political figure.


Click to read.