Sunday, November 29, 2009
Nearly every African American knows just how important the black church is to our community. We also know about "prosperity gospel," the act of preaching about God within the context of wealth building. I admit that this form of faith is a bit odd to me. I am a Finance Professor and I become confused when my pastor talks about money more than I do. The saddest truth is that it's hard to tell the difference between a pastor and a pimp: Most pastors aren't pimps, but any pimp could be a pastor. The same skill set is required in both professions.
My father is a preacher, but he almost never preaches about money. I've never heard him asking for money on the pulpit, or mentioning that giving money to him is one of the keys to gaining access to heaven. But I don't presume that my father is right about all things, and given that I write about money on a regular basis, I have gained an appreciation for what financial resources can do to enhance your life. Also, one must be aware of the pragmatic realities of running a church: You have the building fund, bills to pay every month and any community service initiatives that the church chooses to pursue. The proper use of money can certainly enhance your ability to do God's work.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III
On the evening of Tuesday, November 24 a young couple from Virginia made their way into one of the most secure events in the country, President Obama’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Monmohan Singh and his wife at the White House. Like the other 300 plus invited guests, Tareq and Michaele Salahi went through multiple layers of Secret Service security, took photos with Chief of Staff Rom Emanuel and mingled with Vice President Biden and other invited guests. The problem is that the Salahi’s were not invited to the dinner. Their names were not listed on the official guest list or any other list that would have allowed them entrance into the White House. They crashed the party!
All that this couple needed to gain entrance into a state dinner at the White House was a tuxedo, traditional Indian evening wear, attitude, and white skin. When they arrived at the Secret Service check point without a printed invitation and without their names on the official guest list, they were not detained or questioned. No telephone calls were made; no further inquiries were needed; just white skin, blond hair, the expectation of admittance, and a pretty smile. Had this occurred at an airport the Salahi’s would have never made it past airport security.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
President Obama's approval among white Americans has fallen to 39 percent since taking office in January, Gallup Daily poll results indicated.
Overall, Obama's approval rating slipped below 50 percent for the first time in his presidency, a 16 percentage point drop since the 66 percent average he enjoyed during his first full week in office, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said of its results released Tuesday.
Support among blacks for Obama averaged 93 percent during his time in office, and has been at or above 90 percent since he was sworn in, accounting for the reason Obama's support among non-white respondents didn't drop as much, Gallup said.click to read.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, Howard University
With the release of her new book Going Rogue: An American Life, former Alaskan Governor and Republican party VP nominee Sarah Palin is once again being given a spotlight she does not deserve. Under normal circumstances Palin would have drifted into obscurity by now; a political has-been who never was. Instead, a sub-par politician with no substantial constituency; no command of relevant issues, and no solutions to substantive problems, is being given air and face time as though she really matters. The simple reality that few are willing to articulate is, if she were not relatively attractive, of European ancestry and a woman, Sarah Palin would be day old bread.
Former Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) did not select Palin as his running mate because she was a “rogue”, innovator, or had demonstrated intellectual heft. McCain simply pandered to the Conservative Right, tried to siphon off some of the disgruntled Senator Clinton supporters, and gave America more of the same ole’ politics. From that point until now, Sarah Palin has continually tried to reinvent herself, but continues to give Americans more of the same; “all sizzle and no steak”.
Early on the campaign trail, presidential candidate Barack Obama said, "This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented." Socially, President Obama is beginning to move in such a positive transformative direction.
After 12 years of languishing in Congress, on Wednesday, October 28, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard / James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill. By signing this bill, the president expands the federal definition of hate crimes to include those motivated by gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. It also allows federal authorities to pursue hate-crimes cases when local authorities are either unable or unwilling to do so. This law was named after Matthew Shepard, a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998, and James Byrd, the African-American man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Texas that same year.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Gov. Haley Barbour’s plan to merge Mississippi’s three historically black universities has created a tense atmosphere in a state saddled with a violent civil rights past and a decades-long legal battle over the historic underfunding of those schools.
At Jackson State University, students have turned to Twitter and Facebook to gather signatures on a petition to block the move proposed by the Republican governor. A half-dozen students attended a state College Board meeting Thursday expecting some discussion about the proposal, but there was none.
“I personally believe they undermined the uniqueness of the black colleges and how far we’ve come with the little resources we have,” said Marissa Simms, a 20-year-old JSU student.
Many of the nation’s public historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, were founded more than a century ago. Mississippi’s own Alcorn State University in Lorman was the country’s first land-grant black college.
The state’s other historically black campus is Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena.
Nationwide, there are 40 four-year public HBCUs, and dozens more two-year colleges and private institutions. White House officials and representatives of national organizations say the colleges play a vital role in an initiative by the Democratic Obama administration.
- Members of the Ku Klux Klan protest on the steps of Fulton Chapel at the University of Mississippi (AP Photo/The Clarion-Ledger, Ryan Moore)
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- About a dozen hooded Ku Klux Klan members rallied briefly at the University of Mississippi before Saturday's football game with No. 10 LSU.
The members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan spent about 10 minutes waving flags, displaying Nazi-style salutes and occasionally gesturing at a group of about 250 hecklers that included young children. They were protesting the school's decision to drop a pep song that included "Dixie."
WASHINGTON – A bruising debate on health care awaits the Senate after Thanksgiving now that the historic legislation has cleared a key hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama.
The bill would extend coverage to roughly 31 million who lack it, crack down on insurance company practices that deny or dilute benefits and curtail the growth of spending on medical care nationally.
In the final minutes of a daylong session, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Republicans of trying to stifle a historic debate the nation needed.
The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the vote was anything but procedural — casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a “massive and unsustainable debt.”Click to read.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
"I didn't break the line, she actually broke in front of us. We also found out that I was shoved first and that I didn't yell or curse. I was speaking in a loud tone as I do always. And i still think that it's important that my story got out and that people understood the truth and heard it. If I would have signed a plea bargain or anything before, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to let the world know now and let the jurors know what actually happened."
Friday, November 20, 2009
I love speaking with Rev. Jesse Jackson. He walks and talks like a man who has seen and heard nearly everything. Our civil rights leaders are social hubs through which many members of our society must travel in order to reach their destinations. You can’t call yourself a black man and not know the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Rev. Jackson took things a step further by stating recently at a Congressional Black Caucus function that,”You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.”
This comment was aimed at Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, the only member of theCongressional Black Caucus who does not support health care reform. What is most interesting about Jackson’s comment is that he is right, but not quite. You can certainly argue that Davis’ lack of support for the plan implies that his interests are not in line with the majority of African Americans in this country: Most of them love Barack Obama and are willing to support anything that he supports. The other sad truth is that health care reform is so complicated that most Americans don’t have a clue about what’s going on. In that regard, we can argue that it is difficult for Davis to say that he represents the black community when he votes in a direction that is not correlated with the majority of African Americans in the state of Alabama.
KENNETT, Mo. (AP) -- Closing arguments ended Friday and a jury took up the case of a black school teacher charged with assaulting white police officers, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace at a Southeast Missouri store.
A jury of 10 white women, one black woman and one black man began deliberating Heather Ellis' case late Friday. One of the last to testify in the three-day trial, Ellis maintained Friday that white police officers had attacked and abused her.
Prosecutors said Ellis, a Louisiana school teacher, cut in line at the Kennett Walmart in January 2007, then became belligerent and attacked officers called in to quell the scuffle. The 24-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted of the felony charges against her.
The racial overtones of the case have drawn national interest. Prosecutor Morley Swingle said Friday the defense was trying to portray Kennett as "some racist Hooterville."
The customer who accused Ellis of pushing in line, the assistant store manager and arresting officers are all white.
Police said Ellis used obscene language and kicked and bit officers as they led her out of the store.
In nearly two hours of testimony, Ellis denied cursing or attacking anyone. Instead, she said, it was police who assaulted her in the parking lot after she was led outside.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Lazette Cherry, Jamar Jr.'s mother, said she wanted to get help for her son when he confessed to what he'd done with his sister. She claims, however, that there was no rape. She says that her son admitted that he knew that lying down on top of the little girl was wrong.
"He got on his knees and begged, 'No, Daddy! No!' and he pulled the trigger," she said. "There wasn't nothing that my son wouldn't do for his father. He loved his father so much."
Dr George and Delores Jones, a correspondent for AOL speak about dealing with depression and change through inspiration and spirituality.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- Supporters of Heather Ellis gather on the Dunklin County Courthouse steps on Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, in Kennett, Mo. (AP Photo/Daily Dunklin Democrat, Deanna Coronado)
- by Brenda L. Jones – MSNBC’s TheGrio.com
When hundreds of people rallied outside a Wal-Mart in Kennett, Missouri Monday, they did so to protest the treatment by police and local prosecutors of Heather Ellis, the now infamous 24-year-old African-American college student who three years ago made a routine trip to that very same Wal-Mart to run some errands and ended up leaving in handcuffs after being accused of cutting a checkout line.
Led by civil rights activist Dr. Boyce Watkins and a coalition of civil rights organizations including the ACLU, the protesters marched to the Dunklin County Courthouse where, beginning today, Ellis, a Kennett native whose father still serves the Church in God in Christ congregation in town, will find herself fighting for her freedom after being charged with multiple felonies that could land her up to 15 years in prison. They were there to decry what Ellis has said was the abhorrent treatment she received from both her fellow shoppers and police. In a complaint she filed with the NAACP, Ellis says she was pushed by a white customer, hassled by store employees and called racial slurs by police who physically mistreated her. The police were called to the scene after Ellis and her cousin got into two separate checkout lines, and after Ellis joined her cousin when one line started moving faster than the other.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The health care reform bill (HR 3962) that just passed the House of Representatives is bad on so many levels it is difficult explain. As it stands, it will destroy both the doctor patient relationship and change the practice of medicine as we know it.
We have one of the finest health care systems in the world. It has been built on a foundation of choice. Doctors were free to choose the care that they deemed necessary to treat their patients, and patients were free to seek the medical care of their choice. Initially, the foundation was shaken by the rise of the managed care system with capitation. However, over the past 10 years, capitated plans which limit access to specialists have given way to the rise in power of insurance companies. They have used their anti-trust exemption to craft a system that has used monopoly to increase profits on the backs of both doctors and patients.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A history lesson that asked black elementary students to act like slaves has sparked protests from parents and teachers at a North Carolina school Wednesday.
During a field trip to Latta Plantation, three students from Rea View Elementary in Waxhaw were chosen by tour guide Ian Campbell to wear bags and mimic picking cotton while their white classmates looked on, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, reported Friday.
Many of the teachers and parents from the elementary school said they plan on writing the leaders of the plantation regarding the racially insensitive history lesson.
A prominent Columbia architecture professor punched a female university employee in the face at a Harlem bar during a heated argument about race relations, cops said yesterday.
Police busted Lionel McIntyre, 59, for assault yesterday after his bruised victim, Camille Davis, filed charges.
McIntyre and Davis, who works as a production manager in the school's theater department, are both regulars at Toast, a popular university bar on Broadway and 125th Street, sources said.
The professor, who is black, had been engaged in a fiery discussion about "white privilege" with Davis, who is white, and another male regular, who is also white, Friday night at 10:30 when fists started flying, patrons said.
LIONEL McINTYRE "Unfortunate event."
McIntyre, who is known as "Mac" at the bar, shoved Davis, and when the other patron and a bar employee tried to break it up, the prof slugged Davis in the face, witnesses said.
"The punch was so loud, the kitchen workers in the back heard it over all the noise," bar back Richie Velez, 28, told The Post. "I was on my way over when he punched Camille and she fell on top of me."
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Heather Ellis is shown alongside her mother, Hester Ellis, outside the Justice Center at Bloomfield last month following her pre-trial hearing in a case that has gained national attention. At right is Ellis' attorney, Timothy Hunsaker from the St. Louis firm of Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers and Glass. Also pictured (at left) is an unidentified member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
(Staff photo by Noreen Hyslop)
A motion filed in a Dunklin County courtroom brings a new twist to the case against Heather Ellis, a case that has garnered national media attention.
Ellis, an African-American woman from Kennett, is charged in connection with an incident at the Kennett Walmart in 2007 during which she was arrested and charged with two counts of the Class C felony assault on a law enforcement officer, one count of the Class B misdemeanor peace disturbance and one count of the Class A misdemeanor resisting arrest. Ellis was charged as a result of a scuffle that broke out in a checkout line at the store, following Ellis being accused by associates employed by Walmart of cutting in line.
The motion in question, filed by Ellis' attorney on November 2, involves Ellis' legal representation requesting Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff to recuse himself from the case.Click to read.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Anthony Sowell is a name that most of us would like to forget. Sowell is the 50-year-old man in Cleveland found to have 11 corpses in his home after being arrested on a rape charge. His neighbors noticed the smell, but some blamed it on the sausage factory next door.
Sowell's case jars the mind, and even the sight of him makes me want to change the channel. But not only is Sowell repulsive, the circumstances under which these women were killed are equally alarming.
All of the women were African-American. All of them were poor, marginalized and ignored by society. Some of their families called police to report them missing and the police refused to thoroughly investigate. Even Sowell was intelligent enough to know that he was taking the lives of women who would not be missed, telling one of the victims that no one would care if she disappeared. In Sowell's warped mind, many of these women had already disappeared. The truth is that he was absolutely correct.
The Anthony Sowell case is one that requires us to stop and reassess our values. Why are some people considered to be less worthy of police protection than others? I recall hearing a police officer explain to me that he felt that the job of the police was to simply protect the rich from the poor. I was under the false impression that their job was to protect the good from the bad. Apparently, Sowell's victims were not wealthy enough, blonde or blue-eyed enough to be defined as inherently good. Their disappearances were deemed unworthy of the attention of Nancy Grace or anyone else for that matter.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The rally is on! Visit www.TheHeatherEllisCase.com for more information. Dr. Boyce Watkins and The Your Black World Coalition are organizing the rally, along with the NAACP, SCLC and ACLU. Come down to Kennett Missouri with us on March 16!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Got Sugar in the Blood? Change Your Lifestyle Today!
Do you remember your elders speaking about “sugar in the blood”? Do you have a friend or family member who suffers from diabetes? The importance of understanding high blood sugar is critical to the management of our often fast-paced, unhealthy, and stressful lives. A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit the “Bodies – The Exhibition” and experienced the most engaging presentation on the anatomy and pathology of the human body. Cadavers, adult and fetus, were on display to showcase the miracle of the body and the importance of good health and exercise. This poignant visit, which highlighted all of our major bodily systems, provides the inspiration to urgently share information regarding sugar – the crack cocaine of the Black of the community!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Nationally-Syndicated Radio Show Host Michael Baisden Weighs in Financially on the Heather Ellis Case
Just when you thought black celebrities didn't care anymore, the "Bad Boy of Radio,"Michael Baisden announced today that he is going to give $5,000 to the legal defense fund of the family of Heather Ellis, a 24-year old black female college student who faces 15-years in prison after cutting in line at a Walmart.
One of the things that make America unique is its Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights. In its original form, the Constitution did not include a list of basic civil liberties or guarantees to the individual. Many prominent Americans, including Thomas Jefferson insisted that a list of fundamental protections be included to restrain the national government from tampering with the fundamental rights and civil liberties of its citizens. The intent of the framers of the Constitution was to level the playing field. They felt it necessary to restrain the very powerful government, prosecutors, and police from arbitrary and capricious action against the less powerful individual. Over time these protections have been passed down to the state level.
The case of Heather Ellis is a perfect present day example of why individual American citizens need to be protected from over zealous capricious prosecutors and police. For a young woman to be facing up to fifteen years in prison for trespassing, disturbing the peace, and two felony counts of assaulting a police officer, all for allegedly cutting a check-out line at a Wal-Mart is unconscionable.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
There has been a lot of confusion about what ingredients are in the H1N1 Vaccine. In order to distill the information to make it easier for you to make an informed choice, here is a brief synopsis of the information provided by the manufacturers in their package inserts.
There are 4 manufactures who have been approved to sell H1N1 vaccine in the US. They are: Novartis, CSL, Sanofi/Pasteur and MedImmune
1. Novartis makes an injectable vaccine for ages 4 and above
Ingredients: Thimerosal (Mercury) both in the single dose and the multi dose vials
Antibiotics - polymyxin and neomycin (can be neurotoxic)
Manufactured with phenol (the chemical used on skin in cosmetic face peals to remove wrinkles)
Note: They recommend that children ages 4-9 get 2 injections one month apart. This would increase the risk from a reaction to the mercury (e.g, neurological damage such as Gullain-Barre or possibly Autism)
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke listens to businessmen following an address in Chatham, Mass., Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Last spring when Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke visited Morehouse College, an undergraduate student asked him what accounts for the enormous racial disparity in wealth. Bernanke responded that the source of the problem was the lack of "financial literacy" and "financial education" on the part of blacks, particularly with respect to savings decisions.
He said nothing about the lack of access to inherited wealth, such as inheritances and other intergenerational transfers. Most wealth acquisition today takes place by such asset shifts. Even more astonishing, Bernanke never mentioned the notorious history of white violence that included the seizure, destruction and appropriation of black property.
Acknowledging this unfairness is not an excuse but a powerful truth; remedying it requires straightforward government action, rather than lectures on the value of saving. In fact, the racial wealth gap can be decreased - and without using a race-specific strategy of wealth redistribution.
We propose Children's Development Accounts, an expanded and non-incremental version of what Manning Marable of Columbia University has called the "Baby Bond" plan. It would provide an endowed trust fund for all children born into families with a net worth below the national median, progressively rising to $50,000 to $60,000 for children whose families are in the lowest wealth quartile. The program could be structured like the Earned Income Tax Credit, which uses a benefits phase-out schedule.