Thursday, December 31, 2009

Black News: Fox News May Be Taken off the Air

NEW YORK ( -- As New Year's revelers count down to the end of 2009, time is also running out for Time Warner Cable and Fox to agree to a new contract.

Time Warner Cable and News Corp. (NWS, Fortune 500), Fox's parent company, have been locked in a public battle over how much the cable giant should pay for the right to deliver Fox networks into its subscribers' homes.

If a deal is not reached before midnight Thursday, all of the Fox-owned broadcast networks and some of its cable channels could disappear for most of Time Warner Cable's 13 million subscribers on New Year's Day.

News Corp. wants to charge Time Warner Cable (TWC) $1 per subscriber for airing its broadcast station, Fox. The contracts for six Fox cable channels -- FX, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Reality, Fox Soccer and Fox Sports en Español -- as well as certain regional sports networks are also slated to expire. But Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network will not be affected.

Public officials weigh in

As the deadline approaches, a flurry of government officials are trying to intervene. On Thursday, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter calling for a 30-day "cooling off period" to avoid programming blackouts. Time Warner Cable responded that it would agree to an interim agreement, but a Fox Network representative said the company was not ready to agree to that temporary deal and would continue to negotiate.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jesse Jackson has something to say about the death of Mark Anthony Barmore

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said a “miscarriage of justice” was performed by a Winnebago County grand jury Wednesday, when it decided two Rockford officers were justified in fatally shooting an unarmed man inside a day care.
The civil rights leader and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition has taken up the cause of Sheila and Marissa Brown, both of whom were present Aug. 24 when 23-year-old Mark Anthony Barmore was shot and killed inside the House of Grace Day Care, a part of the Kingdom Authority International Ministries at 518 N. Court St.
The grand jury made its ruling Wednesday without hearing testimony from the two witnesses, who are out of town for the Christmas holiday.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” Jackson said Thursday. “We were hoping that the outstanding facts of the case would prevail over politics.
“An unarmed man shot in the back is justified homicide? This is a miscarriage of justice.”
Jackson is expected to announce at a 3 p.m. news conference Saturday at the Kingdom Authority church that the Browns’ next course of action will be to seek a federal probe into the investigation.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

President Obama Responds to Black Criticism

President Barack Obama on Monday rebutted critics who say he isn't showing enough compassion toward black America, citing his health care effort as one example he says "will be hugely important" for blacks.

Obama said another example is the billions of dollars in aid to states included in the economic stimulus bill, money that was used to save thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers from losing their jobs. He said many of those workers are black.

"So this notion, somehow, that because there wasn't a transformation overnight that we've been neglectful is just simply, factually not accurate," Obama said in an Oval Office interview with April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks.

But the president acknowledged there are limits to what a president can do for any class of people.

"The only thing I cannot do is, by law, I cannot pass laws that say 'I'm just helping black folks.' I'm the president of the entire United States," Obama said, giving his standard answer to questions about the economic and other disparities facing blacks.

"What I can do is make sure that I am passing laws that help all people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need," he said. "That in turn is going to help lift up the African-American community."

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Why the NCAA is the greatest scam of the 20th and 21st centuries

Read More: Education, Florida State University, Football, NCAA, Seminoles, Sports, Student, University

Educational mission of NCAA is great scam of 21st century

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

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According to the ESPN Show "Outside the Lines," the Florida State Seminoles appear to be about everything except education.

In order to win games and make millions, football players are having their majors chosen for them, and many athletes are being conveniently misdiagnosed as learning disabled. One recent episode stated that one-half of all Florida State University football players and three-fourths of their African-American athletes are Social Science majors (indicative of major clustering). One of the academic counselors said that when she started her tenure, there were 15 football players tagged as learning disabled. That number has since spiked to 65.

When the allegations were released, Florida State University started backpedaling faster than an NFL defensive back. The NCAA has done its usual grandstanding, detaching itself from the Seminoles, as if this doesn't also happen at nearly every other campus under its domain.

But the truth is that this behavior is not uncommon. If you think that Florida State University is the only NCAAschool to engage in such destructive and irresponsible behavior, then you need to be educated on how many campuses now do business. College athletes, many of them African-American, are brought to college as hired guns, under the guise of getting an education. The entire charade is sustained for the sake of helping the NCAAmaintain its multi-billion dollar professional sports league.

Yes, I said professional, not amateur. Any league that earns money on par with the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB is a professional sports league. NCAA coaches, commentators and administrators - mostly white - earn six and seven figure salaries while simultaneously robbing athletes of their educations, their futures, and the money that they and their families have earned. In order to avoid paying taxes on their revenue, the NCAA spends millions on marketing to convince us that their multi-million dollar corporate extravaganzas are polite little weekend activities that students barely remember to keep on their schedules. All the while, Tyrone Smith attends four years of college and doesn't even learn how to read.

For the NCAA, the educational mission of their professional sports league is one of the great scams of the 20th and 21st centuries, no different from the Ponzi schemes of Bernie Madoff. It is a convenient illusion, like Tiger's wife using the golf club to "save him from a car accident."


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Obama’s Grade for Performance: What Should it Be?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University , Your Black World 

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


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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eric Holder Talks to Black Fathers in a way that Doesn’t Make Sense

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 


Elliot Millner brought it to my attention that Attorney General Eric Holder has been apparently spending a lot of time with Bill Cosby these days. In a recent speech at a black church in Queens, NY, Holder took a page out of the Barack Obama Campaign Catalog and chose to win favors with the black middle class by recklessly bashing away at absentee fathers and returning to the whole "ya'll just need to grow up and be more responsible" argument that allows any politician to explain away a blatant disregard for meaningful public policy. Rather than talking about things that we can do as a society to take our collective foot off the necks of black men, he chose to say that black men are choosing to put the foot on their own necks.
Elliot Millner, who is also in the legal profession, intelligently said the things that I am sure Eric Holder wanted to say. But unlike Holder, Millner is not constrained by the political shackles that come with being an appointed leader in a society that makes a habit of oppressing, destroying and marginalizing black men.
In his speech, Holder said that, "It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral part in the raising and nurturing of the child."
That quote is a nice way of reflecting on the obvious. It's sort of like saying, "It should be unacceptable for a black man to become the Attorney General of the United States and not play an integral part in helping other black men overcome the blatantly racist and destructive justice system over which you preside."

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Monday, December 14, 2009

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

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

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Graduation Gap for Black Athletes is Rising in College Sports

The disparity between graduation rates for white and black college football players at schools headed to bowl games grew slightly this year, according to a study released Monday.
The annual report by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport also showed overall academic progress. But there were 21 schools that graduated fewer than 50 percent of their black football players, the study found. That's up from 19 last year.
Richard Lapchick, the director of the institute, said the widening gap between whites and blacks was surprising because those numbers had closed in recent years.
"That could be a temporary blip, but it certainly caught me by surprise," he said. "I think part of it is the urban education system where a lot of the African-American students come from is so depleted. Too many student-athletes recruited from those areas are so far behind when they come to college, it's difficult to catch up."


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Your Black News: Is Obama Losing His Black Supporters?

Obama's Black Support Eroding

From AOL Black Voices 

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

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

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

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

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Dr. Deborah Stroman Takes CNN To Task Over Tiger Woods

by Dr. Deborah Stroman 


Tiger Woods has a problem and now so do I. I was naïve to think that I could survive this holiday season of Tigervision with its seemingly minute-by-minute reports of his self-described transgressions. Every media outlet needs a story to remain viable in this world of at-your-touch news and Tiger’s naughtiness provides the perfect scoop. This tale probably has no beginning and quite possibly no end. However, my nerves became frayed and I saw the immediate end of my sideline observer role when I changed the channel and popped in on the Joy Behar Show. As they discussed the latest Tiger escapade, Ms. Behar cleverly asked for insight on how the African-American community might possibly feel about his sins. Her query was directed to a female African-American guest, Karith Foster, who calmly stated that Tiger was finally acting like a black athlete. Pump your brakes!

Although Ms. Foster’s listed occupation is comedian, she made her bold statement sans smile or giggle. She was very serious and obviously hurt by his choice of women in this scandal. She went on to describe how the black athlete needs a white woman – a trophy wife – to be successful. Ms. Foster’s understanding of the black male athlete is a stereotype and confusion-filled. Shame on her and the media for supporting the racist mindset that promulgates a representation of the black male athlete as a superhuman man that seeks sexual pleasure from every white female that worships his athletic prowess. Surely we in 2009 know better, right? Yes, the ESPNification of our sports world has created larger than life entertainment figures. Money, power and women. That’s the ticket out of a poor situation – mentally and physically. It is no longer satisfactory to score a touchdown and hand the ball to the referee or dunk the basketball and hustle back to play defense. Instead we see many of our athletes (and more likely a black man) showboating, drawing attention to themselves, and discounting the teamwork necessary to achieve such success. We as fans are drawn to the television waiting to see the clownish antics instead of running to the restroom or going back for more chips.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Read Obama’s Acceptance Speech for the Nobel Prize

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:

I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations — that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize — Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened of cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women — some known, some obscure to all but those they help — to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 43 other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict — filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Legal News: Cheat on your spouse – you can get sued

Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- The next time a married man or woman glances your way, you might think twice before acting on impulse and frolicking between satin sheets. The scorned spouse could sue you.

Yes, you read that right. You, the paramour, can get hit with a lawsuit that could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

They're known as "alienation of affection" suits, when an "outsider" interferes in amarriage. The suits are allowed in seven states: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

The law allowing such legal action dates back to antiquated times when a wife was considered the property of a husband. A broken-hearted hubby could go after his wife's lover -- not with a gun, but with the law.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Black Scholar News: Syracuse Students Debate Dr. Boyce Watkins’ Work with the University

Watkins, a finance professor at SU, is ignored by the administration.

By Naresh Vissa

In January 2007, college student Heather Ellis and her cousin stood in two lines at Wal-Mart. They agreed that the first to reach a register would combine the items for purchase. When the African-American Ellis gave her cousin the groceries, bystanders behind complained that she had cut. After some verbal exchanges, Ellis walked to her car and found the police waiting to arrest her. She tried her best to resist and suffered numerous cuts and bruises in the process.

Today, Ellis should be in medical school. Instead, she has pled guilty to charges of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

The case was covered by CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Good Morning America, The Today Show and every major black media outlet in America. Even more importantly, Syracuse University is connected to it, but hasn’t issued any statements. As a producer of two radio shows, I myself find it embarrassing that I discovered Ellis through a press release pitch e-mail I received.

At the forefront of all the outrage is Whitman School of Management Finance Professor Dr. Boyce Watkins, but it’s not getting any attention from SU administrators.

“I’ve come to accept the fact that the University is not appreciative of my work,” Watkins said. “It’s part of their tradition when it comes to progressive black scholars. If I’d learned to sit down and shut up, I might be treated better. Quiet Negroes do quite well in academia.”

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One Nation?

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

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

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

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

The African American unemployment rate is a national disgrace. The reported rate, 15.6 percent, is an extreme underestimate. Last month, for the first time, economists began to note that the actual overall unemployment rate was 17.5 percent, including discouraged workers and others. This month, the rate dropped slightly to 17.2 percent. If there are the same numbers of discouraged workers in the African American community as in the overall community, the African American unemployment rate is more like 27 percent. And it can be argued that there are proportionately more African Americans who are discouraged and out of the labor force that whites.

The congressional black caucus is right to raise the issue of high black unemployment rates, and the President is wrong to assume that his "one nation" strategy is adequate. To be sure, Brother President has plenty on his plate - a war on at least two fronts, climate change, a staggering economy, health care, and so on. And, to be clear, President Barack Obama is the president of all of American, not just black American. Still, because we have seen targeting before, it is unclear why we can't see it now. The president of our entire nation must ensure that every sector in our nation has an opportunity to benefit from economic recovery.

If we are really pursuing a "one nation" strategy, why single any group out, ever. Why provide bailouts for bankers and for few others, why target home mortgages and not small business loans? We are seduced by the logic that some sectors are more important than others, that some sectors have an impact greater than others. The Congressional Black Caucus deserves high props for breaking its silence and raising the issue of high black unemployment rates. President Obama ought to pay attention to the fact that in our "one nation" some groups of people are feeling more than their fair share of this recession's impact.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author and commentator, and the Founder & Thought Leader of Last Word Productions, Inc., a multimedia production company.

Last Word Productions, Inc. is a multimedia production company that serves as a vehicle for the work and products of Dr. Julianne Malveaux. For the last 10 years the company has centered its efforts on Dr. Malveaux's public speaking appearances, her work as a broadcast and print journalist, and also as an author. Currently, Julianne Malveaux is President of Bennett College For Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.

To find more of Dr. Julianne Malveaux's columns, work and appearances please visit:

Financial News: UCLA Students Running into Major Financial Trouble

Watch this video, which describes the financial trauma for UCLA students as the result of a recent tuition hike.

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Tiger Woods’ Women Will Cost Him $100 Million Dollars

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices 

The last thing I expected to be thinking about after getting off an airplane are Tiger Woods' women and his indiscretions. I've seen married men misbehave before, and I honestly thought we were at the "no big deal, he'll get over it" stage when it came to Tiger Woods and his corporate brand. The problem is that the list of Tiger Woods women has gotten so long that it's making him look like a PGA version of Wilt Chamberlain or Charlie Sheen.
Tiger Woods does not have a brand that will be able to withstand long lists of cocktail waitresses and "sex addicted cougars" (according to the New York Post), even if the media is exaggerating in their descriptions. The truth is that as great of a golfer as Tiger Woods might be, it could be the women of Tiger Woods who cost him a substantial piece of his fortune.
I spoke recently about how Saturday Night Live went over the line by making light of the alleged domestic violence between Tiger and his wife, Elin Nordegren. While I stand by that perspective (we would never excuse Tiger for trying to whack his wife in the head with a golf club), the truth is that there are broader implications for the fact that the list of Tiger Woods women just happens to be longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Whether Tiger likes it or not, the truth is that there are thousands of women across America who are cheering for Elin's decision to chase her husband with a deadly weapon. This has huge implications for Tiger's ability to sell products to American families, where women are the primary decision-makers in household consumption.



click to read.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Obama Is Happy: Unemployment Drops a Little

In the strongest employment report since the recession began nearly two years ago, the government said Friday that the nation’s employers had all but stopped shedding jobs in November, taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a jobs creation program.

Enlarge This Image

Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency

Demonstrators outside the White House on Thursday as President Obama met with business leaders and economists to seek ideas for creating jobs.

The Labor Department reported that the United States economy lost 11,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2 percent in October.

The government also significantly revised its September and October job loss estimates. September’s data was adjusted to show a loss of 139,000 jobs instead of 219,000, and in October 111,000 jobs were lost, instead of 190,000. Even allowing for the November loss, the revisions added 148,000 people to the list of those employed in the United States in November.

Though the pace of job loss has been declining since a peak in January, the November number was surprising. Economists had been expecting a turning point to come in the late spring or summer, with employers finally adding workers as a recovery takes hold. The last time the number was so bright was in December 2007, when the economy added 120,000 jobs.

“It is clearly a much better picture, and appears to be mostly genuine,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist at IHS Global Insight, who said he was encouraged by gains in the average workweek and the number of temporary workers hired. “It shows employers have come back so much and are starting to rehire.”

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Your Black News: Congressional Black Caucus vs. Barack Obama

Rep. Maxine Waters is joined by members of the Congressional Black Caucus for a news conference.

The long-simmering family feud between the Congressional Black Caucus and the first African-American president burst into the open on Wednesday, with members boycotting a financial overhaul vote as a warning shot at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The 43-member caucus — which included Illinois Sen. Barack Obama from 2004 to 2008 — has chafed against President Obama and his top aides since the Inauguration, complaining that the White House takes it for granted and plays favorites with conservative Blue Dog Democrats.

Ten CBC members decided to boycott the House Financial Services Committee vote en masse after a tumultuous morning meeting at the Capitol between Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel failed to yield a deal, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The bill passed easily, but Waters suggested the CBC’s 43 members could vote with the GOP to scuttle a variety of Democratic bills if Obama and Emanuel don’t address what she thinks is a lack of understanding of the CBC’s wide-ranging goals of reducing urban unemployment, home foreclosures and bank failures.

“I think that it is important for us to educate those people around [Obama],” Waters told reporters. “We’ve got to get his people educated and moving. We have not brought these issues to him personally — it is important first to educate those people around him so they understand.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), who recently accused Obama of bowing down to the GOP on health care reform, was more pointed, shouting “Yes!” when asked if he was disappointed with Obama’s level of attentiveness to African-Americans’ needs.

He added that he had an extensive list of issues with the president — a list he said was too long to disgorge in a hallway conversation with a reporter.





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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Too Many in College?

by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

A week or so ago, I had the privilege of participating in a conversation on NPR about college attendance. Sparked by a conversation in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a group of "experts" were opining that too many people are going to college. Too many? Conservative and racially biased Charles Murray (author of The Bell Curve) thinks that too few high school students have the cognition to successfully navigate college attendance. Marty Nemko says it is a cost-benefit thing. Sandy Baum says that everyone should have opportunity and access. Nobody mentions race, but I think it is the elephant in the room. Too many white folks are opining that too many people go to college, but their kids are in college. So do they really mean that too many black folks go to college? Are their objections really about reinforcing a class system?

Here is what we know about the benefits that come from college attendance:

·College graduates have lower unemployment rates than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates have higher lifetime earning than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates are more likely to vote, and to be civically involved than those who did not graduate from college.

·College graduates are more likely to contribute to philanthropic causes and to volunteer than those who did not graduate from college.

Click to read more.