Saturday, February 27, 2010

Medical News: Is Our Nation Short of Doctors?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World 

I did an appearance last night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss the issue of Health care reform. This has been heavy on the mind of our president for his entire first year in office and has led to quite a few political battles on Capitol Hill. Health care is in serious jeopardy, as the cost of entitlement programs such as Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security threaten our nation's economic security. Our national debt has risen to unprecedented and frightening levels, and our politicians have little incentive to do anything about it.
One additional problem that we are running into on the issue of health care is the fact that our nation doesn't have enough Primary Care physicians. These doctors are incredibly important, since they are the first line of defense against illness in America.
Over the next 10 years, our nation is expected to have a shortfall of 40,000 Primary Care doctors. By 2025, that number is expected to balloon to over 120,000. To make matters worse, our population is aging, implying that there will be a greater demand for these doctors in the future.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses Health Care On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses Health Care On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sharpton-Smiley fight reveals rift in black leadership over Obama

Sharpton-Smiley fight reveals rift in black leadership over Obama on MSNBC

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Tavis Smiley vs. Al Sharpton

Dr. Boyce Watkins talks about the big fight between Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton.

Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton fight about Barack Obama

Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton fight about Barack Obama

Monday, February 22, 2010

White Old Man Goes Wild

White old man goes wild and beats the crap out of a black man.

Julianne Malveaux on the History of Black Economic Empowerment

Why, the email asks, do we still have Black History Month?  The writer might be white, or she might not. She identifies her self as a "conscious woman" and sends the email to one of my public addresses.  She seems chagrined that "race still matters" and wants to initiate an exchange of views with hers at the foundation - studying black history is obsolete.  We have a black president, the woman writes.  Black people have made so many strides.  Aren't you holding on to the past, she argues, when you insist on having this month to study black history?

I am not in the habit of engaging in email debates with folks who are ill informed, so I ignore the note. Still, I am intrigued enough by it to print it out and paste it to my desktop for a few days. When I pick up high school history books, I see African American history sprinkled through, like seasoning, as opposed to being placed at a base. And I think of the tremendous vision of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard (after WEB DuBois) and the founder, in `1915, of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Woodson wrote the masterpiece "The Miseducation of the Negro" and founded Negro History Week in 1926. By 1976 the week had expanded into African American History Month. The Association, based in Washington, DC, sets a theme for Black History Month each year (notice that I use Black and African American interchangeably - for me they are the same thing). This year the theme is "The History of Black Economic Empowerment".

Economics is the study of who gets what, when, where and why. It is the study of the way the factors of production - land, labor, capital and creativity are paid in rent, wages, interest and profit. It is the history of the knife, of how the pie is sliced. And it is the story of why African Americans get so much less than our fair share of the pie.

We get less than we deserve, not for lack of wanting or trying, but because the playing field for us has never been level. For centuries we could not accumulate wealth in the United States because we were the source of wealth for others. Free frank McWhorter's story is compelling, but it is not the only story of a slave who bought back his freedom. And whenever I write or think those words, something twists in my stomach, the notion that someone had to buy himself, but also in the case of Free Frank, buy himself and a dozen or so of his relatives. Buy yourself, cut a deal with the person who owns you, as if there is honesty in this deal cutting. Free frank used his free time to work to save money to buy himself back and thanks to his descendent, Dr. Juliet Walker, we know the story. We don't know the story of the laundry women who did the same thing; don't necessarily know their names. But we know that the economic paradigm, the study of who gets what, when, where and why informed those women's decisions.

Fast forward from Free Frank to Billionaire Bob. Bob Johnson, that is, the brother who conceived of BET and then sold it to Viacom, creating dozens of millionaires and turning himself into a billionaire. Fast forward from buying oneself to selling a window to a people. Bob Johnson is to be admired as a consummate entrepreneur, one who leveraged an idea into a profit center into a fortune. With both Free Frank and Billionaire Bob, we have to ask what is left for the people they may have leveraged, or may not have.

Because the history of commerce so frequently embraces men and ignores women it is important to make it clear that the history of African American economic empowerment has a women's twist, too. There are early women to lift up like Dr. Sadie Tanner Moselle Alexander, who was the first to receive the doctorate in economics in the United States, or Madame CJ Walker, the first black woman millionaire. Maggie Lena Walker was the first to start a bank in Richmond, Virginia. Mary Ellen Pleasant was an economic player, an investor in the Gold Rush, in early days in San Francisco.

We still have Black History Month, I would tell my motley correspondent, because the story has still not been told. I am grateful and humbled by the vision of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and by his commitment to remind us of who we are, again and again. Those who have inherited his mantle, the sisters and brothers of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History have taken up the baton of his vision and are about to pass it on. In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, and still we rise.


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

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Jesse Jackson Discuss The Black Agenda

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Jesse Jackson Discuss The Black Agenda

Saturday, February 20, 2010

TheGrio Speaks – 2/20/10

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins on Tiger’s Press Conference

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Today, Tiger Woods finally did what everyone expected him to do: He spoke out on his own behalf. The world waited for months to hear a peep from the man who has decided to do one of the greatest disappearing acts the sports world has ever seen. When there was no Tiger, there was no professional golf.

The press conference was starting on the wrong foot, as there was buzz of a boycott from golf writers, who felt that Tiger was not giving proper respect to media by refusing to allow them to ask questions. There was also the ire communicated from his fellow golfers, such as Ernie Els, who called Tiger "selfish" for giving his press conference on a Friday, during a tournament sponsored by Accenture.

What Ernie Els failed to remember is that Accenture is the company that dropped Tiger when he was being embarrassed by the media. There is no reason that Tiger should be the least bit hesitant about stealing the headlines away from their golf tournament. Perhaps had Accenture not decided to abandon Tiger, he might not have abandoned them.

His mother was there, the PGA Commissioner was there, and one of Tiger's roommates from college was in attendance. What was missing from the press conference? Well, the press. I'm not sure if you can actually call this a press conference when you've chosen to exclude the media. The other glaring absence from the room was Tiger's wife, Elin.

Click to read.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Felon Disenfranchisement is UnAmerican

by Dr. Michael Fauntroy, The Shirley Chrisholm Commission

“I don’t want everybody to vote.  Elections are not won by a majority of the people.  They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now.  As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
– Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, at a 1980 training session for Christian conservatives
    While there are a number of very worthy issues that need to be addressed in this area, I propose that we include the issue of felon disenfranchisement in our deliberations.  Felon disenfranchisement is critical as it impacts the outcomes of elections throughout the country.  Too often, conservative, anti-minority candidates are elected because of the disproportionate removal of African Americans and other minorities from the election rolls.  As the policies that disenfranchise felons disproportionately impacts African Americans (both those caught up in the criminal justice system AND the larger Black public which does not get the policies that it could because supportive people are not elected to office), we must understand it undermines the policies that we believe to be helpful to our community.

Click to read.

Black Scholar Boyce Watkins and The TakeAway Discusses - Does Forgetting Race Make Us (or Chris Matthews) Post-Racial?

Black Scholar Boyce Watkins Talks With The TakeAway -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dr. Boyce: Russell Simmons Rants on Banks


by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons seems to feel that banks are not treating the poor in a proper fashion. This week, in a rant on his site, “The Global Grind,” Simmons had this to say:
“They trick customers into doing things that are not good for them through lack of transparency, and surprise them with new fees when they can least afford it. I’m learning an important lesson about ethics or lack of ethics in this industry. In fact, I’m fighting with a bank right now that doesn’t know what kind of ass whipping they are going to get when I expose them for the abusive practices and exuberant fees they are charging the poor. What they are doing is trying to double their already outrageously high fees in exchange for providing absolutely nothing to my customers.”
Simmons went on to try to create a “movement” by adding a call to action:

“Let’s start the biggest public discussion ever about how banks treat us and expose these banks for their unequal treatment and unconscionable conduct. The time is now.”


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Speak About the State of Black America

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Speak About the State of Black America

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks The State of Black America with Rev. Al Sharpton

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks The State of Black America with Rev. Al Sharpton

Monday, February 15, 2010

News: Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses CBC Corruption

Corruption in the Congressional Black Caucus threatens African-Americans

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, AOL Black Voices 

From left are, Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y. and Rep. Charles Rangel D-NY. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Does anyone think that the Congressional Black Caucus works for the interests of the African-American community? Well, think again. It appears that, according to a scathing report in The New York Times, African-Americans don't have the money to buy the CBC's loyalty. At the very least, they do not appear to be the top priority for a legislative group that has allowed dollar signs to complicate its priorities.

The New York Times article details a highly suspicious network of foundations and charities that seem to funnel money to CBC members in exchange for influence in Washington. The political and charitable wings of the CBCtook in $55 million dollars between 2004 and 2008, with only $1 million of that coming through their political action committee; the rest came through their unregulated network of foundations, which are allowed to escape campaign finance laws designed to keep legislators from being bought by corporate America.

While the CBC argues that the funds are used to support charitable causes in the African-American community, it seems that the foundation spends more time "big balling" with elaborate corporate events than it spends actually doing work for the community. Federal tax records show that the CBC Foundation spent more money on the caterer for its annual dinner, $700,000 dollars, than it spent giving out scholarships. As my mama used to say, "That's just trifling."
Even more disturbing are the relationships that the Congressional Black Caucus has formed with industries that clearly do not have the interests of the black community at heart, including the Internet poker industry, cigarette manufacturers, alcoholic beverage producers and rent-to-own companies. Many rent-to-own companies operate in predominantly black neighborhoods and are effectively electronic drug dealers: They give consumers a quick high today in exchange for unethically high fees and massive amounts of debt. Well guess what? The CBC is one of the reasons that the rent-to-own industry has been allowed to expand its operations in urban communities where CBC members don't even live.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses The State of Black America With Rev. Jesse Jackson

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses The State of Black America With Rev. Jesse Jackson

Sunday, February 14, 2010

African American Politics in America – 2/14/10

Friday, February 12, 2010

Students Murdered at U. Alabama Huntsville

U. Alabama Huntsville is confirming that three people were killed in a campus shooting.  The suspect was a female.  Another student was injured, and the woman is in custody.  Another student was injured as well.  The shooting took place in the science building.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

African American Politics: Black Leadership Meets with President Obama

Obama invites black leaders to White House for economic talksWASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and three prominent African-American leaders grappled Wednesday with how to improve economic opportunities for blacks, whose joblessness looms well above the national average and is nearly twice that of whites.

On a day of treacherous weather in Washington, Obama kept his scheduled meeting with Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP; Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. Dorothy Height, chairwoman of the National Council of Negro Women, could not make it to the White House because of the pounding snow and winds that kept most of the nation's capital shut down.

The meeting did not yield immediate announcements or initiatives.

Obama and the other leaders focused on targeting aid to regions to help black people and other groups that have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession, Jealous told The Associated Press.

"When you try to focus on how to lift all those boats, what you come back to are places -- geographic areas, urban and rural, where assistance should be located," he said. "That approach can work if Congress lets it work."

He added: "This is about place. It's not about race."

Click to read.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

News: NCAA Anti-trust Lawsuit May Lead to Athlete Compensation

A district court judge in San Francisco on Monday denied theN.C.A.A.’s motion for dismissal in a class-action lawsuit headed by the former U.C.L.A. basketball star Ed O’Bannon. The ruling leaves the N.C.A.A.’s licensing contracts open to discovery.

O’Bannon’s lawyers filed the antitrust suit in July, claiming that former athletes should be compensated for the use of their images and likenesses in television advertisements, video games and on apparel. They said Monday’s ruling was an important first step.

“This is a truly historic day — to our knowledge, no one has ever gotten behind the scenes to examine how student-athletes’ current and future rights in their images are divided up and sold,” said Jon T. King of Hausfeld LLP, one of the lead lawyers representing O’Bannon.

Click to read.

Journalist Accuses Toyota of Ignoring Black Newspapers

by Hardy L. Brown

The Toyota automobile company has implemented a worldwide recall of many of its cars with the company reaching out to its customers saying stay with us. Bring your cars in for repair and be careful while driving until you can get it repaired. The executives have been on television, radio and even put paid advertising in major daily newspapers nationwide to inform their customers of the sticking gas pedal and to stay with them. General Motors and Ford have begun advertising the message, bring your Toyota product in for trade to our products. They are doing all of this while ignoring the owners of Black newspapers and radio stations which is an issue for me.

They are aware that we’re here because they have invited us to drive their cars so we could write about how they drive and the quality of their products. They even send us company press releases to publish for our readers.

So they know we are here as a viable business and credible resource to our communities. Yet, when it comes to spending money with any of us, they stop. The same is true with other companies but this article is focused on Toyota from my perspective.

Over the past decade, I would take a quick count of the makes of Toyota autos in the parking lot of St. Paul AME Church on any given Sunday morning. I was doing it because I had a Black owned Lincoln Mercury/Volkswagen dealer advertising in my paper.

Click to read.