Monday, May 31, 2010

Setting the Record Straight: A Response to Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Statement by the Committee to Advance the Movement for Reparations

We, the undersigned, take strong exception to the Op-Ed, “Ending the Slavery Blame-Game,” published in the New York Times, April 23, 2010 by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. There are gross errors, inaccuracies and misrepresentations in Gates’ presentation of the transatlantic European enslavement system. Moreover, we are duly concerned about his political motivations and find offensive his use of the term “blame game.” It trivializes one of the most heinous crimes against humanity—the European enslavement of African people. Gates contradicts his stated purpose of “ending” what he refers to as a “blame-game,” by erroneously making African rulers and elites equally responsible with European and American enslavers. He shifts the “blame” in a clear attempt to undermine the demand for reparations.

The African Holocaust or Maafa, as it is referred to by many, is a crime against humanity and is recognized as such by the United Nations, scholars, and historians who have documented the primary and overwhelming culpability of European nations for enslavement in Europe, in the Americas and elsewhere. In spite of this overwhelming documentation, Gates inexplicably shifts the burden of culpability to Africans who were and are its victims. The abundance of scholarly work also affirms that Europeans initiated the process, established the global infrastructure for enslavement, and imposed, financed and defended it, and were the primary beneficiaries of it in various ways through human trafficking itself, banking, insurance, manufacturing, farming, shipping and allied enterprises.

No serious scholar of African history or reparations activist denies the collaboration of some African rulers, elites, merchants and middlemen. Indeed, collaboration accompanies oppression as a continuing fact of history. Historians have described collaborators in two other major Holocausts: the Jewish Holocaust and the Native American Holocaust. Yet Gates, ignoring the historical record, makes the morally unacceptable error of conflating three distinct groups involved in the Holocaust of enslavement: perpetrators, collaborators and victims. The Jewish Holocaust had its Judenr├Ąte, Jewish councils which chose Jews for enslaved labor and for the death camps and facilitated their transport to them, as well as its kapos, Jewish camp overseers, who brutalized their fellow prisoners along with the SS guards. In the Native American Holocaust, there were also Native American collaborators who fought with the Whites to defeat, dispossess and dominate other Native Americans. Thus, such collaboration in oppression is not unique to Africa and Africans.

Gates makes it clear that the article is written in the context of “post-racial posturing,” eagerly set forth by a nation citing its first Black president as false evidence of the declining significance of race and racism. Indeed, this is a period of resurgent racism reflected in the rise of the Tea Party movement, increasing hostility toward immigrants, open public recommitments to embracing and celebrating the history of racial oppression, joined with the fostering of fear to facilitate the continued denial of civil and human rights.

The purpose for Gates’ misrepresentation of the historical record is to undermine the African and African descendant reparations movement, and to make it appear to be based on unfounded demands. An accurate reporting of the history of the Holocaust of enslavement and the period of segregation and other forms of oppression which followed it, attests to the importance, in fact, the essentiality of reparations. The widespread opposing responses to Gates and the anti-reparations interests and sentiments he represents in his article, provides us with an excellent opportunity to renew the just demand for reparations for centuries of enslavement and continued economic disadvantage and exploitation Black people endured in the Jim Crow era and subsequent years of wage slavery.

Gates’ flawed and misconstrued presentation of the global reparations movement to redress the injuries of the Holocaust of enslavement and subsequent labor exploitation attempts to leave the reader with the impression that the movement is only a product of misguided African Americans. However, legal battles regarding reparations for the European enslavement of Africans are being waged throughout the United States, Jamaica, Brazil, South Africa, The Virgin Islands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Martinique, Canada, Namibia and Barbados. The United Nations declaration that 2011 is the International Year of People of African Descent will afford yet another opportunity to expand the reparations movement for the longest unpunished crime against humanity --- the European enslavment of African people. In this country, reparations scholars, activists and others will continue their efforts in support of the House Judiciary Committee, HR-40, which calls for a study of the economic, cultural and psychological impact of enslavement on United States citizens.

The record of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), held in South Africa in 2001, offers additional evidence of the global reach and relevance of the reparations movement and the work of Africans and African descendants in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. Gates’ omission of these efforts and WCAR seems to suggest either a deliberate misrepresentation or a reflection of his distance from contemporary political movements in the international African community.

We, the undersigned, intellectuals, activists, artists, professionals, men and women from various fields of focus, assemble here from a call by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century united in our profound commitment to African people and with a long history of involvement in national and international issues involving Africa and people of African descent. Signing this letter is not simply to respond to Gates’ clear inaccuracies, misrepresentations and questionable timing, but rather to honor and defend the memory and interests of the victims of the Holocaust of enslavement. We have come together at this historical moment to bear continuing witness to this gross human injury and the continuing consequences of this catastrophic and horrific event and process, and reaffirm our renewed commitment to continue and intensify the struggle for reparative and social justice in this society and the world.

Committee to Advance the Movement for Reparations

Rick Adams Dr. Leonard Jeffries

Atty. Adjoa Aiyetoro Sister Viola Plummer

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante Brother James Rodgers

Herb Boyd Atty. Nkechi Taifa

Dr. Iva Carruthers Dr. James Turner

Dr. Ron Daniels Dr. Ife Williams

Dr. Jeanette Davidson Dr. Ray Winbush

Dr. Maulana Karenga Dr. Conrad Worrill

Signatories

Adisa Alkebulan, San Diego State, President, Diopian Institute

Dr. Mario Beatty, Chair, African American Studies, Chicago State University

Keith Beauchamp, filmmaker

Dr. Melanie Bratcher, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Sundiata Keita, Cha-Jua, President of National Council for Black Studies

Dr. Lupe Davidson, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of "The Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome"

Dr. Daryl Harris, Howard University

Eddie Harris, filmmaker

Juliette Hubbard, Australian Aboriginal Activist

Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, North American President World Council of Churches

Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett, Progressive Images Marketing Communications

Darryl Jordan, American Friends Service Center-Third World Coalition

Prof. Chad Dion Lassiter President, Black Men at Univ. of Penn School of Social Work, Inc

Haki Madhubuti, President/CEO, Third World Press

Dr. Emeka Nwadiora, Temple University

Dr. Patricia Reid Merritt, Stockton State University

Dr. Segun Shabaka, National Association of Kawaida Organizations--New York

Dr. Michael Simanga, Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta

James Lance Taylor, President of National Conference of Black Political Scientists

Dr. Christel Temple, University of Maryland

Dr. Ronald Walters, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

Dr. Valethia Watkins, Chair, African American Studies, Olive Harvey College

Dr. Komozi Woodard, Sarah Lawrence College

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago

Atty. Faya Rose Sanders, President, National Voting Rights Museum, Selma, AL

Leonard Dunston, President Emeritus, National Association of Black Social Workers

Betty Dopson, Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People

Bob Law, National Radio Personality

Contact Information

Press Inquiries and Interviews via Herb Boyd: 917.291.1825 - Email: herbboyd47@gmail.com

General Information and/or Responses: 888.774.2921 - Email. info@ibw21.org




Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dr. Boyce and Lola: Kwame Kilpatrick's Rise and Fall

Dr. Boyce and Lola discuss former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his rise/fall from American politics

Bill O'Reilly says Black Scholar Looks Like a Drug Dealer

Bill O'Reilly says Marc Lamont Hill looks like a drug dealer. ;

CNN Apologizes for Playing a Song with the "N-word"

CNN apologizes for playing a song with the N-word. ;

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton on Aiyana Jones and Other Current Issues

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton on Aiyana Jones and Other Current Issues

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busty Black Barbie Causes Controversy

Why is the black barbie the one the company chooses to oversexualize?

Teacher Makes Students Dress as KKK Members

What was she thinking?

Are the Oil Spills Going to be Barack Obama's Katrina?

The spills are expected to last for months - this could hurt the Obama Presidency.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Black News: Killer of Three Black College Students Convicted

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy

Nearly three years ago, two black college students and a friend were murdered in a schoolyard in Newark, NJ. Monday, a jury returned guilty verdicts for three of the murders and one attempted murder after deliberating for less than a day.
Rodolfo Godinez, a 26-year old gang member and native of Nicaragua, was convicted of all charges against him, including multiple counts of robbery, weapons possession and conspiracy. He can get up to 30 years to life for each murder count, and the sentences can be given out consecutively.
"This man will never see the light of day," said Robert D. Laurino, the acting Essex County prosecutor.
Sentencing for Godinez is set for July 8. His lawyer, Roy Greenman, said,"Obviously, there will be an appeal on a number of grounds," but he declined to state the grounds on which he'd be filing.
The prosecution did not assert that Godinez was the one who hacked at the victims with a machete or shot each of them execution-style, in the back of the head. He was argued, however, to be the one who summoned the other gang members to the schoolyard on the night when the murders took place. The murders were particularly chilling because all four of the victims were "good kids" with no criminal history and educational plans for the future.

Click to read

 

Find more black news at:

Your Black World

Black Scholars Blog

Black Political Blog

Black News Blog




The Willie Horton Attack Ad: Black Males Presented as Criminals

Remember this?

Venus Williams' French Open Outfit - Sexy or Trashy?

Venus Williams shocks the world with an outfit that looks like something you might buy in Victoria's secret.

Julianne Malveaux Breaks Down Obama's Financial Reform

Financial Reform-The Devil's In The Details

By Julianne Malveaux

Late last week, the United States Senate passed a financial reform bill by a vote of 59-39. Two Democrats crossed party lines, as did four Republicans to come up with the result. Now, the House, which has already passed financial reform legislation, and the Senate, will have to reconcile their versions of the bill. Now is the time for consumer advocates and others to counter the aggressive lobbying that will be done by banks and the auto industry to minimize the effects of legislation. This may also be an opportunity for the Congressional Black Caucus to raise its voice on the side of the many consumers who have been damaged by this financial crisis. While legislation is not meant to look backwards, but instead forward to prevent future crises, the CBC are among those who advocate for the least and the left out. Their perspective on financial regulation is badly needed.

The House would create a consumer protection agency that is freestanding; the Senate would house the agency inside the Federal Reserve Bank. In some ways having the Fed run consumer protection is like having the fox patrol the chicken coop. Isn't this the same Fed that was part and parcel of the 2008 financial meltdown, the same Fed (then led by Alan Greenspan) that turned a blind eye to predatory and sub-prime lending and the market distortions that emerged from the packaging of substandard loan paper? The Federal Reserve theoretically already deals with regulation around credit cards and mortgages and to date they've not done a good job. What will change when they now have a consumer protection agency? Hearings, anyone?

Click to read more




reBlog from thegrio.com: Oil spill leaves both political parties in the muck

I found this fascinating quote today:



Palin has apparently forgotten that she and John McCain took nearly three times more money from the oil and gas industry than Obama and even coined the phrase "drill baby, drill" as part of the 2008 election cycle. In fact, 75 percent of the $238.7 million in political donations from the oil and gas industry have gone to Republican candidates. It seems that the woman who didn't know that Africa is a continent also doesn't know who pays the bills in her own party.thegrio.com, Oil spill leaves both political parties in the muck, May 2010



You should read the whole article.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Aiyana Jones Death, Lawrence Taylor Rape Case

Dr. Boyce Watkins discusses the killing of Aiyana Jones and the rape case of Lawrence Taylor.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dr: Boyce Watkins on MSNBC Discusses: Would Rand Paul roll back the Civil Rights Act?

Dr: Boyce Watkins on MSNBC Discusses: Would Rand Paul roll back the Civil Rights Act?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Julianne Malveaux: Obama Disappoints Black Women with the Kagan Nomination

I was among the many who were disappointed that President Barack Obama did not nominate an African American woman to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. After all, there are six white men, two women, one Latina and one white, and a nominal African American man on the Court.  Why not an African American woman?
The Black Women's Roundtable, led by Melanie Campbell, was so disappointed that they shared their concerns with the President in a letter that spoke both to the contributions African American women have made and the qualifications of a few good women that President Obama should have considered before nominating Ms. Kagan to the nation's highest court.


I won't even speak on what I perceive as some of the shortcomings of the Kagan nomination.  The Solicitor General has earned the support of some colleagues that I fully respect, such as Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree.  At the same time, we have to pause at the fact that her definition of diversity is ideological diversity, not racial and ethnic diversity, and that she seemed to make Harvard a more welcome place for conservatives, if not for African American faculty.

 

Click to read




Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elena Kagan's Sexuality Questioned - Why?

Elena Kagan's supporters don't do her or gay Americans any favors by publicly expressing their views on her sexual orientation. Whether or not a future justice is a heterosexual or homosexual is irrelevant to questions about fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. That there are some bigoted Americans who would make sexual orientation an issue is no reason to grant them any legitimacy, which occurs when their perverse and offensive interests are addressed. The proper response is to treat the question of sexual orientation as the non-issue that it is and place the burden on the bigots to make their case in the public square… if they dare.

 

Click to read




Saturday, May 15, 2010

Miriam Harris: Elena Kagan's Weak Cultural Competence

No one is more delighted than I am that esteemed presidential historian, Annette Gordon- Reed will join the faculty at Harvard Law School. Despite the fact that she was recruited by then Dean Elena Kagan, I respectfully disagree with Charles Ogletree that Elena Kagan is a good choice for the Supreme Court.

Ogletree argues that from 2003 until the end of Kagan's deanship in 2009, the number of African American students matriculating rose to an all time high. I am sure this is accurate, but how relevant is it?

Do these numbers speak to the quality and caliber of student life? Are Harvard graduates fully engaged and can they provide an effective and vigorous understanding with matters pertaining to race? Or, are they merely defenders and justifiers of the status quo?

I suggest that Professor Ogletree look at the April 30, 2010 blog post written by Diane Lucas. Ms. Lucas was a guest blogger for FEMINISTE and authored a piece entitled, "The Racist Breeding Grounds of Harvard Law School". Lucas wrote this article to discuss the racist behavior of Stephanie Grace, a graduating student, and to discuss her own experience as a Black student at HLS. Lucas critiqued Kagan's leadership before she knew that Kagan was the U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

 

Click to read




Black Women's Leadership Groups Disappointed in Elena Kagan Appointment

E KaganFrom Politic 365: The announcement of Elena Kagan could not really be called a surprise, since the White House went out of its way to all but announce her as their pick over the last week. The Obama Administration dropped hints by the dozens to their favored reporters, who dutifully shared their information with the rest of us. I had come to accept it as a done deal, even though I had been a little perturbed at the way the D.C. pundits only mentioned three or four names from the president's short list, as if the rest of the names on it, like Georgia's ownLeah Ward Sears, were invisible.

It wasn't until I called a friend of mine, an African American lawyer here in Atlanta who had been a diehard Hillary supporter and then a reluctant Barack Obama supporter after he became the Democratic nominee, that I realized that others felt the same way. "First he puts a Hispanic woman on the court. Fine. He's paying back the Hispanics for their support," she said. "Then he puts a white woman on the court. Okay – he's paying them back for coming over to his side after Hillary lost. I see that.

But why do I have to be last? Why do black women always have to be last? I don't think he cares."
Where are the Sistahs? See Politic365 to find out




Friday, May 14, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Debate President Obama's Choice For Supreme Court Nominee on MSNBC

Dr. Boyce Watkins Debate President Obama's Choice For Supreme Court Nominee on MSNBC

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Discuss Obama's Supreme Court Nomination

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Discuss Obama's Supreme Court Nomination.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shocking Video: White Privilege Boot Camp

Was this brother being excessively harsh or just truthful?

Memoirs of a Black Latina - Starring Christina Mendez

Check it out!

Stop Comparing Elena Kagan to Thurgood Marshall: She's Not Him

 

From Colorlines.org

Obama’s second Supreme Court nominee clerked for one of history’s greatest racial justice champions. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her career since.

Despite all the hubbub Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination will generate, the truth of the matter is Kagan won’t make much difference to a judicial balance of power that leans rightward. She’ll maintain the status quo: four reliably liberal justices, four reliably conservative justices and one center-right swing voter in Justice Anthony Kennedy. Importantly, that means she will also do little to alter the court’s rightward trajectory on racial justice.

Both Kagan and the White House have made much of her time as a clerk for her self-described mentor, Thurgood Marshall. The hapless Republican National Committee has responded with a bizarre effort to tar her association with one of history’s most celebrated justices. But both sides overstate the connection. Kagan hasn't exactly spent her career as a champion of the racial justice principles Marshall articulated. We need to be asking why that’s the case.

As a Democratic president’s nominee, to be confirmed by a Democratic Senate, we can expect a would-be Justice Kagan to align herself consistently with the liberal voting bloc. After all, today’s Supreme Court appointments rarely let down the presidents who nominate them. Sure, David Souter—whom a wise Latina replaced last summer—was the bane of George H.W. Bush’s existence because of his pro-choice opinions. And retiring Justice John Paul Stevens certainly grew, during his three and a half decades on the court, to become a disappointment for President Gerald Ford’s legacy. I just don’t see that happening to our current constitutional-law-professor president.  

click to read




Black News: African American Scholars Speaking Up on Elena Kagan

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I started the day thinking about Elena Kagan, Barack Obama's most recent nominee to the Supreme Court. I was wondering how in the world the president could appoint someone who has no experience on the bench, given the number of highly qualified judges he had to choose from. Then I was informed that this might be a good thing, since the Republicans don't have a judicial record to scrutinize. No problemo.


I then noticed that Kagan has past affiliations with The University of Chicago, The Harvard Law School and Goldman Sachs, and that she was appointed to her position at Harvard by Lawrence Summers, the head of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. I was starting to get uncomfortable at that point, because Kagan's appointment would mean that the entire Supreme Court would be filled with Harvard and Yale grads, which effectively says that every other law school in the country need not apply (so much for having a meritocracy). I also saw a very disturbing pattern of cronyism, elitism and Wall Street loyalty that lets us know that perhaps the President of Hope and Change is not quite what we ordered, making back room deals with his buddies, all for the sake of keeping American power locked into tiny social circles.

Click to read




Dr. Boyce Watkins on MSNBC: Obama's Bad Appointment to Supreme Court

Dr. Boyce Watkins on MSNBC: Obama's Bad Appointment to Supreme Court

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black Scholars Keep Weighing in on Supreme Court Nominee, Elena Kagan

by Dr. Wilmer Leon

On Monday May 10th President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Many see this selection as a prudent political move; as the sitting solicitor general, Ms. Kagan has already been vetted and confirmed by the current Senate. This means that President Obama will not have to expend much political capital in order to get his nominee approved.

There are those who are questioning if not opposing the selection of Ms. Kagan for a number of different reasons. President Obama called her a "trailblazing leader… " and stated "Elena is widely regarded as one of the nation's foremost legal minds … " Some believe that while former President George W. Bush was eroding constitutional protections, Ms. Kagen, this “trailblazing leader” was conspicuously silent.

Others question Ms. Kagan’s record of minority hiring while dean of Harvard University’s Law School. During her tenure Dean Kagan hired 32 tenured and tenure-track academic faculty members. Of these, 25 were white men, 6 white women, and one Asian American woman. During her six years in the position there were no African American or Latinos hired. Just 3% of her hires were non-white. It is important to note that according to Harvard’s 2009 Annual Report the entire Harvard faculty consists of 26% female, 3% African American, and 3% Latino.

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Marc Lamont Hill Analyzes Elena Kagan

by Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Yesterday, President Obama nominated United States Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Few were surprised by the choice, as Kagan has long been viewed a frontrunner for the high court. While many observers have applauded Obama’s decision, others like myself were left with a lingering question.
Is this really the best we could do?
Let’s be clear, I am not questioning Kagan’s basic qualifications as a nominee. Unlike those who have questioned her “temperament” and “intellectual curiosity”—loaded queries that only seem to get raised in relation to women and minority candidates—I have little doubt about Kagan’s fitness for the job. Rather, I am concerned about Kagan’s ability to fill John Paul Stevens’ shoes as the progressive anchor of the Supreme Court.
Although she undoubtedly shares the same political persuasion as Justice Stevens, Kagan is considerably less progressive on major issues of the day. While Stevens has filed numerous dissents in an effort to challenge the Bush (and now Obama) doctrine of endless executive power, Kagan has dutifully argued in favor of policies that undermine the spirit and letter of the Constitution. For example, during her confirmation hearing for Solicitor General, Kagan offered unequivocal support for the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists as well as the bizarre belief that the entire world is a battleground. On other issues, from gay marriage to civil rights, Kagan has done nothing to inspire confidence that she would continue Stevens’ tradition of principled and rigorous resistance.
The choice of Kagan is even more disappointing when examining the other viable option. Diane Wood, a highly respected judge who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has a long and successful record of defending the Constitution from the onslaught of right-wing jurists. Also, like Justice Stevens, Wood has also demonstrated the ability to persuade conservative judges to change their opinion on controversial cases. In addition, Wood’s Protestant faith and non-Ivy League education would have added another layer of diversity to the court. While Wood was certainly a more contentious choice, there is little doubt that she would have been confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
True to form, political pragmatists have claimed that Kagan was the best choice available. By choosing a relatively moderate nominee, they argue, Obama effectively prevents the Right from turning the confirmation hearings into a political spectacle designed to make both Kagan and Obama look like ideological extremists. While this argument is theoretically sound, it rests upon the native expectation that the Republican Party operates in good faith.
They do not.

 

Click to read




Black Law Professors disturbed by Elena Kagan's Nomination by Obama

AP photo/Jose Luis Magana

Reports suggest that Solicitor General Elena Kagan may be President Obama's choice for the Supreme Court vacancy.

Like everyone in the legal academy over the last decade, we have watched with admiration the amazing changes that Elena Kagan brought to Harvard Law School. A fractured faculty, divided among ideological lines, seemed finally content, if not united. A boisterous student body was finally pacified. The logjam that had stopped faculty hiring had burst. Indeed, she hired so many new faculty the Harvard Law School’s newspaper’s 2008 April Fool’s issue declared, "Dean Kagan Hires Every Law Professor in the Country."

The first woman Dean of Harvard Law School had presided over an unprecedented expansion of the faculty -- growing it by almost a half. She had hired 32 tenured and tenure-track academic faculty members (non-clinical, non-practice). But when we sat down to review the actual record, we were frankly shocked. Not only were there shockingly few people of color, there were very few women. Where were the people of color? Where were the women? Of these 32 tenured and tenure-track academic hires, only one was a minority. Of these 32, only seven were women. All this in the 21st Century.

 

Click to read




Lawrence Taylor Should Only Be Judged After We see the Evidence

lawrence_taylor_rape

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, The Institute for Black Public Policy

Former New York Giant Lawrence Taylor has had a life that has been shameful, exciting, devastating and amazing.  He has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, whether you are referring to his physical prowess or his battle with drug addiction.  I can’t, for one second, pretend that I know how difficult it is to walk away from crack cocaine, but I believe thatLawrence Taylor had the strength to do it.

RELATED: Teen In LT’s Rape Case “Doesn’t Want To Ruin His Reputation”

I was proud to see Taylor rebuild his life after spending quite a few years making one mistake after another.  Just like on the football field, I wanted to see him succeed.  And he was succeeding, at least for a while.  Then came the rape allegations.

Click to read




Sunday, May 9, 2010

Black Unemployment Remains Strong in April - What are We to Do?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins - The Institute for Black Public Policy

 

Persistently high black unemployment remains a problem here in the United States, as the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that African Americans have an unemployment rate of 16.5 percent, compared to 9 percent for white Americans. This rate remains the same as last month, even though the economy created 290,000 jobs during the month of April.
White unemployment rose slightly from last month's rate of 8.8 percent, but black unemployment is still over 80 percent higher than that of White Americans.
Black women saw their unemployment number rise to 13.7 percent from 12.4 percent last month. This number is 85 percent higher than the unemployment rate for white women, which is at 7.4 percent. Black males are at the bottom of the barrel, with an unemployment rate of 18 percent, which is 95 percent higher than that for white men.
Black teen unemployment also continues to be a problem. African American teenagers saw their unemployment rate drop from 41.1 percent to 37.3 percent. But this number is 58 percent higher than a white teen unemployment rate of 23.5 percent.
Some argue that President Obama and Congress must do something to help with the black unemployment situation. The Congressional Black Caucus is urging the passage of a $1.5 billion dollar jobs bill to reduce black teen unemployment in order to curb youth violence. Violence among teens tends to increase during the summer months, when kids are out of school.

 

Click to read




Friday, May 7, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks About "Policing Wall Street" On Michael Eric Dyson

Dr. Boyce Watkins Talks About "Policing Wall Street" On Michael Eric Dyson

Newspaper Compares the Obamas to Fred Sanford and Aunt Esther

Long Island Newspaper Smithtown Messenger Compares Obamas To Sanford Son


Dr. Boyce And The Ladies Sound Off on Celebrity Infidelity

Dr. Boyce Talks to The Ladies As They Sound Off on Celebrity Infidelity

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Obama Family Portrayed as Sanford and Son in Newspaper

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Phillip Sciarello, a publisher and part owner of the Smithtown Messenger in Long Island, is defending his newspaper after a picture appeared that some believe to be a racist stereotype of the first family. The picture depicts Barack and Michelle Obama as characters from "Sanford and Son." The public backlash has led the paper to announce that it will issue a retraction in its next edition.
The picture is part of a "before and after" sequence of the last six presidents, showing how much they age once they get into the White House. The "after" photo of the Obamas show Barack Obama as Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) and Michelle Obama as Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page). The characters are standing ready to fight, as was typical on the 1970s television show.The pictures led the Brookhaven town board to remove one of the company's sister publications, the Brookhaven Review, as an official newspaper. This means that the paper will no longer publish town government notices.
"The reference to racial stereotypes is where the line was crossed," Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said to Newsday.
Hazel N. Dukes, president of the state NAACP conference, stated that the county should pull advertising from any publication that runs the photo.

 

Click to read




Monday, May 3, 2010

Athletes Get Nothing from NCAA's New $11 Billion Dollar Contract

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is expanding, starting next season, but not on the large scale once expected.

The sport's signature event will grow to 68 teams from 65 in conjunction with a new 14-year, nearly $11 billion television agreement with CBS and Turner Sports announced Thursday. That gives the NCAA a 41% hike in annual media and marketing rights connected to the tournament — and "financial stability through the first quarter of this century," interim President Jim Isch said — without the controversy of a more dramatic move to a 96-team bracket.

Negotiations with CBS/Turner, ESPN and Fox Sports initially had targeted a 96-team field, drawing concern and criticism from traditionalists and others over the impact on the tournament's aesthetics, effect on college basketball's regular season and conference tournaments and potential for further intrusion on players' time and studies.

 

Click to read