Tuesday, December 21, 2010

President Obama Signs Critical Legislation to Prevent Child Abuse and Domestic Violence | The White House

President Obama Signs Critical Legislation to Prevent Child Abuse and Domestic Violence | The White House

In 2008, 772,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect. Nearly 2,000 of those children died. By providing states and local communities with new tools to identify and treat abuse and neglect, CAPTA-funded services will continue to protect children across the country. Prevention efforts will help parents by addressing high risk-factors like substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence.

Domestic violence still affects 1 in 4 women in states and territories across the country.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

President Obama: Tax-cut deal good for African Americans – washingtonpost.com | The Black Report Archives

President Obama: Tax-cut deal good for African Americans – washingtonpost.com | The Black Report Archives
This article is relevant and well-written. It, in a way, explains how President Obama protected African Americans from having refunds nicked away. A tax refund is the government saying, "here, you've paid us too much over the past year and we are also giving you some discounts on some stuff you did and some stuff you bought, for having kids and continuing life on earth and all."
However anyone who was affected by the tax, was protected by the actions of the President. He stopped what could be considered financial harm. Not getting a child tax credit will decimate the average American tax refund. Just saying, because most people want to keep what they have and possibly find gain somehow, not loss.
"These credits help roughly 4.7 million African American children or almost half (44%) of all African American children," an e-mail to political leaders and media said.
Makes you think that for the President to take a political hit for the People like that, he has to care about the People.The negotiation was bold and swift. (*He wears his 50 lashes well. Wink*)

Raw Video: Obama reads his book to 2nd graders

Raw Video: Obama reads his book to 2nd graders

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conversations for the People: Snow Days: good or bad?

Conversations for the People

A discussion about the usefulness of snow days and keeping children home from school during bad weather.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Black, Native American Farmers Get Their Due

President Obama Signs the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 | The White House

Today I have signed into law H.R. 4783, the "Claims Resolution Act of 2010." This Act, among other things, provides funding and statutory authorities for the settlement agreements reached in the Cobell lawsuit, brought by Native Americans; the Pigford II lawsuit, brought by African American farmers; and four separate water rights suits, brought by Native American tribes.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Be Careful Mr. President!

President Barack Obama - Yahoo! News Photos

The President seems fine after a hard foul to the mouth during a Thanksgiving weekend pick up basketball game at Fort McNair. News reports say the president was fouled by the Director of Programs for Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institutes, Rey Decerega.  Can't wait for the rematch!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Vote Early, Vote Democrat

Early Voting started Monday October 4. Please vote early in the Midterm Election on November 2. Early voting will continue until November 1. Election Day is November 2. If you don't vote early, please make sure to vote Democrat November 2.
Vote early, vote straight Democrat.

Vote early at:
100 Broadway
Lake County Court Bldg.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m
Lake County Courthouse, normal business hours
Building 'A205', 2nd Floor, 2293 N. Main Street

Crown Point, IN 46307
Phone: 219-755-3795
Also
Volunteer at the Indiana Democratic Headquarters, 201 E. Fifth Ave.(across
from the fire station), Gary to help the Democratic Party win November 2.
When you show up, ask for "Shae."
Hours:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; Noon to 7 p.m., Sunday.

Call for more information:
219-405-2038
219-405-2041
219-687-0040

Monday, September 27, 2010

Remarks by the President in Conference Call with College and University Student-Journalists - Barack Obama | Government News from the White House and Congress - Senate/House of Representatives

Remarks by the President in Conference Call with College and University Student-Journalists - Barack Obama | Government News from the White House and Congress - Senate/House of Representatives

Remarks by the President in Conference Call with College and University Student-Journalists

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Press Release on September 27, 2010 | 2:50 pm - Original Item - Comments and 0 Reactions

12:16 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining me today. Before I get to the questions I want to just take a minute to underscore something that is probably going to make as big a difference in our success as a nation as anything we do, and that's what we're trying to achieve to strengthen our nation’s higher education system. Our classrooms, our professors, our administrators, our students -- you guys are going to drive future success of the United States.

I've been talking about this a lot lately. We have fallen behind. In a single generation we've fallen from first to 12th in college graduation rates for young adults. And if we're serious about building a stronger economy and making sure we succeed in the 21st century, then the single most important step we can take is to make sure that every young person gets the best education possible -- because countries that out-educate us today are going to out-compete us tomorrow.

So what I've done, starting with this past year’s State of the Union address, is proposed that by 2020, we once again are number one and have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. And we're trying to put in place some policies to help us meet this goal.

First of all, we're making college more affordable. For example, we've changed the way federal student loans are administered. Instead of handing over $60 billion in unwarranted subsidies to big banks that were essentially getting this money even though the loans were guaranteed by the federal government, we're redirecting that money so that it goes directly to students. And that's allowing us to support community colleges and make college more affordable for nearly 8 million students and families.

We're tripling the investment in college tax credits for middle-class families. We're raising the value of Pell Grants and we're going to make sure that they keep up with inflation. What we've also done is made sure that future borrowers are able to choose a plan so that you never have to pay more than 10 percent of your salary each month to service student loans that you’ve taken. And if you go into public service and you keep up with your payments, whatever leftover student debt that you have will be forgiven after 10 years. And finally, as part of this effort, we're simplifying financial aid forms.

Another important way we're making college more affordable, under the Affordable Care Act, my health care bill, is that young adults can now stay on their parents’ health plans until they’re 26 years old. And that obviously provides relief to a lot of young people who are looking maybe at their first job not providing health insurance.

Our second priority is making sure that higher education creates a workforce that's ready for the new jobs of the future. Community colleges are going to play a critical role in getting there, and I've asked Dr. Jill Biden to hold the first-ever White House summit on community colleges. That way stakeholders are going to be able to discuss how community colleges can make sure we've got the most educated workforce in the world in relevant subjects that help people get jobs. That summit is going to be here next week.

A third part of our higher education strategy is where all of you have an important role, and that's making sure that more students complete college. We've done okay in terms of college enrollment rates, but more than a third of America’s college students and more than half of our minority students don't earn a degree, even after six years. And that's a waste of potential, particularly if folks are racking up big debt and then they don't even get the degree at the end -- they still have to pay back that debt, but they’re not in a stronger position to be able to service it.

So obviously it’s up to students to finish, but we can help remove some barriers, especially those who are earning degrees while working or raising families. So that's why I’ve long proposed what I call a college access and completion fund, which would develop, implement and evaluate new approaches to improving college success and completion, especially for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. We’re also making sure our younger veterans are supported through a post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

The key here is, is that we want to open the doors of our colleges and universities to more people so they can learn, they can graduate, and they can succeed in life.

And while we had a setback last week, one last element that I want to mention is the need to get the DREAM Act passed. Some of you are probably aware this is important legislation that will stop punishing young people who -- their parents brought them here; they may not have been documented, but they’ve for all intents and purposes grown up as American young people. This gives them the chance to obtain legal status either by pursuing a higher education or by serving in the U.S. armed forces for the country they’ve grown up in and love as their own, the same way that all of us do.

So these are all some of the steps that we’re taking to help students fulfill their dreams, but also a key part of my economic platform in terms of making the country stronger.

With that, I’m ready to take questions on higher education issues or any other issue that you guys are interested in.

MR. DAILEDA: Hi, Mr. President. How are you today?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m good, Colin. Where are you calling from?

MR. DAILEDA: I’m calling from southwest Virginia, Radford University.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, tell everybody I said hi there.

MR. DAILEDA: I’ll do that. Okay, so I’ve heard some of my professors call our generation the “lost generation” because we’re going to get out of school with a ton of debt due to student loans and not be able to pay them off really because, well, we don't -- not going to get a steady job -- it’s not that likely to begin with -- and the economy is in the shape it is currently in. So I guess my question is, do you think there’s some truth to that? And do you think it will take a longer time than usual for our generation to get on our feet?

And I guess -- I mean, you talked about in your health care plan and how we’re able to stay on our parents’ plans now until we’re 26 and that’s going to help us deal with kind of money issues and insurance. But what else are you -- is your administration doing to kind of I guess help us stand up when we get out of college?

THE PRESIDENT: A couple points I’d make. First of all, I think your generation is going to be just fine. I mean, we’ve gone through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and so things are real tough for young people right now. But having said that, if you are getting a college degree, if you’ve got skills in math and science or good, sound communication skills, there are still jobs out there even in a tough environment. And nine out of 10 people who are looking for work can still find work.

The key is for us to keep on improving the economy, and that’s going to be my number one priority over the next several years. If the economy is growing, if we’re investing in small businesses so they can open their doors and hire more workers, if we’re helping large businesses in terms of plants and equipment -- a lot of the initiatives that I’ve put in place already -- if we’re building infrastructure -- not just roads and bridges but also broadband lines -- if we’re investing in clean energy -- all those things are going to open up new opportunities for young people with skills and talent for the future.

So don’t let anybody tell you that somehow your dreams are going to be constrained going forward. You’re going through a slightly tougher period. But if you think about it, what we called “the greatest generation,” my grandparents’ generation, they had a situation where unemployment reached 30 percent and they ended up essentially building the entire American middle class to what it was and making this the most powerful economy in the world. So right now we’re going through a tough time but I have no doubt that you guys are going to be successful.

Now in the meantime, some specific things that we can do to help, I already mentioned two of them. One was you being able to stay on your parents’ health care until you’re 26. That gives you a little bit of a cushion in the initial jobs that you’re getting coming out of college. The second thing that I’ve already mentioned is that starting in 2014, we’re going to be in a situation where young people can cap their debt at 10 percent of their salary, regardless of what that salary is.

And if you go into something like teaching, for example, or you’re a police officer or firefighter, public service jobs of one sort or another, then that's forgiven after 10 years. That's obviously going to be a big boost that would have helped me out a lot, because I ended up having 10 years worth of loans I had to pay down after I got out of law school.

In the meantime, what we’re also doing -- and this is already in place, this doesn’t wait till 2014 -- we have increased the Pell Grant. We’ve made it available to more people. We’ve made it more reliable. And so hopefully students who are studying now are going to be able to keep their student loan -- their debt lower than I did when I went to school or Michelle did when we went to school. That's obviously going to help. That's a second thing.

A third thing we’re trying to do is to make sure that we’re giving young people a better sense of what jobs are out there in the future so that people end up gravitating towards the skills and the degrees that they need to get employed. That's especially important for young people who are going through a community college system, because a lot of times folks are going through programs that -- where they’re racking up debt, they’re getting college credits, but these aren’t ultimately giving them the kinds of skills that they need to get a job.

And so all those things can be helpful in moving us forward. But the single most important thing I’ve got to do is make sure that we get this economy back on track, and that's why I’m so focused on things like a bill I’m going to be signing today that provides small businesses further incentive to invest and gives them tax breaks and financing, because they’re huge drivers of job creation over the long term.

All right? Who do we have next?

MS. ZETTELL: Hi, Mr. President. Thank you for taking the time to do this today.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s great to talk to you. Which college are you calling from?

MS. ZETTELL: I’m calling from the University of Wisconsin, where you will be tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: I am looking forward to getting to Madison. (Laughter.)

MS. ZETTELL: Well, we’re very excited to have you here. I guess my question is, why are you so interested in Wisconsin? I mean, you’ve been here quite a few times, especially over the summer. I mean, why come to -- why host a rally here tomorrow?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I’m a Midwest guy, and so whenever I get a chance to get back to the Midwest I’m always happy about it. Second, I love Madison because when I was just out of college and I moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer, I still had a couple of friends who were up going to school in Madison, so I used to drive up there and have fun times, which I can’t discuss in detail with you. (Laughter.)

And the third thing is, the reason we’re going to Madison is because I want to send a message to young people across the country about how important this election is.

Look, back in 2008, a lot of young people got involved in my campaign because they felt like the path that we were on, where we were in a war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan, no clear plan for us to get out of either one; we had run up huge deficits that people were going to have to pay off long term; the economy wasn’t doing well; health care system was a mess -- I think people just generally felt that we needed to bring about some fundamental changes in how we operate. And this was all before the financial crisis. And I think a lot of people felt that our campaign gave them a vehicle to get engaged and involved in shaping the direction of this country over the long term.

Now, I’ve been in office for two years; we’ve been in the midst of this big financial crisis. I’ve been having all these fights with the Republicans to make progress on a whole bunch of these issues. And during that time, naturally, some of the excitement and enthusiasm started to drain away because people felt like, gosh, all we’re reading about are constant arguments in Washington and things haven’t changed as much as we would like as quickly as we’d like -- even though the health care bill got passed, and financial regulatory bill got passed, and we’ve brought an end to our combat mission in Iraq. But still it seems as if a lot of the old politics is still operating in Washington.

And what I want to do is just to go speak to young people directly and remind them of what I said during the campaign, which was change is always hard in this country. It doesn’t happen overnight. You take two steps forward, you take one step back. This is a big, complicated democracy. It’s contentious. It’s not always fun and games. A lot of times, to bring about big changes like, for example, in our energy policy, you’re taking on a lot of special interests -- the oil companies and utilities. And some of them may not want to see the kinds of changes that would lead to a strong green economy.

And the point is, though, you can’t sit it out. You can’t suddenly just check in once every 10 years or so, on an exciting presidential election, and then not pay attention during big midterm elections where we’ve got a real big choice between Democrats and Republicans.

I mean, you’ve got a situation right now where the Republicans put out their Pledge to America that says we’re going to give $4 trillion worth of tax breaks, $700 billion of those going to millionaires and billionaires, each of whom would get on average a $100,000 check. And to even pay for part of that, we’re going to cut all the improvements that we just talked about making on student loans, so that 8 million young people would see less support on student loans. We’d cut back our education assistance through the higher education by 20 percent. Well, that's a big choice. That has big consequences.

And so even though this may not be as exciting as a presidential election, it’s going to make a huge difference in terms of whether we’re going to be able to move our agenda forward over the next couple of years.

And I just want to remind young people, they’ve got to get reengaged in this process. And they're going to have to vote in these midterms elections. You’ve got to take the time to find out where does your congressional candidate stand on various issues, where does your Senate candidate stand on various issues and make an educated decision and participate in this process -- because democracy is never a one-and-done proposition. It’s something that requires sustained engagement and sustained involvement. And I just want to remind everybody of that.

MS. WEHR: Hi, Mr. President. How are you?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m good, Katrina. Where are you calling from?

MS. WEHR: Penn State University, where Joe Biden will be tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, tell the Nittany Lions, congratulations. You guys won this weekend.

MS. WEHR: Oh, yes, barely. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Barely. It was a little scary there for a second.

MS. WEHR: You’re telling me. Anyway, so my question is actually about health care. So will our parents’ employers be required to cover us after we graduate at their group rate that they're currently at? Or will the cost go up as a result of us being kept on our parents’ plan? And are there any regulations on this as far as like how it’s going to work?

THE PRESIDENT: Your costs should not -- your parents’ costs should not go up substantially. Under this rule, you should be able to stay on your parents’ plan until you’re 26. The only caveat to the thing is that it assumes that your employer doesn’t offer you health care. So if you find a job on graduation and your new employer offers you a health care plan, you can’t say to yourself, you know what, I’d rather stay on my parents’ plan and that will save me some money. You’ve got to take up the offer that your employer gives you for health care. But if your employer does not offer you health care, or if you’re having trouble finding a job, during that period when you’re looking for a job, you will be covered under your parents’ plan up to the age of 26.

MR. SCHONHAUT: Hi, Mr. President. I hope things are going well for you.

THE PRESIDENT: They’re going great. And, now, congratulations to you guys. Beating Texas, that was big.

MR. SCHONHAUT: Thank you very much. I don’t think many of us expected it.

THE PRESIDENT: I can’t imagine you did. (Laughter.)

MR. SCHONHAUT: Well, my question is that I think there’s a lot of concern, especially in public universities, that education is becoming increasingly less affordable. I know like at UCLA last year they raised tuition by 32 percent to help make up for slashed funding from the state, which accounts for like $200 million at just our university this year. And student aid has increased some in this time, especially for lower-income groups, but I think especially in the middle class a lot of families are just not being able to compensate. So my question is how would you address this concern that public higher education is becoming more of a strain on families?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I talked about what we’re doing to increase financial aid to students and obviously that’s important. But there’s another part of the equation and that is just the cost of college generally, both at the public and private institutions. If I keep on increasing Pell Grants and increasing student loan programs and making it more affordable, but health care -- or higher education inflation keeps on going up at the pace that it’s going up right now, then we’re going to be right back where we started, putting more money in, but it’s all being absorbed by these higher costs.

You’ve identified one of the reasons that at public institutions costs have gone up. It has to do with the fact that state budgets are being so hard pressed that they’re having to make severe cutbacks in the support they provide to public education.

So one of the things that I can do to help is to make sure that the economy is growing, states then are taking in more tax revenue, and if states are taking in more tax revenue, then they don't have to try to pass on increased costs to students because they can maintain levels of support to institutions of higher learning.

So improving the economy overall is going to be critical. That will take some pressure off the states. We also, though, need to work with the states and public universities and colleges to try to figure out what is driving all this huge inflation in the cost of higher education, because this is actually the only place where inflation is higher than health care inflation. And some of it are things that are out of the control of the administrators at universities -- health care costs being an example. Obviously personnel costs are a big chunk of university expenses, and if their health care costs are going up 6, 8 percent a year, then they’re going to have to absorb those costs some way.

And that's why our health care bill generally should help, because what we’re trying to do is to control health care costs for everybody. But there are other aspects of this where, frankly, I think students as consumers, parents as consumers, and state legislators and governors are going to need to put more pressure on universities. And I’ll just give one example, which people may not want to hear, but when I go to some colleges and universities, public colleges and universities, and I look at the athletic facilities that exist these days, or the food courts or the other things that have to do with the quality of life at universities, it’s sure a lot nicer than it was when I was going to college. Somebody has to pay for that.

And part of what I think we’ve got to examine is are we designing our universities in a way that focuses on the primary thing, which is education. You’re not going to a university to join a spa; you’re going there to learn so that you can have a fulfilling career. And if all the amenities of a public university start jacking up the cost of tuition significantly, that’s a problem.

How courses are taught, so that we’re making sure that the teaching loads at universities continue to emphasize research and continue to give professors the opportunity to engage in work outside the classroom that advances knowledge, but at the same time reminding faculties that their primary job is to teach, and so you’ve got to structure how universities operate to give students the best deal that they can -- that’s important, too.

And so one of the things that we’re going to be doing is working with university presidents and college presidents to figure out how can we get control of costs generally and refocus our priorities and our attention on what the primary function of a university is, and that is to give students the knowledge and skills that they need to have a fulfilling career after they get out -- not to provide the best situation for the four years that they’re there.

Like I -- as I said, when I was going to college, I mean, food at the cafeteria was notoriously bad. I didn’t have a lot of options. We used to joke about what was for lunch that day, and there would be a bunch of non-descript stuff that wasn’t particularly edible. But -- now, I don’t want to get in trouble with the First Lady here, because she’s obviously big on improving nutrition, but I do think that you’ve got to think about what we can do to generally make universities more cost-effective for students.

And you guys have to be good consumers, and your parents have to be good consumers, and we've got to offer you more information. You should know where your tuition is going. There should be a pie chart at every university that says, out of every dollar you spend in tuition, here’s where your money is going. And you should have some good understanding of that and be able to make some better decisions as a consequence of that information.

Let me just close, because I know we’re out of time. And hopefully as I travel around the country I'm going to be able to talk to you guys individually when I visit colleges or universities.

I know we’ve gone through a tough time these last two years. And I do worry sometimes that young folks, having grown up or come of age in difficult economic times, start feeling as if their horizons have to be lowered and they’ve got to set their sights a little bit lower than their parents or their grandparents. And I just want to remind people that you guys all have enormous challenges that you’re going to have to face, but you continue to live in the most vibrant, most dynamic, wealthiest nation on Earth.

And if you are able to work together as a generation to tackle longstanding problems that you inherited but that are solvable, then there’s no reason why the 21st century is not going to be the American Century just like the 20th century was. And there’s still billions of people around the world who want to come here, and they want to come here because they know that this is, for all our problems, still the land of opportunity.

But it’s going to require us to get involved around critical issues like education and health care and energy and our foreign policy. And we’re going to have to have vigorous debates, and we’re going to have to hammer out consensus on these issues. And the energy that you were able to bring to our politics in 2008, that's needed not less now, it’s needed more now.

And so I hope that everybody starts paying attention these last five weeks. We’ve got an election coming up. I want everybody to be well informed and to participate. If you do, then I feel very optimistic about the country’s future.

All right? Thank you, guys. Bye-bye.

END
12:45 P.M. EDT

Monday, September 20, 2010

"A CNBC Town Hall Event with President Obama"

"A CNBC Town Hall Event with President Obama" was good. Very good. The encore presentation on CNBC airs 7 p.m. Central, 8 p.m. Eastern.

If you are undergoing a personal financial crisis, you should watch.
It seems to me that the very wealthy should lend a hand- up to those below them in the economy. If they would work with the president to help the middle class grow, then we would be a much happier country. (and no one would expect much else from you.)

There are people who cannot put food on the table right now and they have these big car note payments and mortgages and a questionable jobs future. They want to save face too. And, they have been struggling with this for some time--before President Obama won the election.

The ones at the top, who are in charge of hiring and firing should take a really good look at what they would lose and gain by helping the president achieve his goal for America. Right now, they are not spending money on job creation and instead fighting like they have a problem keeping food on the table and that couldn't be farther from the truth.

These people at the top should ask themselves, what would you really be giving up? One lavish party per year? One less outing on the yacht? No one is discounting your hard work and right to enjoy your riches but at what cost to others? (you spend more time showing off and one upping each other in your class group--according to some prognosticators--and don't involve yourselves with the struggles of the commoner.)To much is given much is expected. What you are being asked to relinquish is not very much at all. Pitch the fk in.


If poor people and the working poor could be of help, they would be made to help society. However, to ask disabled individuals, widows, orphans and veterans to take a meal off of the table and literally starve to death pitching in to help America is insane. Don't be greedy. Don't take too much. Every one else is cutting back on their consumption because their budgets have gotten smaller. Top Dogs in business and finance should do the opposite and spend--spread the wealth. Call your friendly Senator and Congressman or Congresswoman and ask them to vote with the president. You won't notice a change in your budget worth mentioning.

It's like the rich men in the Bible. Those are good examples. While God said the poor would always be among us, he didn't say kick them when they are down or take food out of their mouths while they watch you at the feast. Wow, one less suckling pig on the table. What a sacrifice!

Most of these people pushing against the president are trying to save financial face. They are one step away from not being a millionaire anymore and surprisingly, I can understand that pain. Try thinking about the situation from another viewpoint. You may temporarily not be technically considered a millionaire or billionaire but many of your friends are in the same boat so there will not be a class difference that is noticeable. These people are far from broke and struggling they are not in survival mode and working hard to keep food on the table. Small sacrifices from the wealthy will quiet the rumble in the tummies of the poor and we can all move forward as one nation in peace.

Remember, people who do not have much to lose don't have far to fall but much to gain, are very dangerous to those who do have a lot to lose.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Root: Which Votes Really Matter In Arkansas? : NPR

The Root: Which Votes Really Matter In Arkansas? : NPR

"For five months, the Senate has blocked passage of legislation that contains money to fund the USDA's $1.25 billion settlement of the second bias suit lodged by black farmers."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

TJMS: RNC Chair Michael Steele Talks Iraq War, What the GOP Will Do For African-Americans and The Black Farmers Settlement | Roland S. Martin Blog

TJMS: RNC Chair Michael Steele Talks Iraq War, What the GOP Will Do For African-Americans and The Black Farmers Settlement | Roland S. Martin Blog

"The Black farmers’ settlement was also discussed during the interview with Steele stating “… Harry Reid could move this thing in a heartbeat. The President could release $100 million that’s already free and clear in a heartbeat. They haven’t. Republicans are working with John Boyd and the Black farmers to get that done.” Roland responded by explaining that $100 million could be released but that sill would leave $1.4 billion owed to the Black farmers."

Monday, August 09, 2010

The President on Facebook

Barack Obama A minority in the Senate is standing in the way of giving our small-businesspeople an up-or-down vote on the jobs bill. That’s a shame. We need to decide whether we’re willing to rise above the election-time games and come together—not just to pass a jobs bill that is going to help small businesses hire and grow but al...so to rebuild our economy around three simple words: "Made in America."

Barack Obama Medicare isn’t just a program. It’s a commitment to America’s seniors—that after working your whole life, you’ve earned the security of quality health care you can afford.

The 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal | The White House

The 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal | The White House

The Presidential Citizens Medal has recognized Americans who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizen for over 40 years.
This medal is among the highest honors a civilian can receive and this year, the President Obama is asking Americans across the country to help nominate candidates for this extraordinary honor.






A woman from Chicago won the medal too.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

National Black Farmers Association

National Black Farmers Association

"Thousands of the farmers that have claims against the USDA in this case are in Mississippi. I hope this settlement will resolve these claims in a fair way that is consistent with the court rulings rendered in these cases."
- Senator Thad Cochran - MS (R) in a March 2, 2010, press release

Friday, July 30, 2010

West Wing: Week in Review


Let us all pay attention to what the president says and does. He is talking to us because he wants us to succeed as a country and as a people.
He is keeping his campaign promises and he is moving this country forward.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Listen and Conversate about Things that Matter

Meaningful conversations foster understanding.
Okay ya'll, kitchen tables, water coolers and church basements and over fence posts: These are places to have conversation and discuss relevant issues.
I wish this could occur without all the bs that comes before and during it. I would like to see these conversations occur. I understand the roadblocks but I don't understand how to overcome them. Sharing of ideas conversationally is an art. I share an idea, then you or visa versa. The best conversations occur with me, on social networking or on the phone with friends. I cannot get into a relevant conversation when I'm supposed to be doing something else like praying or working. I cannot maybe others can. Then again, I work from home.

I get all of this after watching the president address the National Urban League in honor of their100th Anniversary today. He talked about lots of things but mostly education.
We have to say: Black kids are worth it!
However, president Barack Obama's role in our affairs is limited. He can set rules, tone and laws and create consequences but he cannot puppeteer every single one of us and make us feel differently about black children. That is up to us to do.
We have to change our own minds and say 'we are worth it, our children are worth it–and–even if no one else thinks so, I'm going to love them no matter what and do my best by them every day.'

Maybe I am pushing it to say everyday but that is how I feel. On the days I cannot, then someone does it twice as much and visa versa. Let us take up for each other. Let us actually not provoke each other to anger and be slow to anger. Politics is a hard game and many of us don't have or want a role in it.
However, the call for conversations about our problems has been issued and we should heed the call.

On the other hand, one should take a look at and discriminate between social networking conversations.

Blah, Blah, Blah. Fight!
I'm sorry but if one were to look through the comments on popular Facebook sites, one would find one or two of 10 or so comments made sense. The rest were short sighted and or ignorant of the basic facts. Most just a regurgitation of fact with little to no insight.

One conversation did catch my attention today: A white woman got hired at Essence Magazine.

There are people and families walking around here on janky ground. There are people around here going through or preventing foreclosure. There are even people wondering why they are not married and have no children, or why the spouse did this or that or avoiding domestic violence (or maybe not). On the other end there are women with children and no father for them, through no fault of her own, struggling.

They are not in the least bit concerned about a white chick pulling down a job in the fashion business at Essence or elsewhere. That is not news. A few feathers may have been ruffled but it is not news and should not be. Call your trades with this story. When a black gets hired in a mostly white environment, not news any more. When a woman gets a job in a mostly male environment, not news. These people are ground breakers, yes but how interested in someone else's job am I expected to be? There were no civil rights laws broken, no one is hurt or dead. It's just one job and no telling how long she'll be there.

Learn!
I want to take part in a discussion on education, race relations, creating infrastructure and the importance of it and in general what other blacks are doing in the form of a feature story. Everyday stuff we do. I read the police blotter too but all black folks do that.

But I'm mostly concerned about education and the way black kids are viewed by blacks, whites and the people in the world around them.
I'm concerned about my son not having his spirit crushed in school by insensitive teachers with no coping skills. Teachers who are not required to learn about child psychology and do not understand the physiology of a child's brain. They don't read the trades, no sabbaticals, no rest for the weary in a high-stress, high-burnout career. If this rock has hit you then be convicted by it, if not, discuss it and examine it. Speak up for yourselves, stellar teachers who know how to educate a class of young minds. Tell the administration en masse about how things should work. The kids are looking and so are the kid's parents.
Children! Please keep your hands to yourself!

We are watching you as leaders and role models because most teachers are of high moral standards and good character. It has always been that way and it is demanded. They are a cornerstone in our communities. People expect a lot of a teacher in and out of the classroom. We just do because everyone has had a 12-18 years of teachers looking at them, talking to them admonishing them and teaching them. All of us have had this in America. We still hear the words of teachers in our mind both good and bad.

Uhhh, you're still on the clock.
So get rid of the dead weight in your ranks and increase your salaries, like other industries do. As long as your union is paying its union dues all will be well--right?
In the meanwhile, I will continue to teach my child to respect authority figures. I will make excuses for said figures when they drop the ball and stop being a role model but a human who has been pushed too far and who has been silent for too long. I will do that because I have to, until he can discern between right and wrong for himself. He is already a unique child in that he idolizes Bill Gates and anything with a computer chip. He does well in math, prefers that to reading--unless it is about a new game system or animals and such.

I will reign in his mind, steeped in imagery and imagination and show him about dedication and hard work and using that to achieve a goal. I will keep him from people who do not share my values and morals as much as possible, until he can RATIONALLY make those decisions for himself or I am no longer responsible for his choices.
But let's start having those relevant conversations when we can and connect on a deeper level. The president has asked us to do so.
And yes, I have these conversations with my children.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Black Farmer Settlement Stripped From War Bill | Roland S. Martin Blog

I have been having a discussion about noose sightings since the president was elected. Have you ever heard of such a thing? If you have tell your story here. White people, who choose to be racist, think lynching black folks is a fun thing to do because we mean nothing to them–less than an animal.

I have been telling friends similar things. I keep telling them that the Great Migration needs to be discussed. A whole bunch of us moved up north because of lynchings. White people, who choose to be racist, think this is funny--to do this stuff (like kill us) to us as a group. That blogger didn't apologize to Ms. Sherrod. He is supposedly headlining a three-day GOP fundraiser.

The bill that was supposed to award the lawsuit settlement to the black farmers got pushed to the side. Our state and US legislators have not voted on it. It was ripped it out of the war funding bill and there it sits--I guess. That's the story. I wish we still had a black press. Then I would know more about this story–about the black farmers.

WE USED TO HAVE A BLACK PRESS THAT WOULD ALERT US TO THESE THINGS but I guess that time has passed us by. If you are a member of the black press and have written and published an article on this or a similar topic, please link to it here or send me the link. I would like to promote your news article or blog post.

National Black Farmer's Association Interview with Roland Martin

Black Farmer Settlement Stripped From War Bill | Roland S. Martin Blog
(I found a link to the story-7/29)
Thanks Roland.

President Obama demonstrates how to use HealthCare.gov

This website is also useful to find out about healthcare options in states you don't currently live in but will soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

President Obama on Citizens United: "Imagine the Power This Will Give Special Interests Over Politicians"

The president is fulfilling his campaign promises. What he is saying in this video is important. Please pay attention.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Amazon Mechanical Turk (make money, money. make money money?)

How to Maximize Your Working Time on Amazon Mechanical Turk | eHow.com
I'm posting this because I signed up for the Amazon Mechanical Turk and have made .21 cent so far. Really. I guess I'll make it to the $10 you need to earn in able to transfer it to your bank account. Some of the Human Intelligence Tasks won't pay. I got cheated four times in a row. One was to put an ad on craigslist--never saw that money and the dashboard said that I abandoned it. All I could do was to contact the person who posted the job. I'll keep you informed of my efforts.
In the meanwhile, please enjoy the eHow article on the Amazon Mechanical Turk.
By the way the Turk comes from a mechanical doll from the 1800s dressed in traditional Turkish clothing, who challenged folks in chess as a parlor game. Go figure. I'm uncomfortable saying the name now that I know about its origins. I mean, should we be saying "Turk"? Arrrgggg.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Fourth of July and The Role of Blacks During the Revolutionary War

4th of July (DC-2010)pc.004_1cBecause my post was too long, I put it on my own blog. I will share the link to the post on "The Plight of A Black Man in an Obama World." It was about the 4th of July.
Whose Revolution Was It?
"...The effort of inhuman masters to force such Negroes back into slavery at the close of their service at the front, actuated the liberal legislators of that commonwealth to pass the Act of Emancipation, proclaiming freedom to all Negroes who had thus enlisted and served their term faithfully, and empowered them to sue in forma pauperis, should they thereafter be unlawfully held in bondage." right. whatever
Apparently this man is right. Because the British were willing to enlist slaves and offer freedom, they began to win. News of this got back to the Revolutionaries and then they decided, 'yeah, we better do something with these Negros before the British get them and together, they'll win against us.' http://www.webroots.org/library/usablack/jonh12-0.html
One would think they'd welcome Negros with open arms since many of the institutions in America were filled with English loyalists.
Even still as the Americans fought to keep South Carolina and to win Eastern Florida from the Natives and the British, they still would not arm blacks. No southern gentleman of worth would dare suffer his delicate nature as to serve along side an inferior (who very well may cut his delicate throat.) In other words, they were scared to arm blacks because of the cruelty they had been shown.
"The policy of our arming slaves is in my opinion a moot point, unless the enemy set the example." General Washington said.
Well what do you expect out of a bunch of outcasts, criminals and weirdos who could not get along in civilized English society?! Our forefathers were not educated or refined, they were fighters and they got tired of the crown ripping them off, in their opinion. They didn't want to pay. And if they weren't of royal blood they would die poor, no matter how clever. So like most gangsters, they did whatever to get money. Most of them were ordered out of England as punishment. England saw it as an opportunity to expand its horizons and be rid of undesirables. But after a while they said fk England and defended the country as best they could. Sounds gang-ish, doesn't it?
Great Post.
However, this situation has changed as both black and white and brown and yellow have found a common enemy: enemies of capitalism and freedom. There are people in this world who are downright jealous of the American way of life because it works.
They don't want to join in they want to destroy. And as always we Americans will fight the enemy and win.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Orleanean Sunrise Presented by @tjholmescnn

Sunrise in New Orleans.  on Twitpic
CNN anchor TJ Holmes is anchoring his weekend mornings show from New Orleans. He shares a beautiful sunrise with his audience.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FTC Policy Recommendations for Improving Journalism

FTC STAFF DISCUSSION DRAFT FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION STAFF DISCUSSION DRAFT: POTENTIAL POLICY RECOMMENDATION

I like most of these recommendations. Let us go back to the development of the community newspaper. Not only will it promote literacy but the discrepancy between who gets vital information and who does not will narrow.

I caution the FTC to not be anxious to throw money at the problem. New publications should have help becoming established in the community. There are many people who think being a reporter is glamorous and easy and it is not. It can be dangerous, tedious and no fun at all. I would hate to see people who want to be committed to journalistic integrity take precious funding and squander it when the going gets tough or to use a newspaper as their personal platform.

I have felt for years that there should be some non-profit newspapers available to the community so that they can get vital information offered by government agencies. As long as the reader understands the source of the information, it will read about the same as a newspaper in mainstream. They get funding from businesses-national, regional and local.
They bend and sway under the weight of editorial sacrifices as well.
However, public affairs reporting could make a comeback. It is why I wanted to become a reporter in the first place but by the time I graduated with a degree in Journalism, those positions had been eliminated.

There seems to be some opposition to these suggestions by the FTC. I wonder if it is due to not wanting to compete for readership? Once fiduciary concerns are satisfied--news is news. Either the reader is being served news that is vital or they are being fed a diet of fluff.

I hope the FTC moves forward with these recommendations. The Gulf Oil Spill would not have happened. Enron would not have happened. You get the picture.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What I learned about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill

While writing an article for Demand Studios on Kirkuk oil, I learned a few things that relate to the current Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
I learned that oil companies and government fight all of the time over how to balance oil field management and not polluting the environment or damaging the oil well. (This degrades the oil quality.)
Sometimes, these fights stem from the oil industry's internal strife.
I also learned that all industry everywhere have this problem.
There is a rift often between college degreed workers and those who learned on the job and opt not to earn a degree. Sometimes people, who don't really know any better, challenge management and those people whom management place in important positions. You know the type. They can always do something better than you but they don't have a degree, did not want to go get one and consider education unnecessary.
It never occurred to me that this fight could extend to the oil industry and that simple rules put in place to protect the oil well, the environment, and the people–due to false pride– are undermined.
Not everyone is up for the fight and sometimes cave to pressure either to keep the peace or keep the job they have or both.
During research an article, I had to read many reports regarding routine problems on oil rigs and how they are managed. Corners are cut unofficially to increase profit--even though I know there is some engineer standing in corner shaking his or her head about how they should listen to him or her and not do the thing that they are doing. Rifts form between management and workers. People are afraid to step up because they want to keep their job.
False pride and greed are why there is a large amount of oil in the Gulf.
All of the oil companies have this problem with staff. It is when it becomes unmanageable and a situation occurs that we stop and examine our behavior.
Now everyone is running around with his or her hands up in the air complaining, worried and blaming the president.
What a mess.
Individual responsibility and the willingness to do the right thing within reason, is the way to prevent catastrophes that are difficult to solve.
I also learned that a major oil well in Iraq is running out of oil. The next 50 or so years will be crucial for America to turn around its obsession with fossil fuels, improve the electrical grid and start seriously building windmills. In 50 years, if I’m around, I will be too damn old and grouchy to deal with all of this crap.
Okay. BP just announced they will not be paying shareholder dividends. Any finance majors out there willing to expound on this revelation?
They did not say if this is a permanent situation or temporary.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Presidential "Emote" is Classified!

The American People focus on so many silly things. Fareed Zakaria GPS posed the question Sunday morning, something having to do with the President's "emotional response" to the BP Gulf Oil Spill.
"Emote?!"
A. He is a dude, not a girl
B. He is not a phony
C. Grow Up!
America has many, many serious problems that have yet to be solved (by the president) and the BP Gulf Oil Spill is only one of them.
We all care about it but I am upset in a selfish way because I love the beaches in Florida and hate the thought of the healing powers of the Atlantic Ocean being destroyed by an oil spill.
Seriously, the minerals contained within our salty and taken-for-granted ocean have the power to alleviate depression, minor aches and pains
(because of the buoyancy) and heal minor skin irritations. My eczema healed up within weeks of a daily dip in the ocean.
But I digress.
People act as if Barack Obama does not have the same natural rights to be president like any other U.S. born citizen. As if his first term is an experiment or test of our Constitution. As if to say, "if you do well on all points this time Black Man, we might let more of you help run the country." As if his presidency is contingent solely on the public whim as filtered through the news.
However, this particular president is transparent and the People cannot handle the truth. Not at all.
Most people don't pay close attention to the news if it does not affect them personally. People and their kitchen table issues like crime, local municipal gossip and how to make/spend more money are at the top of their agenda, not solving problems. We are a hedonistic group. Pleasure, entertainment and comfort are what we seek, not issues and problems--even if those issues and problems will come right around and bite us in the butt down the road.
Oil wells have been leaking into the ocean for years. If the American People could be a fly on the wall of the White House, I'm not sure they would view the president as unemotional. They would hear the voice of their father, brother, husband upset but asking the relevant, tough questions and participating in the back and forth it takes to solve a problem like educated adults.
Although, that's boring, isn't it? People want an episode of Jerry Springer or a moving speech.
What we want to hear and watch, is the president whoop and holler, threaten folks, stomp around in the sand and sling the oil around and yell and blame people and in general, act a complete uneducated, unsophisticated ass. If the president did break a bottle on the corner of the
boardwalk or pull a 9mm out and wave it around, guess what would happen?
Some of you already know.
The same damn thing. People would complain about how uncouth the president is behaving and that he isn't acting like the man who they voted for and how he should calm down because he is the leader...etc.
Geez. When will we ever be satisfied?
Instead of demanding an emotional speech that will take away from his valuable problem solving time or theatrics, why not let him quietly do his job with out the second guessing?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Literacy Levels in the Gulf Coast

Yesterday I received in my e-mail, a message from the President of the United States offering his ideas about the Gulf Coast. President Obama basically reported what he saw there.
I am beginning to think literacy may be an issue among the Gulf Coast fishers, based on what I read in the President's letter.
They work intergenerationally, what they learn is handed down through families, so formal education may not be stressed. I hope someone in charge is addressing this issue with them. It is the least one can do while disrupting their livelihood. Literacy classes should be offered
because many people won't ask. Any training BP offers probably requires a
particular reading level.
Partner with local literacy groups and get them to help with the training so that the people affected by illiteracy won't have to ask.
This what I read which led me to my ideas about literacy in the Gulf Coast region and training.
President Obama said:
Yesterday, I visited Caminada Bay in Grand Isle, Louisiana -- one of the first places to feel the devastation wrought by the oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico. While I was here, at Camerdelle's Live Bait shop, I met with a group of local residents and small business owners.
Folks like Floyd Lasseigne, a fourth-generation oyster fisherman. This is the time of year when he ordinarily earns a lot of his income. But his
oyster bed has likely been destroyed by the spill. Terry Vegas had a similar story. He quit the 8th grade to become a shrimper with his grandfather. Ever since, he's earned his living during shrimping season -- working long, grueling days so that he could earn enough money to support himself year-round. But today, the waters where he
has worked are closed. And every day, as the spill worsens, he loses hope
that he will be able to return to the life he built.
Here, this spill has not just damaged livelihoods. It has upended whole
communities. And the fury people feel is not just about the money they
have lost. It is about the wrenching recognition that this time their lives may never be the same.
These people work hard. They meet their responsibilities. But now because
of a man made catastrophe -- one that is not their fault and beyond their control -- their lives have been thrown into turmoil. It is brutally
unfair. And what I told these men and women is that I will stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are again made whole.
That is why, from the beginning, we have worked to deploy every tool at
our disposal to respond to this crisis. Today, there are more than 20,000
people working around the clock to contain and clean up this spill. I have
authorized 17,500 National Guard troops to participate in the response.
More than 1,900 vessels are aiding in the containment and cleanup effort.
We have convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the
world. This is the largest response to an environmental disaster of this
kind in the history of our country.
We have also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and this week, the
federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back
American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far. In
addition, after an emergency safety review, we are putting in place
aggressive new operating standards for offshore drilling. And I have appointed a bipartisan commission to look into the causes of this spill.
If laws are inadequate, they will be changed. If oversight was lacking, it will be strengthened. And if laws were broken, those responsible will be
brought to justice.
These are hard times in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast, an area that
has already seen more than its fair share of troubles. The people of this region have met this terrible catastrophe with seemingly boundless
strength and character in defense of their way of life. What we owe them is a commitment by our nation to match the resilience they have shown.
That is our mission. And it is one we will fulfill.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mummies of the World Exhibition at California Science Center

Mummies Arrive in Los Angeles 
Under Heavy Security; Motorcade 
Accompanies Rare Collection
to California Science Center 
for World Premiere of Mummies 
of the World Exhibition

American Exhibitions, Inc. Brings the Largest-Ever Exhibition of Mummies To the California Science Center July 1, 2010 for a Limited Engagement


LOS ANGELES, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The largest collection of mummies ever assembled will travel nearly 6,000 miles to make its highly anticipated arrival in Los Angeles on Friday, May 28. The mummies are traveling to the United States for the first time as part of the Mummies of the World exhibition, set to make its world debut at the California Science Center on July 1.
American Exhibitions, Inc. (AEI), will bring the priceless,
 carefully guarded mummies and related artifacts on an 11-hour journey from Germany and land at Los Angeles International Airport, where a security-detailed motorcade will escort the treasured mummies along a 13.5-mile route to the California Science Center.
There, security will unload its precious cargo, and experts will spend the month of June unpacking and preparing Mummies of the World for its opening. This must-see exhibition premieres on July 1, launching a limited engagement at the California Science Center and a three-year, seven-city tour around the country.

"Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told," says James Delay, vice president of American Exhibitions, Inc., who is traveling with the mummies as they make their journey to the U.S. "Using state-of-the-art scientific research, the secrets of the mummies are now revealed."

Mummies of the World is a highly distinguished project that has been years in the making for AEI, working with 15 world-renowned museums in seven countries to bring to the U.S. a never-before-seen collection of mummies and related artifacts from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Egypt. Its treasures include one of the oldest mummy infants ever discovered; a mummified family; a German nobleman discovered by his own descendants; and intentionally preserved Egyptian animal mummies.

-- The Detmold Child is a remarkably preserved Peruvian child mummy,
radiocarbon dated to 4504-4457 B.C. - more than 3,000 years before the
birth of King Tut.
-- The Orlovits family - Michael, Veronica and their son Johannes - was
part of a group of 18th-century mummies found in a long-forgotten
church crypt in Vac, Hungary in 1994.
-- Baron von Holz is a 17th-century nobleman believed to have died in
Sommersdorf, Germany during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), who was
discovered in the crypt of his family's 14th-century castle still
wearing his boots.
-- Egyptian cat mummies, elaborately wrapped in painted linen bandaging,
date to the Ptolemaic period, and show how Egyptian cats were
intentionally preserved to accompany their royals into the afterlife.

This important exhibition dispels the notions and misconceptions about mummies and uses science tools to reach across time, demonstrating how scientific methods can illuminate the history of people and enhance our knowledge about cultures around the world. It also shows that mummification - both through natural processes and intentional practices - has taken place all over the globe, from the hot desert sands of South America to remote European moors and bogs.

Mummies of the World is a ticketed event and requires a timed-entry. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Tickets can be purchased online beginning June 6 at www.californiasciencecenter.org or by calling 323-SCIENCE (323-724-3623). Group reservations are available at 888-MUMMY TIX (888-686-6984)

More information about the exhibition is online: www.mummiesoftheworld.com.

American Exhibitions, Inc. is one of the leading exhibition producers in the United States, specializing in world-class touring exhibitions for science centers and museums. please visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Texas Textbook Scandal and the Black Community

Considering the Texas Textbook Scandal, is there a national Pan African American history curriculum for K-12 and college level? There should be.

Contained within the organizations of the National Urban League and the NAACP are many, many educated professionals who know how and what
components comprise a proper school curriculum for all levels. Why not create a joint task force/partnership between the two organizations and create a national Pan African American history curriculum?

When we take leadership seriously and control our own history and information as a group, no one will change it, no one will challenge it.

No one changes Jewish and Hebrew history. They send their children to school to learn it. They are in control of keeping their cultural identity alive.

They take responsibility for it. African Americans should mimic that and control our historical identity so that no one does it for us.

On the TJ Holmes CNN blog website, a woman who said she writes textbooks

for a living pointed out that textbooks can be made to order as to highlight each state's contribution to American history or whatever.
On May 22nd, "maryann warren" said, "I write textbooks . . . and the major
publishers make an edition ONLY FOR TEXAS! Everything in that edition is NOT put into the National Edition. Other states also have their own
editions to meet their specific standards and "play up" their state history. So please don't panic people nationwide about good old Texas and
their unique material in social studies. science, and even health..."Additionally, any information disseminated within a textbook
should be made as accurate as possible by passing through a system of checks and balances. That history, in turn, can be taught in our churches
and community groups; made available to parents to read and teach to our children; placed into books at every reading level so that whosoever is
willing, can learn about our African American history, with African Americans serving as gatekeepers.
Those outside the race will continue to use us and any other group to their advantage and our disadvantage--that is just the way it is. What are
we doing that we cannot properly monitor our own history and information pertaining to it? Managing African American history alone is capable of creating a new commerce in which to employ people full-time to manage it.

Is the management of our historical information worth it? Are we worth it to ourselves?
I guess the first hurdle will be making the agreement or commitment to
work with ourselves, amongst ourselves.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

CNN Special Black and White: Kids on Color

Please don't show it. Please don't tell!
Sitting and watching TJ Holmes present CNN's Black & White: Kids on Color, Tuesday morning,
I hoped that after the commercial break, I would not hear a discussion on blacks still being color struck.
But it happened anyway.
I guess it doesn't matter how wide a range of skin colors exist in American families.
The tester in the segment asked again and again: Which child is the pretty one, smart one, bad one, etc.
Most of the children chose darker skinned pictures as bad or ugly children and the lighter one as good or pretty. Only a few opted out of complexion stereotyping or as old folks say, being color struck.
The CNN series examines complexion-based internalized racism in school aged children from white and black races. The study mimics the 1939-1940 doll studies conducted
by two black psychologists.
First, the white children were asked questions about the cartoon pictures of asexual dolls, nearly hairless, arranged in a range of complexions from light to dark.
Most chose the lightest ones as a representation of good and the darkest ones of bad.
Then comes the African American children's responses. I held my breath. I tried not to watch. I didn't want to hear the truth.
"Why is this one pretty?" a tester asked after a child pointed to the lightest example as pretty.
"...because she is light-skinned," a pretty dark-skinned girl said.
"Bias towards white is still a part of our culture." A voice over said.
Don't fret Blacks because Whites have the same color struck conversations in their households. A
pinkish hue is still favored over ruddy or olive complexion--as long as there is still an ability to tan reasonably well.
But one needs only to look throughout their own friends and family to see these hurtful stereotypes repeated and reinforced.
It is a good thing that stunning beauty is held in the facial bone structure of an individual and not the skin color.
I wish someone would tell the kids the truth about beauty because skin color stereotypes are perpetuated through the generations, maintained in the home and reinforced in society. (Oh, good hair counts too.)
Read more: http://ping.fm/g7yZ4

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Commentary on Roland Martin's blog

I have a lot to say today.

Who Defines Leadership in the Black Community?

There are not many who do what Roland does in Our Community.
Usually, the only thing I hear about The Black Community is how we quiet often end up in jail or arrested or beat up by cops or have some other type of issue

interfering with quality of life. Maybe it's because I live in a black

city with an African-American based infrastructure, that I don't

understand much of what I see in the main news stream on the issue of the

Black Community. Then again, it is not necessarily their responsibility to

report to me through their eyesight on My Community. However, I heard what

Roland was saying.

Many people feel that way. Working people.

Even white people expect a bone or two to be thrown towards the Black Community from the current administration. They do it in Their Community. If anyone else

should somehow benefit from it, fine because they don't care. It's cool

because the bulk goes to them.
Example: If you have graduated from college, think of the number of offers

from African American companies compared to non-African American

companies. Can we not find work in our own community? Do we always have to

leave our community and beg another community for work? All the time? It

is an anomaly when non-African Americans can graduate from college and

find work in an African American company. It happens but they are not

dependent on Our Community for work as we are to them. If it were the

other way around, I would probably get irritated after a while--especially

if jobs were scarce.
Further evidence is a report by Wilhelmina Leigh, Ph.D Senior Research

Associate for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies--a think

tank.

Ms. Leigh testified before the Congressional Black Caucus on March 17,

2010 about reasons why certain people are chronically unemployed. She said

a part of the reason was that there is an education gap between the races,

persistent discrimination and a lack of access to "job acquisition

networks." Can the NAACP or the Urban League help with these issues? How

about some of the Black Leaders? I don't know if any of these quality-of-

life issues require presidential intervention. However, a grassroots approach to the problem might help.

People who don't have jobs usually don't date, marry or start families. If

45 percent of Black men who ARE NOT IN PRISON, are considered chronically

unemployed, how does one thinks this impacts the Black Community as a

whole? It degrades the community so that it is not so much a community

rather than a group of similar people with no cohesiveness whatsoever.
People are going half on a baby these days. Why? What if Black women who

are unmarried just stopped having babies all together? It too would have a

negative impact on the community.

But I digress.

People judge others through how they understand themselves to be, so when there is no visible authoritative connection between the President and Black Leaders it seems strange because other racial groups seem more cohesive.
However, there has never been a president of color in office in anyone's

lifetime. It is as if the rope on the other end of the tug-of-war was

suddenly released and there is a big "Now What" in the middle of things. (wink)

President Obama is a prototype of sorts. He is a lot of things and a

good representation of an American. Our cultures rub off on the other and

we are all a little blended. However, the Office of the President is a

part of a system. It is not a stand alone office. Black Leaders and the

President should be working together in that system, since the Civil

Rights Movement has placed a lot of Black Leaders in office and in many

instances, long term. But things unseen are things unknown.

Should we all be on one page as far as the state of the Black Community?

Do we listen when the President of the Urban League or National

Association for the Advancement of Colored People, speak? Do we read the

Black Press and what they have to say? Are members of the Black Press remembering their audience and saying relevant things? I distinctly

remember one of the President's campaign mantras of, "change comes from the bottom

up." That means me and others standing next to me should be taking this

time to affect change when and where we can.
Finally, can the President count on The Black Community to pitch in on his

re-election efforts? It's a lot of hard work everyday but it pays off.

Average People

Times have changed and so have Black people. The President only appears to

have lost connection with black leaders but he has not lost touch with the black community. Coming up, he got in where he fit in, just like all the

other Black People I know. He said so in his books. Did anyone read them?

I make this assessment based on actions and inactions of the President. (what he does and does not do)

Note: I live in a 85 percent Black city,
with a black mayor and where the Black Power Movement found it's footing and it's strength, so when I say, "Any Other Black Person I Know"--I know black generalizations. (in my peer group)
The President lived in Hyde Park, on the South Side of Chicago. He is familiar with Average People in the Black Community.
I am not from the suburbs nor the modern ghetto but from Average Avenue. I

attended Average Public School and Average State College. There is a big group of us Average Folks.

We are not ballers or wear grills or any other shiny jewelry in our faces

but we listen to the songs of those who do such things. Those who do

participate in the Glamorous Life, are not Average and are not in the

group. We have children and are for the most part, Average Parents. We are

Thirty and FortySomethings. And anyone who remembers that show is either

in The Group or actively avoiding the Group!
We are never found too far outside of Normal. We are not unlike conformists.

This blog post is a really an exciting and daring thing for me to be doing. Really.

However, when was the last time black leaders, whoever and wherever they may be, checked in with the black community on the same issues pressed upon the POTUS? I'm talking about kitchen table issues important to

Families and Individuals. I'm talking about Black Leaders paying attention

to their own community and all of our own business, outside of any talk show or mainstream newspaper column. There is a such thing as the Black Press. We used to get all of our news from the Black Church but I don't know too many people who have culled out the time to attend church every day. Things have changed.
Maybe the Black leaders are a little out of touch, then again who said all

Black People think the same? We all want different things out of our leaders. Until the Individual takes responsibility for his or her

community there will always be an "at issue" situation. That is a

description of change from the bottom up. No one agreement, train of thought or campaign will do for the entire black community--and

apparently, this is as close as we will get to a national conversation on

the issue--blogs and commentary.

What About the Black Agenda?

There is no Black Agenda that is promoted actively but there used to be

one. The idea is revived and batted around but no real press or marketing structure is involved. It has been rendered kitchen table discussion of

the past almost lore and in spite of conventions held in honor and

celebration of the Black Agenda, the Average Person has no idea of what

the Black Agenda is or who is involved in it and if they, are indeed

involved in it. Then, I ask, whose agenda is it?

Those who do know what the Black Agenda is, may want to avoid it and any

label of Black Nationalism. That's the thing about Average Folks. They

want to be Average and they have responsibilities and chores more so that

goals and dreams. They don't always pay attention to the news. Sometimes,

they are too tired to stay up for it or they are already at work. Maybe

they don't have cable or satellite.

Maybe they are not the voracious reader and settle for the local paper.

Sometimes, that is what Average People do: Go to work, read the paper,

listen to the radio in the car on the way to work as they sit in traffic.

After work, maybe they can snag a few minutes of their favorite show in

between household chores and children and spouse. That doesn't leave much

room for Agendas.

Average Folks have to make room for it and if no one bothers to explain

why they should sacrifice their valuable time to dedicate to moving

forward with the Agenda, then they won't do it. That is where Black

Leaders should step in. They can explain it to members of the Black Press

and they can in turn, write about it and write about it and write about

it. The Agenda does not have to be promoted in the mainstream as it is not

a message pertinent to everyone but to Blacks, thus, The Black Agenda.

If Average Folks hear or sense the attitude that no one should have to

explain the Agenda to them, then the attention of a very large and

influential group of people have been lost. What a loss.
It would be nice if interested people with MBAs and degrees in Marketing

and Advertising could help the Black Leaders advance the Agenda.

Out of Work but Not Out of Hope: Addressing the Crisis of the Chronically Unemployed

Roland Martin's Blog

I'm on Facebook too

I'm on Facebook too
Read a book today