TSD Memphis



Fast food industry, wage neglect and state of jobs

hudson 600You may have heard about the fast food strikes happening across the country in advocacy of raising minimum wage to $15 an hour. Workers here in Memphis even protested in early December. An estimated one in four Memphis workers is paid less than a living wage, according to Workers Interfaith Network.

Why would anyone ever think about paying fast food workers that much?

Well, everyone should be thinking about it! Why? Because more than half of fast food workers are also dependent on us, the taxpayer, for some form of public assistance to make ends meet, according to a recent study – Fast Food, Public Cost – conducted by Sylvia A. Allegretto.


2016 dream ticket: Hillary and Michelle

clintonobama 600The 2016 national elections are not that far away. It is timely and important that we not wait until then to begin having constructive discussions about who should be given the opportunity and responsibility to succeed President Barack Obama.

The questions of the future of politics, economics and equal justice should never be avoided. Especially given all the voter suppression enactments in many states over the last two years, we should be more vigilant about being politically conscious and civically active. My motive, therefore, is to stimulate a proactive dialogue now about the possibilities for viable candidates for the next national elections.

Even with three more years in office, I believe that President Obama will be judged by history as one of the most effective presidents ever. He will be credited for leading the recovery and revival of the U.S. economy by encouraging the passage of the $787 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with Wall Street reaching its highest investment level, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, getting the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress, rebooting the U.S auto industry, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensuring equal pay for women, signing into law the Fair Sentencing Act that significantly reduced the sentencing disparities in drug laws that have been devastating for African Americans and Latino Americans, and appointing the first African Americans as Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security.


4 questions with a ‘Black Santa’

santa 600Say the words "Santa Claus" and a general image usually comes to mind: a jolly, rosy-cheeked, overweight white guy with a white beard in a red velvet suit. And why would it be any different? After all, it's the image that many have been raised on since they were old enough to crawl.

But what if the image of the modern-day Santa Claus is a fallacy that's based on a charitable third-century-born monk, St. Nicholas, who was dark-skinned (sans any chimney soot) and had a bushy, woolly beard? This St. Nicholas, who has been referred to as a Moor from Africa by some accounts, reportedly lived between 270 and 343 A.D.

Atlanta resident Santa Dee (he declined to give his full name), who works as Santa Claus during the holiday season, believes St. Nicholas did indeed have a dark olive complexion. He often refers to a December 2002 Turkish Times article, "Santa Claus: How a Bearded Black Bishop Born in Turkey Became America's Favorite White Saint," that describes St. Nicholas as "very dark-skinned" as evidence of his belief.


Q&A: Common Core an education ‘re-set’ for African-American students

common 600(Louisiana adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010, joining 44 other states and the District of Columbia. For BAEO (Black Alliance for Educational Options) President Kenneth Campbell, the move marks a step in the right direction for the state's African American student population. He says the new standards will help "push the envelope for everybody," ensuring that schools prepare all students for a world that is "getting more complex." He spoke with New America Media's Khalil Abdullah.)

Khalil Abdullah: What is the conversation you're hearing within the African American community around Common Core?
Kenneth Campbell: We find very few people interested in educating the black community, black families, and black parents about the Common Core. So we're partnering with schools and states to get the word out because we're not talking about this in our community. We don't have enough of these conversations.

The NAEP (National Assessment on Education Progress) report came out a few weeks ago, once again describing the large and persistent achievement gaps for black children. I didn't see a black publication or a black news program talk about it. I didn't hear about it on the Tom Joyner Show. We've got to get in this game and start talking about education reform in ways that lead to us having an impact on education for our children.


You’re 25 and think you’re immune from racism? You’re not alone

blackrace 600What does it mean if you believe that sexism and racism are real, but you don't feel that they have an impact on your day-to-day life?

Does it mean that you're like the Grand Old Party and think we all overcame by virtue of Rosa Parks' sitting where she wasn't supposed to sit oh so many years ago? Or does it mean that you know these things are real, but deep down you want to believe you're too special to be held back by the invisible hand of rampant discrimination?

Or is it something else?


African-American woman wins $648,000,000 jackpot

jackpotA Bronx, N.Y., native and current Stone Mountain, Ga., resident is flush after confirming that she is one of the two winners of the $648 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Ira Curry, 56, came forward to reveal that she was a winner and is expected to take in a cool $120 million after taxes, Georgia Lottery Corporation president and CEO Debbie Alford said at a press conference from Atlanta, the New York Daily News reports.

Curry, an insurance company underwriter and married mom, used a series of family birthdays and the family's lucky number, seven, as the numbers on the winning ticket. She was driving when the winning numbers were announced, so she only caught part of the sequence on her car radio. She phoned her daughter to hear the rest of the digits, Alford told the Daily News.


Looking for a job? Congress doesn’t seem to care

jobsandcongress 600Lawmakers are in a knot over everything from the Affordable Care Act to finding a rare congressional kumbaya moment for a budget deal. But perhaps you haven't noticed – it seems as if the last thing anyone in Washington, D.C. wants to talk about is employment.

That's fairly strange, considering it's still rather rough out there as far as job markets go. The general public feels the same way. Not that this should be a preferred pathway to quality living, but one suspects that if given a choice, most individuals would naturally gravitate to being employed over having health care. The latter typically gets prioritized once you make sure you have the ability to clothe, feed and house yourself.

A recent United Technologies-National Journal poll discovered the obvious: Most Americans, 3-to-1, would rather Congress get to the business of boosting job growth. A majority in a later UT-NJ poll engaged in a bit of wishful thinking, with 56 percent confident that Washington would pass a jobs creation bill.


George Zimmerman, the next Picasso?

zimmermanpaint 600The art world has a new contemporary to add to its list of budding artists: George Zimmerman. That's right, the acquitted shooter of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen, is leveraging his "celebrity" to hock one of his original works on eBay.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an eBay user with the alias "therealgeorgez" appeared earlier this week on the auction site and listed the painting under the "direct from the artist" category. While no news site has confirmed whether Zimmerman is the actual owner of said eBay account, the user posted a photo of Zimmerman holding the created work.

The opening bid for the "art" was priced at 99 cents, and as of Wednesday morning, bidding for the painting of the American flag with the words, "God One Nation With Liberty and Justice For All" on the stripes has already pushed past the $100,000 mark.


Tulane student youngest member of Mississippi House

young 600As a sophomore at Moss Point High School in Mississippi, Jeramey Anderson became interested in politics and it's a good thing considering those years in high school prepped him to become Mississippi youngest legislator at 22.

Anderson is a senior at Tulane University's Gulf Coast campus in Biloxi where he studies homeland security and public relations and will have to juggle his legislative duties with his studies.

"I'm going to do what needs to be done," he said. "The people of this district come first and I will manage the two."


Why President Obama was right to sit down with Steve Harvey

harvey 600If you start with the premise that there is nothing President Obama can do to make the White House Press Corps happy, then it makes sense that an interview with comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey would cause controversy in the beltway. The interview with Harvey is seen as a "softball" interview with a friendly audience now that the media has declared Obama's second term practically over as his approval ratings struggle.

Perhaps if those same beltway media types didn't write trivial columns about "selfies" the president would take them more seriously.

Steve Harvey isn't really that unusual a choice for an interview. Maybe the beltway was too distracted by the health care website nonsense to realize that the date is creeping closer to the first deadline for healthcare reform. Blacks and Latinos have the highest rate of uninsured. The president taking the time to talk to his base of supporters, while at the same time reminding the folks who need healthcare the most, that they can sign up on a now-functional website and get coverage starting in a few weeks. And yes, talking about family and the holidays can't hurt either.


The Obama-Castro handshake

obamacastro 600In the tradition of the Black Church in America, the right hand of fellowship handshake is extended as sign of welcome into the church community. Usually, a handshake between two world leaders at a memorial service is not seen as something controversial or unprecedented. On Dec. 10, however, at the beginning of the memorial service for Nelson "Madiba" Mandela in the heart of Soweto, South Africa, the handshake between President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro Ruz of Cuba was viewed differently.

It was not so much as an affront to any religious protocol, but was viewed by many as being controversial and consequential depending on political, ideological, cultural and historical perceptions or perspectives.

I have always maintained that if not reported anywhere else, it is important for the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), Black Press USA, to share with its millions of readers an analysis that goes beyond the hype of the mainstream media in America on issues that are vital to the strategic economic, political and cultural interests of the African American community as well as the interests of freedom-loving people throughout the world. It is, therefore, important to look deeper into the significance of the Obama-Castro handshake for both historical and contemporary clarity.


TMZ Poll: ‘African-American’ or ‘N---a’

suge 600Former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight told TMZ that he is offended when people call him African American because he isn't African. Knight said that the term is offensive to black people, TMZ reports.

But Knight didn't stop there, and neither did TMZ. Knight explained that he didn't understand the controversy surrounding the word "n---a" and felt that its use shouldn't be limited only to rappers.

TMZ wrote, "At first his theory sounds a little shocking, but maybe he has a point. So we gotta ask."


Rev. Jesse Jackson almost missed Mandela’s funeral

Pic-Jesse 600PRETORIA, South Africa – Jesse Jackson left the Southern Sun Hotel in downtown Pretoria shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, expecting it would take less than two hours to fly 541 miles to Qunu, where funeral services were being held for former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The first indication that it would take longer came when Jackson and his delegation arrived at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

"Are you sure we're in the right place?" he asked his driver. "This doesn't look right." It didn't look right because Jackson had attended a ceremony at the air base on Saturday, just before Mandela's remains were flow to Qunu for burial. But the previous ceremonies were in another section of this base, which accounted for Jackson's unfamiliarity.