If every child in Shelby County is given a head start in life, there is a preponderance of evidence that that child would go on to become a productive member of society – which means skilled workers would be added to the workforce, crime and poverty would decrease, and the need for public assistance would be reduced.
We're at a crossroad where a decision has to be made to bring the aforementioned scenario into reality. But that decision would have to be made by the voters of Memphis via a referendum that will be on the ballot this fall to increase the sales tax by a half-cent. If approved, $47 million could be generated, with about $30 million earmarked for pre-K and $17 million to reduce property tax rates.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is not alone in its support of a half-cent sales tax increase for early childhood education. It is a civil rights issue and one of the NAACP's "5 Game Changers for the 21st Century." There are others in support of this initiative as well, including city officials and a number of education advocates who see the significance and critical need of supporting the education of children at the pre-K level.
"I grew up poor, but I didn't know it."
Many of us have heard and been inspired by rags to riches stories told by adults who overcame risk factors in their childhood, and avoided becoming products of their environment.
Poor upbringing, single-parent family homes, resource-deprived neighborhoods and communities are all conditions that many young children confront, but still manage to excel and beat the odds stacked against them.
So what is it that separates the stories of triumph from those of defeat?
These are very exciting times for the fuel industry in America. We are at the point of being totally oil independent. We are finding new reserves in various parts of our great nation. Natural gas is now abundant thanks to a new process known as fracturing or fracking.
In fact, we were once importers of natural gas but now, thanks to fracking, we are exporting it at attractive profits. No longer do we have to rely on nations that don't particularly like us for our energy needs. God blesses the child who has his own and we are certainly blessed.
The U.S. Department of Energy (George W. Bush administration) proposed putting a prototype coal energy plant in Florida. Environmentalists persuaded the voters that Florida didn't need another coal plant even if it were a clean prototype for the nation. My friend, former Mississippi Mississippi Gov., Haley Barbour, pounced on the opportunity.
On Monday, Sept. 16, the news was shocking: A contract employee who worked at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., later identified as Aaron Alexis, killed 12 innocent people in the facility before he was killed by police.
For many African Americans, our first thought was: "I hope it wasn't one of us."
On Oct. 3, there was another disturbing incident in the nation's capital: An unarmed woman with her 1-year-old child in the car, drove her vehicle into barriers outside the White House and on Capitol Hill before being shot to death by police.
Again, we thought: "I hope it wasn't one of us."
It might be appropriate to preface this with the fact that I'm a dude injecting myself into what boils down to a woman's decision at the polls. But it's still a peculiar and necessary question that we should keep asking from now through 2016: Why should African-American women support Hillary Clinton for president?
The answer probably depends on how the question is viewed. Some sisters might actually consider it pointless, given the power of the former secretary of state's political brand – and given that many still see her as Bill's wife. Recall that in 2007 – even after that young, less-grayed, charismatic black Illinois senator took to a Springfield stage – Hillary was their "girl." An October 2007 poll showed her easily surpassing Obama with 68 percent support from black female voters.
Who in their right black mind would believe that a brother with a name as bizarre and non-Anglicized as "Barack Obama" had even the fringe of a national poll's chance to win? Ferocious internal debates with family members ensued. It wasn't until that fateful, history-twisting Iowa caucus that black folks suddenly stopped viewing Obama as merely Dennis Haysbert's stunt double in 24.
"I'm so frustrated. Just because I'm black/African American doesn't mean I'm Christian. I was raised in a home where we attended church, but during college I decided to officially call myself an atheist. Yet other black people are constantly assuming that I have a 'church home' or saying they will pray for me or telling me to pray about something – it's like they have never met someone my color who isn't 'saved' before. It's such an assumption, and white people aren't treated the same way. How can I tell the world to stop making this assumption about me without offending and encourage people to think before they put their belief systems on others?'
– Annoyed Atheist
I'm not surprised to hear that you.re having this experience. After all, according to a Pew poll, black Americans are more likely than members of any other racial or ethnic group in the country to report a formal religious affiliation.
If you don't know about it, there is an ongoing fight between Walmart and the union movement.
The political battle being played out in Washington, D.C. is over the "living wage bill." But that is just the latest ploy in a longer war in years to come between the retail giant and America's primarily-black, Democratic-and-union-controlled urban enclaves.
The retail behemoth won its game of chicken with the D.C. City Council over a living wage bill it had passed requiring large retailers operating in the District to pay its workers a "living wage" minimum of $12.50 an hour (minimum wage in D.C. is $8.25 an hour).