facebook-icotwitter-icogoogle-icorss-ico
connectsubscribearchives
Log in

Opinion

New football season, same offensive names

New football season, same offensive names

I cannot let a football season open without raising the question of the names of sports teams generally and the Washington "Redskins" in particular. I continue to be absolutely amazed at the resistanc

Read more...

  • Written by Bill Fletcher Jr.

Sounds odd but Jamal & Ebony do love America

Sounds odd but Jamal & Ebony do love America

The concept of patriotism is not readily associated with inner city black children. Modern-day images of patriotism that usually come to mind reflect the iconic look of Uncle Sam – suburban and rural whites clad in American flags. This traditional conception, coupled with prevalent depictions of inner city black youth as self-interested malcontents, complicates any attempt at putting a young, indigent, black face on patriotism.

But as many Americans know, though there are numerous challenges that face inner city youth, there is also a patriotism often overlooked in favor of a fixation on the tragedies.

Read more...

African-American jobs crisis: Could GOP do better?

African-American jobs crisis: Could GOP do better?

After five years of nonstop bad news regarding African-American unemployment, the Obama administration was finally able to celebrate some good news last month, or so it seemed. In July, African-American unemployment dipped to 12.6 percent, a small but significant change from June's 13.7 percent unemployment rate – and substantially lower than the high of 16.5 percent that it reached in January 2010.

But any celebration was likely short-lived. While the national unemployment rate decreased slightly in August, to 7.3 percent, reaching a five-year low, that same month, African-American unemployment rose to 13 percent.

So at this point, who exactly is to blame for the seemingly unshakable epidemic of unemployment in the African-American community? Bob Woodson, an African-American conservative, generated headlines for his fiery speech at a Republican National Committee luncheon commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. During his address he argued that when it comes to policy and progress, all other demographic groups have taken precedence over poor African Americans.

Read more...

Cheating our students

Cheating our students

There are very few things that are as vile and predatory than cheating young black students out of a decent education. There are two things that quickly come to my mind when I ponder this subject. There is also a third event that has developed in the last few years. Let's begin at the beginning.

When school segregation was ending as the civil rights era was beginning to yield results, two groups got together and concocted a scheme. In order to quickly integrate schools the idea of school busing evolved. It seemed like a good idea to many who thought by having their children sit next to white people, their skills would automatically improve. Those who stood to gain from this were bus manufacturers (many more buses will be needed) and unions that would increase their membership through the numerous number of bus drivers. So, groups such as the NAACP and others were encouraged to lead the charge for school busing.

The busing was pretty much one-way. Whites weren't going to send their kids on a bus to sit with black students. When two-way busing was being forced, the white students enrolled in private schools even if they had to quickly build the private school.

Read more...

  • Written by Harry C, Alford

Natural hair and black-on-black shame

Natural hair and black-on-black shame

You know how sometimes you just know something, even when you have no proof? Call it a "feeling" in my gut or the past being a predictor of the future. But whatever it was, when I heard about 7-year-old Tiana Parker, who was being harassed by her school because of her locks, I just knew this wasn't some wild misunderstanding by an all-white school board with no understanding of black hair.

It easily could have been, and I kind of hoped it was. I've learned to process hate. I haven't quite wrapped my head around self-hate.

As it turned out, dear Tiana's antagonist was a black woman, Deborah Brown. Based on on the picture circling the Internet, Brown wears her hair in a weave or a wig that imitates the texture of natural hair. In the charter school named after her, Brown's dress code denies black children the right to wear natural styles such as dreadlocks, Afros and other "faddish styles." Oh, the irony.

Read more...

Obama selling ‘Wolf Tickets’ on Syria

Obama selling ‘Wolf Tickets’ on Syria

President Barack Obama stepped on a big limb when he threatened "limited action" against Syria because the country's leaders allegedly used chemical weapons against their own people. There are international bans against the use of chemical weapons, with Syria one of the few countries not supporting the ban. Chemical weapons allegedly killed more than 1,400 Syrians, and the ongoing civil war may have killed as many as 100,000.

President Obama announced his willingness to act on Syria's domestic chemical intrusion before Labor Day, but he has backpedaled and asked for Congressional approval. What will he do if Congress says no? Will he face the international community conceding that he has less power than he thought, or will he go ahead and take military action without congressional approval?

Reportedly, U.S. troops in the Middle East were ready to follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief before they got orders to slow down any action. Perhaps President Obama is finally listening to the sentiment of the American people, who, according to several polls, do not support action against Syria. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and dozens of other members of Congress sent the president a letter urging debate on any military action against Syria. Does the urgency of a strike against Syria recede over time?

Read more...

  • Written by Julianne Malveaux

D.C. marches inclusive – up to a point

D.C. marches inclusive – up to a point

Organizers of the two recent marches on Washington – one called by Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III and the other engineered primarily by King's sister, Bernice – almost stumbled over one another praising the diversity of their respective marches.

However, not one addressed the elephant in the room: Why was more emphasis placed on bringing in groups that were not part of the push for jobs and freedom in 1963 than assembling a broad coalition of black leaders?

To be even more direct: How can you justify excluding Minister Louis Farrakhan? After all, he managed to draw more black men to the nation's capital on Oct. 16, 1995 than the combined crowds at the 1963 March on Washington, the Sharpton-led march on Aug. 24 and the Aug. 28 commemorative march. In fact, the Million Man March at least doubled their combined attendance.

Read more...

  • Written by George Curry

All children deserve teachers who care about them

All children deserve teachers who care about them

"You see a lot of teachers judge and stigmatize their students based on where they come from. A lot of my teachers thought that since I was from the South End of Louisville and I grew up in Section 8 housing that I wasn't capable of doing all the things that I did, and the first time that I really felt like I was someone, it was the first time my fifth grade teacher actually pulled me to the side and said, 'What can I do for you to help you as a student?' And I ask my students that now. I pull them to the side and I say, 'What can I do as an adult to help you?'... I feel like every time I talk to someone, I should instill something in them, and I want that in return. And that happens just through treating people with love."

– Janol Vinson

Read more...

  • Written by Marian Wright Edelman

Subcategories