One hundred fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a flawed document that freed enslaved people in Confederate areas that he did not control. At the same time, it was a progressive document because it initiated discussion about the "freedom" Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteen Amendments.
One hundred years later, in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. riveted the nation with his "I Have A Dream" speech during the August 28 March on Washington. Many will remember that he said, "I have a dream that one day people will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Somehow people forget that in the same speech he said, "We have come to the nation's capital to cash a check that has been marked insufficient funds." If people said "cash the check" as often as they said "I have a dream," we'd move more quickly forward in closing the economic gaps that African American people experience.
I really had not planned on writing anything about the shooting in Newtown, Conn. because I didn't have anything fresh or thought provoking to write. As I have indicated before, I can't muster any extra sympathy for the tragic events in Connecticut when young kids are dying every day in Chicago and they barely get a mention in the news, and definitely not by this White House.
The worst thing any politician can ever do is to legislate while caught up in a cloud of emotion. Every time Americans have a tragedy, politicians and the public demand that "something" be done to prevent the same event from happening again. Here is a truth that most of us do not want to admit: There is no current law or future law that can prevent another mass shooting from occurring. Guns are not the problem, it's the people.
Our brand new year is in full swing – full of promise and new beginnings. Even as we move forward with shining, new resolve, it's always fun to look back at our consumer behaviors and trends over the previous 12 months.
Let's start with how we rang in the New Year. No matter how you brought in 2013, chances are it involved an effervescent, grown-up libation. You are not alone. Consumers around the world celebrated with a lot of cork popping on New Year's Eve.
The latest negative programming coming from the dominant media is a ridiculous show about a black guy who has 11 children by 10 different women. "All My Babies Mamas" was planned for the coming season, but now it may be completely scrubbed, mainly because a sister, Sabrina Lamb, sent out a petition protesting the show in the most serious manner.
I say kudos to Ms. Lamb and others who have spoken out against this nonsensical and degrading show; I wish the same fate for some of those other so-called reality shows.
Massacres such as Newtown are horrifying and heart-rending. They are also nothing like the typical American gun murder.
The typical murder has one victim, not many. The typical murder is committed with a handgun, not a rifle. And in the typical murder, both the perpetrator and the victim are young black men. Blacks are six times as likely as whites to be the victim of a homicide. Blacks are seven times as likely to commit a homicide.
Gaining weight around the girth is like being pregnant. We often hear, "How did this happen!" If we really think about those expanded girths, a lot of men would look pregnant due to an over abundance of belly fat, which causes some men's stomachs to look like those of gestating women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has become a national threat to society. One out of every three adults is obese. That is a whopping (excuse the pun) 35.7 percent. In a 2008 report, 42 percent of the U.S. population will be obese by the year 2030.
When then-National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Danny Bakewell Sr. asked me to emcee the Black Press Week luncheon at the National Press Club in 2011, I had no idea that I would be witnessing history. At the urging of Wilmington Journal Publisher Mary Alice Thatch, the NNPA decided to launch a national campaign to win pardons for the Wilmington 10, a group of activists who were falsely convicted and sentenced to a combined total of 282 years.