President Barack Obama has the opportunity, in this second term, to put his feet on history. He won an election that his opponent had essentially claimed, he has been firm about that which he would negotiate on, and he has offered a progressive inauguration speech that offers up a liberal agenda, embracing Social Security and Medicare, uplifting immigrants and gay rights, and embracing ways to address inequality.
One could not help but applaud the strong direction of President Obama's speech. But those of us in the African American community wonder why we could not get a shout out about high unemployment and poverty rates, inner city challenges, and income, economic and unemployment disparities.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. This statement is the best way to express my thoughts and feelings about what the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is constantly going through.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the U.S., with more than 2.7 million youth members and more than 1 million adult volunteers. It is estimated that more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA since in founding in 1910, including me.
The same day that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines for their first joint interview, on "60 Minutes," NAACP President Ben Jealous delighted conservatives with his headline-making interview on another Sunday news program.
Appearing on "Meet the Press," Jealous said, "Right now when you look at joblessness in this country – the country is pretty much back to where it was when this president started. White people are doing a bit better. Black folks are doing a full point worse."
For more than a year I've tried to get Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to make an appearance on my Sunday morning news show on TV One, the nation's second-largest black cable network.
He has also been invited to appear on my daily segment on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," with 8 million listeners.
Although Priebus did tell me "yes" a year ago, on the day of the GOP primary debate in South Carolina, he has yet to show up and talk GOP politics to either of these audiences.
In 1978 a New Jersey-born and California-raised kid landed in Tennessee. I was a deceitful, recovering heroin addict and a school dropout, thief and former childhood run-away when I met The Honorable Lois M. DeBerry in Crossville, Tenn. at the Annual Legislative Retreat of The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators.
Rep. DeBerry transformed this stranger through increased exposure and raised expectations.
Being a life long Memphian, I have passed Forrest Park and the huge statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest on Union Avenue hundreds of times without stopping. Why would I stop?
Since when has the history of a man riding on a horse ever meant anything good for an African American?
Neither was I prompted to entertain the revelation of the horse's rider, and this despite the local news media's recent swarm to the statue.
The Teacher Effectiveness Initiative has become the most recent attempt and buzz word for the privatization and corporate takeover of public education. The broader question that remains unanswered and unaddressed is school-wide and community effectiveness!
Those who are in control and who have the financial backing will maintain they have no control over the system and the conditions under which our students live; they have identified and targeted teachers as the single most important and crucial element in the public school system. Therein, everything that is wrong with public education is addressed by blaming teachers.