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Opinion

‘White dudes say the darndest things’

‘White dudes say the darndest things’

A quote similar to the one in this commentary's headline was coined and made popular 62 years ago (the year one of us was born) by Art Linkletter, the popular pioneer daytime talk show host in the early years of television. But Art said, "Kids say the darndest things."

There are big differences between the things white dudes say and the things kids say. The things white dudes say are not as cute and the things kids say are not as predictable. The prevailing similarity to kids, however, among more and more high profile white dudes is the lack of a filter so what comes up, comes out...especially regarding race.

The latest example is Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's declaration on his Sirius XM show that there are no black hosts whom he would deem "worthy" of doing a national sports radio show on a subscription radio service such as Sirius XM. And, if they could find one with the right resume, of course they would hire him.

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Nigerian government fails our missing girls – and our country

Nigerian government fails our missing girls – and our country

The cold facts stare us in our face:

Fact 1: More than 300 girls were abducted from the rural northeast region of Nigeria on April 15 while attending secondary school; 276 are still believed to be held captive.

Fact 2: The federal government has yet to forcibly intervene to get our girls back.

The issue isn't just that the government hasn't fully addressed this atrocity, the deeper questions are: What decisive action is necessary to put a stop to what is becoming a normal occurrence? Does the Nigerian government have what it takes and what it needs to make this happen?

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COGIC and RNC explore ‘Shared Values and Shared Goals’

COGIC and RNC explore ‘Shared Values and Shared Goals’

As the Republican National Committee descends upon Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the International Headquarters of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. We welcome the RNC to Memphis and look forward to dialogue and building relationships.

Some if not many would wonder why the Church Of God In Christ would want to engage and have dialogue with the Republican National Committee (RNC)? Over 100 years ago our denomination was founded when black people were predominately Republican and today we are the largest Black Pentecostal faith organization with over 5 million members. The Church's leadership is concerned about the Black Community, in fact, concerned about the entire nation.

We do not deny or shy away from the fact that our members are largely conservative, however in the 21st century we have not had much of a relationship with the Republican Party. Said plainly, the issues are racial in nature but education on both sides would be appreciated, and possibly bring clarity.

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Black media need ownership – and control

Black media need ownership – and control

With the continued consolidation going on within the media (radio, TV, newspapers), there is never-ending debate over the issue of ownership and diversity. But how do you define ownership? Is ownership the issue or editorial control or both?

As members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) like to remind me, black media is by definition black-owned and operated. The NNPA is composed of approximately 200 black newspapers in the United States and the Virgin Islands. They have a combined readership of nearly 20 million and the organization also has a digital presence in BlackPressUSA.com , which enables newspapers to provide real time news and information to its national constituency.

There is no question that these newspapers are wholly owned and operated by blacks, unlike media outlets such as The Grio, The Root, Essence magazine or Black Entertainment Television (BET). These outlets are merely white media masquerading as black-owned media. The Grio is owned by NBC, The Root is owned by the Washington Post, Essence is owned by Time, Inc., and BET is owned by Viacom.

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The seed experiment

The seed experiment

A perennial favorite science project from preschool on up is the "seed experiment." That's when a child plants identical seeds in two pots. She places the first pot inside a dark cupboard and leaves it there, and she puts the second one in a sunny spot and waters it every day. She waits to see what will happen. It's very easy for even the youngest children to figure out that their seedlings need the basics – sunlight and water – if they are going to survive and thrive.

The same is true for children, and "the basics" during children's earliest years can have long lasting effects. Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and one of the contributors to the new Harvard Education Press book "Improving the Odds for America's Children," put it this way:

"I think sometimes we forget to say how important for children's futures the day-to-day basic assistance of food, clothing, shelter is . . . We've had help from the research community recently, striking studies that help make the case that when you just provide the basics, that's one key cornerstone for children's future success. So it's not just that we're meeting an important need – which would be enough in itself – but we're also providing for opening future doors of opportunity."

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Rancher Cliven Bundy and ‘The Negro’

Rancher Cliven Bundy and ‘The Negro’

As is typical of blowhards, Cliven Bundy, the conservative movement's most recently defrocked hero/criminal, opened his mouth once too often. In doing so, the Nevada rancher revealed who he really is behind all the Stars-and-Stripes flag-waving and man-of-the-West rhetoric. The man who has grazed his cattle on federal land for more than two decades but has refused to pay the minimal grazing fees the government charges all ranchers (Bundy now owes about $1 million) is an arch-racist as well as a chiseler.

On Saturday, April 19, Bundy, speaking to a small group of his supporters – and, fortunately for the rest of us, a New York Times reporter and photographer – went off-message to hold forth on a number of topics, including race.

According to the Times, Bundy said: "I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," as he recalled driving past a Las Vegas public housing project, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do."

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Don’t knock V. Stiviano’s gold-digging hustle

Don’t knock V. Stiviano’s gold-digging hustle

Like every other adult with Internet access, I've been following the Donald Sterling saga since TMZ released the hidden recording of his racist rants on Friday night. Over the past many days, it's all anyone seems to talk about. Surely, recently departed "Scandal" co-star Columbus Short is somewhere thanking the gods for taking the attention off him.

I've taken to calling this whole affair As the Plantation Turns (which I can't take credit for). The unique cast of characters – the geriatric billionaire racist sugar daddy, his not-so-estranged wife and the biracial mastermind mistress; the guest appearance by basketball legend, businessman and HIV activist Magic Johnson (who was unfairly dragged into all this mess); and the setting of professional basketball during the high-stakes playoffs are better than anything a novelist could create. This all lends credence to the popular joke that sports are reality TV for men.

At the heart of this drama is V. Stiviano – a mysterious woman who apparently has gone by several different names – whose voice is heard on the TMZ tapes that started this whole debacle. So the story seems to go like this: Sterling's billionaire wife was angry that her husband spent around $2 million on gifts for his lady "friend" of four years, a woman young enough to be his granddaughter. The Los Angeles Times reports that over four years, Sterling bought Stiviano four luxury cars and a $1.8 million duplex home in Stiviano's name and gave her $240,000 in "living expenses."

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