PHILADELPHIA, PA. – U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.) visited Community College of Philadelphia on April 25th to accept the Judge Edward R. Becker Citizenship Award, which is named for a respected jurist noted for his humanity, humility and powerful decisions.
Casey used the occasion to discuss food insecurity, an issue that often remains hidden from public view. Just last year, U.S. Sens. Casey, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act, which would expand and create permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks.
At the award ceremony, Casey called food security, among children especially, an issue of justice. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan includes cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) of $137 billion – 18 percent – over the next ten years.
Professor Michael Watts teaches geography at UC Berkeley and is the author of many books, including "Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria" and "Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta." He spoke to NAM editor Andrew Lam about the recent kidnappings of more than 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the radical group known as Boko Haram, and the apparent inability of the Nigerian government to either prevent or respond to their crimes. At the time of this writing, 276 of the girls that were kidnapped three weeks ago remain in captivity while 53 have escaped. On Tuesday, Nigerian officials reported that the group had struck again, abducting 11 more schoolgirls in the country's northeast region.
Who are the Boko Haram and what should we know about them?
First of all, those individuals who are identified with Boko Haram do not refer to themselves as Boko Haram. Boko Haram, in the local Hausa language, means something along the line of, "Western education is forbidden." It's a term applied to them by residents in the communities in which the movement arose in the early 2000's, in the northeast of Nigeria. They refer to themselves differently, as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad). I'm raising all of this because I think it's very important that Boko Haram is not [a name] they deployed, and it's not something that describes what they're movement is about.
If it's not in JET, it didn't happen."
The popular catchphrase for one of the nation's premiere black publications is keeping their promise as they end their print issues and transition to digital publishing in June.
For 63 years, JET magazine has delivered the biggest and most breaking news as it pertains to black America. It currently ranks as the third leading publication in the African-American market following Essence and Ebony.
Though the cheering had already started much earlier, Deidre Malone did not accept the fact of her victory in the Democratic Party primary until 9:43 p.m. Election Night.
Local Democratic Party activist Lexie Carter quieted the crowd, and from the Madison Avenue headquarter's back porch steps announced, "With 94 percent of the precincts in, she (Malone) has 13,340 votes, (the Rev. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.) is at 12,148, giving him 33 percent. So with (County Commissioner) Steve Mulroy already conceding, Deidre has won. Mr. Whalum would have to get 5 percent of the total remaining votes to win."
Accepting the numbers at that moment, a visibly-moved Malone released a few tears. She turned and hugged her husband strongly for several seconds, then waded through the usual media blather before answering this question: Can she really beat incumbent Republican Mark Luttrell?
Deidre Malone's marching orders to her constituents were succinct: "Let's take this thing."
That "thing" is the office of Shelby County Mayor. She earned the right to issue the summons to action by outdistancing the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., who surprised many coming in second, and County Commissioner Steve Mulroy in Tuesday's Shelby County Primary Elections.
Of the votes cast, Malone polled 35.8 percent, with Whalum 32.8 percent and Mulroy drawing 31.2 percent. Those percentages reflected all but one precinct.
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