Ah, spring is in the air. The flowers have begun to bloom and treetops are sprouting various shades of green leaves. It is a time of rebirth, will all forms of life making the remarkable return to their natural states.
For we humans, spring is a time to refresh, refocus and recharge the mind, body and spirit. Recharging may be challenging to some people, but it doesn't have to be. Recharging could mean simply walking, running, riding a bicycle or hiking the trails along a wooded area. In some sense, recharging will enhance one's state of mind and ultimately one's quality of life.
Quality, however, is relative and depends on what a person is doing to make it happen. When it comes to health, I would venture to say that most people are looking to make incremental changes for the better. If change is your goal, eating fresh fruits and vegetables will help you get started on a wondrous journey to good health.
(This article contains language that some readers may consider offensive.)
When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he reportedly said Democrats would lose the South for a generation. At the time, 115 of the 128 senators and representatives from the 11 former Confederate states were white Democrats.
Today, all Democratic congressmen from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia are black, except for John Barrow of Georgia; and all Republican congressmen from these states are white, except for Tim Scott of South Carolina.
As a result of Ohio's Republican Sen. Rob Portman's declaration last week that he now supports homosexual marriage, I am once again compelled to ask: Why are Christians and conservatives constantly apologizing for what they believe?
Portman said he changed his position because his son told him that he was homosexual. Typically, I would not write about someone's family issues. But, in this instance, I want to come at this issue from a somewhat different perspective. I want to use Portman's renunciation of his Christian beliefs to have a more broad discussion of morals and values.
You should know that Portman is one of the most decent people you will ever meet. It's almost impossible not to like Portman. People like Portman make me want to stay engaged in politics. Throughout his decades of public service, he has made it perfectly clear that he is a Christian conservative, who believes in the sanctity of life and marriage being between a man and a woman.
There has been much written and said about the March 30th planned rally of the KKK. This rally is inspired by recent Memphis City Council action changing the names of three Confederate parks, Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park. The parks were given temporary placeholder names and their permanent names will be decided later with a great deal of promised public input.
These facts have been presented and these stories covered in the media and discussed in our workplaces, classrooms, places of worship and homes. Yet, it falls to the public, to the people of Memphis and Shelby County to answer one pivotal question. What is to be our response to this?
Some very sincere and passionate people believe in being at the scene of the Klan rally to show publicly and assertively that hate mongers such as the Klan and their ilk are neither welcome or wanted within our community. I personally don't propose that people go to the KKK event and counter protest. I think for many the spectre of violence at the 1998 Klan rally gives many in our community, especially those with children, pause.
As I write, Chaka Khan's empowering "I'm Every Woman" loops in my head – like a soundtrack. (By the way, have you seen her lately? All slim, trim and more fabulous than ever). It's Women's History Month and the lyrics to that iconic anthem should be resonating with all women, and those who love us, as we celebrate ourselves and the countless contributions we make everyday – both large and small – that keep the world turning.
No matter how small or far-reaching the radius of your world is every choice you make is important. Nielsen shines the light on women's choices and our dynamic impact as consumers with two new global reports: Does Gender Matter and 10 Things to Know About Today's Female Consumer.
On Monday night, at the National Constitution Center, the solemn place where President Obama gave his powerful address on race, Philadelphians will gather for a follow-up dialog: Being White in Philly.
This, of course, refers to the recent magazine cover story by Philadelphia Magazine, which quoted unnamed European Americans about racial fears and beliefs. In it, we learn some whites fear crime, are skeptical that minorities are doing the right things to get ahead, and are unaware that in Philadelphia – a gateway to prosperity – the door is locked for many.
Really, did this come as a surprise to anyone?
When unemployment numbers were released last Friday (March 8), commentators reacted joyfully. Alan Krueger, who heads the White House Council of Economic Advisors, described the creation of 247,000 jobs as a victory because the predictions were that the economy would only generate 170,000 jobs. Unemployment rates went down to 7.7 percent, while predictions were that they would drop to 7.8 percent.
Some might call this good news, but many might wonder who is affected by this good news.
A deeper examination of the unemployment data shows the disappointing reality that African-American unemployment rates remained level, at 13.8 percent. Meanwhile, white unemployment rates fell to 6.8 percent and the rate for white men dropped to 6.3 percent. The racial disparities in unemployment rates are not new, but it is hypocritical to celebrate a drop in white unemployment rages, without noticing or mentioning the stagnation in black unemployment rates.