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Opinion

Anti-effeminacy in the black community

Anti-effeminacy in the black community
Words like sissy and f** can often be heard in the black community to describe a man who falls outside the comparatively restrictive confounds of black male masculinity.  However, why black men in particular focus on masculinity more than their other racial counterparts is often misunderstood. Two theories seek to explain the culture of anti-effeminacy in the black community. 
 
Sexism is something that pervades our country and society.  With the average woman making about four to seven percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department, less than her male counterparts when accounting for differences in total hours worked, job position, and total unpaid hours leave taken during the year.

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Are Republicans serious about courting African Americans?

Are Republicans serious about courting African Americans?
The biggest complaints I get from black journalists when it comes to Republican officeholders and Party leaders is that they can’t get their calls returned. I used to think this was because of the reporters’ race or that some represented small, black media outlets.
Over the years, I have spent many hours reflecting on this dilemma and have concluded two things. First, the problem has nothing to do with race or racism; it has more to do with the lack of relationships with black journalists. People return calls of people they know or have a relationship with first; then and only then will they return calls of those they don’t know.
 
Second, there is no bridge between Republican members of Congress and other party leaders to the black media. Over the years, I have tried to bridge that gap, so to speak, but with limited success.

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Black girls are also victims of gun violence

Black girls are also victims of gun violence
In 1999, when I was 19 years old, I was arrested and charged with first degree murder, several counts of attempted murder, attempted robbery, and several counts of criminal use of a weapon. I was convicted of first-degree assault and third-degree weapons possession, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2002. 
 
Twelve years later, 17-year-old Gakirah Barnes, known on twitter as @tyquanassassin, was gunned down by a barrage of bullets in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood on Good Friday 2014.  Gakirah, also known as K I, was said to have been a part of a younger branch of the Gangster Disciples called the STL-EBT crew. Gakirah was said to have been responsible for the death of rival gang members from a nearby housing project. 

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Bowe Bergdahl: Guilt by association with Obama

Bowe Bergdahl: Guilt by association with Obama
The Republican furor over the release of American POW Bowe Bergdahl just doesn’t make any sense – that is, unless you think of Sgt. Bergdahl as a stand-in for President Obama.
 
The Army soldier has not even set foot on U.S. soil after being held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years in Afghanistan.  And yet, Bergdahl, 28, has been tried and convicted in the media, accused of being a deserter, a terrorist sympathizer, and anything and everything but a child of God. Obama struck a deal securing the soldier’s release in exchange for America’s release of five Taliban prisoners.  The President ignored the law requiring him to inform Congress of the transfer of the Taliban prisoners 30 days in advance, and he is not apologizing.

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‘How … as a Christian, should I determine who to vote for?’

‘How … as a Christian, should I determine who to vote for?’

We find ourselves in an interesting election cycle once again, and one of the perennial highlights is the march to the African-American churches and clergy. Elected officials and candidates, who never set foot in a worship service, all of a sudden clamor to find willing clergy that allow them to stand in front of a congregation. Jesus gets pushed aside, if for a moment, so that political aspirations can be entertained. And when the smoke clears, pastors endorse candidates.
 
Much has been made recently over endorsements. One of my colleagues, in this space, affirmed the need to be involved in the political process but stopped short in affirming specific, endorsed support from pastors. He felt that our job was to educate. Another colleague said, “It’s disingenuous for a group of Black Christian preachers to say that a Jew can’t effectively represent Black folks in Congress. A Jew has been effectively representing us in Heaven for 2,000 years. #HushSitDownAndStudy”. 

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NBA doesn’t need another white billionaire

NBA doesn’t need another white billionaire
 
If Steve Ballmer’s reported offer to purchase the L.A. Clippers is approved by the NBA, many will claim victory over the racist ranting of elderly mad man Donald Sterling. Some of us, however, will not see it as a victory at all.
 
Another white male billionaire joins one of the most elite clubs in the world – white male billionaires who own sports franchises.  This is not to intimate that Ballmer is racist.  We can and should judge him by his record at Microsoft.
 
As one of the co-founders, he amassed a considerable fortune, but by some reports the final stages of his tenure at the helm of the company were marked by an inability to acknowledge innovations in the information technology world.

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Greetings from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s new executive director

Greetings from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s new executive director

We at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center stand poised on the precipice of a great transition. I want to first and foremost thank Jacob (Flowers) for ten years of outstanding service and leadership to this organization and to our entire community here in Memphis.

Under Jacob's stewardship, the MSPJC has grown and evolved, producing an incredible body of work rooted in our most deeply-held principles. His work has connected global oppression to local injustice, asking us to focus not only on those that suffer overseas, but also those that suffer right next door. Beyond this, Jacob's leadership allowed us to build a "people's organization" with an amazing and diverse staff aided by one of the strongest board of directors this organization has ever had.

Over the past six years it has been my pleasure and honor to serve alongside Jacob as Organizing Director and with your help, we have made great strides towards a more equitable community. Local issues like environmental justice, homelessness, and public transit have become cornerstones of the MSPJC, as evidenced by grassroots movements like GrowMemphis, H.O.P.E., and the Memphis Bus Riders Union. The Gandhi-King conference has developed into a major event and our training department has provided resources and mentoring to foster leadership and build our base of local activists winning real victories for their communities.

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