TSD Memphis

Thu04242014

Opinion

President Obama’s war against minority college students

college 600Last week, the Obama Administration declared war on one million underserved students pursuing higher education throughout the United States. While the President and First Lady launch their campaign to make it easier for low-income minority students to access college, the Department of Education has launched an unprecedented assault on this same community through a new proposal that will cut thousands of college programs that disproportionately serve poor communities, single working mothers, veterans and other at-risk populations.

At a time when American employers desperately need an educated, skilled workforce to sustain economic recovery, a confused and conflicted White House is hurting the underserved communities it claims to support.

On March 14, the Department of Education published its new proposed "Gainful Employment" rule. The rule is a rehashed patchwork of regulations concocted several years ago in an attempt to prevent abuse of the federal financial aid system. Rejected through legislative process and shot down in federal court only a few years ago, the Administration has nonetheless resurrected the policy and repackaged it in an 841-page proposal that will decimate college programs and career-focused vocational training currently serving one million students.

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Fathers need to learn beating daughters won’t make them good girls

dads 600Just in time for April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, there's a new clip making the viral rounds of an angry black dad wailing on his child with a belt.

In a video partially titled "Father Whoops on His 13-Year-Old Daughter Dressed Like Beyoncé After Missing for 3 Days," a scantily clad black girl is being swung around by her long hair as her father mercilessly beats her in public. The girl, who never cries or makes any noise at all, holds on to her purse and tries to protect herself. There's a woman in the background—hopefully not the child's mother—calling her a "bitch" and a "ho."

Some viewers were shocked to discover that the man doing the hitting was the girl's father. "[This] video is disturbing," wrote one commenter. "This is a bit far. I thought it was a pimp and one of his ladies." If I had not seen the caption before I watched the video, I would have reached the same conclusion.

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Can Beyoncé’s celebrity reshape feminism?

Beyonce 600In a recent PSA to ban the word bossy, Beyoncé said, "I'm not bossy, I'm the boss," and little girls everywhere rejoiced.

Well, maybe that's not entirely what happened, but I'm sure it did.

Contrary to Bill O'Reilly's latest conspiracy theory, Beyoncé is not the cause of the downfall of society's children—quite the opposite. Mrs. Carter is just the woman we need to lead the discussion on leadership and feminism in the 21st century.

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Health crisis is real

fletcher 600My friend is awaiting health insurance. This is not academic. She's afraid that she might have cancer. Think about what it says about a society that someone concerned about a serious illness has to wait to see whether they have the right insurance to cover a potentially life-threatening crisis.

For those who are procrastinating in getting your personal health insurance, I would suggest that you are gambling. And while the "cards" may play out in your favor, they also may not.

My friend has to wait till she gets her health insurance because, like many other workers, she is employed by a company that does not offer health insurance. They do not offer much in the way of time-off either. It is all part of a larger pattern. Each day that passes, workers find that they have to cover more and more of what, at one point, people took for granted. No health insurance; no pension; no sick time; little, if any, vacation. It starts to feel like the days prior to the advent of labor unions.

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It’s called class warfare

spriggclasswarfare 600Everyone knows America has a hyper inequality problem. The six Walton family heirs who own Walmart have the same wealth as the bottom 42 percent of Americans. In the latest data through 2011, researchers Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty show the top 1 percent of income earners in the U.S. get 20 percent of all the income. Both the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-the organization of the advanced industrialized democratic countries) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recognize that high levels of inequality hurt economic growth.

The question is: What do we do about the inequality?

Understanding the need to explain inequality, we now hear from Republican House Budget chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in an interview on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show that the problem is rooted in the cultural inferiority of inner city men:

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Now do you believe in climate change?

fletcher 600I have started to hear it all over again. The intense and record cold weather has led ideologues on the political Right to proclaim: "You see, there is no global warming! How can there be global warming if we are freezing?"

It is almost tragic that the term "global warming" became the popular means of explaining climate change. While it is absolutely and incontrovertibly confirmed that the temperature of the planet Earth has been increasing, what too many people continue to miss is that it is not happening all at once. Neither is it happening in the same way across the planet. For that reason it is more accurate and useful to discuss "climate change" and "extreme weather."

What has been unfolding, as the temperature of the planet increases, is that weather patterns are also shifting. California, for instance, suffered an extreme drought leading to near panic. That has been followed by a massive deluge of rain that has resulted in dangerous mudslides.

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Still Dating My Spouse

stilldating 600As you live and breathe, how you love and feel about love is influenced by a variety of factors, including your circle of friends. As we discussed in the post, Love is a Learned Behavior, much of who you are, what you do, and what you believe in was (and is) influenced by your parents, family, friends, and any adult interactions growing up and now.

Your thoughts and actions are influenced by the circle you keep! It is so important to recognize how those in your circle are influencing your behavior toward love; whether positively or negatively they will influence you. Look at your circle of influence and access what type of influence they are depositing into your life.

Just being aware of the impact your circle has on how you love is powerful. Now don't get me wrong, you will spend time with friends and family. They will also spend time with your spouse but make sure you have a healthy balance and respect among all.

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From Mammy to Michelle Obama:

mammytomichelle 600Mammy and first lady Michelle Obama may seem like an odd pairing – two figures that couldn't be more different, some might say. One being a Princeton University and Harvard Law School alumna; the other a symbol of joyful servility, a stereotype used to justify slavery.

At first blush, just the consideration of the two might seem to indicate that perceptions of African-American women have come a long way and evolved for the better. But how much progress has actually been made relative to perceptions about African-American women?

March annually is observed as Women's History Month. And with scholars such as syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux noting that, "It pains me to watch Black Women's History so swallowed that we are almost invisible," The New Tri-State Defender decided to probe the stereotypes and perceptions.

 

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Husband’s waywardness tests wife’s moral compass

stuffhappens 600The Dilemma: I've been married for 35 years to what I thought was a wonderful man. Last week I went on a trip with my girlfriends. I missed my husband so much that I decided to return home early to surprise him. Well, low and behold, I was the one surprised.

I walked into our bedroom and he was in bed with another woman and a man. I was furious! I'm 56 yoa and look really good for my age. My husband claims he is not on the DL or bi-sexual. But what am I to think? I don't know what to do. I love this man and afraid if I divorce him, I will be alone for the rest of my life.

We talked and he wants to start swinging! I believe in monogamy! I thought he was faithful, but now he wants me to join in or look the other way. This may be the only way to save my marriage by allowing this to happen with or without me. I'm a homemaker and too old to start working now. He is a good provider.

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New assessment test will tell whether our kids are learning

tate 600Remember back when you were in school. At some point, you probably wanted to play for the basketball team or be a majorette.

Now, you knew they wouldn't take just anybody. You had to show the coach you could play, so you would go in and show that you could shoot or handle a baton. You tried out.

The academic subjects – your reading, writing and math – are no different. You have to show your teachers that you'll have the skills you need to graduate and get a job.

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Even our greatest fears shouldn’t deny Tennessee children school vouchers

Jennifer-Littlejohn 600The Tennessee state legislature is currently debating two versions of a bill that would bring school vouchers into existence in our state. The Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) welcomes and encourages the delivery of means-tested school vouchers to Tennessee, but our reasons for supporting vouchers aren't for any of the politically charged ideas that are often cited when school vouchers are discussed.

No, we support vouchers simply because they can help low-income and working class families access quality educational options for their children that would otherwise be out of reach for them.

The side that typically opposes school vouchers is interested in making sure the financial stability of public school systems remain in tact. The opposition is also well known for its willingness to fight to prevent parents from utilizing vouchers as a way for their children to leave failing schools. And while some may find their arguments valid, BAEO rests with our message that all families need access to high-quality options despite their income-level and geographic location. Access can come in form of a voucher, tax credit, charter school, or even in a traditional public school.

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(Black) Women’s History Month

preddy 600Do you know about Elizabeth Keckley? Maggie Lena Walker, Sarann Knight Preddy, Gertrude Pocte Geddes-Willis, Trish Millines Dziko, Addie L Wyatt or Marie-Therese Metoyer?

What about Ernesta Procope, Dr. Sadie Alexander, Or Dr. Phyllis Wallace? What about Bettiann Gardner, Lillian Lambert, or Emma Chappell? What about Ellen Holly, Mary Alice, or Edmonia Lewis?

If we knew anything about these women, it might cause all of us, African-American men and women, to walk a bit more lightly, hold our heads a bit higher.

 

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Defining HerStory for Women’s History Month

herstory 600This past week I had the opportunity to spend time with just over 100 women leaders who were part of BET's Leading Women Defined. These leaders are changing the perceptions about the potential of women to preside over companies, households and break barriers.

Part of the experience was being in the room while Robin Roberts interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama. Robin Roberts, one of the first women sportscasters on ESPN, is herself the epitome of strength that is so often seen in women. She broke barriers in sportscasting that ultimately opened doors for other women who are now commonly fixtures in sports reporting. But, more recently, her fight against breast cancer led people to see the true warrior that she was as she exposed her fight to the world.

It's that story of strength that is interwoven anytime you hear about women who are at the helm of a corporation, household, church, or plainly, at the top of their game. As Beyoncé said, women are able to bear the children then write a check for millions. We are leaning in, working, mothering, serving and often doing it at the same time. It would be easy to think that women, as strong as we are have reached the pinnacle of our success. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do. Simply put, this is a man's world and to this day, women are blocked from achieving true equality with their male counterparts.

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