Sat04192014

Opinion

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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Is Ben Carson the new Herman Cain?

bencarson 600By all accounts, Ben Carson wowed them at the CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, this past weekend in Washington.

The retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon rallied the troops with a fiery speech and he came in third place in the CPAC straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R- Texas), a strong showing.

Might Dr. Carson be the conservative movement's political reincarnation of Herman Cain? It certainly looks that way.

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I forgive but I can’t forget. Now what?

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I have been ill for some time. I read your articles and you have said that the most important part of healing is forgiveness. I have tried to forgive those who have hurt me so much but I cannot forget what they did to me. My pastor says that when we forgive it is not complete until we forget. How do you forget?
– Still Sick

Dear Still Sick: Most of us have been told that forgetting and forgiving go hand in hand. I don't agree. Memories always live in us at some level, conscious or unconscious. There are many things I thought I had forgotten only to have them pop up one day under unexpected provocation.

It is not that we forgive and miraculously forget the slight or the hurt. What we must do is forgive and also let go of the sting, resentment, vengefulness and anger over the memory of the hurtful event.

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In the battle to end ‘the seduction of inadequacy,’ I’m with Lupita

lucyandlupita-600For me, nothing could eclipse my happiness for Lupita Nyong'o when she won her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress a few nights ago. I was not only thrilled for her but for the profound, timely and necessary message brought to the world by the movie, "12 Years a Slave." This young woman has taken Hollywood and the movie-viewing world with her extraordinary poise and humility wrapped around her awesome talent.

What may not be widely known is that just a few days before her Oscar win, Lupita received an award at the seventh annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon hosted by Essence Magazine. Her award was for Best Breakthrough Performance. On this occasion she delivered the speech below.

I concur with most who heard it that it is (sadly in 2014) a speech about beauty and self-image that every young brown, black, red or yellow girl should get to hear. It was first posted online by Time Magazine. I found a video and transcript at upworthy.com.

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Redefining truth has consequences

raynard jacksonIn all organized sports, there are clearly defined rules that must be adhered to. In all universities, there are clearly stated guidelines for admittance. In all religions, there are shared beliefs that all members must adhere to. Without these clearly defined rules of engagement (ROEs), there can be no order within groups; and without order there is nothing left but chaos.

Groups and organizations, by definition are all predicated upon certain agreed upon principles and values. These agreed upon principles and values are the raison d'etre of these entities.

You join the Boy Scouts, for example, because you are a boy and you join the Girl Scouts because you are a girl. You are a male because you are born with a penis and you are a girl because you are born with a vagina. These things used to be unquestioned statements of fact.

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