Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Your Black Health: Black Boy, 14 Develops Surgery Technique

He will present his findings today to the medical community.

A Jacksonville researcher has developed a way of sewing up patients after hysterectomies that stands t;o reduce the risk of complications and simplify the tricky procedure for less-seasoned surgeons.

Oh, and he's 14 years old.

Feel free to read that again.

Tony Hansberry II is a ninth-grader who, as it happens, will be presenting his findings today before an auditorium filled with doctors just like any of his board-certified - and decades older - colleagues would. He would say he was following in the footsteps of "Doogie Howser, M.D." - if he weren't too young to have heard of the television show.

Instead, he says that his remarkable accomplishments are merely steps toward his ultimate goal of becoming a University of Florida-trained neurosurgeon.

"I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives," said Tony, the son of a registered nurse mom and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor dad.

To be sure, he had some help along the way, but, then again, most researchers do. The seeds of his project were planted last summer during his internship at the University of Florida's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, based at Shands Jacksonville.


Click to read.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ex Jaguar Jimmy Smith Arrested on Drug Charges

Former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith was pulled over Wednesday afternoon and found with crack cocaine and marijuana in his car, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Smith, who played 10 seasons for Jacksonville, was pulled over on Interstate 95 in Jacksonville for excessive window tint on his 2009 Mercedes Benz, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Leeper said.

The trooper reported that the inside of the car smelled like burnt marijuana. During a search, the trooper found crack cocaine, marijuana and a business card with powder cocaine residue in the car's center console.


Click to read.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Attorney Christopher Metzler Analyzes Obama’s Selective Racial Boycotts

by Dr. Christopher Metzler, Georgetown University

As President Obama shook hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, he was willing to take the political heat. He said that he was not concerned about the politics of the hand shake and more concerned about extending an open hand to nations hostile to the U.S. The open hand, it seems, is not so open after all. The President announced that, like the Bush Administration, the United States will boycott the world anti-racism conference (Durban II), which opens in Geneva today. According to the President, "I would love to be involved in a useful conference that addressed continuing issues of racism and discrimination around the globe. We expressed in the run-up to this conference our concerns that if you adopted all of the language from 2001, that's not something we can sign up for. "Hopefully some concrete steps come out of the conference that we can partner with other countries on to actually reduce discrimination around the globe, but this wasn't an opportunity to do it."

obama-rice.jpgHe is not willing to take the political heat in this case because there is language criticizing Israel and the West in the final document. As the world celebrates the election of the first Black President, the United States boycotts the world conference against racism. Symbolism, it seems has met political reality.

On this issue, it is difficult to reconcile the President's rhetoric with his actions. The President has repeatedly said that his policy is to talk with those with whom he disagrees. He is talking to Chavez, to Ahmadinejad, to Medvedev and Kim but cannot talk to human rights defenders about the best way to address the continuing significance of racism world wide? Surely the message cannot be that the United States does not believe that the right to be free from racism is not a basic human right.

Click to read more from our Black Scholar’s Blog.

Police Officer Jokes about Killing a Black Man

The NAACP is telling the police department in Erie, PA to fire an officer who was caught on camera making jokes about shooting a Black man in the head.  Click the image to watch.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Black News: Jamie Foxx Gets Heat for his Words About Miley Cirus

Jamie Foxx Might be in trouuuuuble!

The 41-year-old’s foul outburst was prompted by a caller to the show who brought up a month-old story in which Cyrus pledged to “ruin” Radiohead after the rockers rejected a request to meet with the Disney star backstage at the Grammys.

“Who is Miley Cyrus?” an incredulous Foxx, who has a teenage daughter of his own, said. “The one with all the gums? She gotta get a gum transplant…S–t.”

The insults didn’t stop there. Or get less personal.

“She’s gonna ruin Radiohead’s career? The same Radiohead that gets paid a million dollars just to sample their songs?

“Make a sex tape and grow up,” he continued. “Get like Britney Spears and do some heroin. Do like Lindsay Lohan and start seeing a lesbian and get some crack in your pipe. Catch chlamydia on a bicycle seat.

“That’s what I want.” E Online

Miley’s dad, Billy Ray, is particularly upset, according to the source.

“He thinks Jamie was out of line and didn’t find any humor in it,” the source told me this afternoon. “He doesn’t understand why he would do that to Miley, especially since he has teenage daughter himself.” E Online

Foxx noted to Jay Leno that he was doing a routine, saying: “Sometimes as comedians, you know, we go a little too far.”

Dear Mr. President: Morehouse Prof Writes Letter to Obama About Black Men

Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell

I applaud your recent creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls to help ensure we are treated equally in public policies, by employers and in every other aspect of American society. I must also urge, however, that you place a similar emphasis on men and boys, particularly young men of color, who face some of the steepest hurdles in American society.

The reasons cited in forming the new council are just -- throughout our nation's history women have often been treated as second-class citizens when it comes to earning a livelihood, climbing the corporate ladder and even exercising the delayed right to vote. Let us not forget that the Equal Rights Amendment was first drafted in 1923--and has yet to be ratified.

To be sure, the new council will focus attention on continuing the progress that has been made through the decades as women have crashed through the glass ceiling.

But I would argue that young men of color face even more daunting circumstances. Young men of color face challenges ranging from a justice system that disproportionately incarcerates them to media and entertainment industries quick to portray them as worthless, violent and criminal. Even before the recession, our young men of color faced a bleak job market where discrimination, globalization and structural change made it difficult for them to find good jobs and succeed in life. With the nation's economy in a tailspin, the unemployment of young men of color has been spiraling out of control.

Consider this sampling of data:

* High school graduation rates for males of color--African Americans (42.8 percent), Native American/Alaska Natives (47 percent) and Hispanics (48 percent)--are far lower than for whites (70.8 percent).
* Minority youths are disproportionately in the juvenile justice system: African Americans (1,004 per 100,000), American Indians (632 per 100,000) and Latinos (485 per 100,000) compared with whites (212 per 100,000).
* More than 29 percent of African-American boys who are 15-years-old today are likely to go to prison at some point in their lives, compared with 4.4 percent of white boys the same age.
* The mortality rate from homicide for African-American boys ages 15-17 is 34.4 per 100,000, compared with 2.4 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic white boys.

Click to read more from Dr. Treadwell and other Black scholars.

Black Legal News: Fewer Blacks in Prison for Drugs

For the first time since the war on drugs became a national law enforcement obsession in the mid-1980s, the number of African-Americans in state prisons for drug offenses has declined, a criminal justice reform organization said.

The number of whites in state prison for drugs rose 42.6 percent since 1999, while  blacks dropped 21.6 percent.

The number of whites in state prison for drugs rose 42.6 percent since 1999, while blacks dropped 21.6 percent.

A study released Tuesday by the Sentencing Project found a 21.6 percent drop in the number of blacks incarcerated for drug offenses, a decline of 31,000 people, from 1999 to 2005.

The corresponding number of whites in state prisons for drug offenses rose 42.6 percent, or by more than 21,000 people, while the number of Hispanics was virtually unchanged, according to "The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs."

The study, authored by Executive Director Marc Mauer, found that the differences between black and white imprisonments for drug crimes are partly because of how police target suspects and court sentencing guidelines, which vary by state.

Also, there has been a decrease in the use of crack cocaine in predominantly minority urban neighborhoods and an increase in methamphetamine abuse in many primarily white rural areas, Mauer said Wednesday.

Click to read.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Broken Prisons and How They Affect Black Men

Harry C. Alford

There is one serious fault that America has yet to actually address: the medieval prison system that we have implemented and have actually enlarged over the last few decades.

No other nation imprisons its citizens the way America does. For a free democratic nation we have a system that belongs with some sort of tyranny or oppressive order. It is oppressive and targets people of color – particularly African-Americans.

There are more African-American males in prisons than in college institutions. That is not the stuff that makes a nation great.

I have a degree in Correctional Administration from the University of Wisconsin. It was during internships that I noticed the actual prison systems did not match the scholarly material I was studying.

There was no direct attempt to address recidivism or actually rehabilitate offenders. The prisons were warehouses that eventually developed into “cash cows” by the manipulative and greedy. US prisons for the most part have become predators on the general population.

Click to read.

NCAA Use of Black Athletes: How March Madness Came to Be

Every March, college basketball fans have been primed to experience one of the world's most powerful monopolies -- the N.C.A.A. tournament. This event, which is enjoying a $6 billion, 11-year agreement with CBS, has become the poster child for commercialism in college sports and all of its adverse consequences on student athletes. What most fans don't realize, however, is that the N.C.A.A. tournament did not acquire, and does not maintain, its monopoly fairly. It does so through a set of anticompetitive rules that force all invited schools, under pain of severe penalty, to participate only in the N.C.A.A. tournament and to boycott any competing events. This was not always the case.

Once upon a time, the National Invitation Tournament, which is older than the N.C.A.A. tournament and culminates every year in Madison Square Garden, provided strong competition to the N.C.A.A. tournament and attracted many of the top teams in the country. In 1950, for example, City College of New York played in and won both tournaments.

In 1962, Loyola, Mississippi State, Dayton, the University of Houston and St. John's all chose to participate in the N.I.T. rather than accept invitations to the N.C.A.A. tournament. In 1970, Marquette, one of the best teams in the nation that year, chose to go to the N.I.T. over the N.C.A.A. tournament, which provoked an outcry by the powers that ran the N.C.A.A. tournament.


Click to read.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Prof. Billy Hawkins Asks if Black Male Athletes are Driving Ms. Daisy

Dr. Billy Hawkins, University of Georgia

Excerpts from the forthcoming book – The New Plantation: The Internal Colonization of Black Male Athletes

It should not take a long stretch of the imagination to see how Black male athletes contribute significantly to the athletic labor class at predominantly White National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Institutions (PWI’s); thus, to the overall bottom-line of the revenue generated. Their presence as starters and their representation on the top football and basketball programs in the country speak volumes to PWI’s need for Black male athletes. Tables 1 &2 illustrate the contribution Black male athletes make for some of the top athletic programs in the nation.

Within this current economic configuration, another area to consider is the contribution Black male athletes are making towards “Title IX sports”[1]: those sports that are added to meet gender equity requirements, which undoubtedly are played mostly by White women (e.g. rifle, golf, equestrian, rowing, bowling, and lacrosse). According to Welch Suggs:

…Only 2.7 percent of women receiving scholarships to play all other sports at predominantly white colleges in Division I are black. Yet those are precisely the sports – golf, lacrosse, and soccer, as well as rowing – that colleges have been adding to comply with Title IX.[2]

Therefore, since Title IX has provided very limited opportunity for Black females but additional opportunities for White women to compete and Black male athletes make-up the greater percentage of the revenue generating sports that contribute to athletic departments’ revenue, and thus their ability to support these additional sports, a reoccurring historical relationship between the White female and Black male has been resurrected. I refer to this contribution and connection as the “Driving Miss Daisy” syndrome.


Click to read.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cynthia McKinney Has Alot to Say about America

First of all, I'd like to announce that I'll be on www.wpfw.org radio in the morning at 7:00 on Hodari's show. I'll be on live from Haiti. I hope those of you who can will tune in.
Of late, I'm been approached by four types of voters: one voter type knew about our Power to the People campaign and enthusiastically supported it. They find themselves in the position of not wanting to say, "I told you so" too loudly, but certainly say it among themselves and to each other.
Increasingly, though, there's another type of voter that is contacting me, expressing "Buyer's Remorse" for having supported candidate Barack Obama. These voters can be futher subdivided into three categories: those who voted for Obama, not knowing very much about our Power to the People campaign; those who voted for Obama, knowing a lot about Rosa, me, and the Power to the People campaign, but who chose instead to vote for Obama out of fear of a McCain/Palin White House; and finally, those who knew about our Power to the People campaign and were hostile to it because they were suspicious that our campaign was designed to deny the White House to candidate Obama--the spoiler campaign. Fortunately and hopefully, because of the integrity with which we ran our campaign, those in this latter category are few in terms of their numbers in communication with me.
For me, the number of people contacting me expressing regret for having voted for Obama is a double-edged sword. That is, it indicates that prior to the election, we were not able to seal the deal with a significant number of our natural voters. There are many reasons for that, but being severely underfunded lies at the base of that failing. However, on the other hand, these expressions of "buyer's remorse" indicate that people knowingly allowed themselves to be swept into the voting booth and vote against their values.
I am happy that more and more people are freely expressing their support for the platform of the Power to the People campaign. I am extremely happy that more and more people express their interest in supporting me in another political endeavor, be it another Congressional or White House run. I am particularly pleased that people are willing to explore the possibilities that politics outside the box of two-party conformity can provide. But I have to admit that I am saddened by the fact that so many people fail to understand that in the transaction of a political election, there is no warranty for "buyer's remorse." The crescendo of well-financed political propaganda is all geared toward achieving the desired result on election day and there is no denouement.

The desired result is to have as many voters as possible stay within the political confines of either of the two special interest parties because their candidates have already been vetted and have agreed to certain restrictions in the area of public policy. That's why our Power to the People campaign was the only one talking about instituting full employment and a living wage, subsidizing education through college so that students would not have to take out loans to go to college, creating green jobs (like solar panel manufacture) in neighborhoods blighted by abandoned big box buildings, having former Comptroller of the U.S. David Walker perform audits of the companies that got bailout money, nationalizing the Federal Reserve, creating publicly owned neighborhood banks, thereby finally creating an economy that worked for the people instead of the special interests. And shutting down the military-industrial complex's Empire America.
Our agenda provided a clear route to an end to torture, rendition for torture, warrantless wiretapping, spying on U.S. citizen activists, and an end to war. Not just an end to the war on terror, but a clear end to war and occupation. And now that the Obama Administration has used its Justice Department to argue in court in favor of those who ordered torture, and to defend Bush Administration policies of torture, rendition, warrantless wiretapping, and extra-legal treatment of so-called "enemy combatants," most of whom have committed no crime (like six-year Guantanamo Prisoner number 345, Sami El-Hajj, who was on the Dignity with me as I tried to make it to Gaza). On these issues, the Obama Administration is consonant with the Bush Administration. No wonder Bush et al have more to worry about from the "small-d" democrats in Spain than from the "big-D" Democrats in Washington, DC.

And so the beat goes on. Until four years from now at the climax of when the electorate will be beaten, once again, into submission if they dare raise their head to support a candidate from a political party that has not been bought off by the special interests. The people are continually asked to decrease the volume of the discordant notes in their political hearts in order to prevent a worse outcome. But what could be worse than suppressing one's own acknowledgement of the existing political cacophony in order to facilitate the interests of others, especially when the others whose interests are always accommodated are in contradiction to your own interests and the planet's? But every four years, the masters of the political process are able to convince more and more people to do this. And then when people see that what they wanted and even worse, thought they were voting for, is slow in coming, "buyer's remorse" begins to set in. Some will wait an entire four years hoping that the powers that be will eventually get around to supporting the voters' interests. Only in the end to be let down again--but only after they've once again given their most precious asset, their vote, to the special interest political parties who will betray them yet again. It's like a dance, where one of the dance partners always gets her toes stepped on. It's more like a stomping, actually. Others have likened it to a situation of domestic violence, where the abused partner keeps coming back for more.
I am happy to receive these messages because it indicates that we are gaining new supporters. But I am saddened at the same time because it demonstrates how difficult our task really is. It's not just about being right. It's also about winning. And the stakes are so high on this one that we have to win. But in order for our values to win, we will need everyone's help to turn this ship of state around. The enormity of the task of actually taking our country back is becoming clear.
And with what is happening economically, it is likely to be even more difficult. As someone who studied Russian literature and the great Russian authors, like Pushkin, Chechov, Dostoyevsky, and others, I have always paid attention to events taking place in Russia. I watched with interest the creation of a superclass of dual-passport carrying individuals who stripped Russia of its patrimony and became known as the oligarchs. According to the Guardian, Russia's seven original oligarchs came to control 50% of Russia's economy during the 1990s.
I came to realize that the very individuals entrusted with correcting the current economic woes are, in actuality, its very authors in Russia. And so, the question I asked myself was this: "Is the US next in line? And after the debris is cleared, or the dust settles, as they say, will our country also be left with oligarchs, who will own everything?" If so, does that make Barack Obama the U.S. equivalent of Mikhail Gorbachev who put in place the policies that allowed the oligarchs to get their start? In fact, right after the US election that sent President Obama to the White House, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said that Obama should usher in "perestroika" reforms in the U.S.
When I was in London recently for the Malaysia conference, I met a gentleman who completed the answer for me. Economist Michael Hudson and lawyer and author Ellen Brown had confirmed my worst fears, but Mr. David Pidcock really brought them all home for me. And the short answer to the question I put to him is, "Yes, the U.S. economy is being hollowed out with our own money, not for the benefit of the American people, but for the benefit of a few and yes, President Obama has enabled the very characters who have successfully implemented this result elsewhere."
In the next few essays, I will explain as others are doing as well, what is going on in plain speak. The obligation of voters to educate themselves will be far more difficult if there is far less truth in plain speak out there for them to read. I will try my best to combine my research and experiences with the findings of trusted experts and share them with you in plain speak. (I am trying to get better as I've been told that I need to make my plain speak a little plainer. Folks sometimes have to get dictionaries to read and understand me. Sorry about that. I hope this essay is a bit better.)

Finally, David Pidcock, my London friend, reminds us in "Money: A Christian View," that a socially healthy economy achieves the highest possible standard of living for all and achieves the "elimination of insecurity and fear and consequent selfish materialist values, so that the individual human being may be enabled to live with dignity and self-respect."
That's what we're trying to build here, a government that respects and promotes and protects human dignity. That is not being done today, sadly. Over the next few essays I would like to discuss how we get from here to there and how President Obama's economic team is deviating from the "there" that we all want.
The first work I want to take excerpts from is, "Money Facts," 169 questions and answers on money authored by the Subcommittee on Domestic Finance, House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, 1964.
"6. Does Congress supervise Federal Reserve policymaking?

No. In practice the Federal Reserve is "independent" in its policy making. The Federal Reserve neither requires nor seeks the approval of any branch of Government for its policies. The System it¬self decides what ends its policies are aimed at and then takes whatever action it sees fit to reach those ends.

"7. What problems are raised by an 'independent' Federal Reserve?
There are two major problems. One is the problem of political responsibility for the country's economic policies. The other is the problem of final control over the Government's actions in the economic sphere.
"8. What is the problem of political responsibility?
Since the Federal Reserve is independent it is not accountable to anyone for the economic policies it chooses to pursue. But this runs counter to normally accepted democratic principles. The President and Congress are responsible to the people on election - day for their past economic decisions. But the Federal Reserve is responsible neither to the people directly nor indirectly through the people's elected representatives. Yet the Federal Reserve exercises great power in controlling the money-creating activities of the commercial banks.
"9. Why is final control of economic policy a problem?
Because with an 'independent' Federal Reserve, Congress and the President can be moving in one direction while the Federal Reserve is moving in the other. 'The result is sometimes no policy at all. At other times, it leads to the Federal Reserve's neutralising the President's economic policies. This very possibility caused President Johnson to request the Federal Reserve in his 1964 Annual Economic Report to Congress not to nullify his efforts to reduce unemployment and raise incomes. Should the President have to ask any Government agency to go along with his policy as approved by Congress? Obviously not.
"10.Who really directs Federal Reserve operations?
Day-to-day operations in each of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are supervised by nine directors - six of them selected directly by privately owned commercial banks.
The most important monetary decisions for the system as a whole are made by the Open Market Committee, which is composed of 12 members.
"11. Do private bank interests influence Federal Reserve policy?

Yes. Of the 12 members of the Open Market Committee-the Committee which actually controls credit policy-5 are presidents of regional banks. These presidents are elected by the individual regional banks' nine-man board of directors with its preponderance of private commercial bank representatives. Further, all 12 of the regional bank presidents participate in the Open Market Committee's discussions, though only 5 can vote. The 'discussion' Open Market Committee, then, has 19 members-12 regional bank presidents and the 7 members of the Federal Reserve Board

"12. Does it matter what amount of money is supplied the economy?
Yes, indeed. The money supply helps determine the general level of interest rates paid for the use of money, employment, prices, and economic growth. Many economists believe the money supply is the most important determinant of these variables.

"13. Who determines the money supply?
The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve System.
"156. What is the main problem of the Federal Reserve System today?
In a word, Federal Reserve independence. Congress and the People are faced with the issue: how can we bring money management under genuine public control in order to co-ordinate monetary with other public policies? The original intent of the Federal Reserve Act was to insure such control : that intent is still valid. Our Government must squarely face the challenge of recapturing the tiller of its money system.
"165. Who favors Federal Reserve independence?
The private banks who control the System, together with some allies-notably, Wall Street newspapers and other members of the financial community."

Black Athletes on Trial: Dr. Boyce Talks with BBC World News

Dr Boyce Watkins, Finance Professor at Syracuse University, tells BBC World News that the NCAA has done a terrible job of seeing to it that African American players graduate.  He also explains the massive multi-billion dollar wealth extraction taking place via college sports.  Finally, Watkins mentions that the NCAA does a poor job of allowing Black coaches the chance to coach the sport to which Black males give so much.  Click the image to listen!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Black Lawyers: Police Brutality and When It’s Over the Top

By Leland C. Abraham, Esq.

By now, I am sure most of the readers of this article have heard about the incident in King County, Washington in which a police officer beat a 15 year old girl. For those who are not familiar with the specifics, I will explain them to best of my ability. A young black girl had a friend who decided to take her mother’s car without permission. The friend picked up the young black girl and they went “joyriding.” The mother of the girl’s friend reported the car as stolen. The police eventually caught up with the young girls and took them into custody. Apparently after the arrest, the young girl and the arresting officer, officer Schene, entered into a verbal exchange. This verbal exchange continued until they arrived at the police station. Once at the police station, the girl was escorted to a holding cell. Once in the holding cell, the girl was asked to remove her shoes. She removed one shoe and kicked it in the direction of one of the officers. With the door to the cell still ajar, Officer Schene and his partner rush into the cell and Schene brutally attacks the young girl while the other officer holds her down. All of these actions were caught on a surveillance tape mounted inside the holding cell. The attack included punches and pulling of hair. After the attack, the young girl complained of breathing problems. She was escorted to the lobby of the jail and paramedics were called to come and attend to her.

Click to read.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Your Black News: Brutal Racist Begs for Forgiveness

Elwin Hope Wilson holds a framed photo he kept showing a mob ...

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Elwin Hope Wilson leans back in his recliner, a sad, sickly man haunted by time.

Antique clocks, at least a hundred of them, fill his neat ranch home on Tillman Street. Grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoos and Westministers, all ticking, chiming and clanging in an hourly cacophony that measures the passing days.

Why clocks? his wife Judy has often asked during their 49 years together.

He shrugs and offers no answer.

Wilson doesn't have answers for much of how he has lived his life — not for all the black people he beat up, not for all the venom he spewed, not for all the time wasted in hate.

Now 72 and ailing, his body swollen by diabetes, his eyes degenerating, Wilson is spending as many hours pondering his past as he is his mortality.

The former Ku Klux Klan supporter says he wants to atone for the cross burnings on Hollis Lake Road. He wants to apologize for hanging a black doll in a noose at the end of his drive, for flinging cantaloupes at black men walking down Main Street, for hurling a jack handle at the black kid jiggling the soda machine in his father's service station, for brutally beating a 21-year-old seminary student at the bus station in 1961.


Click to read.