Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tavis Smiley has a problem. The problem is one that is rooted in egregious miscalculation, poor target selection and mild delusions of self-righteous grandeur. As Tavis plans his symposium this week to define the black agenda in America, most of us are wondering if it's Smiley's agenda that will be highest on the priority list. While Smiley presents himself as a consistent political figure who has held all politicians equally accountable, many view his gathering this weekend in Chicago as a Barack Obama bashing festival.
Let's be clear: It's not easy to objectively criticize President Obama when his approval ratings in the black community remain above 90 percent. At least half of my articles about Obama have been critical, and I always have to make sure that I am not haunted by the ghostly spirit of Obama-mania, which is just as bad as Obama-haterology. Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Rev. Jesse Jackson have done a very good job of holding Obama accountable in a way that does not appear to be driven by personal motivations or latent hostility. Tavis Smiley, however, can't shake the perception that he has a personal vendetta against the president, for it is quite rare to see a prominent public figure so obsessed with the career of another person.
The Your Black World Coalition monitors the political mood of our supporters when it comes to issues that matter to African-Americans. With 60,000 African-American members nation-wide, we have the ability to put our fingers on the collective pulse of black America through various forms of statistical sampling. In our analysis, a few things remain abundantly clear: Most of our followers love Barack Obama (probably more than they should), and a large percentage of them, to be quite frank, can't stand Tavis Smiley. What makes matters worse for Smiley is that many of those who refuse to buy his books were once loyal fans - meaning that he has engineered the double loss of turning many of his friends into enemies. This is enough to make any publishing house or corporate sponsor run in the other direction, undermining the power of the Tavis Smiley brand. With such a terrible approval rating, Smiley wouldn't even be invited to sell predatory loans for Wells Fargo.
Friday, March 19, 2010
3:00 PM on 03/19/2010
OPINION - Marcelas Owens' story can bring realism and relevance to a debate that has been about posturing, bickering and mid-term elections...
11:22 AM on 03/18/2010
OPINION - Republicans should realize that when they disrespect the presidency, they are disrespecting themselves...
9:20 AM on 03/16/2010
OPINION - When you sleep next to someone who openly states they want to undermine the president's "hard left agenda" you can hardly call yourself impartial...
9:00 AM on 03/15/2010
OPINION - While some might call this political pragmatism, others might describe this outcome as the modern-day version of the Three-Fifths Compromise...
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton Discuss The Senate's Refusal to end the crack sentencing disparity
When I was a teenager, a police officer explained to me how the "War on Drugs" took place in his hometown. The officer candidly described how every policeman in the city knew what boats contained drugs and when those boats would arrive in the city's major port. But he also knew that officers were not expected to show up on these boats to make arrests, and that they were not to deter the progress of the product when it hit the port. Instead, they were instructed to allow the drugs to get to the inner city, where they were given authorization to make as many arrests as necessary. In other words, his job was to arrest the small fish, not the big ones.
The misleading, ill-conceived and terribly racist set of drug policies which defined the Reagan era has been absolutely devastating for the African-American community. The existence of gang warfare in South Central Los Angeles has left hundreds of thousands of youth with post-traumatic stress disorder, as the CIA was oblivious to the fact that drugs and guns were being openly delivered to a community that no one cares about. The Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was the product of America's broad-stroke reaction to increased drug use of the 1980s. The law gave a sentence 100 times greater for possession of crack cocaine (more likely to be possessed by blacks) than the one given for powder cocaine (possessed in greater proportion by whites), creating a black incarceration rate of holocaust proportions.
After sitting on the books for decades, the law was finally modified this year. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Republican Jeff Sessions did black people the "favor" of agreeing to reduce the sentencing disparity from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. So, instead of getting a prison sentence that is 100 times longer for the same crime, we only get one that is 18 times longer. Gee thanks. I'm supposed to be happy about that one, huh? So, we're not good enough to demand true equality, and are instead forced to accept dysfunctional compromises with Republicans from Alabama? While some might call this political pragmatism, others might describe this outcome as the modern-day version of the Three-Fifths Compromise.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), Rev Sharpton is one of most-renowned civil rights leaders in the country. Pres Obama called him “the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden."
The Bottom Line
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, "Black American Money." For more information, please visit www.YourBlackWorld.com.
Novelist, screenwriter and edtor RK Byers has spent a career speaking his mind on all topics from sports to news. His work has appeared in consumer publications including The Source and GIANT.
This Week In Blackness
"This Week in Blackness" is a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America.
Radio host Warren Ballentine, "The People's Attorney," will provide you with all the legal and financial advice you need to keep up in today’s fast-paced world. Visit his website at www.thetruthfighters.com.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
There is one public, all-male, all-African American high school in the city of Chicago. That school is called The Urban Prep Academy for Young men, located in Englewood. The school recently got the attention of Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Public Schools Chief Ron Huberman when they were able to get all of their 107 seniors accepted into 72 different colleges across the country.
Huberman had this to say:
"All of you in the senior class have shown that what matters is perseverance, what matters is focus, what matters is having a dream and following that dream."