Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama Says that Iraq War is Over

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

He came, he saw, he conquered. Well, sort of. President Obama took the nation's attention for about 20 minutes tonight to deliver a speech about the end of America's military involvement in Iraq. Sitting in the Oval Office with pictures of his family in the background, President Obama effectively told America that the last eight years are over. He thanked the troops, thanked the American people, and reminded the Iraqis that we still support them. He was being presidential, as he normally is.
The president worked to build bridges with Americans who disapprove of his performance. He mentioned how the high cost of the war reduced the nation's ability to sustain its middle class. He talked about how patriotic Americans both approved and disapproved of the war, and even mentioned an earlier conversation he'd recently had with President Bush. He also reminded the American people that by ending military operations in Iraq, he was keeping one of his most significant campaign promises.


Click to read.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins: Should Ebonics Be Taught in School?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I wrote recently about how the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is now seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help them to apprehend drug dealers. The group seems to believe that by learning the underpinnings of urban language, it can find a way to bring down "Pookie nem" on the corner. The website Newsy.com covered the article that I wrote, with a few other scholars providing their own insights into how and why this decision might be implemented. While I am certainly listening to the discussion, I am not sure what it would mean to establish Ebonics as it's own language or to try to teach it in school.

Does the teaching of Ebonics mean that we treat urban dialect as a class? If the kids and teachers acknowledge the language structure of Ebonics, do we continue to reinforce the use of what some might consider broken English? If the language is acknowledged in school, does that mean Employers and universities will accept graduates who speak and write in Ebonics? If not, is there any sense in solidifying a student's desire to speak in a way that doesn't match the rest of us? I'm not so sure.


Click to read.

African American Athletes and All Their Children


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I recently read a very interesting story about how so many black athletes are being hammered by the financial devastation of child support.  Their paychecks are getting zapped to nothing, only to buy Coach purses and hair weaves for the women who’ve had their children.  Perhaps the sex was good enough to justify the misery, but I’ve never had sex that good.

New York Jets running back Antonio Cromartie is one famous case of “I’m Bound to be Broke-itis.”  Cromartie, who is 26-years old, has eight children with six women in five different states.  In fact, the Jets had to front Cromartie $500,000 to settle his paternity situation before he even started playing for the team.  There are quite a few other cases worth mentioning, but I won’t waste time laying out the issues.

What I will lay out is an added perspective that might help brothers realize  the utter stupidity of putting themselves in situations that will keep their pockets empty, kill their ability to support a family down the road and possibly lead to incarceration.  Getting caught under the neck of the merciless child support system is an absolutely horrible feeling.  Children are a beautiful gift from God, and we can all appreciate a pretty woman, but if you let this stuff get the best of you, you’re begging for a life of misery.

Click to read.

Black Politics, President Obama and Hurricane Katrina

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University Scholarship in Action 

I still remember when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans five years ago. I'd just attended the Essence Music Festival the year before, only to hear that the very same streets I'd visited were now flooded with water. It was also the week of my first confrontation with Sean Hannity on the air. Donald Rumsfeld had come on the show right before me, and Hannity and I were arguing about why it seemed that the government spent more time planning to shoot "looters" than actually saving the people in the flood. Rarely before Katrina had we witnessed such a gross dehumanization of our fellow American citizens.
President Obama sought to commemorate the anniversary of Katrina by speaking in New Orleans this weekend. He told the students at Xavier University that he plans to stand with the community when it comes to making sure they know the Federal Government is behind them in the on-going quest for full recovery.
"My administration is going to stand with you, and fight alongside you, until the job is done," Obama said.


Click to read.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why are Al Sharpton and Glenn Beck Both Holding Rallies?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Glenn Beck and Al Sharpton Hold Rallies on the Same Day?

Why Children Need to be Protected: This Child Was Not

CORRECTION South Africa Crash Victim Child

A South African girl who survived a criminal attack that shocked the nation was among those killed when a train hit a school van this week, a family spokesman said Friday.
Liesel Augis was only six years old when she was raped, beaten unconscious with a brick and thrown into a fire by a family friend in 2006. She survived and became known as “Little Rock” because of her strength and resilience.

On Wednesday, Liesel’s bus driver went around a closed railroad crossing gate and the van was hit by a train. Nine children died at the scene in Cape Town, and a 10th died Friday. Only the driver and four children survived.

Family spokesman Malvern de Bruyn said that Liesel had a zest for life, and the accident has left a deep scar in the family and the nation.

“We could see she was someone who wanted to defy anything that would cut her life,” de Bruyn said.

Liesel’s 2006 attacker, Abraham James, was sentenced to 28 years in jail without parole.


click to read.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Video – 8/26/10

An Interesting Tiger Woods Timeline Since Last Year

Tiger Woods

This is from Sports Illustrated:


Nov. 25: The National Enquirer announces that it is about to break a story that Tiger Woods had an affair.

Nov. 27: Tiger Woods gets in a one-car accident. Details are sketchy.

Nov. 29: Tiger Woods releases his first statement taking responsibility for accident and asks for privacy.

Dec. 1: A woman — not the same as the National Enquirer woman — comes forward to say that she has had a longstanding affair with Tiger. A panicked voicemail with Tiger Woods' voice is released to U.S. Weekly.

Dec. 1: Tiger Woods releases his second statement, taking more responsibility, asking for more privacy.

Dec. 3: TMZ reports that another woman — third woman so far — had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: Radar Online reports that a fourth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: The New York Daily News reports that a fifth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 6: The News of the World reports that a sixth woman had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 7: A porn star announces that she is the seventh woman to have had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 8: A second porn star announces that she is the eighth woman to have had an affair with Tiger Woods.

Dec. 11: Tiger Woods releases his third statement, taking more responsibility. He says he will step away from golf to "focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."

Dec. 13: The first company — Accenture — drops Tiger Woods as spokesman. It will not be the last.

Feb. 19: After a two-month absence — during which rumors continue to fly and Woods is photographed at a sex treatment facility — Tiger Woods speaks publicly. He again takes responsibility and says he doesn't know when he will return to golf.

March 16: Woods announces that he will play at the Masters.

March 17: A porn star releases text messages that she claims were from Tiger Woods.

March 21: Woods gives his first interviews — to the Golf Channel and ESPN — and says he's done some pretty disgusting things.

April 5: Woods does his first full-fledged press conference, leading up to the Masters.

Read more: http://www.golf.com/golf/tours_news/article/0,28136,2013625-2,00.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0xhVcYjtS

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

African American Student Helps Invent Car that Sets Records

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 


Kansas City, Missouri is one of my favorite places in the world. I have friends there that I respect, and I've grown an appreciation for the African American community in that city. One of the things I noticed about Kansas City is that there are both reasons for despair, and rays of light that provide tremendous promise. One of those lights is a student by the name of Kelvin Duley.
Duley was part of a team at De LaSalle High School, which invented an electric car that can travel 300 miles per gallon. Last month, Dooley said he wanted to grow up to be a professional basketball player. Now, he says he wants to become an engineer. This experience has changed him for life.


CClick to read.

Turn Off Fox News!


Dear friends,

Many of us already know that Fox News is biased -- but it's actually much worse than that. For years they have used lies, distortions, and race-baiting to divide this country. Recently, it's gotten downright dangerous. Earlier this summer, a heavily armed man got into a gun fight with police after he was pulled over on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation[1] -- an obscure non-profit that Glenn Beck regularly demonizes on his Fox News TV show.[2]

Fox News is bad news for America -- and it spreads, and is legitimized, partly through TVs in public places.

That's why I've joined the TurnOffFox campaign -- the first part of a larger campaign to diminish the influence of Fox. It's about educating people about Fox and getting it turned off in stores, restaurants, and other public places.

Will you join me? It takes just a moment to declare your own household "Fox free", and at the same time appeal to public establishments in your community to stop playing Fox. And you'll get a FREE Turn Off Fox sticker when you do. Click here:


No other news organization that's considered legitimate consistently wages smear campaigns based on lies and race-baiting. But for years Fox News has done exactly that, and the pattern has only gotten worse since Barack Obama entered national politics.

Here are just a few examples:

-- A frequent Fox guest, Jesse Lee Peterson, said that the majority of Black people have poor moral character, and cited "what they did to the dome" after Hurricane Katrina as evidence.[3] Peterson has also used his platform on Fox to claim that 90% of Black people are racists -- against Whites.[4]

-- In a case of naked race-baiting, Fox host Glenn Beck called President Obama a "racist" who had a "deep-seated hatred for White people or the White culture."[5] Earlier that week, Beck claimed that the President's health insurance reform proposals were a form of "reparations" designed to "settle old racial scores."[6]

-- Fox host John Stossel argued that the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act -- which prevents businesses from discriminating based on race, sex, and other factors -- should be repealed.[7]

-- Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity were the first to air deceptively edited and incomplete video of Shirley Sherrod's remarks to the NAACP.[8] The video made it seem like Sherrod was confessing to using her position at the USDA to discriminate against White farmers, when she was really talking about the importance of overcoming prejudice. Sherrod lost her job over this misrepresentation, which Fox enthusiastically repeated without seeking the facts. Fox has since tried to pretend it had nothing to do with this smear -- but Fox is the number one reason these kinds of distortions and smears have any part in our national dialogue.

The examples above aren't even a tenth of Fox's vicious lies and smears, and over the years they've just gotten more brazen.

The goal of Turn Off Fox is to reduce the number of public TVs showing Fox News, while spreading the word about Fox's poison (and how it works) to those who don't know.

Signing up for the campaign is just the first step. We make it easy for you to tell us about businesses playing Fox. If you're willing to talk with them, we'll provide you with straightforward materials that explain why they shouldn't be a party to what Fox is doing. And if there are businesses you know that want to tell the world they would never play Fox, you can help them declare themselves a "Fox-free zone."

As businesses Turn off Fox and stand up as Fox Free, and as we encourage our friends and family to do the same, we'll help make clear, to people across the country, what Fox is about. And we'll reduce their ability to do harm.

Please join me in signing up for the TurnOffFox campaign:




1. http://bit.ly/a5F7kW
2. http://mediamatters.org/research/201007290032
3. http://mediamatters.org/research/200510030005
4. http://bit.ly/c060C0
5. http://mediamatters.org/research/200907300019
6. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907230040
7. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201005200033
8. http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007200060

Computer Program Now Used to Predict Who Will Commit Crimes

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action 

It is being reported that law enforcement officials in Washington DC plan to use a new computer program that claims to be able to predict which citizens are most likely to commit crime. The concept conjures up images of the Tom Cruise film, "Minority Report," in which agents were able to predict "pre-crime": Crime that hasn't happened yet, and is set to occur. But far from science fiction, this program is based on reality.
The program was developed by Richard Berk, a professor at The University of Pennsylvania. The first version of the program was used to predict future murders among parolees, but it is being argued that the software can be used for all kinds of crime.
"When a person goes on probation or parole they are supervised by an officer. The question that officer has to answer is 'what level of supervision do you provide?'" Berk told ABC News.
The program could have real implications, including determining the amount of a person's bail or how long they are to remain in a halfway house upon their release from prison. The program works by using a large database of crimes and other factors, including geographic location, age, prior offenses and the criminal record of the person being considered.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daniel Andre Green May Not Have Killed Michael Jordan’s Father

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Daniel Andre Green was convicted of killing the father of former NBA star Michael Jordan. Nearly 17 years after his conviction, his case is starting to fall apart. The problems stem from a faulty crime lab in North Carolina, where multiple mistakes have been made over the last two decades.
Green told the Associated Press that the lab mishandled its reports, and that evidence supporting his case was denied to him in court. He has trained himself in the law and worked on his own case since the date of his conviction. Much of the recent attention to the case is due to a report concluding that the lab mishandled Green's case, along with 200 others, over a 16-year period ending in 2003.
"I've always known that I'm walking out of prison," Green said. "I've known that because I've believed, ultimately, the truth has to come out."

Click to read.

Black Male Student Shocks the Crowd with Valedictorian Speech

by Lawrence Watkins – Great Black Speakers

When Justin Hudson gave his valedictorian speech at his Hunter College High School graduation, he made it one that people will remember for decades. In the speech, Hudson went beyond providing vague advice or encouragement for his classmates. Hudson instead chose to use his opportunity to push his high school school to end a flawed admissions policy that keeps Hunter College High School from developing adequate racial diversity.
"I feel guilt because I don't deserve any of this and neither do any of you," Hudson said in his speech, as reported by Diverseeducation.com. "We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were 11-year-olds or 4-year-olds."

Click to read.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses Man That Dies Protecting Girlfriend from Robbery On Al Sharpton's Keeping It Real Show

Dr. Boyce Watkins Discusses Man That Dies Protecting Girlfriend from Robbery On Al Sharpton's Keeping It Real Show

Dr. Boyce Watkins in an argument on CNBC – 8/23/10

Click to watch – Dr Boyce in a heated argument with Ben Ferguson over taxation of the rich

Harold Dow Cause of Death – Was it Asthma?

Respected journalist Harold Dow died suddenly this week.  Dow was only 62 years old, and has had a 40-year career with CBS News that has spanned the globe. He was the first to interview OJ Simpson during his trial, he covered the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, and was also there for the release of Nelson Mandela.

The question that still rings loudly in media is “What was Harold Dow’s cause of death?”

Click to read.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Black Athletes Under Attack Again by the NCAA

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University Scholarship in Action 

Mark Emmert, the new president of the NCAA, plans to endorse a system for collegiate athletics that disallows players to play one year and head to the NBA. Instead, Emmert wants a system in which the age limit is removed (which is what kept players like Carmelo Anthony from going pro right out of high school) with players being forced to decide whether they wish to declare for the NBA draft or go to college. If they choose to go to college, they are not allowed to play in the NBA for either three years or when they turn 21, whichever comes first. In the face of the new rule, players are pushed to make the decision sooner, and are locked into that decision for at least three years.
Bethlehem Schoals and Tom Ziller of Fanhouse.com write on the racial dimension of this issue in the following way:


Click to read

Dr. Boyce Watkins - Wyclef Can’t Be President: Is that Good or Bad for Haiti?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University Scholarship in Action 


I just returned from Haiti, a country that continues to be devastated by the recent earthquakes that rumbled the soil in it's capital, Port-au-Prince. Haitians lived under an umbrella of tragedy long before the earthquakes took place, and the suffering has only intensified since the media has left its shores. One thing that most of us believe, including myself, is that Wyclef Jean loves Haiti. His candidacy for president of Haiti was met with open arms by some, and folded arms by a few others. The evidence of disdain was presented to me personally when Wyclef had to cancel an appearance on my show due to the number of death threats he'd been receiving.
The mixed response to Jean's announcement reflects the multitude of perceptions that various stakeholders have when it comes to the idea of Wyclef becoming president. I have spoken privately to friends in hip hop who've assured me that Wyclef has an infinite supply of love for his home country and wants to do what's right. But I've also met with friends who feel that Wyclef is a beacon of self-promotion who cares far less for Haiti than for his own bank account.


Click to read.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins on TheLoop21.com – 8/20/10

Black Man Dies Protecting Girlfriend from a Robbery

Yoseph Robinson, Former Hip-Hop Exec Turned Orthodox Jew, Murdered in Robbery

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 


Yoseph Robinson was a good man and role model. He'd converted to Judaism after his fight with drugs and often reminded others of the importance of being morally strong. He upheld these values until his last moments when he died protecting his girlfriend from a robbery.

Lahava, a woman helping Yoseph write a book, was laughing and joking with a man when he suddenly demanded her money. Robinson told the man to leave her alone, and that's when a struggle broke out. Yoseph was shot several times in the arm and chest and died on the scene. The robber got away on foot in the Brooklyn area.

Before his untimely and unfortunate death, Yoseph Robinson served as a role model for neighborhood children. Everyone loved him, and he was writing a book on his transformation out of drugs and into a more productive life. As he died, he told his girlfriend to tell his daughter how much he loved her.


Click to read.

Dr. Boyce: Kendrick Meek In the Fight for His Political Life

Jeff Greene

Dr. Boyce Watkins, Scholarship in Action 

I went to Florida this week and found myself surprised by what I saw on TV. It was then that I became aware of the nasty political battle going on between Jeff Greeneand Kendrick Meek (pictured). Both men are fighting to win the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, and both are playing dirty in order to get there.Greene is a billionaire investor who has enough money to run one of the nastiest campaigns Floridians have seen in a while. Meek is also a power broker, being the son of prominent African-American political figure Congresswoman Carrie Meek.
I admit that I found the nastiness of the political ads to be unique, intriguing and even a little entertaining. Each politician presents himself as a good family man who wants to serve the country, and each points to the other as devious, manipulative and damn near criminal. The Democratic primary battle in Florida makes for astonishing political theatre at the expense of Florida taxpayers.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Boyce Watkins Discusses "Black Radio" on the Al Sharpton Show

Boyce Watkins Discusses "Black Radio" on the Al Sharpton Show