Thursday, September 30, 2010
On Friday September 17, The Washington Post reported that “Black Scholars [were] to debate how to hold Obama ‘accountable.’ I was fortunate enough to be one of several Shirley Chisholm Presidential Accountability Commissioners to engage in this dialogue at the 40th Legislative Annual Congressional Black Caucus Conference.
To give some background, in 2008 at its State of the Black World Conference in New Orleans, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) announced a new initiative: the Shirley Chisholm Presidential Accountability Commission (SCPAC), named in honor of the first black woman elected to Congress and the first black woman to seek the Democratic nomination for president.
Richard Adams, Chairman of the Board of IBW and Convener of the Commission said:
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I am participating with MSN in a project called "The Invested Life." The program represents the launch of a series of web-based episodes that teach the fundamentals of investing to regular, everyday people. I've worked on the show for months, and I'll be engaged in the project for the rest of the year. It's been an interesting jump into the world of film making, with scripts, production schedules and all that good stuff. I've gained a newfound respect for how hard real actors and actresses actually have to work.
A guest on the show is a man named Winfred. Winfred is a former NFL athlete who found himself done with sports and trying to make sure that his wealth lasted until retirement. He made an interesting point that for many athletes, the challenge of retiring young with virtually no skill set can be a one way ticket to the poor house. As a man who is concerned about the plight of the black athlete, I constantly see men who've traded away their entire educational future in exchange for a very short and meaningless life of glamor in professional sports.
Bethany Storro made national news when she claimed she was the victim of a random attack. Storro told police that an African American woman walked up to her and suddenly decided to throw acid in her face. Storro received the sympathy (and financial contributions) of people all around the world. Even Oprah cleared a slot for her on her show.
It turned out that Storro was lying, making herself the latest in a long list of people who've falsely claimed that a black person attacked them. Her face is now blotched and red, where police say she allegedly put acid onto her own face, perhaps in a quest for attention. The story is quite sad, actually.
Most of you may have read the story about Jamal Parris, the latest and most vocal ofBishop Eddie Long's accusers. Parris and three others have stepped forward to file a lawsuit against Long in state court for allegedly coercing them into having sex. Well, another bombshell has hit the room, and this one was also delivered by Parris.
Parris told WAGA-TV in Atlanta that he and Long engaged in numerous sex acts on church grounds, both before and after morning services. He also said that they would perform numerous sex acts in Long's home, car and office at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
The four accusers claim that Long traded sex acts for cars, clothes and other material possessions. The sex scandal against Bishop Eddie Long seems to get just a bit deeper every single day. At this point, Long doesn't just have to worry about the ethical implications of committing adultery and being accused of engaging in homosexual sex. He also has to deal with accusations of pedophilia, since the public is not yet aware of how old the young men where when the alleged sex acts occurred.
Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are two of the coolest brothers on the intellectual block. They've served as public road maps for the empowerment of black men everywhere, and their work does not get the recognition it deserves.
Well, Public Radio International is working to help change that by granting Smiley and West their own radio show. In fact, the show is going to be called "Smiley & West."
The announcement for the new show was made during the Public Radio Programming Conference, held in Denver, Colorado. When asked about the show, Smiley had this to say:
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
As the days have gone by since the start of the sex scandal involving Bishop Eddie Long, I've become more and more convinced that there needs to be a serious investigation. Something doesn't seem quite right with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, and the world needs to hear more from the young men who've been speaking out in public.
While I've seen quite a bit of evidence and videos that have gotten my attention, nothing has compelled me more than the interview with Long's latest accuser, Jamal Parris. Jamal, who was chased down by Fox 5 in Atlanta, was reluctant to talk at first about the incident. But once he spoke up, his words were heard around the world. I'll lay out some of the quotes that Jamal shared with Fox 5, and give you my take after that.
Trying to get various black public figures to speak out for or against Bishop Eddie Long has been harder than getting four year-olds to go to the dentist. No one is talking, but everyone is noticing. They are all watching CNN and seeing that Long is on after every other commercial break. They are reading the newspapers where Long's face is plastered in every section other than Sports and Classifieds. They are seeing the websites that produce one Eddie Long article after another. The man is omnipresent.
Black leaders are also noticing the spandex outfit Long sported in those racy bathroom pictures. They remember the odd-looking wig Long wore when appearing before the church this past Sunday. Most significantly, they've noticed the long line of young men, in different states, who don't seem to know one another, who are saying that Eddie Long had sex with them.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I woke up early to go to the website for the New Birth Missionary Baptist church. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that Bishop Eddie Long would be convincing. Every bit of his charisma and experience would be needed to manage the complex set of allegations against him for sexually abusing some of his members.
I'll lay out some notable quotes by Bishop Long this morning and let you judge much of it for yourself. What I can say, however, is that Bishop Long seemed to say a great deal without saying much.
"I'll be here next week."
Perhaps that means that he's not going to resign. I look forward to seeing if he is going to be preaching next Sunday.
"(This is) probably the most difficult time in my entire life. I want to talk to you for a moment about how to handle painful and difficult situations."
Friday, September 24, 2010
It has been reported that the Bishop Eddie Long is going to step down as pastor after his sermon set to be delivered on Sunday. Long is currently the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. He was recently challenged by three young men who filed suit against the pastor for allegedly coercing them into sex.
There are also reports that as many as 30 young men have contacted the plaintiff's attorney, BJ Bernstein, in an effort to file suits of their own or join the existing lawsuit.
This letter was written by Sheri Mitchell about the disturbing allegations against a man trying to become Sheriff in a community with a substantial African American population. To read more about Joe Price, click here. I, Dr. Boyce Watkins, do not support Price’s candidacy and believe that his hiring this week of a black campaign manager is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Sheri Mitchell’s letter is below.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I woke up this morning expecting the day to be normal. But normal just doesn't seem to visit my house anymore. I am especially convinced of this fact after seeing some really "interesting" pictures of the Bishop Eddie Long. These pictures were allegedly sent by Bishop Long to one of his "spiritual sons," who has not yet filed a lawsuit.
After these pictures were released to the public by the plantiff's attorney, I am sure she said the word "checkmate" out loud. One cannot say with complete certainty that these pictures were sent to the young men to convince them of the importance of working out, to show off the latest fashion trends or to simply say, "Hey man, how ya doin?", but the images leave Bishop Long with a lot of explaining to do.
President Obama's top economic advisor, Lawrence Summers, is finally. out the door. The former Harvard University President resigned from Obama's Council of Economic Advisors amidst questions about his performance. Summers came to represent the very worst of the economic crisis. He was the man in charge, next to the man in charge, as the world came to associate Harvard University economists with the financial destruction of America.
Summers wasn't a bad economist, but he was hardly an adequate representative of the American people. He was part of the academic aristocracy, the nephew of (not one, but) two Nobel Prize winners and the son of two Yale university professors. Needless to say, Summers was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and doesn't know a thing about economic struggle. He worked hard for what he ultimately received, but quite a few doors were open to him from birth. He personified the white male affirmative action program that has been in existence since slavery. At the very least, the chances of a black man having two Yale professors in his family (let alone a Nobel Prize winner) are virtually non-existent due to Jim Crow. So, if Lawrence Summers had been born as one of "us," we wouldn't even know his name.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
CNN is reporting that two men in Georgia are suing Bishop Eddie Long in Atlanta, alleging that the powerful pastor used his power to force them into having sex. In DeKalb County, the suits claim that Long used his position of authority at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to influence young male employees into various forms of misconduct.One of the plaintiffs, Anthony Flagg, is a 21-year old man who claims that some of the misconduct occurred during overnight trips to various cities.
"Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," according to the lawsuit.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Kenny McKinley was only 23 years old this year. He was also found dead in his apartment. McKinley appears to have died from a suicide, according to initial reports.
"Although the death of McKinley appears to be the result of a self inflicted gunshot, the investigation into this matter, conducted by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office, is on-going, " Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.
I was recently checking out some of CNN's special, "Black in America," the show they seem to do once a year. In the series, African Americans are analyzed like lab rats in a cage, with producers highlighting every dysfunction imaginable, as if we have a monopoly on counter productive behavior. Although I've always had a good relationship with CNN, I can barely stomach some of what I see. This is not to say that black folks are perfect: but the idea that we are somehow less perfect than whites is nothing short of paternalistic, White Supremacist thinking.
The segment that threw me through the roof was one covering the wealth gap between blacks and whites. In this particular Black in America segment, CNN shows that the wealth gap between blacks and whites is $28,000 to $140,000, with whites being the leaders. They then go on to state that African Americans save and invest less than whites. I give a "check" on most of these numbers, I have no problem with the data.
by Dave Meggyesy
The question of whether colleges should pay their revenue-producing athletes — football and basketball players at the NCAA's top 120 college programs — is a no-brainer.
The amazing reality is that these athletes, the hired help whose performance generates hundreds of millions for these top programs, don't get paid. Who wouldn't want a business where the cost of your product is virtually zero? The performance of college athletes is the product!
Yet, as a marketing ploy, the NCAA defines college-revenue athletes as "student-athletes" and the games as contests among amateurs, creating a huge distortion. In these "big time" college programs, even the term "athlete-student" would be a stretch; athlete-employee is more accurate, young men and recently young women who work year-round at jobs and don't get paid.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
NewsOne.com is reporting that there are plans to launch a 24-hour network dedicated to HBCUs. The network is set to be focused on "edutainment" and lifestyle for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The company behind the platform, C3 Media LLC says that the network is set to fill a niche within the cable industry that has barely been reached in the past.
Much of the programming will also feature various sports teams sponsored by black colleges all across America. "The idea and vision behind the creation of the HBCU Network is to preserve and celebrate the African American colleges and universities, while also providing opportunities for their growth and further prosperity," CEO Curtis Symonds told NewsOne. "At the same time, we are passionate and excited about building a strong media brand and network from the ground up."
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I was in New York doing what I try to do best: show up for my little girls and support them in their endeavors. My daughter had a volleyball game at her university and I was pumped for the event. Although I do all I can to stay away from work when I am with my kids, I couldn't help but sneak away to appear on one of my favorite radio shows, "The Main Line" on 98.7 Kiss FM.
During the show, we discussed all the usual topics for a hot blooded Sunday afternoon: Politics, news, African American issues, Obama and more. Toward the end of the show, someone made mention of Robert Plant's appearance on The Today Show. My first thought was, "Who in the heck is Robert Plant and why does he matter?" It only took me a couple of seconds to figure out the answer to both of those questions.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Steve Sarkisian is the head coach of the Washington Huskies. He's not a very good coach, since the Huskies are are a horrible football team. In fact, you might say, that as a coach, Sarkisian is an idiot. I am sure that part of the reason he was able to land such a prestigious position at The University of Washington was due to the fact that he was able to coach the great Reggie Bush as Offensive Coordinator at USC. Bush likely made him rich and got him a lot of opportunities.
Apparently, Sarkisian isn't exactly grateful to Reggie Bush for giving him his big break. He recently said that Reggie Bush was "acting like an idiot" for giving back his Heisman Trophy last week. Sarkisian might want to sit down and shut up for a second, so I can tell him just how silly he looks.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I'm not a huge fan of the "vast intellect" of Charles Barkley. In fact, I usually turn the volume down when he's talking. All the while, I have to admit that I am one of those people who sometimes finds myself admiring Barkley's candid nature. He's the man willing to say the things that other people wont' say, and he's usually pretty honest about it. As someone who monitors the status, actions and treatment of black athletes in America, I've paid careful attention to Sir Charles for quite a while.
The world was fed a healthy dose of that Barkley honesty recently when Sir Charles decided to admit that he took money from sports agents in college. He didn't actually say that he took the money and kept it, he just said that he borrowed some money and paid it back when he got to the NBA.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Bethany Storro gained the sympathy of the world when she alleged that she was the victim of a random attack in which someone threw acid on her face. The story she was going to tell Oprah Winfrey on a planned appearance on her show was that a black woman with a pony tail walked up to her and said "Hey pretty girl, want something to drink?" and then proceeded to throw the acid.
Oprah would have hugged her on the air, and the show would have made us cry. We would have heard stories about how the woman had been courageous enough to fight on, in spite of this horrible thing that happened to her. The episode would have been glorious, moving, fascinating, and inspirational. It would have also been a big old butt-naked lie.
3:07 PMSep 16
Source: BV Black Spin
Boys as young as 14-years old should not have to worry about being shot in the street. Unfortunately, this is exactly what young men and their parents have to worry about in the city of Chicago. A 14-year old boy was murdered this Tuesday in a ... Read More
2:17 PMSep 16
Source: BV on Style
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2:02 PMSep 16
Source: BV Newswire
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1:46 PMSep 16
Source: BV on Money
From The New York Times: Forty-four million people in the United States, or one in seven residents, lived in poverty in 2009, an increase of 4 million from the year before, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday. The poverty rate climbed to 14.3 ... Read More
For NFL fans and those who have teams in their cities, there's something you should know. Like a dark cloud hanging in the sky on a bright, sunny day, a pending NFL lockout is waiting on the horizon. A lockout is sort of like a strike, but the workers aren't the ones calling for it. Instead, team owners are the ones calling for a halt in NFL activities, where the league will be shut down and games cancelled. Even if games aren't cancelled, we might be forced to endure another season of tacky replacement players, and nobody wants that.
The AFL-CIO has decided to put it's power behind the NFL Players Union in this battle with team owners. The organization sent a letter to the owners of NFL teams, warning them that a lockout could have a powerfully detrimental effect on workers and fans in cities all across America. They also warned that cities could lose $140 million in revenue.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Bethany Storro was once the target of the nation's sympathy. She is slowly becoming the target of the nation's suspicion. The 28-year old Storro, who is deaf, said that she was the victim of a random attack. According to Storro, a young black woman came up to her and said, "Hey, pretty girl," before throwing a cup of acid into her face.
The attack on Storro, which allegedly took place on August 30, grabbed international headlines. She was even scheduled to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show. That's when reporters started asking a lot of questions.
According to Storro, the injuries to her nose and face did not affect her eyesight because she was wearing sunglasses. But one reporter asked her why she was wearing sunglasses when it was nearly sunset. The reporter also asked how Storro could hear what the woman was saying when she is deaf.
The suspicions of the reporter were accelerated by the fact that many of the homeless people in the park on the night Storro was attacked said that she was all alone when she fell to the ground screaming. While the incident is still under investigation, it is known that Storro did cancel her scheduled appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show without giving producers a reason for her decision.
Black Scholars Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Christopher Metzler Discuss "Keeping The Bush Tax Cuts" on CNBC
I'm a huge fan of hip hop music. In fact, I didn't even start to like music until hip hop came along. I will continue to be a fan of hip hop music, but as a black scholar, I feel that part of my job is to ask questions that we may need to answer as a society.
The question for today is, "What's wrong with hip hop music?" Perhaps the question I've asked is presumptuous, since many of us don't see a problem at all. I've sat in the car for hours with my teenage daughters, listening to one song after another, each of them returning to basically the same themes: Money, sex, weapons or drugs.
I am not sure if Reggie Bush has ever read a word I've written. But after I mentioned last week that I felt Bush should give the Heisman trophy back, I was proud to see that he gave it away. Again, I am not one to say that he gives a you-know-what about anything I might say in public, but I can certainly say that I am proud.
Bush gave the Heisman trophy back this week after rampant speculation regarding whether or not he received inappropriate benefits during his time at USC. The speculation was bothersome to me, primarily because Reggie Bush was a human highlight film who earned millions for the NCAA and the university. The idea that they would even consider taking his Heisman Trophy after he'd given the NCAA so much was nothing short of offensive. If a man earns millions of dollars for you and you get angry because he took a few thousand to give his mother a place to live, then you've clearly got a problem with your value system.
Bush's statement about giving the Heisman back is below: