MY LATEST BLOG POSTINGS!

CRITICISM OF U.S. RELIEF & BUSH'S COMMENTS

12.29.2004

by Angela Winters

It's interesting how in some of us the worst can come out at times when the best comes out in most. In all the tales of devastation, death and complete and utter grief, some have decided this is the time to insult the United States. I know a lot of countries hate us...Well okay, most countries hate us, but this is really uncalled for.

Washington Post: Aid Grows Amid Remarks About President's Absence.
Fosters: U.S. relief more than doubled to $35 million; Bush to speak on disaster
Concord Monitor Online: US Aid Grows Amid Reproach
Holland Sentinel: U.N. criticism of U.S. aid for tsunamis hits nerve

Last year the U.S. gave billions in aid. A country that makes up 4-6% of the world's population gave 40% of total aid given around the entire world.

So the U.S. is stingy? We're talking about the same country that has given more to anyone at any time than any other country. The country that gives millions upon millions despite its own deficit and countless tornados and other disasters. The country that continues to give aid to the very countries who cheer our misfortune and tragedies?

Luke 12:48 says that to those whom much is given, much is expected. If God says it than its rule and the U.S. has followed that rule very admirably. But that's not enough apparently. Countries say our taxes should be raised so we can be forced to pay more, completely ignoring how much charity we send around the world through private choices of our own that isn't included in those numbers being criticized despite being on the top of any list.

When it comes to the criticism of Bush's personal response not coming soon enough, some of it is valid, but not most. When he first heard of it, he sent a message with his condolences because none of us knew the apocalyptic levels of this event. So when we did become aware on Monday or Tuesday, he should have made a personal statement but he's doing it today. What was most important is the AID and that was sent right away. Those people suffering in Asia don't care about the seeing the President's face or hearing his voice on televisions and radios they no longer have. They need food, clean water and healthcare and the President delivered that in great numbers right away and continues to deliver more.

To say he didn't want to give up his vacation was unfair and untrue. Yes, the President spends too much time in Texas, but he isn't really on vacation; a president never is and there was no advantage being in The White House could have given him in supporting those in need.

Clinton Talks Tsunami-Bush administration Provides Aid: Guess Who Gets Criticized

So Clinton spoke out personally before Bush did. Great for Clinton, but that doesn't have anything to do with what Bush should or did do.

In times of devastation and grief people are angry and confused. They lash out and say things they don't mean. Even some who have criticized the U.S. have already apologized or spread the blame among the entire West and not just us. We have to be understanding to their anger and pain because we all feel it too. It's absolutely sickening to see. Still, we don't have to excuse unwarranted pot shots and we certainly don't have to let name calling determine how much AID we send anywhere.

There will be more disasters and we will be expected to give more and more resources and aid. Well do it because...(see Luke 12:48). It's not about what people say or don't say, but what the aid does that matters. Some people need to remember that.
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BUSH/NAACP FOLLOW UP -- BUSH'S IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS -- THE DNC & HISPANICS

12.28.2004

by Angela Winters

I promised to follow up on the NAACP meeting with the President at the White House. Not much press given, but here's a little update from blackenterprise.com

President Bush's upcoming battle with the far right on his immigration policies is going to cause problems for him. This particular group has always had "issues" with immigration, but with the new war on terror and the recent battle with Congressman Sensenbrenner pushing the issue on the Intelligence bill, the demand that Bush toughen his stand has gained mainstream and widespread support. The AP is running an article on part of that fight.

The Hispanic Caucus has a bit of a little problem with the DNC about their efforts to woo Hispanic voters. The DNC has a lot to think about. Their last ditch efforts to revive enthusiasm among black voters pre-Nov 2nd and now this bit of strife exposes an issue of connection and priorities. It might sting a bit, but every admonishment offers an opportunity.
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DISASTER IN ASIA COVERED AROUND THE WORLD

12.27.2004

by Angela Winters

Our prayers go out to those in Asia who have lost family in the Tsunamis and Earthquake. The death toll is currently at 23,000, but will likely go up. The American death toll is currently at 3, but with many Asian countries included in the disaster being popular vacation destinations, that toll is likely to rise as well. Like most people, my holiday was spent in a daze of eating, shopping, gabbing with family, going to the movies and visiting friends. I didn't learn of the disaster until late last night when I returned home.

As with other great countries, America will do everything we can to help and individually, we can all give something. Money is always an issue with these types of countries, but after this incident hopefully they will get the financial support internationally they need to create a more effective warning system, which reporters said would have saved countless lives.

International News Briefs:
ABC News: Bush Sends Condolences to Asia, Offers Aid
The Australian: No warning for wave victims
International Herald Tribune(France): Thousands still missing as mass burials beginCanada.com Network
Xinhua NetThis Is London
The Independent Online (South Africa): Asian Beaches Turn To Scenes of Death
The Times (Malta): Coastal Areas Devastated
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A SEASON TO GIVE - BLACK CHARITIES

12.22.2004

by Angela Winters

LAST POST BEFORE HOLIDAY BREAK!

I'm not a big holiday person, but even being objective one would have to admit the holidays have gotten a little out of hand. The original intent, celebrating the birth of Jesus has gotten very lost which is why more Christian groups are protesting the materialistic focus of the holiday.

Not to mention the fact that history (and the bible) reveals Jesus was probably born in late September or early October, the season has become about getting things, going further into debt and castrating any religious intent.

Suicides and heart attacks increase during the holidays because of the loneliness and stress. People tend to forget that some of us are alone and going on and on about traditions and plans makes them feel worse. Movies, advertisements, commercials and news stories focusing on family and togetherness can be very painful. The pressure to spend money to impress co-workers, friends and family can take its toll on anyone.

This doesn't even include all of those families who will spend yet another holiday season while those they love are fighting overseas. What about those who lost their wife, husband, child, father or mother in yesterday's dining hall attack, just a few days before X-mas?

The holidays should really be about giving to those families and others less fortunate. This transcends race, religious beliefs or any other aspect of our lives we think may separate us.

After saying that it may seem ironic that I close with a comment on Black Charitable giving, but it's an important note.

Recent articles and studies are showing that the face of charity is becoming more and more colorful. Although most people give what they can, large amounts of charitable giving has always been associated with wealthy whites. As the economic status of other groups change, so have the demographics of larger scale giving.

This is an obvious positive turn mostly because the more diversity in givers, the more diversity of causes to give. Many issues of need are obvious to all, but some are clear only to certain groups whose members are almost exclusively affected. Hopefully these new philanthropists will widen that knowledge within the world of benevolence.

When people think of black philanthropy, they usually think of Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby or other prominent and wealthy African Americans. Below are several sites and articles showing black charitable giving goes far beyond that. They also offer opportunities for us fiscally challenged to give to causes important to our people.

Associated Black Charities
Institute For Black Charities
Black America Web: Black charitable giving on the rise
The Washington Post: Charity's New Look
National Center for Black Philanthropy
Twenty-First Century Foundation
The African American Legacy

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY. I'LL BE BACK MONDAY THE 27TH.
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OBAMA'S MILLIONS & THE NAACP HEAD MEETS W/BUSH

12.21.2004

by Angela Winters

The wires picked up the news about Sen.-elect Barack Obama signing a book deal worth $1.9 million. And who said life in public service meant you give up making real money? I just finished reading the memoir he wrote ten years ago, Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance. It was a good book, a little long on the dialogue and second by second details at times, but some of his reflective interpretation was poignant and he has a good literary style. This deal is for a children's book and when you read about his unusual and enlightening childhood, you'll understand why he would choose that genre.

Michael Cottman at Black America Web reports on the outgoing NAACP Head meeting with President Bush at the White House this afternoon to discuss Bush's strained relationship with the civil rights organization and other issues. It's safe to say that both sides can take some blame in the failure of this relationship, but when it comes down to it, the president is the president and that position creates a greater responsibility for his relations regardless of blame. Karl Rove arranged the meeting after receiving a letter from Mfume which included the following:

"I would sincerely request the opportunity to sit down with you when your schedule permits to discuss what we can do together to address many of the more serious social problems facing communities across America. Some of those issues involve African Americans, Latinos and poor whites..."

Hate to be a cynic, but so much of these meetings are for publicity purposes and the images of the people involved. Those everyday people who are hoping their lives or race relations in general can benefit from these events end up being sorely disappointed. This meeting in particular was not intended to be public, so that's a good sign and both men seem to have reason and good hearts on their sides. We'll look forward to the post-meeting results.
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ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS WORKING?

12.20.2004

by Angela Winters

Last week's AP story on the affects of charter schools was picked up by a lot of online news outlets but we didn't hear much about it on television or in the major papers. That's unfortunate, because charter schools and school choice is a very important issue, especially for African Americans since we predominantly live in areas that are affected by these new policies.

The story summarizes The Education Department's review of the mixed results and the rose colored interpretations of them depending on what side one is on.

"Underprivileged students in charter schools do worse in reading and math than their peers in mainstream schools, but children of the same race or ethnicity do as well in either type of school, according to a limited government study of fourth-graders."

Those against charter schools say this is proof they don't work and those in favor say that this even kill among at least same race students is a great starting point considering the lower level of funding and the higher level of political opposition charter schools face.

I think its too early to say that it's unsuccessful and I think it will ultimately prove more successful than the current public school system. I'm in favor of charter schools, because I'm in favor of allowing parents to make more choices for their children. Those who think that parents, unless they can afford otherwise, should be forced to send their children to a system that continually fails them, thus shaping their future and limiting their choices, just for the sake of not being forced to come up with a solution are wrong. No system and no union should take priority over giving kids a better chance.

When it comes to the charter schools, there is a lot more to consider than just the immediate results. Taking into account that many of the children in these programs are high risk already, to have high expectations at the beginning of change is too much to ask. If education is so important to us we should be open to alternatives and at least give them a chance before deciding that they are a failure. The status quo has been proven to be a failure, so in that case, charter schools at least offer hope.

What are Charter Schools?
The Case Against Charter Schools
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THE NAACP & THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - UNLIKELY ALLIES

12.17.2004

by Angela Winters

The Wall Street Journal is on the side of the NAACP in its latest battle against the IRS because they mostly view the issue as one of free speech. This caught my eye because the Wall Street Journal, a very conservative publication, hasn't....they say, spoken highly of the NAACP. The article starts off like this:

"Kweisi Mfume recently announced his departure as NAACP President, and not a moment too soon. His tenure has been a disaster for the storied civil rights organization, driving it deeper into liberal irrelevance."

The WSJ makes it clear this isn't about siding with the NAACP on message, it's on principle. The organization is one of 60 who are currently under investigation by the IRS with the threat of revoking its tax-exempt status due to allegedly political statements regarding one or another candidate's or their views. It's unfortunate, because many of these organizations are worthy and do great work in their communities or for their causes; which could be greatly curtailed if they lose their tax exempt status. Should all branches of the NAACP suffer because it's President makes an errant political (allegedly) statement?

Should they get away with it? The WSJ suggest that there should be a tax placed on the comments. How would that work? There's a section of the tax code that offers the option of placing a 35% tax on any activity connected to the improper comment, leaving the status of the organization alone. How to quantify these activities is up to the numbers people, but I think it make sense. If it is deemed that these organizations violated the rule, the IRS should place a one time fine on them and put together a campaign to information all 501(c)(3)'s of the new section and give an idea of what those charges might look like.
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THE STRANGE TV HABITS OF BLACK WOMEN -- AN OPEN LETTER ON BLACK CONSERVATIVES -- CRITICISM OF A CIVIL RIGHT'S ICON DAUGHTER

12.15.2004

by Angela Winters

Yes I am mailing it in today. Too many deadlines to meet before the Holiday break, during which I will be completly ignoring you. Despite my indifference to you, these are some interesting articles, so enjoy.

An article in Mediaweek discusses the mystery of black television viewership and focuses on black women, wondering what is wrong with us. We don't watch what we're supposed to. We seem to be kicking All of Us, Eve and Steve Harvey (I don't watch any of these) to the curb in favor of Enterprise (I've never even heard of this). We're also watching less BET and I don't think we need any survey to figure out what that's about. Do the words, soft porn, ring a bell?

Pretty harsh letter from Cedric Muhammad, Publisher of The Black Electorate, a great news source for issues affecting African Americans. Cedric writes an open letter to Joe Watkins as a follow up to their conversation during Watkins' show. I guess the nicest way to phrase is that Muhammad felt the need to further clarify his point. It's titled: The cultural challenge of the black conservative.

I go back and forth on Watkins who is a conservative strategist and talk show host getting a lot of play recently. He seems smart, but also seems like a Republican party-liner and I can't abide that on either side. As I always say, "Your side can't ALWAYS be right and the other side can't ALWAYS be wrong." It's just NOT POSSIBLE. The freedom of not belonging to either the Democrats or Republicans is so refreshing I can't explain it.

Another, let's call it...commentary, at BlackNews.com is by Earl Ofari Hutchinson who criticizes the daughter of Martin Luther King, the Reverend Bernice King for standing at the gravesite of her father with thousands of demonstrators to denounce gay marriage. He was clearly insulted and I have to say the sight would have made me cringe. She is his daughter, so I guess if anyone has a right to take advantage, then it's family. It's fair to say she might know how he would have felt about this issue. Personally, I've known my parents for 33 years and I don't know what's going on in their minds.

I'm really hesitant to comment on this issue because it's so personal and I have to honest; I don't know what I think. I've been going back and forth on this for a long time and my heart is conflicted. I see the points of each side and they are both reasonable and at the same time a bit much to ask. However, Hutchinson's opinion is pretty clear.
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A POINT ON AIDS & WOMEN -- THE NAACP'S WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY

12.13.2004

by Angela Winters

There's a good editorial in the NY Times today about the link between AIDS in women and women's rights.

The New York Times: The Feminization of AIDS

This issue hits me in the heart on three levels as an African American, a woman and a Christian. Unfortunately, it's taking these newer disheartening numbers to get people to care again. Millions never stopped caring, but the media seemed to lose interest and therefore so did those whose lives may not have been directly affected by the issue and assumed if it was really a problem anymore they would have heard about it on the news.

When you look at the issue, it's similar to abortion in the sense that society really has to take much of the blame for the consequences of not providing women with what they need; including sex education and adequate, equal healthcare to name a few.

In World Net Daily, Star Parker sees the NAACP's Golden chance now that Mfume is stepping down as an opportunity for the organization to find its way again. According to Parker, the NAACP "sends a message today to its own community that is, at best, irrelevant and, at worst, destructive. Its agenda, the pure politics of victimization, is a caricature of what the NAACP was originally about."

I don't see the NAACP as a caricature, but I agree with some of what she says. Because of its reach, the NAACP could be such an incredible tool in teaching self-reliance, personality responsibility and showing unrelenting insistence on repairing our traditional family. They touch on these areas here and there, but a lot of what the organization chooses to do is accuse and demand from others, whether it be whites in general or the government. We need to start demanding more from ourselves than we'd ever expect from anyone else.

Parker says the local chapter heads are out of touch, but I've known some NAACP leaders to be more centrist or conservative in their thoughts with little support from their local members.

In general, she's right. This is an opportunity and despite what it may seem like, there are a lot of black leaders and members of the community that are thinking the same thing. Not everyone wants things to go on the same way they always have. Hopefully some of the decision-making members within the organization can do something about it.



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BLACKS & SOCIAL SECURITY

12.10.2004

by Angela Winters

Although Social Security has never left the news, it has been highlighted more recently because of President Bush's decision not to raise payroll taxes to pay for it. It's an extremely controversial issue because both sides have really good points.

I'm in favor of privatization of Social Security but I understand that being young and financially aware, I am in a position to plan for my future in ways that many Americans aren't. Yes there are risks, but I'm willing to face them head on with my eyes wide open. This isn't so for everyone, but should people who are eager for the opportunity to have more control over their futures be denied that right because not everyone knows how to or cares to take control of theirs?

And what about the issues specific to African Americans? Well, there are varying opinions on what Social Security means to blacks because of life span, education, access to financial support, etc. These questions and concerns need to be addressed, but when it comes down to it, I've got to stand on the side of privatization. I believe it is completely in line with American values for people who want more personal responsibility to be able to have it. To control my destiny is my right and I shouldn't be denied that right because guarantees can't be attached to it for myself or others.

Many have an opinion, a few have suggestions, but everyone wants to know what the President plans to do. In addition to the war on terror, this issue could be the one that defines his legacy and completely consumes his last four years in office. We can only hope that the resolution is one that makes sense and can return our confidence in a system that many of us have completely written of.

Black America Web: Blacks must put their 2-cents worth into Social Security debate

CS Monitor: Social Security, Bush's quiet war

AARP:Social Security Reform: How do Minorities Fare Under Social Security?

Front Page Mag: Social Security's Raw Deal for Blacks

TCS: Why the Left Should Favor Social Security Privatization (and the Right Should Oppose It)

People's Weekly World Newspaper: Social Security under Bush attack: Your parents will be living with you!
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SHARPTON'S SUPPORT FEE

12.09.2004

by Angela Winters

The buzz du jour is about the FEC reporting that Rev. Al Sharpton was paid $87K to help the Kerry campaign. Why? None of the other Democratic Presidential candidates were paid and they all sucked it up to support him.

Sharpton said it was to cover travel expenses, but the report says $35K was a consulting fee. Other former rivals traveled the continent for Kerry at least as much as Sharpton or more and none of them were reimbursed for their travels according to the report. Maybe they have more money than Sharpton or understand the law of tax write offs better. Last I heard, Sharpton made a pretty penny. As far as the consulting fee of $35K, it sounds understandable, but I'm still skeptical. In those last days when Kerry realized he had a problem with black people, Al & Jesse suddenly became his two best friends. Was that need taken advantage of and seen as an opportunity to make money?

The right, and other Sharpton critics, will love this. It reaffirms their suspicions that men like Sharpton & Jackson are just in it for the money and what others see as their duty to their party, men like Sharpton see as all about the Benjamins. I wouldn't be so quick to judge, especially considering the payment was at the request of the Kerry campaign and their spokesperson made it clear that this was cool with them.

Personally, I would say that when Sharpton took up the banner to run for President and positioned himself as a leader of an entire party and hopeful leader of the free world, the 2004 election ceased to be a business venture. Having been in D.C. for over six years now, I've come to learn a lot about what politics really is and it is a business. Payment comes in several forms and money is just one of them.

In the end, Kerry got a lot from blacks, but it wasn't enough. Maybe paying Al Sharpton and showing up at a different black church every Sunday in the last month of the campaign isn't the way to our hearts anymore.

ABC News: Sharpton Was Paid to Aid Kerry Campaign
New York Daily News: Rev. Al defends 86G Dem payout

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RACIAL POLITICS - A VIEW FROM THE LEFT

12.08.2004

by Angela Winters

Alter net is a left leaning website with a lot of interesting commentary. This article titled, Rights and Liberties: The White Elephant in the Room, is about racial politics and the 2004 elections. The writer, Bob Wing is national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice (www.unitedforpeace.org) and was the founding editor of War Times newspaper and ColorLines magazine.

Wing says that progressives need to wake up to the new political war emerging from the 2004 vote. Republicans out did Democrats in every factor that counted despite a not so impressive first term of George W. Bush. The Democrats spent too much time trying to pull their party to the right and not enough time finding their true place, which I suppose is on the left.

Wing looks at several aspects of racial politics that Democrats need to deal with.
Republicans used racism to garner a greater percentage of white voters.
The evangelical vote is a myth.
Why Democrats got less Latino votes in 2004 than 2000.
The reawakening of civic participation by African Americans.
The political trajectory of the Asian American vote.
The rising clout of Native American voters.
The dramatic turnaround of the Arab vote.
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PRESIDENT BUSH'S ABSTINENCE CAMPAIGN - IS IT USEFUL?

12.07.2004

by Angela Winters

Despite the good news that AIDS seemed to receiving more attention than recently, this past AIDS day brought a lot of troubling news. I was right there with everyone disheartened when VP Cheney said he wasn't aware of the affect of AIDS on black women in America. I wouldn't have expected him to be an expert on the issue, but I would expect the VP to know the most desperate American facts of a major currently incurable disease affecting the world.

If I could select one issue that really bothered me, it was the reaction to the subject of abstinence and teaching it to our children. This article at Africana.com talks about the attacks on the President's $15 billion ABC program. The A is for Abstinence; B is for Being faithful to a single partner if abstinence fails; and C stands for Condoms, which should be used if those two approaches do not work. Approximately 7% is devoted specifically to abstinence.

Critics don't seem to believe the campaign can be effective and feel it's dangerous to teach abstinence. I disagree. Abstinence is a viable choice that millions of young people choose every day. No, they aren't in the majority, but they are proof that it can work. These are healthy, attractive, involved and popular kids who understand the benefits of abstinence outweight the dangers of sex at this stage in their lives.

With everything assaulting our children every day telling them they can't possibly exist unless they are having sex, it is a steep mountain to climb but not impossible and well worth at least the 7% of our tax dollars going towards it. To say that abstinence is not a reality is a lazy, irresponsible cop out and as we look at the numbers of young people we are losing to AIDS not to mention those whose lives are adversely affected by sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, abortion and depression we have to admit that not only is abstinence a viable option but should be the option of choice.

It's not just about morality and religious beliefs. We're talking about health of body and mind and life or death, which several studies have shown are in danger when kids becoming sexually active. Criticism of the methods of a particular campaign is fine, but to suggest that its ridiculous to teach abstinence is...well, ridiculous.

It's not as easy as saying, "You shouldn't be having sex," but we need to start giving reasons why its the better choice and showing how kids who are making that choice are benefiting from it. Just because something isn't easy doesn't mean it's a waste of time. Just because a particular choice may create challenges and requires more strength on our parts doesn't make it wrong.

These programs should be reviewed to be certain they provide the best information to young people with honest, realistic, frank talk about their choices and the consequences or challenges in each. By honest, I mean not lying and saying that half of gay teenagers are HIV positive and other ridiculous "facts" some current programs include to scare the heck of out kids and misinform them. Ignorance is AIDS best friend and the more we teach kids about abstinence and what it offers them, the more they'll know. It may not save the world, but it will save some children and that's all that matters.

LA Times: Abstinence-Only: Breeding Ignorance
Mens News Daily: Abstinence Educators Bite Back
Medical News Today: Bill Frist Says Govt Should Review Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Programs


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WELL DESERVED ACCOLADES

12.06.2004

by Angela Winters

It's very clear to all that I'm a big Daily Show fan. Despite its very biased commentary, the show is genuis and very, very funny. Stewart had me fooled. When the show started I thought he was an immature boob. He is an immature boob, but he's also a very smart and aware person. When speaking on his own, his points are well thought out and his conviction is obvious.

His book, AMERICA (THE BOOK): A CITIZENS GUIDE TO DEMOCRACY INACTION, has just won Publisher's Weekly's Book of The Year award. I doubt it will be the only award the book wins.
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WHAT ARE POLITICIANS DOING ABOUT BLACK BOYS?

12.03.2004

by Angela Winters

There are some interesting articles on young black men and boys and what we need to be doing for them.

Black America Web: Sexist images should be off-limits to teenage males too
Tri-Valley Herald Online: Symposium at UOP targets black males
Black America Web: Time is now to reconnect Young Black Men to greatness
SacObserver.com: Almost 10 Percent Of Young Black Men Behind Bars

I was surprised when I heard that more young black men have spent time in prison than in the military and college. All of America has to take some responsibility in this. We can't put this all on young black men and their derelict fathers.

There are some really good, devoted and hard working organizations out there that are rolling their sleeves up every day to fight for young black men and many of them are making progress but not at the numbers that they need. More people have to step in. When the 109th Congress convenes, a lot of people are going to be looking at how the promising get started; mainly Obama from Illinois and Thune from South Dakota. They're going to be bombarded with causes and side jobs to take on and the lobbyists will have a field day.

I sincerely doubt anywhere on that agenda will young black men be a priority. It's such a shame because they are under assault at a stage in their life when they aren't responsible for what is happening to them. No one seems to care, but when these boys turn into men everyone expects them to come out smelling like roses. I'm not one of those in our community who see black men as victims. I don't see black people as victims. I believe that we have come too far from what are parents, grandparents and great grandparents have had to deal with to even begin to claim victimization. I believe that morality and personality responsibility is the answer to 75% of what we have to deal with.

Young black boys and men do have it hard because they are the only group in society where the overwhelming majority of them are growing up without anyone showing (not telling) them what they need to be; what they should be. No, that isn't an excuse not to be a man when they grow up or not be responsible for their own choices, because we all have to take charge of our own lives despite the challenges we faced in our childhood.

Still, the absence of male role models in their lives is being replaced by so many negative images and lessons that it seems crucial that we all step in. When you look at what/who young black men admire how can you have any hope for them? They celebrate everything negative in music, art and sports. It seems that doing things the wrong way has become the black way. Being a thug, dealer, gangster or pimp is not only a viable lifestyle choice, but one to aspire to and be proud of. Yes, this has been going on for some time but its spread has become overwhelming and seems to be above ridicule.

The only thing subject to ridicule is a black boy who wants to do things the right way; the smart way. When I look at the problems my three teenaged nephews face, the majority of them come from other black boys who tease or harass them for being good students or not getting in trouble. The fact that one of my nephews has reached the age of 17 without getting a girl pregnant has even had some boys accuse him of being gay.

No, I don't believe that government can save the black family. I don't think that government can make black men more responsible for their sons or daughters. What I do think is that when leaders in government (not just tv stars) step up and speak out about the issues and force it into the discussion, the affect is that it matters and people start learning more. When people learn the situation these boys are facing, more of them will get involved in helping out. These boys need some serious discipline and guidance, but they also need to know that somebody gives a damn even when there is nothing to profit from. Right now, it doesn't matter because no one is talking about it and we're losing these boys every day.

Let's pay attention come the 1st day of the 109th Congress and see the first time someone mentions young black boys in a way that doesn't accuse or condemn but comes to their support and protection.
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THE FUTURE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

12.02.2004

by Angela Winters

Yesterday, I spoke a little bit about how fewer black kids are attending U.S. colleges despite the win by Affirmative Action advocates in the Michigan ruling in 2003. In addition to raising costs, it could be a sign that some of the societal and family issues affecting our families (which affect on our kids a million times more than any government program every has or ever will) is to blame.

This article at ThePolitic.org talks about ReThinking Racial Preferences and is written by Roger Clegg, General Counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia. He's a Yale 81 Law school grad.

First paragraph:

"Fifty years after Brown v. Board, race issues still command attention in the schools, workplaces, and courtrooms of America. Affirmative action, in particular, remains controversial in the wake of recent Supreme Court rulings. Let us begin with the proposition that affirmative action would end tomorrow if it were opposed by its main beneficiaries, African Americans. Surely it has as a necessary condition the support of those it purportedly benefits, and surely if it ended for African Americans, it would end as well for Latinos, women, and others whose claims rest on strained efforts to liken their historical plights to blacks'. In fact, affirmative action programs are indeed against the self interest of African Americans, even narrowly and selfishly defined."

Interesting?

I know I just shoved my opinion on this issue down your throats with a recent post on the now famous report suggesting that Affirmative Action is the reason why there aren't enough black lawyers.

This author is a lawyer and that has to affect his position. Although college itself is difficult, as it should be, nothing is like Law School in the sense that there is no on-the-job preparation, hand holding and catching up. You get thrown into the fire from day one with no extra credit to make up for your learning curve along the way. If you aren't ready, you won't be given any grace period to get ready once you get there.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions about this issue. I personally believe that Abortion will be the Supreme Court issue over the next few years. Still, analyst foresee the death of Affirmative Action, a program which although right is not inherently just.

I worry about those kids out there that never had a chance to compete and never had access to the tools that could determine whether or not they are qualified or unqualified. We've relied on Affirmative Action for so long, we haven't put a lot of work into alternatives. Maybe it's a good thing in a way. At least without it, we (meaning black folks) will be forced to figure out how we can solve the problem of our underachieving children ourselves.
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DESPITE WINS IN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, FEWER BLACK KIDS ARE GOING TO COLLEGE

12.01.2004

by Angela Winters

In reading this article at Black America Web, I was sad to hear that less black kids are going to college. It seems that scholars are confused at these lowering numbers because they believed the protection (for now at least) of Affirmative Action in the admissions process would continue the growing numbers. I'm not that surprised because I've always believed that the core of what is going on with black children isn't about government programs or set asides and eventually that would show itself.

The article cites a few reasons including the cost of college which is a serious consideration not just for black kids, but every kid in this country. If things continue at this pace, we're looking at either obscene amounts of debt at age 21 or college becoming a choice only for the wealthy again. Either way its unfair and its not in the best interest of this country to have less educated people regardless of their race. The solutions are simple, but with all the things we tend to disagree on, the necessity of a college education is not one of them. We can work this out and we really need to.

What struck me the most was the College Board finding that only 1,877 African American students nationwide scored higher than 1300 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT last year, compared with nearly 150,000 students overall. Those numbers aren't acceptable by anyone's standards. Granted, 1300 or higher isn't the only acceptable score (I scored lower), but considering the numbers of black children in the growing black middle class with access to better educational tools, it should be higher.

In the end, it becomes more a societal and family issue than one of statistics. I won't harp on the demise of the black family. I know I do that too much, but if family and God are at the core of everything, is it possible to mention it too much? If we care about our children and their futures in this country, we should work harder on getting at the core of this issue.

The kids deserve so much better from every American adult.

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